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  Home > Temples of Orissa

Temples of Orissa

In some important aspects, all Hindu temples are same. Symbolic recreations of the Divine Cosmos, Hindu temples are structures whose very form reverberate with symbolism and with meaning. Temples have also served as a meeting place for all those living in the vicinity.

Even today, in the villages of Orissa, one can see that the village temple still carries out most of these functions. Many of the sculptural scenes are taken from religious mythology and legends; many represent military and courtly life and the activities which would have been associated with the temple (such as pilgrimage, teaching, or performance). The jewel-like quality of Orissan stone sculpture has often been remarked, and the temples, from a distance, do indeed convey an impression of resplendent beadwork.

Jagannath Temple

Orissan temples, and especially the Sun Temple at Konark, are famous for their beautiful and often quite explicit erotic imagery. In Orissa, it has frequently been suggested that the imagery has specific reference to Tantric cults.Tantrism, which concentrates on worship of the shakti (female life force), combined elements of both Buddhism and Hinduism with a belief in the efficacy of magic ritual. Sublimated sexual power was seen as especially potent in many Tantric rituals. The senses and feelings which are common to human experience are used in
Indian art to communicate some sense of the divine experience, and it is the genius of the Orissan artist in doing this that infuses all Orissan sculpture with an ineffable delicacy and spirituality that transcends the subject matter.

Though the whole of Orissa is famous for its temples, a few of the important temples are :

  • Temple of Lord Jagannath in Puri
  • Sun Temple, Konark
  • Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar
  • Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneswar
  • Mukteswar Temple, Bhubaneswar
  • Baladevajew, Kendrapara
  • Khiching Temple
  • Nrusinghanath

Most of the temples in Orissa are in one way or the other connected to Lord Jagannath.

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