Odisha is adorned with temples, beaches and the endless beauty of the nature. Its capital city, Bhubaneswar is also known as the ‘City of Temples’. Ancient historic temples are in abundance here. Parashurameshvara Temple is one such temple. This temple was built between the 7th and 8th centuries CE. It belongs to the Shailobhava period and is considered as the best preserved specimen of an early Orissan Hindu temple.
The Parashurameshvara temple is believed to have been built around 650 CE. The temple has the characteristic features of the old Orissan style temples. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Apart from this the temple also has idols of ‘Shakti’, the female goddess.
There are several temples in India dedicated to Lord Parashurama and this temple is one such among the group. The temple has a beautiful and spacious worship hall which leads to the tower of the temple.
About Lord Parashurama
Parashurama was born in a Brahmin family. But he had the traits of a Kshatriya. He was aggressive and had all the qualities needed to be a warrior. So, many a times he is also referred to as a Brahmin-Kshatriya. He is considered as the 6th avatar of Vishnu. When the all-powerful Kshatriyas started exploiting their power, Parashurama rose and established justice. Thus he is worshipped all over the country as a savior and a chivalrous warrior.
More about the Parashurameshvara Temple
The Parashurameshwara Temple isn’t an extravagant temple. It is simple yet it showcases elegance. The Parashurameshvara Temple has a vimana, a sanctum, a curvilinear spire rising over its roof and an additional structure. This very temple is considered to be the first temple to host an additional structure known as the ‘jagamohana’. Most of the temples in Odisha have a deul structure i.e. it has 4 parts and jagamohana is one of them. The temple also hosts images of Shakta which is normally found only in Shakta temples. In addition to this the temple also showcases the depictions of Saptamatrikas.
The Parashurameshvara Temple is one of the most important tourist destinations of Odisha. It attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and abroad. It is maintained by the Architectural Survey of India.
This temple substantiates the existence of the Devadasi tradition. According to this traditions devadasis or girls were supposed to worship God for the rest of their lives. They were devoted to this and usually enjoyed high social status.
Historical Background of the Parashurameshvara Temple
It is considered to be the oldest temple in Bhubaneswar.It was built by the Shailodbhavas and they had Shiva as their deity. It is not typical of a Shiva temple to have depictions of Shakta. But this temple has Shakta depictions. The reason behind this is that the Shailodbhavas also worshipped Shakta. This temple wasn’t affected by Muslim invasions.
Parashurameshvara Temple Architecture
The Kalinga style of architecture showcases the deul style. The initial temples had only two parts but the new ones had 4 parts. These four parts together give a unique structure of the temple and is known as deul. The Parashurameshvara temple has two parts, the sanctum called vimana and the other portion is the place from which the devotees viewed the sanctum. This structure is called the jagamohana.
The vimana is square in plan whereas the Jagamohana is rectangular in plan. The windows in the jagamohana are square or rectangular in shape and in addition to this there exists trellised windows depicting dancers and musicians. The junction between the vimana and jagamohana is not built cleanly. The temples marks the beginning of the Nagara style of architecture which puts emphasis on the vertical construction or structure of the temples. Some of these temples are Mukteshvara temple, Lingaraja temple, the Sun temple and Rajarani temple.The temple has depictions of ghosts, nagas and nagins in different positions on the various structures of the temple.
Parashurameshvara Temple Festival
Parashurashtami is the major festival celebrated in this temple. Every year between the months of June and July, devotees flock in the temple to celebrate. In this festival the festival image of Lingaraja is taken to this temple and feasted.
A Tourist’s Guide to Parashurameshvara Temple
Located in the eastern coast of India, The Parashurameshvara Temple is a very famous tourist destination. The temple is open on all days of the week from 8am to 5pm. Entry is ticketed. It is Rs.5 for each individual. It is situated in the capital city of Odisha. Thus it is well connected to the railway station and the airport.
One can book hotels nearby or anywhere in the city of Bhubaneswar. The temple is well connected and reaching here is not a big deal. A wide range of comfortable hotels are available online to choose from. Visiting this temple during festivals is a major plus and adds to the experience of visiting this place. It is a very busy and important tourist spot. Like most of the ancient temples in Odisha, this temple also does not carry out puja rituals. One can go and take pictures in the temple complex. A trip to this temple can be accompanied by visiting various other temples and places of importance nearby. The temple is well kept and well maintained.
The whole environment of this place is calm and pious. Though small and petite, the temple doesn’t fail to lure you with its charm and antiquity. When in Bhubaneswar one must take a trip to this holy blessed temple.