Raj Rani Temple
Welcome to Bhubaneswar,
Bhubaneswar is the capital city of the Indian state of Orrisa. Historically Bhubaneswar has been known by different names such as Toshali, Kalinga Nagari, Mandira Malini Nagari etc. Bhubaneswar today is a center of economic and religious importance in the region. It is often referred to as a Temple City of India. The city is surrounded by dense canopy of forests, picturesque Chandaka and the Nandankanan; this along with an abundance of greenery and an efficient civic body makes it one of the cleanest and greenest city of India today. The present modern city of Bhubaneswar was established in 1946 which is designed by the world renowned German architect Otto Konigsberger.
The grand city is renowned for its temples as well as applique work of Pipli, Ikat sarees, cane furniture and Bidri-ware. Art is an integral part of the city life from time immemorial, the world renowned Odissi dance form has originated in this city. The city houses more than 500 temples, including the world famous temples like Lingaraj Temple, Mukteswar Temple, Bindu Sagar, Shatrughaneswar Temple, Vaital Temple, Parashurameswar Temple etc.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple is one of the few Vaishnavite temples in Bhubaneswar. Dating back to the 13th century, to the period of Chandrika, the daughter of Anangabhima III, during the reign of the king Bhanudeva, it enshrines images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. It is located on the eastern bank of the Bindu Sarovar Lake. It is positioned in a walled compound along with abundant structures. Balarama stands under a seven-hooded serpent, while Krishna holds a sword of state and a conch.
The Rock Edicts found here include Nos. I-X, XIV and two separate Kalinga Edicts. In Kalinga Edict VI, he expresses his concern for the "welfare of the whole world". The rock-cut elephant above the Edicts is the earliest Buddhist sculpture of Odisha. The stone elephant shows the animal foreparts only, though it has fine sense of form and movement. It has another significance, which is related to earth in form of an elephant, and to that extent, elephant probably represented the Buddha to devotees.
AtriSituated amidst greenery and famous for the hot sulphur water spring, Atri, 42 km. from Bhubaneswar and 14 km. from Khurda, is also a holy place with the shrine of Hatakeswar. A bath in the spring water is reputed to cure skin diseases apart from being a pleasant experience.
It is said that Lord Shiva established this tank as a place of pilgrimage by bringing water from all the holy places. Taking bath here and drinking the water of this lake is said to cure any disease of the stomach. Lord Chaitanya took bath in this lake when He first came from Bengal to Puri. It is located right next to the Lingaraja Temple.
A pilgrimage to Bhubaneswar is supposed to start with a bath here. On the eastern bank is the `Ananta Vasudeva` temple , which is dedicated to Krishna and Balarama.The Lingaraja deity is brought to the pavilion in the middle of the tank and ritually bathed during the annual Car festival (`Ashokastami `). The best time to come here is around sunrise.
Brahmeswara Temple, an ancient temple assumed to be built in the 11th century, placed in a ground close to Bhubaneswar town surrounded by four smaller shrines. The main deity is a Shivaling, idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Shiva in his fierce form are also placed in the sanctum.
Brahmeswara Temple, constructed in Orisaa architectural style, is renowned for its artistic sculptures, especially for the sculptures in the tower and porch of the temple. Tantric related images are also placed inside this temple. The temple exterior walls are decorated with the carvings and figures of various Hindu gods and goddesses, religious scenes and some birds and animals. The temple has many regular visitors and is a nice religious destination for tourists.
It is a seaside resort with one of the finest beaches in Bhubaneswar(16 Km away). Go for an exclusive applique work at Pipli -29 km, a small village famous for its traditional art form originally made for the temple Gods.
Not more than one hour's drive, south-west of Puri, is the Chilka lake, noted for the many migratory birds which flock here each December-January. Known as the Honeymoon Island or Breakfast Island, this 1,100 sq. km shallow lake is Asia's largest salt water lagoon and is separated from the sea only by a narrow sand bar. The lake is peppered with many small rocky islands and is a vast reserve for aquatic flora and fauna. It is also a premier training establishment for sailors of the Indian Navy. After recruitment, all sailors undergo their basic naval training here for about 6 months before they branch off into various trades for specialized training.
