Raja Bikram Singh of Seraikella had a couple of spurious images of Ma
Paudi secretly prepared and it was these fake images that were made over to the Raja of
Porahat. It is said that the Rani of Bikram Singh was waiting on the brink of a large
octagonal well, with the real image of Ma Paudi tied to her neck, ready to leap into the
well for self-immolation if the fraud was detected.
The secret could not, however, remain a secret for long. After a while
the Maharaja of Porahat came to know that he had been duped and he threw away the image he
had taken on the banks of the river Sanjai. This image was picked up and installed at the
house of the Zamindar of Icha, a scion of the Seraikella family. The image is still there.
The darshan of this image is unrestricted.
The renewed protests and requests of the Porahat Raj to the British Government for
restoring the real image were said to have been turned down by the later British
administrators. A number of mysterious stories woven round Ma Paudi are current today. One
of them is that Seraikella Raj always used to keep apart a white horse specially earmarked
for Ma Paudi. No one would ride the horse. Well harnessed with gold and silver tassels, it
led royal processions on occasions like Dusserah, Sunia, and the Makar festivals. It was
also taken out in procession, with music, on Ashwa Panchami Day. It is said that the -room
would find the horse in the morning foaming and frothing as if ridden in the night.