Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Odisha. Also popular as the “Love temple”, it is a 11th century Hindu temple. It lies in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The walls of the temple contains sensuous carvings of women and couples depicting love. Hence the name “RajaRani” temple or the king and queen temple. Although it is a Hindu temple, no images or idols of any Hindu God is present inside the temple. Hence it is not clear if this temple associates with any particular section of Hinduism. Perhaps this is what gives this temple its charm and attracts a lot of tourists. However the figures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati carved on the temple walls indicate some connection with Shaivism.
Expert historians believe that, the architecture of this temple even has its influence on several temples of Central India. This includes the famous Khajuraho temples and the Totesvara Mahadeo temple. Moreover Rajarani temple in Bhubaneswar accepts all visitors and there is no restriction on basis of religion or caste. Currently Archaeological Survey of India takes care of this structural marvel and the main source of revenue is entry ticket.
Structure and history
Several Historians believe the construction date of this temple to between 11th and 12th Century. The architectural style of the temple backs this theory. Although red and yellow sandstone’s were used to built this temple, now the colour seems to be Amber with the passage of time. However this accentuates the architectural beauty of the temple. Indreswara was the original name of this temple. The Somavamsi rulers built this temple during the later part of 11th Century.
The base of this structure is the “Pancharatha” style i.e. built on a high platform. There are two towers of the temple and the smaller one is in front of the higher one. Subsequently creating the structure of a Rath or Charriot. Moreover some noted historians have claimed this temple belonging to the same period as the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri. The height of the main tower is 18 m (59 ft) and the viewing hall is called jagamohana. The wall carvings consists of pictures of Marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati along with dancers in various moods.
Tourism department of Odisha organizes an annual event, the “Rajarani music festival”. This festival majorly focuses on promoting classical forms of dance and music. Lately this festival has become immensely popular among visiting tourists. Simultaneously it gives a huge platform to performing artists. Hence popular artists from all over the country nominate themselves to participate in this festival.
Rajarani temple is set amidst picturesque settings and is an exquisite craftsmanship of Kalinga Architecture. A small but well maintained park surrounds this temple and certainly adds to the beauty of the place. No wonder, Rajarani temple in Bhubaneswar is a masterpiece of Odisha Temple Architecture. Since it lies in the heart of the capital city, it becomes quite easy to reach this place from any part of the state.
Timings : 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Entry Fee : Indians: INR 20,
Foreigners: INR 200,
Children (below 15 years): No entry fee