The state capital of Orissa witnesses one of the significant inflow of tourists primarily due to the artistic and architectural brilliance of temples spanning the entire area of the city. The carvings, the wooden work, and the spiritual combo make it one of the few places which the history has bestowed upon the future generations. The top temples which the tourists admire are:
- Lingaraj Temple
It is the highest temple in Bhubaneshwar with a height of almost 180ft. The east facing temple is one of the most beautiful examples of architectural brilliance. Built of sandstone and laterite, the temple is devoted to Lord Shiva. The temple is built in deula style with four compartments, namely, garbhagriha, jagamohana, natamandir and bhoga-mandir. The entrance of the gate is in the east direction, and the gate is made of the limestone structure of two lions crushing elephant under their feet. The exterior walls of the temple are built with sculptures of men and beast whereas the tower walls have sculptures of women in different poses.
- Mukteswara Temple
Referred as the ‘Gem of Odisha Architecture,’ the temple marks the initiation of a period after which several temples with similar structures and brilliance. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple has an octagonal compound with carvings on the wall which is in a lower basement and of a smaller size as compared to other temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple is famous for the torana which acts as an entrance to the compound.
- Rajarani Temple
The name ‘Rajarani’ is derived from the dull red and yellow sandstone locally known as Rajarani. It has erotic cravings for woman and couples in the temple and is often referred to as ‘Love Temple.’ Originally it was known as the ‘Indreswara Temple.’ The women depicted in the cravings are like women holding their child, practicing Odissi dance or looking at their reflection in the mirror which makes the temple utterly unique in the entire state. The temple is not devoted to any deity as present due to the absence of any picture in the sanctum.
- Brahmeswar Temple
It was built in honor of Lord Shiva. The temple is formed on the traditional method of wood craving making it an excellent show of anachronism. Besides a Shivling, the temple also houses idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva. The temple is lauded for the sculptures on the tower and the porch. The interiors are decorated with tantric images, and the outside of the temple is carved figures of Hindu gods and goddesses, birds, animals and religious depictions. The original structure of the temple is two connected buildings.
- Parasurameswar Temple
It is a small masterpiece built and beautifully decorated shrine for Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temples expected to be built around 650 A.D. This temple was the first to have the additional structure of Jagmohan along with the pre-existing sanctum, called vimana to help the pilgrims view the sanctum from a distance. The temple has sculptures of animals, floral designs, and couples. The outer walls are covered with carvings of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati and other Hindu gods. The temple also contains Saptamatrika images, a group of seven goddesses.
The sanctity of the temples, the memorandum of the past and the religious beliefs of people make Bhubaneswar a must visit the place. The temples make us feel our closeness to The Almighty which we cherish throughout our lifetime.