Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Orissa, IN

Deities: Lord Vishnu
Location: Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Built In: 1278 A.D.
Built by: Chandrikadevi
Significance: The only Vaishnava Temple present at Bhubaneswar
Best time to visit: October to April
STD Code: 0674

Bhubaneswar (‘The Lord of the Universe’), the capital city of the state of Orissa. Bhubaneswar is one of the most rich cities in India, here lord Shiva is known as Tribuhuvaneswara or “Lord of the Three Worlds”, from which the city derives its name. Bhubaneswar is known as Temple Town and Cathedral City on account of its many temples in the extravagant Orissan style.

This is one of the few Vaishnavite temples in Bhubaneswar. It dates back to the 13th century and it enshrines images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. It is located on the eastern bank of the Bindu Sarovar Lake. It is located in a walled compound along with numerous structures. Balarama stands under a seven hooded serpent, while Krishna holds a mace and a conch.
Architecturally, it is almost a reduced copy of the Lingaraja temple, but the grouping of the four component parts, with their roofs presenting the appearance of ascending peaks culminating in the highest ‘Mastaka’ of the ‘Deul’ at a height of 18.29m, is more effective.

The plan of the Anata-Vasudeva temple differs considerably from that of the other temples. The main temple stands on an uniform platform, a peculiarity which is the first of its kind in a dated temple, and has a three- chambered frontal adjunct consisting of Jagamohana, the Natamandira and the Bhogamandapa. It is stated in the epigraph that a temple was built for Sri Krishna & Valaram on the bank of Vindu Sarovar tank by Chandrikadevi, daughter of Ananga-Bhimadev III, in the Saka era of 1200 (1278 A.D.).

It is further distinguished by an ornamental platform, relieved with ‘Khakhara-Mundis’, carved pilasters, ‘Nagas’, ‘Nagis’ and ‘Vidalas’ between two sets of three mouldings each. Though the ‘Deul’ is ‘Pancha-Ratha’ on plan, a new feature is introduced in the division of the corner ‘Ratha’ of the ‘Bada’ in two equal parts, both on the same plane; the inner one is crowned by a miniature ‘Rekha’ above the mouldings of the ‘veranda’.The facets of the ‘Rathas’ are richly imprinted with fine scrollwork, ‘Jali’, creepers and flower-shaped motifs, the central facets of the corner ‘Ratha’ having female figures. The ‘Khakhara-Mundis’ on the intermediary ‘Rathas’ of the lower ‘Jangha’ contain the eight ‘Dikpalas’, seated on their respective mounts, while the corresponding spaces on the upper ‘Jangha’ have their female counterparts.

The carvings on the central projections containing a banister window are neatly done. The banisters of the north window have the figures of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman and a monkey-attendant.

Other Temples:
Lingaraja Temple
Mukteswara Temple
Parasurameswara Temple
Bramheswara Temple
Rajarani Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Bhubaneswar is connected to the cities of Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, and Raipur through regular flights. Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar is the only major airport in the state.
by Rail: Bhubaneswar is directly connected by rail with Calcutta, Puri, Madras, Delhi, Bombay, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Tirupati, and Trivandrum.
by Road: Roads are linked with Bhubaneswar and Berhampur, Chilka, Cuttack, Konark, Paradip, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur and other places. Interstate bus services operate daily between Calcutta and Puri via Bhubaneswar and Tatanagar (Jamshedpur).

Visit www.Mandirs.com for more information on Mandirs (Temples), Festivals, and News.

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.com for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.DivineTravellers.com and e-mail at divinetravellers@gmail.com.
Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Ramachandi Temple, Puri, Orissa, India

Deity: Goddess Ramachandi
Location: Konark, Puri
Also known as: Mayadevi Temple
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 06758

Ramachandi Temple is on a beautiful spot on the banks of the Kusabhadra River where it flows into the Bay of Bengal. It is only 5 km away from Konark in the Khordha District of Orissa. Southwest of the Sun temple. About 10 km along the beach is the famous Ramachandi Temple. It is an ideal picnic spot.

