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T R A V E L

D I A R Y

A Perfect Fusion

BHUBANESWAR

Once home to more than 2,000 temples during the 7th-12th century AD, the city still has managed to preserve more than 500 temples, precisely the reason why Bhubaneswar is called the ‘City of Temples’.

W

ith the ancient sobriquet of ‘Mandirmalini’ (a garland of temples) over the centuries, it is interesting to analyse as to why Bhubaneswar was established as the capital city of Odisha in the year 1948. Situated on the Mahanadi River delta, Bhubaneswar scored over Cuttack due to its central location, high altitude, vast plateau with ideal uplands and profound allegiance to rich historical and archaeological remnants. With ample vestiges of Buddhist and Jain history, the city is a historical feast. Apart from topping the recent Smart City challenge, it is also considered to be one of the fastest growing cities in India. The coexistence of ancient temples, Buddhist viharas,

A historical feast for travellers, explore the remnants of the past.

Sugato Tripathy

Jain rock-cut shelters along with sprawling city squares, modern shopping centres and international food chains is remarkable. Bhubaneswar has all the trappings of a great modern metropolis without compromising on its inherent love for fresh air.

LINGARAJ TEMPLE James Fergusson (1808–86), a noted critic and historian rated the temple as “one of the finest examples of a purely Hindu temple in India.” Considered to be the tallest religious shrine of Bhubaneswar, Lingaraj Temple stands at 180 ft high. A 7.5 ft thick compound wall of laterite encompasses the structure with more than 50 small shrines of several Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon.

Built somewhere in the 11th century CE, it is a classic example of Kalinga style of architecture. It is estimated that around 6,000 pilgrims visit this ancient abode of Lord Shiva every day. The practice of taking the lamp (a huge candle) to the temple spire is an age old ritual practiced at Lingaraj Temple every Maha Shivrati. Devouts usually break their fast after this liturgy.

BINDUSAGAR Almost as old as the temple is the largest tank of Bhubaneswar. About 1300 ft. long and 700 ft. wide, this religious water body is embanked with stone, forming magnificent flight of steps. A tiny island protected by stone revetment is situated at the center of the tank with a small temple (Jala Mandir) in the north-east corner. Apart from being a popular picnic spot,

Go Getter December 2016  
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