Thetemple building process started in Bhubaneswar around 4th century. The process fastened up with revival of Hinduism in Odisha around 9th century. The older temples are not with much carving. During 4th to 8th century the temple architecture in Odisha was in the developing stage. The sculptural skills were growing. Hence the older temples are bland. The latter temples have unique Kalinga architecture and sculpture. The sculpture is influenced by Tantra Buddhism with a lot of erotica.
Temples in Odisha are based on certain fundamental principles of stability and take their cue from the human body. The superstructure is basically divided into three parts, the Bada (Lower Limb), the Gandi (Body) and the Cula/Mastaka (Head). Accordingly each part is given a different treatment throughout, from the architecture to the final ornamentation of the temple. The Main body is vertical and the upper part is pyramidal in a typical Kaligan temple. The temples usually have a main temple and an assembly hall. The latter temples have additional temples for dance and offerings.
Some of the important temples are Parsurameswar, Mukteswar, Rajarani, Lingaraj and Vaital. Vaital temple is influenced by southern architecture where the assembly hall is like an inverted boat.
It is a small but richly decorated shrine of Shiva that was built in the 7th century. It has sculptures featuring amorous couples, animals and floral motifs. It is the best preserved specimen of an earlyHindutemple dated to the Sailodbhava period of the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. The temple is dedicated toShivaand is one of the oldest temples inOrissa. Built during 650 AD in Nagara style, the Parsurameswar temple has all the main features of the pre-10th century Orissian style of architecture.
It has a flat roofed rectangular pillared hall (Jagamohana) attached to a Triratha Sanctum (Deul) about 12.8 meters high, which carried a squat heavy-shouldered Sikhara. Its carvings are known for their simple charm.
The Orissian temples have two parts namely the sanctum (deulorvimana) and the other is place from where pilgrims view the sanctum (called jagamohana). The initial deul temples were without the jagamohana as seen in some of the older temples in Bhubaneswar, while the later temples had two additional structures namely nata-mandapa (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings). The vimana of Parsurameswar is square in plan and the walls are variegated by ressaults (calledrathasorpagas). The vimana has a curvilinear tower (calledBada) in the form of a pyramid composed of horizontal planes. Thevimana(sanctum) measures 9.875ft (3.010m)*9.75ft (2.97m) from the inside, 19.75ft (6.02m)*21ft (6.4m) from the outside and has a height of 40.25 feet (12.27m). Amalaka(also calledmastaka); a stone disk with ridges on the rim is placed over theBada(tower) of the temple.. The jagamohana(assembly hall) is of an extremely early type, rectangular in and measures 29.33ft (8.94m)*28.5833ft (8.7122m) from the outside. It is covered with corbelled slabs of heavy masonry. It has a two element sloping roof with clerestory windows between. The latticed windows are classified aspata jaliwhere perforations are square or rectangular in shape. In addition, there are trellised windows having slabs of stone sculptures depicting dancers and musicians. The temple is one of the earliest examples of Nagara style of architecture that emphasizes verticality and with subsequent temples like Mukteswar, Lingaraj, Rajarani temples in Bhubaneswar and Sun Temple at Konark depicts the architectural development from the 8th to 13th centuries.
Though the temple is a Saiva shrine, it contains the images of numerous Sakta deities as Parsvadevatas (attendant deities) sculpted on its walls. For the first time the depiction ofSaptamatrikasimages, namely, Chamunda, Varahi, Indrani, Vaisnavi, Kaumari, Sivani and Brahmi are found in a temple in Bhubaneswar. The carvings of the temple include a variety of fruits, flowers, birds and animals depicted in scenes and parts of designs. The grotesque figures ofvetalas(ghosts) on the pilasters of itsjaga mohanand on the faces of itsvimanaare true to their traditional description.
The figures ofnagas (male serpant) andnagins (female serpant) and other females show many graceful but chaste poses. Other interesting carvings are those of Shiva throwing down king Ravana, who is trying to uproot MountKailasa, the resting place of Shiva. Much of the sculptural decoration occurs inside stone 'frames' which are vaguely horseshoe-shaped. These are related to the chaitya-arches of early Buddhist rock monasteries. In the northwest corner of the temple compound there is an exotically unique sculpture one thousand Lingas.
