Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneswar

Date: 26th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: Rs 15 per Adult.

Timing:  Sunrise to Sunset.

Distance: 1450 Kms one way.

Parking: Roadside.

Food: Not Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Muktesvara Temple and Parasurameswar Temple.

The Rajarani temple built around 11th century AD is one of the most beautiful temples in Bhubaneswar. There are no deity inside the temple and its believed to be dedicated to Lord Shiva based on the carvings around the walls. The temple consists of a vimana measuring 17.9m high and jagamohana. Jagamohana is built on a raised platform of three moldings with pyramidal roof. The temple was originally known as Indresvar temple. The temple is made of a type of sandstone known as Rajaraniya  and thus named Rajarani temple.


The temple is noted for its sculptural wealth. The vimana is well decorated while the jagamohana remains mostly plain.

The interior also devoid of workmanship.

The windows on both sides of the hall.

The tall slender nayikas on the walls of the sanctum depicts various moods and roles.

Marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddesses Parvathi is depicted on the walls of the temple.

Erotic figures are carved on the high relief.

The nayikas looking into the mirror, taking the anklet, playing with bird, holding tree, turning her back etc are depicted beautifully.

Rajarani temple is compared with laksmana temple of khajuraho for its sensual architecture. 

Few more views from the garden next to the temple.

We were here.

The exuberant temple is one of the top places to visit in Bhubaneswar.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bhaskaresvara Temple, Bhubaneswar

Date: 26th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: None.

Timing: Unsure. 9 AM to 5 PM is best option.

Distance: 1450 Kms one way.

Parking: Roadside.

Food: Not Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Maghesvar temple, Brahmesvar temple.

Bhaskareswar temple located on the tankapani road was built between 13th and 14th century AD. Eastern ganga dynasty rulers are credited with building the temple. The colossal Linga in the temple is believed to be a Asoka pillar. Its said the pillar is chiseled to make it a linga. Garbagriha is closed and it was hard to see anything inside. The temple is built in Kalinga style with a towering vimana above the sanctum sanctorum. Idols of some god is carved on the outer wall on three sides.


The door to the garbagriha is close and we could not see the linga.

The idols on the three sides of the outer wall.

The pyramidal shaped vimana.

The structure was built on a raised platform which can be accessed via few steps.

The garden around the temple was well maintained.

We were here.

This was the first temple we visited in the temple city of Bhubaneswar. We explored many more temples in next 3 days and also missed many as 3 days was not enough. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Chausath Yogini Temple, Hirapur

Date: 26th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: Car Parking Rs 30.

Timing: Unsure. 9 AM to 5 PM is best option.

Distance: 1465 Kms one way.

Parking: Available.

Food: Not Available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Bhaskaresvara Temple.

The yogini temple houses 64 manifestations of goddess Shakthi. The temple located in Hirapur is the smallest of all yogini temples. The temple was discovered by Kedarnath mahapatra of Odisha state museum in 1953. The temple is estimated to be of 9th century AD. Like most yogini temple this temple is also built in a circular fashion. This is one of the four hypaethral temple in India, partly or fully open to sky. A small entrance is cut facing east. The various images of the goddesses are carved of black chlorite stone and stand its in own niche on their celestial mount. The biggest of all the idol in 31st niche having 10 arms is worshiped as Mahamaya. The mantapa in the center is dedicated to lord Shiva in the form of Bhairava. There are four idols of lord Bairava. Each yogini idol has a unique hair style and exquisite features. There are also nine idols on the outer wall. Each figure standing on human head and holding a weapon.

Entrance to the temple.

Idols of the yoginis on the inner wall.

Mahamaya, the largest of all the idols.

Lord Ganesha in female form.

Bhairava standing on one leg.

Yogini holding an elephant over the head.

Every yogini have a unique hairstyle and posture.

Nava Katyayinis on the outer wall.

All idols standing on the head.

The circular shrine measuring 27.4 m in circumference and 2.4 m height. Smallest of all Yogini temple.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Shanti Stupa, Dhauligiri

Date: 26th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: Rs 10 for car entry to Dhauli. Rs 25 for light and sound show.

Timing: Dawn to Dusk. Light and sound show timing given below.

Distance: 1445 Kms one way.

Parking: Roadside.

Food: Small snack available.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Asoka rock edicts, Asoka Pillar, Shiva Temple.

