Although Puri has been considered as a famous centre of Vaisnavism, it is also recognized as a sakti pitha. Several sakta temples are located inside and outside of Lord Jagannath temple. There is a sakta temple dedicated to Goddess Mangala on the gateway to Puri. This temple is known as Bata Mangala Temple. This temple is locateded at a distance of 3 kilometers from Atharanala on the road leading from Puri to Bhubaneswar, on State Highway No.8.
The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Mangala. The deity is very beautiful and has two hands and three eyes. She is sitting in padmasana Posture with smiling face. The two hands are holding pasa and ankusa. She is worshipped in the mantra of Durga and is the same as Mahamangala, Sarva Mangala and Mangala.
In Hindu scriptures, Goddess Bata Mangala has been described as a Goddess symbolic of a proper pathfinder in life. In Odia language 'Bata' means 'Way', since Goddess Mangala is enshrined on the way to Shreekhetra, she is known as Bata Mangala. She is believed to guide the pilgrims to Puri. The piligrims and all tourist vechiles used to offer puja and Darshan with all respects at Batamangala temple while entering into Puri and leaving Puri for their safe and happy journey.
There is a beautiful story in this regard. It is said that at the time of creation of the universe, Mother Batamangala had shown the path to Lord Brahma to have the Darshan of the Lord. It is the popular belief in this connection that Brahma had come into existence in the cosmic creation on a Tuesday in the month of Chaitra. At that point of time, he saw around him the vastness of an endless void and seeing that horrific syndrome, he became ruffled in mind. Maa Batamangala had appeared in front of Lord Brahma at that point of time and shown him the path for further course of action. As a result of this, Lord Brahma had been able to see the bottom of the universe down below the navel of Lord Narayana and created the universe. Since Maa Batamangala had shown Brahma the way, she was known in the subsequent period of time as Batamangala in the land of Lord Jagannath.
As per mythological stories, it is believed that King Indradyumna, in order to consecrate Lord Jagannath Temple, went to the adobe of Lord Brahma in Heaven and invited him to come down to the earth to perform the ritual. When King Indradyumna and Lord Brahma descended on the earth, they missed the way to Puri. In that time, Goddess Bata Mangala guided them to their destination.
Festivals and Rituals
At the time of Navakalebara festival of Lord Jagannth, the carts loaded with sacred wood entered into Shreekhetra after performing puja at Bata Mangala temple. Famous rituals like Durga Puja, Dussehra, Chaitra Mangalabara etc are observed with great devotion in this temple.
The Panthei Osha, also known as Bata Osha as a popular religious ritual is intimately connected with Goddess. This Puja is conducted by women at the bi-junction points of village-roads. At night, the women observing the ritual install a pasple and worship it as the symbol of Bata Mangala. They offer a peculiar type of sweetmeat known as Atakali to the deity. The Puja is performed on all Tuesdays in month of Chaitra.