Kishakeshwari Temple is a Hindu Goddess Chamunda alias Kali temple in Khiching, the ancient capital of the Bhanja rulers, about 205 kilometers from Balasore and 150 kilometers from Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of north Odisha, India.
The temple, which is formed of chlorite, has a beautiful architectural design and is well carved from the outside. This temple is one of Kalinga architecture’s most stunning structures. The temple’s style is similar to that of Bhubaneswar’s Brahmeshwara and Lingaraj temples. The temple is 100 feet (30 meters) tall and has a total space of 1,764 square feet (163.9 m2). A gigantic ten-armed frightening skeletal picture of Chamunda-Kali, with stunning veins, ribs, and sunken belly, wears a garland of skulls, and sits over a dead body, can be found in the temple.
The town’s main temple is devoted to Goddess Kichakeswari, the Mayurbhanj reigning chiefs’ family goddess. The Goddess Kiscakeshwari was not just the Bhanj dynasty’s ishtadevata, but also the State deity. The original temple was built in the 7th or 8th century, and it has been repaired numerous times over the ages.
The main temple welcomes visitors from 5 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. It is, however, closed from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The Khiching Museum is the state of Odisha’s second oldest museum. Several images of gods and goddesses, including images of Buddha, were discovered during an excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1908. These are kept in a museum within the temple compound, which was built in 1922 by Maharaja Purna Chandra Bhanjdeo.
Durga, Ganesha, Parsvanatha, Tara, Parvati, Ardhanageswar, Vaishnavi, Nandi, Kartikeya, Avalokiteswar, Dhyani Buddha, Mahishasuramardini, Uma, Maheshwara, and female followers are among the life-size idols on display at the museum. Copper and iron utensils, terracotta figurines, seals, decorations, potteries, coins, stone tools, and numerous temple remains are among the exhibits at the museum. Several sculpted portions of old temples are on show in the museum’s courtyard.
The idols of Buddha and Avalokitesvara indicate a remarkable fusion of religion and culture. It reflects the monarchs’ polished religious tolerance, which dates back to the 10th century AD.