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10 Popular Temples to Visit in Odisha

With stunning architecture and historical significance, the state of Odisha in India is home to some of the most exotic ancient temples. This dreamy location has many historical tales binding it with myths and mysteries. Millions of tourists come here just to experience the warm hospitality of locals. You will be able to witness the sight of some of the most enigmatic monuments on this tour. From the magnificence of Konark Sun Temple to the mysteries of shadows in Jagannath Temple, the destination is worth a visit. The art and the carvings on the walls of these temples represent the rich culture and tradition of the Hindu religion in India. This article will discuss all the must-visit temples in Odisha.

Must Visit Popular Temples in Odisha

  • Lord Jagannath Temple
  • Konark Sun Temple
  • Lingaraja Temple
  • Mukteswar Temple
  • Rajarani Temple
  • Maa Samaleswari Temple
  • Brahmeswara Temple
  • Chausathi Yogini Temple
  • Ram Mandir
  • Taratarini Temple

Popular Odisha Tour Packages

Lord Jagannath Temple Puri

Lord Jagannath Temple Puri Odisha

The Jagannath temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in India. The temple is situated in the state of Odisha and is a great symbol of the Hindu religion in India. This Sacred and magnificent temple is home to many species of birds. If you are lucky enough you will be able to taste the food of Mahaprasad which is offered to thousands of people every day by the temple. There are many mysteries behind the origin of the temple. If you are planning to visit this monument, you will be able to witness the enigmatic sight of the flag flowing opposite the wind direction. It is recommended to wear appropriate clothes to this temple.

The temple was built during the Ganga Dynasty in the 12th century by king Anantavarman Chodaganga. If we talk about lord Jagannath, the topic itself is ambiguous. You will be able to see the mention of Lord Jagannath in many historical scriptures. The myths and history of the temple vary with different origins—Vaishnava and Vedic. The astonishing spiritual significance of the temple attracts millions of visitors every year. There is said to be a ritual where all the saints have to climb the highest point of the temple which is almost equal to the 45-story building to change the flag every day.

Visiting Timings: 5:00 AM to 11 PM

Also Read: Pilgrimage Tourism in Odisha

Konark Sun Temple

Sun Temple in Konark, Odisha

The Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to the sun God in the Hindu religion. You will be able to witness many scriptural carvings on the magnificent walls of the temple. The stunning interior of the temple will leave you standing in a daze. You will find many erotic carvings on the walls representing the depth of creativity of the Kalinga dynasty. This UNESCO World Heritage site is designed in such a way that the first rays of the sun fall directly on the sanctum of the temple.

The rituals performed by the saints of this temple include all the traditional elements of the Hindu religion. This ancient Temple is designed in the form of a chariot and the wheels can help you calculate the exact time as sundials.

The temple was built in the 13th century during the Eastern Ganga Dynasty by King Narasimha Deva I. If you are a Vedic reader you must have heard or seen the mention of Konark Temple as the holiest place to worship the Lord Sun. If this is not enough proof of the great significance of this holy temple, you can always see the structure of the sun chariot from this temple in an Indian 10 Rupee note which signifies the importance of this temple in Indian traditions.

Visiting Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Also Check Out: Complete Konark Tourism Information

Lingaraja Temple Bhubaneswar

Lingaraja Temple Odisha

Lingaraja temple is one of the largest temples in the whole State of Odisha. Dedicated to Lord Shiva this Ancient Temple is the most prominent tourist attraction in the state. This Temple represents the finest example of the Hindu religion in India. According to the legends, there is an underground river that fills the tank of the temple which is said to have healing water to cure any illness. There are many enticing carvings of the Gods and Goddesses on the outer walls of the temple. You will be able to witness more than 1000 Shivlings in the main courtyard. The place is full of spiritual energy and positivity.

The temple was constructed in the early 8th century and was named after the name of the avatar of Lord Shiva. According to the myths, there was a time when Maa Parvati was going to visit Bhubaneswar in a form of a cattle woman and was stalked by two demons, who were forcing her to marry them. Even after many refusals, they kept pursuing her, and at last Maa Parvati destroyed them. After this incident, Lord Shiva made a lake named ‘The Bindu Saras’ to reside in it for eternity. Thousands of devotees visit this temple to enjoy the Kalinga style of architecture here.