Shanti stupa or peace pagoda is situated on the Dhauli hill. The stupa was built by Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha in 1970. The deadly Kalinga war between the Maurya's and the Kalingas happened around this region. Looking at the aftermath of the war from this hill led the transformation of Asoka. Asoka dedicated his rest of life towards non-violence and dharma.

The construction of the Shanti stupa was assisted by Fuji Guruji and completed in 1972. The stupa is shaped like a dome.

The peace pagoda is a prime attraction and symbolizes the peaceful coexistence of humankind.

The place is one of the important pilgrim centers for Buddhist religion.

Region around the hill where its believed the Kalinga war happened.

Buddha in sleeping form.

Lion statue around the stupa looking at the vast land.



We were here.

The stupa along with the rock edicts is a major tourist attraction near Bhubaneswar. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Rock Edicts of Asoka, Dhauli

Date: 26th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: Rs 10 for car entry to Dhauli.

Timing: Dawn to Dusk.

Distance: 1445 Kms one way.

Parking: Roadside.

Food: Small snack available near the Stupa.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Shanti Stupa, Asoka Pillar, Shiva Temple.

We started from Puri on 26th morning and on the way to Bhubaneswar we visited Dhauli. The place is famous for the shanti stupa on a small hill. The rock edicts of Asoka is at the base of the hill. After converting to Buddhism, Asoka wanted to propagate the dharma all over his kingdom. His edicts were carved in various places of his empire in form of major rock edicts, pillar edicts, minor inscriptions and cave inscriptions. Major edicts are set of 14 laws. In Dhaulagiri the edicts are inscribed on a rock shaped as elephant. Here in dhauli the edicts 11, 12 and 13 are omitted as the 13th edict reminds about the Kalinga war which was fought in this region. Instead 2 separate edicts called Kalinga edicts were added. The inscriptions are in Brahmi script.


On a high level each 14 edicts talk about.

1. Prohibition of animal sacrifice and prohibition of festival gatherings.
2. Shade, water and medical treatment for all men and animals in his kingdom and neighbours.
3. Officials travel all over his kingdom and spread the laws of dharma.
4. Success attained by spreading of dharma.
5. Appointment of the dharma mahamatras and their roles.

6. Asoka's efforts in serving the interest of public.
7. Asoka's tolerance towards all religion.
8. Asoka's dharma tour, first to bodhgaya.
9. Futility of ceremonies and merits of dharma practice.
10. No desire for fame or glory.

Three missing edicts in Dhauli.
11. Superiority of the gift of dharma.
12. Same as 7, religious tolerance.
13. Largest of all edicts. It talks about the evil of war and about the Kalinga war where many lives were lost.

14. Talks about engravings in different parts of the empire.

Two separate Kalinga edicts found only here.
1. Declares all men are his children. Welfare and happiness to all men.
2. Goodwill towards borderer.

Walls were constructed around the inscriptions to protect them. The edicts can be seen through the glass door. The person in charge lets the visitors in for a small fee.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Raghurajpur, Crafts Village

Date: 25th Sep 2017

Visitors: Arun, Shilpi and Harsh

Fee: None.

Timing: None.

Distance: 1425 Kms one way.

Parking: Roadside.

Food: No.

Photography: Allowed.

Other attractions nearby: Jagannath Temple, Puri

Raghurajpur is heritage crafts village located near puri. Almost every one in the village are artisans who specializes in paintings, palm leaf engravings, cowdung and wooden toys. The specialty is their pattachitra which is painting on cloths called patta. The patas used under the throne Lord Jagannath during ratha yatra every year comes only from this village. Government has given around 25lakhs to the villagers to paint their walls. The mural paintings can be seen on the front of most houses. The village is selected and promoted as a tourist attraction in odisha. However this place remains much less commercialized than Pipili.


Villagers greet the visitors and request to visit each home.

We visited many houses and were amazed by their work. The palm leaf engravings and pattachitra  were exceptional.

Almost all members of the family are involved in creating various art work.

It takes months of painstaking concentration to create some of the intricate paintings.

The villagers are proud of their ancestors exceptional work and showed us some of their creation with lot of pride.

Most of their work is sold in exhibitions. They get notified by the government of any major exhibitions happening in the cities.

Though rich in their skills their living condition doesn't look that good.

There are award winning artists in some of the houses with their award gathering dust under poor conditions.

Pipili is another well known place for its handicraft. All the shops were closed at 8:30 AM when we reached there next day.

A experience that left us speechless and we highly recommend to visit the place when in Puri.
 Raghurajpur offers not only a look at the work of the artisans but also their life at close quarters. 

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