Narayani Temple is a famous shrine in Khalikote, near Brahmapur, Odisha. The place is located at a distance of about 75 kms from the town of Brahmapur.
Narayani temple is an ancient shrine dedicated to the ten-armed goddess, Narayani, who is also popularly known as Durga. The temple sits atop the Bhalleri Hills, in a picturesque location amidst a forest of Sal and Mango trees. The forest is watered by a perennial spring, which only adds to the beauty of the environment of the temple.
The temple houses the idol of Devi Durga in the sanctum sanctorum. It is supposed to be the embodiment of the feminine force of Shakti, and is worshipped by the countless visitors who throng the temple. The goddess has been worshipped at that site since ancient times, by tribal residents of the region, and later under the patronage of the rulers and zamindars of Khalikote. The idol which currently rests inside the temple is believed to a modern reinterpretation of the goddess. Parts of the temple are buried underground, but the carvings and motifs which can be observed on the remaining visible structures are noteworthy.
The most important event observed at the Narayani Temple is the festival of Durga Puja. The occasion attracts hundreds of devotees to the shrine of the goddess annually. Another major event is the fair held at the place in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra (March April). The best time of the year to visit the temple is either during these festivities or any time between the months of October and March. Visitors can expect to spend 1 hour or more exploring the temple premises.
The Narayani temple is an important site not just for worshippers of the goddess, but also for lovers of history, architecture and nature. The temple can visited between timings 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM on all days of the week.