Goddess Ramachandi, the deity of Konark is thought by some to be the presiding deity of this temple, while others thought it to be the temple of Mayadevi, wife of Surya (Sun god). She was the main deity or goddess of Konark. The people of this place worship the goddess with great respect and devotion. Ramachandi Temple was one of the most historical temples of Orissa.

Now the temple has collapsed leaving remains of its broken walls and the empty throne. There is no historical evidence to conclude about its presiding deity there are, however, difference of opinion about the presiding deity of this temple. It has been surmised by some. As found in Puri Jagannath temple as well as in Bhubaneswar Lingaraj temple, so also Ramachandi, the chief goddess of the kshetra was perhaps enshrined in the enclosure of the main temple of Konark.

There is also a popular story current about leaving of Konark by Ramachandi due to attack of Muslim Suleman Kalapahad in 1568.The goddess Ramachandi dressed as a Maluni (maid servant) told Kalapahad to wait at the door till she returned with water for the goddess. Kalapahad waited anxiously to get some cold water for a long time. But when it was too late he entered into the temple and found the throne empty. Then he followed the Maluni with great anger thinking that the Maluni carried away the goddess. He reached the bank of the river Kushabhadra and found the goddess Ramachandi floating in the middle of the river. The river was as in full spate, he came back without being able to cross the river. Being advised by goddess in a dream, a Panda (priest) built a temple on the bank of the river Kushabhadra, near the sea shore which is a sandy deserted place. Now the place is called Ramachandi and every year many visitors come here to enjoy the charming sight of nature and to make amusement.

The main temple along with its Mukhasala had been built on one platform of 3′.2” (965 cm) high. On the three sides of the temple walls i.e. south, west and north there were three figures of Sun god as side Gods. Now one can see these side gods in north and southern side, where as the figure of the western side has been displaced and is said to have been preserved in the National Museum at New Delhi. This image is said to have some sculptural specialization and is regarded to be one of the beautiful images of the Sun god. Though smaller in size, the side-gods of this temple are of similar type in all respet with the side-Gods in the Sun temple. Only we find today the side images of the northern side is somewhat in good condition while the image in the southern side has no head and the hands broken.

There is only one door to enter into the temple through the eastern door of the Mukhasala. The throne of the presiding deity inside the main temple has also been broken in architectural totality this temple is of high order and attracts visitors.

Other holy places:
Konark the Sun Temple
Sri Gundicha Mandir
Sri Lokannath Temple
Alaranath Temple
Sakhi Gopal

How to reach:
by Air: Nearest airport Bhubaneshwar- 64 kms is connected with Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Madras and Nagpur.
by Rail: Nearest railheads Puri- 31 kms and Bhubaneshwar- 64 kms are connected with the major places.
by Road: Konark is well-connected with Bhubaneshwar as well as the major places.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share

Huma Temple, Sambalpur, Orissa, India

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Sambalpur, Orissa
Built in: 1670Built by: Baliar Singh
Best time to visit: October to April
STD Code: 0663

Huma Temple:- World’s another Leaning Tower of Pisa

Sambalpur District is the westernmost district in the state of Orissa, India. Sambalpur is an illustrious place that is known for the Hirakud dam, the largest dam of not only India, but the whole world. Some of the features that best describe the district are its gorgeous waterfalls, rich cultural heritage; the historic city of Sambalpur is the district headquarters. As it does not stand upright and is tilted towards one side. Infect, almost everything within the temple complex is skewed.

The leaning temple of Huma about 25 km from Sambalpur. Located on the banks of the Mahanadi, the 17th century temple of Huma leans at an angle of 47 degrees to the west. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the Gods forming the Hindu Trinity. The special type of fish found here is called as ‘Kudo’ fish. They are said to be so tame that they will eat sweets and other foods from the hands of devotee who bathe close to the temple. During auspicious days they are called by their names and given the ‘Prasad’ of the God. Here nobody tries to catch them as they are believed to be the assets of the God.

It was built in the reign of Baliar Singh, the fifth Raja of Sambalpur. The worship of Shiva is said to have been initiated by a milkman (Gauda), who daily crossed the Mahanadi to a place on the bank where the underlying rock croped out. Here he daily offered his dole of milk, which was at once drunk up by the rock, and this miraculous circumstance led to enquiries, which ended in the construction of the present temple. Huma is a place of pilgrimage, and is also visited by strangers out of curiosity to see the different kind of fish in the river.

