Location: Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Presiding Deities: Lord Shiva
Dates Back: 11th Century
Architectural Style: Orissan Temple Architecture
Magnificent Example Of Temple Architecture Of Orissa A product of
the accumulated and crystallized experience of several centuries,
the temple of Lingaraja is the quintessence of Orissan architecture.
In the elegance of its proportions and the richness of its surface
-treatment, it is one of the most finished and refined manifestations
of the temple-architecture in India.
treatment of its different elements displays the consummate skill
of its different elements displays the consummate skill of its master-designer;
all its constituent parts are effectively integrated into a compact
unity of supreme dignity. The crowning achievement of the architect
is the design of the graceful contour of its towering 'Gandi'. The
Gandi's soaring height and grandeur are almost a marvel.
The plastic embellishment of the temple is of equally exquisite
workmanship. All the panoply of Orissan decorative motifs is mustered
here with a rare aesthetic sense; every piece of carvings serves
its appointed role and enhances the majesty of the edifice as a
whole. With all the features fully evolved, it is the culmination,
in every respect, of the architectural movement at Bhubaneswar and
sets the norm for the later temples.
Traditionally, the construction of the temple is associated with
three of the later 'Somavamsi' kings with names ending in 'Kesari'
but there is no reliable record of its date.
an inscription on the wall of the 'Jagamohana', recording the grant
of a village for the maintenance of a perpetual lamp in the shrine
of 'Krittivasas', by which name the temple was anciently known,
and dated A.D. 1114-15 in the reign of the 'Ganga' king 'Anantavarman
Chodaganga', sets the later limit of the date of the temple.
temple is a combination of four structures, all in the same axial
alignment - 'Deul', 'Gahamohana', 'Nata-Mandira' and 'Bhoga-Mandapa',
the last two being subsequent additions. The spacious courtyard
is full of shrines, big and small, of varying dates, their number
exceeding a hundred, of which only a few are of outstanding merit.
The complex is enclosed by a massive compound-wall pierced by an
imposing portal on the east and two secondary gates on the north
The 'Jagamohana' is equally monumental and closely follows the 'deul'
in decorative details. The 'Jagamohana' originally had two balustraded
windows, of which the one on the south side was converted into a
door at a later date, perhaps when the 'Nata-Mandira' or 'Bhoga-Mandapa'
was built. The topmost part of the 'Bada' above them is relieved
with three 'Rekha' replicas spaced by either a male or a female
By the time the Lingaraja temple was constructed, the Jagannatha
cult had become predominant throughout Orissa. This is reflected
in the fact that the temple deity here, the 'Svayambhu Linga', is
not, as in all other cases, strictly a 'Shiva linga'. It is considered
to be a 'Hari-Hara' linga, that is, half Shiva, half Vishnu. This
and the variety of deities represented elsewhere on the temple,
once again point out the basically syncretic nature of so much of
are 150 subsidiary shrines within the immense Lingaraja complex,
many of them extremely interesting in their own right, but non-Hindus
cannot visit them.
SHRINES IN THE COMPOUND OF LINGARAJA
Amidst the group of subsidiary shrines clustering round the great
temple, two, one, on the north of the 'Jagamohana', known as "Gopalini"
or "Bhuvanesvari" and the other, on the south of the 'Deul',
known as "Savitri", are of the "Khakhara" order.
The 'Parsva-Devatas' in them are different forms of 'Parvati'.
some of the other subsidiary shrines can be seen a number of images
of different dates, mostly of 'Parvati', 'Karttikeya', 'Ganesa'
and 'Surya' and rarely of 'Balarama', 'Subhadra', 'Krishna' and
of them found their way into these shrines after the decay or destruction
of the temples, to which they had originally belonged. Particularly
noticeable is an early image of 'Parvati', housed in a tiny shrine
to the northeast of the Lingaraja temple.
The main temple structure is 65m (214 feet) high and is built
on elevated ground, which makes it look even larger and adds
to the imposing impression you get as you first come within
sight of the temple. The temple complex comprises an area
of 10.7 acres and is enclosed by two rectangular walls. The
outer enclosure is called "Meghanada Prachira".
The Kshira Chora Gopinath:-
The Kshira Chora Gopinath temple is located in Remuna. It
is a small town located 9-km east of Balasore, about halfway
between Calcutta and Puri. The name "Remuna" is
derived from the word "Ramaniya" which means very