October 4, 2014


Site Name: Bhubaneswar
Site Type: Hindu religious city; heritage city
Location:  Odisha state, India
Highlights: City of Temples
Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar
Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options including low cost hotels/ashrams and free accommodations
Restaurants: Varieties of options 

Bhubaneswar aka Bhubaneshwar is the capital city of Odisha (called as Orissa earlier) state of India. It has numerous architecturally beautiful temples and is also referred as the 'City of Temples'. Along with Puri and Konark, this city is called as 'Swarna Tribuja' (Golden Triangle). Let us explore the important tourist sites of this historical Kalinga city in this article.

Lingaraja Temple:

Lingaraja Temple is the most prominent as well as the biggest temple in Bhubaneswar. The main deity of the temple is Lord Shiva called as Lingaraja. He has other names such as Kirtivasa, Harihara and Tribhuvaneshwara. 

The east facing gigantic temple has more than 150 shrines. The temple representing the Kalinga architecture has a central tower of 180 feet high. The temple was built as per the Deula style which has four components namely vimana, jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga mandapa.

Although it is believed that the original temple of Lingaraja was built in the 6th century CE, the current structure of the temple was built in the end of 11th century CE by the Samavanshi King Jajati Keshari. 

The site is also called as the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraja was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra). It is believed that the Shiva Linga was not seen as Linga in Satya and Treta Yugas. Only during the Dwapara Yuga it emerged as a Shiva Linga. It is a natural (swayambhu) unshaped stone idol. With the advent of the Ganga dynasty in the 12th century CE, a lot of Vaishnaivite shrines were installed in the temple. It is believed that even the main deity was named as Harihara, which means a form of Vishnu and Shiva, during this period only.

The shrine of Parvati aka Bhubaneswari was built in the 13th century CE by the Ganga Kings.

Some of the most attractive idols which are very big in size include Narasimha, Ganesha, Subramanya, Yama and Savitri.

There are so many intricate sculptures all over the temple walls.

Rajarani Temple:

Rajarani temple is located amidst a beautiful garden. The temple which was built as per the Kalinga Pancharatha architectural style has no deity. Originally, the temple was called as Indreswara temple. It is also referred as the temple of love thanks to numerous erotic sculptures found here. The temple which was constructed in the 11th century CE has so many intricate sculptures on the walls and vimana.

Muktesvara Temple:

Muktesvara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The west facing architecturally beautiful temple was built by Somavanshi kings in the 10th century CE. The temple is so unique and artistically beautiful that it is being referred as the 'Gem of Orissa architecture'. The highlight of the temple is torana (the arch) in front of the temple which cannot be found anywhere else. It is older than the temple and is unique. 

Siddheswara Temple:

Siddheswara Temple belongs to 10th century CE and it is located near Muktesvara temple.

Kedar Gauri Temple:

Near Muktesvara temple, the 10th century CE Kedar Gauri temple is located. Unfortunately, due to maintenance and repainting works done, one would not get the antique feel in this temple.

Parasurameshwar Temple:

Parasurameshwar Temple was built in 650 CE and it is one of the most beautiful temples of Bhubaneswar. 

Ananta Vasudeva Temple:

Ananta Vasudeva Temple was built in the 12th century CE. Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra are the main deities of this temple.

Brahmeshwara Temple:

Brahmaeshwara temple is located in the middle of a big beautiful park. It was built in 1050 CE..

Baitul Temple:

Baitul Temple is dedicated to Chamunda Devi. The temple is full of intricate sculptures including erotic figures. Once black magic and human sacrifice were performed in this temple.

Sisireshwara Temple:

Sisireshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located near Baitul temple. It was built in 800 CE.

Sakhi Gopal Temple:

Sakhi Gopal Temple is one of the important temples of Bhubaneshwar.


Bhubaneswar museum is a place which should not be missed by the travellers. It is equally heritage rich with a lot of ancient sculptures.


Dhauli is a hill located on the banks of the river Daya at around 8 kms from Bhubaneswar. The 3rd century BCE period Ashoka's rock edicts are found on the hills. The Emperor Ashoka had made Dhauli as a Buddhist site. A modern day Shanti Stupa is located here. The Buddha statues on all four sides found in the temple are the highlights. There is an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva named Dhauleshwar.

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves:

Udayagiri and Khandagiri are two adjacent hills located near Bhubaneswar. A lot of partly natural and partly artificial caves with  religious and archaeologically importance are found here. Udayagiri has 18 caves and Khandagiri has 15 caves. Most of them were carved during the period of the Kalinga Kinga Kharavela. The elephant cave, tiger cave, Ganesha cave and the two storeyed Rani cave are some important caves in Udayagiri. The Durga temple and the relief sculptures of 24 Jain Tirthangaras are the highlights of Khandagiri.

Happy travelling.

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