The Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple, located in Sindhipar village near Damanjodi in Koraput district, is a sacred grove that fascinates anthropologists and social scientists. The area is abundant in rainforests of bamboo plants that have remained uncut for centuries, making it a unique sight to behold. The bamboo plants are believed to be the abode of the goddess Kanta Baunsuni, making it a significant spiritual site.
Despite the major developments brought by NALCO in the Damanjodi area, the Kanta-Baunsiani temple remains a true exception. This sacred bamboo forest has retained its primitive appearance, undisturbed by human interference.
The temple is highly respected by the local tribes and other visitors, who consider every bamboo plant in the forest as a sacred sanctum of Goddess Durga. Even the long bamboo stems that dangle loosely in the bamboo bushes and resemble swords are revered as Lord Shiva or Shakthi Lingam, the consort of Goddess Durga.
It’s interesting to note that the bamboo plants here have grown on their own, and there are no other bamboo trees in the entire Panchpatmali hill area.
Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple Photos
History of Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple Damanjodi
The story behind the formation of the bamboo forest/temple is quite fascinating. It is said that a hunter’s family consisting of seven brothers and sisters, along with their dog, had ventured into the village for hunting.
After a successful hunt, they decided to spend the night there and hid their hunting weapons like bows, arrows, daggers, swords, etc., nearby. The following morning, to their amazement, they discovered that all their weapons had mysteriously vanished. In their place, tall bamboo trees had sprouted, and a Shiva lingam had also appeared.
The siblings were astonished by this sudden transformation and shared this miracle with the tribes of Sindubar village. As word of the miraculous bamboo trees spread, people began to worship them, and thus the sacred grove of Kanta Baunsuni was born. Today, this grove stands as a testimony to the wonders of nature and the deep spiritual connections that bind us all.
Another interesting story involves Akalya, the daughter of hunter Dushyanth Dame, who was married to Vasudeva Dame. After hiding their hunting weapons in the area, the couple visited a temple in Kunjguda village.
When they returned the next day, they discovered the place transformed into a bamboo forest and Akalya fell unconscious upon touching the ground. Villagers believed she had divine powers and a dream confirmed she was Adi Shakthi (Durga). From that day on, the bamboo forest became a temple for Adivasis.
Why there is no structure of Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple Damanjodi?
The goddess Kanta-Baunsiani is considered extremely powerful, and she does not prefer any structures to be built within the bamboo forest. People who have attempted to renovate or expand the temple have been warned beforehand by the goddess herself. She even appears in the dreams of her devotees and forbids any structures from being built.
There was once a famous king named Vikram Kesori who ruled over Koraput, with his capital in Jaipur, which is about 50 kilometres away from the Bamboo Temple. Whenever he visited the temple, he would ride on his elephant to seek the blessings of Goddess Kanta-Baunsiani. It was customary for kings to build grand and beautiful temples for their favourite deities, and the king wanted to do the same for Kanta-Baunsaini.
However, the goddess appeared to the king in his dreams and requested him to stop all temple construction activities immediately. The king respected the wishes of the goddess and abandoned the idea of expanding the temple.
In recent years, there was an attempt by NALCO to develop the temple by removing some of the bamboos that were obstructing the way. They hired some labourers for this task, but it turned out to be a costly venture as each one of them died under mysterious circumstances while working on the project.
Eventually, the work had to be halted due to this unfortunate turn of events. However, after seeking permission from the powerful goddess Kanta-Baunsiani, an entrance gate was constructed just outside the holy land.
How to reach Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple Damanjodi
he Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple is located in Damanjodi, a town in the Indian state of Odisha. Here are the steps to reach the temple:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Damanjodi is the Jeypore Airport in Jeypore, which is approximately 40 km away from Damanjodi. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the town.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Damanjodi is the Koraput Railway Station, which is approximately 20 km away from the town. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
- By Road: Damanjodi is well-connected by road to major cities in Odisha. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach the town. The temple is located in the heart of Damanjodi and can be easily accessed by local transport.
Once you reach Damanjodi, you can ask the locals for directions to the Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple. It is a popular temple in the town and is well known to the locals.
Google Location map of Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple: Click Here
Places to visit near Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple Damanjodi
There are several places to visit near the Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple in Damanjodi. Some of the popular tourist attractions in the area include:
- Duduma Waterfall: It is a stunning waterfall located about 70 km from Damanjodi. Surrounded by lush green forests, it is a popular picnic spot and a must-visit destination for nature lovers.
- Gupteswar Cave Temple: Located about 40 km from Damanjodi, it is a sacred Hindu cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The natural stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave add to the temple’s unique charm.
- Deomali Hill: Located about 55 km from Damanjodi, Deomali is the highest peak in Odisha. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular trekking destination.
- Tribal Museum: Located in Koraput, about 20 km from Damanjodi, the Tribal Museum showcases the rich culture and heritage of the tribal people of the region.
- Koraput Jagannath Temple: Located in Koraput, about 20 km from Damanjodi, the Jagannath Temple is a famous pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Jagannath.
- Onkadelli Weekly Market: Located in Onkadelli, about 20 km from Damanjodi, the vibrant weekly market offers a glimpse into the local tribal life and culture.
- Putsil Valley: Located about 25 km from Damanjodi, the Putsil Valley is a picturesque valley surrounded by rolling hills and dense forests. It is a popular destination for trekking and camping.
These are just a few of the many places to visit near the Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple in Damanjodi. The region is full of natural beauty and cultural heritage, and there is much to explore and discover.
FAQs on Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple
What is the significance of Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple?
Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple is a revered Hindu temple located in Damanjodi, Odisha. It is dedicated to Maa Kanta Baunsuni, a form of Goddess Durga, and is believed to be a powerful source of divine energy.
What is the best time to visit Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple?
The best time to visit Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple is during the Navratri festival, which usually falls in the months of September or October. The temple is beautifully decorated during this time, and devotees from all over the region come to offer their prayers.
Are there any other temples near Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple?
Yes, there are several other temples in the vicinity of Maa Kanta Baunsuni Temple, including the Jagannath Temple in Koraput and the Gupteswar Cave Temple in Jeypore.