Goddess Hinglaj Mata Temple – The Goddess of Flame
Mother Hingula is worshiped as agni (fire) in the kitchen of Lord Jagannath at Shree Mandir Puri. Goddess Hingula is worshiped at a distance of 14 from Talcher. It is believed that one can achieve his desired object if they worship or meditates on Goddess Hingula. It is also believe that cooking foods become delicious through the blessings of the Goddess. The tribal Kandha Goddess Hingula is worshiped as an integrated Goddess of the Aryans and the Non-Aryans through the process of historical evolution. Since the Goddess is still worshiped by Sabari versus the palm leaf manuscript which is being worshiped here needs further research, which may reveal important socio cultural factors of the ancient tribal life. It is described in the Mahabharata that Goddess Hingula was worshiped by King Nala of Suryavanshi. It is by her grace that king Nala was able to prepare Gouri-Sauri Paka . Thus the name of Goddess Hingula is associated with cooking with perfection. The earlier practice of animal sacrifice is no more. Now only vegetable and sweets are offered as Bhog. Hingula represents fire and every year appears in the form of flame at different places. The goddess is being worshipped in two sites, one in the Hinglaj Mata Temple and the other on a raised platform with a big applique atop tied to four wooden poles around. The platform is fenced off. On the platform, a heap of coal is set on fire. The fire stand for the goddess. The devotees after having done their Darshan of Goddess Hingula in her temple (Hinglaj Mata Temple), return to worship her at the fireplace.The offerings are thrown into the flames. In the nearby site, thousands of kids sit in tandem and a handful of barbers shave their heads.
Hinglaj Mata Temple History
- Once Dakhya, the father-in-law of Lord Shiva was organizing a ceremony of sacrifice (Yagnya). He had invited many gods, goddesses, kings of repute, saints and seers to attend the ceremony. However, he did not care to invite his daughter Parvati (Sati) and son-in-law Siva. Knowing about celebration of Yagnya, she pleaded with Siva to go to her paternal home. Siva however denied on the ground that she has not been invited.
- Though her husband denied, Parvati attended the ceremony. At the ceremony site, she was laughed at, for having married to a nude man, living in graveyard. Parvati being unable to bear humiliation of her revered husband, threw herself in the flames of the Jagnya and killed herself.
- When Siva got this news, raged in anger he dashed off Prajapati’s palace. He recovered the half burnt body of Parvati from the fire and was about to kill everybody there and destroy the whole creation. Lord Vishnu came to the place and saw that the dead body of Parvati was fueling the anger of Siva and ordered his Chakra to destroy the body.
- The weapon cut the body into 51 pieces. Wherever each piece fell down, there Mother Goddess appeared in one name or the other. Goddess Hingula is one of the 51 forms of the Goddess.This is the origin of Goddess Hingula at Talcher.
- A piece identified as Brahmandreya fell at Baluchistan of present Pakistan where shakti appeared in burning fire state. In course of time Nala Raja of Vidarbha region of western India has became the devotee Of Maa, who resided in his kingdom. In Puri When Raja decide to start ‘anna prasad’ Lord Jagannath responding to his prayer asked him to bring Hingula to manage his kitchen.
- Accordingly Puri Raja went to Vidarbha and requested him to pray Maa to come to Puri. Nala Raja on the request of Puri Raja brought the Goddess on his wrapper in form of fire and in course of his journey reached at Gopalgarh where he took rest.
Significance of Hinglaj Mata Temple
- The worship of Maa Hingula represents a mixture of tribal worship and Sakta Cult. Before some days of the Chaturdashi, Maa appears near the Hinglaj Mata Temple and informs the chief ‘Dehury’ about the location of the burning spot which is kept surrounded with heaps of coal till the yatra.
- Devotees from around the world visit the place and worship the the site of the burning flame with coconut, ghee, milk, cheese, clothes, bangles etc. The offerings is thrown into the burning flame.
Hinglaj Mata Temple Timings
Hinglaj Mata Temple remains open from 5:00 AM in the morning to 8:30 PM at night. There are different pujas and rituals performed as per the schedule. The morning puja is performed at 5:00 AM followed by Aarti and Bal Bhog at 6:15 AM. Hinglaj Mata Temple remains closed in the afternoon from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM. The evening aarti is performed at 6:15 PM followed by the Bhog.
Rituals performed at Hinglaj Mata Temple
- Majana: Majana is performed in the morning before the sun set and also in in the evening. In the morning the deities are cleaned by the sacred water and this is conducted by the Dehuri. The deities are then decorated with sarees, bangles, sindur and alata. The deities are decorated with five types of flowers such as Mandar, Anlei and leaves like bail and barun leaves.
- Pancha Upachar and Bal Bhogh: After the Manjana the pancha-upachar is performed. The deities are offered with the incense sticks along with deepa. The Bal bhog consists of coconuts, seasame seed ladoo, Ukkuda and sweets.
- Kanika Bhog: After the Bal bhog the Kanika bhog is offered to the deities.
