Ranked 5 among Places to Visit in Bhubaneswar
Time Required: 1-2 hrs
A popular 11th-century Hindu temple that can be found in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha, in India; the Raja Rani Temple is locally known as the 'love temple' because it contains some sensuous carvings of women and couples. No images can be found inside the sanctum, and hence the temple is not associated with any particular sect of Hinduism. This is perhaps exactly where the charm of the temple comes from: the temple belongs to no specific sect and is open to all people irrespective of the deity that they worship and admire. However, the figures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati carved on the walls strongly indicate that the temple has certain associations with Shaivism.
According to historians, it was constructed at some time between the 11th and 12th century, but the exact period has not yet been ascertained. In fact, it is from the Rajarani Temple that the architecture of other temples in central India is believed to have been developed; the most notable examples being the Khajuraho temples and the Totesvara Mahadeo temple in Kadawa. The Rajarani Temple is currently under the care of the Archaeological Survey of India and is maintained as a ticketed monument, that is tourists need to purchase a ticket to enter the temple.
The Raja Rani Temple has an altogether different charm to offer, and this is perhaps what sets it aside and apart from the other temples that one can find scattered all across Bhubaneswar, which is now rightly known as the temple metropolis of Orissa.
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