About the Temple
Built by the Ganga dynasty rulers around the 12th Century AD, this temple is quite different from the other temples of Bhubaneswar in terms of its architecture. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Shiva worshiped as Bhaskareswar. It was built to resemble a ratha (Chariot) of Lord Jagannath.
The other unique feature is the nine feet tall Lingam. It’s believed that the soldiers before going on a war used to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings and the double storey structure of the temple facilitated easy access for the same. Scholars believe that the nine foot tall Shiva Lingam is actually the remains of an Ashokan pillar. The remnants of the pillars and railings and artefacts found at the site proves the prophecy.
The unusual and unique architecture of the temple was probably due to the contingency at the site. The temple is built on a pancharatha ( five projecting piers) style and the “deula” (sanctum sanctorum) follows the “pidha”(steeped pyramid) pattern locally called as “Pidhadeula” (steeped pyramidal sanctum). Contingencies apart the aesthetic use of Buddhist elements and innovative structural plan makes Bhaskareswara Temple a unique monument in Kalingan Architecture.