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Bhubaneshwar Shiva Temples

By Manoj Menon

The capital of Odisha, Bhubaneshwar is famous for its old temples and architectures. It is here that Emperor Ashoka fought the dreaded Kalinga War and therafter took up Buddhism on seeing the brutality of war. It is renowned for being a city of temples as there are more than 700 of them! The majority of these temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva.

According to mythology, it was said that Bhubaneshwar was one of Lord Shiva's favourite places, where he liked to spend time under a huge mango tree. The towering, heavily sculptured spires of the temples of Bhubaneswar are quite astounding. It's mind boggling imagining the work that went into creating them and their exquisitely carved basis. Here is a guide to a few of these temples.

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Brahmeshwara Temple

Brahmeshwara Temple

It is a Hindu Temple located in Bhubaneshwar and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple was built at the end of the 9th century and is richly carved inside and outside. The temple is built with traditional architectural methods of wood carving.

Photo Courtesy: Muk.khan

Parsurameswar Temple

Parsurameswar Temple

The temple is located in Bhubaneshwar and the best preserved specimen of an early Hindu temple dated to the Sailodbhava period of the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and one of the oldest temples in Odisha. Built during 650 AD in Nagara style, the Parsurameswar temple has all the main features of the pre-10th century Orissan style of architecture.

Photo Courtesy: J.prasad2012

Vaitala Shiva Temple

Vaitala Shiva Temple

Vaitala Shiva Temple's striking feature is the shape of its sanctuary tower. The semi-cylindrical shape of its roof is a leading example of Khakhara order of temples which resembles to the Dravidian Gopuram of the South India temples. Shivaratri festival is the major festival celebrated in the temple.

Photo Courtesy: Nayansatya

Rameshwar Shiva Temple

Rameshwar Shiva Temple

The temple was built in the 9th century and is one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneshwar. It is located 2 km from the famous Lingaraj Temple. According to traditions, during Ashokashtami which falls one day before Rama Navami, Lord Lingaraja comes to this temple by a large chariot called 'Rukuna Rath' and stays in the temple for four days.

Photo Courtesy: Sanshlistha m

Lingaraj Temple

Lingaraj Temple

It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, another name for Lord Shiva is the biggest of all Shiva Temples in Bhubaneshwar. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall there runs a terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside intrusion. Lingaraj Temple is the most prominent landmark of the Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state. It has an average of more than 4,000 visitors per day and receives lakhs of visitors during festivals. Shivaratri festival is the major festival celebrated in the temple.

Photo Courtesy: I,G-u-t

Read more about: bhubaneshwar odisha

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