Architecture:
Now about the main point of attraction i.e. the tilted structure of temple. The surprising thing is, the main temple tilted to one direction and other small temples tilted to some other direction. And within the temple complex i.e. within the boundaries of temple, everything found to be in tilted condition including the boundaries. Now again the angle of inclination is not changed since last 40/50 years as said by the villagers and priests. However the structure is tilted may be due to some geological reason, may be the earth crust is un-even in structure. About the inclination, it’s not possible to judge whether the angle is in an increasing trend or not. For that some sort of measurement mechanism should be given to analyse it very correctly as it is done in leaning tower of Pissa.The architecture in the district attracts the people of all over world because of its unique designs.

Festival:
A great fair takes place at the foothill in March every year on the occasion of Shivratri. The presiding diety is Bimaleswar Shiva.

Other holy places in Orissa:
Jagannath Temple
Sarala of Jhankad
Panchalingeswhar
Akhandalamani Temple
Charchika Banki
Dhavaleswar
Baladevjew
Vaidyanath
Kapilas
Nilamadhava Temple

How to reach:
by Air: the nearest airport is Bhubaneswar
by Rail: There are plenty of express trains that connect Sambalpur with major cities in Orissa
by Road: Buses and taxis are also easily available from Sambalpur for travelling to the neighbouring cities.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share

Vaital Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India

Deity: Chamunda Devi
Location: Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Built in: 8th Century
Also known as: Deul Temple
Best time to visit: October to April

Vaital Temple in Bhubaneshwar is replete with the symbols of human sacrifice and steeped in some exclusive temple sculptures that exhibit eroticism. The temple is one of the most highly revered ones among the Hindus and a large number of devotees drop in to offer their prayers with offerings on some auspicious occasions.

This interesting 8th century temple is dedicated to Chamunda (Kali). She wears a necklace of skulls and is shown as the eight-armed slayer of the buffalo demon. Her necklace of skulls and the corpse she is sitting on are usually hidden by her robes. In her arms she holds a snake, a bow, a shield, a trident, a thunderbolt and an arrow with which she is piercing the neck of the demon, thus displaying the most terrifying aspect of the goddess Kali. Owl and a jackal, sits on a corpse. Her body, emaciated and reduced to skin and bones, is adorned with the garland of skulls. Her sunken eyes and shrunken belly and the cerie setting with a number of strange images filling the niches around the sanctum, present here in her terrible best.

A brief look at the Vaital Temple will show an extremely accomplished style of sculptural decoration. A slightly closer look will reveal some of the darker facets of the sculpture’s content, and the temple’s nature. The Tantric worship, which combined elements from certain sects of both Buddhism and Hinduism, is centered on the worship of ‘Shakti’, the female life force. It developed elaborate rituals involving magic spells, secret rituals and sacrificial offerings. The interior of the Vaital Temple’s inner sanctum is almost completely dark, in keeping with the esoteric rites believed to have been performed there.

The 15 niches, which adorn the interior wall around her, are also filled with a series of singularly strange images. In front of the entrance to the sanctum is a ‘four faced’ ‘linga’ adorned with unusual carvings. Next to it is a post, to which sacrificial offerings were tied. The entire atmosphere is, in the words of one specialist, disquieting. On the outer, eastern face of the tower, there is an extremely fine image of the sun god, Surya, with a sensitive and beautiful face. He is flanked by ‘Usha’ and ‘Pratyusha’, twin sisters of the dawn, while ‘Aruna’ drives his chariot.

Architecture:
Vaital Temple is an excellent example of Kalinga architecture that attracts visitors from all over the world.Vaital temple is perhaps the finest extent representative of the Khakhara order that was especially devoted to the tantric cults. The deul rectangular in shape and oblong on plan is positioned at a right angle to the flat-roofed jagamohana. The two-storeyed semi-cylindrical wagon roof of the deul strongly suggests the influence of Buddhist cave architecture. The vault of the deul is rather plain without any art work and the shape of the common deul in miniature form adorns the four corners of the jagamohana.

