Lingaraja Temple is the most famous ancient Hindu temple of Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. It is a very big temple complex where Harihara is the main deity of the temple. Harihara is a combine form of God Shiva and Vishnu also called Tribhubaneswara ( Lord of three world). The temple city ‘Bhubaneswar’ has approx 2000 small and big temples. Most of these temples are in abandoned state and not in use of worship. But Lingaraja Temple is the most sacred and significant among all, it is also largest of all. You can say it is a master piece of Kalinga architecture. Approx, 6000 devotee visit this temple every day and number of visitors gets increase manifold on festivals.
History of Lingaraja Temple
This temple was built in the early 11th century during the period of East Ganga dynasty those are inclined to Vaishnavism. In the later period they constructed Jagannath Temple in coastal city Puri. Some part of this temple constructed during 7th century by Yayati, king of Somavansi dynasty. This temple complex covers a large area and bounded by thick and high walls. So, until you get inside the temple it’s hard to guess the largeness of the temple. This temple built in Deula style having Vimana (main sanctum), Jagamohana (assembly hall), Natamandira (festival hall) and Bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings). The big gate at the main entrance made from sandalwood. As you enter the temple premises the very first thing draw your attention is people embracing a stone pillar in front of main temple for fulfilling of their wishes.
The height of main tower of temple is 55 meter and there are 4 lions sculpture on it looking in all four directions. You can also find some elements inspired from Khajuraho temples, the beast and Apsaras. Temple’s wall is full of beautiful sculptures; some of them are depicting eroticism. There is big gallery that connects all four parts of temple. In the main sanctum you see a big Lingam and its base having a dia of 2 meters and many priests offering flowers and pouring milk to the lingam (Mahasnan)
The main temple lies in the middle and other shrine/ smaller temples are in surrounding. There are around 50 shrines in the complex like Parvati, Ganesha, Narshimha, Baijnath and even Yamraj Temple. There is a tree in the complex near Yamraj temple, on which lakhs of red bangles are hanging as a sign of pray. In all of these smaller temples you find a lingam and snake idol around it. Some of the temples are in their ruin state; upper portion of some temples broken down may be due to attack of outside invaders. These temples plunder several times throughout the history.
This temple is managed collectively by Temple trust and Archaeological Survey of India. There is tight security at the temple entrance and mobile/camera and leather goods like Shoes, purse or belt are not allow inside. All items you can deposit including your luggage to the counter on chargeable basis (Every individual item charge separately).
How to reach Lingaraja Temple
Lingaraja temple lies in the older part of the city around 4 km from Bhubaneswar rail Junction and 9 Km from Bhubaneswar airport
Air: There is a airport in the city itself that is well connected to other major Indian cities.
Rail: Bhubaneswar junction is major railhead itself and very near to the temple. Numerous trains passing through Bhubaneswar on Howrah to Puri or Howrah to South India route.
Road: The city also have regular connectivity with other city of Odisha via AC/ Non-AC Buses. Luxury buses are also in service from Kolkata and other important south Indian city.
Local Transport: For the local transport you can book Auto rickshaw that will check your bargaining experience. Batter you go with Ola Cab, they have very good and economical service in the city.
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