ancient city of
is also the modern capital of Orissa. Situated at an altitude of 45 meters above
. Visit the ancient city of
(Bhuban being world and Iswar God) and it is a walk down centuries of temple
architecture. With 600 temples still extant, temples are to this ancient city as
forts are to Rajasthan. It is probably the only city in the world that enables an
authentic over-view of the stages of development of Hindu religious architecture.
the fast moving world of today these temples are a gentle remingder of the
splendour, the heritage that was once
. It is not hard to imagine what a temple would have been at the time of its
patron ruler. Regular dances by the ‘Devadasis’ or divine servant girls,
rituals and rites, recital of hymns were all an integral part of temple culture.
in Bhubaneshwar are built on a common plan as prescribed by Hindu norms. The
structure is divided into four distinct parts connected to each other. The
external part or the outer chmber is the ‘Jagamohana’. The Garbhagriha is the
inner sanctum sanctorum of the presiding deity. There is also a conical beehive
shaped tower which forms the third part – the Nata Mandap and the fourth is the
Bhoga Mandap. All visible parts of a temple are sculpted with motifs of priests,
kings, courtiers, pilgrims, celestial dancers, couples in embrace, birds, animals
or sense from religious epics and legends.
Bhubaneshwar the orientalist is in for a delightful break. The temples of
Laxmaneswar, Satrughaneshwar and Bharateswara built in the 6th Century
AD are relices of early religious shrines in Orissa.
built in 650 AD is one of the few earliest temples of
Bhubaneshwar. This temple
built in the Kalinga style of temple architecture was dedicated to Lord Siva but
there are images of Lord Vishnu, Yama, Surya and seven Mother
Godesses. In typical
fashion, it is liberally sculpted with amourous couples, animals and floral
south of Parasurameswara temple is the Swaranajaleswara temple. Built in a similar
style, the motifs on the walls however differ, depicting scenes from the Ramayana.
of Tourist Interest
Rajarani temple, is an essay in grace and poise and is particularly interesting in
that it has no presiding deity. The name of this temple is supposed to be derived
from the red- gold sand stone used – Rajarani being the local name for the
stone. The deul is intricately carved with figurines in various stages of daily
chores. The lower portion of the deul has the ‘Guardians of the eight
directions’ guarding the eight cardinal points of the temple.
Deul (C800 AD)
Deul is the Shrine of Chamunda (a tantric form of the Goddess Kali) or
Shakti.Seated on a corpse in a dark inner sanctum is the Goddess Chamunda, garland
of skulls round her neck and flanked by a jackal and an owl. The niches on the
inner wall depict equally startling images along with scenes of tantric rituals.
It is the first of the temples to depict erotic Sculptures,
it is also unique in that the outer surface of the vault is plain while profusely
embellished on the inside.
referred to as the “Gem of Orissan Architecture” this temple has been built on
the lines of the
of temple architecture.This temple too is a deviation in that the architects have
blended old and new techniques of planning and execution. Many new innovations in
later temples are from here. A ‘Torana’, an arched gateway is a unique feature
of this temple.
temple dedicated Lord Shiva mukteswara, is carved with figures of ascetics in
various poses of meditation and scenes from the store house of Indian fables, the
‘Panchatantra’. A dip in a sacred well to the east of the temple is supposedly
a cure for infertility.
temple depicts the mature Orissan style of temple architecture. The deul and the
Jagmohana are both intricately carved and for the first time in temple
architectural history musicians and dancers appear on the outer walls and iron
beams find their first use. In the western section Chamunda, Siva and other
deities are depicted.
(11th Centuary AD)
Lingaraja temple dominates the skyline of Bhubaneshwar from as far away as 15 kms
and exhibits the skill of the Orissan temple architects at its completely mature
and developed stage. This temple was constructed in the 11th Century AD
at the site of an old Seventh Century Shrine. Alongwith the deul and the Jagmohana
the Lingaraja temple has two new structures, the ‘nata mandira’ (dance hall)
and the ‘bhoga mandapa’ (offering hall). Dedicated to Lord Siva the
‘Lingam’ here is unique in that it is a ‘hari hara’ lingam – half Siva
and half Vishnu. There are around 150 subsidiary shrines within this giant temple.
visit to the museum provides an instant overview of Orissa as it was and still is.
It has a rich collection of sculptures, coins, copper plates, stone inscriptions,
lithic and bronze age tools, rare manuscripts written on palm leaves, traditional
and folk musical instruments.
museum has a splendid collection of stone sculptures, patta paintings, brass
castings horn toys and Orissa’s famous silver filigree work.
museum provides an insight into the tribal culture of Orissa.
kms from Bhubaneshwar are the twin hills of Udaygiri and
Khandagiri. Built by
Kharavela around 1st – 2nd Century BC for Jain monks, they
are excellent examples of
art. The famous caves of Hathigumpha (elephant cave) in
Udaygiri, Rani Gumpha
(Queen’s cave) also in Udaygiri, with upper and lower stories, spacious
courtyards and extremely delicately designed friezes bear witness to the
sophistication the architectural styles had attained as early as the first Century
from Bhubaneshwar one cones across Dhauli hill on the banks of the River
Surrounded by the soothing greenery of paddy fields, lies the 3rd
Century BC Ashokan Rock Edict, a memory of the gruesome war that transformed
Ashoka, the great Warrior into a Buddhist missionary.The peace Pagoda built in
collaboration with the Kalinga- Japanese Buddhist Sangha, on the opposite hill, is
completely modern and is an excellent foil.
kms from Bhubaneshwar Atri is a holy place famous for its sculptures and hot water
springs. An excursion and a dip can be an enjoyable experience.
: slightly more distant from Bhubaneshwar, although as easy to reach, is an
adventurists paradise and breeding ground for Olive Ridley turtles. A remote
seashore area, it was declared to be a sanctuary in 1975 for protecting the
estuarine crocodile and Olive Ridley turtles in their rare mangrove habitat.
– Ratnagiri – Udaygiri
kms from Bhubaneshwar, these three hills combinedly present the rich Buddhist
heritage of Orissa. Once the seat of a flourishing Buddhist university called
‘Pushpagiri Mahavihara’, these hills still have extensive ruins of brick
monasteries, sculpted stone portals and Buddhist images. The museums at Ratnagiri
and Lalitagiri are worth visiting. More treasures come to light as excavations are
its temperatures range between 15.7d.c in winter to maximum of 30d.c
-40d.c in summer. It enjoys a rainfall of 152.4 cm.
Winter wear is light woolens and in summer it is light cottons only.
The best time to visit :- The best
time to visit is between October
||Bhubneshwar is well linked by air to
||Superfast trains connect it to
, Mumbai, Chennai and
is on the
(480 kms) to Chennai (1225 kms).