Vaital Temple at Bhubaneswar in Odisha – Tantric Temple



Vaital Temple is an 8th century AD shrine located around a kilometer northwest of the world famous Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneswar in Odisha. A tantric temple, it is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda. The shrine is noted for its erotic sculptures and is also a classic example of Kalinga architecture.

The main murti of Goddess Chamunda is depicted as sitting on a dead body, flanked by an owl and a jackal. She has an emaciated body with sunken eyes and sunken belly. The entire look and form of the deity is ferocious.

The temple is rectangular and has a vault roof that looks like an upturned boat. The fifteen niches of the shrine hold various types of images.

A four-faced lingam adorns the front entrance.

An exquisitely carved image of the Sun God flanked by Usha and Pratyusha symbolizing the dawn is installed on its outer eastern face. Aruna is also found pulling the chariot of the sun.