Mukteçwara Temple, Bhubaneswar
This Temple is considered to be the gem of Odisha temple architecture. Made of sandstone, and rising to a height of 35 feet it bears heavy sculptural work. This Temple was built in 950 CE. Often referred to as the ‘Gem of Odisha Architecture’ Mukteswara means ‘the Lord who bestows freedom through Yoga’. There are a number of depictions of skeletal ascetics among the sculptural images, most of them shown in teaching or meditation posture.
The jagamohana in this Temple is a distinctive structure in its own right, with a terraced pyramidal shape – piòhä style, that became a model for later period.
There are exquisite sculptures from Païcatantra tales, while the niches on the outer face of the compound wall include Buddhist and Jain images as well as Hindu ones. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent toraëa- (archtrave - the decorative gateway), an arched master-piece, reminiscent of Buddhistic influence in Orissa. The carving of the dwarfs – gaëas are particularly interesting. The Temple dedicated to Lord Çiva, Mukteçwara, is also carved with figures of ascetics in several poses of meditation. The small Marichi Kunda, between Mukteçwara Temple and the road, is known to cure infertility in women.
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