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Thursday 26 January 2023

Odisha’s Rajarani Temple: Symbol Of Love - Part II

Continuing from Part I

Temple wall having columns with floral, ornamental carvings
The Vimana tower is highly impressive as it is surrounded by a cluster of turrets which is in fact, a miniature image of the tower itself. These miniature turrets are crowned with an amalaka (ridged stone disk on top of towers) and kalasha (stone spire atop temple tower). While the outer walls have clear five divisions or tiers and each of them has different types of carvings. Further, it is reported that the Jagamohana or the viewing hall had collapsed and was rebuilt in the 19th century but it is incomplete.
Some exquisite figures

As we go around the temple many times, I notice how remarkable are the tall, slender, and sophisticated Nayikas which are carved in high reliefs – almost three dimensional and standing out from the flat background. These Nayikas are depicted in various forms and moods – some are playing, some are dancing, some in amorous dalliances, a mother fondling her child, a woman looking into the mirror or playing an instrument or caressing a pet bird.
Dancing figures

Apart from this, the Rajarani temple is known for its erotic figures carved out in high reliefs on the outer walls. These mithuna figures – mostly couples are depicted in various tantalizing poses.
 Figures of women in different poses

Exquisitely carved Naginis on the pillars

Further, the basal part of the temple has highly impressive sculptures protruding in eight directions. They include Kubera, Yama, Vayu, Indra, Agni, Nirriti, Varuna and Ishana (Shiva) whose role is to protect ancient Hindu temples. So, make it a point to visit this beautiful structure from ancient times and enjoy the verdant surroundings. If you visit this temple during January-February months, you can attend the Rajarani music festival which is a cultural extravaganza held annually during that time.

Finely carved deities, apsaras, women on temple walls

How To Reach There?
It is in the heart of Bhubaneswar city on Tankapani Road in Rajarani Colony. It is about four kilometers from the airport and 3.9 kms from the Bhubaneswar railway station. Preserved by the ASI, entry to the temple site is ticketed (Rs 25 per person) and it remains open from 6.30 am to 7.30 pm on all the 7 days.


S.U.Revati Chandran said...

Superb article mam 👌👌👏👏

Anonymous said...

Superb article with intricate details.
B k prasad