Spirituality and architectural marvel beckons! Visit Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, and discover the magnetism and brilliance of ancient temples that date back to the era of Kalinga Empire. The “City of Temples” is blessed with more than 700 marvellous pieces of sculpture, predominately dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Surya.
1# Lingaraj Temple
Built during 11th century A.D, the majestic Lingaraj Temple is the largest and most popular in Bhubaneswar. The splendid temple stands tall at 180 feet, and exhibits breath-taking sculptures of kings and queens, gods and goddesses, hunters, dancing girls, and musicians. The presiding deity is Harihara, a combination of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Besides astounding architectural beauty of the main temple, which reflects evolution of temple architecture during that time, there are around 64 other smaller shrines within the temple complex.This is why we have listed Lingaraj Temple as one amongst 5 Must See Temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple is well-connected by auto rickshaw.
2# Brahmeshwar Temple
The Brahmeshwar Temple was built during 11th century A.D in honor of the presiding deity Brahmeshwar, who is a form of Lord Shiva. The 60-feet tall temple was the first to exhibit iron beams in construction and splendid iconography of dancers and musicians on the walls. The porch features carved ceiling with lotus, while the walls have motifs of lion head in abundance. There are also carvings of voluptuous damsels and erotic couples. The exterior is adorned with sculptures of gods and goddesses, animals and birds, religions scenes, and tantric-like images.
3# Mukteshwar Temple
Mukteshwar Temple is one of the most compact and smallest temples in Bhubaneswar, but is renowned for its imposing ceiling that is adorned with eight-petal lotus in the porch, and astounding stone archway. It was for the first time that carved images appeared in temple architecture, exhibiting beautiful lion-head motifs. “Mukteshwar” means “Lord who gives freedom through Yoga.” The temple features sculptures and images of figures from Hindu mythology, ascetics in different mediation poses, Jain munis, and folk tales from Panchatantra. The temple is also famous for Mukteshwar Dance Temple held in the month of January every year.
4# Parasurameswar Temple
The small but luxuriantly designed temple was built during 7th century and is one of the oldest in Bhubaneswar. The temple exhibits marvellous architectural artwork. The main entrance of Jagmohana features carvings of domestic elephants capturing the wild ones. The outer walls display sculptures, scenes and shrines from Hindu mythology. You will find four-armed Ganesha seated on his simhasana, with a parasu (hatchet) in upper left hand and his trunk touching a bowl of laddus in lower left hand. The lintel illustrates marriage of Shiva-Parvati; to the right is Agni; a kneeling figurine of Lord Brahma; and Surya. Lord Karttikeya is found perched on his peacock, with a fruit in the right hand and spear in the left hand.Being one of the oldest temples with great heritage value this temple is surely one amongst the 5 Must See Temples in Bhubaneswar.
5# Rajarani Temple
Built during 10th century A.D, the Rajarani Temple is unique in the way that it was constructed as a pleasure resort of an Oriya king and his queen. There is no presiding deity in this temple. The temple also got the name from a unique selection of sandstone used to build it. The temple carvings are beautiful and ornate, exhibiting umpteen erotic sculptures. Another striking feature is a range of smaller carved spires on the main spire. The temple ground is spaciously built and maintained, and is a perfect place to relax. The Rajarani Music Festival, held during January, shouldn’t be missed.Due to the ornate carvings and erotic sculptures we have listed Rajarani Temple as one of the 5 Must See Temples in Bhubaneswar.