Sunday, January 13, 2008


Orissa is a treasure trove of monuments. Its Temples are built in the Lndo-Aryan Nagara style of architecture, with distactive features specific to the region. They usually consist of a sanctiom, one or several front porches, usally with pyramidal roofs, a dancing hall and a of offerings. The Golden Triangle of Orissa comprising Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark attracts millions of devotees and tourists alike. However, there are hundreds of lesser known Temples in Orissa, each with its own history and rich traditions.

Bhubaneswar, The capital city of Orissa, is a city of Temples. Built over several centuries, many of these V have architectural significance too. The thousand-year-old Lingaraj Temples, is one of the best examples of the Orissa style of Temples building. Located in a specious courtyard covering over 2,50,000 sq.ft, the Temples is bouded by fortified walls. The elaborately carved tower is 180 feet high. The Bhagwati Temples is located in the northwest corner of the courtyard. Thesre are several other shrines and Temples in the courtyard. The 10th century Mukteshwara Temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is considered to be the gem of Orissa’s architecture. Although it is a small shrine, literally every inch of its surface is carved. This Temple has also been described as a dream realized in sandstone. Located on the eastern bank of the Bindu Sagar Lake, the Anantha Vasudeva Temple is one of the few Vaishnavaite Temple in Bhubaneshwar. The Temple enshrines images of Lord Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. Other important Temples in Bhubaneshwar are the Parasurameswara Temple, Raja Rani, Kedareshwar and Siddeshwara.

Puri, is a Venerated pilgrim centre, enshrining Krishna- Jagannath in a colossal Temple. Also enshrined here are images of Balarama and Subhadra, the brother and sister of Lord Krishna. The vast Temple complex is spread across more that 4,00,000 sq ft. A 20 feet high ortified wall encloses the complex which houses about 120 shrines and Temple. The shikara of the Jagannath Temple towers to a height of 192 feet. The Rath Yatra during June-July is a spectacular festival, involving the procession of three colossal chariots bearing the three deities, through the streets of Puri.

The magnificent Sun Temple at Konark, endorses the genius of the architects who envisioned and built it. Also known as the black pagoda, this is one of the grandest Temple of India. The entire Temple has been conceived as a Chariot of the Sun God, with 24 Wheels, with spokes and elaborate carvings. The Temple is pulled by seven horses and two elephant-crushing lions guard the entrance. Even in its ruined state, the Sun Temple is truly awe-inspiring.

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