Mukteshvara Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

The Mukteshvara Temple is a standing example of the pinnacle of prosperity the Somvamshi Empire had traversed. Believed to be constructed during or around 950 CE, the Mukteshvara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The name Mukteshvara literally translates to The God of Liberation and hence the temple is also revered as a primordial seat for initiation of Tantra. Situated in present day capital of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, the Mukteshvara temple is believed to have been constructed under the reign of King Yayati of the Somvanshi dynasty who is said to have been the patron king of this temple. Mukteshvara also Spelt "Mukteshwara or Mukteswar"

Despite this fact, the temple stands out in its style of architecture with structures bearing witness to a distinct Buddhist influence almost reminiscent of the Kalinga School of Temple Architecture. Standing on a hill top to the east of Bhubneshwara city, the Mukteshvara is renowned for its ornamented arched gateway built by carving a singular piece of stone, which lays the entrance gateway to the temple. The torana is very symbolic of Mukteshvara temple as it is not seen in any other temples in Odisha. The main temple chamber known as the garba griha is situated well within the temple campus in the sanctum and houses a Shivlinga made of white marble and a copper yoni. It is surrounded on all sides by idols of Brahma Vishnu Parvati Hanuman and Ganesh along with the staple Nandi the bull statues, who is believed to be Shiva's vehicle for movement.

The best time to visit the Mukteshvara temple is during the Mukhteshwara festival which is dedicated to showcasing and encouraging the traditional art forms of the region, along with a confluence for celebration of Hinduism by believers and practitioners in the state of Odisha. The dance festival is a four day affair and is highlighted as one of the most prominent tourist attractions by the tourism board of the state of Odisha.

Timings

Mukteshvara Temple open at 06:30 AM to 07:30 PM

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