July 9, 2015

Ananta Basudeva Temple - Bhubaneswar

Site Name: Ananta Basudeva Temple 
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Near Bindu Sagar tank, Bhubaneswar city, Odisha state, India
Highlights: A rare temple dedicated to Vishnu in the city of Shiva 
Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar
Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: There are many options across the city
Restaurants: Varieties of options

Bhubaneswar, which is the capital city of Odisha (formerly Orissa) state of India, is called as 'the City of Temples'. It once had around 3000 temples and even today hundreds of temples are located in every nook and corner of this heritage rich city. The city is known for Lord Shiva temples and is called as Ekamara Kshetra. There are even so many temples dedicated to Shakti. Let us explore about a rare Vishnu temple in the city of Shiva in this article.

Location:

Ananta Basudeva temple is located on the eastern banks of Bindu Sagar lake, which is a well known landmark in Bhubaneswar. In fact, the lonely Vaishnaivite temple of Bhubaneswar itself is a notable landmark in this city.

Introduction:

Ananta Basudeva temple is pronounced as Ananta Vasudeva temple in the other parts of India. The temple is dedicated to Krishna, his brother Balarama and his sister Subhadra. Ananta is another name of Balarama and Krishna is called as Basudeva (Vasudeva).

It is a notable temple as this is the only popular Vaishnaivite temple in this city, which is called as Ekamra Kshetra and has lot of temples dedicated to Shiva and Shakti.

History:

The temple was built in 1278 CE by Chandrika, daughter of the Gangas King Anaga Bhima III during the reign of her nephew Bhanu Deva I. There is a possibility that the site originally had an ancient temple of Vishnu before 13th century CE.


The nata mandapa and bhoga mandapa appear to be later additions to this temple.

In the 17th century CE, the Marathas also renovated the temple.

Architecture and Temple Layout:

The second biggest temple of Bhubaneswar is facing towards west direction. 

Most of the temples in Bhubaneswar have only garbha griha (sanctum santorum) and Jagmohana. However, this temple has nata mandapa and bhoga mandapa too.

The sanctum sanctorum has rekha type vimana. All other parts of the temple have pidha order. All the parts of the temple are pancha ratha on plan and pancha anga bada in elevation.


In the sanctum sanctorum, the idols of Balarama (Ananta), Krishna (Basudeva) and Subhadra are placed. This is similar to the popular Puri Jagannath temple. However, unlike the Puri temple where the deities are made up of wood, these deities are made of black granite stone. Krishna holds mace, discus, lotus and conch. Subhadra holds lotus and jewels pot and her left foot is placed over another jewel pot. Balarama stands under a seven hooded serpent. 

The temple is definitely one of the most beautiful temples in Bhubaneswar. The exterior walls are intricately designed. It is hard to find even a small portion of the wall which is not decorated. The scroll works, Naga stambhas, dancing girls, elephants, lions, khakharamundi designs, vyala motifs and mithuna images are found across all sides of the walls.

Culture:

The biggest kitchen of Bhubaneswar is present in this temple. The food prepared here is considered as holy (prasad). Even people of Bhubaneswar buy prasad from this temple for the functions and rituals at their home.

Happy travelling.

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