The temples of Odisha conform to the Indo Aryan Nagara style. An estimate puts the figure at around 4,268. Many temples of ancient prominence still stand intact accentuating the glory of bygone era. An Orissan temple (deul) usually consists of a sanctum, one or several front porches (jagamohana) usually with pyramidal roofs, a dancing hall (nata mandir) and a hall of offerings (bhog mandir).
Konark Sun Temple The13thcentury Sun Temple, at Konark, is also known as Black Pagoda. Built in 13th century by King Narasimhadeva, is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and twelve wheels, carrying the Sun God, Surya, across heavens. It is carefully oriented towards the east so that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance.
Jagannath Temple Belonging to the 11th century and enjoying the honour of being one of the ‘char dhams’, the pilgrimage that every Hindu intend to visit; Jagannath Temple is the honour of Puri and Odisha (Orissa). The holy sight of Lord Jagannath, accompanied by Subhadra and Balabhadra raises loads of joy among the devotees. The Temple consists of four entrance gates. They are named as Singhadwara, Ashwadwara, Hathidwara and Vyaghradwara and these names refer to lion, horse, elephant and tiger.
Mukteswar Temple Is often described as one of the jewels of Odisha for its exquisite sculptures and elegant looks.
Parasurameswar Temple Built in the 7th century, typifies the stage of Saiva Pasupata Sect, illustrated by the frequent representation of Lakulisa. He is sculpted in Buddha-like form, with four disciples at his feet.
Siddhesvara Temple Devoid of ornamentation, the deities of Shiva’s sons-Ganesha and Karttikeya around the tower are its only interesting points.
Rajarani Temple The 11th century temple is famous for its sculpted figures. The accentuating miniature replicas of itself decorate the spire, reminiscent of the temples of Khajuraho.
Vaital Deul Temple is one of the oldest temples (late 8th century) of Odisha. The presiding deity, Chamunda or Mahishasuramardini sits on a corpse flanked by a jackal and an owl and decorated with a garland of skulls.
Sri Sri Baladev Jew Temple Odisha Baladev Jew Temple is very famous temple in Odisha and Lord Balabhadra is the main God of this temple. However Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra are also worshiped here along with Lord Balabhadra in the Ratna Sinhasan in the main temple.
Devee Ambika Temple Devee Ambika Temple near Devakunda (Incarnation of Goddess Durga) is a temple which can spell bound every visitor.
Baliharachandi Temple dedicated to Goddess Harachandi at 27km south west of Puri on the national highway 203 leading from Puri towards Brahmagiri and Satapada.
Panchalingeswara Temple is situated on the hilltop of the Eastern Ghats in Panchalingeshwara, Nilagiri, Baleswar district. It’s a beautiful place for picnic, darshan of Shiva Linga .
Lingaraj Temple is a temple of the Hindu God Shiva and is one of the oldest temples of the Temple City Bhubaneswar. There is one Bow (Dhanush) on top of the temple unlike other Shiv Temple where trishul is placed on top of the other Shiv temples.
Kapilasa Mahadev Temple, Dhenkanal, The temple is situated at a height of about 2,239 feet from sea level. King Narasinghdeva I of Ganga Dynasty constructed the temple for Sri Chandrasekhar in 1246 A.D as indicated in the Kapilash temple inscription.
Maa Tarini Temple, Ghatagaon, Keonjhar Maa Tarini is the presiding deity for all Shakti and Tantra peeths or shrines in Odisha. In Odisha which has a high density of tribal population whose religious practices have been assimilated into the mainstream Hindu faith, the worship of natural formations such as rocks, tree trunks, rivers is widespread among the tribes.
Maa Ghanteswari’s Temple is one of the most holiest and beautiful place in Sambalpur. As the name indicates, there are bells (Ghanti) everywhere. People offer bell to Maa after their the fulfillment of their wishes.
Biranchi Narayana Brahma Temple, Bhadrak Located in Palia village of Bhadrak district.This is the only Lord Brahma Temple in World by the God’s creation .
Charchika Temple, Banki Not only do people from all over the world come to see Lord Jagannath, but so do gods and goddesses. It is believed that these devas are most fond of seeing the last ceremony of the day known as Pahuda, after which Jagannath retires to bed.
Gupteswar Temple, Jeypore, Koraput Lord Gupteswar meaning Hidden God, is a cave shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Gupteswar is located in a small town Jeypore in Koraput district of Odisha. It is called Gupteswar(Hidden God) as it was lying hidden for a long time.
Khira Chora Gopinatha Temple This is one of the oldest temples of Baleshwara district. The temple was built by Langula Narasinha Deva, the mighitiest king of the royal Ganga dynasty in the 12th century. The deity worshipped here is the incarnation of Sri Krishna and named a Khira Chora after the incident of the Lord stealing the Khira Bhoga for his greatest devotee Madhavendra.
The Sarala Temple is located 75 km from Bhubaneswar, at Jhankad in Odisha. The main deity of the temple is Goddess Sarala. Here Goddess Saraswati is worshipped as Goddess Sarala.
Nilamadhava Temple, Kantilo, Nayagarh Kantilo Nilamadhaba Temple is very old and famous Vaishnav temple on the banks of Mahanadi. A permanent flow of holy water from the feet of Lord Nilamadhaba and Lord Siddheswar are the highlights of the place.
Tara Tarini Temple, Ganjam Goddesses Tara-Tarini have been regarded as the presiding deity (Ista-Devi)in almost every house in South Orissa. This important and famous Shakta Pitha is situated on a hill top.
Akhandalamani Temple, the abode of ‘Lord Siva’ is located on the banks of river Baitarani, at Aradi, 37km away from the district head quarter of Bhadrak.
Biraja Temple, Jajpur This temple is also called Biraja Devi or Girija Devi temple. It is one of 51 shakthi peethams and it is where Sati’s navel fell. The temple was built in 13th century. Mounted on a lion she carries a spear with one arm and holds the tail of Mahishasur with the other.
Cuttack Chandi Temple, Cuttack The temple of Goddess Chandi, the presiding deity of the city, to the south of the Barabati. The image of the deity is older than the temple. In Cuttack, people strongly believe Maa Katak Chandi as The Living Goddess.
Kakatpur Mangala Temple Dedicated to Goddess Mangala a manifestation of the Mother Goddess Durga, the temple is located in the town of Kakatpur in the Puri District of Odisha. The temple is built in typical Kalinga style and is a major pilgrimage for devotees of Shakti cult.
Besides the temples mentioned above, following are some of the famous temples of Odisha.
Alarnath Temple at Brahmagiri; Dhabaleswar, Cuttack; Goddess Hingula, Talcher; Budhi Thakurani, Angul; Sri Ladukeswar, Nayagarh; Sri Hanuman Vatika, Rourkela, Sundergarh; Chandaneswar Temple, Digha, Baleswar; Manikeswari Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi; Belkhandi Siva Temple, Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi; Goddess Ramchandi Temple, Angul; Himakanda Sleeping Vishnu Temple, Angul.
(With inputs from Odisha Tourism)