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Swapneswara (Mangaleswar) Temple – Bhubaneswar

Located 200 north-east of Purbeswara Temple and surrounded by residential buildings, Swapneswara Temple was the most difficult temple to successfully track down during my time in Bhubaneswar.

The temple is recorded under a multitude of spelling variations; Swapneswara, Svapnesvara, Svapneswar, Swapnesvar… you get the idea. There are also a couple of temples elsewhere in the city that go by roughly the same name, but they are all far more modern.

This is all compounded by the fact that the locals don’t use any of these names at all ! For them, the temple is called Mangaleswar, or Mangaleshwar – not to be confused with Mangaleswara Temple immediately south of Papanasini Tank.

It took an inordinate amount of time researching all of this to finally sort it all out. On my visit to the temple a local came to see me, and the first thing he said was :

“This temple is called Mangaleswar, not Swapneswara”

So I get the impression they are used to dealing with all the confusion. Whilst a lot of on-line resources and local town maps continue to use the Swapneswara name and variants, someone probably living very close to this temple has tagged the location with the local name.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the east-facing light grey sandstone temple is pancharatha with a square vimana and a modern front porch. The central niches were once empty, but now contain some relatively modern sculptures.

The temple has undergone some renovations and repairs recently by Orissa State Archaeology. Architectural elements of Swapneswara/Mangaleswar temple suggest it was built during the late Ganga dynasty rule, around the 13th to 14th century A.D.


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