LINGARAJ TEMPLE

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Architect: unknown Creator:jajati keshari Date built: 11th century C.E. Primary deity: shanker Architecture: Kalinga Location: Bhubaneswar, india Construction System: masonry, cut stone Climate: tropical Style: Hindu

History
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The Ling raja temple dominates the skyline of Bhubaneshwar from as far away as 15-kms and exhibits the skill of the Orison temple architects at its completely mature and develop stage Lingaraj means 'the king of Lingas', 'Linga' or 'Lingam' being the symbol of Lord Shiva worship. The temple is more than 1000 years old, dating back in its present form to the last decade of the eleventh century, though there is evidence that parts of the temple have been there since sixth century AD as the temple has been emphasized in some of the seventh century Sanskrit texts. The temple is traditionally believed, though without historical authentication, to be built by the SomaVanshi king Jajati Keshari, in 11th century AD. Jajati Keshari had shifted his capital from Jajpur to Bhubaneswar which was referred to as Ekamra Kshetra in the Brahma Purana, an ancient scripture.

THE TEMPLE COMPLEX
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Lingaraj Temple stands majestically as the largest temple in Bhubaneswar. At 55 metres high, it dominates the landscape with 150 smaller shrines in its spacious courtyard and is surrounded by massive walls lavishly decorated with beautiful sculptures. The temple complex has three compartments and each one dedicated to a deity of the Hindu religion. Towards south of the entrance facing the main temple is the image of Lord Ganesha, at the back is the image of Goddess Parvati and to the north is Lord kartikeya. The various pillars and halls adds to its beauty. This temple has actually four parts:- ' The 'duel' and the 'Jagmohana' the Ling raja temple has two new structures, the 'Natal Mandir (dance hall) and the ' Bog Mandir' (offering hall). This temple has both Lord Shiva and Vishnu. Vishnu is actually present as Saligramam idol. The Shiva idol which is surrounding the Vishnu (Saligramam) idol. Even the temple on the top has got no trishul (which is considered to be the weapon of Shiva) and even Chakra (which belongs to Lord Vishnu). It has only Lord Rama's arrow symbol, probably because Lord Rama was a worshipper of Lord Shiva. The temple's main gates have Lord Shiva, Trishul on one side and Lord Vishnu, Chakra on the other side. The vast Bindu Sager lake is the center around which are located the multitude of temples bhubneshwar.

Plan & Section

Sri mendir (the duel)
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The most impressive feature of this temple is the great tower of Sri Mandir,as it dominates not only the entire composition, but the whole town of bhubaneswar with its height and volume. Constructed without mortar, this tower is 127feet high and is divided into vertical section. The angles of the recesses are filled in with miniature viand and on the top, are figurers representing a lion crushing an elephant. The vimana is hollow and consists of several superimposed chambers accessible by a stairway built through the wall, which is seven feet thick. The temple as originally designed, consisted of the vimana , called Sri Mender locally, where the image of Tribhubaneswar (the Lord of the three worlds) popularly called Ling raja is housed.

Jagamohan(pillared hall)
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The jag Mohan or the entrance porch to the inner chamber. Before they were added the only entrance to the temple was that on the east or front of the jag Mohan , which formed the main doorway. when the Nat mender was built in front of this. In the interior of the jag Mohan are two rows of pillars, three in each row, producing a miniature nave and aisles; these pillars were originally monoliths having plain square shafts, no bases, but with volute bracket capitals. The temple's limestone vimana , or sanctuary rises to a height of 180 feet and is entered by a pyramidal jog Mohan, or anteroom.. In the garb graham (sanctum sanctorum) is enshrined the swayambhu lingam, or self-established Ling, the symbol of Lord Shiva.

Nat mendir and Bog mendir
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The natyamandir or dance hall, and the bhogmandir were probably added a century or so later, although they are in perfect harmony with the architectural scheme as a whole. The interiors of these halls are, generally speaking, devoid of all ornament, but outer walls of the building are lavishly carved and embellished with sculptures which are among the best specimens of orison decorative art. Although the pilaster decoration presents an effect of exuberance and luxury, particularly in the case of the human figures, there is little of the florid extravagance which characterizes some of the southern temples.

Shrines in the compound of Ling raja Temple

Amidst the group of subsidiary shrines clustering round the great temple, two, one, on the north of the 'Jagamohana', known as "Joplin" or "Bhuvanesvari" and the other, on the south of the 'Duel', known as "Savior", are of the "Hahira" order. The 'Parsva-Devatas' in them are different forms of 'Parfait'. In some of the other subsidiary shrines can be seen a number of images of different dates, mostly of 'Parfait, 'Karttikeya', 'Games' and 'Surry' and rarely of 'Balaam', 'Sahara', 'Krishna' and 'Trivikrama'. Many of them found their way into these shrines after the decay or destruction of the temples, to which they had originally belonged. Particularly noticeable is an early image of 'Parfait', housed in a tiny shrine to the northeast of the Ling raja temple.

Subsidiary shrines, Ling raja

Decorative miniature rehab. Ling raja

Medallion, Ling raja

Sculpture and Temple Traditions
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This magnificent temple, dedicated to Shiva, represents the quintessence of the Kalinga type of Hindu architecture. Along with the RajaRani Temple, it is the pinnacle of the architectural exhibition at Bhubaneswar. It contains a profusion of sculptural work. It is built of red sandstone which gives it a darkest color. The massive granite block in the sanctum, the Swayambhu, is worshipped both as Shiva and Vishnu. The harmony of the two sects is seen in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Hari-Hara, that is, Vishnu and Shiva. The presiding deity, is the Swayambhu Linga. The granite block image of the Linga is said to be bathed daily with water, milk and bhang (marijuana) Almost all the Hindu gods and goddesses are represented here, reflecting the innate element of harmony within the religion.

                                                            Ornaments sculpted by a master craftsman. Goddess Parfait in Lingered temple at Bhubaneshwar, Orison.

GANESHA & NAYIKA LIGARAJA

PARVATI LINGRAJA

KARTIKEYA

The sculpted images of various God and Goddess are unimaginable. The temple complex has three compartments and each one dedicated to a deity of the Hindu religion. Towards south of the entrance facing the main temple is the image of Lord Ganesha, at the back is the image of Goddess Parvati and to the north is Lord Kartikya. The various pillars and halls adds to its beauty.

Nayika Ling raja

Trivikrama-Vishnu, Ling raja MITHUNA LINGRAJA

PLAN OF LINGRAJ TEMPLE

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