One of the most famous temples of Odisha, Lingaraj temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is also known as ‘Lingaraj’. It is approximately 54.8 metres high and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva which is 8 feet in diameter and is made of granite. The deity is bathed everyday with milk, water and bhang (marijuana). It is believed that the temple’s construction history dates back to the later half of 11th century.
Some of the main festivals which are celebrated in the temple are:
- Pravarana Sasthi
- Magha Saptami
- Ratha Yatra
- Utthapana Chaturdasi
The temple has 150 small shrines inside its huge courtyard and comprises four parts namely the main temple, the ‘Bhoga Mandap’, the ‘Yajna Shala’ and the ‘Natya Shala’. Its main entry gate is called as the ‘Simhadwara’ or the ‘Lions’ Gate, situated on the eastern side of the temple. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with beautiful sculptures of beasts, birds, creepers, flowers, gods and goddesses.
Before planning a trip to the temple, keep in mind the following points:
The temple is open all days of the week, from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
It is situated at a distance of 3 km from the airport and 5 km from main railway station.
It is half a km away from Bhubaneswar-Puri main road and 5 km away from main bus stand.
A holy lake namely Bindu Sagar is located just north of the temple with a small island in the centre that houses many not so well-known shrines.