Visiting Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Also Check Out: Complete Bhubaneswar Tourism Information

Mukteswar Temple Bhubaneswar

Mukteswar Temple Odisha

Mukteshwar temple is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Odisha. The stunning architecture and enticing carvings on the walls will take you by the surprise. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, but you will be able to witness exotic idols of many other deities too. The elaborate decoration and the carvings on the pillars represent the new experiments of architecture during that time. This temple on the hilltop attracts thousands of devotees from all over the nation.

The temple was built in the 10th century by King Yayati I from the Somavamshi dynasty. This temple represents the changes in the Kalinga style in different phases. The stone stairs will take you to do bygone era of this temple. According to the legends, Lord Shiva killed a demon here and gave him Mukti and that’s why the location is called Mukteshwar today. A small trekking path will take you from all those beautiful fruit orchards and climbers around this temple.

Visiting Timings: 6:30 AM to 7:00 PM

Also Read: Heritage Tourism in Odisha

Rajarani Temple Bhubaneswar

Rajarani Temple Odisha

The Rajarani temple is also referred to as the Indreswara. This love temple is filled with erotic sculptures and carvings of women. You will be able to depict the creativity in Panchratha’s architectural style. Mainly because of a lotus carved in one of the walls here, people say that this temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is recommended to visit during a three-day event named Rajarani music festival, where you will be able to enjoy many elite classical music performers from all over the country here.

This temple was built in the 11th century roughly around the construction of the Jagannath Temple. This stunning temple consists of many carvings of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on its walls but there is no shrine or Idol of any deities inside the temple. You will be able to depict many different moods from these enticing carvings. The temple is full of erotic cultures and designs of the couples making it a unique destination for tourists.

Visiting Timings: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Also Read: Best Time to Visit Bhubaneswar

Maa Samaleswari Temple Sambalpur

Maa Samaleswari Temple Odisha

This temple is solely dedicated to the Hindu goddess Samaleswari and is located in the Sambalpur of Odisha. She is the only prominent presiding deity in Odisha including the region of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The place is full of rich cultural heritage sites of India. Many festival celebrations are hosted in this temple. It is recommended to visit during the season of Navratri when the goddess is adorned with beautiful jewels and clothes. The festival is celebrated with great devotion and splendour by the natives on the ground of this temple.

This temple was built in the 16th century by king Balram Dev of the Chauhan dynasty. When he is an image of the goddess under a tree, he decided to build a temple for the goddess Samaleswari. According to the archaeologist, a similar stone of granite but much stronger was used to build this enormous temple.  you will be able to see many stunning sculptures embedded in the outer walls of the temple. As the Goddess is the only presiding deity in the region, she is worshipped with great care by natives.

Visiting Timings: From 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM

Also Check Out: Complete Sambalpur Tourism Information

Brahmeswara Temple Bhubaneswar

Brahmeswara Temple Odisha

This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the finest temples in the capital of Odisha. You will be able to see many similarities to the Mukteshwar Temple in Odisha.  the temple is built in a pyramidal style and you will be able to see many spiritual carvings on its enormous walls. It is said that the temple is called in a single stone and is famous for this marvellous fact. The temple consists of a large banquet or dance hall, where many classical dances are performed. This destination is a favourite spot of many devotees coming from all over the world.

Bramheswara Temple was built in the 11th century in a Lingayat architecture style. They are many uncertainties behind the origin of this temple. The temple is a paradise for history lovers who want to explore the bygone era. The temple is carved from a single stone and was the first monument to use iron beams at that time. According to some uncertain scriptures, It can be said that the temple was built under the reign of king Udyogatakesari but as mentioned above it is still vague information to confirm its origin.

Visiting Timings: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Chausath Yogini Temple, Balianta, Hirapur

Chausath Yogini Temple Odisha

Chausathi Yogini Temple also referred to as the Mahamaya Temple, is situated in Hirapur, about 20 km away from the capital of Odisha. The temple is dedicated to worshipping 64 Yoginis, the demi-goddesses. You will be able to witness many goddesses standing on top of an animal or demon representing the victory of Shakti. This small yet beautiful temple is built in only 25 feet in diameter with about 64 housings on the walls will small idols of yoginis. These vague yet beautiful idols attract thousands of devotees every year.