The Parsurameswara temple was repaired in 1903, with some ensuing changes in the roof of the inner sanctum, but most of the structure is in its original form.Being located in the eastern coast, the temple, along with the other Orissian temples was not much affected by the Muslim invaders during the 12-13th centuries.
The temple is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) as a ticketed monument.
Parasurashtami is the major festival celebrated in the temple on the 8th day of Ashadha (JuneJuly) when the festival image of Lingaraj is taken to the Parasurameswar temple and feasted.
The temple, on the same side as theLingaraj Temple, is located 2 km south of city center and is close to the main Bhubaneswar-Puri road.
Standing 34 feet tall, the Mukteshwar temple is one of the smallest and most compact temples in Bhubaneswar. It was built in the 10th century and is well known for its stone architecture. One of the most delightful expressions of the Kalinga School of architecture is the luminous beauty of the Mukteswar temple, often called as the 'Gem of Odishan architecture'. It is a glorious synthesis of the old and new styles. This temple has some of the most ornate carvings and renditions of stories from the Panchatantra. The arched gateway is particularly fine. It shows an excellent combination of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain features, which find a common voice in much of Odishan temple craft.
The templeis built earlier to theBrahmeswara Temple(1060 CE).
It is a typical Deula style temple. The plan is similar to Muktesvara Temple, except that there is no second pidha Deula and khakhara Deula.
This architecture is one of the basic reasons why Mukteswar temple is also known as the Gem ofOdisha architecture. The temple faces west and is constructed in a lower basement amidst a group of temples. The pyramidal roof to thejagamohanapresent in the temple was the first of its kind over the conventional two tier structure.
The most important feature of the Muktesvara temple is the horseshoe shaped 'chaitya' archtorana, or the arched gateway, dating back to about 900 CE and showing the influence ofBuddhist architecture.The arched gateway has thick pillars that have strings of beads and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose.
TheVimanais square in plan and is built in a raised platform with pilasters in each facade. Theshikarais small compared to other temples; it has fourNatarajason and four kirthimukhas on the four faces. The top portion of theshikarahas thekalasa. The temple walls are decorated with legendary stories from the Panchatantra and sculptural designs of many animals including elephants, lions and monkeys.
This distinctive 10th-century temple is one of the smallest and compact temples. Thejagamohanais 35m (115ft) tall.It is decorated with intricate carvings by the Viswakarma Moharana sculptors. The temple is regarded as a gem of Nagara architecture ofKalinga architecture. The temple's red sandstone is covered with exquisite carvings of leanSadhusor holy men and voluptuous women encrusted with jewels. The images ofGangaandYamunaare carved next toChandaandPrachanda. The figures of Gajalakshmi,RahuandKetuare also sculpted in the structure.A small extension from the side roof of thejagamohanahas the image of a lion sitting on its hind legs. The exterior walls of the structure are decorated with pilasters withnagasandnaginis.
Muktesvara means Lord of Freedom. The temple is dedicated to Hindu god Shiva..According to tradition, barren women give birth to sons if they take a dip in Madicha Kunda tank in the premises of the temple on the night before Ashokastami car festival. On the evening, the water in the tank is sold to the public. Presently the temple is more of an archeological site and is open to people from all denominations unlike a working Hindu temple.
The Department of Tourism of the state government organises a three-day yearly dance function called Mukteswar Dance Festival in the temple premises. This festival celebrates the features ofOdissi, the classical dance form of Odisha. Popular Odissi dancers perform during the function; accompanied by instruments likemardal. The event is webcast in the state government portal.
The Rajarani temple is an elegant example of great finesse in temple art architecture. It was built in the 11th century. The sensuous beauty of the female form and the filigree sweetness of flowers and fruits are enhanced by the artists dexterous skill. Lack of temple deity and celebration of the female form are some intriguing aspects of this temple.
