Goddess Durga is mostly worshiped during the Dusshera festival also known as Durga Puja.
However, in Shri Jagannath Temple, Durga Madhaba is worshiped for 15 days from Mulastami till Navami.
What is this Durga Madhaba puja. Madhaba is form of Lord Vishnu, also known as Lord Jagannth.
In Puri temple, Maa Bimala is worshipped as Bhairabi while Lord Jagannath, is known as Madhaba. The worship of Durga-Madhaba is as old as the Temple.
One school of thought says that Durga Madhaba was worshiped following the quarrel between king Indradumnya and King Gala Madhav.
The dispute between the two kings was resolved due to intervention of Lord Brahma. As per the settlement, it was decided that in Puri, there shall be in vogue a religious practice according to which, Maa Durga i.e Bimala who was the goddess of Galamadhab and Sri Madhab, the Lord Jagannath who was the god of Maharaja Indradyumna, shall both be worshipped as a divine ritual in the Temple.
It is also believed that the Durga Madhaba worship started over the religious differences between the Shaktas and the Vaishnavites.
The it was decided that both the belied and sects will exist in the 12th century shrine. Vaishnavite and Sakta both agreed and a new kind of worship was designed in the Temple.
Earlier, the idols of Sri Madhab and Maa Bhairabi, were worshiped together. The Durgamadhab temple also exists on the South Western corner of the Baharbedha of Srimandir.
Combining the elements Shakti cult and Vaishnavism, the concept of God as worshipped in the Temple was better understood through one culture i.e Jagannath culture.
It is also believed that on the day of Dussehra, a full view of Durga and Madhab is considered most auspicious.
This gives the devotee all prosperity and victory in life. It fulfills the desires of the devotee and purveys overall happiness in life.
The Bhog of the Lord becomes Mahaprasad when it is offered to Goddess Bimala. This way, Durgamadhab worship as celebrated in the Temple is linked to the shrine of Maa Bimala and this is the divine sanctity of Durgamadhab worship.