Lingaraj Temple, home to Hari Hara, the presiding deity of Bhubaneswar was built in 11th Century.
Built by King Jajati Keshari of Soma Vansh, the main tower of this temple measures 180-foot in height and is the tallest temple in Bhubaneswar and is surpassed only by the Jagannath Temple in Puri. Built from red stone the temple is a classic example of Kalingan style of architecture.
The temple is divided into four sections―Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum), Yajna Shala (the hall of yajnas), Natya Shala (hall of dance), and the Bhoga Mandap (the hall of offering) and the spacious courtyard of the magnificent shrine comprises 50 small temples that are dedicated to several gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.
In the sanctum sanctorum, the lingam of Lord Shiva is regarded as ‘Swayambhu’ (self-originated) and worshipped as both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
It was originally constructed as a Shiva Temple and later, with the growing prominence of the Jagannath cult in Odisha, the worship of Vishnu was also incorporated.
The presiding deity here is known as Hari-Hara; Hari denotes Lord Vishnu and Hara meaning Lord Shiva. The Shivalinga in the sanctum of the temple rises to a height of 8 inches above the floor level, and is 8 feet in diameter. It is one of the select Shiva temples of India where food is cooked and served to the deity.
Thousands of devotees throng the Lingaraj every day and the temple comes alive on the occasions of Shivaratri and Rukuna Rath Yatra where it turns to lakhs. This temple is only accessible to Hindus. However there is a viewing platform that can be used by non Hindus to see inside the premise and admire the magnificent craftsmanship of the architects of Odisha.
Located to the north of the temple is Bindusagar Lake. About 1,300 ft long and 700 ft wide, this lake turns into a visual delight when thousands of people set sail tiny boats on the occasion of Boita Bandana that commemorates Odisha’s rich maritime history.
On the western banks of the lake, lies the beautiful garden of Ekamra Van (literally meaning one-mango-tree forest). Ekamra Van finds mention in ancient Hindu mythological texts as an entire forest that comprised a single mango tree. It was a key element in the abode of Lord Shiva and his divine consort, Goddess Parvati. A variety of plants traditionally associated with Hindu gods and goddess and having spiritual and medicinal significance can be found in Ekamra Van.
|Timings||6.30 AM till 7.30 PM|
|Entry Fee||Free. Non Hindus are not allowed.|
|**||A temple viewing platform is available for non hindus to see the temple.|