This part-salty and part-fresh water lake attracts around 150 species of migratory birds every year during winter and hence is a bird-watcher's paradise. This natural habitat of varied species of flora, harbours the 'aquatic vegetation' of its own by providing refuge to many extinct species. The dunes and sandy areas of the beaches by the lake have the floral composition of their own, favoured in the conditions they offer. Enjoy delicious sea food preparations in patta (leaf plates), here in Chilka. Satiate your taste buds with fresh Tiger Prawns, Red Crabs and other fish delicacies in food stalls set up by the locals.
Dhauli Hills are located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Odisha (India). It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought.
Located near the exhibition ground, this Haat ( Market place) is a hub for tourists who are interested to get some stuff with Oriya touch along with their unforgettable memoirs. Ekamra Haat is aesthetically designed to create a relaxed ambiance to browse through ethnic handlooms and handicrafts from all over the country. The walls are embellished with attractive terracotta sculptures and vibrant folk paintings. Stalls display marvellous array of artifacts created by the tribes whereas food stalls offer excellent traditional delicacies like Chhenna poda, Chakuli pitha and Mutton curry. The Haat also has an amphitheatre where folk and tribal dances are held.
By the side of the main road, a few metres to the north of the Lingaraja temple , is the Gauri-Sankara-Ganesa shrine, half-buried under the age-long accumulation of debris, raising the road-level nearly to the height of its bada. A narrow flight of steps gives access to the temple, which consists of the deul only.
As in the case of the Mohini temple, its carvings were left incomplete. The crowning member, consisting of a cylindrical object, octagonal below and round above, over the `Khapuri` is partially preserved, and we have here three `Bhumi-Varandis` instead of the usual four.
A large collection of Odishan handicrafts, among them stone sculpture, patta paintings, brass castings, horn toys and silver filigree are worth seing.
The ISKCON Temple, with deities of Krishna, Blaram, Gaura Nithai, Subhadra and Jagannath, is located in the heart of the Bhubaneswar city. ISKCON movement is very prominent in Bhubaneswar with activities surrounding over two ISKCON centers, one in the Swarga Dwara area, and the other in the outskirts of the city. For the devotees of Krishna and Radha, the Universal symbol of love, a new Radha-Krishna temple is constructed nearby to ISKCON temple. Daily Bhajans and Poojas are offered in this ISKCON temple.
Lingaraj Temple is a temple of the Hindu god Shiva and is one of the oldest temples of the Temple City Bhubaneswar, a revered pilgrimage center and the capital of the state of Odisha. The temple of Lingaraja, the biggest of all at Bhubaneswar is located within a spacious compound wall of latterite measuring 520 feet by 465 feet. The wall is 7 feet 6 inches thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall there runs a terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside aggression.
The temple of Lingaraja is by far the most notable monument of Bhubaneswar. Rising to a height of about one hundred and eighty feet and dominating the entire landscape it represents the quintessence of the Kalinga type of architecture and the culminating result of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. This temple has actually four parts: the main temple, the Yajna Shala, the Bhoga Mandap and finally the Natya Shala. This temple has images of both Shiva and Vishnu. Vishnu is actually present as Shaligram idol. The Shiva idol are surrounding the Vishnu (Shaligram) idol. Even the temple on the top has got no trishula (trident - the weapon of Shiva) and even Chakra (discus - weapon of Lord Vishnu). It has only Lord Rama's arrow symbol, probably because Lord Rama was a worshipper of Lord Shiva.
Standing to a height of about 9.45m. On the south-bank of Bindu-Sarovara, it is, in its architectural features, a close analogue to the Parasuramesvara temple . Its carvings, however, were left unfinished. The damaged jagamohana has been restored recently. All the images of Parsva-Devatas- Parvati, Kartikeya and Ganesa- are in situ.
