Illuminated Temples of Bhubaneswar

Usually at this time of year I would be preparing to make my annual two month trip to India, but perhaps unsurprisingly the current pandemic situation has put a stop to that. This year my plans included the usual 2-3 weeks in Pune seeing friends, followed by what was to be quite an epic (and no doubt extremely tiring) tour to see the terracotta temples of West Bengal which encompassed over 150 sites that I had carefully mapped out.

Thanks to the emergence of the Omicron variant, India has ceased issuing tourist visas for UK citizens. Even before that happened, visas were only being issued for one calendar month, with a seven day self-isolation period required after arrival. I held out hope that the situation may improve, but clearly now I am faced with another winter stuck at home, and reviewing my past 22 visits to India to see if there’s anything I can blog about.

Which brings me to what will be a very short post, highlighting some of the wonderful and perhaps more unusual images of temples in Bhubaneswar that are illuminated at night. In recent years the ASI have made efforts to light up some of their more well known sites across India, most notably in Odisha these plans include the Jagannath temple at Puri, Konark Sun temple and Rajarani temple in Bhubaneswar. You can read a little more about those plans here.

I visited Bhubaneswar in February 2020 and returned to the UK the following month, just a couple of weeks before we entered the first lock-down period. I always travel with my tripod even though opportunities to use it are extremely rare. Thankfully the temple town of Bhubaneswar gave me the chance to bring it out with me one evening after dinner and capture some of the structures to be found in Kedar Gouri Park. I believe the facades of all these temples have been lit up for quite some time, as it is a very popular place for locals to visit in the evenings and all the temples here are still in use by devotees.

Mukteshwar Temple

Believed to have been constructed around 950 C.E, you can read more about the temple here.

Siddheshwar Temple

Dating to the 15th century, you can read more about this temple here.

Parasuramesvara Temple

Probably my favourite temple in Bhubaneswar, and also the earliest of the completely preserved temples in the city. Dating to circa 650 C.E, you can read more about this temple here.

Lingaraja Temple

A short distance from Kedar Gouri Park, as a non-Hindu I can only admire this 11th century temple complex from a distance. At night the best views are from the Devi Padahara Pond Viewing Platform, and just around the corner on top of the Curzon Mandap.

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8 replies »

  1. Thanks for your beautiful pictures. I am been in Bhuvaneswara last time in 1995 and I can see that the temples now are being restored and are well kept and clean.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I assume those terracotta temples in West Bengal that you were supposed to visit are the ones scattered in and around Bishnupur? If so, it would be great to read your blog entries on them one day as they are among the places I most want to see when I get the opportunity to return to India. In the meantime, I wish you good health.

    Liked by 1 person

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