Lingaraj temple is the oldest temple of Bhubaneswar. The renowned temple attracts millions of devotees and pilgrims to its doorstep every year. It also reflects the ancient tradition and civilization of India.
In this article, I will take you to Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar. Moreover, I will also tell you important information about this temple, the history of this temple, rules, regulations, the best time to visit, how to reach, and where to park. So, read this article till the end.
About Lingaraj Temple
Lingaraj temple is located in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha. It is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar and also one of the oldest ancient temples of the city.
The temple is dedicated to Harihara, a form of Lord Shiva, self-manifested here as tri-Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar, the city itself is named after the Lord tri-Bhubaneswar. Lingaraja means King of Lingas.
Hari is for Lord Vishnu, and Hara is for Lord Shiva, which combined to become Harihara. So, the Linga here is also called Harihara.
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This temple’s unique fact is that the Shiva Ling in this temple is different from other Shiva Linga. The height and width of the Shiva Ling are equal here.
But in normal Shiva Linga, the height is always more than the width. But the Shiva Linga here is in the square form, and that’s special. The Shiva Linga is paid daily with water, milk, and bhang.
The temple was constructed in the form of Deula Structure, which means four essential towers.
No-1 is Viman, where the Shiva Ling of Lord Shiva is established.
No-2 is Jagmohan, where devotees gather to pray.
No-3 is Naata temple, where the festival of Lord Lingaraj is organized.
No-4 is Bhog Mandap, where bhog (offerings) are prepared.
The courtyard of the temple is 150 sq.m, and the Urn height is 40m. The total height of this temple is 55m (180ft).
This temple is surrounded by a temple of 150 gods and goddesses. Temple includes Goddess Parvati temple, Ganesh temple, Hanuman temple, Bhuvaneswari Temple, Lord Jagannath temple, Tarini maa temple, and many more.
The temple opens at 5:30 am. From that time, devotees start coming. Thousands of devotees daily come here to visit Bhole Sankar’s Harihara form.
There are many shops available inside and outside the temple, from where you can buy materials and flowers for worship. The number of devotees visiting this temple on Monday and Saturday is more than the regular days.
Sadly, Non-Hindus are not committed inside. But there is an elevated viewing platform next to one of the boundary walls. To reach the venue, face the main temple entrance and walk around to the right. There is a laneway leading to the back of the temple and the platform.
Lingaraj Temple’s Tradition
This temple follows some rigid tradition. According to the worship method here, the devotees visit Lingaraj first bath in the Bindu Sarovar (300m from Lingaraj), then visit the Ananta Vasudeva temple. After that, they go to the Lingaraj temple.
There is a Kund (pool) in the Lingaraj temple called Pap (sin) vinashini Kund. It is believed that by bathing in that pool, all sins of humans are washed away.
According to the mythological belief, before going to Puri Jagannath temple, one should visit Lord Lingaraja temple first.
The History of Lingaraj Temple
According to some Sanskrit texts, Lalat Indu Keshari started the work of this temple. He ruled from 615 to 657 CE. Somvanshi king Jajati Keshari built the present form of the temple in the eleventh century CE. During his reign, the capital was transferred from Jajpur to Bhubaneswar.
The architecture of Lingaraj Temple
Without a doubt, this magnificent temple is an elegant masterpiece. East faces and stands 55 meters tall. The outer walls of the hall are decorative sculptures of man and animal. The walls of the tower are sculptural, with female figures in various poses. The temple is made up of red stone, and the architecture represents the Kalinga dynasty.
Mahashivaratri and Rukuna Ratha Yatra Festivals at Lingaraj Temple
Every year several festivals are celebrated in this temple. Among all these festivals, Ratha Yatra (Car festival) and Mahashivratri are the most famous and popular festivals.
Mahashivratri is the main festival celebrated annually in March when millions of devotees visit the temple. On this day, lakhs of devotees of Lord Shiva light their Diya outside and inside the temple. Everyone sits near their Diya until the Mahadiya (which is an enormous earthen lamp) rises.
Mahadiya wakes up between 10 and 12 o’clock in the night. This festival is celebrated in all the Bholesankar’s temples of Odisha. After Mahadiya rises, all the devotees break their fast.
Ratha Yatra (Car festival)
It is another biggest festival in the city. This festival is celebrated at Bhubaneswar on the day of Ashokastami. This festival takes place in March.
