Lingaraj Temple, the largest temple in Bhubaneswar, is situated in the town of Bhubaneswar, Khurda district of Odisha and also dedicated to Lord Shiva. Bhubaneswar is referred as Ekamra Kshetra in the ancient scripture, the Brahma Purana. The name Lingaraj refers to “The King of Lingam” and Lingam is considered as a symbol of Saivism. Lingaraj Temple is built in a Kalinga style of architecture with a highest development of architectural tradition in the medieval stages of Bhubaneswar, made of Sandstone and Laterite.
The central tower of Lingaraj Temple stands at a height of 180 feet and the temple complex contains 50 other shrines. The temple is said to be built by the Somavamsi dynasties and later contributed by the Ganga rulers. However the Lingaraj Temple is now maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archeological Survey of India.
The presiding deity of this Lingaraj Temple is Lord Harihara, one of the form of Lord Shiva also called as Bhubaneswar and Goddess Bhuvaneshvari, the consort of Lord Harihara. The temple also has the image of Lord Vishnu and the other images are Lord Ganesh, Lord Karthikeya etc. Lingaraj Temple is one of the oldest temples of Bhubaneswar, which is said to be more than 1100 years old. It is noted as one of the finest example of Purely Hindu Temples in India, which receives 6000 pilgrims per day. Lingaraj Temple is built in the style of Deula, which consists of four main components:
- Vimanam (tower above the sanctum sanctorum)
- Jagamohana Hall (Assembly Hall)
- Natamandira (Festival Hall)
- Bhoga Mandapa (offering Hall)
The temple remains open from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm
- Mahasnana (ablution) – 12 pm to 3.30 pm (the temple will be closed)
- Ballabha Bhoga (Offerings) – 1.00 pm to 1.30 pm
- Sakala Dhupa – 2.00 pm
- Bhanda Dhupa – 3.30 pm
- Ballabha Dhupa – 4.30 pm
- Dwipahar Dhupa (mid-day meal) – 5.00 pm
- Palia Badu – 7.00 pm
- Sahana Dhupa (light meal) – 8.30 pm
- Bada Singara (the great decoration) – 9.30 pm
- Shivaratri – February or March
- Ratha-Yatra (chariot festival) – March or April
The Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) is located in Bhubaneswar connecting Bhubaneswar to cities in Odisha and with the neighboring states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.
Bhubaneswar is the nearest railway station, has five railway stations within its city limits; namely (from north to south) Patia Halt, Mancheswar, Vani Vihar, Bhubaneswar station (near Master Canteen) and Lingaraj Temple Road.
The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport also known as Bhubaneswar Airport, situated 3 kilometers (1.9 mi).
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- Vaital Deul Temple