Have you ever been to this place?
If not… You must visit this place once. It is worth travelling to this temple, situated in the beautiful island of Chilika, the temple is famous for the worship of goddess Kalijai. Every year in January, a big fair is organised here on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
It is the largest saltwater lake of Asia. Chilika Lake spread over Puri, Khurda and Ganjam district of Odisha.
It is located on the mouth of the river ‘Daya’ and covering an area of over 1,100 km. Chilika Lake is the second largest coastal lagoon in the world and largest in India. The natural Heritage beauty and the blue water lagoon surrounding is not less than a poetic place.
My Experience at Kalijai Temple
I still remember the day I visited this beautiful and captive island with my parents when I was just 6, somewhere in the year 2000 and now it’s 2019 and I get goosebumps with the calm waves.
Just got an opportunity again with friends to re explore the Island so called Maa Kalijai Pitha ( An story based Goddess worshiped who said to be died while on sail from the Bankad gada (at present known as Banapur ) to Parikud Island to her in-laws family.
How can you reach Kalijai Temple?
It’s easy to reach here from Bhubaneswar. We took a cab on sharing basis and then after a drive for about 2 hours we reached Balugaon (90 kms from Bhubaneswar and nearest rail head for Kalijai Island )
We were less in numbers so we decided to go in a motor operated public boat and the Magic started on the Blue Lagoon… calm waves were really mesmerizing and obviously don’t forget to capture more than 3000 species of migrated birds which comes here across the globe.
They come in winter especially for breeding. The best among them is the Siberian crane. Also, you never know when a Kingfisher catch a fish with it’s clause right in front of you. After almost 45 mts boat sail we reached the the beautiful Kalijai Island.
Interesting Facts of Chilika Lake
There are no living families in the Island. You can see some small shops selling low cost souvenirs and handmade sea shell items. These shopkeepers from near Islands Parikud and Malud.
Apart from Kalijai Island there are several other islands surrounds in zchilika Lake, namely Parikuda, Malud, Nuapada, Titipa, Satapada, Krushnaprasad etc.
There are also few small islands available with no man living, but youngsters can have a day out for tenting/ camping as per a local shopkeeper.
History and Belief
The importance of the island is a special story connected, as the priest said as we enquired curiously, a newly married girl (named Jaai) along with her father was going to her inlaws. As her in-law’s house was on an island in Chilika Lake they had to take a boat to ferry them across the lake.
As we all aware Odisha’s coast is very prone to Cyclones and during this boat trip they were encountered with a severe Cyclone, as a result their boat was sinked in the Chilika Lake.
Everyone including the boatman and her father survived but no one could save “Jai”, They searched for her but were unable to find her.
After this accidental death of “Jai”, she became the Goddess of people residing nearby and till now, she is worshipped as an EXCERPT of Kali, And this is how the place got its name.
According to a poem by Pandit Godabarish Mishra, there’s a story about a girl named Jaai who was supposed to get married on Parikud Island. Unfortunately, the boat she was on capsized in a storm, leading to her tragic death. The poet imagines that she became a deity named Kalijai.
However, it’s important to note that this story is based on the poet’s imagination and may not have any evidence to support it. In a historical account by Dr. Radha Charan Panda in “The History of Parikud” (1930), it is mentioned that the temple dedicated to Kalijai was built in 1717 by Sri Jagannath Mansingh, the king of Bankad (now known as Banapur).
Really heart touching story… sometimes we flew with time but memories lasts forever.
- Only local street food available.
- Don’t forget to have local made snacks and tiffin.
- There is drinking water provisions and public utility facilities well managed by the local body.
Local shopping Advisory
- If you are a non vegetarian don’t forget to buy big saltwater crab, Fishes and King prawns.
- You can also try dry Fishes.
- Also the Bamboo grass Handicrafts available on very reasonable rates
There are frequent road transportation available from both major Cities via Berhampur and Bhubaneswar also well connected through rail.
We returned the same way to Balugan and took our cab for reaching back to Bhubaneswar great memories ofcourse felt the divinity of the Kalijai Goddess. You must visit the place very easily accessible and an economical excursion/picnic.
Inbox me the touch you get from the travel writer up and can suggest for further information additions.