Lingaraj Temple
Location: Bhubaneswar 
Famous For : Lord Shiva
District: Khordha
History : Lingaraj Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Harihara, a form of Shiva and is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the East Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa). The temple is the most prominent landmark of the Bhubaneswar city and one of the major tourist attractions of the state. The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the quintessence of the Kalinga Architecture and culminating the medieval stages of the architectural tradition at Bhubaneswar. Lingaraj means "The king of Lingam", the symbol of Saivism. Shiva was worshipped as Kirtivasa and later as Harihara and is commonly referred as Tribhuvaneshwara (also called Bhubaneswar), the master of three worlds, namely, heaven, earth and netherworld). His consort is called Bhuvaneshvari. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, vimana (structure containing the sanctum), jagamohana (assembly hall), natamandira (festival hall) and bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall. The temple is believed to be built by the Somavanshi king Jajati Keshari, in the 11th century CE. Jajati Keshari had shifted his capital from Jajpur to Bhubaneswar which was referred to as Ekamra Kshetra in the Brahma Purana, an ancient scripture. One of the Somavamsi queens donated a village to the temple and the Brahmins attached to the temple received generous grants. An inscription from the Saka year 1094 (1172 CE) indicates gifts of gold coins to the temple by Rajaraja II. Another inscription of Narasimha I from the 11th century indicates offer of beetel leaves as tambula to the presiding deity. Other stone inscriptions in the temple indicate royal grants from Chodaganga to village people. Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraj was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra). Ekamra Purana, a Sanskrit treatise of the 13th century mentions that the presiding deity was not seen as lingam (an aniconic form of Shiva) during the Satya and Treta yugas and only during the Dwapara and Kali yugas, it emerged as a lingam. The lingam in the temple is a natural unshaped stone that rests on a Sakti. Such a lingam is called Krutibasa or Swayambhu and is found in 64 places in different parts of India. With the advent of the Ganga dynasty in the early 12th century, who had Vaishnavaite orientation, a new movement started resulting in the synthesis of Saivism and Vaishnavism. The Ekamra was associated with Vaishanavite gods Krishna and Balaram during the period. As per Hindu legend, an underground river originating from the Lingaraj temple fills the Bindusagar Tank (meaning ocean drop) and the water is believed to heal physical and spiritual illness. The water from the tank is thus treated sacred and pilgrims take a holy dip during festive occasions.The central deity of the temple, Lingaraj, is worshipped both as Shiva and Vishnu. The harmony between the two sects of Hinduism, Saivism and Vaishanvism, is seen in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated annually in Phalgun month when thousands of devotees visit the temple. Apart from a full day of fasting, bel leaves are offered to Lingaraj on this auspicious day. The main celebrations take place at night when devotees pray all night long. The devout usually break their fast after the Mahadipa (a huge lamp) is lit on the spire of the temple. Every year the chariot festival (Ratha-Yatra) of Lingaraja is celebrated on Ashokashtami. The deity is taken in a chariot to Rameshwar Deula temple. Thousands of devotees follow and pull brightly decorated chariots containing the idols of Lingaraj and his sister Rukmani. This chariot procession stays for five days at the Rameshwar Temple and then will be brought back. This festival commemorates Lord Lingaraj having slayed a demon. Thousands of bol bom pilgrims carry water from river Mahanadi and walk all the way to the temple during the month of Shravana every year.
How to Reach : Bhubaneswar is the headquarters of the East coast of the Railway station. The city is well connected to other major railway junctions located in the metros. There are passenger trains which travel on a regular basis. The city has good private and public bus service that runs on the state and national highway road. The airport is located at the centre of the city. One can easily reach Lingaraj Temple by bus or taxi.

Post what you know about this Temple

All Rights Reserved@Jumarab Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.