Uttaresvara Shiva Temple is an ancient Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India. Among the local devotees; the temple is considered one of the four pithas. The other pithas are Yoga pitha at Kharakhia Baidyanath, Bhoga pitha at Lingaraj Temple and Siddha Pitha at Kedara Gouri temple. Similarly, Uttareswara was known as Tantra pitha.
History and Architecture
Uttaresvara Shiva Temple built on 12th century by Kalinga architecture style. Pabhaga mouldings, rectangular flat-roofed jagamohana and sculptures with 7th-century iconographic traits reveals that it was established on 7th century A.D. but later construction might be on the 19th century. It is a temple type building with Vimana and jagamohana. Vimana is Rekha Deula whereas jagmohana is a rectangular flat-roofed hall. The temple is surrounded by the lesser shrines of Bhimesvar in north Sahadevesvara in the south and the compound wall on the eastern and western sides.
Location and Attraction
Uttareswara Shiva temple is located within a precinct in the northern embankment of Bindusagar tank near the Nalamuhana Sahi, Kedara-Gouri Chowk, Old Town, Bhubaneswar. The enshrining deity in this temple, Uttareswara Shiva (Hiranyagarbha type) is only a circular yoni pitha at the centre of the sanctum. Apart from that, there are statues of Bhairava and Bhairavi on both sides of the entrance to the Garbha Gruha.
Lord Nrusingha Statue
Another attraction of the temple is the statue of Lord Nrusingha, which is located inside the main temple, facing Lord Uttareswara at the right side of the entrance to the main temple. The original temple has collapsed, as is evident from the renovation work above the pabhaga and the presence of cult images of an earlier phase on different parts of the temple walls, which do not conform to canonical prescriptions. It is the main temple within the precincts along with nine lesser shrines. There are a few more temples, and a pond, the Godavari, is also located inside the precincts. The second biggest temple is Lord Bhimeswara. The Shiva linga with a circular yoni pitha is at the centre of the sanctum.
Another deity of major importance in this temple is Maa Uttarayani. She is the Parshwa Devi of Lord Uttareswara facing the south on the outer wall of Uttareswara main temple. She is known as one of the Ashta Chandi-s of Lord Lingaraj. (The Ashta Chandi-s of Lingaraj are: Bindhya Bashini at Tala Bazar; Mohini at the southern part of Bindusagar; Ramayani or Rabani at Pujapanda Sahi on Ratha Road; Kapali of Tinimundia/Vaital Temple; Uttarayani; Gouri of Kedar-Gouri Temple; Ambika near Kotitirtheswara Temple and Dwara Vasini on Bindusagar Road). During the month of Chaitra, an offering of Pana to Uttarayani is famous at this temple.
Bhimesvara Shiva temple
Bhimesvara Shiva temple is located within the Uttaresvara Shiva temple precinct, in the northern embankment of Bindusagar tank. The enshrining deity of this temple is a Shiva lingam within a circular yoni pitha at the centre of the sanctum. This is a living temple facing east. The temple has a square vimana with a modern concrete hall in front of the vimana serves as the Jaganmohan.