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Banpur Bhagabati Temple – Odisha – Cooked Fish Is Offered

Banpur Bhagabati Temple is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Shakti in Odisha and in this shrine cooked fish is offered as per tantric rites. The temple is located on the banks of the Salia River in Banpur. According to Hindu beliefs, the deity was worshipped in ancient times by demon king Banasura underneath a berry tree. This famous Shakti shrine is located near Balugaon on NH 5 in Khurda District.

The present temple was built during the rule of Kinga of Banpur, Jagannath Harichandan of the Rathore clan in 17th century.

Banpur Bhagabati is fierce looking and eight-armed. She is said to have been installed by a Jain tantric.

She is adorned with a circular metal strap which partly conceals her face which is also profusely smeared with vermilion.

As per Kapila Samhita, Bhagabati reappeared as a graceful deity at the request of Lord Shiva.

Subsidiary deities which adorn the temple are Ganesha, Durga and Bhuvaneshwari.

Bhagabati has two proxy or representative deities which are taken outside on various festive occasions. They are Kathi Thakurani or Yantra Pratima and Kanaka Durga. These two deities are worshipped in the adjacent Daksha temple where a lingam know as Daksheshwar has manifested.

Kathi Thakurani is made of costly metal. She is brought to the Bhagabati Temple every Tuesday and is offered fishes dishes according to Shakta Tradition. She is also taken out to preside over various celebrations.

The four-armed Kanakadurga is only taken out during Durga Puja. During the other periods of the year she remains in her shrine with Daksheshwar.

The most important festivals observed in the temple are:
  • Chandan Yatra
  • Savitri Amavasya
  • Sitala Sashti
  • Minamara
  • Sunia
  • Sahasra Kumbhabhisheka,
  • Durga Puja
  • Dasara
  • Sixteen day autumn festival which begins with Navratri is full of activity with thousands of devotees visiting the shrine.
The temple has a well-defined network of servitors. They discharge thirty six types of services round the year.