Bhubaneswar – Lord Lingaraj Temple

Lingaraj temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lingaraj meaning: Shiva is represented by Shiva and Raj means king or supreme, so Lingaraj means king/supreme of all Shiva Lingas.lingaraj-temple-bhubhaneswar

Lingaraj is also referred as Tribhuvaneshwara, the master of three worlds, namely, heaven, earth and netherworld. His consort is called Bhuvaneshvari.

  • The central deity of the temple, Lingaraj, is worshiped both as Shiva and Vishnu. The harmony between the two sects of Hinduism, Saivism and Vaishanvism, is seen in this temple where the deity is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Built in 11th century CE, Lingaraja temple is approximately 55 meters high and enshrines a huge statue of Lord Shiva, made up of granite.
  • The idol is 8 feet in diameter and is placed on a platform that is about 8 inches above ground.
  • The deity is given Abhishek am (bathing) everyday with water, milk and bhang (marijuana).
  • An admired pilgrimage center in the capital of Orissa state.

Bhubaneswar can be called as City of Shiva Lingas as one can sight Shiva Lingas everywhere in the city and its feast for those who worship Lord Shiva. Outside the temples – Some Shiva Lingas are well maintained with regular prayers and others in ignore state.

small temples around lingaraj temple


  • Lord Lingaraj temple is conveniently located in old Bhubaneswar which is called as “Old town”.
  • 3 km away from the airport and
  • 5 km away from main Railway station.
  • 5 km away from main bus stand. A no. of town bus runs between temple and other places and one can also reach near the temple by auto rickshaws

Contact Info

Executive Officer/Additional Executive Officer
Lord Lingaraj Temple Trust,

Tel – 0674-2340105 (office)
Executive officer – +91-9439263655 (mobile)
Additional Executive Officer – +91-9437082440 (mobile)

 Lingaraj Temple is dedicated to Harihara, a form of Shiva and Vishnu .

  • The Lingaraja temple is the largest temple in Bhubaneswar.
  • The temple complex has 50 other shrines and is enclosed by a large compound wall.
  • Bhubaneswar is called the Ekamra Kshetra as the deity of Lingaraj was originally under a mango tree (Ekamra),
  • Shiva is worshipped as Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva.
  • Lingaraja temple is maintained by the Temple Trust Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • The Lingaraja temple faces east
  • The lingam in the temple is a natural unshaped stone that rests on a Sakti. Such a lingam is called Krutibasa or Swayambhu and is found in 64 places in different parts of India.

Facts and history

  • The central tower of the temple is 180 ft (55 m) tall.
  • The temple is believed to be built by the kings from the Somavamsi dynasty, with later additions from the Ganga rulers.
  • The door in the gate of the entrance porch is made of sandalwood.
  • The Ekamra was associated with Vaishanavite gods Krishna and Balaram during the period.
  • Bindusagar Tank (meaning ocean drop) and the water is believed to heal physical and spiritual illness.
  • Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated annually in Phalgun month when thousands of devotees visit the temple.
  • Chariot festival (Ratha-Yatra) of Lingaraja is celebrated on Ashokashtami. The deity is taken in a chariot to Rameshwar Deula Thousands of devotees follow and pull brightly decorated chariots containing the idols of Lingaraj and his sister Rukmani.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Non Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, but it can be viewed from the viewing platform located outside the temple.
  • Sanctity of the temple is maintained by disallowing dogs, unbathed visitors, mensturating women and families that encountered birth or death in the preceding 12 days.
  • In case of a foreign trespass, the temple follows a purification ritual and dumping of prasad (food offering) in a well.

Religious practices

  • The image of Lingaraja is abluted with water (called mahasnana) several times a day and decorated with flowers, sandal paste and cloth.
  • Hemlock or hemlock flowers which are generally offered in other Shiva temples is not allowed in the Lingaraja temple.
  • Bilva leaves (Aegle marmelos) and tulasi (Ocimum sanctum) are used in daily worship. Offerings of cooked rice, curries and sweets are displayed in the bhogamandapa (hall of offering) and the divinity is invoked to accept them amidst scores of chanting of Sanskrit texts.
  • Coconut, ripe plantains and kora-khai are generally offered to Lingaraja by the pilgrims. Bhang beverage is offered to Lingaraja by some devotees especially on the day of Pana Sankranti (Oriya newyear).

