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The Temple of Maa Samlei

The temple of Maa Samlei is of Sandhara order. It is built of a kind of stone durable as granite, cemented with lime mortar, the whole building is plastered, but over the course of time the surface has become coarse. The temple comprises of two separate structures. The square sanctum sanctorum enshrining the deity is four steps below the 10’ feet wide covered circumambulation, which is supported by 12 stone pillars. Eleven parswa devis (side Goddness), are embedded on the outer wall of the sanctum, so that the devotees can worship those deities during parikarma though the vaulted circumambulation.

The plinth is about 16’ high. Above the plinth the building is square. 21’ 7” x 21’7”. The arched roof commences after a height of 18 feet and tapers to the height of 35 feet., where the gradual diminution of the bulk has been abruptly intercepted by a hip knob over which a gold pot and spire are placed. The arch is supported by eight abutments each of which is gradually diminished in size by lateral diminution of an inch on both sides of the successive layers of which it is comprised. The whole arch is an oblong, resembling the cupper half of the eclipse with equal longitudinal furrows and elevation through out the whole surface. Commencing from each corner at the base project four subordinate buildings 11 feet square, they are so situated that the sides of square base of the temple be produced. They will touch two extremities of each of the buildings. Each of them has a domed roof, supported by six pillars. A hip knob pierced by an iron spike, adorns the top. Between these domes there are flat roofs supported by pillars, thus forming a square verandah on each side of the temple, with four domes at the corners adorned by the steeple which rises above all with gold pot spire glittering in the sunshine.

On the Nothern side the main temple, a 12’6” wide open yard separates the main temple from the 16 pillars audience Hall. Formerly the steps of the main temple were towards the North, on which the audience hall was build at a latter stage. The main spire of the temple is adorned with eight pseudo temple motifs; the larger ones face towards the four directions and the smaller motifs face towards the four corners. The temple motif facing towards the North has an arched opening which suggests the main entrance of the temple.

The Idol of Maa Samalei consists of a large block of Granite rock with an inverted, trunk like projection at the bottom. A shallow cut on her “Baraha” like face symbolizes her mouth. Traditinal Sambalpuri nose ornament of pure gold hangs down from her imaginary nose Beaten gold leave fixed on two disproportionate golden eye like depression on the face acts as substitute for her eyes in an attempt to define the face of the mother deity on a mass of self shaped rock, the devi’s idol inspires sublime sentiments of awe, fear, reverence, devotion, love and affection towards all pervading mother hood.

The deities worshipped inside the temple and in the premises of the temple are presented in the table below :

Deities Worshipped in Samlei Temple

Name of The Deity Name of The Deity
Maa Samaleswari Ekadanta
Bhubaneswari Chandinayak
Chhatrabauti Ganesh
Bighnaraj Karamsani
Ugratara Hanuman
Maa Kali Bhairav
Narasinghi Basundhara
Durga Ambica
Mangala Swarupa
Jwalamukhi Bhairav
Banadurga Navadurga
Barahi Arunastambha
Chhinnamasta Maheswari
Matangi Raktamauli
Ramachandi Brunda
Banjari Tara
Hanuman Ahalya
Ghantasini Draupadi
Nadabramha Kunti
Bhanumati Mandodari
Dakshini Gouri
Uttara Souri
Balaram Bahana Singha
Bagheswari Hasta
Bakratunda Singha
Parsuram Gaja
Kalki Supati
Nrusingha Nageswari
Bamana Supaswi
Kachhapa Narayani
Buddha Hasti
Palasi Gaja
Nauli Ananta
Matsya Bijaya
Ram Matandi
Sitala Shankha
Garudakshi Indramukhi
Narayan Ardrabati
Garuda Bimati
Ghorarupi Prachanda
Baraha Kapali
Kanakangi Ambi
Shandashi Chinamali
Divyarupa Mauli
Kamakshya Ghodaghat
Durgatinashini Ghikundi
Akhada Hanuman  

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