The holy place (peeth) of the Goddess Hingula is situated on the bank of the river Singhada in the West of Talcher Estate (now in the district of Angul). In Assam, there is a place of pilgrimage named Jwalamukhi where a similar Goddess Hingula or Hingulei or Hingulakshi is being worshiped. The colour of fire is red like vermilion or Hingula. It is for this reason that the presiding diety of Talcher in village Gopal Prasad who bears the form of fire is named Goddess Hingula. Such holy- places (peeths) of Hingula are also situated even outside India in Karachi and Kabul. Both Hindus and Muslims worship at this holy place like that of Kaipadar in Khurda.

      In the fifteenth Century A.D., the illustratious poet Sarala Das has described Goddess Hingula in his Mahabharat as the manifestation of the Goddess Sarala. In fact he always worshipped Goddess Sarala as Goddess Hingula. [Sarala Mahabharat, Sabha Parva,       P 401, 478, 479, 490 – 493, 495, 500 – 503]. It is believed that one can achieve his desired object if he/she worships or mediates on Goddess Hingula. It is also believe that cooking foods become delicious through the blessings of the Goddess. It is described in the Mahabharat that Goddess Hingula was worshiped by King Nala of Suryavanshi. It is by her grace that king Nala was able to prepare Gouri-Sauri Paka [Sabha Parva P-501]. Thus the name of Goddess Hingula is associated with cooking with perfection. The Successors of King Nala of Vidarbha also worshiped the Goddess Hingula. As Nala was the king of Vidarbha, his successors are worshiping Goddess Hingula from generation to generation.

     There is a legend that not only explains why the peetha of the deity is situated at Gopalprasad Gada, but also links with the daily-rites of Lord Jagannath at Puri.

     According to the legend, when Queen Gundicha thought of introducing Sixty pautis of Bhoga (daily offerings) for the Lord Jagannath and sought the permission of the Lord. The king was ordered in a dream to worship Goddess Hingula for the smooth conduct of cooking. It is for this purpose, the king went to Bidarbha and with the help of Nala tried to bring the Goddess to Puri. King Nala brought the Goddess Hingula in his upper garment, where the Goddess herself in the form of fire. But a marvel took place when the king Gajapati and Nala were taking rest near the Bank of the river Singhada at Gopal Prasad Gada, the Goddess disappeared and a voice from the void announced Gopal Prasad Gada to be the holy place (Puja Peeth) of Goddess Hingula. The voice also declared that her two associates “Kuteisuni” and “Karadei” will also be worshiped here. However, the place of action of Goddess Hingula will be the kitchen of Shree Mandir at Puri.

     From this date the Hingula Peeth remains at Gopal Prasad Gada and before the Sixty pautis Bhoga for Shree Jagannath is prepared at Shree Mandir a sacrifice is offered to Goddess Hingula before the fire is lit to the oven in the Kitchen. It needs special mention that Goddess Hingula has no other form except fire and she is linked with the Agnikona (South-East direction). It is, therefore, no wonder that Orissa is situated in the South-East direction of India; Puri is situated in the South-East direction of Odisha. Gopal prasad Gada is situated in the South-East direction of Talcher and the Hingula Peeth is situated in the south east direction of Gopal Prasad. Even the temple of Hingula is in the South-East direction of the house of her priest. Similarly the kitchen of Srimandir lies towards the South-East of Shreekshetra and Goddess Hingula is worshiped in the South-East direction of the kitchen.


      The tutelary Goddess of Talcher Maa Hingula is the centre of devotion for the people of Angul, Athamallik, Hindol, Dhenkanal, Pallahara & Deogarh etc: This being a primitive Saktipeeth, special worships are being offered during both the autumn and the spring. However, the worship during the spring assumes, greater importance and it is a more festive occasion. The main worship of Maa Hingula being conducted on the day of Bishnu Damanak Chaturdashi, which falls on the fourteenth day of the bright phase of the moon in the month of Chaitra, which is called HINGULA YATRA. In this festival lakh of devotees are gathered for the divine blessings of Maa Hingula. The festival starts from an auspicious movement on the Thursday of the dark fortnight (Krushna Pakshya) when the principal worshipper Dehury remains on austerity, away from his family in a separate room (dion ghar)

     A special oven is made here and the worshipper cooks and takes his meal once in a day till the completion of the festival. He does not involve himself with any of his family works abstaining himself from daily rite like shaving, using oil, etc. A special worship is offered to the Goddess on every Thursday of the month of Chaitra. An auspicious day is choosen on the basis of the star and zodiac position of the Goddess before seven days of the festivals and on the same day the Goddess is worshiped on the pendal of the diety Kuteisuni. This worship is called “Jantal Puja”.