- Madhyahna Bhog: It is the mid day offerings made to the deities in the afternoon. It includes complete meal such as Rice, Dal, Kheer, curry etc.
- Pahada: It is observed as the rest time for the deities and the temple remains closed during this time. But during special occasions the temple remains open throughout the day.
- Reopening: After the day time pahada the temple is reopened.
- Evening Majana: After the morning majana the same procedure is performed in the evening. The deities are decorated and made ready for the evening aarti.
- Sandhya Aarti and Pana-Bhog:The sandhya aarti is performed in the evening followed by the Pana bhog that consists of bananas, sweets and ladoos.
- Pahada: After the sandhya aarti that is performed for 2 hours the deities go to take rest and the temple remains closed during this tenure.
Festivals celebrated at the Hinglaj Mata Temple
- Hingula Yatra: There is a popular belief among the local people that on this day of Visuba Sankranti Goddess Hingula appears and propitiation to her removes all evil forces. She is worshipped in the village street on her imaginary stride to the village. Offering to her includes spitted new cloth, Pana(sweet-water), butter lamp and green mangoes. Those who observe fasting, especially women are called ‘Osati’. Prior to the day of worship the fasting worshippers (mostly men) move from village to village with the sacred-pitcher symbolising the Goddess. Their religious procession is always accompanied by singing and dancing. These worshippers are called Patuas. The man who dances with the holy-pitcher on his head wears a black skirt, a red blouse and a long piece of black cloth tightly covering the head and having equal length on both sides to flow. Those who walk on fire are known as Nian Patua and those on thorns are called Kanta Patua. Some worshippers stand on edged swords and are carried on open palanquins. They are caned Khanda Patua. Some of them show some feats in deep water. They are called Pani Patuas. Especially all these festivals are celebrated a Shiva or Shakti Shrine.
- Nuakhai: Khambeswar Mahadev and Khambeswari Devi, who remain on the left side of the pandal are worshiped without lighting any candle (Deepa). They are called Dark Gods (Andhari Devata or Pidha). The legend states them to have come under darkness from Boudha the shelter of Goddess Hingula, when Buddhist religion spread in the region. It is for this reason that they are called Andhari Pitha (Dark Seat). After this the Patiara being possessed by Hingula is worshipped. He arrives at the place of appearance of the Goddess in the form of Kalishi and it is at this place that is body gets dispossessed (from Kalishi). Then Dehury carries the mobile image `Alam` to the place of appearance where she is offered worship. The king along with his family come to the place and offer oblations (Ahuti) to the Goddess. the freshly harvested paddy rice with gur, ghee, milk, honey and turmeric are mixed thoroughly and offered to the deity in called Nakhi. The sacred Nakhi is prepared in unwashed new earthen pots. This is a depiction of tribal culture. The first harvested paddy rice is supplied from the royal granary.
- Patabari Festival: This festival takes place only when a new king is coronated after the death of the old king. During the occasion Dehury collects five salgram stones from the river Brahmani situated near Nadhara Kamalanga as per the directives of the Goddess.
- Devi Dussehra: The goddess Hingula Alam is taken on a large procession for her permanent abode to the Dussehra ground where a podium for worship exists. Subsequently, the Alam is taken to Kuteisuni Pitha . It is one of the very important festival and devotees from various places gather to celebrate this festival.
How to reach: Road, Rail and Air
By Air: Biju Pattanaik Airport at Bhubaneswar is the nearest airport to Hinglaj Mata Temple. This airport is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Raipur, Chennai and Hyderabad. Talcher is 154 km Away from Bhubaneswar (Via Banarpal).
By Rail: There is no direct train network to Maa Hingula’s Temple but one can reach up to Talcher (TLHR), Talcher Road(TLHD) and Angul(ANGL) station. Bhubaneswar, Puri, Angul, Talcher and Sambalpur are the major rail heads for the state.
By Road: The National Highways 23, 42, 55 and 200 pass through the state Odisha which are connected with Angul and Talcher, the two most nearest places to Gopal Prasad. Regular Bus services are available to Angul and Talcher from major cities of Odisha throughout the day. Talcher is 60 km away from Dhenkanal, 154 km Away from Bhubaneswar (Via Banarpal), 182 km from sambalpur, and 200kms from Rourkela.
Where to stay
There are many accommodation facilities near the temple. There is also a Yatri Niwas that is situated near the temple. There are good hotels located at Talcher.
- Hotel Siddharth Regency: NH200, Talcher, Odisha 759107
- Hotel Shakti International: Handidhua, Talcher, Odisha 759100
- Hotel Brundaban: Hatatota, Talcher, Odisha
- Trimurti hotel: Talcher, Odisha 759100
- Green Park Hotel: Near By pass square, Talcher, Odisha 759107
- Hotel Durga: NH-55, Turanga, Angul, Odisha 759123
- Kamlesh Continental: Industrial Estate, Tamrit Colony, Angul, Odisha 759145
- Hotel Prasanti Pvt. Ltd: Near NH 55, Turanga, Angul, Odisha 759123
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