Famous Temples of Bhubaneswar- The City of Temples
Bhubaneswar, the capital of the eastern India state Odisha is popular for housing some of the finest temples of not only the state but also the whole country. Presently a handful of the 700 temples is left for the Hindu worshippers and travelers across this region.
The Shaiva Domination—
The name Bhubaneswar was given from the name of Lord Shiva’s Tribhubaneswar, which means the Lord of the Three Worlds. From the ancient Hindu scriptures, it has been found that like Varanasi, Lord Shiva also used to spend time in Bhubaneswar. There He used to sit under the cold shade a famous Mango Tree which is still worshiped by the locals and the Hindu pilgrims visiting Bhubaneswar.
Shaivism dominated the land since 8th to 12th century AD. Thus, many of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathi here. The perfect combination of Nagara and Kalinga style of architecture predominates here. With the Rekha or Pidha style of architecture, the presiding deity can be assumed.
The most famous Hindu Temples of Bhubaneswar—
Built in the 11th century by the Somavamsi rulers, Lingaraj Temple is one of the grandest and the tallest temples of the state of Odisha. Dedicated to Harihara, that means where Lord Vishnu (Hari) and Lord Shiva (Hara) are worshiped as one soul or existence. Lingaraj profoundly signifies the phallic symbol worshiped as Lord Shiva. The Jagmohana, or the tall tower per the Kalinga architecture kissing the sky with its 55 meters height. The sanctum sanctorum houses the swyambhu Shiva Lingam worshiped as Lord Lingaraja.
Along with the main temple around 155 small temples are surrounding across the wide premise. Shivratri is one of the grandest festivals worshiped here. People from the other religions can see the deity from the Natmandir but they are not allowed to enter the main sanctum or the garbha griha to offer their prayers.
Situated close to the Uday Giri caves, Dhauli Giri Hills, Lingaraj temple and the shrine of the Chaunsath Yogini—the temple of Mukteshwar is one of the finest attractions in Bhubaneswar for not only the religious purpose but also for its architectural magnetism.
The 34 feet tall temple is cozy and compact. Popular for its stone ceilings designed with beautiful lotus motifs and especially, the eight petals and the stone archway—the Mukteshwar Temple wonders travelers with its magnanimous architecture.
Along with this awe-inspiring architectural magnanimity, the temple entices visitors with the sculptures made on different stories and sequences of Panchatantra- an ancient Indian book on moral learning.
Chaunsath Yogini Temple—
Situated at Hirapur, which is around 15 kilometers from Bhubaneswar, the temple was one of the four primary Tantric temples of ancient India. Built between the 9th and 10th centuries, the Chausath Yogini temple has various interesting legends regarding the Goddess and Her supreme powers. Priests of this roofless temple and so as the locals believe that Goddess Shakti drinks on the blood of the demons She mutilates and Her existence is felt on Amavasya or the no moon nights.
Morning is the best time to explore this mysterious temple in the midst of the rural area because as the sun goes down, the place becomes more mysterious per legends.
The 10th-century temple known as Raajarani in Bhubaneswar was not built to dedicate any deity, rather this architectural wonder was created as a pleasure resort for a popular King and Queen of Odisha. The temple resembles a lot with th
Bhubaneswar shouldn’t miss the temple of Rajarani to explore the “pleasure dome” of the kings and queens of Kalinga, the previous name of Odisha.
Those who are intrigued by Indian classical music should come for the Rajarani Music Festival held on January every year.
The 60-feet temple was built in the 11th century and was dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here, the deity is consecrated and worshiped as Brahmeshwar. The splendid artistry of stone and iron entice travelers visiting the place. The porch has impressive numbers of stone motifs of bloomed lotus and walls features lion heads. Besides, like the temples of Rajarani, quite a number of women and stone erotic figurines are posing in this temple along with some other Tantric images.
These are the top 5 most impressive temples of Bhubaneswar created centuries back but till date attract innumerable visitors and pilgrims. Along with the religious significances, these temples preserve the history and ancient art at every corner of these marvelous edifices.
Featured Photo by psubhashish