Timings and schedule:

The Lingaraja temple is open from 6 a.m. to about 9 p.m. and is intermittently closed during bhoga (food offering) to the deity.

Other rituals:

During early morning, lamps in the cella are lit to awaken Lingaraja from his sleep, ablution is performed, followed by adoration and arati (waving of light). The temple is closed at about 12 noon until about 3.30 p.m. A ceremony known as Mahasnana (ablution) is performed once the doors are closed, followed by pouring of Panchamrita (a mixture of milk, curdled milk, clarified butter, honey and ghee) upon the deity for purification. At about 1:00 p.m., a ripe plantain is divided into two, one half is offered to Sun god and the other half to Dwarapala (the guarding deities in the doorway). Between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. the food offering called Ballabha Bhoga (breakfast containing curdled milk, curd and vegetables) is offered to the deity. The consecrated food is carried to the temple of Parvati and placed before her as an offering, a practice commonly observed by the orthodox Hindu housewives. At about 2 p.m., the Sakala Dhupa (morning’s offering of food) takes place. After the food is offered to Lingaraja, the offerings are carried to the temple of Parvati to serve her. An offering called Bhanda Dhupa is carried out at 3:30 p.m. at the hall of offering. This food is later offered by the inmates to the pilgrims as Mahaprasad.

A light refreshment known as Ballabha Dhupa is offered to the deity at around 4:30 p.m. At around 5:00 p.m., Dwipahar Dhupa (mid day meal) is offered. At around 7 p.m., another offering called Palia Badu is placed before the deity. Sandhya arati (waving of lights in the evening) is performed during that time. Another light meal called Sahana Dhupa is offered at around 8:30 p.m. After the meals, the ceremony of waving light (arati) is performed before the deity. At 9.30 p.m., the last service of the day, Bada Singara (the great decoration) is performed when the deity is decorated with flowers and ornaments after which a light food offering is made. A wooden palanquin is laid in the room, incense is lighted, drinking water is served and prepared betel is placed. Panchabaktra Mahadeva comes to the palanquin and returns to his own abode after the arati is performed. This is a bronze image of Mahadeva having five faces and Parvati in his lap. Each of these ceremonies is accompanied by ritual observances and recitations of mantras (Sanskrit texts) specified for each occasion.

The cycle of daily rites, as regards the local terminology and timings, are quite similar to those of the Jagannatha temple at Puri.

Lord Lingaraj is offered bhoga eight times daily and this includes five avakasas and three dhupas. These comprise the followings:

  1. Bala dhupa or vala ballava
  2. Sakala dhupa
  3. Bhoga- Mandapa Dhupa or Chatrabhoga
  4. Virakisore ballava
  5. Dvipahara dhupa or madhyahna dhupa
  6. Teraphita
  7. Sandhya dhupa
  8. Bada singhara
  • Bhubaneshwar, Konarak and Puri constitute the Golden triangle of Orissa, visited in large numbers by pilgrims and tourists.
  • Bhubaneshwar is also a revered pilgrimage center, referred to in the Bhrama Purana. The Bhrama Purana refers to Bhubaneshwar as the Ekamra Kshetra enshrining a crore Shiva Lingas.
  • Legend has it that Shiva revealed to Parvati that Bhubaneshwar – or Ekamra thirtha was a resort favoured by him over Benares. Parvati in the guise of a cowherd woman, decided to look at the city herself. Two demons Kritti and Vasa desired to marry her. She requested them to carry her upon their shoulders, and crushed them under her weight. Shiva, then created the Bindu Saras lake to quench her thirt, and took abode here as Krittivasas or Lingaraja.
  • The Temple: The vast Bindu Sagar lake is the center around which are located the multitude of temples of Bhubaneshwar.  The Lingaraja temple is located in  a spacious courtyard covering over 250000 sq feet and is bounded by fortified walls. Its tower rises up to 180 feet and is elaborately carved.
  • Worship: A total of 22 worship services are offered each day. Once a year, an image of Lingaraja is taken to the Jalamandir in the center of the Bindu Sagar lake.


