Bhubaneswar is one of three cities that make up three temple towns of Orissa and make the golden temple triangle of Eastern India. Bhubaneswar is a very religious center for Hindus and Buddhists. Bhubaneswar is also known as the temple city and there are many excellent examples of Oriya architecture in the old part of the city.
The 10th or 11th-century Lingaraj temple of Bhubaneswar has been described as "the truest fusion of dream and reality". A rare masterpiece, the Lingaraj temple has been rated one of the finest examples of purely Hindu temple in India by Ferguson, the noted art critic and historian. Every inch of the surface of the 55 m-high Lingaraj temple is covered with elaborate carvings. Sculpture and architecture fused elegantly to create a perfect harmony. Non-Hindus are not permitted inside. However there is an elevated viewing platform next to one of the boundary walls. To reach the platform, face the temple's main entrance and walk around to the right. There is a laneway leading to the back of the temple and the platform.
This large lake near to Lingaraj and Ananta Vasudeva temples keeps a drop (bindu) of every holy river in it.
Founded in eleventh century Rajarani temple is one of the most renowned temples of Bhubaneswar. It is made from the wonderful red and gold sandstone, which is locally known as Rajarani and this is what gives the temple its name of ‘Raja Rani’. The major attractions of the temple consist of the elaborately carved figurines. Rajarani temple of Bhubaneshwar is dedicated to Lord Brahma. It is an epitome of elegance and grace. The sculptural images adorning its façade and interiors are simply outstanding.
Dating back to 10th century this temple marks an important transition point between the early and the later phases of the Kalinga architecture. The highlight is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. This temple is considered to be the gem of Orissan architecture. The beautiful sculptures eloquently speak of the sense of proportion and perspective of the sculptor and their unique ability in the exact depiction of the minutest objects. Mukteswara means "Lord of freedom".
Udaygiri & Khandagiri Caves
Orissa is well known for the ancient caves located in the twin cities of Udaygiri (meaning the hill of the sunrise) and Khandagiri (meaning the broken hill). Udaygiri caves are approximately 135 ft high and Khandagiri caves are 118 ft high. The caves are reminiscent of influence of Buddhism and Jainism in Orissa. The origin of the rock cut caves of Udaygiri and Khandagiri dates back to the 2nd century BC. The main attraction of these caves consists of its stupendous carvings. Of all the caves in Udaygiri, the largest one is the Rani Gumpha or the Queen’s Cave. There is also an Elephant Cave or the Hathi Gumpha, where you can find the amazing statues of elephants installed on the gate. In the Khandagiri city, one can find a large number of caves and most of them have been occupied for meditative purposes.