Lingaraj Temple is a Hindu temple located in the city of Bhubaneswar which is the capital of the Indian state Orissa.
The city of Bhubaneswar has a 2000 years old history and is considered as the city of temples where Lingaraj Temple is the largest and the biggest temple of the city.
The term Lingaraj means ‘The King of Lingam’ which is the symbol of Shaivism. The Lingaraj Temple is dedicated to lord Shiva who is worshipped as the master of Earth, Heavens and the netherworlds.
Lingaraj Temple Brief History:
Lingaraj Temple is said to be 1100 years old and it is said that it has been built by the ruler Jajati Kesari in the 7th century when he shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhunbaneswar. But it is also believed that the temple have the traces which shows that the temple has been there since the 6th century CE because Lingaraj Temple had been emphasized in some of the Sanskirt texts in the 7th century but so far there is no historical authentication that the Lingaraj Temple had been built by Jajati Kesari.
According to the legend behind Lingaraj Temple history, it is said that Shiva revealed to Parvati about Bhubaneswar which was favored by him. Parvati who was disguised as a cowherd woman decided to see the city for herself though the two demons showed the desire to marry her. After this she asked them to carry her on their shoulders thus crushing those demons with her weight. It is said that lord Shiva creating the Bindu Saras Lake to quench Parvati’s thirst and then later on took temporary residence as Lingaraja in Bhunbaneswar.
Layout of Lingaraj Temple:
Lingaraj Temple is located in a spacious compound and courtyard is covering up to 250000 sq feet. It is surrounded by walls which are made up of Laterite measuring up to 520 feet by 465 feet. These Laterite walls are 7 feet 6 inches thick.
Lingaraj Temple itself is about one hundred and eighty feet high thus making itself the biggest historical structure of the city of temples, Bhunbaneswar. It has been built on the Kalinga style of architecture. The temple has been built alongside the Bindu Saras Lake. Within the Lingaraj Temple are 100 subsidiary shrines which are enclosed in high walls. The main entrance is on the east side of the Lingaraj Temple while there are secondary entrances on the north and south sides.
The Shivalingam in the sanctum of the Lingaraj Temple rises up to 8 feet in height above the floor level and is about 8 feet in diameter. There are several shrines located in the courtyard of the Lingaraj Temple from which one of them is called The Bhagwati Temple and it is located in the north-west corner of the courtyard.
The main portion of Lingaraj Temple is divided into four parts and one can see the Trident of lord Shiva and chakra of lord Vishnu on either side of the door and the concord of the two different religious can be seen where the deity is worshipped as Hari-Hara.