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Friday, March 7, 2008

India : Bhubaneshwar Temples - The most distincitve architectures


Image Source : Lingaraja Temple

This temple was built in the 11th century, Lingaraj Temple's most distinctive features are its ornately carved tower and its spires that soar to a height of 54 meters. Dedicated to Tribhuvaneshwar (Lord of the three worlds), also known as Bhubaneshwar. It is one of the most prized examples for the temple architecture in the country. Here, Lord Tribhuvaneshwarea is bathed daily with water, milk and bhang. There is a Parvati Temple too within the same precincts.


Image Source: Parasurameswara Temple

This temple built in the Kalinga school of architecture, was dedicated to Lord Shiva but there are images of Lord Vishnu, Yama, Surya and seven Mother goddesses. Lovishly decorated, it has exquisite friezes depicting animal life, human figures and floral motifs, coupled with impressive busts of Shiva.


Svaranjaleswara temple lies in the south of Parasurameswara temple, built in a similar fashion, only the motifs on the walls depict scenes from the Ramayana.


Image Source: RajaRani Temple

The Rajarani temple is famous for its ornate duel, or compass, decorated with some of the most impressive Oriya temple architecture. The temple is remarkable for the absence of any presiding deity. The temple's name is supposed to be derived from the red-gold sandstone used in building it-rajarani being the local name for the stone. The lower portion of the deul is populated by statutes of eight Dipalakas, guarding the eight cordinal directions of the temple.


Image Source: Mukteswara Temple

The sculptural decoration of the Mukteswara is referred to as the "gem of Oriya architecture". Richly sculpted, the temple offers pride of place to tales from the Panchatantra. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent tarana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. The temple is decorated to Lord Shiva.
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