Lingaraj Temple Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

Usha Biswal Rout

01, Jun 2013 @ 12:39 AM
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Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar(Odisha) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, another name for Shiva and is one of the oldest temples of Odisha. It is a revered pilgrimage center and the capital of the state of Orissa. The biggest temple of Odisha is Lingaraj Temple, It is located within a spacious compound wall of laterite measuring 520 feet by 465 feet. The wall is 7 feet 6 inches thick and surmounted by a plain slant coping. Alongside the inner face of the boundary wall there runs a terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside aggression. Lingaraj Temple is the most notable monument of Bhubaneswar. Rising to a height of about one hundred and eighty feet and dominating the entire landscape it represents the quintessence of the Kalinga type of architecture and the culminating result of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. History Of Lingaraj Temple Lingaraj means the king of lingam, the symbol of Shaivism. Shiva is here worshipped as Tribhuvaneshwara (Master of three worlds, i.e. heaven, earth and netherworld). His consort is called Bhuvaneshvari. The temple is more than 1100 years old, dating back in its present form to the last decade of the eleventh century, though there is evidence that parts of the temple have been there since sixth century AD as the temple has been emphasized in some of the seventh century Sanskrit texts. This is testimony to its sanctity and importance as a Shiva shrine. By the time the Lingaraj temple was constructed, the Jagannath (form of Vishnu) cult had been growing, which historians believe is evidenced by the co-existence of Vishnu and Shiva worship at the temple. The temple is traditionally believed, though without historical authentication, to be built by the Somavanshi king Jajati Keshari, in 11th century AD. Jajati Keshari had shifted his capital from Jajpur to Bhubaneswar which was referred to as Ekamra Kshetra in the Brahma Purana, an ancient scripture. Lingaraj Temple Sculpture and Temple Traditions This magnificent temple, dedicated to Shiva, represents the type of Hindu architecture. Swayambhu is worshipped both as Shiva and Vishnu. The harmony of the two sects is seen in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. The presiding deity, is the Swayambhu Lingam. The granite block image of the Linga is said to be bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (marijuana). Almost all the Hindu gods and goddesses are represented here, reflecting the innate element of harmony within the religion. If a visitor visit in India then he must have to see Lingaraj Temple in Bubaneswar.
Related Links: India Temples, Swayambhu Lingam, Temple Traditions
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