A village named after Manika, a milkmaid who had supposedly sold yogurt to Lord Jagannathand Lord Balabhadra when they were on their way to Kanchi. The word 'Manikapatna' is a combination of two words 'Manika' and 'Patana'. 'Manika', the name of the milkmaid and 'Patana' means 'Village'. Manikapatana, alternatively spelt as Manika Patna, is located in the Puri district. It is quite close to the mouth of the Chilika lake. Manikapatana, one of the Excavated Archeological Sites of Puri district, is in Krushnaprasad block from which the remains at mediaeval period are found . This village is also famous for Bhabakundalesvara Temple.
Bhabakundaleswar temple is located on the left side of the National Highway 203 leading from Puri to Satapada branching at a distance of 3.3 kilometers from Dahikhia square and situated at a distance of half kilometer from the Bay of Bengal. It is located around 44 kilometers from Puri. The temple is facing towards east and the presiding deity is a Siva Linga made of black chlorite stone. Festivals like Sivaratri, Kartika Purnima, Ekadasi, etc are observed in this temple with great devotion. Marriage, thread ceremony, engagement, etc are also observed here.
One of the most popular stories related to Lord Jagannath is that of kanchi avijana (or journey to Kanchi). Once the King of Puri, Purusottama Deva in the Gonga Dynasty, went to the South India and reached a kingdom called Kanchi. There he met the daughter of the King of Kanchi – Padmavati and both came to know each other. Later the King of Puri was invited by the King of Kanchi who, along with his queen was very pleased with Purusotama Deva and offered marriage proposal for their daughter. Pursottama Deva was very happy with the proposal and accepted gladly. Later the King of Kanchi sent his minister to Pursottama Deva with an official proposal for Marriage. It was the time of Ratha Yatra (Car Festival), so King Pursottama Deva asked the Minister to stay for few more days so that he can enjoy the Famous Ratha Yatra of Puri. The Minister was quite happy to see the same. On the Ratha yatra day thousands of people gathered to see the festival.
The Minister of Kanchi saw that King Pursottama is standing in front of the chariot with a broom in his hand. After sometime he started sweeping the area where the chariots were kept. The Kanchi minister felt very bad by seeing this activity. He was very angry with this act of the king and returned back to Kanchi immediately and said everything to the king, stating that how can we put the hands of our princess in the hands of a sweeper who sweeps the road.
The King of Kanchi without understanding the situation agreed to the minister opinion and decided that he would certainly not give the hand of his daughter in marriage to one who performs the vile work meant for an untouchable. After this the King of Kanchi organized a Swayambara ceremony where he invited every suitable man from everywhere except King Pursottama Deva. Hearing this Pursottama Deva felt very bad and decided to challenge the King of Kanchi for a war.
Manikapatna Bhabakundaleswar Temple Photo Gallary
Photo Courtesy: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA)
The king of Kanchi was very powerful and was a worshipper of Lord Ganesha., so he placed a condition. If at all he wins this war then the deities of Puri shall be surrendered and placed behind to his deity of Ganesh. And if at all Pursottama Deva wins the war then he will surrender his Lord Ganesh and shall be placed behind to Lord Jagannath.
The war begun and the King of Puri was forced to leave the battlefield after his camp caught on fire. He was immediately concerned that he would lose the deities from the Jagnnath temple . The King began to pray Lord Jagannath: "Oh lord please help me, due to being engaged in your service of sweeping the road, the king of Kanchi was insulted and cancelled my marriage. If I am defeated in this battle, is it not also your defeat? It is a great insult to me as well as to you." That night, lord Jagannath appeared in his dream and asked him to continue the war and this time the Lord is going to help him on the war.
Moved by the prayer of their devotee, Jagannath and his brother Balabhadra, in the disguise of soldiers, left the temple and undertook a horseback journey to Kanchi. On the road, they grew thirsty and stopped to quench Their thirst at a small village near Chilika Lake by buying some yogurt from a milkmaid named Manika. She offered Them yogurt, but when she asked for payment, they said They had no money. Instead They gave her a jeweled ring and told her to give it to King Purusottama Dev, who would then give her payment.
Later, the King himself passed by with his army. When he learned from Manika what had happened, he understood from seeing the ring that the two horsemen were Jagannath and Balabhadra and that the deities had answered his prayer. In payment for the ring, the King gave her the whole village, which is still named Manikapatna.
The King regained his confidence that Their Lordships had certainly come with him. He proceeded to Kanchi and subsequently his troupes were victorious over King Sallwo, and he also took King Sallwo's daughter as well.
The picture above shows Manika with a pot of yogurt balanced upon her head. The light-skinned Balabhadra, riding a black stallion, offers a finger ring to the girl, who is extending her hand to receive it. The dark-skinned Jagannath follows behind on a white stallion. Both deities carry lances.