On the backside, the five pilasters have been crowned by two vidalas seated back to back above two carved mouldings. The medallion of the upper chaitya window, in addition to a ten-armed Nataraj, has the figures of Lakulisa on the south and the composite form of Hari-Hara on the north. In front of the jagamohana the stone post shows two Buddha like figures seated in the famous dharmachakra pravartana mudra.

Some of the early erotic sculptures in Orissan art are found here. The erotica later became a conventional motif, ubiquitously present in almost all forms of decorative temple architecture. The figures depicted in various positions were probably relevant in the context of the tantric rites.

Other important temples in Bhubaneshwar:
Lingaraja Temple
Rajarani Temple
Parasurameswar Temple
Bindu Sagar

How to reach:
by Air: Bhubaneswar has its own airport named Biju Patnaik Airport. Regular flights operate to and from Bhubaneswar to all metros and major destinations in India. The airport is around 3 km from city.
by Rail: Bhubaneswar is one of the most important railway stations in Eastern India. It has connecting trains to many states and major cities.
by Road: The city being the capital is well connected to all parts of the state and nearby states as well. There is regular bus service to and from all major cities. The main bus stand is at a distance of 8 km from the city center.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share

Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, India

Deity: The speciality is that it has no deity
Location: Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Built in: 11th Century
Best time to Visit: October to April

Rajarani Temple, in Bhubaneshwar, is notable for the absence of a presiding deity. The 11th century temple derived its name from the red-gold sandstone used for its construction, a stone known locally as Rajarani. No pujas are performed here.

The sculptural images of the temple are elegant and lively, especially the beautiful female figures which can be seen in amorous dalliance, as well as engaged in such activities as holding children, looking in mirrors, and playing with pet birds. On the lower register of the deul, on the corner projections, are found the famous ‘Guardians of the Eight Directions’, watching over (and radiating the temple’s power to) the eight cardinal points. Fabulously ornate, the temple tower is famous for the artistic spires.

Like Mukteshwara Temple, Rajarani Temple stands on a raised platform. Its spire is decorated with clusters of turrets (replication of the spire itself) emerging form the rib of the spire. The Jagamohana (porch) though demonstrating a pyramidal structure is yet to take on as a complete structure of its own. It bears signs of repair in 1903 when it collapsed into ruins.

The square sanctum is typically of the later temples built at Puri and Bhubaneswar white the gateway (torana) guarded by two pillars draped in snakes is plain to the extent that it appears to be incomplete as against the ornate deul of the Rajarani Temple that also marks the advent of colossal spires. The sculptures adorning the walls of the deul are alive and energetic. Especially attractive are the sculptures of women in dance poses that hint at the practice of Odissi dance. There is no other temple of this kind in the entire state of Orissa.

You too can study the evolution of Kalinga School of architecture or simply marvel at the sculptures vertically elongated as compared to the prior horizontal depictions. Rajarani temple has also been ornamented with marvellous artistic sculptural carvings and stands enclosed within a beautiful garden.

Festival:
Rajarani Music Festival held against the backdrop of the 11th century Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar is such an evening of concerts: it’s relaxing, entertaining and uplifting. The city has a large assemblage of celebrated temples of which the Rajarani Temple is one of the most conspicuous. The temple is famous for its ornate deul or compass and the statues of eight Dipalakas guarding the eight cardinal directions of the temple. The musical evenings are resplendent with excellent performances by the great maestros of Indian classical music creating an allegory of darbari gayans (musical performances in an Indian king’s court) of age old histories.

To show case the glorious tradition of Indian classical music, the Rajarani Music Festival was conceived to be organized by the Department of Tourism in association with organizations like Orissa Sangeet Natak Academi, Bhubaneswar Music Circle, NALCO and the Union Ministry of Tourism. Eminent instrumentalists and vocalists of India have rendered scintillating performance in this festival over the years. The festival has been an attraction not only to the music lovers but also to the tourists in general.

