Surrounded by high walls on four sides, the
Lingaraja temple is one of the most famous temples in Orissa.
It is one of the best and splended examples of the architectural
exellence which the artists had attained during 11th century.
This temple is also known as the Bhubaneswar temple. The outer
walls of the temple exhibit exemplary carvings. The beautifully
sculpted images of various God and Goddess are unmatched.
The temple tower can be seen from a long distance. The temple
complex has three parts and each part has one temple each.
Towards south of the entrance to main temple is image of Lord
Ganesha, at the back is the image of Goddess Parvati and to
north is Lord Kartikya. There are about 600 temples in Orrisa,
the biggest and finest being the Lingaraj Temple. Lingaraj
temple was built in 617-657 A.D and its height is about 54
meters. It was Jajati Keshari who laid the foundation of the
Lingaraj temple and his great grandson completed the work.
This temple was constructed in the 11th AD at the site of
an old seventh century shrine. The 'nata mandapa' (dance hall)
and 'bhoga mandapa' (offerings hall), were later added to
the temple, that has evolved over different historical periods.
By the time, the Lingaraja temple was built, the Jagannath
cult had become widespread, throughout Orissa. The temple
is dedicated to Lord Siva the ‘Lingam’ here is unique in that
it is a ‘hari hara’ lingam-half Siva and half Vishnu. there
are 150 shrines within the immense Lingaraja complex ,many
of them extremely interesting in their own right. This is
exemplified by the fact, that the presiding deity, here, is
the Svayambhu Linga - half Shiva, half Vishnu, a unique feature
of the temple. Almost all the Hindu gods and goddesses are
represented in this temple, mirroring the inherent element
of harmony within the religion.
Lingaraj temple was built in 617-657 A.D and its height is
about 54 meters.The Lingaraja 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. Bhubaneshwar
remained as the Kesari capital, till Nripati Kesari founded
Cuttck in the 10th century. Inscriptions from the period of
the Kalinga King Anangabhima III from the 13th century are
seen here.Structurally, the Parasurameswara temple at Bhubaneshwar
is the oldest, dating back to the middle of the 8th century,
and the Lingaraja is temple is assigned to the 10th century.
The nata mandir and the bhog mandir of the Lingaraja temple
are of later origin
The outer walls of the temple exhibit unparalled carvings.
The beautifully carved and sculpted images of various God
and Goddess are unrivalled. The temple complex has three compartments
and each one has a temple each. Towards south of the entrance
to main temple is image of Lord Ganesha, at the back is the
image of Goddess Parvati and to north is Lord Kartikya. The
Lingaraja temple has got various pillars and halls which add
to its beauty. The Lingaraja temple has got various pillars
and halls which add to its beauty. At the main gate is the
temple of Lord Ganesha followed by Nandi pillar. Its towering
spire-like beauty dominates the Bhubaneswar skyline.It represents
the the peak of Kalinga style of architecture spanning over
25 centuries of progressive history.This 11th century temple
is the culmination of architectural beauty and sculpted elegance.
The temple is dedicated to "Tri Bhubaneshwar", or
Lord of the three worlds also known as Bhubaneshwar. The granite
block representing "Tri Bhubaneshwar" is bathed
daily with water, milk and Bhang (Marijuana). It is enclosed
and has four features - a sanctuary, a dancing hall, an assembly
hall and a hall of offerings. There are many smaller shrines
around the temple in the enclosed area.
Legend has it that Shiva revealed to Parvati that Bhubaneshwar
- or Ekamra thirtha was a resort favoured by him over Benares.
Parvati in the guise of a cowherd woman, decided to look at
the city herself. Two demons Kritti and Vasa desired to marry
her. She requested them to carry her upon their shoulders,
and crushed them under her weight. Shiva, then created the
Bindu Saras lake to quench her thirt, and took abode here
as Krittivasas or Lingaraja.
Places to see
Bindu Sagar, Udayagiri & Khandagiri Caves