On this day, the representatives of 3 deities, i.e., Chandrashekhar, Rukmini, and Basudev, are formally brought to climb the chariot (Ratha).
The chariot is then drawn to the Rameshwar temple and remained there for four days, called Gundicha. On the fifth day, the deities begin their return journey called Bahuda.
Bindu Sagar/ Bindu Sarovar
There is a stunning lake called Bindu Sagar very close to the Lingaraja temple, and this lake is associated with the temple activities for many decades. As per Hindu legend, an underground holy river fills Bindu Sagar lake, otherwise known as the city’s heart.
Bindu Sagar’s water is believed to heal physical and spiritual illness; thus, the water is treated pilgrims take a holy dip during festivals. The lake is believed to contain drops of all major rivers in India, and the water from the lake is used for significant temple reaches.
The Lingaraj deity is brought to the pavilion in the middle of the lake and ritually built during the annual car festival called Ashokastami, celebrated grandly in March. Apart from that, many people visit the Bindu Sagar lake on Kartik Poornima.
Kartika Poornima is a Hindu, Sikh, and Jain Festival. It is also known as Tripuri Poornima and is sometimes called Deva Diwali.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple
After visiting the Lingaraj temple, don’t forget to visit this temple; otherwise, your trip will be incomplete. You will know in a while why I am saying this. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Lord Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra.
In the temple, different Prasad (offerings) are made to the Lord throughout the day. This tradition is carried out here with full reverence, like Puri Jaganath temple. There is a separate place for this work called ‘Bhog Mandap.’
Here a large group of priests prepares many kinds of offerings throughout the day. These offerings are first offered to God and then brought out for sale among the devotees. This Lord’s holy offerings are not given in free of cost. It is sold to the devotees at a special price.
The place in which these offerings are sold is called Anandabazar. Many priests take their offerings and sit in their area. Here priests used clay utensils for holy offerings.
Every day here, substantial offerings are made, and almost all of them are sold. People say that receiving the Lord’s holy offerings offered to God is a matter of luck.
All the devotees, after visiting the Lingaraj temple, come here and enjoy God’s holy offerings.
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Important Facts About Lingaraja temple
- Inside the temple, Mobiles, Cameras, and even leather items like belts and wallets are not allowed.
- The entry fee is free of cost.
- Photography is strictly prohibited inside the temple.
- Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple.
- Stay away from fraud people who offer you the service of worship.
- You also have access to park your vehicle next to the Lingaraj Police Station.
Best time to Visit Lingaraja temple
During the festivals like Rukuna Ratha yatra, Kartik Poornima, and Mahashivaratri is the best time to visit this temple. If you want, you can come here in any month, the temple is always open and crowded.
How to reach Lingaraja temple
By air: The nearest airport to this temple is Biju Patnaik International Airport. The distance between the airport and the temple is 6km.
By rail: Bhubaneswar railway station is the nearest station to the temple. It is around 5km from Lingaraj temple.
By road: The nearest bus stand is around 300m from the temple.
Guys, this is all about Lingaraj temple Bhubaneswar. If you liked my article, then help others by sharing it on Social media. If you have already visited this temple, do mention your experiences in the comments section below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Lingaraja Temple:
Q: Why is Lingaraj Temple Famous?
A: It is famous for its beautiful architecture, famous festivals, attractive Shiva Linga, and holy offerings.
Q: Who built Lingaraja temple?
A: According to some Sanskrit texts, Lalat Indu Keshari started this temple’s work, but Somvanshi king Jajati Keshari built the present form of the temple in the eleventh century CE.
Q: Which place in Odisha is known as the temple city?
A: No doubt, Bhubaneswar city is known as the temple city of Odisha. There are more than 200 temples present in Bhubaneswar. Lingaraja Temple, Kedar Gouri Temple, Mukteswar temple, Brahmeswar temple, Ananta Vasudev temple, and Shirdi Sai temple are famous.
Q: Which is the oldest Hindu temple in the world?
A: Mundeshwari temple, Kaimur is the oldest Hindu temple in the world. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Q: What is the height of the Lingaraja temple?
A: It is around 55m (180ft) tall.
Q: How many temples are there in Lingaraja temple?
A: There are more than 150 temples available inside this temple.