Places of Interest

Lingaraja Temple

Lingaraja Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, India. The temple is the most prominent landmark of Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state. As per Hindu legend, an underground river originating from the Lingaraja temple fills the Bindusagar Tank (meaning ocean drop) and the water is believed to heal physical and spiritual illness. The water from the tank is thus treated sacred and pilgrims take a holy dip during festive occasions. The central deity of the temple, Lingaraja, is worshipped as Shiva . Bhang beverage is offered to Lingaraja by some devotees especially on the day of Pana Sankranti (Odia new year).

The Lingaraja temple is open from 6 a.m. to about 9 p.m. and is intermittently closed during bhoga (food offering) to the deity. During early morning, lamps in the cella are lit to awaken Lingaraja from his sleep, ablution is performed, followed by adoration and arati (waving of light). The temple is closed at about 12 noon until about 3.30 p.m. A ceremony is known as Mahasnana (ablution) is performed once the doors are closed, followed by pouring of Panchamrita (a mixture of milk, curdled milk, clarified butter, honey, and ghee) upon the deity for purification. At about 1:00 pm, a ripe plantain is divided into two, one half is offered to Sun god and the other half to Dwarapala (the guarding deities in the doorway). Between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. the food offering called Ballabha Bhoga (breakfast containing curdled milk, curd, and vegetables) is offered to the deity. The consecrated food is carried to the temple of Parvati and placed before her as an offering, a practice commonly observed by the orthodox Hindu housewives. At about 2 pm, the Sakala Dhupa (morning's offering of food) takes place. After the food is offered to Lingaraja, the offerings are carried to the temple of Parvati to serve her. An offering called Bhanda Dhupa is carried out at 3:30 p.m. at the hall of the offering. This food is later offered by the inmates to the pilgrims as Mahaprasada.


Bindusagar Lake

Bindusagar Lake is located in the right side of the Talabazar road leading from Kedargouri Chowk to Lingaraja Temple, Old Town, Bhubaneswar. This road is also known as Bindusagar Road. It is now under the care and maintenance of Lingaraja Temple Administration. The tank is enclosed within a masonry embankment made of dressed laterite blocks. It is the largest water body of Bhubaneswar. All the rituals of Lord Lingarajaa are closely associated with this lake. Shiva and Parvati after their marriage came to Varanasi. But with the passage of time, Varanasi became a populated area. Lord Siva chose Ekamrakshetra for meditation in disguise. This place was having a single huge mango tree surrounded by jungle. Even it was unknown to Parvati. This place is also known as gupta kashi hidden Varanasi. With the reference from lord Bramha, Devi Parvati learned about this place and came to Ekamra-Kshetra to search her Lord Shiva.

It is fed by a natural spring from the underground. The excess and waste water is discharged through an outlet channel in the southeastern wall, beneath the Talabazar road near Dalmiya Dharmasala. The outlet channel measures 1.18 m (3.9 ft) in height and 1.07 m (3.5 ft)in width. As a result, the water level of the tank remains constant throughout the year. Despite such provisions made in the past to keep the tank water clean and fresh now the water is one of the most polluted among the water bodies in the city, which need special care and attention.


Ananta Vasudeva Temple

Ananta Vasudeva Temple ("Temple of the Infinite Vāsudeva", Odia:ଅନନ୍ତ ବାସୁଦେବ ମନ୍ଦିର) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu located in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Odisha, India.

Ananta Vasudeva Temple is a famous Hindu Temple located on the eastern bank of Bindusagar Lake in Bhubaneswar. Situated near Lingaraja Temple, Ananta Vasudeva Temple is one of the few Vaishnavite temples in Bhubaneswar and also one of the top Bhubaneswar Tourist Places.

Dating back to 13th century AD, Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the worship place of the complete idols of Lord Krishna, Lord Balarama and Goddess Subhadra. According to the legends, Lord Vishnu was worshiped at the place where Ananta Vasudeva Temple stands at present. The new temple was built in the 13th century by Queen Chandrika, the daughter of Anangabhima III, during the reign of the king Bhanudeva. The Marathas, who extended their empire up to river Mahanadi, were responsible for renovating the Vishnu Temple at Bhubaneswar in the late 17th Century.


Mukteswara Temple

Mukteswara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar city of Orissa state. It is one of the oldest and the famous temples in Bhubaneswar and also one of the most visited Tourist Places in Bhubaneswar.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its beautiful carvings and exquisite sculptural work. Built in 10th Century AD, the temple is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. According to legend, the temple is considered to be one of the earliest temples of Somavamsi dynasty. Many scholars believe that this temple is the successor temple of Parasurameswara Temple and built earlier to the Brahmeswara Temple.

The temple is known as 'Gem of Odisha' because of its architecture. Mukteswara Temple is the real specimen of ancient and modern Kalinga School of architecture, blended perfectly in construction. The temple is a massive structure of 35 feet high and is a marvel in sandstone. The temple faces west and is constructed in a lower basement amidst a group of temples. The temple has an entrance porch or torana, the vimana and a jagamohana, the leading hall. The temple is the earliest to be built in pithadeula type. The pyramidal roof of jagamohana was the first of its kind over the conventional two tier structure.

