Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Räjaräni Temple, Bhubaneswar

Räjaräëi Temple, Bhubaneswar

The Räjaräëi Temple is one of the latest of the Bhubaneswar temples datable to 11th century. It is perhaps the most beautiful temple in Bhubaneswar, decorated with some of the most impressive Oòia temple sculptures.

Temple architecture/style
The Temple stands on a raised platform and has a deula/ vimäna, and a jagamohana. The ornate deula is famous for its ornate deula/vimäna. The 18m (55 ft) deula/vimäna - tower is clustered by miniature towers with double crowning elements and appears round, like the towers central Indian temples , especially seen in Khajuraho Temples. The flat ribbed crowning amalaka and kalaça on the tower are surrounded by four squatting figures.

The jagamohana (viewing porch) is pyramidal in structure – piòhä style. The entrance to jagamohana is flanked by round thick columns entwined by nägas.

Around the compass points are statues of the eight dikpälas (guardians of directions), who protect the temple, two for each side. Between them, nymphs, embracing couples, elephants on the lions (believed to be symbolic of re-emergence of Hinduism over Buddhism) fill the niches and decorate the pillars.


The sculpture of Varuëa has been much photographed and used by art historians. So also the sculpture of Agni.

The slender sophisticated näyikäs on the deula wall remind me of Çälabhaïjikä.


The Name
The name of the Temple has been the subject of much debate, as the presiding deity in the Temple is Lord Çiva. The most likely explanation is that the name is related to the dull red and turbid yellow sandstone locally called "Rajarani". The temple was constructed of The debate is complicated by the fact that the names of all the Hindu temples in Bhubaneswar dedicated to Lord Siva end in suffix - Éçwara (for e.g. Paraçurämeçwara, Mukteçwara, Siddheçwara etc.), while those of the non-Çaivite temples are derived from their presiding deities (e.g. Pärvaté temple). One major scholar has argued that the name Räjaräëi was applied to the Temple later (because of the sandstone), and that originally this Çiva shrine was referred to as Indreçwara.

This interesting temple is surrounded by well-maintained gardens by ASI.

There is no deity, and one can freely go inside.
Work in Progress

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