      It is believed that the deity worshiped enters into the body of the Patiara after the performance of Puja which is known as ‘Sodasopachara’ (Sixteenth rituals). The mother Goddess indicates the direction of her appearance by entering the body of the Patiara and the tradition says that the Goddess generally appears from the Eastern   or the Western direction of the peeth.

        Dehury, the traditional worshipper of the Goddess goes to find out the place of appearance of the Goddess in the midnight of the same day. Since the Goddess is seen in the form of fire and move’s at many places and moves from one place to the other. Dehury worships the Goddess by chanting ‘Sabari Mantra’ and pacifies her by making a fire on the Charapathar (charcoal). Everyday more coal is added to the main fire of the Goddess during the time of worship by which the girth of the Goddess increases to a very big dimension on the final day of the festival. A kandha tribal fixes the applique presented by the king of Talcher by tying it to four bamboos. This applique has a height measuring sixteen hands from the place of appearance of the diety. A  speciality of the occasion is the intimate relationship between the Goddess and her worshipers, who offer themselves a lot of things which are consumable by fire like Juggery, Ghee, Honey, variegated Silk, Sarees, Jute, Incense sticks, special sweets made of Til (Rasiladu), Bananas, Coconuts and many other sweets like Kushi Gaja, Gaja Muan, Khandsari etc, directly without any intermediary worshiper. Moreover, there is absolutely no distinction between the upper and lower caste, who unhesitating by snatch away and take prasad from one another. The caste differences are drowned during this worship. This tradition prevails for centuries together and perches the concept of  “Basudhaiba Kutumbakam” can be realized here by one’s maiden presence. Lakhs of devotees assemble here seeking the blessings of the Goddess and offer many sacrifices. In the morning the hairs from the heads of the Babies are shaved. In the afternoon Alam, the mobile image of the Goddess arrives at the big pendal from the Temple for worship, in a procession accompanied by the devotees and the traditional instrumentalists and drum beaters, who carry Umbrellas, Taras, Adenis, Cymbals, Conches, and Chowries etc. The procession is also accompanied with the devotional Songs and Kirtans, presenting delightful sight. It may be mentioned here that the Goddess has servants of thirty six types named Chhatisa Pataka Niyoga, similar to that of Lord Jagannath from a very ancient time.

      The principal worshipers in order of succession are Suda Dehury, Patiara, King’s representatives, Gadanayak and Paika etc, which include the Carpenters and the Brahmins also. The services are specified and remunerative. The worship continues with Dehury offering worship, in the big pendal in all the five seats, where sit Hingula, Karadei, Kuteisuni, Chandi and Andhari. Mango and Mahula are offered. This offering is called “Nuakhai Festival” of the Goddess. Khambeswar Mahadev and Khambeswari Devi, who remain on the left side of the pendal, are worshiped without lightning any candle (Deepa). They are called Dark Gods (Andhari Devata or Pidha). The legend states them to have come under darkness from Boudha the shelter of Goddess Hingula, when Buddhist religion spread on the region; it is for this reason that they are called Andhari Pith (Dark Seat). After this the Patiara being possessed by Hingula is worshiped. He arrives at the place of appearance of the Goddess in the form of Kalishi and it is at this place that is Body gets dispossessed (from Kalishi). Then Dehury carries the mobile image ‘Alam’ to the place of appearance where she is offered worship.

     The king alongwith his family come to the place and offer oblations (Ahuti) to the Goddess. Since the Jantala festival to the Sitala or Situla festival, the Brahmin or the Priests recites Chandi (Seven hundred verses of Goddess Durga) daily.

     The Goddess then returns to the temple during the midnight. On the ninth day of the festival the Situla festival of the Goddess is celebrated. Applique is hung on this day and the fire of the Goddess is put off. The speciality of this day of the festival is that unlike the other days when the Goddess is worshiped with the Bel leaves, the principal offering is made with Baruna leaves.