Whether you believe in Mythology or not, one thing you can’t deny is that Indian is an ancient land. If not more, India has at least five thousand years of inscribed history, starting from the Indus Valley to the Harappan Civilization, dating back at least 3300BC. There’re many cities in the country that bear marks of incessant human inhabitation of over a millennium. One such city is Bhubaneswar, which is the capital of Odisha. Each and every nook of this city boasts a long & rich history which are worth exploring. Its main attractions & reminders of the celebrated past are its colossal Kalinga architecture shrines that have earned it the name, “The City of Temples” or “Temple City of India”. Your Bhubaneswar tour package must include any of these below listed temple visit:
This is perhaps the largest Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar. The shrine complex has 4 main sections: Vimana (sanctum), Jagamohana (hall of assembly), Natamandira (hall of events) and Bhoga Mandapa (hall of offerings). The major highlight of the shrine is its nearly 148ft high sanctum tower, every bit of which boasts ornate sculpting.
Though smaller than Lingara temple, Rajarani Temple is yet another excellent instance of the eleventh century Kalinga architecture. The sculptures here represent the marriage of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva, and also women conducting their daily chores.
Dating from the tenth century, Mukteshwar Temple is rather uncommon when compared to others as its arched entry point is a Torana, which is a Buddhist architectural element. Even the sculptures of deities on its top are evocative of Buddhist influence. Past the Torana are the Jagamohana & Vimana that too feature amazing carvings. This again reflects the blending of architectures, itself resulting from a mixture of cultures!
If you’re visiting Bhubaneswar and have even a weekend to spare, then make it a point to visit the holy Jagannath Temple in Puri, one of the Char Dham. The temple complex, measuring an immense 400000 square feet has all the elements of a regional Kalinga architectural shrine, i.e. Vimana, Jagamohana, Natamandira and Bhoga Mandapa. Every year in June-July, the shrine hosts the famous Rath Yatra, wherein huge wooden chariots are pulled by devotees.
Konark Sun Temple:
No visit to Bhubaneswar can ever be complete without a trip to the world-famous Konark Sun Temple. This massive temple is in the shape of the Sun God’s chariot, complete with sculptures of wheels on the plinth’s sides and horses in the front.