Amarnath Yatra


Pilgriamage Attractions of Bhuvaneshwar

Festivals The ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire, and now the capital of Orissa, Bhubaneswar's history goes back over 2000 years. "Bhubaneshwar" means the "abode of God" or "master of the universe" and it was also, once known as the 'Cathedral of the East', on account of the large number of shrines. At one time, over 7000 temples bordered the Bindu Sagar tank. Of these, 500 still survive, all built in the extravagant Oriya style. It is of these temples, that the great poet, Rabindranath Tagore had once said - 'At all places where the eye rests, and also at places where the eye does not rest, the busy chisel of the artist has worked incessantly. The abode of god has been enveloped by a variety of figures depicting the good and the evil, the great as well as the insignificant, the daily occurrences of human life....'

State : Orissa

Significance : Capital of Orissa

Related Links : Lingaraja Temple, Muktesvara Temple

How to Get there

There On the National Highway linking Kolkata (480 km) and Chennai (1225 km). Air links to Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Nagpur. Rail links to Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi (1745 km), Mumbai (1691 km).

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Most of the temples are located near the Bindu-sarovara Tank, which is about two km south of the city centre. Lingaraja and Vital Duel Temples are located west of the tank. Parasumaresvara and Muktesvara temples are east of the tank. The Rajrani and Brahmesvara Temples are a ten to fifteen-minutes walk east of the Muktesvara Temple.

Lingaraja Temple (11th century)

The presiding deity is the svayambhu linga, Hari-Hara Linga, which is half Shiva and half Vishnu. He is also named Tribhuvaneswara, the Lord of the three worlds. The linga of Lingaraja, or Krittivasas, is an uncarved block of granite 8 feet in diameter raised 8 inches above the ground. The Shiva linga is bathed daily with water, milk and bhang. There are many other deities in the temple. In the northeast corner of the temple there is a deity of Parvati.

Muktesvara Temple

Built in the 10th century; this small elegant temple has been described as the most exquisitely ornamented temple in Bhubaneswar. It has an 11m (35 feet) high tower. The sandstone carvings are the most notable feature of this temple. It is also known for its ornamental gateway, carved dwarves, and intricate motif carvings of a smiling lion, adorned with beaded tassels in its mouth. Muktesvara means the Lord who bestows freedom through yoga. The Siddeswara Temple is on the same grounds and has a Ganesh deity.

The small Marichi Kund, between the Mukesvara Temple and the road, is known to cure infertility in women. It is a pleasant place to sit for a while.

Parasurameswara Temple

This temple is the oldest Shiva temple in Bhubaneswar, built in the late 7th century. There are many intricate carvings on this temple. It is close to the Bhubaneswar to Puri road, on the east side of Bindu-sarovara, northeast of the Lingaraja temple. It is the best preserved and most impressive of Bhubaneswar's early temples. It has interesting carvings of elephant and horse processions and intricately carved windows. In the corner of the countryard is the Sahasra-linga, which are 1000 small lingas joined together.

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Raj Rani Temple

The Raj Rani Temple (11th century) is surrounded by a nice garden is no longer used for worship. This temple was dedicated to Lord Brahma and is known for its well-carved tower. It is about a km east of the main road. It is one of the later Bhubaneswar temples.

Around the temple are carvings of the eight dikpalas (temple guards), who protect the temple from the different directions. They are eight important demigods. They are Indra (east) the head of the demigods, Agni (southeast) god of fire, Yamaraja (south) god of death, Nirritti (southwest), Varuna(west) god of water, Vayu (northwest) god of air, Kubera(north) god of wealth, and Isana (northeast).

Brahmeshwara Temple

This temple was built around 1050 and is a Shiva-linga temple with active worship. It is known for its intricately carved sculptures. The main tower is over 18m high. It is about a km east of the main road, a good walk from the Raj Rani Temple. On the north wall of the porch is a carving of Laksmi.

Vaital Deul Temple

This interesting 8th century temple is dedicated to Chamunda (Kali). She wears a necklace of skulls and is shown as the eight-armed slayer of the buffalo demon. Her robes usually hide her necklace of skulls and the corpse she is sitting on. In her arms she holds a snake, a bow, a shield, a trident, a thunderbolt and an arrow with which she is piercing the neck of the demon, thus displaying the most terrifying aspect of the goddess Kali. This temple is close to Bindu Sagar, and it has some intricate exterior carvings. To get a good view of the temple's interior, a flashlight (torch) is needed.


The e beautifully built ISKCON temple (413-517) is located on National Highway No.5, Nayapali. The Deities in the temple are Krishna Balaram, Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra, and Gaura-Nitai. There is also a new Radha-Krishna temple. Srila Prabhupada laid the cornerstone for this temple in February 1977, and it was finished in 1992.

There is a small guesthouse here with rooms that have attached bathrooms. These rooms are not always available, but they are quite nice if you can get one. To stay here you have to follow the ashram rules. There is a fairly basic vegetarian restaurant here.

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The end of January is the time when the Tribal Fair comes around. February to March, Shivaratri is held at the Lingaraj Temple, Hakateswar Temple Atri and throughout Orissa.

Magha Saptami is held in January at Khandagiri outside Bhubaneshwar. At Ashok ashtami, during April/May, the idol of Lord Lingaraja is taken out in procession, part of a chariot festival.

Panashankanti (Fire-walking) takes place in various areas on the first day of Baisakh(14 April). In June/July, the impressive Rath Yatra takes place at Puri, Baripada and other parts of the state. Kali Puja, in October/November, the city is lit with lamps. Bali Yatra in October/November, a fair is held on the banks of the Mahanadi River in Cuttack.