Mukteshvara Temple is a 10th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. The temple dates back to 950–975 CE and is a monument of importance in the study of the development of Hindu temples in Odisha. It is found to be the earliest work from the Somavamshi period (c. 9th century CE–c. 12th century CE).
The temple is dedicated to God Shiva. The outer face of the Octagonal ompound wall has niches of Hindu deities like Saraswathi, Ganesha and Lakulisha (the fifth century founder of the Pashupata sect of tantric Shaivism). The numerous images of Lakulisha are found in miniature forms within Chaitya arches, showing various mudras like yoga, Bhumispara and vyakyana with yogapatta tied to their knees. They are accompanied by the images of the disciples.
The temple is referred as "Gem Of Odisha Architecture". The temple has an Octagonal compound wall, Torana - the arched gateway, Jagamohana – The assemble hall, Sanctum – Garbhgreeh and Vimana - the structure over the garbhagriha.
The most important feature of the Mukteshvara Temple is the torana, or the arched gateway, dating back to about 900 CE and showing the influence of Buddhist architecture. The arched gateway has thick pillars that have strings of beads and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose.
The Jagamohana is 35 m (115 ft) tall. It is decorated with intricate carvings by the Vishwakarma Moharana sculptors.
The Vimana is square in plan and is built in a raised platform with pilasters in each facade. The shikara is small compared to other temples; it has four Natarajas on and four kirthimukhas on the four faces. The top portion of the shikara has the kalasa. The shikara is 10.5 metres (34 ft) tall, with every inch sculpted with decorative patterns, architectural patterns and sculpted figures. A new form of decoration called bho, possibly developed here, became a prominent feature in later Odishan temples. It is a highly ornate chaitya window crowned by masked demon head and dwarf figures.
How to Reach:
The temple is in Bhubaneshwar city, which is well connected through Air, Road and rail transport.