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TEMPLES IN BHUBNESWAR

Bhubaneswar is also referred to as the 'City of Temples', as it had more than 7000 temples of which only 500 are intact today. The Temples in Bhubaneswar were dotted around the Bindusagar Tank in the old city. The Kesari and Ganga kings patronized the construction of the Temples in Bhubaneswar between 712 AD and 1200 AD who were also strong followers of Shaiva and Vaishanava faiths. The Temples in Bhubaneswar belonged to Orissan style of temple architecture, which was distinct from the Nagar or Dravidian Styles of Temple Architecture.

Temples in Bhubaneswar :

Lingaraja Temple
Lingaraja Temple in Bhubaneswar, is dedicated to Harihar or 'Half Shiva and Half Vishnu', is the typical representation of the Orissan temple architecture. The deity enshrined in temple is also known as "Tirubhuvaneshwar", which means "Lord of the Three Worlds". Though the parts of this temple are more than 1400 years old, the temple was built from 1090 AD to 1104 AD. Among the original structure are the mandap and garbhagriha while the natmandir and bhogmandir are the later addition. The outer walls of the temple are profusely sculpted with of birds, animals, floral motifs, human figures in erotic postures and gods and goddesses. The lingam in the sanctum made of un-carved granite without any embellishment.


Rajarani Temple
The Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Lord Brahma, was built in the 11th century AD. It no longer has the presiding deity and thus is longer used for worship. The temple is noteworthy for the 59 ft high tower as well as exceptional sculptural art depicting floral patterns, gajasimha and erotic postures of nayikas, nymphs and mithuna couple. The temple derived its name from the local red-gold colored stone called Rajraniya, which was used to construct the temple.


Vaital Deul Temple
Vaital Deul Temple in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Goddess Parvati-Chamunda, is located near the Bindusagar Tank. Build during 8th century AD. The sanctum sanctorum is enshrined with the idol of Goddess, ornamented with skull garland on her neck, holding various weapons in her arms a jackal and an owl on her side, is seated on top of a dead body. The recesses on the inner wall illustrate scenes of tantric rites. It is believed that it is the first temple to depict non-religious sculptural themes on the walls of the temple. The most conspicuous thing, which is also unique about this temple, is that the interiors are decorated while the external walls are simple.


Mukteswar Temple
The Mukteswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Lord Shiva, was built somewhere around the 10th century AD. The temple is deftly bedecked with the fables from Panchatantra. The slots on the outer wall of the complex illustrate the Buddhist, Jaina and Hindu deities. The temple has an impressive tower as well as the ornamental torana or the gateway with two female figures.


Parasurameswar Temple
Parasurameswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the oldest Shiva temples in the State. Built in 650 AD, the temple also has the idols of the Vishnu, Yama, Surya and Mother Goddess. Profusely carved temple has the friezes depicted with delicate carvings of elephant and horse processions, human figure, floral motifs and the bust of Shiva. The Shahastra lingam or the 1000 small lingams joined together at the corner of the courtyard can be seen.


Brahmeswar Temple
Brahmeswar Temple in Bhubaneswar has skillfully engraved rekha deul and jagmohan. It is the first temple to portray musicians and dancers on the outer wall of the temple. Use of iron beams in the temple is also used for the first time. Images of Chamunda, Shiva and several other deities are depicted in the western part of the temple. The temple is a living monument with a deity, which is worshipped and depicted through the saffron banner flying from the top of the temple.

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