Dakara Bibhisaneswar Temple – Bhubaneswar

Dakara Bibhisaneswar (Bivisaneswara) Temple is located on Giani Zail Singh Road, about 200m east of the main entrance to Lingaraj Temple in old Bhubaneswar.

The temple is a sub-shrine of Lingaraj, and has existed since at least the 11th century. The deity here is known to be a messenger god for Lord Lingaraj.

According to legend, the temple was built by Bibhisana, the brother of the demon king Ravana. The word dakara means “to call”.

The temple was renovated in the 1970s, and has been the subject of a number of legal battles over the years due to encroachment and unlawful constructions that have occurred, some of which took over 10 years to resolve.

It’s staggering to think that the temple trust once had over 1,533 acres of land at different places in Odisha, a number that has been reduced to a few hundred due to usurpation by influential people. Nearly 45 acres of prime locations in Bhubaneswar alone have been encroached and illegally built upon.

Whilst the main Dakara Bibhisaneswar temple is of course quite ancient, it’s one of those places that I found hard to connect to. The unsympathetic modern buildings that have been annexed to the monument detract from it’s beauty, and the fixing of glazed tiles to the fabric of the building didn’t help either. The vimana is said to have some erotic sculptures, but I failed to look for them.

So I confess my stay here was short, and I didn’t feel particularly compelled to photograph it either. Time to move on…

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