The history of Bhubaneswar goes back to 2500 years when it was the Capital City of Kalinga. In the days of Ashoka (300 B.C.), it was known as Tosali. During the period of supremacy of Saivism in Odisha the name ‘Tribhubaneswar’ itself changed from ‘Tosali’. Bhubaneswar is a short form of ‘Tribhubaneswar’, which means the God of Universe (Lord Siva) .
Over the period Bhubaneswar grew rich with archaeological monuments representing different religions at different periods. There are 117 caves with Hatigumpha inscription in the Khandagiri-Udayagiri complex depicting Jain religion, the rock-cut elephant with Ashokan inscriptions at Dhauli and the developed metropolis of Tosali (Sisupalgarh) on the bank of river Gangua representing Buddhism. The Saivite temples include Mukteswar temple, Rajarani temple, the magnificent Lingaraj temple etc. The temples representing the Sakti cult are Parvati temple in the precinct of Lingaraj complex, the circular sixty-four Yogini temple in Hirapur close to Bhubaneswar .
By the end of 6th century A.D., the King Sasanka of Gauda destroyed a number of Buddhist monuments and revived Hinduism. He built the Bhubaneswar temple, which is no longer in existence. However, during the reign of Yajati Kesari innumerable Siva temples were built and the foundation of the famous Lingaraj Temple was laid by him at Bhubaneswar.
With emergence of the Ganga dynasty heterogeneous faiths like Saivism, Saktism and Buddhism integrated into a cosmopolitan form of religion i.e. Vaisnavism. The quintessence of all these faiths merged in all-pervasive Jagannath cult. The worship pattern, festivals, daily rituals in the Lingaraj temple were patterned in the light of what was prevalent in the Jagannath temple. The shrine of Lingaraj became Hari Hara, a synthetic form of Visnu and Siva. One part of the Lingaraj is identified as Hari and the other part as Hara. Additional structures like Natamandapa and Bhogamandap and Stambha were added to the main temple. Parsvadevatas in the form of Ganesh, Kartikeya, Parvati were placed in separate structures on three sides of main temple and were also worshiped. Also the art and the architecture were greatly changed. The Laxmi-Nrusimha temple, the images of Laxmi-Narayan, Ananta Vasudeva and Ekanansa represented Vaisnavism.
I got to know many such facts that I have mentioned above while reading an article by G Mohanty. 60 days back I have started an Instagram-Project on Temples of Bhubaneswar . This Project is for 101 Days where I am posting a Temple Pic everyday. So far I have roamed many named & unnamed streets of Bhubaneswar with my sister. We have come across many Temples which amazed us by their stunning stone craftsmanship and enchanting beauty. While few are in lime-light ,many are dying loosing their dignity and Art. Temples are not only the abode of Deities, but also considered as sacred place for healthy congregation .
In the words of Rabindranath Tagore on Konark, ‘the language of men is defeated by language of stone’.
The heritage buildings like temples, palaces are mute witnesses to the glorious past. Here the language of stone is stronger than language of men. Each stone depicts the information more eloquently than words. The stony silence is more gregarious than the human voice.
I felt sad when I see a help-less temple dying in the death-bed of time. Eyes of her must be searching those hundred of hands who built her one day with love & care. She remembers those glorious days when she was adored by many.
For all those Lost-Temples I have started a Campaign named #SaveLostTemples .I created an Event in Facebook and I took a small baby-step on 7th January 2017 .Around 20 people from Bhubaneswar joined me early Morning near Kedar-Gouri Temple in Bhubaneswar. At 8 AM we all took a walk to a “Sampurna Jaleswar Temple” which was 0.3 mile .
Route : http://bit.ly/2j5fynq
There is small foot-bridge connecting ‘Subarna-Jaleswar Temple’ to ‘Sampuran-Jaleswar Temple’ which is over stinky-drainage water. The big question is how a drain has been permitted between two temple of Archaeological Importance. This is spoiling the Divine Atmosphere of that Temple. You can’t even stand for few minutes as the stinky smell will force you to leave the place as soon as you step-in. This may be an un-worshiped Temple today but it has not lost her beauty .It’s still an Artist’s Poetry carved on stones.
Check this Live-Video from the #SaveLostTemples 1st Campaign at ‘Sampurna Jaleswar-Temple’