Upper Bagh Devi Temple, Ganjam, Odisha

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District:: Ganjam
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Upper Bagh Devi Temple is an ancient shrine at Kulada, Ganjam District in the state of Orissa in India. The temple is about 8 km from Bhanjanagar, 102 km from Chhatrapurand 140 km from Bhubaneswar. The nearest railway station is at Berhampur, 88 km away.

Architecture

Upper Bagh Devi Temple houses the idol of Goddess Bagh Devi. Pilgrims need to climb almost 210 steps to reach the temple. The foot of the hill houses another temple dedicated to Goddess Bagh Devi. The temple celebrates the Sankranti day on a grand scale. After every three years the Thakurani Yatra is celebrated with much pomp and show. The Rath Yatrais also organised by the temple in grand way. In the vicinity of the temple few other shrines dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Mausimaa and Ratneswar Mahadev have been built.

Upper Bagh Devi Temple is well connected with different modes of transport. The nearest railway station is located at Berhampur at a distance of 88 kms.

Legend / Local stories

According to a legend there were three sisters, Bada Raula, Upper Bagh Devi and Bagh Devi. Bada Raula was the eldest among the sisters while Bagh Devi was the youngest. It is said that the three fought among themselves for coconut. One day they decided to divide the region into three parts. They threw three pots in different directions. One of them got fixed at a spot where the Bada Raula temple is located, the second pot got stuck in another location where the Upper Bagh Devi Temple has been constructed but the third pot descended into a pond. Later a notable poet Upendra Bhanja was instructed in his dream by the Devi to build temples in the three locations. He followed the instructions and gradually built temples for Bada Raula and Upper Bagh Devi. However, the temple for Bagh Devi could not be constructed.

The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Bagh Devi. This hilltop temple is accessed by 285 (approx) steps. Another shrine of Goddess Bagh Devi has been built at the foot of the hill.

Its people’s believe that there were three sisters (including Upper Bagh Devi). One is more upper of current Upper Bagh Devi Temple is also called as Bada Raula (may be means big sister) and there is another temple simply called as Bagh Devi (youngest sister) near to Jagannath Temple. People say that these three sisters always fought each other for Coconut and then once decided that they can divide the region who will stay where. So they throw three Lotta (type of rounded drinking container widely used in Orissa for drinking water). One stuck in the same place where Bada Raula is staying currently, second one stuck in the place where today called as Upper Bagh Devi and the third one was fallen into a Pond which currently a temple which is below the ground level. Then Kavi Samrat Upendra Bhanja got indication from devi (through dream) that he may need to build temple in these places. Gradually the temple were built and renovated but the Bada Raula’s Temple was never built since it is very difficult to go there as there is no steps to go there till now.

The temple celebrates the Sankranti day of every month. Thakurani Yatra, celebrated every three years, and Rathyatra are also held in grand manner.

A temple dedicated to Lord Jagannath, Mausimaa Temple, and Ratneswar Mahadev temple are nearby worship places.

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