Karnagarh Village in Midnapore
The myths surrounding many places in Midnapore bear references to prehistoric times. Kharagpur is a case iin point. A major industrial centre in Midnapore, Kharagpur is believed to be ruled by the Demon King Hiramba, and hence, is as old as the time of the Mahabharata. Pancha Pandavas spent some years of their exile here. The story goes that after Bhim had fallen in love with Hirimba, sister of Hiramba, an outraged Hiramba fought with Bhim and was killed at the very place where modern-day Kharagpur is located. Interestingly the local folk believes that the crumbling fort at Karnagarh too had once served as a hiding place for the Pandavas.
Karnagarh, now, is a village lying about 10 km north of Midnapore Town. A major attraction of this village is the ruins of the stone fort. Remains of the surrounding walls, barracks, temples and water tanks are strewn at the fort compound. According to historical records and the architectural style of the temples, it is claimed that these were built by Raja Karnakeshri of the Keshari Dynasty.
Besides, many 17th century temples can be seen in this village. The Anadilinga Dandeshwar and Devi Bhagavati Mahamaya are the chief attractions of this place. There are three stone gates to enter the temple complex of this temple.
Following the typical architectural convention of Orissa, the Dandeshwar Temple is 60 ft high and 20.6 ft long. In place of a deity, this temple has a 8 ft pit, called Jonipith. The Mahamaya Temple lies beside the Dandeshwar Temple and is dedicated to the Mother Goddess. The temple enshrines a statue of Goddess Mahamaya in a muslin sari.