Tourist Attraction:
Lingaraj Temple
The Parasuramesvera Temple
Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves
Orissa State Museum
Handicrafts Museum
Mukteswar, Siddheswar and Kedargauri Temples
Dhauli
Dhaulagiri Hills
Nandan Kanan
Atri sulphur spring
Yogini Temple

How to reach:
by Air: There are regular flights, the airport are very close to town. The Indian Airline office is on Raj Path, by the bus stand.
by Rail: Bhubaneswar is on the main Calcutta to Madras line so all the main trains stopping here.
by Road: The best way to get from Bhubaneswar to Puri is on one of the Canter minibuses that leave from the old and new bus stand in the center of town.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share

Jagannath Temple, Puri, Orissa, India

Location: Puri, Orissa
Built in: 12th century
Dedicated to: Lord Jagannath, Goddess Subhadra, Lord Balabhadra
Significance: One of the pilgrimages of the Hindus

The name Jagannath literally means “Lord of the Universe” It is said that the present temple was begun by King Chora Ganga Deva and finished by his descendant, Anangabhima Deva, during the 12th century.

Lord Jagannath is considered as the form of Lord Krishna.

The Blue Wheel – Jagannath Temple:
There is a wheel on top of the Jagannatha Temple made of an alloy of eight different metals known as ‘Ashta – Dhatu’. It is known as the ‘Nila Chakra’ (blue wheel). It is 11 feet 8 inches high and has a circumference of about 36 feet. A flag is tied every day on a mast attached to the Nila Chakra. On every ‘Ekadasi’ day a lamp is lit on top of the temple near the wheel. The main temple is surrounded by 30 different smaller temples. The ‘Narasimha temple’ adjacent to the western side of the ‘Mukti-Mandapa’ is said to have been constructed before the present temple.
In front of the main gate is an 11m pillar, called ‘Aruna Stambha’, which used to be in front of the Sun Temple in Konark. It was brought to Puri during the 18th century. The figure on top of the pillar is Aruna, the charioteer of the Sun God. In the passage room of this gate is a Deity of Lord Jagannatha called ‘Patita Pavana’ (Savior of the most fallen). This Deity is visible from the road so non Hindus can take ‘Darshana’ of the Lord.

History:
The origin of Jagannath Mandir can be traced in the medieval times. The ancient temple is vital for Vaishnavites/ Hindus. The Vishnu Chakra is the highest point of the temple. The red flag over the Chakra indicates that the Lord is within the shrine. The Jagmohana and the Vimana are believed to made during the reign of Anantavarman Chodaganga Dev (1078 -1148 CE), who was the ruler of Kalinga.

Legend about the origin of Jagannath Temple:
The conventional legend says that the original image of Lord Jagannath (form of Lord Krishna) was found in the vicinity of a fig tree. The image was realized in the form of an Indranila (Blue Jewel). The sight of the image was so glittering that Dharma decided to bury it in the earth. Later, Kind Indradyumna of Malwa sought to locate the image. In order to find the image, he did strict penance and appeased the Lord. Subsequently, Lord Vishnu advised him to go to the Puri seashore, where he would get a floating log. From the log, he could make an image of Lord Jagannath. On finding the log, the King met two artists, who were none other than Lord Vishnu and Vishwakarma. They then made idols of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra from the log.

Also, during lunar months of Ashadh, the deities change their bodies. This is known as Navakalebar or New Body Ceremony. During this time, the temple is throbbed with innumerable devotees.

Festival:
There are as many as 24 festivals each year, the most important one of them being the Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival in the month June – July. The spectacular chariot festival involves the procession of three colossal chariots bearing the images of Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra through the streets of Puri.Millions of devotees from every corner of the world gather round the temple during the ‘Ratha Yatra’ festival of Sri Jagannath.

The three of them are pulled in huge stringed chariots (Rathas) and the King of Puri himself sweeps the roads with a golden broom for the Lord of the World to pass.

Visiting Hours:
The temple gets open at 5am and is open till midnight. At 1 in noon the gates are closed for half an hour.

Entry Fee: Nil.

When to visit:
The best time to see the temple is during the Rath-Yatra. Else one can visit Puri during Oct.-April.Other Attractions near the Jagannath Puri Temple:Puri is a famous tourist spot. One can visit the Gundicha temple, Indradyumna tank, Siddha Hanuman temple nearby. Also in the vicinity are the Nandankanan Tiger safari and the famous Konark temple.

