Astasambhu Siva Temples
Astasambhu Siva Temples is a collection of 8 Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Siva located in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, India.
In the Uttaresvara Siva Temple precinct there are eight temples of identical size and dimension locally known as Astasambhu. Ashta means eight and Sambhu refers to another name of Lord Shiva. Five of them are arranged in one alignment are also known as Panchu Pandava. The temple is under the private ownership and is maintained by the Ratnakara Gargabatu and family. According to architectural features like bada division and pabhaga mouldings, this temple was built around 10th Century A.D. This is a building made up of stones and its typology is Rekha Deul. The temple is surrounded by Godavari tank in the east, Uttaresvara Siva Temple compound wall in west, and Bindusagar tank in south beyond the compound wall. The temple has an east facing shrine.
The temple has a square vimanam (shrine) measuring 2.45 metres with a frontal porch of 0.53 metres. Its pancharatha(five chariots) as distinguished by a central raha and a pair of anuratha and kanika pagas on either sides of the raha. On elevation, he vimana is of rekha order that measures 5.72 metres in height from pabhaga to kalasa. From bottom to the top the temple has a bada, gandi and mastaka. With three fold divisions of the bada the temple has a trianga bada measuring 1.72 metres. At the bottom the pabhaga has four base mouldings of khura, kumha, pata, basanta that measures 0.47 metres. Jangha measures 0.90 metres and baranda measuring 0.35 metres thick has three mouldings. The gandi measuring 3.00 metres in height is devoid of any decoration and mastaka measures 1.00 metres with components like beki, amlaka, khapuri and kalasa.
The parsvadevata niches are located on the raha paga of the jangha on the three sides of north, west and south measuring 0.50 metres x 0.32 metres and with a depth of 0.20 metres. Except the southern niche the rest two are empty. The niches are decorated with talagarbhika and urdhagarbhika of khakhara order. The southern niche houses a four armed Ganesha holding a parasu in his lower left, a rosary with varadamudra pose in lower right hand. His upper hands are broken. The deity is flanked on the top by two flying vidyadharas holding garlands in their hands. This temple is made up of coarse grey sand stone, construction technique is dry masonry type and construction type is Kalingan.
Temple remains open from 6am to 9pm. During this period major rituals of Lord Shiva are performed. Mahashiva Ratri is celebrated at a grand scale in this temple. The months of September to November are perfect to visit this temple because, the climate is moderately cold, pleasant and perfect for enjoying the natural beauty. People, who want to enjoy the temple’s beauty and architecture calmly, should not visit the temple during the months of June or July because that is the time of the RathYatra, where the entire state of Orissa is crowded.
How to Reach
By Road: The temple of Astasambhu Shiva Temple is situated at Bhubaneswar in Orissa state of India. Bhubaneshwar is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.
By Rail: It is well connected through nearest Bhubaneshwar railway station (49 km)
to major cities railway stations like Delhi, Agra, Mumbai, Chennai, Ajmer, Pali, Jaipur, Ahmedabad.
By Air: The nearest Airport is Bhubaneswar Airport (52 Km) which is well connected with regular domestic flights to Delhi, Mumbai.