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Bhubaneshwar India

Lingaraja Temple - BhubaneshwarBhubaneswar, popularly known as the 'Temple City of India', is said to be the seat of Tribhubaneswar or 'Lord Lingaraj' (a form of Lord Shiva). An important Hindu pilgrimage centre, hundreds of temples have become an integral part of the landscape of the Old Town, which once boasted of more than 2000 temples. It was here that the temple building activities of Orissan style bloomed from a mere conception to a full-fledged art over a period of over one thousand years.

The new Bhubaneswar with its modern buildings and extensive infrastructure perfectly complements its historic surroundings. The most important tourist attractions of the city are the temples of Laxmaneswar, Satrughaneswar and Bharateswar from 6th century, Parsurameswar and Swarnajaleswar from 7th century, Vaital from 8th century, Mukteswar from 10th century, Brahmeswar, Rajarani and Lingaraj from 11th century and Ananta Vasudeva from 13th century. Orissa state Museum, Tribal Museum & Handicrafts House, Ekamra Kanan, which is the biggest Rose Garden of Asia, Pathani Samanta Planetarium and BDA Nicco Park are some other places worth visiting.

Location: In Orissa, India.
Significance: Capital of Orissa.
Climate: Situated at an altitude of 45 m above sea level, the temperature ranges between a minimum of 15.7oC in winters to a maximum of 30oC to 40oC in summers.

Shopping Attractions:
Shopping at Bhubaneshwar is fun with so many specialties to choose from. Silver filigree, stone and woodcarving, Patta paintings, tie & dye textiles are not the only highlights of its market. One can look for some good bamboo baskets, brass and bell metal work, horn work and many other famous handicrafts of Orissa to buy as souvenirs.

Prime Attractions:

Parashurameshwara Temple:

The Parasurameswara is the earliest temple still standing in Bhubaneswar. The mid-seventh century date agreed on by most scholars is based on style, as well as on the eight planets, which appear over the door to the inner sanctum. In later temples, there are nine. Although the Parasurameswara temple was repaired in 1903, with some ensuing changes in the roof of the inner sanctum, the structure is substantially intact in its original form.

This small temple shows the early stages of development of the two main Orissan temple components: the beehive-shaped tower (generally referred to as the deul) and the porch in front of the tower (generally called the Jagamohan). The tower is built in successive, inward-tapering stories, marked by lotiform corner pieces.

Vaital Deul:
The Parasurameswara and Mukteswara temples represent clear steps in the development of the major Kalinga style of Orissan temple architecture. The Vaital Deul (800 AD) represents an entirely different line. It belongs to the Khakhara order (a subdivision of the Kalinga school of architecture), which was used for shrines devoted to tantric cults. The deal (tower) of the temple is the most striking difference. It is rectangular in shape, positioned at a right angle to the Jagmohana (porch). The roof vault is derived from earlier freestanding buildings made of wood and thatch.

The horseshoe-shape of the chaitya arch became an enduring motif, turning up not only in actual structures, such as the Vaital Deul, but frequently in sculptural decoration. On the Vaital Deul, the outer surface of the vault is absolutely plain, in contrast with the heavy sculptural embellishment of every other existing Orissan temple tower. The shape of the more common deal form has not been ignored, however; it has been carefully inserted, in miniature form, on the four corners of the Vaital Deul's jagmohana (porch). A brief look at the Vaital Deul shows an extremely accomplished style of sculptural decoration.

Mukteshwar Temple:
Built in the year of 950 AD, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mukteswara, is carved with figures of ascetics in several poses of meditation. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa.

Rajarani Temple:
It was built in 11th century. Rajarani temple is famous for its ornate deul, or compass, decorated with some of the most impressive Oriya temple architecture. The temple is remarkable for the absence of any presiding deity. The temple's name is supposed to be derived from the red-gold sandstone used in building it - Rajarani being the local name for the stone.

The deul is intricately carved with figures involved in daily chores. Statues of eight Dipalakas, guarding the eight cardinal directions of the temple, populate the lower portion of the deul. Between them, nymphs, embracing couples, elephants and lions fill the niches and decorate the pillars. Set in a picturesque locale, the temple creates a dramatic image against the setting sun.

Brahmeswara Temple:
Brahmeswara Temple built in 1050 AD, is situated around a kilometer east of the main road. The temple stands in a courtyard bordered by four smaller temples.

Lingaraja Temple:
Built in the 10th or 11th century, Lingaraja temple of Bhubaneswar has been described as 'the truest fusion of dream and reality. A rare masterpiece, Ferguson, the noted art critic and historian, has rated the Lingaraja temple as one of the finest examples of purest Hindu temple in India. Every inch of the surface of the 55-m-high Lingaraja temple is covered with intricate and elaborate carvings. Sculpture and architecture fuse elegantly to create a perfect harmony. It is believed that pilgrims, who wish to go to the Jagannath temple at Puri, must first offer worship at the Lingaraja temple.

Orissa State Museum:
The Orissa State Museum is one of the best places to view sculptures, stone inscriptions, lithic and bronze-age tools, rare copper plates, palm-leaf manuscripts, paintings, anthropological specimens and musical instruments.

Handicrafts Museum:
The Handicrafts Museum at Secretariat Road has a good collection of folk paintings, horn toys, brass castings, and sculptures.

Tribal Museum:
The Tribal Museum deals with the various aspects of the tribal life and culture in Orissa.

How To Reach

By Air: There are domestic flights to and from Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Varanasi, Raipur and Visakhapatnam.
By Train: Bhubaneshwar is directly connected by trains to and from Calcutta, Puri, Madras, Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Tirupati and Trivandrum.
By Road: Bhubaneshwar is well connected by the National Highway No. 5 to Calcutta and Madras and other major cities of India.

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