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Lingaraja Temple Bhubaneswar

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Introduction to Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Among the largest and most renowned temples in Bhubaneswar, one can count the Lingaraj temple. Shiva (Harihara) is the principal deity here. This is the only temple that displays the phallic form of Shiva that naturally appeared at this spot. The Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, lies in Lingaraj Nagar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar.

Legend of Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple

The temple legend says that once Shiva revealed to Parvati that Ekamra tirtha (Bhubaneswar) was his preferred resort. Parvati decided to look at the city herself in the guise of a cowherd woman. Two demons, Kriti and Vasa, desired to marry her. She asked them to carry her upon their shoulders. They did as she requested, and she crushed them under her weight and killed them. This place became famous as Devi Padahara. Tired after this, she took a rest at a place called Bhabani Shankar Temple. Then, Shiva created the Bindu Sara Lake to quench her thirst, today known as Bindu Sagar. He took up residence here as Lingaraja or Krittivasas.

The Architecture of Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, displays Kalinga-style architecture. James Fergusson (1808–86), a noted critic and historian, rated the temple as one of India's finest examples of a purely Hindu temple. Covering an area of 2,50 000 square feet, the Lingaraj Temple is near Bindu Sagar Lake.

King Jajati Keshari built the temple in the 10th century. King Lalatendu Keshari completed the construction by the 11th century. The main deity Shiva, as a Swayambhu (self-manifested) Shivalinga, blesses his devotees. Along with Shiva, the temple also enshrines Vishnu as a Saligramam idol. The main gates of the temple have Shiva's Trishul on one side and Vishnu's Chakra on the other.

A huge granite-made Shiva idol, 8 feet in diameter, stands on a platform about 8 inches above the ground. The idol gets Abhisekam with water and milk daily. The main temple tower is 54.8 meters in height and faces east. The temple covers a pillared hall, Jagamohana (Assembly hall), a dancing hall (Natya Mandap), and a hall for serving offerings (Bhoga Mandap). Pilgrims can see the decorative sculptures of women on the walls of the Bhoga Mandap. Inside the vast temple courtyard, there are fifty small temples. The Vimana contains the Sanctum sanctorum. The façade of the entrances has a decoration of perforated windows with a lion sitting on its hind legs. The tower walls have sculptures of female figures in various poses.

The Archeological Trust of India (ASI) and the Temple Trust Board maintain Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar. The temple permits only Hindu people. The temple's compound walls have been made by using solid red sandstones. It gives a fortress-like look to the temple from the outside.

Festivals in Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

Mahashivratri sees a grand celebration in the temple. On this day, the entire temple glitters with lights. During such important celebrations, the temple receives a footfall of over 2 lakh visitors. Daily, around 6000 visitors come to the temple.

On the day of Pana Sankranti, i.e., the Odia New year, the temple receives thousands of pilgrims. They offer bhang (marijuana) to the deity.

The annual Rath Yatra of Lingaraj is called Ashokashtami. The temple celebrates Rath Yatra enthusiastically on the eighth day of Chaitra month (March/April) as per the Hindu calendar. During the festival, the idol of Lingaraj strolls to the Rameswar Temple in a decorated chariot. The idol of the deity returns to the Lingaraj Temple after 4 days, following a ritual bath at the Bindu Sarovar. Devotees assemble in large numbers to attend this festival and pay their homage.

Benefits of Worshipping at Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar

A holy tank called Bindu Sagar (which means ocean drop) Tank is present in the Lingaraj Temple, which according to Hindu myth, is believed to be filled by an underground river. The tank's water is very sacred and is believed to cure many illnesses.

How to Reach Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
By Road

All State and local buses are well-connected to the Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar. The Bhubaneswar bus stand is the nearest. It is at a 5 Km distance.

By Rail

The Bhubaneswar Railway Station is the nearest. It is at a 5 Km distance.

By Air

The Biju Patnaik International Airport is the nearest airport to the temple. It is at a 3 km distance.

Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar, Timings

The temple remains open from 6:00 am to 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

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