On the other side of Old Town are other temple structures of great historical significance, the chief three being Rajarani temple, Brahmeshwar temple and Bhaskareswar temple. Surrounded by a beautiful garden with sprawling green carpets of grass, the temple premises offers a good place to relax and reconnect and the beat the hectic pace of the modern city life. Apart from daily rituals conducted in the temples, they also act a rendezvous point for the local residents to meet and chat in the evenings while enjoying its picturesque view and serene environ.
Bhaskareswar, the 12th Century built Shiva temple in the Ekamra Kshetra is a two-storey structure surrounded by a public lawn. The temple differs from its contemporaries by comprising only the deula without a jagmohana. One of the unique features of the temple is the giant Shiva Linga that is 2 stories in height.
Brahmeswar Temple: Away from the hustle and bustle of the main road, in a calm corner of Brahmeshwarpatna- a locality in Bhubaneswar, lies the 11th Century Brahmeshwar Temple. It was built during the reign of the Somavansi dynasty who were great patrons of Saivism. The outer walls of both the deula as well as the jagamohana are covered by elaborate figurines depicting either stories from mythology or the lifestyle of people of that age. The temple is the first example where iron beams were used in the construction process.
All the 4 locations are famous for different things. While the Bhaskareswar temple is known for its mammoth Shiva Linga, Brahmeshwar is famous for being one of the few temples in the Kalinga School of architecture where both the inside and outside is richly carved. Raja Rani has the most ornate miniature turrets around its spire where as Sishupalgarh is one of the oldest settlements in Odisha.
Rajarani Temple - Located at the beginning of Tankapani Road, lies the beautiful Rajarani Temple built in the 11th century AD. The temple has no presiding deity and is named after the red and yellow sand stone Rajarani which was used to build the temple. The Naga-Naguni as the dwarapalas with Navagraha at the head, welcome the tourists with open arms. Another unique facet of this piece of architecture is the surmounted crown of a Kalasa. The temple is a landmark as it showcases the fusion of the architecture of central India and Kalingan school of Architecture.
The intricate yet beautiful carvings of figurines in intimate postures bear a resemblance to the famous Khajuraho group of Temples. Historians attribute it to the fact that Somavanshi dynasty came from Central India to Odisha. The temple is under the purview of ASI.
Sishupalgarh - The Lost City , is one of the earliest fortified townships in ancient India. The ancient fort was first excavated by renowned archaeologist Shri. Braj Basi Lal in 1948. Basis the findings of artefacts and gold coins, Shri. Lal concluded that the site flourished somewhere between the 3rd Century BC and 4th Century BC. However recent findings predates the site to somewhere between 5th Century BC to well over 4th Century BC.
Studies carried out in 2001 reveal the presence of a moat coupled with the remains of river Gandhavati which is now known as Gangua Nala, one can assume that the site was based on the concept of Jala Durga (water fort). Archeological findings suggest that the population of Sisupalgarh could have been approximately 20,000 to 25,000 which is significant in itself as population of ancient Athens was around 10,000. The site has now been undertaken by the ASI for protection and still a large part remains to be excavated.
Sishupalgarh is assumed to have been the capital of Kalinga during the war with Ashoka and was the reason why the war was fought at the outskirts of the city, at Dhauli.
|What you can expect||An interesting perspective on the varied architectural style of the Kalinga School.|
|What to bring||Camera, water bottle, cap and comfortable walking shoes.|
|Fitness Requirement||Moderate level of fitness is required as the walk is an easy paced one and not too demanding. One can also explore all these places by a vehicle.|
|Timings||All 4 locations are open from 7.00 AM till sundown.|
|Entry fee||Raja Rani temple is the only place where an entry fee is charged. All the rest are free.
Entry fee for Indians - Rs 15/- per person
Entry fee for Foreigners - Rs 200/- per person