The Lingaraj Temple, Orissa located in Bhubaneswar is the biggest and oldest of all the temples here. The architecture and interior of these temples are even more attractive. The followers of Hinduism have notable reverence for this temple, which is why lakhs of people go to and visit the Lingaraj temple each and every year.
As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, which was constructed by means of King Jajati Keshati in the seventh century. The distinctive factor about the Lingaraj temple is that only the followers of Hinduism are allowed to enter the temple. The glory of this temple can be gauged from the fact that 6 thousand people visit the temple each day to see Lingaraj. The Lingaraj temple is basically devoted to Lord Shiva, and images of Lord Vishnu are also existing here. The main temple is fifty-five meters tall and consists of about 50 different temples. Almost each and every Lingam temple in India is dedicated to Lord Shiva only.
However, the Lingaraj temple is believed to be the only temple in India where both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are worshiped together. A whole of 22 worship offerings is offered to the deities right here each day. Once each and every year the photo of Lingaraja is carried to the Jalmandir in the middle of Bindu Sagar Lake. The temple receives over 6,000 devotees and the day of Shivaratri is an important day of celebration when the number reaches over 200,000 tourists. If you are out on a spiritual outing to Bhubaneswar, then do not forget to go to the Lingaraj Temple.
According to history, the temple is believed to have been constructed by the Somvanshi king Jajati I (1025-1040) during the eleventh century. Jajati Keshari shifted his capital from Jajpur to Bhubaneshwar which used to be referred to as Ekakshara in the Brahma Purana as a historical scripture.
In the eleventh century, the Lingaraj temple was constructed by Raja Jajati Keshari, who belonged to the Soma dynasty. It is believed that when the king shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar, he started the construction of the Lingaraj temple. This ancient temple is also referred to in the Brahma Purana, a Hindu scripture
There is a legend about the Lingaraj temple. Lord Shiva once told Goddess Parvati why he favors the city of Bhubaneshwar over Banaras. Goddess Parvati herself arrived in the form of a normal cattle to explore the city. While she was searching, she came across two demons named Kriti and Vasa, who wanted to marry her. Despite her constant refusal, the demons kept chasing Parvati. In the process of saving himself, he destroyed both of them. Then Lord Shiva incarnated and created Bindu Saras Lake and resided there for eternity.
The Lingaraja temple is a splendid specimen of the Orissa style with the Kalinga style of architecture. The structure of the temple is built of deep shed sandstone. The main entrance of the temple faces east, while smaller entrances are present on the northern and southern sides. Covering a vast area of 2,50,000 square feet, the Lingaraj Temple built around the huge Bindu Sagar Lake and surrounded by fort walls that beautifully carved with sculptures. On the other hand, the towers of the temple at a distance of 45.11 meters. There are about 150 small temples in the temple complex.
The temple has four different parts, that is, Vimana. It is a structure consisting of the main sanctum, the Jaganmohan which is the assembly hall, the nata mandir or festival hall, and the bhoga-mandapa or the hall of offerings. The Bhogamandapa has four doors on each side, with the outer walls embellished with various Hindu motifs. The roof of this complex is pyramidal in shape and has an inverted bell and ‘Kalash’ on its top. On the other hand, the Natmandir has only two doors that adorn the idols of men and women. are. It has a flat roof with steps. There are thick pylons inside the hall. The Jagmohan has entrances from the south and north and has a 30 m high pyramidal roof. It is decorated with honeycomb windows and images of lions sitting on their hind legs.
The main deity of the temple, the Shivalingam located in the inner sanctum, rises 8 inches above the floor and 8 feet in diameter. The tower carved 180 feet high. According to Hindu beliefs, a river passes through the Lingaraj temple. The point of the temple fills the Sagar Tank with the water of this river. It said that this water removes physical and mental diseases. People often drink this water as nectar and devotees also take baths in this tank during festivals.
Many festivals celebrated every year in this temple which is the center of attraction among the tourists. Chandan Yatra, Rath Yatra, and Shivratri are one of the most popular festivals of the Lingaraj temple, which present a vision of pure devotion.
The most famous festival in the Lingaraj temple is Shivaratri, which celebrated in the month of Phalguna. Thousands of devotees observe a day-long fast in the temple to offer prasad to Lord Harihara. The main celebration takes place during the night when devotees break their fast after lighting the Mahadeep.
The “Chandan Yatra or Sandalwood Ceremony” is one of the main festivals of the Lingaraj temple. The same celebrated over a 22-day period when those serving in the temple disembark themselves in a specially built barge at the Bindu Sagar pond. Both the deities and the devotees sanctified with sandalwood paste to protect them from the heat. Dances, communal feasts, and infusions arranged by the people associated with the Lingaraj Temple, Orissa.
Ashokashtami sees spectacular celebrations of Lingaraja’s Rath Yatra when the deity on the chariot taken to the Rameshwar Deula temple. Devotees pull the colorful chariots of Lingaraj and his sister Rukmani to the temple, which considered to be the greatest service to the Lord. It believed that the devotees who are unable to go to the Lingaraj temple for the darshan of Shiva, go out to give darshan to the Lord himself.
Important Points for New Visitors:
- Non-Hindus not allowed inside the temple.
- You should stay away from the one who provides the service of worship except for the priest of the temple.
- Cameras, mobile phones, leather goods, polythene, and bags not allowed in the Lingaraj Temple, Orissa.
- Photography in the temple strictly prohibited.
- Take off your shoes before entering the Lingaraj Temple, Orissa.
Lingaraj Temple, Orissa Timings:
If you are going to visit Lingaraj temple, then find out before the temple opening and aarti time. This will not bother you. The temple opening time is 2 am. Mangal Aarti takes place before 2.30 pm. Ballv bhog done at 4 o’clock. From 6 to 10 in the morning, you can have darshan in the temple near the idol. After this, fifty-six bhog done from 10 am to 11 am. In the evening from 5 to 6 o’clock, there an aarti, while at 10 o’clock there a big makeup and the doors of the temple are closed at 10:30.
If you want to do Abhishek and Darshan here, then there is no online ticket arrangement for this. Rather, you have to buy a ticket to get the worship done by coming here. Here tourists first take a bath in Bindu Sarovar and then Kshetrapati Arant Vasudev seen. After the worship of Ganesha, the temple entered for the worship of Goparini Devi and after the worship of Nandi, Lingaraj worshipped. While men should wear a kurta pajama in the temple during the puja, women can wear a saree, Punjabi dress with dupatta, half saree, or suit.