The Temple is made from the beautiful red and golden sandstone. The red and golden sandstone is locally known as Rajarani. Thus, the name of the temple is as such. The ornately carved figures of the temple are the major attractions in the temple. The temple is an embodiment of architectural stylishness and beauty.
Sculptors of women in dance style hint the practice of Odissi dance. The stone imageries of women playing with birds and nature are also worth seeing. This is the only temple of this kind in the state. The Raja Rani temple is surrounded by a beautiful garden. The temple is located on open paddy field area.
Earlier Raja Rani temple was known as Indreshwara Temple, which was dedicated to Lord Shiva. However, strangely today the temple doesn't have a presiding deity. The porch is constructed in the pyramidal structure and it is very plain. The Raja Rani temple has sculptures of 'Guardians of the Eight Directions' which project from the base of the temple to eight different directions. They are standing from the entrance in a clockwise order surrounding the porch and the deul to end back at the torana.
One of the oldest temples (late 8th century),Vaital Deul Temples striking feature is the shape of its sanctuary tower.It is dedicated to the Goddess Chamunda (Kapali). It is said to have been a centre of Tantric worship. The Goddess can be seen in the murky depths of the inner sanctum, enthroned upon a corpse. This is also locally known asTini Mundia Mandira.
VaitalTemples striking feature is the shape of its sanctuary tower.The roof looks like an inverted boat. An example of the Khakara School of architecture, an offshoot of the Kalinga School, is quite different, even though it maintains the Deul and Jagamohana structures. Only here the main temple is rectangular in shape rather than curvilinear in shape.
On the backside, the five pilasters have been crowned by two vidalas seated back to back above two carved moldings.
The outer walls are encrusted with panels of Hindu deities, mostlyShivaand his consortParvatiin herShaktiform, hunting processions, capturing of wild elephants and the occasional erotic couples. The medallion in the upperChaityawindow houses in addition to a ten-armed Nataraj or dancingShiva, the figures of Lakulisa on the south and the composite form of Hari-Hara on the north.. In front of the flat roofedJagamohana is a stone post relieved with two Buddha like figures seated inDharma-Chakra. A unique sculpture of the temple is Ardhanariswar which is half man half woman.
Another striking feature is temple'sTantricassociations, marked by eerie carvings in the sanctum and the image enshrined in the central niche, eight armedChamunda, locally known asKapalini. It is the terrifying form of goddessDurga. Baitala Deulais aShaktishrine. Some of the early erotic sculptures in Orissian 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.
The presiding deity,Chamundaor Charchika sits on a corpse flanked. Her body, emaciated and reduced to skin and bones, is adorned with the garland of skulls. She 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. Owl and a jackal, sits on a corpse. 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.
The tantric character of the temple is also marked by the stone post, to which sacrificial offerings were tethered, just in front of the jagamohana. You need an artificial light to see in the darkness of the interior, though early morning sun lights up the interior.
The great Lingaraja temple soars above the city of Bhubaneswar and dominates the landscape as far as 15 kms away, represents Odishan temple architecture at its most mature and fully developed stage. It has, in fact, been described as 'time quintessence of Odishan architecture'. Its aHindu templededicated to Lord Shiva, or Tribhuvaneswar. The temple is the most prominent landmark of the Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state. The central tower of the temple is 180ft (55m) tall. The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers. The temple is built in theDeulastyle that has four components namely,vimana(structure containing the sanctum),jagamohana(assembly hall),natamandira(festival hall) andbhoga-mandapa(hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. Spread over 25,000 sq ft the temple complex has 150 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
The temple is active in worship practices, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar and Shiva is worshipped asHarihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has images of Vishnu, possibly because of the rising prominence ofJagannathcult emanating from the Ganga rulers who built theJagannath Templein Puriin the 12th century.
Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and theArcheological Survey of India(ASI). Lingaraja means The king ofLingam, the symbol ofSaivism. Shiva was worshipped as Kirtivasa and later as Harihara and is commonly referred as Tribhuvaneshwara (also called Bhubaneswar); the master of three Bhubaneswar is a city of temples. Legendhas it that Shiva revealed to Parvati that Bhubaneswar - orEkamra Tirthawas a resort favored by him over Benares. Parvati in the guise of a cowherd woman, decided to look at the city herself. Two demonsKrittiandVasadesired to marry her. She requested them to carry her upon their shoulders, and crushed them under her weight. Shiva, then created theBindu Saraslake to quench her thirst, and took abode here as Krittivasas or Lingaraja.
Layout plan of the temple is given below to understand Odishan architecture.
Temple plan of Lingaraja temple - from the topvimana(structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana(assembly hall),natamandira (festival hall) andbhoga-mandapa(hall of offerings)
The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar.James Fergusson(1808 1886), a noted critic and historian rated the temple as one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple in India. It is enshrined within a spacious compound wall oflateriticstone measuring 520ft (160m) by 465ft (142m). The wall is 7.5ft (2.3m) thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall, there is a terrace to protect the compound wall against outside aggression. The tower is 55m (180ft) high and the complex has 150 smaller shrines in its spacious courtyard. Each inch of the 55m (180ft) tall tower is sculpted.The deep-cut lines running perpendicularly on the spire create an optical effect which makes the temple look larger than its actual size. The door in the gate of the entrance porch is made of sandalwood.
The lingam in the temple is a natural unshaped stone that rests on a Shakti. Such a lingam is called Krutibasa or Swayambhu and is found in 64 places in different parts of India. As per Hindu legend, an underground river originating from the Lingaraja temple fills theBindusagar Tank(meaning ocean drop) and the water is believed to heal physical and spiritual illness. The water from the tank is thus treated sacred and pilgrims take a holy dip during festive occasions.
Sivaratrior Jagara is the main festival celebrated annually inPhalgunmonth when thousands of devotees visit the temple.Apart from a full day of fasting,belleaves (wood apple) are offered to Lingaraja on this auspicious day. The main celebrations take place at night when devotees pray all night long. The devotees usually break their fast after theMahadipa(a huge lamp) is lit on the spire of the temple.
Every year the chariot festival (Ratha-Yatra) of Lingaraja is celebrated onAshokashtami. The deity is taken in a chariot toRameshwar Deulatemple. Thousands of devotees follow and pull brightly decorated chariots containing the idols of Lingaraja and his sister Rukmani.This chariot procession stays for five days at the Rameshwar Temple. This festival commemorates achievements of Lord Lingaraja slaying a demon.
Thousands of bol bom pilgrims carry water from riverMahanadiand walk all the way to the temple during the month of Shravan (monsoon) every year.Sunian day is observed from royal times in the month of Bhadraba, a day when temple servants, peasants and other holders of temple lands offer loyalty and tribute to Lingaraja.Chandan Yatra (Sandalwood ceremony) is a 22-day festival celebrated in the temple when servants of the temple disport themselves in a specially made barge in Bindusagar tank. The deities and servants of the temples are anointed with sandalwood paste to protect from heat. Dances, communal feasts and merrymaking are arranged by the people associated with the temple during the festival.
The Lingaraja temple is active in worship practices, unlike the other ancient temples of Bhubaneswar which are not active worship centers. Non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, but it can be viewed from the viewing platform located outside the temple. The viewing platform at the back of the temple can be reached from the chariot road to the right of the main entrance of the temple. Sanctity of the temple is maintained by disallowing dogs, sunbathed visitors, menstruating women and families that encountered birth or death in the preceding 12 days. In case of a foreigner trespass, the temple follows a purification ritual and dumping ofPrasad(food offering) in a well.