The Chausathi Yogini Temple was established in the 19th Century by queen Hiradevi of the Brahma dynasty. The temple lost its glory and popularity after its construction and was again renowned in 1957. If you believe in local priests, according to them, Maa Durga had to take the form of 54 goddesses to defeat a demon. Today we see those 64 demi-goddesses in the structure of a temple.  Pieces of evidence tell that Kalapahad, a Muslim general, who was behind the destruction of the Konark temple and the Puri temple was the one who broke many murtis of this temple.

Visiting Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Ram Mandir Bhubaneswar

Ram Mandir Odisha

This popular temple has situated about 1.5 km from the railway station of Bhubaneswar. The major shrines consist of images of Lord Ram, Lakshman, and Ma Sita. You will be able to see the idols of many gods of the Hindu religion here including the shrines of Lord Shiva and Hanuman. It is recommended to visit Ram Mandir between Dussehra and Diwali as these prominent festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm here. This magnificent temple is visible from all the corners of the city. The grand Aarti here attracts many devotees from all over the country.

The temple was established on 27th June 1979 and is home to many festival celebrations in Odisha. You will be able to witness the exotic idols of Lord Ram and Maa Sita here. There are many temples attached to the main temple.  many devotees come here to witness the enormous idol of Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman and Lord Shiva too. Visiting during the Navaratri season is a must here if you want to experience the finest tradition of Hinduism.

Visiting Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Taratarini Temple Purushotam

Tara Tarini Temple Odisha

Maa Taratarini Temple dedicated to Mata Sati, is one of the majors of Adi Shakti Peeths in India. The temple is situated on the banks of river Rushikulya on the top of Kumari Hills. They are two stones, and they both morphed into silver and gold are the main shrines of the temple– Maa Tara and Maa Tarini. They are many tales and myths behind this ancient temple. Thousands of people from all over the country come here to rejuvenate their souls in these peaceful Kumari Hills. It is recommended to visit Chaitra Mela here, which is the most prominent festival in this temple.

According to the sources we have, it can be concluded that the temple is about 2300 years old from now. According to the legends, there was a true devotee of Maa (goddess), named Sri Basu Praharaj who was childless. One day, Mata Tara Tarini came to his house in the form of two sisters and stayed there for years. He was very happy and treated them like his own daughters. Suddenly both sisters disappeared from his house and later came into his dream, directing him to reconstruct their temple on the top of Kumari Hills. And after that, Shri Basu devoted his entire life to reconstructing the holy place which we call Tara Tarini temple now.

Visiting Timings:

  • 5:00 AM to 12:25 PM
  • 2:00 PM. to 9:45 PM

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These are some of the top ancient temples in Odisha’s tourism list to visit with your peers.

However, it might be difficult to book hotels because of the crowd in the peak season/festivals. We would recommend booking hotels online before your visit. Book a Odisha tour package that includes a nice stay and all activities you must experience as well as sightseeing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history of Odisha temples?

The temples of Odisha were mainly built from the early 8th century to the mid-13th century representing Indo-Aryan architecture.

Why explore Odisha Temples?

The state of Odisha is full of stunning temples full of exotic carvings and marvelous architecture. You should visit these temples mainly because of the rich culture, history, religious significance, and exhilarating artistry here.

Which are the top holy places to visit in Bhubaneswar?

Some of the holiest places in Bhubaneswar include the Jagannath temple, Lingraja Temple, Brahmeshwara Temple, Maa Tara Tarini Temple, and the Ram Mandir.

Which are the popular temples to visit in Puri?

The most famous temples in Puri include:

  • The Jagannath temple
  • PanchaTirtha.
  • Lokanath Temple.
  • Vimala Temple.
  • Varahi Temple.

Is there any dress code for visiting temples in Odisha?

It is recommended to wear traditional robes and dresses inside the temple.

Can we take photos inside the temples in Odisha?

No, any type of photography is banned inside the temple.

Published: 24 Feb, 2023

About the author

Disha Singh

From a very early age, she found fun in writing and as she is growing up as a young writer, she is interested in travelling and writing down facts and tales of her experience.