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Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

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Mukteshwara Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva built in the tenth century and located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. The temple, which dates from 950-975 CE, is an important monument in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. The temple was constructed in the 10th century AD.  The temple’s presiding deity is Lord Shiva, also known as Lord Mukteswara or Lord of Spiritual Freedom.

Historians have called the temple a “miniature gem” because of its intricate and well-proportioned craftsmanship. The Torana, or arched gate, is the temple’s signature and one of the most photographed architectural structures in India, if not the world. The exquisitely carved pillars of the arched gate astound tourists and visitors with their unparalleled precision and skill.

Significance of Mukteshwara Temple

The intricately carved ceiling is an intriguing feature of the temple, which is reminiscent of Central Indian temples. This is because the temple was built during the initial rule of the Somavamsi dynasty, who came to Odisha from Central India. The temple is known as the ‘Gem of Odisha’ due to its architecture. Mukteswara Temple is a true example of ancient and modern Kalinga School architecture perfectly blended in construction.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

The Mukteshwara Temple is a sandstone marvel that stands 35 feet tall. The temple faces west and is built in a lower basement among other temples. The temple has a torana, or entrance porch, a vimana, and a jagamohana, or leading hall. The temple was the first of its kind to be built in the pithadeula style. The jagamohana’s pyramidal roof was the first of its kind over the traditional two-tier structure.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

Mukteshvara means “Lord of Freedom” (from the birth-death cycle). The temple honours the Hindu god Shiva. Skeletal ascetics in teaching or meditation poses are depicted in a number of sculptures. As a possible thesis, some scholars associate the temple’s role as a centre for Tantric initiation with the name Mukteshvara.

History of Mukteshwara Temple

The Mukteshwara Temple was discovered to be the first work of the Somavamshi period. The temple, according to most scholars, is the successor to the Parashurameshvara Temple and was built before the Brahmeswara Temple (1060 CE). Percy Brown dates the temple’s construction to 950 CE. The presence of a torana, which is not found in any other temple in the region, distinguishes this temple, and some of the representations suggest that the builders were pioneers of a new culture.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

K.C. Panigrahi dates the temple’s construction to 966 CE and believes it was built by Somavamshi king Yayati I. He also connects the legend of Kirtivassa to this temple, but this is not accepted because Kirtivasa is associated with Lingaraja, despite the fact that both were built at the same time for the same deity, Shiva. There is no historical evidence that Yayati built the temple.

The Architecture of Mukteshvara Temple

This architecture is one of the primary reasons why Mukteshvara Temple is also referred to as the “Gem of Odisha architecture” or “Kalinga Architecture.” The temple faces west and is built in a lower basement among other temples. The pyramidal roof of the temple’s jagamohana was the first of its kind, replacing the traditional two-tier structure. In comparison to other larger temples in Bhubaneswar, the temple is small. The temple is surrounded by an octagonal compound wall with intricate carvings.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

It is believed that the experiment of a newer pattern in the temple demonstrated a mature phase when compared to its predecessors, culminating in the beginning of the replication of a similar pattern in the city’s later temples. The temple has a porch, known as a torana, that serves as the entrance to the octagonal compound. The temple consists of two structures: a vimana (structure above the sanctum) and a mukhasala (leading hall), both of which are built on a raised platform. The temple was one of the first to be built in the pithadeula style.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

The Torana, or arched gateway, is the most important feature of the Mukteshvara Temple, dating back to around 900 CE and displaying Buddhist architectural influence. The arched gateway is supported by thick pillars with beaded strings and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose. The porch is a walled chamber with internal pillars and a low, massive roof.

Mukteshwara Temple Bhubaneswar

The combination of vertical and horizontal lines is skillfully arranged to give modest-height buildings dignity. This temple best exemplifies the early astylar form of the temple. Sculptures on the gateway range from elaborate scrolls to pleasant female forms and figures of monkeys and peacocks. The image of Ketu with three hooded snakes, commonly regarded as the ninth planet in Hindu legendry, is housed in the doorway to the inner sanctum.

Important Facts about Mukteshwara Temple

  • Mukteswara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, located 4 kilometres from Bhubaneswar Railway Station.
  • It is one of the oldest and most famous temples in Bhubaneswar, as well as one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city.
  • The Mukteshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is well-known for its exquisite carvings and sculptural work.
  • The temple, which was built in the 10th century AD, is an important monument in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha.
  • The magnificent Torana – the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece – is the temple’s main highlight.
  • The Mukteshwara Temple was the first of its kind to be built in the pithadeula style. The jagamohana’s pyramidal roof was the first of its kind over the traditional two-tier structure.
  • Siddheswar Temple, built in the 10th century, is located in the northwest corner of Mukteswar Temple’s enclosure and houses an attractive standing figure of Lord Ganesh.
  • The pancha ratha-style temple’s sanctum is surrounded by five-divisional walls. A row of miniature towers surrounds the temple tower, which is topped by four rampant lions on the central ratha.
  • The Mukteshwara Temple has a tank on the eastern side and a well on the south-western corner.  A dip in the first known as the Marichi Kunda is believed to cure infertility in women.
  • There are several sculptures of skeletal ascetics in teaching or meditation poses. As one possible thesis, some scholars associate the temple’s role as a centre for Tantric initiation with the name Mukteshvara.

Best Time to Visit Mukteshwara Temple

This place is very heavenly and spiritual, and you can visit it all year. The best time to visit Mukteshwara Temple, however, is during the monsoon and winter seasons. During the monsoon season, this location receives moderate to heavy rainfall, making it appear heavenly with its greenery and bringing freshness elsewhere.

Famous Festivals In Mukteshwara Temple

  • Dussehra – Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashmi, is celebrated on the tenth day after Navaratri to commemorate the triumph of good over evil.
  • Shravana: For happiness and wealth, many fasts, offerings, and mantras are performed during the fifth month of the Hindu calendar, known as Shravana.
  • Mahashivaratri is a fasting ritual that takes place in the last week of February. It is reminiscent of Lord Shiva bringing Goddess Parvati with him. A Grand Celebration is arranged by priests and the temple committee.

How to Reach Mukteshwara Temple

Bhubaneshwar the capital city of Odisha is well connected by Air, Train, or Road.

By Air: The Mukteshwara Temple is about 4.5 kilometres from the Biju Patnaik International Airport, and it takes about 10 minutes to get there by auto rickshaw or taxi.

By Rail: The distance from the Bhubaneswar railway station is approximately 4.4 km and can be easily covered in approximately 12 -15  minutes by taking an auto-rickshaw or taxi service.

By Road:  Tourists can also take local buses or hire a private cab from one of Bhubaneswar’s top car rental companies to get to the Mukteshwara Temple.

Also Read – Brahmeshwar Temple Bhuvaneshwar

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Open Now

Sunday 7 AM - 7 PM
Saturday 7 AM - 7 PM
Monday 7 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 7 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 7 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 7 AM - 7 PM
Friday 7 AM - 7 PM
Address: Mukteswara Temple, Bhubaneswar, Kedar Gouri Vihar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
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Open Now

Sunday 7 AM - 7 PM
Saturday 7 AM - 7 PM
Monday 7 AM - 7 PM
Tuesday 7 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday 7 AM - 7 PM
Thursday 7 AM - 7 PM
Friday 7 AM - 7 PM
Address: Mukteswara Temple, Bhubaneswar, Kedar Gouri Vihar, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India