Sabara Srikhetra

About Sabara Srikhetra

Sabara Srikhetra is not as old as the philosophy it professes.  But the pristine High Land of Koraput where it exists is centuries old with a horary past.  So also the Highlanders whose customs and culture have much bearing on Jagannath consciousness which does not remain confined within the limits of a traditional religious theological order, a cult or even a philosophical system which has its orgin from Tribal Culture. Jagannath Cult has no antagonism towards any religion, caste or creed, just as the vedantic culture of India.  Jagannath consciousness lays the foundation for practice of tolerance in the real life of the individual as well as the human society at large.

One of the most interesting facts of Jagannath consciousness seems to have a wonderful capacity to provide nourishment and happiness at all levels of human existence - rich or poor, king or beggar, wise or foolish, learned or ignorant, sinner or virtuous, female or male, well-bread or ill-bread, foreigner or a native.  In fact this philosophy of Jagannath consciousness is in actual practise at Sabara Srikhetra, both in letter and spirit.

Koraput region  is the southern most part of Orissa which is associated with Epic Ramayana & is identified as Dandakaranya in the Puranas as well as is the Gazetteer of India. Koraput town stands in the heart of Dandakaranya which assumed the name of Sabara Srikhetra, the Abode of Lord Sri Jagannath in the tribal heartland.  It is truely the God of mankind without any distinction of caste, creed, class or religion.

The Primal God - Sri Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe, is the presiding diety, of Sri Mandira (main temple) of Sabara Srikhetra temple complex on a hillock about 3,000 feet above the mean sea level, (The hillock stands) at the centre of Koraput, the district headquarters town. The main temple is sorrounded by nine side temples of different Gods and Goddesses, commanding the land scape from miles around.  
            Apart from the above, the Yatries enjoy the blessings of the presiding deities of almost every sacred centre of piligrimages (Teerthas) of Bharat (India) and Utkal (Orissa):

Bharat Barsa :
1. Amarnath,
2. Kedarnath,
3. Baisnodevi,
4. Pasupatinath,
5. Prithviswar,
6. Sri Govind Jiu,
7. Srikrushna Janma Bhoomi,
8. Bhootnath,
9. Prayag Rajeswar,
10. Bramhasila,
11. Kashi Biswanath,
12. Biraja,
13. Kali,
14. Kamakshi,
15. Badrinath,
16. Dwarakanath,
17. Rameshwar,
18. Somanath,
19. Puskar,
20. Srinath,
21. Mahakaleswar,
22. Haridwar,
23. Bithalji,
24. Maukhalingam,
25. Sri Kurma,
26. Barahanrusingha,
27. Sri Balaji,
28. Ayappa,
29. Minakshi,
30. Srirangam.

Utkal Khanda :
1. Sidha Mhabira,
2. Sri Baladev Jiu,
3. Neelamadhab,
4. Alarnath,
5. Sri Raghunath,
6. Ananta Basudev,
7. Barahanath,
8. Marjarakeshari Nrushinghanath,
9. Biranchi Narayan,
10. Khirachora Gopinath,
11. Subarnameru, 
12. Ladubaba, 
13. Akhandalmani,
14. Gokarneswar,
15. Gupteswar, 
16. Birupakhya,
17. Chandrasekhar,
18. Lingaraj,
19. Chousathi Jogini,
20. Taratarini,
21. Pataneswari,
22. Mahabinayak,
23. Sidhi Bhairabi,
24. Narayani,
25. Sarala,
26. Bhattarika,
27. Samalai,
28. Hingula,
29. Tarini,
30. Kichikeswari,
31. Bhagabati,
32. Mangala,
33. Charchika,
34. Katakachandi,
35. Byaghradevi,
36. Manikeswari,
37. Alamchandi, 

An exclusive bedha (place) is adorned by the tribal deity Matarbnam. It is situated strategically at the entrance of the complex Champakbana. 

       Apart from the famous Ratha Yatra, various major and minor festivals are observed throughout the year and devotees, tourists from far and near throng here to fulfill their spiritual aspirations as it has assumed the divine status of Sacred Peetha (holy shrine).  Admision to the temple is open to all without any discrimination.  Here the Lord desired to potray himself as a symbol of a holy Culture which abounds in Humanism rather than to be Sectarian.

During Ratha Yatra (Car festival) one Tribal Chief does the Chhera Panhanra,(sweeping) on the chariot that is traditionally performed by the Gajapati Maharaja at Puri.  The Heads of Tribal Villages around Koraput are honoured on this day at the Chariot with scarfs presented by the Collector & District Magistrate of the Koraput district who happens to be the Working President of the Mandir Trust.  One must see to beleive when different groups of Tribals come dressed in their traditional and colourful costumes to offer fruits etc. grown by them to their beloved God and to take part in the Ratha Yatra.  This is an unique event in the annual cycle of festivals and rituals when the Lords leave their Abode for a brief annual sojourn to mingle with the masses and grant audience to their entire satisfaction.

The Tribal Culture Research Centre (TCRC) has been established in conformity with the basic objectives of the Trust. It was inaugurated by the Governor of Orissa Dr. Biswambar Nath Panda in the year 1984. The centre is advancing in its aim in establishing two autonomous institutions- (i) The Tribal Museum in 1992 and (ii) the COATS in 1993. The Tribal Museum is engaged to document and preserve the cultural objects (both material & non-material) of the tribals and the COATS is mainly conducting studies to design suitable module of economic activities for the tribals. 

When one steps into Sabara Srikhetra, he experiences the unique touch of a Peetha and freedom from the bondage of narrow caste but filled with religious fervour.  One can have the psychological satisfaction of the divine bliss of the Lord of the Universe.

Koraput is approachable by rail and road and is well connected with different parts outside.  A visit to Sabara Srikhetra will be a memorable event in one’s life as it has its appeal of holiness and self satisfaction, and eternal peace.


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