Lesser known Bhubaneswar Temples - Part II (Odisha)

From Vaital Deul, my next stop was Parasurameswara Temple, which is perhaps the earliest surviving large temple of the 7th - 8th C CE. As in Taleswara, here again the lintel of the entrance has only 8 of the navagraha depicted. 

It has 12.8m deul and an oblong shaped jagmohana with flat roof. This again is a sculptural marvel! On the deula are Ravanaanugraha murthy, Nataraja, Lakulisa, Bhikshadana, Mahishasura Mardhini, Virabadhra, Trivikrama, Karthikeya etc. There are some erotic sculptures too! There were some interesting friezes of elephants as well. 

On the Bada were also the reliefs of Sapthamatrika. One sculptural aspect that really fascinated me here were the windows! The space between the jaali that made the windows, actually formed human figures!!!

From there, after breaking for lunch, my next stop was Chausathi Yogini Temple also called Mahamaya Mandir in Hirapur. It was built by Queen Hiradevi in 9th C CE, however stayed lost till 1953 when it was re-discovered. Similar to Vaital Deul, this too is very much a Tantric Temple. The architecture is way too different when compared to any other temple. The main section is set up in a circular structure of 2.4m height and 27.4m circumference. 

This has the relief sculptures of all the 64 yoginis. Of them, 8 are sculputed on the 4 pillars of the centrally places square mandapa out of chlorite and the rest 56 are on the wall of the circular construction made of sandstone. The largest sculpture is of Mahamaya, the 10 armed Goddess! There's also the very scary Chamunda, who was the main Goddess at Vaital Duel. At the entrance and the central mandap are also a few male figures. There is a separate shrine at the entrance as well which has a gorgeous, beautifully sculpted Goddess with lot of detailing....
My next stop was Brahmeswara Temple and I was already losing sunlight! It was beautiful twilight hour and love was in the air of Bhubaneswar!!! What else would you call the images above?!!! 

This was built by Kolavati, the mother of Somavanshi King Uddyotakesari. It’s a 5 shrined temple with Pancharatha Deul (5 part tower), Pancha anga Bada (5 part platform). The upper part of the platform also has miniature temples depicted on them which are also 5 part structures! 

The sculptures all around it were just a thing of beauty. There were some relief sculptures of Gods including Ekapadamurthy (one-legged God), Nataraja (dancing Shiva), Andhakasura Vadha murthy, Bhairava (Skeletal Shiva), Ardhanarishwara (Half Shiva & Half Parvathi), Ashta Dikbala (Gods of the 8 directions).

Esp the women depicted with various poses, at some places even with their kids, it was just beautiful. Also there were the miniature decorative panels. And ofcourse there were the erotic depictions! Plus there were the usual climbers of creepers, and friezes of deers and monkeys. And around all this were these romantic squirrel couple running around!!!! 
Guess what’s this? That’s the window! If window panels can be that stunning, we’re talking about the exemplary talent of the Orissan sculptors! My last stop for the day as the sun was almost setting, were the twin temples of Muktesvara and Siddhesvara, but that’s coming up in the next post! Stay tuned…

Tips & To Stay: Refer to my earlier post

To Get There:
Nearest Railway Station: Bhubaneswar
Nearest Airport: Bhubaneswar
On Google Maps: Parasurameswara TempleChausathi Yogini TempleBrahmeswara Temple

P.S: 6th& 7th pics belong to Mr.G.Santhanam. Rest by yours truly!

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.


  1. I plan to go to Bhubaneshwar this Dec. Thanks for the information

  2. I love your 3D image of the Brahmeswara Temple, I felt like I was there! The Nataraja, dancing Shiva is a concept I've never seen before. These temples have so much history yet are still in great shape. So much tuk see in India!

  3. There's a reason Bhubanshwar is known as City of Temples and here's a proof :) I too visited the capital but we didn't get to see Parasurameswara temple as we only had half a day and had to cover other spots. Though, we did visit Muktesvara and Siddhesvara which are coming in your next post :) I must admit I was really impressed with the architecture there, I like the last image here which doesn't any close to a window, really impressive!!

  4. There's so much more to India than the Taj Mahal! Your posts on India are really refreshing and show travelers that there are loads of destinations to visit. The temple work is quite exquisite.

  5. Another interesting post about these incredible temples. All the stories and legends here are so interesting and show the culture of your country. A fascinating read!

  6. The detail in those carvings is stunning! I'm always so blown away to see the incredible artwork that people used to create by hand--all the while making it so powerful it stood the test of time. Absolutely gorgeous temple!

  7. Such a beautiful temple!! I love the intricate designs in the architecture. Definitely a beautiful place to visit.

  8. This is beautiful! I'm always fascinated by the detail in these ancient buildings. Wonderful that it has survived so much time.

  9. Wow! These temples are simply magnificent! Is one day enough to explore them?

  10. The Indian temples are beautiful in a way that is so unique! I've been to many temples and I am quite impressed with the level of architectural detail of the Bhubaneswar Temples! The level of preservation is also quite impressive!!

  11. Beautiful and thanks for continuing with the series. The temples continue to amaze and the sculptures are just brilliant. So much history and art and of course religion all form a spectacular scene.

  12. Your blog always remind me that I have to visit Odisha asap. There is so much to do here. I want to visit all the temples of Odisha. The pictures you shared tempts me to book my ticket now. Loved that cute picture of the squirrels.

  13. What a magnificent creation- I am always in awe of the particular handiwork of these temples. Even without a guide, you can learn from the etchings that line the walls. Such a neat way to experience history.

  14. Such magnificent architecture of these temples which are lesser known. I loved the intricate details of creepers, ladies in various erotic poses and all goddess statues. I loved the squirrel pose but how you managed to get the glimpse of such small things. I must say you have got quite observant eyes which notices minute details.

  15. The intricacy in the design and architecture of the Bhubaneswar Temples makes this area just so interesting to explore. I totally would have spent so much time taking photos of all the statues and detailing in the temples. What a great way to learn more about the history and the legends.

  16. Wow. So many details carved in the temple! you captured some really good shots. The rich history and legends behind each temple blows my mind away. great read - thanks for sharing!

  17. I love the detailing in these temples, so intricate and unique and your photography has captured them so well! I honestly feel like you write such historical, interesting posts I always learn something and as I doubt I'll be able to visit this part of the world any time soon, it's such a wonderful way to see the area!


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