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Goddess Samaleswari – About Maa Samaleshwari - Story

Maa Samaleswari is a manifestation of Mother Goddess Shakti and is worshipped mainly in Odisha and parts of Chhattisgarh in India. She is worshipped as Jagat Janani, Adishakti, Lakshmi and Saraswati. It is believed that the goddess is called Samaleshwari as she is worshipped under a Simili plant (cotton tree). Some scholars claim that the goddess was originally known as Somaleswari – one who bestows eternal bliss – with soma referring the plant in the Vedas.

Legend has it that Balaram Dev, who ruled Sambalpur from 1540 to 1557 AD, had discovered the murti of Goddess Samaleswari. Once the king was hunting on the right bank of Mahanadi River with his dogs. There he witnessed his ferocious hunting dogs being chased by a small rabbit. After chasing away the dogs, the rabbit returned to the foot of a huge simili tree on the left bank of Mahanadi and disappeared.

That night Balaram Dev had a dream in which Goddess Samaleswari manifested herself before him and said that she was residing inside the Mahanadi River and that he should establish Her at the foot of the Simili tree and build a temple. The king then built the temple to fulfill the wish of the Goddess.

Maa Samaleshwari is believed to have performed numerous miracles.

Kalapahad, a Muslim ruler, wanted to destroy the temple of Goddess. He had a huge drum made of cow skin. His lieutenants carried huge bells known as hulgulas. Kalapahad believed that constant beating of drums and ringing of huge bells will make the feet of Goddess Samaleswari disappear and then he can destroy the temple.

The evening before Kalapahad was to attack the temple, a beautiful milkmaid came to his camp. She looked like a damsel and carried pots of milk, curd and cheese.

Kalapahad was stunned by the beauty of the milkmaid and to win her favors he brought all her milk products and distributed it among his soldiers.

The next morning, the entire army was afflicted with cholera. Kalapahad himself was disease stricken and he left the area with his army. It is believed that the milkmaid was Goddess Samaleswari.

Today, she is worshipped for peace, prosperity, healthy children and for relief from various contagious diseases.