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Bhubaneswar Temples : 10 important things you might not be knowing yet


1. Bhubaneswar, the capital of modern Odisha, is also India’s temple city. Bhubaneswar literary means the land of Shiva. Gauda King Sashanka, who was a staunch follower of Lord Shiva, had built the first temple at Bhubaneswar (Ekamra Kshetra) in the 7th century AD. The original temple was later replaced with Lingaraj Temple, built in the 11th century AD. The temple soars to a height of 55 m. It is located within a large enclosure consisting of 64 smaller temples.

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2. Some of the earliest remains of temples are found on the northern corner of the holy Bindu Sagar, the sacred tank surrounding which all temples were built.

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3. Parasurameswara is however the best known early temple. It consists of the vimana (the temple spire) and the attached portico. The portico (or the pidha deula in Odisan terminology) is however significantly different from the later temples. It is a replica of contemporary hut architecture. Around that time (7th cent AD), the Odishan artists had probably not mastered the technique of building pyramidal roof structures.

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4. Vaital Deula (8th century AD) is the next significant temple built in the old town. The temple roof resembles a boat. It is of khakra order, another architectural style. Vaital along with the attached Sisireswra temple were known for carrying out tantric rituals.

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5. Mukteswara is the next important temple built in Bhubaneswar. The temple is the first among the latter series containing all the elements of a matured Odishan temple. It is often called as the gem of Odishan temple architecture.

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6. The torana of Mukteswara Temple is an additional feature. It was influenced by the Buddhist architecture.

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7. Rajarani is the next important temple in Bhubaneswar. The temple differs considerably from other temples owing to its attached miniature spires on its vimana. It is believed that Rajarani influenced the temples of Khajuraho.

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8. Brahemeswara is a fully matured Odishan temple. It is second tallest temple structure after the Lingaraj and known for its beautiful sculptures often depicting the contemporary lifestyle.

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9. Bhaskareshwara is an unusual temple located within a large enclosure. The temple stands on a high platform enshrining a tall Shiva linga. Archaeologists believe that the Shiva linga was part of an Asokan pillar converted into a Shiva linga.

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10. Ananta Vasudeva is the only Vaishnava temple of historical Bhubaneswar. It was contemporary to Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri.

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Thanks to Jitu Mishra, who wrote the original post at Idea of India website

Also Read: Facts you should know about Shiva Temples of Odisha