Champakesvara Temple – Bhubaneswar

Champakesvara (Champakesvara) Temple is located 160m south-west of Parasuramesvara Temple as you head towards Bindu Sagar in old Bhubaneswar. It is extremely close to Kotiteertheswara and Swarnajaleswar Temples, so the three can be seen together in quick succession.

Built during the Ganga dynasty rule in the 13th century A.D, the landscape surrounding the temple walled compound is clearly very different now to when the temple was originally constructed. Today Champakesvara Temple sits rather uneasily in the heart of a middle-class residential area.

Encroachment here is not as bad as at other ancient monuments in the city, but it is still a shame that this temple wasn’t given a little more room to breathe when the city’s urban development was planned.

This east-facing laterite temple has a rather plain and unadorned vimana and jagamohana, the central niches contain images that are much later in date.

Smaller shrines still survive in the north-east and south-east, perhaps suggest that this temple was once a panchayatana layout, with a central main temple accompanied by four smaller subsidiary shrines. An ancient well sits just in front of the temple to the east.

Locals here believe the temple precinct is the favourite home of nagas (champa naga, i.e. snakes), after which the deity is named as Champakesvara. However, they also believe that these snakes will never harm anybody.

Thankfully I didn’t get an opportunity to test that particular theory out :-).

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