A person, who goes to Bhubaneshwar, would not miss to visit the Lingaraj Temple. It’s a very famous and ancient shrine of “Lord Shiva and Vishnu”. The main deity is “Hari Hara” and the Lingam is said to be Swayambhu Lingam (It’s not a usual form of Lingam we see in other shrines). It was my first time, where I saw, Both Lord Shiva and Vishnu is worshiped at the same place. Once you enter inside this shrine, The magnificent structure and the beautiful carvings would leave you out of words.
The temple timings is 5 AM to 2 PM and from 4 PM to 9 PM. The best time to visit this temple is evening. So that you can relax, walk around and worship all the deities around the main tower with peace. Mobile phones, Camera and Leather items are not allowed inside the shrine. There might be some pandits or priests would insist that, they would give you the tour of the temple and the history behind it. If you would like to know, you can pay them and go with them or else simply ignore them. They won’t disturb you later. Foreigners and Non-Hindu people are not allowed inside the temple, There is a platform outside the shrine, From there, they can have a look inside the shrine.
Here are some information about the shrine, which I found in online.
The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall. The temple represents the Kalinga Architecture. The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty in the 11th century, with later additions from the Ganga rulers in the early 12th century. The temple is built in the Deula style that has four components namely, Vimana(structure containing the sanctum), Jagamohana (assembly hall), Natamandira (festival hall) and Bhoga-mandapa (hall of offerings), each increasing in the height to its predecessor. The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
The deity of Lingaraja was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra) as noted in Ekamra Purana, hence Bhubaneshwar is called the Ekamra Kshetra. The Lingaraja temple faces east and is built of sandstone and laterite. Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated annually when thousands of devotees visit the temple. The main celebrations take place at night when devotees pray all night long. The devout usually break their fast after the Mahadipa (a huge lamp) is lit on the spire of the temple. Every year the chariot festival (Ratha-Yatra) of Lingaraja is celebrated on Ashokashtami. The deity is taken in a chariot to Rameshwar Deula temple. Thousands of devotees follow and pull brightly decorated chariots containing the idols of Lingaraja and his sister Rukmani.
You can find more information about this shrine in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingaraja_Temple
Happy Travelling 🙂
Note: Picture Credit – Google image source.