About Lingaraja Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

  • By HathYogi
  • August 20 2020
  • hathyogi31
  • 1076 views
Lingaraja Mandir, early morning view.
  • Article tells you about the famous and revered Lingaraja Shiv Mandir.

 

The Lingaraja temple is the largest and one of the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar, which is a city of temples. The 13th century Ekamra Purana narrates that Bhubaneswar was famous as Ekamra Kshetra where Lord Lingaraj was under a mango tree.

Lingaraj Temple depicts the rich legacy of Indian culture and traditions. The spiritual ecstasy offered by the temple is worth feeling for once.

Lingaraja means “the king of the ligam”, which means that the worshipable deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. The shiva-linga present there is svayambhu, i.e self-manifested. The Purushottama-khanda of the Skanda Purana and the Antya-khanda of the Chaitanya Bhagavata describe that Lord Shiva attained Bhubaneswar as a place of residence.

However, according to Brahma Purana - “While the construction of the temples were on the verge of completion, the Jagannath cult started taking its shape.” And this fact has been testified by the evidence that Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are revered here at this temple. Hence, lord Vishnu also holds the equal importance in this temple and both are worshiped together in the form of Hari-Hara. 

The north-east corner of the temple hosts the Deity of Parvati Devi known as Bhuvaneshwari Devi, the consort of Tribhuvaneshwar (shiva) - the master of the three worlds. 

In fact the city of Bhubaneswar is named after the name Tribhuvaneshwara. As per tradition, one should visit the Lingaraj temple first before visiting the temple of Lord Jagannatha in Puri.

View of Lingaraja temple.

According to some Sanskrit texts, the temple was constructed by Lalat Indu Keshari who ruled the region during 615 to 657 CE but according to Brahma Purana, the Somavanshi King Yayati built the temple during the period 1025 to 1040 CE. Some of the present historians believe that the temple was constructed by Ananta Kesari and Udyota Kesari, sons of Yayati. 

What may be the story of the construction, the temple attracts devotees from from all over India, earlier and now.

Lingaraj Temple is partitioned into four sections, the Garbh Griha, the Yajna Shala, the Bhoga Mandap and the Natya Shala individually. 

In the Garbh Griha, the lingam of Lord Shiva is viewed as ‘Swayambhu’ and it is venerated as both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.  On the main entrance, one can see a trident (Lord Shiva) and Chakra (Lord Vishnu) on the either side of the door.

Right side view of temple.

All these things indicate that the temple is also a symbol of the religious harmony. Because during the Bhakti Movement there were some differences raised between the Vaishnavas and Shaivas. Some believe that the temple constructed to reduce the differences between the two sects.

The Lingaraj Temple lies on the bank of the Bindu Sarovar, a sacred lake that created by sacred lake was created by Lord Shiva by collecting water from other sacred rivers.

Bindusagar Sarovar near Lingaraj Mandir.

Bhagavata Purana describes that the lake is encircled by the sacred river Sarasvati. Sage Kardama is said to have performed austerities on the bank of this lake to gain the causeless mercy of Lord Vishnu. When the Supreme Lord arrived there He was so compassionate that in pleasure He shed tears, which became Bindu Sarovara.

According to some locals there is an underground river flowing under the Lingaraj temple and forming a tank outside the temple which is called Bindusagar Tank. The devotees believe that the water has the unique quality of curing the physical and spiritual illness.

Our Ancient temples were not just places of worship, not just places to showcase our art work, culture and thoughts. They were like a thick book which carried millions of historical incidents within themselves, some written and heard, while some were never disclosed.

Author is a social media activist with a character name हठयोगी. He has been doing research on our ancient scriptures for the last six years and posts about Hinduism, science, history and current affairs. You can follow him on social media (Twitter, facebook, Instagram, squeaks) at @hathyogi31 or visit his YouTube channel with a name ‘Hathyogi speaks.’ Pictures by Sanjeev Nayyar.  

 

Also see albums

1. Temples of Bhubaneshwar

2. Mukteshwar Temple, Bhubaneshwar

3. Raja Rani Temple, Bhubaneshwar

4. Sun Temple Konarak

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