  • The festivals of Lord Lingaraja are observed throughout the year. However, the major festivals are Prathamastami
    This festival is celebrated on the Krisnastami of Margashirsha. On this occasion the movable idol (Chalanti Pratima) of Lord Lingaraja, called Chandrasekhara is taken out in a gorgeous and nicely decorated palanquin from the temple, after evening dhupa, in a procession to His uncle’s place in western side of the temple. After reaching in uncle’s place, the ceremonial bathing of the idol is performed on bathing altar (Snan Mandap) in the holy water of the historical Papanasini Kunda. New clothes are offered to the deity during worship by his uncle Maitryaswara Deva and aunty Maa Kapali Devi. Thereafter the Lord will be offered Naivedya(food), followed by Bheta Aarati.  Then the deity bidding farewell to His uncle and aunty returns to the Lingaraja Temple.

    2. Pravarana Shashti
    The Pravarana shasthi of pravarana utsava is held on the bright half of the margasirsa. Locally this festival is known as oghana shasthi. With the advent of the winter, lord Lingaraja has to be covered with new garments for which this is called Pravarana utsava. The new garment is purified on the previous day in a ceremony called is offered to the deity on the sixth day of the bright half of the Margashirsha and it is used by him as Pravarana till the Shivaratri.

    3. Pusyabhiseka: This festival is performed on the full moon day in the month of pausa, when it falls with the pusya naksatrath is day is considered to be auspicious, being the birth day of lord Lingaraja.

    4. Ghrtakambala ceremony:This festival is celebrated on the makara Sankranti. On the chatursasti tithi, the utsava vigahra of the lord is taken to makara mandapa.

    5. Magha Saptami: This festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the bright half of the month of magha and hence, it is known as magha sapthami. The day is special sacred to the sun god. On this day, the representative of Lingaraja is taken out in procession to the Bhaskaresvara temple, located in Bhubaneswar.

    6. Shivaratri: The most important festival of the temple is Shivarathri, Shivarati or Shiva’s night is a popular fast and festival. In tantric literature, it is believed to be a kalaratri. It is considered to be a sacred night. It is held on the fourteenth day of the dark half in the month of Phalguna.

    7. Ratha Yatra: is considered to be an important festival in the Lingaraja temple. It is celebrated in the month of Chaitra on suklastami (eight day of the bright fortnight). The Ekamra purana describe this festival in two chapters. It was an important festival of lord Lingaraja and it is variously known in the texts as Ratha yatra, Asoka Ratha yatra, as it was held on the Ashokastami day.

    8. Damanabhanjika: is observed on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of Chaitra. The venue of the celebration is in front of the tirthesvara temple. On this day the utsava vigraha of the lord is taken to that place in a procession.

    9. Chandana Yatra:  is held for twenty-one days from the Aksaya Tritiya i.e. the third day of the bright fortnight in the month of Vaisakha. Every day the proxy image of lord is taken to the Bindusara, where the lord enjoys the boating festival.

    10. Parasuramastami: This festival is conducted on the eight day of the bright fortnight of asadha, on this day the utsava vigraha of Lingaraja is carried to the Parasuramesvara temple and worshipped there.

    11. Sayana Chaturdashi: It is believed that Shiva goes to sleep on the fourteenth day of bright fortnight of asadha and hence this festival is called sayana Chaturdashi.

    12. Pavitraropana: While Vishnu’s pavitraropana is held on the twelfth day of the bright fortnight of sravana, this auspicious rite of Lingaraja is held on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of sravana.

    13. Yama Dvitiya: The festival of Yama dvitiya is celebrated on the second day of the bright half of the month of Kartika.

    14. Utthapana Chaturdashi: Utthapana Chaturdashi is held on the 4th day of the bright half of is believed that Shiva goes to bed on the fourteenth day of the bright fortnight of asadha and rises up from the bed on the fourteenth day of the bright half of Kartika

Other temples in Bhubaneshwar are the Ananta Vasudeva, RajaRani, Mukteswara, Kedareswara, Siddheswara, Parasurameswara.

Source: Ekamra Purana, Wikipedia, History of Bhubhaneswar

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