September 25, 2021: One of the speedily advancing states in India, Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, is named after Lord Shiva, Tribhuvaneshwar, meaning Lord of the three worlds. Also, called as the Temple City, Bhubaneswar is famous for the large number of temples it houses, and a majority of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Let’s know the facts about Shiv temples in Bhubaneswar.
Facts about Shiv temples in Bhubaneswar
One of Bhubaneswar’s older names is Ekamra, which refers to the “one mango tree”, under which Lord Shiva often meditated.
Approximately 30-40 Shiva temples are already there in Bhubaneswar, of which Lingaraja, Mukteswar, Parasurameswar are more well known. Of all the temples in Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraj Temple is the most prominent one, with it’s 180 ft tall tower.
Lingaraj Temple: Facts about Shiv Temples in Bhubaneswar
Lingaraj Temple represents the best of the Kalinga style of architecture too, built in the traditional Deula manner. Temples in Kalinga architecture have 4 parts-Vimana (Sanctum Sanctorum), Jagmohana (Assembly Hall), Natamandira (Festival Hall) and Bhoga Mandap.
History of Lingaraj Temple
The history and construction of Lingaraj Temple dates back to around late 11th century, mostly built by kings from the Somavamsa, with later additions by the Ganga rulers. Jajati Keshari was believed to have built the Lingaraj Temple during the 11th Century, and it is the largest in Bhubaneshwar. The Lingaraj Temple is built mainly with sandstone, and follows the typical Kalinga style with a Vimana, Jagmohana, Nata Mandira. While essentially Shaivite, under the Ganga Rulers, certain elements of Vaishnavism were also introduced in the Lingaraj Temple.
During the reign of the Ganga rulers, the deity in Lingaraja Temple was worshipped as Harihara, representing both Shiva and Vishnu. The Bindusagar Tank near Lingaraja Temple is believed to contain drops of all major rivers in India.
The central tower or Gopuram of the Lingaraj Temple, that can be seen from a distance.
The Ashthashambu Siva temple in Bhubaneswar is an 8 temple complex.
Other Shiv temples in Bhubaneswar
The next largest Shiva Temple in Bhubaneswar is the Mukteswara Temple, known for it’s architecture.
Parasurameshwar Temple in Bhubaneswar, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the oldest dating back to 8th century. The name Parashurameshwar Temple resounds a glorious page from Hindu mythological history- it’s believed Parashuram did penace to Lord Shiva here.
The Parashurameshwar Temple was also one of the earliest to depict Durga in the Mahishasur Mardini form.
Brahmeswara Temple at Bhubaneswar, again dating back to end of 9th century, built in a more pyramid structure.
Indralath temple at Bolangir, so called as Indra was believed to have worshipped Lord Shiva here, built with bricks.
Kapileshwara Temple on outskirts of Bhubaneshwar, often believed to be a twin to Lingaraja Temple. Legend says, Kapileswara is the birthplace of Sage Kapila, and the Lord here is worshiped as Kapileswara Siva.
Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneshwar, dedicated to Lord Shiva, but there are no idols of any deity inside the sanctum. Again like most ancient temples in Odisha, the Rajarani Temple is famous for it’s carvings of Nayikas on the walls.
Gupteshwar Cave Temple in Koraput, is one of the more well known ones, with the idol located in a limestone cave.