Set on the edge of rice fields in the Mahanadi Delta in Eastern India and reached via a short flight from Calcutta, the pleasant town of Bhubaneshwar offers a striking contrast to the architectural legacy of its period of greatness over a thousand years ago. It is the gateway to Orissa, a region famed for its fantastic Hindu and Jain temples, characterised by their beautifully intricate carvings.
Named after 'The Lord of the Universe' and chosen by Mark Twain as one of the wonders of the world, Bhubaneshwar still has about 500 of the original 7000 temples that once surrounded Bindusagar Tank. The graceful towers of these early temples, complemented by their extraordinary stone carvings, make this a very rewarding destination to visit.
Not many tourists visit Bhubaneshwar, but those that do come for the sandstone temples set around the Bindu Sagar Lake in the old town, mostly constructed in the 11th to 13th century period. Mukteshwar Temple is one of the most revered temples Bhubaneshwar – built in the 10th century and dedicated to the deity Shiva, it is regarded as one of the finest examples of Orrisan Architecture. Rajarani Temple is another highlight, known by some as the “love temple” due to its exceptional erotic carvings.
Within easy reach of Bhubaneshwar are the cave temples at Udayagiri and the 2nd Century BC Khandagiri, which are partly natural and partly artificial caves of archaeological, historical and religious importance decorated with fascinating sculptural friezes.
>> Read our blog: What brings you to Bhubaneshwar?
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Anonymous, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka