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Temples of Bhubaneshwar – a photo feature

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Temples of Bhubaneshwar 

While many associate Odisha or Orissa with the Jagannath Temple in Puri and the Sun Temple at Konark, not many travellers are aware of the many old temples in Bhubaneshwar. The capital of Odisha is filled with ancient monuments including rock cut cave temples and monasteries. There are shrines dedicated to Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and even ancient Tantrik temples are found here.  The city takes its name from Tribhuneshwar, a form of Shiva and most of the old temples of Bhubaneshwar are dedicated to him.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Lingaraja Temple Complex

The 1000 year old Lingaraja temple dedicated to Harihara is at the centre of the town. The largest temple in the city, the architecture is typical of the Kalinga style with a curvelinear tower . The assembly hall or the viewing porch is referred to as Jagmohana with a multi tiered pyramidal roof.

The towering Vimana over the main shrine stands at a height of 180 feet. There are three main halls or mandapas here. The first one is the assembly hall or the Jagmohana , the Natamandira or the dancing hall and Bhogamandira or the hall of offerings. Surrounding me are figures of lions that stand out everywhere on the façade of the temple. Unfortunately photography is not allowed here.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Linga – A form of Shiva

I spend almost half a day here before exploring the other temples of Bhubaneshwar. Pottering around, I discover the Raja Rani temple, Mukteshwara temple followed by Brahmeshwara, Parasurameswara and Bhaskareshwara temples . Here is a photo feature of some of these temples of Bhubaneshwar.

Raja Rani Temple in Bhubaneshwar

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Raja rani or the temple of love in Bhubaneshwar

The Raja Rani temple is one of the many popular temples of Bhubaneshwar The temple of love as it is referred to stands amidst manicured lawns and is called the Indreshwar temple.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Raja Rani Temple is referred to as the temple of love

Built in the 11th century around 1000 years ago, it is believed that the name “ Rajarani” refers to the unique sandstone that is used to build the temple.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

There is apparently no deity in this temple

The temple is typical of the architectural style of most temples built during the period, with a Vimana above the sanctum and the Jagamohana or the porch from where one can pray to the diety in the sanctum.

Mukteshwar Temple in Bhubaneshwar

Mukteshwar temple, temples of bhubaneshwar

One of the prettiest temples in Bhubaneshwar

This is the most beautiful temple according to me in Bhubaneshwar and is referred to as the gem of Odisha architecture. Located away from the tourist circuit, it is a picture of serenity and was built in the 10th century.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

A view of the Mukteshwar temple

Located inside an octagonal compound, you can see the two pillars of the torana while the roof of the Jagmohana resembles a pyramid. The temple is smaller and is filled with carvings. There are several shrines in the complex. Although the shrine is dedicated to Shiva, it might have been a centre for tantric worship.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Smaller shrines are part of the temple complex

On the gateway, there are carvings of peacocks and monkeys as well. Meanwhile sculptures of Nataraja and Kirti Mukha decorate the shikara while a kalasa sits atop it.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

The ornate window which has carvings of demons and dwarfs sculpted on it. Locals believe that a dip in the temple tank can cure childless women of infertility.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Parasurameshwar Temple in Bhubaneshwar

Built earlier than the Mukteshwar temple is the shrine called Parasurameshwar temple, one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneshwar that lies in solitude.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

There is not a soul around as I see the tall vimana filled with sculptures . There is a curvilinear spire over the roof here as well.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Besides deities, there are depictions of Nagas and Nagins and vetalas or ghosts as well.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Bhaskareshwar Temple in Bhubaneshwar

My next halt is at the Bhaskareshwar temple, which is dedicated to Shiva as well, one of the pictureque and smaller temples of Bhubaneshwar.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Brahmeshwara Temple of Bhubaneshwar

Finally am at the Brahmeshwara temple built in the 9th century .  The temple is a bit different from the others in terms of architecture.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

The style is referred to as  panchanatya with four subsidiary temples in addition to the main shrine.The Vimana of the temple is about 60 feet and it has been carved with sculptures after the structure was built.  Even the Jagmohana is richly ornate with carvings.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

The walls and niches burst into pretty sculptures with musicians and dancers, some of them showcasing the devadasi tradition as well.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

The temple, dedicated to Shiva was also believed to have been a tantric shrine

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

Five temples are barely not enough to explore the heritage of Bhubaneshwar. Almost every corner of the city has a shrine. However I  finally leave the town and head to the villages to explore more offbeat destinations.

Temples of Bhubaneshwar

A Russian tourist wanted me to take her photos in the temple

If you like architecture and photo essays on temples that you must check out the beautiful photographs of my friend Siddharth Joshi on the Harminder Sahib Golden Temple Amritsar.

18 comments

  1. Souparna Chakraborty 24 February, 2017 at 10:11 Reply

    An awesome read. I have been following your blog for more than 2 years. What I like most is the way you bring the thoughts out into textual form. Amazing clicks, one just cannot deny this. Been to Bhubaneshwar thrice, but mostly visited the main shrines and the temples. I can recall the Lingaraj temple scenery from my memories.

  2. Abhishek AB 26 February, 2017 at 20:34 Reply

    Loved your blogs.Great Content.saw this page from my English textbook cuz I have a chapter entirely on your blog.
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  3. pavitra 22 May, 2017 at 13:13 Reply

    Hi Lakshmi, You took very beautiful pictures of temples. I am going Bhubaneshwar first time and will keep in mind your valuable information. Thanks for Great share.

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