Khiching Temple

Khiching Temple

Khiching temple, one of the oldest heritage site of Odisha is solely made out of chlorite slabs and believed to be the first temple of Odisha. Khiching was the ancient capital of the Bhanja rulers, located about 205 km from Balasore and 150 km from Baripada in the Mayurbhanj district of north Orissa. The largest temple of the town is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj.

This Khiching Temple Mayurbhanj is one of the most impressive temple of Kalinga style of architecture. The style of the temple is contemporary of the Brahmeshwara and the Lingaraj temples of Bhubaneswar. Height of the temple is 100 feet (30 m) and total area is 1,764 square feet (163.9 m2).

The architectural and sculptural ruins recovered from this site indicate that it must have been a major center of civilization around the 8th to 12th centuries AD.

The original Khiching Temple in Mayurbhanj was built somewhere in the 7th or the 8th century old and was in bad shape as it had fallen in hands of vandals. However, the erstwhile and last ruler of Princely State of Mayurbhanj, Maharaja Pratap Chandra Bhanj Deo was rehabilitated and reconstructed.

Legend has it that once upon a time, Khiching had eight Shiva temples of which seven lingams can still be traced. But now the place primarily has three ancient temples dedicated to Kutaitundi, Chandrasekhar and Kichakeswari, fortified ruins of Viratgarh, Kichakagarh, many stupas, and sculptures.

There is a museum at Khiching, which is the hub of the life-size images of Durga, Ganesha, Parsvanatha, Tara, Parvati, Ardhanageswar, Vaishnavi, Nandi, Kartikeya, Avalokiteswar, Dhyani Buddha, Mahishasuramardini, Uma-Maheswara and female devotees on display. The museum has exhibits like the copper and iron implements, terracotta figurines, seals, ornaments, potteries, coins, stone tools and various fragments of the temples. The courtyard of the museum has several sculpted parts of ancient temples on display in open.

How to Reach Khiching Temple

Nearest airport is Bhubaneswar, located at a distance of 350 kms. Nearest railway station is located at Badampahar, 67 kms and Balasore is at 210 kms and Baripada is situated at a distance of 150 kms. There is a good road network connecting Khiching to all the major towns of Odisha and govt, private all transportation facilties are available easily.