Explore Orissa - The Land of Temples

Sep 11 09:42 2015 Devendra Singh Print This Article

If there is one State in India that has an abundance of temples, it is Orissa. Bhubhaneshwar, the capital, alone has about 50 temples. Apart from Hindu temples, Orissa has numerous Jain temples and also Buddhist places of worship. You could visit Orissa to worship, to admire the cultural legacy of our civilization or just to learn but it will be an experience you will not forget in a hurry. So get started.

Jagannath temple at Puri
Puri and Jagannath Temple are Orissa’s pride. This temple is also one of the four major char dhams of India. Built in the 11th century,Guest Posting the temple has a wooden idol that is believed to have been originally constructed by Lord Vishnu. The awe-inspiring temple complex has four gates, each named after the lion, elephant, tiger and horse. This is one temple you must visit, if not out of religious inclination, at least to admire the beautiful architecture and the fervor of devotees thronging this site.

Konark Sun Temple
Strictly speaking, the Sun Temple at Konark is not a “live” temple where one can offer oblations to the Lord. However, it is a temple and the most magnificent one ever created in honor of Surya deva. Beautiful Oriya architecture is the hall mark and the masterpiece is the gigantic chariot with seven horses and twelve horses bearing Suryadeva. Konark is only 35 km from Puri and the Sun temple will leave you stupefied with its intricate carvings and the scale of its architectural splendour.

Mukteswar Temple
Mukteswar temple is one of the finest examples of the architectural styles of Orissa. The sculpture and carvings covering the walls and pillars are simply exquisite with the highly ornate archway being the crowning jewel in the ensemble.  You will find the Siddheshwara temple and Gauri temple in the vicinity of Mukteswar temple, each with its beautiful sculptures that make the trip worthwhile.

Tara-Tarini temple, Brahmapur and Maa Tarini temple in Ghatagaon, Keonjhar
The cult of tantra and Shakti has not vanished and the two prime examples are the Tara-Tarini Temple near Brahmapur and the Maa Tarini temple in Ghatagaon. Taara is still worshipped in many households in Orissa and the temple is beautifully located on a hill on the bank of the river Rushikulya in picturesque surroundings. The Goddess Tarini appears in the shape of a red faced idol with two large eyes and represents the power of life.  This temple should be on your list when you undertake Orissa Temples & Tribes Tours since the tribals essentially believe in the divine power of Shakti.

Lingaraj Temple, Bhubhaneshwar
Bhubhaneshwar has temples dedicated to virtually all of the major Gods in the Hundi pantheon and you could spend weeks exploring all of them. However, you must visit the Lingaraj temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is about 1000 years old and is a popular place of pilgrimage for Shaivites. Here Shiva is represented in a unique way: half Vishnu and half Shiva and devotees offer both Tulsi and Bel leaves.

Sri Sri Baladev Jew Temple, Ichhapur
Located in Kendrapara district, Sri Sri Baladev Jew Temple is dedicated to Lord Balabhadra, one of the many forms of Lord Vishnu. This is an ancient temple spread over 2 acres of land and the temple also features idols of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Goddess Tulsi.

Ghanteswari Temple, Chipilma, Sambalpur
This is a unique temple dedicated to Goddess Ghanteswari with a large number of bells hanging from the ceiling and pillars. Devotees offer small bells as votive offerings on fulfillment of their wishes and if the number of bells is anything to go by, thousands have had their dreams come true. The temple is about 33 km from Sambalpur on the banks of the Mahanadi River and it is also a beautiful picnic spot.

Biranchi Narayana Brahma Temple, Bhadrak
The Biranchi Narayana Brahma Temple about 17 km from Bhadrak is one of the rare temples in India dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator. It is ancient but was given a facelift in the 18th century and is visited by hundreds of devotees.

There are dozens of other temples you may want to have a look at such as the 11th Century Chakreshvari Siva temple in Bhubhaneshwar, Sri Ladukeshwar in Nayagarh, the Hanuman Vatika in Rourkela, Ambika Temple at devakunda waterfalls in Mayurbhanja and others.

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Devendra Singh
Devendra Singh

Devendra Farswan an SEO executive and article writer & loves to share traveling experience with others. Article writing at a leading travel company NamasteIndiaTrip.

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