Byamokesvara Temple, also known as Suresvara Mahadeva, is located just a few meters away from the main eastern entrance to Linaraja Temple in old Bhubaneswar.
For decades this monument was almost invisible to anyone visiting the city’s main temple, it was engulfed by other buildings in what was once quite a densely populated area of unofficial shops, stalls, and residential buildings. All that has changed now thanks to the Ekamra Ksetra Redevelopment Plan, which included the clearance of six acres of land in front of the Lingaraja Temple. So now this temples stands in relative isolation, in much the same was as the nearby Ekamreswar Temple.
This west-facing temple built from coarse grey sandstone dates back to the 10th century, and as with many other temples nearby it is partially buried. The current ground level has risen by some 1.5m, resulting in only the upper portion of the temple being visible as you approach it.
The temple consists of an vimana with an extremely modern and very rough looking entrance porch annexed to the front. This entrance way to the temple probably extended much further, but was partially removed during the clearances and so we’re now left with a rather unattractive front elevation. The enshrined deity is a Shiva linga with a circular yonipitha at the centre of the sanctum.
The temple’s doorjamb has an image of Ganga on the right side and Yamuna on the left. These river goddesses are found on the upper part of the doorjamb which is almost unique for temples in Bhubaneswar, these images are typically found at the base of the doorjamb.
It was quite busy with devotees when I visited, and knowing that as a non-Hindu I wasn’t going to be allowed into the Lingaraja Temple I decided not to even try to enter this temple.
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