For quite a long time, India has been the world’s best tourist attraction site because of the rich history it preserves. So, if you are planning to take your next vacation to India, you should consider visiting Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha. Hindu believers can find this city is fascinating, and the name “temple city” is not in vain because there are so many temples in Bhubaneswar.
The nickname earned because of the 700 temples that once stood here. It still has a group of beautiful temples, which are practically a complete record of Kaling architecture from almost its origin to the culmination.
Bhubaneswar is a name that was derived from the word TriBhubaneswar (also known as God of three worlds), which was another name given to Lord Shiva. Ancient Hindu scriptures say that Bhubaneswar was one of Lord Shiva’s favourite places where he enjoyed spending time under a huge mango tree. Many temples in Bhubaneshwar were built between the 8th and 12th centuries AD when Shaivism (worship of Lord Shiva) dominated the religious scene.
Most of the temples in Odisha and Bhubaneswar are of an architectural design that’s a sub-style of the Nagara-style of north Indian temples. This design is predominantly associated with Shiva, Surya, and Vishnu temples.
Along with the old city, today’s Bhubaneswar is often illustrated as Ekamra Khetra (Temple City).
Although the modern city of Bhubaneswar was formally established only in 1948, the history of the areas in and around the town dates back to the 3rd century BCE and earlier. It is a confluence of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain heritage, boasting some of the finest Kalingan temples.
Choosing Bhubaneswar as your next destination will grant you a chance to step back in history and see the unique architectural structures erected way back in the 8th and 12th centuries and even beyond.
Below are the top temples in Bhubaneswar for temple-hopping for every traveller seeking divine blessings of majestic Hindu deities!
Exploring all of Bhubaneswar temples calls for a luxury of time, and if there is not enough of it handy, these temples listed here make for a must-visit to get an understanding of the architectural richness of the city.
7. Parasurameswara Temple
Parasurameswara Temple is the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar. Based on the preserved records, the temple was constructed during the Shailodbhava Dynasty rule in the 7th Century AD. Eight planetary deities rest above the sanctum door, and despite its smaller size, it usually gets crowded at times.
6. Brahmeshwar Temple
Brahmeshwar temple was constructed in the 11th Century AD to honour Brahmeshwar. It’s 60ft in height and with iron beams. The walls have been decorated by dancers, musicians, voluptuous damsels, and erotic couples. Figures of religious scenes, gods and goddesses, birds, and animals are used to trim the Brahmeshwar temple’s exterior. Apart from Shiva, other deities have been pictured but in their most frightening forms.
5. Brahma Temple
This temple is located in the eastern embankment of the Bindusara River was built in the 15th century and represents the historical visit of Lord Brahma to this holy place for the coronation of the mighty Lingaraj Deva. This incredible temple embodies the “iconic” architectural style of Kalinga. The foundations of this temple were laid by the rulers of Gajapati, who ruled there during the 15th century. The temple represents the eternal incarnation of the black chlorite of Lord Brahmā, which is the best attraction of this historical temple.
The enchanting sight of Lord Brahmā holding Veda and water vessel in upper two hands and rosary, Abhaya mudra in lower two hands is undoubtedly an incomparable experience! A visit to Lingaraj Temple is incomplete without visiting this temple and Ananta Vasudeva Temple. Visit this temple in Bhubaneswar at night when experts worship Lord Brahmā in all his glory.
4. Ananta Vasudeva Temple
Ananta Vasudeva temple is among the few temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. This is the only temple where the idol of Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra are made by Stone, otherwise other temple has wooden idols. Queen Chandrikadevi of Eastern Ganga (Chodaganga Dynasty) constructed this temple during the 13th Century AD to honour her husband who perished on the battlefield. It’s found alongside the lake behind Lingaraj temple.
Among things to see in Ananta Vasudeva Temple is the massive kitchen that makes food for thousands of believers every day. The vegetarian food is prepared on pots over firewood stoves, and the taste is so delicious. There is no limitation to non-Hindu in this temple, and you can walk freely and see as they make the food in the kitchen. However, Aitiha offer guided tours.
3. Rajarani Temple
It is one of the most famous temples in Bhubaneswar with a rich history. The name of this table was derived from the type of sandstone used while constructing it. Some stories say Odia king (raja) and queen (rani) used this temple as a resort back in the 10th Century AD when it was constructed. Additionally, the spire has smaller carved spires. The temple ground is very calm and attractive; thus, you can relax and watch the birds flying high in the sky. Furthermore, the Archeological Survey of India demands an entrance fee of Rs. 300 (foreigners) and Rs. 25 (Indians). However, kids under 15 years enjoy free entrance. You can visit in January if you want to catch the Rajarani Music Festival Show.
2. Mukteshwar Temple
The temple was constructed way back in the 10th Century AD. Despite being the most miniature temple in Bhubaneshwar, it’s usually the most compact of all. It’s a 34-ft tall structure with lion and motif carved images as well as an exquisite stone archway. Every year in mid-January, Mukteshwar Dance Festival is usually held on the temple grounds. So, if you visit during this time of the year, never miss the occasion. Ascetics are available in different meditation poses on Mukteshwar Temple. Feel the aura of the Mukteshwar Dance Festival and cherish your life.
1. Lingaraj Temple
Lingaraj Temple was constructed in the 11th century AD, and it depicts the evolution of architecture in Bhubaneshwar. It has a 180-ft tall spire, and the interior has over 64 smaller shrines and a sprawling temple complex. The walls are decorated with dancing girls, musicians, hunters, kings & queens, and gods and goddesses.
The only shortcoming of visiting Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar is that non-Hindu believers can’t enter the temple complex, but you may see it from far. However, you can get a better view on the right side of the temple’s main entrance. Warning! Don’t be too cool to donate money to anyone because the funds may not reach the temple.
So, these are the 7 most famous temples in Bhubaneswar. While planning a visit to Bhubaneswar, keep these temples in mind and refresh your mind by praying for loved ones.