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Goddess Kalijai - Worshipped on an Island in Chilika Lake in Orissa

Goddess Kalijai is worshipped in the rocky island of Kalijai in the Chilika Lake in Orissa. She is worshipped by the local boatmen, fishermen and by all those people who make living in and around the lake. The belief is that she protects people who venture into the lake. She helps people who are caught in storm, rain and bad weather.

Goddess Kalijai is not an incarnation of any Hindu Goddess. Worship of her started after an accident involving a woman of the region.

Kalijai, a girl in a nearby village, was newly married and was being taken by boat across the lake to her husband's home in the Parikuda-Maluda Islands in the eastern shore towards the sea.

It was the spring season and the lake is known to produce sudden storm.

One such sudden storm dashed the boat carrying Kalijai against a rock. All the people were saved except Kalijai.

Since then people have seen her ghost in the island.

Boatmen pray to her for their safety.

There is a temple on the island dedicated to Maa Kalijai, which is visited by thousands of devotees.

A huge fair is held during Makar Sankranti (January 14/15).