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The Biraja Temple or Girija Kshetra, (Devnagari:विरजा क्षेत्र) Oddyana Peetha, (Devnagari:ओड़्याण पीठ, Oriya:ଓଡ୍ଡ୍ୟାଣ ପୀଠ),(Oriya:ବିରଜା ମନ୍ଦିର) is one of the ancient Hindu temples located in the Jajpur district of Odisha, India. The present temple was built in the 13th century. It is situated in the Jajpur township which is nearly 125 KM north from Bhubaneswar. The main idol is Devi Durga who is worshiped by the name Viraja (Girija). The idol has two hands (dwibhuja), with one hand she pierces the chest of Mahishasura using a spear and with the other hand she pulls the tail of the Mahishasura. The Durga idol rests one foot on the Lion and the other foot on Mahishasura's chest. The Mahishasura is depicted as a Buffalo and not as a regular human demon. The crown of the idol has symbols of Ganesha, Crescent moon and a Shiva linga. The temple covers a large area, and it has several Shiva lingas and other deities. Jajpur is also known as Viraja Kshetra or Biraja Peetha. According to Skanda Purana's Utkala khanda, it washes away the rajo guna of pilgrims. Hence it is called the Viraja or Biraja kshetra. It is believed that Jajpur has one less than one crore Shiva Lingas. It is atypical to Puri of Sri Jagannath as it is called the Pitru tirtha in ancient India. The only place where Dashashwamedha Yajna was organized by the then Jajati Kesari.
Viraja Temple in Tantra
The Brahmayamala Tantra has a hymn "Aadya Stotra" dedicated to Goddess Shakti. In that hymn, it is stated that Vimala is the shakti in Purusottama Kshetra and Viraja(Girija) is the shakti worshipped in Odra Desha, which is latter known as Odisha.
"रामेश्वरी सेतुबन्धे विमला पुरुषोत्तमे
विरजा ओड्रदेशे च कामाक्ष्या नीलपर्वते ॥" "[आद्या स्तोत्र-ब्रह्म यामल तन्त्रम्]"
It is believed that sati's navel also fell here as Tantra Chudamani says that the navel fell in Utkala which is called Viraja kshetra. Adi Shankara in his Ashtadasha shakti peetha stuti describes this peetha as Oddiyana Peetha and the goddess as Girija. Here is the verse from his Ashtadasha shakti peetham. 
"उज्जनिन्यां महाकाली पीठिकायां पुरुहुतिका
ओड़्याणे गिरिजा देवी माणिक्य दक्ष वाटिके॥"
As per many Tantra books, the Oddiyana Peetha (Devnagari:ओड़्याण पीठ) is located in eastern India near Vaitarani river. The place signifies its name. Oddiyana is an ornament worn by women around navel, as the navel fell down here the area surrounding the peetha is called Oddyana Peetha, and the land is known as Odra Desha.
Rituals and Festivals
The main ritual in this temple is Sharadiya Durga Puja which starts on the night of Krishna Paksha Ashtami which falls before Mahalaya and ends on Ashwin Shukla Paksha Navami. The total Puja, which is called Shodasha dinatatmika Puja, goes on for 16 days. The Rath Yatra of Devi's utsava murty is performed during Mahashtami and Mahanavami. The Ratha (Chariot Festival) is called Simhadhwaja (having the flag symbol of Lion). During the transition of lunar phase from Shukla Ashtami to Shukla Navami, the special animal sacrifice is performed. It is called Bali Daanam. The day of Dussehra is celebrated as Aparajita Puja. Other festivals include Devi's own Nakshatra, Shravana, which falls on Amavasya of Purnimanta month of Maagha, Prathamastami, Pana Sankranti, Raja Parva and Navanna.
It is heard from Puranas that Gaya has the mouth of Gayasura (Shirogaya) & the navel is in Jajpur inside Biraja Temple. Whereas padagaya (ends of gayasura) is in Pithapuram of Andhra Pradesh. God Brahma did 10 Ashwamedha yajna here on the bank of Baitarani Or Vaitarani. It is called as Dakshina (south) Vedi of Brahma. Others being Gaya (east); Kurukshetra, (north); Pushkar (west), & Prayag Allahbad (centre), according to Vamana Purana. Many pilgrims gather here for Shraaddha during Mahalaya. A Holy swim commences in Vaitarani river on that day of Chaitra krishna chaturdasi called as Varuni Snan Yoga. It becomes auspicious if the day is Saturday and the star is Shatabhisha. The nearest rail head is Byasanagar or Jajpur Keonjhar road on Chennai-howrah railway.
- Biraja Temple Official Website
- pictures of biraja temple
- report on Viraja Temple
- 51 Shakti peetha,Viraja among shakti peetha