Of the many secondary sanctuaries in the courtyard, the
temple of Parvati is a fine architectural piece, remarkable for the
exuberance of its carvings, but overshadowed by the
'Lingaraja' temple itself.
The Four Components
Like the Lingaraja temple, it is composed of four components, all disposed on the same axis. In the decorative elements, however, especially on the 'Bada' of the 'Deul' and 'Jagamohana', it differs from its larger counterpart.
Built on a platform of three carved mouldings with a narrow ledge around the base of the deul, the deul has three divisions in its 'Bada', of which the 'Pabhaga' consists of five mouldings. The decorative arrangement of the 'Jangha' faintly recalls that of the Muktesvara temple.
The facets of the corner 'Rathas' are treated with minute scroll - work, arabesque and 'Jali', the central facets being further distinguished by female figures or couples. The intermediary 'Ratha' is made in the likeness of an elongated 'Khakhara' flanked by a 'Naga-Pilaster' on a 'Vidala'.
The central projections, originally containing in their niches the images of the 'Parsva-Devatas', of whom only Parvati is existing now, are shaped like 'Khakhara' shrines with a pilaster crowned by a 'Khakhara-Mundi' on either side. The 'Varanda' is a projected moulding crowned by a recessed 'Kanthi' relieved with 'Jali'.
The 'Bada' of the 'Jagamohana' is equally well - finished and resembles that of the 'deul' in ornamentation. Of the two balustraded windows, the one on the south has been turned into a door, most probably at the time of the addition of the 'Nata-Mandira' and 'Bhoga-Mandapa', which as in the Lingaraja temple, are later than the main units. The pyramidal roof, made of eleven 'Pidhas' in two tiers of six and five each, is crowned by the usual finials.
A Resemblence With Lingaraja Temple
The temple, structurally and stylistically, is definitely later than the Lingaraja temple, its later limit furnished by a small inscription, engraved on the plinth near the south door of the 'Jagamohana', in characters of the latter part of the 13th century.
The object of the record is the gift of two earthen pots ('Atika') filled with cakes as a daily offering to the goddess 'Uma' in the 13th regional year of King 'Bhanudeva', a custom surviving even now. If this ruler was identical with the first 'Ganga' king of that name (A.D. 1264-79), the temple was already in existence in A.D. 1274.