Lingaraj Temple is a Hindu Temple in dedication to Lord Shiva, in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. The term ‘Lingaraja’ refers to the ‘king of Lingas’, i.e. Lord Shiva. While Shiva’s Trishul and Vishnu’s Chakra are present at the entrance, ‘Simhadwara’ or ‘Lions Gate’ is on the eastern side of the shrine.
The ancient capital of the Kalinga Empire, the Lingaraj Temple is one of the most well-known temples that have been ever built in . This temple was built by the King Jajati Keshari in the 11th century and is believed to be the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar.
What is the history of Lingaraj Temple?
According to the history of Lingaraj Temple, Shiva said to Parvati that he favored Bhubaneswar or Ekamra thirtha over Benares. Parvati decided to disguise herself as a cowherd woman to have a look at the city herself when she met two demons, Kritti and Vasa who desired to marry her.
Parvati asked them to carry her on their shoulders and then crushed them under her weight. It is then that Lord Shiva created the Bindu Saras lake to quench Parvati’s thirst and decided to dwell here as Krittivasas or Lingaraja.
Lingaraj Temple has its mention in the Hindu scripture, Brahma Purana. The present structure of the holy shrine exists since the 11th century; however, some parts also date back to the 6th century as well. Devotees also believe that when the structure of the temple was about to complete, the Jagannath sect started to flourish. This belief is furnished with both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu being worshipped in the temple.
What is the significance of Lingaraj Temple?
The significance of Lingaraj Temple is that it is one of the oldest temples in Bhubaneshwar. This temple worships Shiva as Harihara, which is a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. It represents Kalinga style of architecture and has four parts- Garbh Griha, Yajna Shala, Bhoga Mandap and Natya Shala.
The granite statue is 54.8 meters high, 8 feet in diameter and is present on a platform that is 8 inches above the ground. Also, the priests worship the deity daily with water, milk and bhang (marijuana). The temple has an average of 6000 devotees visiting the auspicious shrine on a daily basis.
Aside from Garbh Griha, the ‘Natya Mandir’ gives an indication of its connection with the devadasi connection. Other than the Lingam, the parsva devta reveres the site, where Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikay and Goddess Parvati are put in various paths. Every one of the pictures is enormous and presents an incredible workmanship of the experts. The devotees decorate the idols with rich draperies and jeweler.
What are the timings of Lingaraj Temple?
Here are the timings of Lingaraj Temple:
|Open||6 am||9 pm|
|Afternoon Break||12 noon||3.30 pm|
|Bhanda Dhupa||3:30 pm|
What are the festivals celebrated at Lingaraj Temple?
Some of the festivals celebrated at Lingaraj Temple are:
- Shivaratri: It is the most famous festival that the temple celebrates on a yearly basis. Thousands of visitors assemble here and they pray throughout the night. Moreover, it represents the celebration when Lord Shiva killed a demon.
- Sunian day: It is another occasion that devotees practice since the ancient times. In the Bhadra month, all the temple servants, farmers and other owners of temple lands offer devotion and tribute to Lingaraja.
- Candan Yatra: It marks a 22-day celebration in the temple when devotees smear the deities and servants of the temple with sandalwood paste. Then they disport themselves into a special Bindusagar tank.
- Ratha Yatra: The chariot festival takes place every year on Ashokaashtami. The devotees take the idol in a chariot to the Rameshwar Deula temple and innumerable devotees pull the beautiful chariots of Lingaraja and his sister Rukmani.
What are the sevas and poojas of Lingaraj Temple?
Some of the sevas and pujas of Lingaraj temple are:
|Ballabha Bhoga||1 p.m.||1:30 p.m|
|Sakala Dhupa||2 p.m.|
|Bhanda Dhupa||3:30 p.m.|
|Palia Badu||7 p.m.|
|Sahana Dhupa||8:30 p.m.|
|Bada Singara||9:30 p.m.|
How to Reach Lingaraj Temple?
Here’s how to reach Lingaraj Temple:
- Air– The Biju Patnaik Airport in the heart of the Bhubaneswar city is the nearest airport.
- Train– Bhubaneswar Railway Station is well connected with every major city in India.
- Road– The city has good public and private bus services to offer to its visitors. Bhubaneswar is situated on the NH5.
Where to stay near Lingaraj Temple?
There are many budget hotels in Bhubaneswar which offer world class services at attractive rates. Moreover, one can also opt for luxury hotels that have every modern amenity to meet the growing needs of visitors. There are also a large number of hotels that provide online booking services.
What are some temples near Lingaraj Temple?
Some of the temples near Lingaraj Temple are:
- Puri Temple – It is one of the most sacred destinations in the eastern India. Being one of the four Dham’s, it is the abode of Lord Jagannath. It is 65km from Bhubaneswar which draws plenty of people during the Rath Yatra festival. In addition to it, this temple is one of the most popular and holy destination in the Eastern part of India.
- Konark Temple – It is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is 45km from Bhubaneswar. This temple is for the Sun God and the architecture beautiful. Also, during the month of December, Orissa Tourism organizes the Konark Festival where artists from across the world perform their arts.
- Biraja Temple – This temple comprises of 51 Shakti peeths, out of which 18 are Maha Shakti peeths. It is the place where Goddess Navel fell and visitors who cannot travel to Gaya can visit this place. It is present at a distance of 115 km from the city of Bhubaneswar.
- Rajarani Temple – Being dedicated to Lord Brahma, this temple constitutes of a particular form of limestone that makes it unique as well as mesmerizing. It is just 5km away from the capital city of Odisha.