According to an inscription this temple, along with the
inscription this temple, along with the tank near it, came into existence
at the instance of 'Svapnesvara', brother-in-law of the 'Ganga' king
'Rajaraja' (circa A.D. 1171-92), during the reign of the latter's brother
'Anangabhima' (circa A.D.- 1192-95).
Being a dated temple, it has an important place in the development of the building art of Bhubaneswar . The course of evolution can, thus, profitably be studied with reference to another dated temple, the Brahmesvara temple, which is more than a century older.
The most striking feature about the 'Deul' at a height of 15.55m, is the transformation of the spire, which has assumed a softened and almost circular appearance, due to the rounding of the sharp edges of the multiple offsets and projections. On plan, the 'Deul' has now developed into a 'Sapta-Ratha'.
The 'Bhumi-Amlas' are circular, and both the 'Anuraha' and 'Anuratha' are shaped like a vertical succession of the miniature replicas of the 'Deul'. Like the Brahmesvara temple, the rampant lions on the 'Rahas' except the front one which has the usual elephant under it, rest on 'Kirti-Mukhas'.
The 'Jangha' is divided into two by a set of three mouldings and has the usual decorative motifs with the seated 'Dikpalas' in the 'Khakhara-Mundis' of the corner 'Pagas' of the lower Jangha'. The 'Pidha-Mundis' of the upper 'Jangha' have mostly figures of divinities. Of the 'Parsva-'Devatas' only the four-armed Kartikeya, with his peacock pecking his right hand, is almost intact.
The 'Jagamohana', now bereft of its crowning members, is plain and unfinished. Pilasters, relieved with seven-hooded 'Naga' and 'Nagi'-figures, flank its doorway.