Monday, 2 November 2009

Lingaraja Temple

Lingaraj temple is one of the most popular temples of Orissa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also known as ‘Lingaraj’. It is adorned with beautiful sculptures, which have been carved on the spire. Lingaraja temple is approximately 54.8 metres high and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva, made up of granite. The idol is 8 feet in diameter and is placed on a platform that is about 8 inches above ground.

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. This is testimony to its sanctity and importance as a Shiva shrine. By the time the Lingaraj temple was constructed, the Jagannath (form of Vishnu) cult had been growing, which historians believe is evidenced by the co-existence of Vishnu and Shiva worship at the temple.

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 (Wikipedia)

In order of precedence of visting the deities within the precincts of the Lingaraja temple, the name of Ganesh worshipped in a temple to the right of the flight of steps comes first. It consists of a rekha deula and pidha jagamohana. There is a inscription in Telugu characters on the eastern wall of the sanctum belonging to the time of chodaganga deva. The inscription of the fourth year of Narasimhadeva-I (1240 AD) eulogises sidha Lambodara in equal terms with Lord Kirtivasa (Lingaraja).(source)

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