The temple of Goddess 'Ramachandi' on the river mouth of Kushabhadra river is a splendid scenic picnic resort. It is situated 7 kms before Konark on the Marine drive road from Puri to Konark. Goddess Ramachandi is the presiding Deity of Konark (Arka Khetra), considered as the most benevolent Chandi, worshiped at this temple. It is certainly more ancient than the Sun temple at Konark. From the architectural point of view, the temple of Ramachandi is not important but from the religious point of view, it is one of the famous Sakta pithas of Puri.
Inside the sanctum, the idol of Goddess Ramachandi can be seen in a sitting posture over a lotus flower, which is half covered by sand mounds. She is worshipped in the form of Dasa-bhuja (Ten Handed) Durga. The idol is made of black chlorite stone. Goddess wears a silver mukuta (crown) on her head. Goddess Ramachandi is an incarnation of Goddess Durga, and therefore, festivals like Durga Puja and Kali Puja are celebrated in the temple every year. Another festival known as Sola Puja is also observed at the shrine for 16 days during the Durga Puja.
The architecture of the temple is the same style with other temples in Odisha. The temple is made up of bricks, sandstone, and laterite. It is a north facing temple consisting of two parts - Vimana (main tower) and Jagamohana (assembly hall). Recently, a mandapa has been constructed in front of the Jagamohana. The height of Ramachandi temple is approximately 30 feet from the surface of the temple complex. The temple complex of Goddess Ramachandi is enclosed by a boundary wall built in bricks. In the north west corner of the temple Complex, there is a small Shiva temple named as ‘Rameswara’. This small Shiva is facing to the east. Recently, a new open flat roof structure is built in front of the temple.
The central positions of the three sides of the temple is housed with parsvadevata (God on the side wall) of a headless Buddha, a four-armed Goddess and Biranchi-Narayana. There is a disfigured idol of Lord Buddha on the western side wall. The idol has no head and hands. This headless deity has been installed on the lotus pedestal in the padmasana posture. According to temple priest, this broken idol was originally Lord Buddha but in latter period, it broken by Kalapahada. There is a Goddess idol on the southern side wall. The four-armed Goddess idol has been installed on a plain pedestal in the padmasana posture. There is a eight-handed idol of Biranchi-Narayana on the eastern side wall. He has been installed on a decorated pedestal. The idol has three heads (one female, one Varaha and another a male head). It stands in alidha posture on a chariot drawn by seven pigs. All the side wall idols of the main temple are made of black chlorite stone.
Konark Ramachandi temple is located near the river mouth of 'Kushabhadra' and the endless Bay of Bengal stretched to eternity, and a thick growth of Casuarina plantation around is the scenic maginificence of the place. Before construction of the marine drive road, the place was not accessable to out side visitors, however it attracted large number of local devotees to offer Puja to Goddess Ramachandi. After construction of the Puri-Konark marine drive road, the place has become very easily accessable and became a beautiful picnic sopt. The romantic sight has always fascinated picnicking groups from the neighbour hood and distant places every day. The location of the temple is very attractive with the sea beach at backside, a cemented walkway with railing and stairs to go down to the beach with all attraction for sailing, swimming, motor boat riding etc.
A legend regarding the deity is ever fresh and popular among the locals. 'Kalapahada' the rebel Hindu Brahmin Youth turned islam, vowed to destroy all the temples of Hindu worship during 17th Contury. After destroying the Sun temple, Kalapahad approached to Ramachandi temple to destroy it. Then Goddess Ramachandi dressed as a Maluni (maid servant) asked Kalapahad to wait at the door till she bring water from the river for the Goddess. Kalapahad anxiously waited for a long time to get some cold water. When it was too late and the Maluni did not return he exhausted and entered inside the temple and found the throne empty. Then he thought the Maluni took away the deity with her and with anger he followed the Maluni. When he reached the bank of the Kushabhadra river he found the goddess Ramachandi floating in the middle of the river. At that time the river was outpouring, so he came back without able to reach the middle of the river. Then Goddess Ramachandi came in dream of a panda (priest) and told him to built a temple on the bank of the Kushabhadra river. This place is now known as 'Ramachandi'.
Inside the temple complex, other small temples like Trinatha Temple, Dasa-mahavidya temples are also available. There are several damaged stone sculptures existing in the temple premises. Throughout the year many visitors come here to get the blessing of Goddess Ramachandi and to enjoy the scenic beauty of river Kushabhadra and Bay of Bengal.
Aerial view of the meeting place of river Kushabhadra with the Sea