Post News Network
Puri: Gajapati Purosottam Dev’s rule (1466—1487) marked a high in the annals of Orissa history when Lord Jagannath along with His elder sibling Lord Balabhadra donned a warrior’s attire to help the king conquer Kanchi (Kanchi Abhiyan) in modern day Andhra Pradesh.
The Lord’s love for his devotees finds ample reflection in folklore and in various illustrations handed down to us by words of mouth. The idols of the two siblings in warrior attire can be found behind the ‘Garuda Stambha’ of the Jagmohan and near the southern gate of Srimandir.
Gajapati Purussotam Dev married princess Padmabati and brought the idols of Sri Gopal and Sri Ganesh with him as symbols of his victory.
Sri Gopal was initially installed at Barabati fort in Cuttack and was worshipped there but later, it was shifted to Khurda during an invasion. The idol was shifted again to Rathipurgada and then to Satyabadi in Puri district where he is now worshipped by devotees.
Sri Ganesh idol, popularly known as Kanchi Ganesh, is now worshipped inside Srimandir. This was stated here by research officer Surendra Kumar Mishra of Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University in Puri.
The famous Kanchi Abhiyan took place after the Gajapati had won over the Vidyanagar kingdom which is now Vijayanagar of modern-day Andhra Pradesh.
He had returned to Puri after conquering Vidyanagar province. One day he was presiding over his royal council (Raj Sabha) surrounded by ministers and courtiers where he announced to find a suitable match for him having all characteristics of a ‘Padmini’ woman. Everyone was taken aback by this announcement.
Gurudas Chainy, one of the courtiers, sprang up from his seat when Gajapati asked him if the Kanchi princess is of Padmini type. To this, Chainy nodded in agreement.
Gajapati asked him to send a proposal to Kanchi king seeking his consent for the marriage. The Kanchi royal rejected the proposal following which the Gajapati immediately attacked Kanchi but was defeated in the war.
Gajapati broke down in tears before the Trinity and sought the Lord’s help to win the war. The Lord asked him to go ahead for the second time and indicated that He would be by his side this time.
He attacked Kanchi for the second time and emerged victorious with the Lord himself acquiring human form to help him in the war. The Gajapati married Padmabati and brought the idols of Sri Gopal and Sri Ganesh.
Later, memorials were built to conserve these victory symbols for the posterity. Two major incidents took place before the war one of which is about a milk woman (Gauduni) Manika offering curd to the Lord and the latter presenting His ring to Manika as a mark of His love for her.
These twin incidents forced the Gajapati and his men to believe that the Lord himself acquired human form to help them win the war.
The Gajapati after winning the war built a temple at Deulagaon village near Raibania fort in Balasore district in memory of the Kanchi victory.
There he installed two idols made of granite stones of the siblings riding on horse and dressed in warrior’s attires. Even today the siblings are worshipped there as a symbol of the Gajapati’s victory over Kanchi.
The Gajapati also ordered to establish 16 Sasans of Brahmans on banks of river Mahanadi as a symbol of the victory. One of the Sasans, Elmapur was established by one of his queens Elma Devi on the northern bank of the river.
In this village, the Lord is worshipped as Sri Dadhibaman as a symbol of the victory. His other three queens Patamahadevi, Sriyadevi and Satybhamadevi also established Patapur Sasan, Sriyapur Sasan and Satyabhamapur Sasan where Sri Dadhibaman, a representative form of the Lord is worshipped.
Several other places in the state also have various descriptions of the victory which is of 500 years old. These descriptions also find mention in the traditional art form of Pattachitra and in various palm leaf manuscripts, history books, Chaini Chakda Pothi and in the writings of Deulakarana servitors.