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Top 5 Temples to visit when in Bhubaneswar

Chausathi Yogini Temple

Image source: Odisha Tourism

Being a very unique yet elegant circular temple, with vintage 9th CE architecture, this temple has surely attracted a lot of tourists. It is also called Mahamaya Temple, which is 20 km outside Bhubaneswar, in Hirapur. This is a tantric temple in which 64 yoginis are worshiped, representing female figures standing on the head of an animal, demon, or person, personifying the victory of Shakti, that is, feminine power. It is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Its architecture is a unique small circular temple, hypaethral, and built of blocks of sandstone and idols made of black granite. The temple is believed to have been built by Queen Hiradevi of the Bramha dynasty during the 9th century.

Legend says that the Goddess Durga took the form of 64 demi-goddesses to defeat a demon. After the war, 64 goddesses, equivalent to yoginis, asked Durga to immortalize their memory in the form of a temple structure. The temple is also known for its Kali-puja.

Visiting time for the temple is between 6 AM to 6 PM.

Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves

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Nestled in the adjacent hills of Udayagiri and Khandagiri, these partly natural and partly artificial caves are of the greatest historic importance. It has been listed by the Archaeological Survey of India in the list of "Must See" Indian Heritage.

In Udayagiri, Hathi Gumpha (cave 14), Ganesha Gumpha (cave 10), and Raninka Na'ara (Queen's Palace Cave, Cave 1) are well known for their beautiful carvings. Khandagiri offers an enchanting view back over Bhubaneswar from its summit. The Ananta Cave (Cave 3) depicts carved sculptures of women, elephants, athletes, and geese carrying flowers. The number of existing caves in Udayagiri is 18 and in Khandagiri 15.

Visit Timings- 6 AM to 6 PM.

Dhauli Giri

It is known as the site of the Peace Pagoda or Dhauli Shanti Stupa. Held by the solace of Daya river, located 8kms from Bhubaneswar. This place offers serenity, calmness, and peace. It has various Buddhist monuments with compelling architecture and a great view from the top of the hill. The dome consists of five umbrellas signifying the five crucial parts of Buddhism.

In the evening, there is a sound-and-light show narrating its grand history of Great Ashoka adopting Buddhism in 3D.

Visit Timings - 6 AM to 6 PM

Nandankanan Zoological Park

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It is a zoological park and botanical garden in Bhubaneswar in India. It is the first zoo in India to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) in 2009. The zoo is home to about 1660 individual animals representing 166 species, including 81 species of birds, 67 species of mammals, and 18 species of reptiles. It is famous for being home to Bengal tigers, several of them are white. It is the first zoo in India with a white tiger safari. It also hosts a breeding program of white tigers and crocodiles.

Visit Timings: - Open every day except Monday.

- 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (Apr to Sept)

- 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (Oct to Mar)

Old Town Temples

If you’re fond of vintage architecture and history, visiting temples of Old Town, Bhubaneswar are very satisfying.

Lingaraj Temple:

It is one of the oldest temples of Odisha, worshipping Lord Shiva. Believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, it has Kalinga architecture. It is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The major festival of the temple: Shivaratri festival

Timings- 5:00 am to 9:00 pm

Image Source: Odisha Tourism

Siddheshwar Temple: It dates back to the 10th century and is situated within the establishment of the Mukteswar temple. It has the unification of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temple architecture.

Image Source: Kevin Standage Photography

Mukteshwara Temple: It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, established in the 10th-century. It is also known as the "Gem of Odisha architecture" or "Kalinga Architecture". The most important feature of the Mukteshvara Temple is the Torana or the arched gateway which dates back to around 900 CE, depicting the influence of Buddhist architecture. The Department of Tourism of Odisha government organizes a three-day yearly dance function called Mukteswar Dance Festival in the temple premises.

Image Source: Odisha Tourism

Parasuramesvara Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is considered the best-preserved specimen of an early Odia Hindu temple dated back to the Shailodbhava period between the 7th and 8th CE. Parashuramesvara introduces Shiva as the lord of Parashurama, one of Vishnu's avatars. Parasurashtami is the main celebration that is held annually in the temple from June to July.

Image Source: Odisha Tourism

Kedareswar Temple: It is one of the eight Astasambhu Temples, is near the Mukteswar Temple worshipping Lord Shiva. The temple is Pancha Ratha, having five Ratha on the tower. The pond here is said to have medicinal properties.

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Jalesvara Shiva Temple: It is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Siva. Various rituals are observed such as Siva Vivaha, Sivaratri, Janmastami, Dola Purnima, Sitalasasthi, Chandana Yatra, Pindadana and Dhanu Makara. Also, various social functions like marriage ceremony, thread ceremony, mundanakriya, and engagements are performed

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Astasambhu temple: It is situated beside the Godabari pond. The temple is surrounded by Uttameswara temple, Uttarayani Temple, and Bhimeswara temple which are our 16th, 17th, and 18th destination respectively.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Other old town temples include Nilakantheswara temple, Vaital temple, Sisireswara temple, Bharati Matha, Yameswara temple, Bakreswara temple, Papanasini temple, Makareswara temple, Langaleswara temple, Aisaneswara temple, and Maa Dakhina Chandi temple.


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