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
There are so many festivals observed in the temple throughout the year. The main festivals and their occurrence oriya months are
1. Pana Sankranti, Baisakha Purnima, ChandanYatra April/May.
2. Jaistha Purnima May/June.
3. Sri Gundicha, Bahuda Yatra June/July.
4. Chitalagi Amabasya, Jhulan Yatra July/August.
5. Balabhadra Janma, Janmastami, Saptapuri Amabasya, Ganesh Janma, Radha Stami, Jutia, Sunia & Baman Janma August/September
6. Dasahara, Kumar Purnima September/October
7. Gobardhan Puja, Garuda Janma,, Tulasi Bibaha, Rasa Purnima, Dipabali October/November
8. Prathamastami, Odhana Sasthi November/December
9. Nabnna Manohi, Byanjan Dwadashi, Dhanu Sankranti, Bakula Amabasya, Shamba Dasami December/January
10. Makar Sankranti January to February
11. Pushyavisheka December/January
12. Basanta Panchami, Magha Saptami, Agni Utsav, Kandaramardan January/February
13. Shibaratri, Harihar Bheta, Dola Purnima February/March
14. Asokastami, Rama Navami, Damanak Chaturdashi March/April
Temple Timings 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.
Sri Sri Baladevjew Temple Office, Kendrapara, Odisha, India
Contact Number 9437319436, 9178328628, 09777080047
Here Lord Balabhadra married Tulasi, the daughter of the demon
king Kandarasura and resided here secretly. So this place is called TulasiKshetra 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 to 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
People of the locality are worshipping the God of Agiculture and oxen or 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 Mahatmyareveals 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.
The place where this marriage of Sri Baladevjew was performed is renamed as Tulasi Kshetra. It is said that after the death of Balarama his dead body was transformed into a Manibigraha (stone image) which was worshipped by Devatas at the door of Patalpuri which is identified with Lalitagiri in Dwapar Yuga. When Kali yuga appeared Buddha Dharma (Buddhism) spread over the area. Devatas kept the image of Balabhadra in disguise under water of Madhusagar (river Gobari). After Gopal Siddha Das, a cowherd boy discovered the stone image of Balabhadra near Siddha Sarobar it is worshipped at Kendrapara it is worshipped as Siddha Baladev Jeu after the name of Siddha Das, who discovered the deity first. In the 13th century A.D. king Anangabhima III of Ganga dynasty constructed one temple for the worship of Lord Siddha Baladeva Jeu near present Kacheri of old Kendrapara town which is about 60 hands (28 mtrs) high over a vedi (Mandapa) constructed previously. Some historians are of the opinion that stone image of Lord Baladeva Jeu on a plain and square mandapa (length 75 dhanu) was worshipped by Kalyan Devi, the queen of Madhav Raj of Sailodbhava dynasty during 7th century. This Mandapa was renovated by 2nd Indradyumna Yayati Keshari and was consecrated by the Brahmans brought from Jajpur. Other historians differ from the above views and in their opinion, one Mandapa (vedi) was constructed during the period of Bhaumakaras for the worship of Lord Balabhadra at Kendrapara and subsequently reconstructed by the Ganga monarch Anangabhimadeva-III as stated above. Mention have been made of the Talcher Copper Plate of Sivakaradeva, the king Gayada of Bhaumakara dynasty, in which we come across the name of Hari, Damodar, Haladhar, Madhusudan, Govinda, Tribikram, Gobardhana, Janardana, Purusottama, Sudarsana, Balabhadra, Vamana, Vasudeva, Visnu, Narayan, Narasimha and Padmanava. Thus the period of Bhaumakara rule is very important for Orissa from the religious point of view. For the first time we come across the name of Balabhadra in the Inscriptions of Orissa. The original temple was demolished by Khan-i-Duran (1660-1667 AD), the then Subedar of Orissa during the time of Moghal Emperor Aurangazeb on 2nd April 1661 AD. He constructed one Masjid on the foundation of the dismantled temple in the year 1663 A.D. Devotees of Lord Baladev Jeu, took the deity in disguise in a boat through the river Govari and kept the deity in a secret place near Baranga (Chhedara) Jungle. Afterwards it was shifted to Balarampur village near Luna river at Sakhi Bata. So this place is sacred for the Hindus. The present shrine of Siddha Baladeva Jeu was constructed during the Maratha rule in Orissa (1761 AD) of Ichhapur (Kendrapara). It was constructed by the king of Kujanga, Raja Gopal Sandha and Zamidar (land lord) of Chhedara killah, Srinivas Narendra Mahapatra. One saint (Santha) Gopi Das and Sairatak Giri convinced the then Maratha Chief Janoji and constructed the Jagamohan, Bhoga Mandapa of the main temple, temple of Gundicha and compound wall. The Viman and Jagamohan, are built in pidha style of temple architecture. Afterwards Mukti Mandap, Ananda Bazar, Bhandaraghar (store house), Gouranga temple, Basudeva Temple and Garuda pillar were constructed inside the temple enclosure. Painting of some Hindu iconography was done on the roof ceiling and inner wall of Jagamohan. The entire area surrounding the Lord Baladeva Jeu temple is traditionally known as Tulasi Kshetra. The image of Tulasi Devi is worshipped in a temple near village Gochha on the northen side of the road from Kendrapara to Ichhapur. The stone image of Lord Balabhadra and wooden idols of Jagannath, Subhadra and Sudarsan are also worshipped according to the rituals of the temple in Lord Jagannath at Puri. Tulasi Kshetra (Kendrapara) and its adjoining areas were once upon a time a centre of Buddhist and Saivite cultures. Some of the Buddhist and Brahmanical images recovered from here have been preserved in the Indian Museum at Calcutta (Kolkata). This place is very near to Lalitagiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri where famous university of Puspagiri and Buddha Vihar flourished since 3rd to 2nd century B.C. Therefore the entire deltaic area from Lalitagiri to the river Mahanadi and the sea is full of sacttered Buddhist antiquity. Zamidar of Chhedaragarh also was worshipping one of the Buddha images in the dense forest of Baranga Jhada inside a temple facing north. The present Siddha Baladeva Jeu temple, Kendrapara was constructed on the same spot. Now the old image of Buddha in the campus is being worshipped as the father of Lord Baladev named Basudev.