The Indian villagers are very religious. The village temple is held very sacred by them. The temple holds a holy shrine inside it. On the shrine there is a holy image. Sometimes, we see more than one idol on the same shrine. They all are worshipped with equal devotion.
In Orissa, most of the village temples are ancient and age-old. Some of them had been founded by the famous kings of Orissa. Such temples are full of art and architecture. They are full of sculptural beauty. The upper parts of them are shaped as domes. These antique temples are made of stone and lime. Many of the village temples are set up by saints or by the rich and pious landlords.
In the village temple there are generally two appointed priests. One is the principal and the other is the assistant. They are Brahmins by caste. Besides there is an attendant to do the menial jobs. Some people who are gardeners by caste get the lease of land to supply flowers and garlands of flowers for the deity. There are others who supply other necessary articles or do the necessary jobs on the same condition.
Daily routine of worship:
The principal priest performs the daily rites and rituals before the holy image. The worship in the early morning is very nice to see. The priest sets the ghee wicks in a small chandelier. Then he lights those wicks and moves the chandelier before the deity. The burning candles of the ghee-wicks and the holy incense of resins create a sacred atmosphere inside the temple premises. The sounds made by the holy carol by the brass bands are resounded in the whole hamlet. Many religious ladies, young and old, attend to enjoy the function with full devotion of heart. They think themselves fortunate to behold this holy offering of light. This kind of worship is repeated in the evening. At mid-day and late at night, principal ‘Bhogs’ are offered to the deity.
In the temple, festivals are done round the year. Many saints and groups of saints come to the temple for a short break of journey on their way. Many pious people gather round the saints and hear the sermons preached by them.
The village temple is the holiest place in the village. The holy villagers put their utmost faith on the deity inside the temple and that is the greatest asset for them in the midst of any adversity.