‘Odisha to give facelift to 11th century Lingaraj Temple’

  • Category
    Art and culture
  • Published
    26th Aug, 2020

Context

The Odisha government announced to give a facelift to the 11th century Lingaraj Temple, akin to its pre-350-year structural status.

About

  • Odisha’s Lingaraj temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also known as ‘Lingaraj’.
  • It is approximately 54.8 metres high and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva which is 8 feet in diameter and is made of granite.
    • The deity is bathed everyday with milk, water and bhang (marijuana).
  • It is believed that the temple’s construction history dates back to the later half of 11th century.
  • The temple comprises four parts namely the main temple-
    • the ‘Garbh Griha’
    • the 'Bhoga Mandap'
    • the 'Yajna Shala'
    • the 'Natya Shala'
  • Bindusagar, the sacred pond near the temple, has a unique connection with Lord Lingaraj. It is the second most attractive place after the temple as religious scriptures say Bindusagar is the union of drops of water from various sacred rivers of India.
  • Its main entry gate is called as the ‘Simhadwara’ or the ‘Lions' Gate’, situated on the eastern side of the temple. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful sculptures of beasts, birds, creepers, flowers, gods and goddesses.

Important Details

Location

Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

Built by

Jajati Keshari

Built in

11th Century

Dedicated to

Lord Shiva

Total Area

1049.66 sq m

Architectural Style

Kalinga style of architecture

Architecture

  • The remarkable structure of the temple gives the tint of Kalinga style of architecture.
  • The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers.

  • It is built in the Deula style that has four components, each increasing in the height to its predecessor, namely-
    • vimana (structure containing the sanctum)
    • jagamohana (assembly hall)
    • natamandira (festival hall)
    • bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings)
  • The aesthetic sculptures look at their apex in this architectural exhibition. Erected in red sandstone, Lingraj Temple has the stone of the darkest shade.
  • The huge temple complex covers the vast lands of Bhubaneshwar in a stretch. The tall spire of the temple extends to the height of 55 meters and literally, dominates the skyline of Bhubaneshwar.
  • The spacious courtyard comprises 50 small shrines that are dedicated to several Gods of the Hindu pantheon. 

Highlights of the redevelopment plan

  • The plan has been made for the redevelopment of peripheral area of the 55-metre-tall temple, known as ‘Ekamravan Kshetra’, in Bhubaneswar.
  • The redevelopment will take place over 66 acres of land surrounding the temple.
  • At present, the space in front of the temple could barely accommodate 10,000 to 15,000 devotees during Shivratri congregation. However, upon revamping of adjoining areas of temple, 2 lakh devotees could easily congregate in the space.
  • Lingaraj Temple depicts the rich legacy of Indian culture and traditions. The colossal temple attracts thousands of devotees and pilgrims to its doorstep every year. The spiritual ecstasy offered by the temple is worth feeling for once.
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