Maa Sureswari Devi is the presiding deity of Subarnapur or Sonepur.
Ancient Sonepur was a famous seat of tantrism. Even now Shakti worship is more
prominent at Sonepur than any other cult. The temple of Maa Sureswari Devi is
situated on the left bank of the river Tel towards the north of Subarnameru
temple and south-east of Rameswar temple.
The present temple of Sureswari Devi was constructed by the
Chouhan king Achal Singh Deo (1725-1750) with an eight armed Mahishasura Mardini Durga
image as its presiding deity. Goddess Sureswari is offered fish every day. A
devotee can get this Prasad or Bhoga by giving the minimum cost.
History Of Sonepur Maa Sureswari Devi Temple
Maa Sureswari was the presiding deity of the Subarnapur fort
during the Somavamsis in Gudialibanda and Jilabandha. According to the
Bratacharita, Sureswari Devi was being worshipped as the guardian deity of the
fort at the entrance gate of the Satabandha.
Legend has it that Parasurama avatar of Vishnu built the
original temple on the request of his mother to make him free from the sin of
killing the Kshatriyas of the world, after performing a yagnya. A noteworthy
fact about this is the presence of an ancient and big altar which is believed
as the altar of Parasuram by the local people, some people believe that this is
the seat of Renuka, mother of Parasuram herself.
Bali Jatra Festival At Maa Sureswari Devi Temple
The main festival of the temple is the Bali Jatra covering fifteen
days starting from Aswina Amavasya to Purnima. The unique drum beat ‘Dig Digo
Bali Chang Chang’” is heard everywhere during the festival.
The Barua represents the deity to whom the people offering worship
during the festival. He moves from temple to temple and from place to place
dancing vigorously with the beating of Dhol, Nisan and Ghant. Bali or animal
sacrifice is an essential part of this ritual. Hence this festival is known as
p class=”MsoNormal”>Three Shakti Pithas namely Sureswari, Khambeswari and
Samaleswari are the main centres of Bali Jatra in Sonepur. Hundreds of people
assemble near the Maa Sureswari, Khambeswari and Samaleswari temples to witness
the various events which are spread over a fortnight.