Temples of Orissa

Temples of Orissa are famous all over the world for their rich cultural heritage, art and architecture. These temples have been mostly built in Indo -Aryan Nagara style. Most of the Orissa temples have a rich historical background. Some of the most well-known Orissan temples are Sun temple at Konark, Lingaraja temple at Bhubaneshwar, Jagannath temple at Puri. Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa is the abode of most of the temples.

Most of the Orissan kings in order to show their devotion towards the respective gods and goddesses built innumerable temples. These temples display the rich culture and tradition of the then kings. Some of the temples are exquisitely designed and they portray the lives of the kings and queens who ruled the kingdom of Orissa. Most of the temples built in Orissa follow a typical structure. The temples are mostly divided into two sections. Usually the "bhogmandir" and the "natmandir"can be found in the frontal region of the jaganmohan.

Shree Jagannath temple located centrally at Puri was built in the 12th century. The temple displays to their visitors the excellent Kalinga architectural style. The Black Pagoda or the Sun temple at Konark is an exquisite piece of art in the history of temples. Lingaraj temple is another of its kind that is named after the priapic symbol enclosed in it. There are around 65 temples under the Lingaraj temple. Satrughaneshwar temple built in the 6th century is one of the oldest temples of Orissa. It has been built in the style of a Sikhara temple. The temple is known for its rich architecture and sculptures. Swarnajaleswar temple depicts the image of Lord Shiva's nuptial ceremony.

Orissa Jagannath Temple

Orissa Jagannath Temple is one of the most well-known temples situated centrally in Puri. It is a holy structure built in the 12th century A.D. Orissa Jagannath Temple has been built magnificently. Its architecture reflects the grandeur and opulence of the rulers of Kalinga. The temple of Jagannath has achieved the heights of greatness due to its excellent architecture. This temple has been designed in a very homogeneous and compressed form. It has been built in an Indo-Aryan style. This temple sees hundreds of devotees every year specially during the festive season that goes on in Orissa. Jagannath temple popularly known as the White Pagoda is 200 feet high. It is situated in a huge complex in Puri.

Kapilash Temple Orissa

Kapilash Temple Orissa is popularly known as the Kailash temple. It is one of the most exquisitely designed temples that is situated in Dhenkanal. The Kailash temple is located on top of a hill amidst lush green environs. This region was the capital of the kingdom of Keshari and was known as Chowduar. The temple is almost 26 kms away from the town of Dhenkanal.

Kapilash temple possess the idol of lord Chandrashekhar or lord Shiva. This temple is surrounded by other holy shrines. Visitors who wish to pay homage to the deity of Lord Shiva have to climb a flight of 2000 steps. The idol of Shiva is richly decorated and during religious festivals this holy shrine sees innumerable number of devotees coming from every corner of the world. During the festive occasion of Shivratri the idol of Shiva is specially decorated with gold ornaments. The temples, which are worth visiting other than Kapilash on the same hilltop are the temples of Raghunath, Saptarshi, Narayana and Viswanath. This temple mis known to be one of the main attractions of the town of Dhenkanal. The hill on which the Kapilash temple is situated is surrounded by the districts of Dhenkanal and Cuttack.

Sun Temple Konark

Sun Temple Konark is one of the best specimen of Kalinga architecture. The Sun Temple at Konark was built by Raja Narasinghs Deva-I (Ganga Dynasty). It is known for its gigantic sculptures and minute patterns in bas-relief.

The Sun Temple of Odisha was constructed in the 13th century as a chariot of the Sun God. The temple possesses twelve pairs of beautifully ornamented wheels and about seven pairs of well-sculpted horses. The wheels of the temple signify the twelve months of the year and the horses signify the seven days of the week

The Sun Temple of Konark is also characterized by curvilinear towers, which are mounted by Cupolas. The main sanctum of the temple is about 229 feet in height. The sanctum features external projects and is constructed beside the audience hall.

Bharateswar Temple

Bharateswar Temple is situated in Bhubaneswar. Bharateswar temple was constructed along with two other temples, namely the Laxmaneswar temple and Satrughaneshwar temple in the 6th century AD. The Bharateswar Temple of Orissa is dedicated to the three brothers of Lord Rama, viz. Bharat, Satrughan and Laxman.

Bharateswar Temple is one of the ancient temples of Orissa. That forms the masterpiece of the Orissan style of architecture. The Bharateswar Temple of Bhubaneswar is one of the most popular tourist sites, where the tourists can get a glimpse of the cultural heritage of Orissa.

Rajarani Temple

Rajarani temple was constructed between the 10th and the 11th century. The Rajarani temple is one of the architectural splendors in Orissa and is made up of reddish gold sandstone, known as 'rajarani'. Legends believe that the temple had been the shrine of Lord Shiva, which was called Indreswara Temple.

Posited amid the paddy fields, the Rajarani Temple at Orissa is constructed on a raised platform. The architecture of the temple features clusters of turrets, a square sanctum and beautiful sculptures. The square sanctum of the temple is reminiscent of the later temple built in Puri. The Rajarani temple, situated in Old Bhubaneswar, is one of the best specimens of Kalinga architecture.

Last Updated on : 10 July 2013

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