Bhubaneshwar, the temple city

Somnath Mitra

 

Travel Dreams Archive 08 May 2013

Bhubaneshwar, the temple city

It was the ancient capital of theKalingaEmpire and the architectural legacy of the period is its greatest attraction. There are many sites in the city that testify the importance of the region during the 7thto 11thcentury CE when the Kalinga kings ruled Orissa and the regions beyond it. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple and Bindusagar Tank is the only temple of Vishnu in the city of Shiva. The temples in Bhubaneswar are thus regarded as having been built from the 8thto 12thcentury ofShaivainfluence.It was the ancient capital of theKalingaEmpire and the architectural legacy of the period is its greatest attraction. There are many sites in the city that testify the importance of the region during the 7thto 11thcentury CE when the Kalinga kings ruled Orissa and the regions beyond it. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple and Bindusagar Tank is the only temple of Vishnu in the city of Shiva. The temples in Bhubaneswar are thus regarded as having been built from the 8thto 12thcentury ofShaivainfluence.It was the ancient capital of theKalingaEmpire and the architectural legacy of the period is its greatest attraction. There are many sites in the city that testify the importance of the region during the 7thto 11thcentury CE when the Kalinga kings ruled Orissa and the regions beyond it. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple and Bindusagar Tank is the only temple of Vishnu in the city of Shiva. The temples in Bhubaneswar are thus regarded as having been built from the 8thto 12thcentury ofShaivainfluence.It was the ancient capital of theKalingaEmpire and the architectural legacy of the period is its greatest attraction. There are many sites in the city that testify the importance of the region during the 7thto 11thcentury CE when the Kalinga kings ruled Orissa and the regions beyond it. The Ananta Vasudeva Temple and Bindusagar Tank is the only temple of Vishnu in the city of Shiva. The temples in Bhubaneswar are thus regarded as having been built from the 8thto 12thcentury ofShaivainfluence.

The Jain and Buddhist shrinesgive a picture of the settlements around Bhubaneswar in the first two centuries BCE, and one of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan emperor,Ashoka, dating between 272-236 BCE, remains carved in rock five miles to the southwest of the modern city.The Jain and Buddhist shrinesgive a picture of the settlements around Bhubaneswar in the first two centuries BCE, and one of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan emperor,Ashoka, dating between 272-236 BCE, remains carved in rock five miles to the southwest of the modern city.The Jain and Buddhist shrinesgive a picture of the settlements around Bhubaneswar in the first two centuries BCE, and one of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan emperor,Ashoka, dating between 272-236 BCE, remains carved in rock five miles to the southwest of the modern city.The Jain and Buddhist shrinesgive a picture of the settlements around Bhubaneswar in the first two centuries BCE, and one of the most complete edicts of the Mauryan emperor,Ashoka, dating between 272-236 BCE, remains carved in rock five miles to the southwest of the modern city.

The main tourist attractions in Bhubaneswar are:

1. Nandankanan Zoo: The place Nandankanan houses a botanical Garden, a sanctuary and a zoo and is in the shore of picturesque Kanjia Lake. The Zoo, located in the midst of greenish environment of Chandaka Forest, has credited with some rare species of animals.

2. Bindu Sarovara: This is also known as Bindu Sagar and Ocean Drop Tank. This is considered very sacred. The tank is surrounded by a large number of temples and it is believed that this sacred lake contains drops of water from every holy rivers, pools and tanks in India.

3. Lingaraj Temple: This ancient temple in Bhubaneswar is a majestic monument of Oriyan architectural style and craftsmanship. The temple is 147 feet high, is enclosed by fortified walls and is surrounded by many ancient small shrines. The uniqueness and identity of the temple is the main deity, a Swayambhu Linga, a merge of Half Vishnu and Half Shiva. The temple encloses a Shivling placed in a pancha-ratha sanctum, a hall for offering and other two halls used for dancing and other activities related to the temple. The annual chariot festival is conducted in the month of April.

The Lingaraj temple is said to have been built first by the ruler Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar. Lingaraj Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, another name for Shiva and is one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar.
The temple of Lingaraj, the biggest of all at Bhubaneswar, is located within a spacious compound wall of laterite measuring 520 feet by 465 feet. The wall is 7 feet 6 inches thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall there runs a terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside aggression.
This magnificent temple, dedicated to Shivn in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva.The presiding deity, is the Swayambhu Lingam. The granite block image of the Linga is said to be bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (marijuana). Almost all the Hindu gods and goddesses are represented here, reflecting the innate element of harmony within the

4. Parasurameswara Temple: Parashurameswar Temple is a small marvelously decorated shrine of Lord Shiva. The temple has verdant sculptures of animals, amorous couples and floral designs. The outer walls are adorned with beautiful carvings of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Muruga and other Hindu Gods. There are also many beautiful carvings depicting Puranic stories. The uniqueness of the temple is the “One thousand Lingas” placed in the North West corner of the temple.

