Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, is home to one of the most magnificent and revered temples in India, the Lingaraj Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the supreme lord of the universe, and is a splendid example of Kalinga architecture. The temple has a rich history and cultural significance and attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year.
The Lingaraj Temple was built by the kings of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, who ruled over Odisha from the 10th to the 14th century CE. The temple is surrounded by a massive stone wall that encloses a large water tank called Bindu Sagar.
The Lingaraja Temple is an active place of worship, unlike most other temples in Bhubaneswar. The temple follows a strict schedule of rituals and ceremonies that are performed by the priests throughout the day. The temple opens at 6:30 am and closes at 9:30 pm. The Lingaraj temple prasad timings are from 10:00 am to 11:00 am for Anna Bhog (made with 56 items), from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm for Sakala Dhup (lunch) and from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm for Sandhya Dhup (dinner).
The most important festival is Shivaratri, which falls in February or March. On this day, lakhs of devotees throng to the temple to offer prayers and witness the Mahadeepa, a huge flame that is lit on top of the Vimana, the tallest structure in the complex, with a height of 180 feet, at night.
The Lingaraja Temple is not only a place of worship but also a place of learning and culture. The temple showcases the artistic and architectural excellence of ancient Odisha. The temple also preserves and promotes the traditions and values of Hinduism. The temple is a source of inspiration for contemporary artists and architects. The temple is also a testimony to the rich heritage and glory of Odisha.