Here is the history of Majhighariani, Rayagada (Majhigouri Temple) in Odisha. The origin of the Goddess is associated with a historical event dating back to the fourth century A.D. As per the versions of many historians, Samudragupta invaded Mahakantara, the modern Koraput and Kalahandi tracts. King Vyaghraraj of Mahakantar braved the battle with success. People today believe that he did it with the grace of the Goddess. The Goddess continued to be worshipped since then as a form of Shakti, energy incarnate. Shakti and the mother figure are synonymous in the mind of a Hindu. Therefore almost in no time the Goddess was accepted as the universal mother.
According to the historians, in the fourteenth century the Silavansi king Viswanath Dev chose Rayagada as his capital and shifted his headquarters to that new town. He built an enormous mud fort at Rayagada the ruins of which are still seen. Viswanath Dev also constructed rows of temples along the river Nagabali and the ruined temple called Majhi Ghariani is also attributed to the Goddess right in the middle of his palace and the temple was raised later at that very spot. Hence, the name Majhi Ghariani, or the one seated in the central room.
The construction of the present temple is of very recent origin, approximately about forty years. At that time the railways were building a bridge over the Nagabali at stone’s throw from the shrine because at this point the river is a deep and narrow gorge going down around a hundred and odd feet. To the surprise of the builders, the massive piers gave way as many as three times. And then the head Pujari one night had a dream in which the deity commanded that her temple be built first. It was raised forthwith. Legend goes that the bridge too could be completed afterwards with no further difficulty.
The temple is situated at one end of the town. River Nagabali flows close by. The green hills around repose in peace. Among knee-high shrubbery, an occasional knot of large trees and a lean throng of thatched cottages, the temple complex stands imposingly. The room for head-shaving, the rest-house for incoming devotees with provision for cooking their meals and the water tap are spread closely over a small area. There is the Satikunda too where in 1571 A.D. when Viswanath Dev died, his hundred and odd queens immolated themselves following the custom of Sati.