The 'Temple City of India', Bhubaneshwar is said to be the seat of Tribhubaneswar or Lord Shiva who are said to reside there in the form of Lord Lingaraj. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre and one can find temples sprouting in every nook and corner of the city. It is said that during the temple building frenzy, there were more than 2000 Orissan style temples in the Old Town that evolved to a full-fledged art over a period of over 1000 years. The new city has buildings with modern look and extensive infrastructure.
The best known temples in the city are those of 6th century temples
dedicated to brothers of Lord Rama known as Laxmaneswar, Satrughaneswar
and Bharateswar, 7th century tamples of Parsurameswar and
Swarnajaleswar, 8th century temple of Vaital, 10th century temple of
Mukteswar, 11th century temples of Brahmeswar, Rajarani and Lingaraj and
13th century temple of Ananta Vasudeva. Bhubaneshwar is also the Capital
of Orissa. Its other highlights are BDA Nicco Park, Ekamra Kanan, the
biggest Rose Garden of Asia, Orissa state Museum, Pathani Samanta
Planetarium and the Tribal Museum & Handicrafts House.
Bhubaneshwar's Prime Attractions
This mid-7th century temple is the earliest temple structure of
Bhubaneshwar, which is preserved almost intact. The Parasurameswara
temple conforms to the temple architectural style of its time and has
only eight planets over the door to the inner sanctum instead of nine
that appear in the later temples. It was repaired in 1903, when a little
modification was done in the roof. It is a small temple that shows the
early stages of evolution of the Orissan temple architecture such as the
beehive-shaped tower or 'deul' and the porch in front of the tower
called 'Jagamohan'. The tower has inward-tapering stories and lotiform
While the Parasurameswara and Mukteswara temples represent major
Kalinga style of Orissan temple architecture, Vaital Deul built in 800
AD belongs to the the Khakhara order, a subdivision of the Kalinga
school used for shrines devoted to tantricism. The unique 'deul' of the
temple is rectangular in shape and is positioned at a right angle to the
'Jagmohana'. The horseshoe-shape of the chaitya arch and an absolutely
plain outer surface of the roof vault characterize this temple. The more
common 'deul' form is inserted in miniature form, on the four corners of
the Vaital Deul's porch, lending the temple an exceptionally proficient
style of sculptural beautification.
Mukteswar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in 950 AD and
has awesome carvings showing ascetics in several poses of meditation.
The magnificent 'torana' or the ornamented arched gateway of the temple
is its highlight and is reminiscent of Buddhist influence on Orissa
style of architecture.
Famous for its richly ornamented 'deul, the 11th century Rajarani
temple is built in impressive Oriya temple architectural style. There is
no presiding deity of the temple and it is named after the red-gold
sandstone used in building it. The 'deul' sports figures engaged in
daily chores. There are statues of eight 'Dipalakas' guarding the eight
cardinal directions of the temple at the base of the 'deul' and the gaps
between them are filled with nymphs, embracing couples, elephants and
lions. The temple looks quite picturesque and dramatic as the sun sets.
Built in 1050 AD, Brahmeswara Temple is situated in a middle of a
courtyard bordered by four smaller temples.
The 10th or 11th century, Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar is a rare
masterpiece. According to Ferguson, the noted historian, it is the
finest and purest form of Hindu temple in India and has intricate and
elaborate carvings adoring every inch of the temple. This temple is 55 m
high. The harmonious sculptural and architectural beauty of the temple
is quite imposing. Hindus consider that devotees visiting Jagannath
temple at Puri must first offer worship at this temple.
Orissa State Museum:
This museum has a rich collection of the evolution of sculpture in
Orissa, stone inscriptions, archeological findings, stone and bronze-age
tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings,
anthropological specimens and musical instruments of the region.
Here, you can see the folk paintings, horn toys, brass castings, and
sculptures made by the tribals and the local natives of the region.
Orissa has a number of native tribes and this museum offers you the
rare opportunity of viewing the various aspects of their life and
culture such as the type of houses in which they live, their costumes
and jewellery, how they make their living, their dances, musical
instruments and songs and their handicrafts.
Bhubaneshwar City Facts
This city guide presents all the information related to the travel and tourism of Bhubaneshwar that presents the Orissan temple architecture at its best.
|Location:||Situated in Orissa, India.|
|Climate:||At 45m above sea level, Bhubaneshwar has mild cool summers but hot summers.|
How to Reach:
|By Air:||Bhubaneshwar has domestic flights to and from Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur, Raipur, Varanasi and Visakhapatnam.|
|By Train:||It is well linked by trains to Bangalore, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Madras, Puri, Tirupati and Trivandrum.|
|By Road:||National Highway No. 5 connects Bhubaneshwar to Kolkata and Madras along with other major cities.|