Keeping the tradition in tact king of Kanika at Katak Chandi Temple
Cuttack:Keeping the tradition in tact king of Kanika Raja Sibendra Narayan Bhanjdeo , today offered his prayers at ChandiTemple at very outset of Nabaratri.With traditional costume, the king of Kanika with queen Murnalini devi march to the Temple with ministerial staff to preserve the ancient traditional rituals of his family.The Katak Chandi Temple (in Odia କଟକ ଚଣ୍ଡୀ ମନ୍ଦିର ) is an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of Cuttack, Odisha. The temple is located nearby the banks of the Mahanadi River. It is famous for the annual Durga Puja and Kali Pujafestivals. The Durga Puja festivities are prominent in Maa Katak Chandi temple which takes place for 16 days starting from dark fortnight of Ashwina Krishna Ashtami till Ashwina shukla navami and Vijayadashami. The goddess popularly called as Maa Katak Chandi, sits and rules on the heart of the ancient city. She has four hands holding Paasha (noose), Ankusha (goad), gestures dispelling fear (Abhaya), and granting boon (Varada). She is worshiped as BhuvaneshvariMahavidya (the queen of universe) by Sevayatas belonging to Utkala Brahmins every day. Maa Chandi is worshipped in various incarnations ohf Durga during the puja. In Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as 'The Living Goddess'.
According to legend, the present piece of land, where the holy temple is located, was lying fallow before. Late Sri Hansa Panda, who happens to be the Purohit of the then King of Kanika, used to graze cattle’s and sheep’s in the land. One day Sri Panda was feeling tired and took rest on a heap of dry mud present there. While taking rest, he experienced a strange unusual feeling within himself. Surprisingly on the same night, The Goddess "Chandika" appeared in his dream and requested him to take her out of the land.
There after he went to the King and told everything about the strange experience he had that night. With the help of the king, Late Hansa Panda dug up the same piece of land. It is being said that around forty numbers bullock carts of Red Sindoor came out while digging and then emerged The Deity of Maa Katak Chandi. Then the temple was built on the same land. Here in Cuttack, the residents strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as The Living Goddess. The temple of Maa Katak Chandi, the presiding deity of the city is visited by hundreds of devotees every day. The image of the deity is older than the temple. It is believed that she was the family deity of Gajapati Kingdom in the medieval age, due to Islamic invaders' attacks she was buried while the kings migrated to Puri.