How to reach:
by Air: Puri can be reached by air as its nearest airport is in Bhubaneswar, 56 km away. Regular buses and trains service is available from Bhubaneswar to Puri.
by Rail: Puri railway station is a major railway station and is well connected with almost all the major cities of India.
by Road: Puri is connected with Bhubaneshwar, Konark, Berhampur, Taptapani, Sambalpur and Kolkata by road.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share

Mukteswara Temple, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa, IN

Deity: Lord Shiva
Location: Bhubaneshwar, Orissa
Built in: 950 A.D
Attraction: Gem of Orissan Architecture
Best time to visit: October to March

This temple is considered to be the gem of Orissan architecture. The sculptured gateway, the Jagamohana with diamond shaped latticed windows and decorated interiors and the plethora of sculptural work all deserve mention in this temple. Although it is only a small monument rising to a height of 35 feet. Literally every inch of its surface is carved. This temple has also been described as a dream realized in sandstone and it is a monument where it is said sculpture and architecture are in complete harmony with one another. This temple dates back to the 10th century.

ROMANCING THE stone…. if anyone understood the joyous meaning of the phrase, it was the Oriyas. Orissa’s temple architecture is a heady display of the most exotic delineations of religious architecture in the world. Bhubaneswar, also known as the Cathedral city, had thousands of temples once upon a time, but only a few hundreds remain now. Of these a few are perfection personified.

About the Deity:
Mukteswara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is carved with figures of ascetics in several poses of meditation. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana – the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa.

On the outer face of the compound wall are niches containing a variety of divinities. These include Saraswati (sitting on a lotus with two female attendants by her side), Ganesha (with his attendant mouse), and Lakulisha (the fifth century founder of the Pashupata sect of tantric Shaivism), who is portrayed sitting cross-legged, with two miniature ascetic figures in the triangular side panels. The fact that these wall niches include Buddhist and Jain images as well as Shaivite (Hindu) ones attests once again to the synthesis which was so much a part of Orissan religious life. It’s extraordinarily beautiful sculpture includes elaborate scrolls, graceful female figures, monkeys, peacocks, and a wealth of delicate and lovely decorative detail. On the eastern side of the temple compound is a sacred tank, and in the south west corner is a well which is said to cure fertility problems. Several small shrines will be noticed within the compound, many with lingam inside. These were offering shrines depicting utmost faith in God for all purposes during that era. One more interesting feature about the temple is that it has got a well in its eastern part. It is believed that a dip in this holy well cures the problem of infertility.

On the exteriors of compound wall, one can see variety of divinities in the alcoves. On the convoluted horseshoe shaped ‘chaitya’ arch, there is an image of fabled lion head with open jaws, served by attendants. Later, this type of image was imprinted in various temples of Orissa. Mukteswara Temple is a site of Indian Heritage and this exotic shrine attracts many devotees & tourists to its doorway round the year.

Architectural Wonder:
The sculptured gateway, the Jagamohana with diamond shaped latticed windows and decorated interiors and the plethora of sculptural work all deserve mention in this temple dedicated to Shiva The sculptural decoration of the Mukteswara is exquisitely executed. The beautiful sculptures eloquently speak of the sense of proportion and perspective of the sculptor and their unique ability in the exact depiction of the minute’s objects. The builders of Mukteswara Temple introduced new architectural designs, new art motifs and new conceptions about the iconography of the cult images. There are a number of depictions of skeletal ascetics among the sculptural images, most of them shown in teaching or meditation poses, which seems appropriate as the name Mukteswara means “Lord who gives freedom through Yoga”.

The Mukteswara is important as a transition point between the early and later phases of the ‘Kalinga’ School of Temple Architecture. The builder has successfully combined many elements of the old with new designs and conceptions. Many of the innovations took root, and became essential features of all later temples. Because of this, one scholar has described the Mukteswara as “harbinger of the new culture”.

Other Attractions Around:
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilika Lake, Cuttack, Gopalpur on Sea.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Mukteswara Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Bhubaneshwar. Air links to Delhi-Calcutta. Rail links to Calcutta, Madras, and Delhi.

Visit www.eTirth.com for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
Bookmark and Share