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Indian Heritage & Culture

Revamp of Lingaraj Temple: Odisha

  • 20 Aug 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Odisha government has decided to give a facelift to the 11th century Lingaraj Temple, akin to its pre-350-year structural status.

  • This announcement has come despite the massive financial burden on the State economy in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

Key Points

  • The efforts will be to create a spiritual and ecological ambience in and around the Lingaraj Temple.
  • The redevelopment plan of the peripheral area of the temple, known as ‘Ekamravan Kshetra’, in Bhubaneswar, has been approved.
  • Further, the government is planning a barrier-free access between the Temple and Bindusagar lake.
    • After the Lingaraj Temple, the Bindusagar (a sprawling pond) is the second major attraction for devotees. The pond has a religious relationship with the main temple.
    • Historical records suggest that about 350 years ago, there was nothing between the Temple and the Lake except some temples.
    • Bindhyabasini, Bhabani Shankar, Shukasari and Mohini temples will be part of the redevelopment plan.
  • This is a part of the Lingaraj Temple Heritage Development Project under Ekamra plan.
    • Through Ekmara plan, it is expected that heritage redevelopment will enhance the attraction of Bhubaneswar as a tourist site and claim for a UNESCO heritage site will be stronger.

Lingaraj Temple

  • Lingaraj Temple, built in 11th century AD, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered as the largest temple of the city Bhubaneswar.
  • It is believed to have been built by the Somvanshi King Yayati I.
  • The main tower of this temple measures 180-feet in height.
  • It is built in red stone and is a classic example of Kalinga style of architecture.
  • The temple is divided into four sections―Garbh Griha (sanctum sanctorum), Yajna Shala (the hall for prayers), Bhoga Mandap (the hall of offering) and the Natya Shala (hall of dance).
  • The sprawling temple complex has one hundred and fifty subsidiary shrines.
  • Lingaraj is referred to as ‘Swayambhu” – self-originated Shivling.
  • Another important aspect of the temple is that it signifies the syncretisation of Shaivism and Vaishnavism sects in Odisha.
    • Perhaps the rising cult of Lord Jagannath (considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu) which coincided with the completion of the Lingaraja Temple had a role to play.
    • The presiding deity in the Temple is known as Hari-Hara; Hari denotes Lord Vishnu and Hara meaning Lord Shiva.
  • The temple is out of bounds for non-Hindus.
  • The other attraction of the temple is the Bindusagar Lake, located in the north side of the temple.
  • On the western banks of Bindusagar, lies the garden of Ekamra Van named after the Hindu mythological texts where Bhubaneswar the capital city of Odisha was referred as Ekamra Van or a forest of a single mango tree.

Other Important Monuments in Odisha

Source: TH

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