Mukteswara Temple, a 10th century old monument, a real specimen of ancient and modern Kalinga School of architecture, blended perfectly in construction. The temple is located in the heart of Bhubaneswar city.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its beautiful carvings and exquisite sculptural works. The complicated carvings in the temple walls and halls show a mixture of artistic styles of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist. The temple is credited with a richly adorned stone arch at the entrance; an architectural marvel in the ancient past. The temple is a massive structure of 35 ft high and is a marvel in sandstone. The temple walls are decorated with legendary stories from the Panchatantra and sculptural designs of many animals including elephants, lions and monkeys. This is a nice religious destination to visit and offer prayers and also to see the ancient Oriyan architectural styles.
Nandankanan Zoo, located in the midst of greenish environment of Chandaka Forest, has credited with some rare species of animals. Nandankanan is composed of a botanical Garden, a sanctuary and a zoo and is in the shore of picturesque Kanjia Lake. Nandankanan, literally means Garden of Heaven, was established during 1960 and declared open as a sanctuary and zoo in 1979. The spectacular animals in the zoo include the rare species of white tigers. The zoo is also a home to the Captive Gharial Crocodile breeding center, first in the country. The sanctuary is habitat to many rare and endangered species of wild animals such as, lion-tailed macaque, black panthers and many other types of animals. Facilities for boating and forest safaris are available in this zoo. July to October is good for visit in this zoo.
The sanctuary has been so named because of its exquisite beauty and alluring serenity. It serves as the natural habitat of a number of animals, ranging from the rare white tigers, reptiles and snakes to distinctive kinds of birds. Even for kids, this place is very enjoyable. They can take a joy ride in the toy train that runs here. For the elders, there are boating facilities at the lake. The whole atmosphere of the Nandankanan National Park is so serene that it completely rejuvenates the mind as well as the soul. Apart from the beautiful White Tigers, one can also find other wild animals in the Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary. These include Asiatic Lion, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Indian Pangolin and Mouse Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Rhesus Macaque, Black Buck, etc.
Exhibiting a rich and invaluable collection of archaeological objects, art and craft objects, natural history objects, Bronze Age tools and stone sculptures, Odisha State Museum offers a memorable visit for nay of its visitors. The museum was established in 1948 and show cases many other items also, like bronze images, traditional and folk musical instruments, coins, copper plates, prehistoric objects, ethnological objects and armory.
Odisha State Museum is well known and famed to glory its huge collection of manuscripts on palm-leaves. A palm leaf manuscript of 12th century devotional poem Gita Govinda is available in this museum. The museum is open for public on all days except Mondays and public holidays. Timing 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Parashurameswar Temple, a small but marvelously decorated shrine of Lord Shiva, is assumed to be one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar and is constructed in 650 A. D. The temple is a specimen of the architectural styles of Oriyan temples. The temple has verdant sculptures of animals, amorous couples and floral designs. The outer walis adorned with beautiful carvings of Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Muruga and other Hindu Gods. There are also many beautiful carvings depicting Puranic stories.
The spectacular identity and uniqueness of the temple is the "One thousand Lingas" placed in the North West corner of the temple. This temple is believed to have one of the important Shiva temple and many number of devotes visit here regularly. This is a recommended tourist spot to those who have a naive leniency towards the ancient sculptures and architectural styles.
Lying approximately 29 km from Bhubaneswar, Pipli is a small village that is famous as a centre for applique work. A visit to the village can bring you very close to the culture of Odisha. Colorful canopies, blooming gardens, bright beach umbrellas, shoulder and handbags, etc are some of the things you can shop for, when in Pipli.
Raj Rani Temple, an 11th century ancient temple, is spectacular with the unique feature of the absence of presiding deity. The temple is built with red gold sandstones known as rajrani locally and hence the name of the temple Raj Rani Temple. No pujas are offered here.
The temple is famous for its architectural marvel; superbly elaborated temple tower is renowned for the artistic spires. Spotted with stylish and dynamically animated sculptures, the temple has beautiful carvings and figures of females in passionate forms, or occupied in actions such as looking in mirrors, holding children and playing with birds. The temple encloses verdant sculptures of Shiva, Kubera, Vayu, Varuna, Nirriti, Yama, Agni and Indra. Raj Rani temple is famous for the striking ornate sanctum with walls and pillars ornamented with stunning nymphs, lions, elephants and amorous couples. It also has the figures of various postures and forms of Yama, the god of death. This is a nice place to view the verdant beauty of ancient sculptures.
