Located on a quaint corner of the Old Town not too far from the Lingaraja Temple is this small yet beautiful and unique temple dedicated to goddess Chamunda. Unique because of its distinct architecture which has been categorised as the Khakhra style in the Kalinga School of Architecture. The temple is locally known as Tini Mundiya Mandira ( three headed temple) owing to the three spires on the top of the temple. The three spires are believed to resemble the three powers of the presiding goddess and represents Mahasaraswati, Mahalaxmi and Mahakali. The semi cylindrical roof which adorn the Khakhra style of temples in Odisha is similar to the Gopuram of the South Indian temples.
The temple based on its architecture can be traced to the transitional phase of Kalinga School of Architecture i.e around the 9th century AD. Beautifully carved figurines of Shiva and Goddess Chamunda in various forms dominate the outer walls of the temple along with several depictions of nature, rituals and couple in intimate postures.
One of the highlights of the temple is the beautifully carved figure of a form of Shiva called Ardhanareshwar, half man and half woman, which depicts the duality of the human soul. This carving can be found in the rear of the temple wall.
One can find a beautifully carved image of Sun god with his seven horses below the chaitya window of the jagamohana facade and the ten armed image of Lord Shiva in Nataraja pose just above the entrance gate.
The temple follows the tantric practices which can be deciphered with the carvings of sacrificial rituals which adorns the walls of the temple. One can even find a stone pillar at the entrance where sacrificial offerings were offered to the goddess.
|Timing||6.30 AM to 7.30 PM|