Ladu Baba Temple – Bhubaneswar

Ladu Baba Temple (formally known as Kainchhi Temple) is located on the right side of Ratha Road leading from Lingaraja Market. It is just about visible from the main road, directly opposite Chitrarkarini Temple.

The temple is now partially buried, and as you can see is swamped on three sides by residential buildings. This is yet another example where no consideration was given to the monument at all during the rapid urbanisation of the city that must have occurred some decades ago. This is yet another example of a suffocating and suffering monument in the old Bhubaneswar.

There is no presiding deity, as this is no longer a living temple. Instead, the structure seems to have been adopted for more domestic uses by the locals, who do not seem to show any concern now for what this building actually is, or was. Architectural elements suggest Ladu Baba was built in the 13th century A.D, during the Ganga rule.

The temple faces east, the opposite side to the alleyway that runs alongside, and with a huge tarpaulin pinned across one side it was clear that visitors were not welcome at all.

The west-facing raha niche, the only one I could easily inspect, enshrines a four-armed Ganesha image with a partly broken trunk standing over a lotus pedestal.

Sadly, there is a long list of threats to this monument, with reports of water stagnation inside the sanctum, growth of vegetation (most notably pipal trees), and cracks appearing in the fabric of the monument. Although the temple was once repaired by the Orissa State Archaeology Department, it is now in a dilapidated condition and suffering a rapid process of decay.

For anyone wishing to see a less positive example of ancient temple architecture in Bhubaneswar, note that Ladu Baba is incorrectly labelled on Google Maps as Pathuria Badu Siva Temple.

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