Khiching

Located at a distance of 150 kms from Baripada, Khiching is a town known for its ancient temples. It had once served as the capital of Bhanja rulers also. One of the major attractions of Khiching is a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda, known for its amazing stone carvings. Other places of interest are Chaulakunj (for its monolithic pillars) and Biratgarh (for its museum).

The temple of Kichakeswari at Khiching, built entirely of chlorite slabs is unique of its kind in India. Legend says that once upon a time, Khiching had eight Shiva temples of which seven lingams can still be traced. But now the place primarily has three ancient temples dedicated to Kutaitundi, Chandrasekhar and Kichakeswari, fortified ruins of Viratgarh, Kichakagarh, many stupas, and sculptures. The large temple of the town is dedicated to Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj.

By far the most exciting aspect of Khiching town is a museum located in the temple compound. The museum contains a large number of life-size images of Durga, Ganesh, Parsvanatha, Tara, Parvati, Ardhanageswar, Vaishnavi, Nandi, Kartikeya, Avalokiteswar, Dhyani Buddha, Mahishasuramardini, Uma-Maheswara and female devotees. In addition, it has copper and iron implements, terracotta figures, seals, ornaments, potteries, coins, stone tools and various fragments of the temples. In the courtyard of the museum, several sculpted parts of ancient temples of the site have been displayed in the open.