KICHAKESWARI : THE SCULPTURAL IDENTITY
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kichakeswari who is represented by an image of 8 armed chamunda with prominent veins, ribs and sunkenbelly wearing a garland of skulls as in other Chamunda figures. Devi Chamunda in sculptures belong to Saptamatruka group of deities, the other being Brahmi, Mahesvari, Indrani, Vaishnavi, Varahi and Kumari in Shakta beliefs. The monuments of Khiching represent one of the highest points of the Orissan sculpture tradition.
It combined a highly original esthetic sense with extraordinary craftsmanship. The temple at sculptures of the place are all found in blue fine groined chlorite,14 which is more enduring in nature and conducive for receiving fine ornamentation. The iconographical evidences suggest that under the early Bhanja rules Khiching was prosperous town where Brahmanism, Buddhism and Jainism flourished side by side.
TOURIST IMPORTANCE AND VALUE :
The old monuments of Mayurbhanj are mostly centre round Khiching on the western border of the district having much more tourist importance and value. A visitor approaching Khiching from the eastern side finds the small temples of Kutaitundi which enshrines the phallic emblem of Siva and sarvesvara. About 400 yrds. to the west of Kutaitundi is situated the Thakuranisala which a number of monuments of historical importance.
A museum which was created in the locality now contains large number of images which were found in course of the excavation of different sites. Many of these images of Siva indicate that it was a centre of Saivism during the medieval period. Life size images of Buddha in earth touching pose and of Avalokitesvara are also seen indicating the hold of Buddhism that one flourished here probably earlier the Saivism. Jina images are also not lacking here and among the sculptures representing the Brahmanical Hinduism are finds large number of vaishnavite, Sakta, Ganapatya and Saura deities.
Thus the present village of Khiching represents various types of sculptures belonging to different religious denominating which flourished in the past. The images both in relief and in round exhibit vary high quality of plastic art and they represent the Orissa Art tradition at its best. With all these ancient antiquities the temple of Kichakeswari add utmost vigor and beauty of the place enhancing historical importance.15 The cultural identity of the combined with their historical antiquity is one of the best place of tourist attraction now a days.
Economic substance & cultural importance:
The historical monuments of the state are contributing a major share to the state’s economy as the mode of tourist’s attraction. Rural tourism is not the end but a means to stimulate economic growth to increase the living standard of the rural people. Rural Tourism has the potential to the most vibrating strategy of regional economic development.
With coming of Rural Tourism the people of the rural areas could have been able to change to improve their livelihood in the field of education, particularly the western language like English, French and the national language Hindi, clothes, food habits preparation of fast foods, western thought of merrymaking etc. With coming of the emerging trend of tourist, the social, cultural, religious and economic life of the people of Orissa become more accelerate rather their traditional thoughts and beliefs, mode of action and livelihood.
Social structure of our country where people lived centre round the place of religious importance observing a number of festivals and religious ceremonies is known to the out side world. It is one of the three distinct economic component of the state by which millions of people earning their livelihood taking the requirements of the place at different times and different seasons.
It is also provide incentives to the artisans and craftsmen to improve their creativeness setting economic support by selling their specimens. It provides direct employment and indirect employment with engagements in tourism related business to the rural people. With reference to Khiching, the sculptures carved out of stones in the place is the best item of income of the local people.
The people around Mayurbhanj collected sculptures of Parsvadevatas from the place for their newly constructed temples and the local sculptures craved images according to their demand and necessity. Other articles of daily use are also available in the place to meet the requirement of the people.
The tourist visited to that place are habitual to collect all those things to decorate the residential buildings and business buildings which includes hotels etc.