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Tulasi Kshetra Kendrapara is one of the five holy Kshetras of Orisssa. It houses the temple of Lord Baladeva Jew in the heart of this Kshetra. The same rites and rituals of Lord Jagannath at Puri are generally followed here which makes Kendrapara equally attractive. Literature like Brahama. Tantra written by Vedavyas and Padma Puran speak the glory of this place.

 

Here Lord Balabhadra married Tulasi, the daughter of the demon king Kandarasura and resided here secretly. So this place is called Tulasi Kshetra or Gupta Kshetra. It is also known as Brahma Kshatra, Kandarapadi or Kendarapada. From the ancient times this Kshetra was extended from Bay of Bengal (Kalinga Sagar) in the east, the high hill of Lalitagiri as well as the Assia mountain range in the north-west, Holy river Baitarani in the north and river Mahanadi in the south which was once known as Uttar Tosali or UCHA (ODRA) of Hiuen-Tsang. This deltaic region is a very fertile land formed by the three major rivers of Orissa namely Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani falling to the sea.

People of the locality are worshipping the God of Agiculture and oxen/bull for prosperity. In the medeaval Bengali literature it appears that Lord Siva is represented by a cultivator who ploughs his field, seeds sow, take out weeds, cut grass and carries it to his house on his head. We know that the wisdom of Balabhadra is that of Siva of the Universe. Hence Siva - Balabhadra is the God of Agriculture from the ancient times. In the Oriya Mahabharat, Adikavi Sarala Das has described the three deities - Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath as the embodiments of Nara, Bramha and Hari respectively. In Jagannath Charitamruta by Dibakara Das he is portrayed as "shling Bija", Subhadra as 'Hling Bija' and Jagannath as 'Kling Bija'. According to Vedic literature, Devi Subhadra is Kshar (Perishable) called Prakriti and Baladeva, the Vedic Lord Rudra or the Akshara of Vedant, represent "Elemental self". Both Kshra and Akshara are sub-ordinated to Purusottama known as Jagannath, the Eternal Unburn as also the cosmic streaming forth. In Durga Saptasati, the triad have a tantric eulogization. According to Tantrik devotees Balabhadra is none other than Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Subhadra is worshipped as the divine expression of Mahalaxmi, The Goddess of Wealth, Jagannath is the divine expression of Lord Vishnu, the Creator and Preserver of the Universe. Not only this the Tantric devotees also worship Balabhadra as Ugratara, Subhadra as Bhubaneswari and Jagannath as Dakhinakali. There are several myths and legends surrounding Lord Baladeva Jeu at Kendrapara.

Legend records that Kandarasura, a demon king, destroyer of Jajnas, was ruling over the area surrounding Lalitagiri and Asia mountain ranges. Tulasikshetra Mahatmya reveals that he lived near Lalitagiri - Alatigiri and was terrifying people. Lord Balabhadra defeated him in a fight as a result of which he left the place, went to Kapilas mountain near Dhenkanal and lived in disguise in the nearest mountain ranges as he was an ardent devotee of Lord Siva. Lord Balabhadra thoroughly searched every nook and cornors of the hill and lastly ploughed the hill with his plough (hala) as a result of which one perennial spring emerged from the hill, which is now called 'Langal Siar Jharana' (spring of the plough). After persuading him from Kapilas, Lord Balabhadra killed the wicked demon Kandarasura in a fight and threw his slain body all over nearby places by cutting it into pieces. It is a popular belief among the local people that the scattered body was fallen at Asureswar, Balagandi, Kamar Khandi, Navi Khanda which places are named after the head (Aswa Sira), trunk (Gandi of Aswa) waist (Kamar-Khanda) and Naval (peice of Navi) of the demon Kandarasura respectively. It is also belived that the Siva temples of Swapneswar at Kantia, Lankeswara of Gualisingh, Bileswar of Kagal were founded by Baladeva over the face, neck and waist of the demon respectively, Balagandi, the place where the trunk of Kandarasura had fallen is called Kandara padi (Kendrapara). One menhir with some Tulasi trees were existing there. Before killing the demon, Lord Balabhadra at first killed Madhudaitya, the chief military general of Kandarasura at Lalitagiri through his war weapon plough. The blood gushing out from the body of the general formed a river named Madhusagar (now Gobari river) which flow towards east by the side of Kandarasura Menhir and ultimately meet the sea. Lord Balaram married Tulasi, the only daughter of Kandarasura on the 12th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Magha which is observed with pomp and ceremony every year as 'Tulasi bibaha day' (marriage day of Tulasi) in the Baladeva Jew Temple, Kendrapara.

(Source :- Orissa Review June 2006 By Er. Niranjan Mahalik)

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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05.00 AM - Jay Mangal Arati
07.00 AM - Neeti Snana
08.00 AM -Ballav Bhoga
11.00 AM to 12.00 - Dhupa
03.00 PM - Dwipahar Dhupa & Pahuda
07.00 PM- Uthani & Sandhya Arati
09.00 PM - Nisankhudi Dhupa
10.30 PM - Badasinghar
11.00 PM - Puspanjali, Palanka lagi & Pahuda
 
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