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Buguda Sun Temple in Odisha - Biranchi Narayan Temple

Talk about Sun Temple in Odisha, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Sun Temple in Konark. But there are two other (even more) sun temples in Odisha. One is in Buguda in Ganjam District and another is at Palia in Bhadrak District. The Sun Temple at Buguda is made out of wood and is sometimes referred as the Wooden Konark. The temple is also known as Biranchi Narayan Temple.

But poor maintenance and other natural causes have pushed the temple on to the verge of collapse. Lack of funds and lack of people with knowledge to repair the 18th century temple are two main impediments in protecting the structure.

Dedicated to Surya

The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is popularly known as the Biranchi Narayan temple.

There is a belief that the idol is the lost idol of Konark’s Sun Temple.

Apart from the five-foot main murti (idol), the temple has two small replicas of the main idol made from copper and wood. The main murti (idol) of Biranchi Narayan is in standing posture with a crown and a scabbard. The murti is dressed elaborately and holds lotuses.

Biranchi Narayan Temple at Buguda Ganjam

Story of Biranchi Narayan Temple

A historical report states that the idol in the temple was found by a cattle herder, who accidentally struck his foot against the idol which was buried underground. People of the area unearthed the life-size image and installed it at the Buguda temple. 

Temple - Shape - Chariot Driven By Seven Horses

The temple was renovated 200 years ago, the temple is in the shape of a chariot driven by seven horses. The temple rests on 32 elaborately carved pillars.

The pillars, the wheel of the chariot and the horses are carved out of stone. The rest of the temple is made out of wood and the highlight being the ornately carved ceilings.

Famous for Detailed Wooden Carvings

Detailed carvings are found on the mandapas and entrance doors.

The carvings include scenes from the Ramayana and Shri Krishna Lila.

Important incidents in the life of Shri Krishna from his birth to the killing of Kamsa are depicted to picture book perfection.

Other carvings include incarnations of Vishnu, Radha Krishna, courtesans, musicians, animals and depictions of day-to-day activities.

Eye-catching paintings on the walls include themes from Ramayana.

Painted using naturally made colors, the wall paintings have not lost its sheen.

Buguda is about 180 km southeast of Bhubaneswar. Nearest important towns with accommodation facilities are at Aska (30 kms) and Berhampur (70 kms). Nearest railway station is at Berhampur.