Khiching, the erstwhile capital of Bhanja rulers, is situated in Mayurbhanj District
of north Orissa
. This ancient town, once the center of art and architecture, is dotted with several exquisite temples and historic monuments. Khiching is about 205 km from Baleswar
and 150 km west of Baripada
Khiching is steeped in history; the region is believed to have had eight Shiva temples of which seven Shivling are still to be traced. Time had eaten in to its glorious past and now the region is left with three ancient temples dedicated to Kutaitudi, Chandrasekhar and Kichakeswari, and the fortified ruins of Viratgarh, Kichakagarh, many stupas and sculptures.
The largest temple of the town is dedicated to Kichakeswari, the family goddess of the ruling chiefs of Mayurbhanj. It is thought to belong to 7th or 8th century but was later reconstructed in the 20th century. Another attraction in the town is the museum housed in the temple compound. It showcases a large number of life-size images of various gods, goddesses, and devotees.
The town of Khiching represents one of the highest points of the Orissan sculptural tradition. It combines a highly original sculptural aesthetic sense with extraordinary craftsmanship and is still regarded as the finest products of Oriyan art and architecture.