Lingaraja Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Lingam in this temple is unique which is a hari hara lingam – half Shiva and half Vishnu. The temple is about a thousand years old and dominates the skyline of Bhubaneshwar from as far as 15 kms. away and exhibits the skill of the Orissan temple architects. This temple is dedicated to Tribhubaneshwar or the Lord of Three Worlds. Interestingly 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 Cuttack in the 10th century. Inscriptions from the period of the Kalinga King Anangabhima III from the 13th century are seen here. Lingaraja temple is an architectural marvel. The temple consists of a Natya Mandir (the Hall of Dance), Bhog Mandap (the Hall of Offering), Jagamohan (the Porch) and a 55 m high tower. There are more than 150 other shrines around the main temple. The Lingaraja temple is one of the most famous temples in Orissa and is also known as the Bhubaneswar temple. To the north of the Lingaraja temple is the Bindusagar Lake.
The temple is named after the “Linga” or phallic symbol enshrines in it. Built in 617-657 A.D. it soars up to a height of about 54 meters, dominating the skyline for kilometers around. The temple consists of curvilinear walls, a pillared hall, a dancing hall and a hall for serving the offerings. It can be rather called a temple complex as more than a hundred temples of different sizes are situated within its premises. This is one of the famous Saiva Pitha in India. It represents the peak of Kalinga style of architecture spanning over 25 centuries of progressive history.
Architecture of Temple
The temple compound has three compartments, one each for Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. The main temple of Lingaraja has beautiful pillars carvings. The temple complex is a combination of four structures on an east-west axial alignment namely the Bhogamandapa (the dining hall), the Natamandapa (the dancing hall), the Jagamohana (the audience hall) and the Deula (the hall enshrining Shiva). Of these, the Natamandapa and Bhojamandapa were constructed in around 14th century. The outer walls of the temple have unparalleled carvings. The beautifully sculpted images of various God and Goddess are marvellous. The sanctum in temple, the Shivalingam, rises to a height of 8 inches above the floor level, and is 8 feet in diameter. It is made of granite and is bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (Marijuana).
Places of Interest
One can visit the Udaygiri and Khandgiri caves, the twin rock-cut caves situated 8 kms from Bhubaneswer. These 2300 years old caves were built for the Jain monks. Other major temples in Bhubaneshwar are the RajaRani, Mukteswara and Parasurameswara temple.
Getting there and Around
Bhubaneswar Airport is 3 km from the city centre and almost all the major cities are connected from here.
The station is in the heart of the city. The Indian railway provides train services from every corner of the nation.
Bhubaneshwar is well connected by motorable roads through out the year. The national highway no. 5 touches this capital city.
One can pick from a range of luxury and budget hotels in Bhubaneswar. Besides, star categorised hotels around Bhubaneswar offers excellent view of the landmarks through their suites. Government owned hotels, yatri-nivas, guest houses, lodges give the visitor a lot of options to choose his place of stay.
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