Ananta Vasudeva Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated in the capital city of Odisha i.e. Bhubaneswar. The temple celebrates the Vaishnavite culture which is widely worshipped in this region. The temple belongs to the13th century. The temple dates back to the period of Chandrika Devi, daughter of Anangabhima III.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple Idols
The temple houses the idols of Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. In addition to this there exists the idols of the siblings of Lord Krishna namely sister Subhadra and elder brother Balarama.
Balarama stands under a huge seven hooded serpent.
Subhadra stands with gold in one hand and lotus in another. Her left foot is placed on a jewel pot.
Krishna has his famous sudharshan chakra, mace, lotus and a conch in his hands.
These idols appear enchanting. They so beautiful made that a mere look at these can make a person feel elated. Such is the power of spirituality.
The Jagannath Temple in Puri also houses the idols of Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Vishnu, goddess Subhadra and Balarama. But the major difference between the idols housed in these two temples is that the ones in Jagannath Temple are made up of wood whereas the ones in Ananta Vasudeva Temple is made up of black granite stone. Another striking difference between the idols is that the idols in Ananta Vasudeva Temple are complete. The idols in Jagannath Temple are incomplete. The legend behind these incomplete idols is that it was prohibited by the maker of these idols to look or peek at it. But out of curiosity the king peeked inside the room where the idols were being made. As a result of which the artisan, who was Lord Vishwakarma himself left the idol as it is. This is the reason why the three idols housed in the sanctum of Jagannath temple do not have arms.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple Legend
It is believed that the original image of Vishnu was worshipped on the spot where the temple stands. So, tempted by this Queen Chandrika of Eastern Ganga Dynasty constructed the temple of Ananta Vasudeva here. The Marathas who had established control over the region near Mahanadi River are responsible for the renovation of this temple in the 17th century. An old temple existed where the present stands today in which the idol of Vishnu was installed. So, the Ananta Vasudeva Temple was built on the spot of another temple.
The Ananta Vasudeva Temple resembles the Lingaraja Temple with respect to its architecture. The temple house small shrines just like the Lingaraja Temple. But this temple celebrates Vaishnavism whereas Lingaraja temple belongs to the Shaivite tradition.
Ananta Vasudeva Temple Architecture
The temple is built in the deula architectural style. It is a characteristic Kalinga architectural style. Most of the temples in Odisha are made in this fashion. Ananta Vasudeva Temple is one of the oldest temples in Odisha. The Deula style has 4 basic components the vimana, the Jagamohana, the nata-mandapa and the bhoga-mandapa. These different elements of the temple were made for satisfying different purposes. For example, Nata-mandapa is also known as the festival hall. It was more of a celebration hall. Bhoga-mandapa was the place where Prasad or bhog was given to the pilgrims.
The temple in itself is an architectural marvel. It is huge and magnificent. The intricate carvings on walls and pillars is a sight to be relished. The temple is surrounded by a beautiful boundary wall. The boundary wall consists of a continuous pattern of carving. The vimana which is the tallest structure of the temple complex has wonderful designs on it. The spectacular idols on the walls of the temple look divine. The temple has carved idols of women and these are highly ornamented. This makes them look a bit unrealistic.
A Tourist’s Guide to Ananta Vasudeva Temple
The Ananta Vasudeva Temple is around 3km away from Bhubaneswar. It is well connected to the city by road. The nearest railway station is Bhubaneswar Railway Station and the nearest Airport is Biju Patnaik International Airport, situated in Bhubaneswar. One can easily finds hotels in Bhubaneswar. Hotels are available online too. The temple is open on all days of the week from 6am to 7pm. The temple offers bhog or Prasad to its visitors in the second half. The bhog is free of cost and can treat on it until full. Parking facility is not available but two-wheelers can be easily adjusted in the nearby area. The temple is set in between trees. Thousands of devotees come to visit the Ananta Vasudeva Temple every year. Photography is allowed inside the temple complex. It is a must visit for lovers of art and culture. The temple portrays Vaishnavism at its peak. It is a wonderful weekend escape for localities. The Ananta Vasudeva temple gives its visitors a sense of joy and spirituality coupled with a wonderful experience.