In Odisha, India, Charchika Temple is one of the oldest Shakti shrines. It’s in the little town of Banki in the Cuttack district of Odisha. Chamunda, the eight-armed goddess, is the presiding deity, commonly known as Maa Charchika Devi. She wears a garland of human skulls and sits atop a prostrate human body. With her four right hands, she depicts Khadga, Shula, Katari, and Varadamudra, whereas, in her four left hands, she depicts a severed head, blood-cup, “damru,” and a finger of the remaining hand saturated in blood. This temple is located on top of Ruchika Parvata, a small mountain on the banks of the Renuka river in the small town of Banki in Odisha’s Cuttack district.
The current temple was built in the nineteenth century. The enshrining god Maa Charchika, however, can be dated to the 9th – 10th century A.D., i.e. the Bhaumakara dynasty in Odisha, from an iconographic standpoint. Parashurama is thought to have built the Charchika idol. A pidha vimana, jagamohana, and a wooden mandapa called as “sunyavahini mandapa” of the poor Kalingan order can be found in the temple. The temple is made of stone, with a thick layer of lime plaster and a whitewash covering the entire surface. The mandapa’s ceiling is built of wood, while the pillars are made of stone. The mandapa’s ceiling is ornately carved and decorated. The mandap’s wooden ceiling is adorned with scenes from the Bhagavata Purana, with the interspersed decoration of animals and birds such as elephants, parrots, and peacocks, ducks; floral motifs, lotus medallions, scroll and jali works, makaramukha, Gaja-Vidalas, horse rider, mithuna, animal hunting, and maithuna images; and floral motifs, lotus medallions, On the north, west, and south sides of the parsvadevata niches, four-armed Chamunda, four-armed Mahisasuramardini Durga, and an eight-armed Chamunda are correspondingly enshrined.
The flood of 1982 resurrected the Renuka River. It is said that one devotee who worshipped Maa Charchika, after pleasing her, removed all of Maa Charchika’s decorations and built a mansion where the river now flows. Maa Charchika was so enraged by this that she created River Renuka to punish him and destroy his home. This temple is located in Banki’s heart. The temple receives the greatest visitors during Durga Puja, a Hindu holiday held in October when thousands of devotees flock to be blessed. Kumar Purnima, a Hindu festival held five days after Dusshera, is well-known in this region.
At Mathura, near the Yamuna River, there is another Maa Charchika Temple.