Lingaraja Temple An Oldest Temple In Bhubaneshwar
Bhubaneshwar is the capital of Orissa, a state located in the North-east part of India. The temple it dedicated to lord Shiva, and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneshwar. The temple is one of the prominent landmark in the city and is considered as a major tourist attraction in the state. The Lingaraja Temple is the tallest temple with a central tower which is 180-feet tall.
About the temple
The Lingaraja Temple is located in prime location, Bhubaneshwar the capital of the state. The name suggests Lingraja means king of lingas, where Linga is a phallic form of the Lord Shiva. The temple was built in the 11th century by King Jajati Keshari. The King shifted his kingdom from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar.
The ancient temple is referred in as Brahma Purana. The temple is 1000-years old, and many parts are dated from the 6th century. It is been said, as the construction of the temple was about to reach an end, the Jagannath cult started increasing.
According to the history, Bhubaneshwar was also Kesari capital, till 10th century hen Nripati Kesari founded Cuttck. Several inscriptions are founded from Kalinga King Anangabhima III. The Purasurameswara temple is another temple dated back to 8th century, while Lingaraja is from the 10th century. While, the bhog mandir and nath mandir are from late origin.
Tale to tell
According to the people, there is a tale associated with the oldest temple. According to them, Shiva said to Parvati that this temple was resort favour to people over Benares. Goddess Parvati in disguise of cowherd women thought and decided to look over the city herself. Two demons namely Vasa and Kritti desired to marry her, she wished to carry her on the shoulder and then crushed them. Then Lord Shiva created the lake ‘Bindu Saras’ to quench her thirst and took adobe here as Lingaraja.
Bindu Sagar Lake is surrounded by several temples. While the Lingaraja is located in a spacious courtyard of 250000 sq-feet and protected by fortified wall. The Shivalingam in sanctum is situated 8-inch above floor level and 8-feet wide in diameter.
Today, the temple is maintained by the ASI- Archeological Survey of India and Temple Trust Board. There are around 6,000 visitors noted on each day, and the number rises to million during festivals. Shivaratri is celebrated on grand scale witnessing 200,000 visitors.
The Lingaraja temple is divided into 4-section: the Natya Shala, the Bhog Mandir, the Yagna Shala and the Garbha Griha. The Garbha Griha is prime Sanctum Sanctorum with lingam of Lord Shiva which is considered as Swayambhu. Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are main deities which are worshipped. Lord Shiva’s symbol Trident and Lord Vishnu’s symbol Chakra can be seen on either side of the door. The huge lingam is bathed with water and milk, the ritual is known as Abishekum. The temple is built as a style of Kalinga Architecture.