The image of Lingaraja is cleaned with water (calledMahasnana) several times a day and decorated with flowers, sandal paste and cloth.Hemlockor hemlock flowers which are generally offered in other Shiva temples are not allowed in the Lingaraja temple.Bilvaleaves (Aegle marmelos) andtulasi(Ocimum sanctum) are used in daily worship. Offerings of cooked rice, curries and sweet-meats are displayed in the Bhoga Mandapa (hall of offering) and the divinity is invoked to accept them amidst scores of chanting of Sanskrit texts. Coconut, ripe plantains andkora-khaiare generally offered to Lingaraja by the pilgrims.Bhangbeverage is offered to Lingaraja by some devotees especially on the day ofPana Sankranti(Oriya New Year).
The Lingaraja temple is open from 6 a.m. to about 9 p.m. and is intermittently closed duringBhoga(food offering) to the deity. The temple is closed at about 12 p.m. until about 3.30 P.M. A ceremony known asMahasnana(ablution) is performed once the doors are closed, followed by pouring ofPanchamrita(a mixture of milk, curdled milk, clarified butter, honey and ghee) upon the deity for purification. At about 2 P.M., theSakala Dhupa(morning's offering of food) takes place. After the food is offered to Lingaraja, the offerings are carried to the temple of Parvati to serve her. An offering calledBanda Dhupais carried out at 3.30 P.M. at the hall of offering. This food is later sold to the pilgrims asMahaprasada by the priests.
Kedar Gauri Temple:
Kedargauri Mandir alias Kedar Gauri Temple devoted to Lord Shiva (Kedareswar) and Goddess Gouri (Kedar Gouri) is one of the ancient temples at Bhubaneswar, situated behind the Mukteswar Temple. Kedar Gauri temple is one among the eight Astasambhu temples in Bhubaneswar. There are several legends associated with the construction ofKedar Gauri temple. One legend says that King Lalatendu Kesari constructed this temple in dedication to two lovers named Kedar and Gouri and another holds that it was constructed by Lord Shiva.
The main attraction of Kedar Gauri temple is the 8-feet statue of Hanuman and Goddess Durga standing on a lion. Closely resembling Sidheshwar Temple, the 13.7 meter high Kedar Gauri temple has a Panch-Rath sanctum. The Jagmohana (rectangular hall) has a three-divisional wall with crowning ornaments. The temple premises houses two kunds (ponds) namely Khira Kund and Marichi Kund which are said to have sacred powers. The water from Khira kund is believed to relieve man from the cycle of birth and death and water from Marichi Kund cure woman's infertility. The ponds are filled with fresh water by perennial streams.
The temple is also famous for the Lord Shiva's procession conducted annually from Lingaraja temple to Kedar Gouri temple, to commemorate the marriage with his consort, Parvati. During the Sital Sasthi festival the groom, a representative idol of Lord Shiva is carried in palanquins decorated lavishly with flowers, to the Kedar Gouri temple.
The 12th century Budhanath temple is situated just about 22km from Bhubaneswar, is unknown to most visitors of the state .As you enter the compound, you find broken statues and other artifacts that have fallen off the temple building placed on a Mandapa because there is no facility nearby to display them in a museum. The village in which this temple is situated Garedi Panchana is just like another coastal village of the state with lots of coconut and betel nut trees.
King Chodaganga Dev of the Somavanshi dynasty had built the temple. However, residents of the village say a smaller temple on the compound, named after Amrutalochani Devi, has an even older deity. Believed to be of tantric origin, the deity inside the Amrutalochani temple has six eyes.
Budhanath temple is based on tantric principles, especially Garedi Yantra. Interestingly, Garedi in Odia means hypnotism and the name of the village also seems to have links to the claims. Legend has it that snakebite victims do not die if they are brought to the temple premises.
It is known that after the 7th century, due to tantric effects on Buddhism, the followers of the religion were influenced by the tantric cult. The name of the Budhanath temple, its tantric links and the name of the village and the Garedi Yantra legend also prove that there could be a Buddhist link here. The presiding deity inside Budhanath is not a Shiva Linga, but a yoni, or female origin of the Shakti.