The Svarnajaleswar Temple is situated a little south of Parsurameswar Temple and consists of fine-looking depictions from the epic Ramayana. Standing on the road from the Lingaraj to the Kedargouri temple, the Svarnajaleswar Temple is now being reconstructed, after being scaled down to ruins. The evidences that connect with the Parsurameswar are that the cult images in both consist of specific characteristics and that both possess close architectural affinities. It bears on the joist of its northern niche, a scene of Lord Siva`s marriage, which can be considered as a replica of a similar scene carved on the joist of the eastern niche of the Parsurameswar. The Swarnajaleswar like all the early temples also bears several scenes from Ramayana and The Mahabharata in a buried panel running round the Vimana and creating the transition between the Vada and the Sikhara.
Tribal Museum in Bhubaneswar is a much sought place by enthusiast tourists with interest in tribal life styles and cultures. Tribal Museum, located in the back side of the Jagannath Temple at Koraput in Odisha, showcases a good collection of stone sculptures, metal objects and images, wooden objects, anthropological objects, jewelry, textiles and terracotta. A small informative library and a small but elegant zoo are also operated inside the museum. The museum functions on all days except for the National holidays and the visiting time is from 10 00 hrs to 17 00 hrs.
Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance near the city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India. The caves are situated on two hills Udayagiri and Khandagiri, mentioned as Kumari Parvat in Hathigumpha inscription and face each other across the road. They have a number of finely and ornately carved caves. It is believed that most of these caves were carved out huge residential blocks for the Jain monks, during the reign of King Kharavela. Udayagiri meaning Sunrise Hill, has 18 caves while Khandagiri has 15 caves.
The caves of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, called lena in the inscriptions, were dug out mostly during the reign of Kharavela for the abode of Jaina ascetics. The most important of this group is Ranigumpha in Udayagiri which is a double storeyed monastery. In Udayagiri, Hathigumpha (cave 14) and Ganeshagumpha (cave 10) are especially well known due to art treasures of their sculptures and reliefs as well as due to their historical importance. Rani ka Naur (Queen's Palace cave, cave 1) is also an extensively carved cave and elaborately embellished with sculptural friezes. Khandagiri offers a fine view back over Bhubaneswar from its summit. The Ananta cave (cave 3) depicts carved figures of women, elephants, athletes, and geese carrying flowers.
This temple, on the north bank of Bindu-Sarovara, consisting of the deul and jagamohana of the Parasuramesvara type, has its superstructure above the first `Bhumi-Amla` plastered in the course of repairs and restorations. Of the images of Parsva-Devatas, Kartikeya presents an interesting variation. Noted for the plasticity of modelling, the deity stands without his mount, holding in his left hand a long spear, his right hand akimbo.
Vaital Deul Temple, situated near Bindu Sarovar, is a Tantric temple constructed during the eight century. The temple belongs to an offshoot of Kalinga School, the Khakhara order. The main deity is Chamunda, the Tantric form of Goddess Durga. Chamundi Devi is depicted with bright red tounge which is protruded out and wearing a necklace with skulls adorning it.
Vaital Temple is renowned for its striking feature of the deul, means tower, with rectangular shape and also for the sculptural beautification of the temple walls and tower. The temple is believed to be the major center for Tantric worship and training. The temple showcases a style of worshipping with a mix of elements from particular sects of Buddhism and Hinduism.
The entrance is decorated with a four-faced linga with remarkable carvings. The image of Surya God flanked by his sisters Usha and Pratyusha is placed on the eastern face of the tower. An image of third Pandava, Arjuna, driving his chariot is also seen on the tower. The temple is appreciated for its sculpture and architectures. Many devotees also visit here to offer prayers.
The city of Hirapur lies almost 15 km from Bhubaneshwar. It is known for its Hypaethral temple of sixty four Yoginis, which dates back to as far back as the 11th century. This temple is second of its kind in Odisha and fourth of its kind in India.
- Sisupalgarh, Hirapur etc.