November 30, 2015

Shatrughanesvara Temple - Bhubaneswar

Site Name: Shatrughanesvara Temple 
Site Type: Hindu ancient temple
Location:   Bhubaneswar city, Odisha state, India
Highlights: Architecturally beautiful ancient temple
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 called as Ekamara Kshetra as it has so many Shiva temples. Let us explore an ancient and little known temple named Shatrughanesvara temple in this article.


Location:

Shatrughanesvara temple is located at a distance of around 2 kms from Lingaraja temple. It is located on the right side of the road leading from Kalpana square to Lingaraja temple. It is one of the three temples located in the same complex. It is located opposite to Ramesvara temple. 

Introduction:

Shatrughanesvara temple is one of the very ancient temples in Bhubaneswar. There are three temples located in the same complex and they are all located opposite to Ramesvara temple. The other temples that are located in the complex apart from Shatrughanesvara temple are Lakshmanesvara temple and Bharatesvara temple.

Legend:

As per the legend, after winning over the demon Ravan, Ram and Sita were back to Ayodhya. The sage Vashishta asked Ram to worship Shiva. Ram chose Bhubaneswar for the same. He installed one Shiva Linga, which is present in the form of Ramesvara. His brothers Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughna also installed Shiva Linga idols in a row opposite to the one installed by Ram. Later, three temples were built for those deities and were named after who installed the Linga as Lakshmanesvara, Bharatesvara and Shatrughnaesvara.

History:

The temple was built by the Sailodbhavas in the later part of 6th century CE. This temple is an example earliest Kalingan temple architecture style.

Temple Layout:

The west facing Shatrughanesvara temple is the third temple in the Lakshmanesvara group of temples. It is located in the southern most corner in the premises.

Few years ago, all the three temple were just a heap of rubble. All the temples were renovated by the State Archaeology Department. Although Shatrughanesvara temple was restored with modern materials mostly, it is the most complete temple among all the three temples. Hence, it gives us an idea about the decorative features of these earliest Kalingan temples. 

The temple is a living temple enshrining Shiva Linga idol with Nandi idol facing towards the deity. The temple is tri ratha by plan and trianga bada in elevation. It has a rekha vimana.

This is the most beautiful temple in the complex as comparatively it has the original architecture features. 

The doorjambs have the design works and the dwara pala images. The lintel does not have Lakshmi or Navagraha panel like other temples. Instead, the panel depicting the scene of Shiva and Parvati seated and accompanied by Ganas, Nandi and female attendants is found there.  

The front side of the Vimana has the sculpture of Ravana trying to lift Kailasa mountain where Shiva and Parvati are seated. Ganesha, Kartikeya and other Ganas are also found along with the divine couple.

Above the sculptures of Ravana Anugraha Murti and others, a sculpture of Nataraja is found in the front side of Vimana. 

The other sides of Vimana have many sculptures and designs such as Lakulisa, Nataraja along with a cute tiny Kartikeya on peacock, rare dancing Ardhanareeswara, Ganesha, marriage scene of Parvati and Shiva, Linga pooja by devotees, royal procession, fighting scenes, amorous couples, hamsa motif, makara motif, etc. 

Only Kartikeya is found as the niche image and the other niches are empty without any idols.

Happy travelling.





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