Reaching the temple from Bhubaneswar is easy. If you do not want to take a car, take an auto rickshaw, a two-wheeler or even a bicycle. The road passes through rice fields.\
Chausathi Yogini temple:
The ninth century Chausathi Yogini temple at Hirapur lies in the middle of paddy fields. A significant feature of this shrine is that it is hypaethral (no roof). It assumes an important place in the cultural history since it is the second of its kind in Odisha and one of such four temples in India. (Two of them are in Odisha and the other two are in Madhya Pradesh). It belongs to a genre of architecture which is completely different from the major Orissian School. Yogini shrines can be seen at Hirapur (near Bhubaneswar) and at Ranipur-Jharial (western Odisha).
The temple is a circular shrine measuring 27.4metre in circumference and 2.4metre in height with a frontal projection resembling a yoni or female reproductive organ. The outer and inner parts of the temple were built with locally available coarse sandstone. The pillar-like structure in the middle of the temple represents the male sexual organ.
It houses images of 64 yoginis standing on different mounts, postures and each exhibiting a distinct hairstyle. The image of the 10-armed presiding deity of the pitha, worshipped as Mahamaya, is the largest among the yoginis. In the centre, there exists a recently restored Chandi Mandapa displaying four Saivaite figures and yoginis. Interestingly, the yoginis at Hirapur temple have distinct mudras and postures and appear with their vahanas or vehicles in standing positions. There is an interesting yogini statue of Ganesha with female body parts here.
The temple was perhaps built when the Bhaumakars or Buddhist rulers were losing powers to Somavanshis who were devout Sivaites. The lunar and solar calculations in Hindu calendars are important for tantric rituals and on special occasions there could be Puja in the compounds. From studies, it was found that the temple was in an isolated place not habited by human beings and these temples were built in cremation grounds called Maha Smasana (greater graveyards). Gradually the villages might have encroached into the periphery of the temple.
The 64 Yoginis at Hirapur Shrine are:
1. Bahurupa 2.Tara3.Narmada4.Yamuna5.Shanti6.Varuni7. Kshemankari 8.Aindri9.Varahi10. Ranveera 11. Vanara-Mukhi 12.Vaishnavi13. Kalaratri 14. Vaidyaroopa 15. Charchika 16. Betali 17.Chinnamastika18. Vrishabahana 19. Jwala Kamini 20. Ghatavara 21. Karakali 22.Saraswati23. Birupa 24. Kauveri 25. Bhaluka 26. Narasimhi 27. Biraja 28. Vikatanna 29.Mahalakshmi30.Kaumari31.Maha Maya32.Rati33. Karkari 34. Sarpashya 35.Yakshini36. Vinayaki 37. Vindya Balini 38. Veera Kumari 39.Maheshwari40.Ambika41. Kamiyani 42. Ghatabari 43. Stutee 44.Kali45.Uma46.Narayani47. Samudraa 48.Brahmini49.Jwala Mukhi50. Agneyei 51.Aditi52. Chandrakanti 53. Vayubega 54.Chamunda55. Murati 56.Ganga57.Dhumavati58.Gandhari59. Sarva Mangala 60. Ajita 61. Surya Putri 62. Vayu Veena 63. Aghora 64.Bhadrakali
The concept of Yogini:
Yogini represents both a female master practitioner ofYoga, and a formal term of respect for a category of modern female spiritual teachers (in both Hinduism and Buddhism) in eastern countries such asIndia,Nepal, andTibet. In the Hindu tradition, mother is firstguru(teacher) and in the Yoga tradition, proper respect of Yoginis is a necessary part of the path to liberation. In some branches of tantra Yoga,ten wisdom goddesses(ordakinis) serve as models for a Yogini's disposition and behavior.
Yogini can mean:
Facilities at the temple:
There is enough space to allow visitors and others to conduct a Puja inside and non-vegetarian Prasad and other food is allowed in the temple campus.
How to rich the place:
The temple is situated on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. From Ravi Talkies Square one can take a drive through Tankapani road. After crossing the Daya River on the bridge one will find Hirapur, under Umadei Bramhapur Gram Panchayat near Balianta block office. Its around about 6km from the block office. The road passes through the valley of the picturesque Daya River and the Puri Main Canal.