Odisha – The Land of Temples and Grandeur

Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar is been renowned as a city of temples and there are over 700 of them there, not only ancient but also full of beauty and grandiosity. Most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu, and each one of them has its own history. The architecture of temples is simply remarkable and magnificent. Even, as per the research, the buildings were more than thousand years old and few of them even existed from 6th to 7th centuries AD since the time of Kalinga Empire. The heavy sculptured spires, towers and overall design and layout of the temples are simply amazing. Leaving tourists and visitors much in ‘awe’, the temples are like the reflection of the city, symbolizing the history and richness of the country. A lot of tourists from all corners of the world visit Odisha every year and definitely the devotion and love for their almighty God and Goddess brings them here to pay a visit and get the peace and content they are looking for. Here follows is the list of must-see temples in Odisha.


Image Credit: Ar Shakti Nanda

Lingaraja Temple – Constructed by the Jajati Keshari – Somavanshi king, it is 10th century temple made up from red sandstone and the architecture is simply exceptional prototype of Oriya style. Boasting of a spacious courtyard spread in more than 250,000 sq ft area and covered all around by fortified walls, there are over 50 smaller shrines in the temple all dedicated to Hindu pantheon. The altar of the main temple is been embellished with a humongous Shivling in granite, also been reckoned as ‘Swayambhu’. It is indeed a must-visit temple of Odisha.


Image Credit: Ar Shakti Nanda

Konark Sun Temple – Built by the King Narsimhadeva in the 13th century, this famous temple is also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is dedicated to Sun God and the architecture stands on 24 beautiful and intricately sculpted stone wheels, hauled by 7 powerful horses. The overall structure is adorned with different sculptures, both internally and externally. Surya’s three surviving images have been designed in order to capture the sun rays at dawn, noon and sunset. Moreover, it took in total 12 years by 1200 artisans to complete the temple.


Source: Internet

Jagannath Puri Temple – It is been located in Puri, Odisha and is been one of the famous Char Dhaams or among the four sacred places of devotion and worship in the country. Constructed on a huge raised platform in the city, the structure is enclosed by a wall penetrated by four gates with big pyramidal structures over them. The building is been built in the form of Kalinga style, and the main altar has about 30 shrines of different sizes. This temple is been reckoned among the tallest structures in Indian subcontinent that is 214 feet above the ground.


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Image Credit: Ar Shakti Nanda

Rajarani Temple – The temple is been built in 11th century and the name is derived from Rajarani that is a kind of red sandstone used in the construction. The East facing shrine of the temple reflects the architectural beauty and splendour of the old Kalinga sculptures. The artwork of the temple is a bit different from others, and the best outstanding treasures are the standing astadikpalas on the Central façade end and on lotuses available with their mounts. A lot of travellers visit the temple in December during the Rajarani Music festival time.


Source: Internet

Mukteswar Temple – Also been regarded as the twin temples of Siddheswar – Mukteswar, it is been built back in 10th century and the 35 foot high rise architecture made up of sandstone is been reckoned to be the crowning glory and prestige of Oriya architecture. The temple represents the perfect blend of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist architecture, in terms of their intricate carvings narrating tales of animal figurines as well as from Panchantrata. Ganesha’s standing idol is simply magical and the altar is been constructed in the Pancha Ratha style comprising five divisional walls all around.


Source: Internet

64 Yogini Temple – When different parts of ancient India were in the pain of fallout and tantric cult, many regions of the Central and Eastern part introduced the built of different open air shrines and Yogini Temple is one of them that is located in close proximity to Bhubaneswar. It is built in 9th century, with a circular shaped monument with no roof, dedicated to 64 ‘yoginis’. Also been famous as Mahamaya temple, the interesting sculpture in the temple is of one-legged Shiva or Ekapada Shiva.


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Brahmeshwar Temple

Brahmeshwar Temple – The temple is been located to the East of the famous Lingraj temple, constructed by the ruling King’s mother in the respect of the mighty deity Lord Shiva – Brahmeshwar. For the first time, iron beams are used in the construction of the temple and the building is about 60 feet tall. Moreover, for the first time, iconography of dancers and musicians has been done on the temple walls. There were many tantric pictures on the western exterior and Lord Shiva and other deities were pictured in alarming postures.


Taratarini Temple

Maa Tara Tarini Temple – It is not only been counted among the oldest pilgrimage centres of holy and mighty Maa Goddess but also as one of the four prime Shakti Peethas in the country. It is been situated on the banks of River Rushikulya in Ganjam district nearby Brahmapur city.


Ram Mandir Bhubaneswar

Ram Mandir – Located in the heart of the city Bhubaneswar, it has images of Lord Rama, Lord Lakshman and Goddess Sita. It is an ancient temple of the city and also has shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva and other deities.


Dhabaleswar Temple

Dhabaleswar Temple – This beautiful temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located at the banks of Mahanadi River. The stone carvings on the temple date back to early 10th and 11th century.


Do make sure to must-see and get the blessings of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and other deities by visiting these temples whenever you are in Odisha. Planning a trip to Odisha? Connect with Best Choice Holiday this time, let them arrange a fully fledged package tour for you and your loved ones and be prepared to cherish the lifetime moments as per your desires and within your budget.

Swati Bansal

Content Writer at Best Choice Holiday
With 10+ years of experience as a "Content Professional”, I worked on different verticals till date. It helped me evolve as a person, both personally and professionally. I love to read, write and dig in to core to make a piece informative and interesting to read.
Swati Bansal