The main highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. This thick pillared, arched gateway is beautifully carved with strings of beads and other attractive ornaments with statues of smiling women in languorous postures. The temple also has some exquisite carvings and is famed for its captivating and enthralling sculptures. It is fascinating to observe unique sculptures such as a meeting of thin sadhus, a group of playful monkeys, as well as illustrations from the Panchatantra on the outer face of latticed windows.

Built in 10th century, Siddheswar Temple is situated in the northwest corner of the enclosure of Mukteswar Temple and houses an attractive standing figure of Lord Ganesh. The sanctum of the temple built in pancha ratha style is surrounded with five-divisional walls. The temple tower or shikhara is grouped by a row of miniature towers, which is surmounted by four rampant lions on the central ratha.


Kedar Gauri Temple

Kedar Gauri Temple complex is a popular religious site located in Bhubaneswar. Situated behind the Mukteswara Temple, it is one among the eight Astasambu temples in Bhubaneswar.

Kedar Gauri Temple is actually a complex which consists of two separate temples, one is dedicated to Lord Shiva and another is to Goddess Parvati. Legend holds that King Lalatendu Kesari constructed these temples in dedication to two lovers named Kedar and Gauri. Even today, the lovers who want to get married come to this temple to get the blessing of the deities. Another legend holds that Lord Shiva along with Goddess Parvati came to this place from Varanasi, as he preferred a more silent place.

Kedar Temple is one of the two temples in the Kedar Gauri Temple complex. The architectural features of this temple resembles with Siddheswara Temple located in Mukteswara Temple complex. It was built by the Ganga Kings in the 12th century CE. This south facing temple enshrines Shivalinga named as Kedareshwar. It has rekha type vimana and pidha type Jagamohana. The temple is pancha ratha on plan and panchanga bada on elevation. There are Parsvadevta idols found around the exterior wall such as Ganesha, Kartikeya and Parvati.

Gauri Temple is the second temple in the complex and is dedicated to Gauri, consort of Lord Shiva. Although the legends try to associate both the temples, but both were built in different periods by different kings. This temple belongs to Somavamsi period (10th century CE) older than Kedar Temple. The exterior walls of this temple are intricately carved with the sculptures. This east facing temple has Khakhara deula type vimana and pidha type Jagamohana.

The complex also houses three small shrines for Shiva, Hanuman, Durga and Ganesha. The temple premises also houses two ponds namely Khira Kund and Marichi Kund which are said to have sacred powers. The water from Khira Kund is believed to relieve man from the cycle of birth and death whereas the water from Marichi Kund cures woman's infertility.

Every year during Shital Sasthi festival, Lord Lingaraj (Shiva) is taken from Lingaraja Temple in a grand procession to Kedar Gauri Temple, where he marries Devi Parvati.


Vaital Deula (Tinimundia) Temple

Vaital Deula Temple or Baitala Deuḷa is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of Bindu Sarovara in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Locally known as 'Tini Mundia Mandira', it is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar.

The Vaital Temple is an 8th century temple of typical Khakara style of Kalinga School of architecture. This is one of the rare temples in India that was used as a shrine devoted to tantric cult. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamundi, the tantric form of Goddess Durga. The temple is one of the most highly revered ones among the Hindus and a large number of devotees come to offer their prayers on some auspicious occasions.

The deul or tower of the temple is the most striking feature of the temple. The semi-cylindrical shape of its roof bears an affinity to the Dravidian gopuram of the South India temples. The plan of the deul is oblong and the jagamohana is a rectangular structure, but embedded in each angle is a small subsidiary shrine. The facade of the deul above the left of the jagamohana is dominated by two chaitya windows. The lower one having a beautifully carved figure of sun god Surya noted for its facial expression, with Usha and Pratyusha shooting arrows on either side. The upper chaitya-window is adorned with a 10-armed Nataraja.

In front of the flat roofed jagamohana is a stone post relieved with two Buddha like figures seated in dharma-chakra-pravartana mudra. The temple is appreciated for its sculpture and architectures. The entrance is decorated with a four-faced linga with remarkable carvings. The outer walls are covered with panels of Hindu deities, mostly Shiva and his consort Parvati in her Shakti form, hunting processions, capturing of wild elephants and the occasional erotic couples.

Another striking feature is the temple's tantric associations, marked by strange carvings in the sanctum and the image enshrined in the central niche, eight armed Chamunda, locally known as Kapalini. The presiding deity, Chamundi is depicted as enthroned upon a corpse, wearing a necklace of skulls and protruding out her bright red tongue. She holds a snake, bow, shield, sword, trident, thunderbolt and an arrow, and is piercing the neck of the demon. Around the image of Chamundi, there are 15 niches that are filled with strange figures.