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Raja Rani Temple, Bhubaneshwar



Raja Rani Temple, Bhubaneshwar


RajaRani temple from Bhubaneshwar is perhaps the most beautiful temple to visit. The ancient architecture, peaceful atmosphere and absence of worshipers (since there is no god idol inside the temple) are some of the reasons for a must have visit.


Currently the temple is looked after by ASI and has categorized it as 'ticketed protected monuments of Odisha'. A five rupee ticket allows you to explore the temple for one whole day. Interestingly, the ticket is applicable for entry at one more ticketed place from Bhubaneshwar: Udayagiri and Khandgiri caves. It is possible to cover two historical places in one day, morning and evening  dedicated to temple and during day time the two buddhist caves - Udaygiri and Khandgiri. Photography charges are included in the ticket.


The first impression from the name of temple suggests, the idol might be a pair. In fact there is no idol inside the temple and thus no puja is offered in the temple.The temple was constructed of dull red and yellow sandstone locally called "Rajarani".

The temple is believed to have been known originally as Indreswara. It is locally known as a "love temple" because of the erotic carvings of women and couples in the temple.


Historical Details about the temple. Display boards by ASI.
Various historians place the original construction date between the 11th and 12th centuries, and have placed it roughly belonging to the same period as the Jagannath Temple at Puri. The architecture of other temples in central India is believed to have originated with this temple, the notable ones being the Khajuraho temples and Totesvara Mahadeo temple in Kadawa.

Rajarani Temple is built in the pnahcratha style on a raised platform with two structures: a central shrine called the vimana (sanctum) with a bada (curvilinear spire) over its roof rising to a height of 18 m (59 ft), and a viewing hall called jagamohana with a pyramidal roof. 

The highlight of the temple is the fine sculptures of dikpalas or guardians of the eight directions carved around the shrine. Starting from East we encounter successively-
  • Indra (lord of the East) holding a thunderbolt and an elephant goad, with the elephant below; the potbellied and 
  • Agni (southeast), god of fire, with the Ram; 
  • Yama (South) holding a staff and a noose, with his vehicle the buffalo; 
  • Nirriti (southwest), the god of misery, holds a severed head and a sword above a prostrate figure; 
  • Varuna (West) holding a noose in his left hand, his vehicle is makara or the crocodile; 
  • Vayu (northwest) holding a banner and his vehicle is deer; 
  • Kubera (North) placed above seven jars of gems, he has a horse and
  • Isana (northeast) shown with an erect phallus by the side of an emaciated figure. 



The Department of Tourism of the Government of Odisha organises a Rajarani music festival at the temple every year from January. The temple focuses on classical music, and all three styles of classical music – Hindustani,Carnatic and Odissi – are given equal importance. Musicians from different parts of the country perform during the three-day festival. The festival was started in 2003 with the help of the Bhubaneswar Music Circle (BMC)

Temple is a favorite among photographers. Morning time is excellent to shoot the amber-colored beauty due to the light direction and angle. Temple is surrounded by bungalows. Thus choosing n angle to avoid them from appearing in the frame is tricky. Ultra-wide angle lens perhaps be better than kit lens at minimum focal length.


Early in the morning the temple premises is used by the locals to have morning walk or light exercise. Visitors come bit late, somewhere around and after 10 AM. 

Timing and Entry Fees:


  • The monument remains open from sunrise to sunset. 
  • Entry fee for each Indian citizen is Rs. 5.00, 
  • Foreign visitor has to pay Rs. 100.00/ $ 2.00 
  • Children below the age of 15 years are not charged any entry fee.


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9 comments:

  1. Lots to explore in Bhubhaneshwar. Your pics are too good.

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  2. Thanks for sharing..:)
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  3. Interesting to know that the temple's name has nothing to do with the deities that are there or were there at some point. Nice learning that there is a kind of sandstone that is locally called Rajaraniya. :)

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is a lovely temple but hardly anyone is BBSR gives it a thought!! But now that BBSR is a proposed smart city, this marvelous piece of architecture has come under focus....Sad but true .

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  5. What lovely architecture it has...i am amazed!

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  6. You are taking us to all the parts of Orissa. :) Good details. Loved the architecture. Most of the old temples don't have the idols inside or idols are broken :( .

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