Uttaresvara Siva Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Date built: 12-13th century A.D.
Deity:
Architectural style:  Kalinga architecture
Major festivals
Locale:
District:: Bhubaneswar
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Uttaresvara Siva Temple is a 12th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India.

Architecture

Architectural features like pabhaga mouldings, rectangular flat roofed jagamohana and sculptures with 7th century iconographic traits reveals that it was established on 7th century A.D. but later construction might be on 19th century. It is a temple type building with Vimana and jaga mohan. Vimana is Rekha Deula whereas jagmohana is a rectangular flat roofed hall. The temple is surrounded by the lesser shrines of Bhimesvar in north Sahadevesvara in south and the compound wall on the eastern and western sides.

Kartikeya standing in a tribhanga pose is holding a spear(sula) in his left hand and the right hand rests over his thigh. He has jatamukuta, and wears beaded necklace and a female attendant is standing in his lefts. The northern raha niche houses a six armed Mahisamardini. She holds a wheel in lower left, a bow in second lower left and the third left hand rests over the demon Mahisasura. The deity holds a sword in lower right, a spear in the middle and an arrow in the third right hand. Her left leg is resting over the hip of the demon. The body of the demon is a buffalo whereas the face is that of a human. This image of Mahisamardini appears to be a later installation as Mahisamardini is not the parsva devata in a Siva temple. The southern raha niche enshrines the image of a four armed Siddhivinayaka Ganesha. He holds a nagapasa in upper left and parasu in upper right hand, modakapatra in lower left, and a staff in lower right hand. The jagamohana is a plain structural. It has three niches in the southern wall. The temple is devoid of ornamentation, but the pabhaga portion line drawings of chaitya design are noticed. At the lalatabimba there is a four armed Gajalaxmi seated in lalitasana over a lotus pedestal. The architrave above the doorjamb is carved with the traditional Navagrahas(nine planets).

Legend / Local stories

Uttareswara Siva temple is located within a precinct in the northern embankment of Bindusagar tank near the Nalamuhana Sahi, Kedara-Gouri Chowk, Old Town, Bhubaneswar. The enshrining deity in this temple is a Uttareavara Siva (Hiranyagarva type) is only a circular yoni pitha at the centre of sanctum. Apart from that, statue of Bhairaba and Bhairabi are there on the both side wall while entering to Garbha Gruha.

Another attraction of the temple is the statue of Lord Nrusingha. Which is located inside the main temple, facing to lord Uttareawara at the right side of entrance to main temple. The original temple has collapsed, as evident from the renovation work above the pabhaga and presence of cult images of earlier phase in different parts of the temple walls without conforming to the canonical prescriptions. It is the main temple within the precinct along with nine lesser shrines.

There are few more temples and a pond Godavari  is also located inside the campus. The second biggest temple is Lord Bhimeswara. Siva Linga with a circular yoni pitha at the centre of sanctum.

Another deity with major importance for this temple is Maa Uttarayani. She is the Parshwa Devi of lord Uttareswara facing to south on the outer wall of Uttareswara main temple. She is known as one of the Asta Chandi of Lord Lingaraj. (Asta Chandi of Lingaraj are – Bindhya Bashini at Tala Bazar, Mohini at South embark of Bindusagar, Ramayani or Rabani at Pujapanda Sahi on Ratha Road, Kapali of Tinimundia/Vaital Temple, Uttarayani, Gouri of Kedar-Gouri Temple, Ambika near Kotitirtheswara Temple and Dwara Bashanti on Bindusagar Road) During the month of Chaitra offering of Pana to Uttarayani is famous at this place.

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