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Maa Samleswari

The Presiding deity of Sambalpur, Maa Samleswari is a religious power to reckon with in the western parts of Orissa. The godhead is often construed as the symbol of Sambalpuri Culture.

Residing on the banks of Mahanadi in her majestic temple, Maa Samleshwari, also known as Maa Samlai is referred to as Jagatjanani or the Mother of the world. The temple although quite recent in origin tells the tale of a deity that is antiquated than most deities of the world. The stone idol of Maa Samleswari is dated back to the grecco roman times and is perhaps the oldest stone idol that is still worshipped in India.

There are elaborate rituals that are followed in tandem with the worship of Maa Samlai. Festivities of unusual gaiety are also associated with the Mother.