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Ma Hingula, is another name for the cosmic mother, and manifests herself in the form of fire.Every year, on Bishudamanak Chaturdashi (Chaitra Sukla Chaturdashi) the goddess is said to give darshan to her devotees in burning fire at a spot near Hingula temple at Gopalaprasad, one of the famous Shakti pithas in India.There are many similarities between Hingula Yatra and Rath Yatra and also interesting legends about the Hingula Pitha.Jagmohan Garnaik, the secretary of the Hingula Unnayan Parishad, said that when Lord Vishnu tore apart the body of Sati in Puranic ages, each of the 52 pieces fell and formed what is known as Shakti pitha. But a piece identified as Brahmandreya fell in Baluchistan where Shakti appeared like burning fire. In course of time, Nalaraja in western India became an ardent devotee of the deity who resided in his kingdom.In Puri, where he decided to start anna prasad, Lord Jagannath responded to his prayers and asked him to bring Hingula to manage his kitchen.Accordingly, the Puri king went to Vidarbha and requested him to bring the goddess to Puri.Nalaraja on the request of the Puri raja, brought the goddess wrapped in the form of fire and in the course of his journey from the west to the east, he reached Gopalgarh, 25 km from here, where he took rest. The garnaik said that the goddess was pleased and said in the king’s dream that Gopalgarh would be his puja pitha.On Sukla Chaturdashi of Chaitra, the goddess leaves the Srimandir kitchen and gives darshan ~ just like Jagannath does during the Rath yatra ~ to devotees here in the form of burning fire.A few days before Chaturdashi, the goddess is said to appear near the temple and inform the chief dehury about the location where the yatra should start. The burning spot is surrounded with heaps of coal till the yatra.Without the presence of a priest at the Ubhasthal or spot, bhog is offered to the fire by the devotees. After nine days, Sital puja is performed on the spot, the garnaik said.
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