- Vimala Temple

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The central icon of Vimala is of sixth century CE. The present structure, based on its architecture, seems to have been built in the ninth century under theEastern Ganga dynasty, possibly over ruins of an earlier temple. Its architecture is similar to the shrine of Narasimha near the Mukti-mandapa (a temple hall) in the Jagannath temple complex, dated to the ninth century.

The Madala Panji states that the temple was constructed by Yayati Keshari, a ruler of Somavashi Dynasty of South Kosala. Kings Yayati I (c. 922–955) and Yayati II (c. 1025–1040) are known by the title Yayati Keshari. The sculptures, especially the parshvadevatas (attendant deities), as well as the background slab of the central icon, reflect the Somavashi style and may be part of the original temple, on whose ruins the new temple was constructed. Vimala is believed to have preceded even the central Jagannath shrine.

Hindu philosopher and saint Adi Shankara (c. 8th century) is believed to have established Govardhana matha in Puri, with Vimala as its presiding goddess. According to Starza (author of The Jagannatha Temple at Puri), the Jagannath Temple was once a centre of worship for the Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, along with their consorts and the three central forms of the Hindu Goddess, Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Parvati (in the form of Vimala). The Shri Vidya sect devoted to Goddess worship was strong here until the 17th century. Slowly, Shri Vidya and Shiva-centric Shaiva traditions were eroded but remnants continue, with the Vishnu-centric Vaishnavism becoming the sole tradition. The Tantric Panchamakara, which includes fish, meat, liquor, parched grain and ritual intercourse, were replaced with vegetarian offerings and dance of devdasis. Fish was caught locally and offered to the goddess. King Narasimhadeva, who ruled between 1623–47, ended the meat and fish offerings of the goddess, although the tradition was later partly revitalized. Today, the goddess is offered meat and fish on special days.

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