Orissa is known for its beautiful temples, and is therefore known as the “Land of Temples”.
These temples are known for their precise layout, brilliant architecture, beautiful craftsmanship, and astonishing grandeur.
The temples in Orissa are regarded as masterpieces of Indian architecture.
This brilliant and age-old architecture has been flourishing to date and is
The temples of Odisha are major tourist destinations as well.
In this article, you will get to know about the following temples in Odisha,
- Jagannath Temple
- Lingaraj Temple
- Maa Tara Tarini Temple
- Konark Sun Temple
- Gundicha Temple
- Parasurameswara Temple
Let’s see a little bit more about each of these temples…
1. Jagannath Temple
Jagannath Temple is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India.
It is one of the prime ‘Dham’ out of the pious ‘Char Dhams’ in India, along with Badrinath, Dwarka, and Rameshwaram.
Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is the main deity of this temple.
The temple holds immense mythological and spiritual importance and attracts thousands of devotees each year.
The shrines of Jagannath, Balaram, and Subhadra have a beautiful architecture that attracts many foreign tourists as well.
Rath Yatra is celebrated with grandeur and fervor and the temple is beautifully decorated during this auspicious festival.
The temple has four gates, namely, the eastern Singhadwara (Lion Gate), the southern Ashwadwara (Horse Gate), the western Vyaghrasana (Tiger Gate), and the northern Hastidwara (Elephant Gate).
These gates are intricately carved and wonderfully sculpted.
You should not miss out on the temple’s delectable Mahaprasad.
Every day, thousands of pilgrims are served delicious meals prepared in clay pots in one of India’s biggest kitchens.
2. Lingaraj Temple
Lingaraja Temple is the largest temple not only in Bhubaneshwar but also in the whole state.
This temple is claimed to have been built in the 8th century.
It has a Dravidian Gopuram, which is common in most temples in South India. The temple’s interior and exterior walls are embellished with carved structures.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
The shiva linga in this temple has a height of 8 inches above the floor and a circumference of roughly 8 feet.
Lingaraj Temple is located in the historic area of Bhubaneswar Town and is easily accessible by local transportation.
The ruling goddess is Parvati.
Within the temple’s walls are sculpted constructions of Goddess Durga, Chamunda, Bhairava, and other deities.
There are vast courtyards with a thousand Shiva Lingas, also known as Sahastralingas.
The water of the tank inside this temple is supposed to offer curative properties for bodily ailments.
The temple’s building is a magnificent example of Odissi-style architecture, with delicately sculpted stone vaults covering the temple’s main shrine.
The temple is split into four major halls.
The Garba Griha (Sanctum Sanctorum), the Yojana Mandapa (prayer hall), the Natya Mandapa (dancing and music hall), and the Bhoga Mandapa (where devotees can receive the Lord’s Prasad (offering).
Lingaraj is also known as “Swayambhu” — (self-originated Shivling).
Hari Hara is the name given to the Shivling.
Another significant component of the temple is that it represents the fusion of the Shaivism and Vaishnavism faiths in Odisha.
3. Maa Tara Tarini Temple
Maa Tara Tarini Temple, which is one of India’s Shakti Peethas, is located on the banks of the Rushikulya River.
It has 999 stairs and was built in the 17th century.
The temple is situated atop Taratarini Hill.
It is believed that Sati’s ‘Stana Khanda’ fell in this spot after the Daksha Yagna when her corpse was dismantled by Sudarshan Chakra.
The most prominent festival held within this temple is the Chaitra Mela.
This shrine is known to fulfill all wishes. This temple is close to a number of tourist sites.
Tara and Tarini, twin sister Goddesses, reside in the sanctum which is located on top of a hillside encircled by the waddling holy river Rushikulya.
Throughout the year, hundreds of devotees, picnickers, and visitors go to Taratarani.
4. Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple is an architectural marvel of Eastern India and a symbol of India’s past.
It is located near Puri and is a popular tourist destination.
This huge temple is devoted to the Sun God (Surya). It is a combination of the terms ‘Kona’ and ‘Arka’, therefore Konark becomes the ‘Sun of the Corner.’
The temple was constructed in the 13th century in the Kalinga architectural style
Konark Sun Temple is designed in the shape of Lord Surya’s chariot and has a distinctive architecture when compared to other temples.
It was termed the ‘Black Pagoda’ by Europeans.
The sundials etched on this temple can precisely tell the time during the day and night.
The temple’s structure was created in such a manner that the sun’s rays fall directly on the temple’s main Sanctorum.
Furthermore, magnets were inserted on top of the temple to hold two iron plates wedged between stones.
5. Gundicha Temple
Gundicha Temple is said to be one of the homes of Lord Jagannath from Hindu mythology.
This is one of Odisha’s most gorgeous temples.
The temple remains open throughout the year and you can visit it at any time.
It is designed in the Kalinga architectural style and named after Lord Krishna’s aunt Gundicha.
During the Ratha Yatra, Lord Jagannath is said to reside in this temple for 9 days.
The entire temple is made of a single piece of light gray sandstone and is 75 feet tall.
This temple is related to many mythological incidents. The most important is the “Shree Gundicha Yatra ” in which Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are each driven in their own wooden chariot once a year in this Gundicha Temple.
It is believed that their aunt greets the three siblings with a special rice delicacy called ‘Poda Pitha’.
The temple is divided into four sections that are linked by a small hallway.
All four structures (Vimana, Jagamohana, Nata Mandapa, and Bhoga Mandapa) have numerous plasterings and are etched in a mortar with unique motifs.
The ‘Ratnavedi,’ is the sacred throne on which the lord’s ‘Murtis’ are kept when they are carried to the temple.
It is a simple elevated seat 4 feet high and 19 feet long built of chlorite.
6. Parasurameswara Temple
Parasurameswara Temple was founded around 650 A.D in the Nagara architecture which almost looks like the temples of South India.
The temple is solely dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The walls of this temple have many exquisite decorations etched into them.
It has ‘Saptamatrikas,’ which are represented as Goddesses.
There are also carvings of the eight planets of Vedic astrology, with the exception of Ketu.
This is said to be the location where Parashurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, chastised himself and received penance from Lord Shiva.
The ‘Vimana’, a ‘Bada’, the curvilinear spire atop the ceiling, and the sanctuary are some of the key architectural characteristics that make Parasurameswara Temple a renowned tourist site.
In June and July, the temple celebrates its biggest festival Parashurashtami.
Parasurameswara is one of the Kalinga Temples that has both the vimana (sanctum) and the Jaganmohan (hall for worshippers).
The distinct architecture of these temples represents the history and culture of India.
Make sure to visit these popular temples in Orissa and seek blessings from the almighty!
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