Chhatia Bata Temple: Where the ‘Kalki’ Avatar will emerge

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    Nestled in the quaint village of Chhatia, 48 kilometers away from Jajpur town in the state of Odisha, India, lies a temple of unmatched uniqueness - the Chhatia Bata Temple. Its association with Vaishnavism and Lord Jagannath, one of the most revered deities in the Hindu religion, has made it a place of great spiritual significance. What makes it so unique, is that it is one of the few temples dedicated to ‘Kalki’ or the ten Avatar of Lord Vishnu, which as per Hindu belief will emerge in the future. Let's delve into the history, architecture, and significance of this captivating temple.

    History and Architecture

    The origins of the Chhatia Bata Temple are shrouded in enigma. Some records suggest that the temple was built in the 12th century CE by the Eastern Ganga ruler Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva. However, its association with Vaishnavism dates back to the 15th-century saint Achyutananda Das.

    The name of the place ‘Chhatia Bata’ is due to the ‘Bata’ or the sacred tree associated with Mahaprabu Hadidas, an 18th century saint. Mahaprabhu Hadidas became popular in the region thanks to his Bhajans and teachings and is considered the 15th reincarnation of Achyutananda Das. The samadhi of Hadidas is also located within the temple complex.

    The temple houses various shrines, including Kali, Ganesh, and idols of Jagannath, Bhalbhadra, and Subhadra. However, the arrangement of the idols is different from that of the Jagannath Temple in Puri. In the latter, the order of the idols is Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balabhadra. In contrast, the Chhatia Bata Temple has Subhadra in the last position after Jagannath and Balbhadra, signifying a new world order.

    Significance and Beliefs

    Chhatia Bata Temple is renowned for its association with Vaishnavism and Lord Jagannath, and it holds a prominent place in the works of the 15th-century Odia Vaishnavite saint Achyutananda Das. According to popular beliefs as per the writing of Achyutananda Das. Lord Jagannath will come here in his ‘Kalki Avatar’ with his brother and sister and take residence in Chhatia. It is from here where Kalyug would end, and Satya Yuga would begin.

    The Kalki Avatar is the final and tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Kalki is believed to be a future avatar who will appear at the end of the current Kali Yuga, or the age of darkness, to bring about the end of the world and to restore righteousness and order. The Kalki Avatar is depicted as riding a white horse, with a blazing sword in his hand. He is said to be a fierce warrior who will fight against evil and corruption in the world. He is also believed to possess supernatural powers and will be accompanied by a celestial army to aid him in his battle.

    The prophecy of Kalki is mentioned in various Hindu scriptures, including the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Kalki Purana. The Kalki Purana describes in detail the birth, life, and mission of Kalki. It also describes the deteriorating conditions of the world during the Kali Yuga and how Kalki will come to restore order. While the exact time of Kalki's arrival is not specified in the scriptures, it is believed that he will appear when the world is in a state of complete chaos and moral decline. His arrival is seen as a beacon of hope for humanity, a sign that righteousness will ultimately prevail.

    But many believe that Lord Kalki will appear in Chhatia village and this is what makes this temple so important. It is said that the temple's construction never ceases as it awaits the arrival of its presiding deity, Lord Kalki. Therefore, the temple undergoes construction work daily, for which donations come from devotees belonging to all walks of life.

    Rath Yatra and Culinary Delights

    The Chhatia Bata Temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, or chariot festival, in which the three main temple deities are hauled on huge and elaborately decorated temple cars. The temple and its surroundings offer a culinary delight too. Along with the famous Abadha Bhogal, one can munch on the Kakra Pitha, which is also the unique specialty of Jajpur!

    The Chhatia Bata Temple is a sacred temple with a captivating history and architecture, making it a divine abode that awaits the arrival of its deity.

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