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Rajarani Temple at Bhubaneswar in Odisha

Rajarani Temple is a unique 11th century shrine at Bhubaneswar in Orissa. There is no murti (idol) in the temple. It is situated midway between the famous Lingaraj Temple and the Brahmeshwar Temple. The temple is famous for its sculpted figures and the successive tiers of projections rising to form its 18 meter tower.

The term Rajarani is derived from the very fine grained yellowish sandstone, called ‘Rajarania’ in common parlance.

The temple shows strong Shaiva association. The temple contains scenes of linga worship and Shiva’s marriage with goddess Parvati. There are Shaiva doorkeepers too in the shrine.

A major attraction of this temple is the carvings of the eight dikpalas (temple guards).

The structure of the temple comprises of porch, side-niches, dikpalas, navgraha slabs and plenty of miniature spires. There are also erotic sculptures.

Some scholars are of the view that the shrine is built on a Sri Chakra of a Manjusri architectural style and the very temple is the abode and body of Goddess Rajarajeswari and Bhuvaneshwari.