A closeup view of Rajarani Temple
A closeup view of Rajarani Temple

Rajarani Temple is situated in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. This temple is also called as Indreswara Temple and also dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. Rajarani temple is well known for its unique architectural features and for the remarkable sculptural excellence. Rajarani Temple is also called as “Love Temple”, because the temple contains the erotic carvings of Women and couples. This temple stands on a raised platform with superstructure towers which appears round unlike other temples and with double crowned elements.

Rajarani Temple is said to be in existence from 11th century and is said to be built in a Kalingan Pancharatha style with Vimanam raising up to 18 meters and with a pyramidal roofed viewing hall. Rajarani Temple is said to be constructed of a dull red and turbid yellow colored sandstones which are known as “Rajarani” and this might be the reason for the origin of this name for this temple. Rajarani Temple is built in the style of Deula architecture, which consists of four main components:

  1. Vimanam (tower above the sanctum sanctorum)
  2. Jagamohana Hall (Assembly Hall)
  3. Natamandira (Festival Hall)
  4. Bhoga Mandapa (offering Hall)

Specialty

Rajarani Temple has a distinct feature that the Garbhagriha, the main sanctum does not contain any deities. But there are some obvious features which indicates that the temple has a Saivite origin. The temple has the presence of Saiva Dwarapalakas named Prachanda and Chanda with jatamukha (long matted hair), garland of skulls and a snake. The main attraction of this temple is sculptures of Astadikpalas, the eight temple guards who protects the temple from the different directions.

They are Indra (east), Agni (southeast) god of fire, Yamaraja (south) god of death, Nirritti (southwest), Varuna (west) god of water, Vayu (northwest) god of air, Kubera (north) god of wealth, and Isana (northeast). The other important sculptures are the image of Varuna, naga-nagi sthambha, Saiva dwarapalas, Lakulisa and the architrave of Navagrahas (the nine planets). The temple is of five divisions called as Panchanga bada. The divisions are:

  1. Pabhaga
  2. Talajangha
  3. Bandhana
  4. Uparajangha
  5. Baranda

The Vimanam of the temple depicts the sculptures of the divine marriage of Lord Shiva, Lord Nataraja, Goddess Parvati, Nayakas in various roles. The frontage of the main shrine houses the wonderful images of Lord Shiva dancing with Goddess Parvati and the auxiliaries playing musical instruments.

Festivals

Rajarani Music Festival – January

By Road

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.


By Train

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.


By Air

The nearest airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport also known as Bhubaneswar Airport, situated 3 kilometers (1.9 mi).

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  • Lingaraj Temple
  • Vaital Deul Temple

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