The Lingaraja temple is said to have been built first by the ruler Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar.
Structurally, the Parasurameswara temple at Bhubaneshwar is the oldest, dating back to the middle of the 8th century, and the Lingaraja is temple is assigned to the 10th century. The Nata mandir and the Bhog mandir of the Lingaraja temple are of later origin.
Legend has it that Shiva revealed to Parvati that
Bhubaneshwar - or ‘Ekamra Thirtha’ was a resort favoured by him over Benares.
Parvati in the guise of a cowherd woman, decided to look at the city herself.
Two demons Kritti and Vasa desired to marry her. She requested them to carry
her upon their shoulders, and crushed them under her weight. Shiva, then
created the Bindu Saras lake to quench her thirst, and took abode here as
Krittivasas or Lingaraja.
The Lingaraja temple
is located in a spacious courtyard covering over 250000 sq feet and is bounded
by fortified walls. Its tower rises up to 180 feet and is elaborately carved. It
is about a thousand years old. Bhubaneshwar, Konarak and Puri constitute the
Golden triangle of Orissa, visited in large numbers by pilgrims and tourists.