At a distance of 4 km from Bhubaneswar Railway Station, Mukteswara Temple is an ancient Hindu temple in Bhubaneswar city of Orissa state. It is one of the oldest and the famous temples in Bhubaneswar and also one of the most visited Tourist Places in Bhubaneswar.
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its beautiful carvings and exquisite sculptural work. Built in 10th Century AD, the temple is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. According to legend, the temple is considered to be one of the earliest temples of Somavamsi dynasty. Many scholars believe that this temple is the successor temple of Parasurameswara Temple and built earlier to the Brahmeswara Temple.
The temple is known as 'Gem of Odisha' because of its architecture. Mukteswara Temple is the real specimen of ancient and modern Kalinga School of architecture, blended perfectly in construction. The temple is a massive structure of 35 feet high and is a marvel in sandstone. The temple faces west and is constructed in a lower basement amidst a group of temples. The temple has an entrance porch or torana, the vimana and a jagamohana, the leading hall. The temple is the earliest to be built in pithadeula type. The pyramidal roof of jagamohana was the first of its kind over the conventional two tier structure.
The main highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. This thick pillared, arched gateway is beautifully carved with strings of beads and other attractive ornaments with statues of smiling women in languorous postures. The temple also has some exquisite carvings and is famed for its captivating and enthralling sculptures. It is fascinating to observe unique sculptures such as a meeting of thin sadhus, a group of playful monkeys, as well as illustrations from the Panchatantra on the outer face of latticed windows.
Built in 10th century, Siddheswar Temple is situated in the northwest corner of the enclosure of Mukteswar Temple and houses an attractive standing figure of Lord Ganesh. The sanctum of the temple built in pancha ratha style is surrounded with five-divisional walls. The temple tower or shikhara is grouped by a row of miniature towers, which is surmounted by four rampant lions on the central ratha.
Timings: 6. 30 AM - 7.30 PM