Another main tourist attraction here is the twin hills of Kumargiri and Kumarigiri known as Khandagiri and Udaygiri contain varieties of rock-cut caves, built mainly for the jain monks. The thirteen years lithic record of King Kharavela engraved in Hatigumpha (elephant cave) is a magnificent specimen of Pali records so far found in India.

5.Mukteswar Temple:  An Important Landmark To The Architectural Development In Odisha (Orissa), The Mukteswar Temple Is Often Described As One Of Jewels Of Odisha (Orissa) For Its Exquisite Sculptures And Elegant Looks. The Plan Is Now A Full Fledged Five Sectioned Form, Pancharatha And The Platform Or The Pabhaga Consists Of Five Mouldings, As In Latter Temples. The Diamond Shaped Latticed Windows In The North And South Walls Of Jagamohana Depict Enchanting Scenes Of Frolicking Monkeys. The Chaitya-windows Carved On The Sanctuary Tower Show An Arresting Ornamental Design, Bho, A Motif-the Grinning Face Of A Lion With Beaded Tassels Emerging From Its Mouth, Flanked By Two Dwarves, The Pattern Resembling A Coat Of Arms.

The Decorated Torana Archway In Front Of The Jagamohana Is A Masterpiece Dating From About 900 AD. It Is A Detached Portal Consisting Of Two Pillars Supporting An Arch Within A Semicircular Shaped Pediment. The Decoration Of The Arch, With Languorously Reclining Females And Bands Of Delicate Scroll-work, Is The Most Striking Feature.A Small Well, Locally Known As Marichi Kund, Lies Immediately Beyond The Sinister Of The Enclosure, The Water Of Which Is Believed To Cure Infertility Of Women. On The Door Frame Of The Well Is A Seated Figure Of Lakulisa, Surrounded By Four Disciples.

Situated On The Northwest Corner Of The Enclosure Of Mukteswar Temple Is A Latter Unfinished, Siddhesvara Temple, In Which The Emergence Of The Orissan Architectural Style Is Almost Complex. The Deul Is Pancha Ratha On Plan, The Bada Is Panchanga, And The Bandana Composed Of Three Moulding Dividing Janga Into Tala And Upara And The Amla On The Top Of The Deul Is Supported By Four Squatting Figures. The Jangha Of The Jagamohana Is Relieved With Pidha-mundis. Devoid Of Ornamentation, The Deities Of Shivas Sons-Ganesha And Karttikeya Around The Tower Are Its Only Interesting Points.
The Temples Described Above Form The Compact Central Group And Are Located Just Off Lewis Road In The Older Southern Part Of The Bhubaneswar City. The Following Temples Of The Eastern Group Are More Scattered And Located About 10-15 Minutes Walk From Mukteswar Temple Around Tankapani Road.

6.Dhauli hill: It is presumed to be the area where the Kalinga War was fought. The historically important Dhauli hills are located on the banks of theDaya RiverofBhubaneswarin Orissa (India). Dhauli hill, with a vast open space adjoining it, has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill.It was an important and a decisive event in the history of the world.

On the foot of the hill one can see the Rock Edicts of Ashoka and the forepart of a skillfully sculpted elephant hewn out of a huge rock. Dhauli has gained prominence due to the establishment of a Buddhist Peace Pagoda, popularly known as Shanti Stupa, built in the early seventies by the Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha. An old temple of Lord Dhavaleswar, reconstructed in 1972, also stands on the hill-top.

7. Khandagiri and Udaygiri: The twin hills of Kumargiri and Kumarigiri known as Khandagiri and Udaygiricontain varieties of rock-cut caves, built mainly for the jain monks around 1st – 2nd century B.C.#The thirteen years lithic record of King Kharavela engraved in Hatigumpha (elephant cave) is a magnificent specimen of Pali records so far found in India. . At the top of Khandagiri hills, there is a temple which has the statue of Risabhdev, the first Jain Tirthankar.

8 SisupalgarhJust two km from the famed Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar lie the ruins of Sisupalgarh. Dating back to the third or fourth century BC, these ruins show that even at that early date there was a well fortified city here, and establish the fact that the Orissan civilization has very ancient roots.

9.Yogini temple in Hirapur: Hirapur has the 11th century Hypaethral temple of sixty four Yoginis. It is second of its kind in Orissa and one of four such unique temples in India.

Collected from wikitravel, otdc & other websites.

 

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