Manoj Kumar Jena

The famous shrine of ‘Sitabinji’ situated at Danguapashi village in Odisha’s Keonjhar is a place of great religious significance and home to many mythological stories from the Ramayana era. It is 6 km away from Ghatagaon.

The significance of the place is Mata Sita along with his twin sons Luv and Kush is believed to be living here after being abandoned by her husband Lord Ram. To commemorate their presence, Mata Sita is worshiped here. 

The beauty of Sitabinji is enhanced by the hills situated in the area. As per the locals, Maharishi Valmiki’s ashram was also present near the hills.

A huge Shiva lingam of Gaganchumbi Mahakaleswar is placed at the entrance of the shrine. As per the locals, Mata Sita used it as her storehouse. 

The shrine also has caves which are believed to be constructed during ‘Treta Yuga’ as the stone carved paintings depict the visuals of a king returning after winning a battle. The locals said that the carvings are the story of Lord Ram while he was returning to Ayodhya after defeating Ravan. It is believed by locals that Luv and Kush were studying from the stone carvings.

A ‘Yajna Kunda’ is also there atop the hill which is also considered to be from the Treta Yuga.

“Luv-Kush had their education from Maharshi Valmiki from this place. The stone carvings are the proof that this place had a great significance in Ramayana," said a local. 

Another local said, “The paintings depict the story of Sita and students who were staying in the ashram used to learn through the carvings,” said a tourist.
Tourists, who come to visit Sitabinji, have a pleasant experience with them and the shrine offers them a beautiful devotional experience in the lap of nature. 

Even after having a great historical background, this place lacks the necessary development.

Seeing the increase in the footfall of tourists, Co-Director of Tourism of Keonjhar District, Ramesh Kumar Nayak said, “A fund of Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned for the beautification of the shrine. Seeing the increase in the number of tourists coming to the shrine, we have discussed with the administration to initiate the beautification work as soon as possible.”