Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Orissa (PART-II)

Mukteswar Temple

Muktesvara deula or Mukteswar Temple is a 10th century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The temple dates back to 970 A.D., is a monument of singular importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Orissa. The temples most striking feature is the torana, or the arched gateway, dating back to about 900 A.D. The Gateway to the Mukteswara Temple, modeled on the torana recovered from the field in Bhubaneswar, bears sculptures that range from elaborate scrolls to pleasant female forms and figures of monkeys and peacocks. The arched gateway has thick pillars that have strings of beads and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose. The porch is a waller chanber with a low, massive roof, and internal pillars are wholly wanting. The combination of vertical and horizontal lines is skillfully arranged so as to give dignity of buildings of moderate height. This early astylar form of the temple is best illustrated in this temple.
It also shows excellent combinations of Hindu and Buddhist and Jain features, which find a common voice in much of Orissan temple craft.

Kedareswar Temple

Kedareswar Temple, one of the eight Astasambhu Temples, is near the Mukteswar Temple, in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva, referred to locally by the name ‘Kedareshwar’. It is in the precinct of Kedara-Gouri on the right side of the road leading to Puri from Bhubaneswar and at a distance of 40 metres south of Muktesvara. It is one of the ten monuments within the precinct. It is the main temple of the complex. The temple is facing south and the enshrined deity is a circular yonipitha made of sandstone. The linga (symbol of the Lord Siva) at the centre is missing.. It stands near the yard of the Mukteswar Temple.
Here is a legend about the temple. There lived a couple named Kedar (male) and Gouri (female). They loved each other and decided to marry. The society was against the union, so it led them to flee from village. During the journey Gouri felt hungry, so Kedar went for food and was killed by a tiger. Later Gouri hearing this at this place jumped into the pond. The king of Utkal (present Orissa), Lalatendu Keshari, knowing this raised a temple named Kedareshawr or Kedargouri Temple. Still lovers come here to pray for a happy wedlock without any obstacles. The pond here is said to have some medicinal property.

Rajarani Temple

Rajarani Temple is an 11th century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Originally it was known as Indreswara and serves as a shrine to Shiva. It is known as 'love temple', covered with coyly erotic carvings of women and couples. The temple is aesthetically endearing with its graceful sculptures.

Rajarani Temple stands on a raised platform. Its spire is decorated with clusters of turrets (replication of the spire itself) emerging from the rib of the spire. The temple was constructed of dull red and turbid yellow sandstone locally called "Rajarani". The sculptures have a depth that was lacking in the Mukteswara Temple sculptures. The Jagamohana (porch) though demonstrating a pyramidal structure is yet to take on as a complete structure of its own. It bears signs of repair in 1903 when it collapsed into ruins. Guardians of the Eight Directions project from the base of the temple in the eight directions, starting from the gateway in a clockwise direction around the porch and the deul to end back at the torana (entrance).

Ram Mandir

Ram Mandir, in the heart of Bhubaneswar, near Kharavel Nagar, Janpath, is a temple housing beautiful images of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman, and Goddess Sita. The high rising spire of the main temple visible from many parts of the capital city, is its main attraction. Built and managed by a private trust, the temple complex also comprises shrines devoted to ochre-painted marble idols of Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva and other gods.
Almost every festival of Hindus is celebrated here around the year. Ram Navami, Vivaha Panchami, Janmashtami, Dussehra, Shivaratri, Pana Sankranti are the major ones. The magnificent Aarathi during morning and evening draws a lot of devotees. Annual fair is also organised here on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan or Rakhi.

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