Odisha is popular for its ancient and esoteric temples. You can visit these temples for their spiritual significance and architecture. People from all over the world visit Odisha to explore the architecture and sculptures on the walls of the temple. The striking architecture and artistic work on the walls of these temples is worth a glimpse. You can view the history, culture, religious and artistic works on the walls of these temples. These are the temples you can explore to get a glimpse of the fine architecture, history, and listen to fascinating tales from mythology. So, make sure that you explore all these temples in Odisha if you like to see the intricate details of the temples.
- JAGANNATH TEMPLE
Jagannath Temple is one of the most sacred pilgrimage destinations in Odisha. It is the temple of Lord Vishnu and holds great significance. It has very high spiritual significance and sees visits of thousands of employees every year. Want to know a mysterious fact about this temple? Well, it is said that the flag on the top of this temple flows in the opposite direction of the wind.
Priests of this temple are said to climb the temple which is as high as a 45-storeyed building to change the flag. This ritual has been followed since the time the temple has been built. There is a belief that if this ritual is missed even for one day the temple shuts down for 18 years. Also, there are no shadows of the temple to be seen during any time of the day. There are many astonishing facts about this temple.There are elaborate daily worship services. There are many festivals each year attended by millions of people. The most important festival is the Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival in June. This spectacular festival includes a procession of three huge chariots bearing the idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra through the Bada Danda meaning the Grand Avenue of Puri till their final destination the Gundicha Temple.
LOCATION : PURI , ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : The temple does not create a shadow during the daytime. You cannot hear the sound of the waves of the ocean when you are inside the temple.
2. MAA TARA TARINI TEMPLE
Legend has it that Lord Shiva started performing Rudra Tandava, the dance of destruction, holding the half burnt corpse of his beloved wife, Goddess Sati after her self immolation. To stop this fierce dance, Lord Vishnu threw his Sudarshana chakra on the body of Sati, which then got dismembered and fell at different places.
This is said to be a wish fulfilling temple. It was built in the 17th century and has 999 steps. It is located on top of Taratarini Hill. The sacred River Rushikulya is believed to be the elder sister of the River Ganges. There are many tourist attractions near this temple.
The temple is built using Rekha style of architecture, and Goddess Taratarini was the principle deity of the rulers of Kalinga kingdom.
LOCATION : RAIPUR , NEAR BRAHMAPUTRA CITY
HIGHLIGHTS : This is one of the Shakti Peethas and is known to be a wish fulfilling temple.
3. SUN TEMPLE
It was built in the 13th century and is known for its marvelous architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Sun or Surya. This temple has a unique architecture compared to other temples and are built in the shape of Lord Surya’s chariot. Europeans called it the ‘Black Pagoda.’ It is built in the Kalinga architectural style. There are erotic sculptures on the walls of this temple.
The sundials carved on this temple tell the time accurately during day and night. This is a World UNESCO heritage site. The structure of the temple was designed in such a way that the rays of the sun falls directly on the main sanctum of the temple. Moreover, there are magnets placed on top of the temple which holds two iron plates sandwiched between stones.
LOCATION : KONARK , ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : The temple is in the shape of the Sun’s chariot. The sundial in the shape of the wheel has been an inspiration to design the dial of the wrist watch.
4. LINARAJA TEMPLE
Lingaraja Temple is not only the largest temple in Bhubaneshwar but also in the whole state. It is said that the construction of this temple can be dated back to the 8th century and it is built in the shape of a sanctuary tower. It has a Dravidian Gopuram similar to what you find in most of the South India temples. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There are many carved figures on the interior and exterior walls of the temple.
The presiding deity is a manifestation of Goddess Parvati and there are many deities within this temple. There are carved structures of Goddess Durga, Chamunda, Bhairava, and other deities inside the walls of this temple. It is courtyard there are a thousand Lingas also known as Sahastralingas. The tank water inside this temple is said to have healing powers for curing physical illness.
LOCATION : BHUBANESWAR ,ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : The Linga inside this temple appeared on its own and is known as ‘Syambhu Linga.’
5. BRAHMESWARA TEMPLE
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the construction of this temple can be dated back to the 9th century which makes it one of the oldest temples in Odisha. It was established during the Somvanshi Dynasty. It has historical and architectural significance and is a must-visit for those who love history and mythology. This temple is carved out of a single stone and is known for its architectural marvel.
Itis built in the Lingayat architectural style. Its architecture is similar to the Mukteshwar temple. It is built in the pyramidal style and has many beautiful carvings on its interior and exterior walls. There are many stunning and beautiful parts of the temple which is divided into different parts. It has banquets and dance halls which are beautifully designed.
LOCATION : OLD BHUBANESWAR ,ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : It is built in a pyramidal shape and has beautiful architecture in all parts of this temple.
6. GUNDICHA TEMPLE
This is one of the most beautiful temples in Odisha. It has a beautiful garden and is crowded only during the annual Ratha Yatra from the Jagannath temple. It is believed that Gundicha Temple is the abode of the Lord Jagannath from Hindu mythology. For the most part of the year, this temple is empty and can be visited anytime. It is built in the Kalinga style of architecture. It has four carved structures. It is built in the name of Lord Krishna’s aunt Gundicha.
It is believed that Lord Jagannath resides inside this temple for 9 days during the Ratha Yatra. The entire temple is built with a single gray sandstone. There are many mythological stories associated with this temple. It is also known as the ‘Garden House of Lord Jagannath.’
LOCATION : PURI , ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : It is empty for the entire year except for the 9 days of annual Ratha Yatra.
7. MUKTESHWAR TEMPLE
It was built in 950 A.D and is known for its stunning architecture. It was built during the rule of the Somvanshi Dynasty. It is built in the Kalinga architectural style. A part of this temple has also been built in the Buddhist style of architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on a hilltop. There are statues of many deities inside this temple.
It has ornamented Torana and elaborately carved structures within the walls as well as the exterior walls of the temple. There are many ornate structures and carvings inside the temple which are tastefully done and have intricate details. There are many striking features of this temple in the form of carvings and sculptures.
LOCATION : BHUBANESWAR , ODISHA
HIGHLIGHTS : Known as the ‘Gem of architecture.’ It has many intricate carvings.