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» Orissa
Location : Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Main Temples : Lakshmaneswara, Bharatesvara, Satrughnesvara
Presiding Deity : Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvati

The Ruins Of Three Temples
The three ruined temples, commonly known as 'Lakshmanesvara', 'Bharatesvara' and 'Satrughnesvara'. The Bharatesvara and Satrughnesvara are standing in a row opposite the much later 'Ramesvara' temple by the side of the road leading to the 'Lingaraja' temple from the railway-station, have generally been regarded as the earliest temples, being assigned to the closing of the 6th or the beginning of the 7th century A.D.

On the basis of the paleography of the labels above the 'Grahas' carved on the lintel of the northernmost temple. They are now reduced to bare cores, and only part of the sculptured western facade of the southernmost temple still survives to give us some idea of its original carvings.

The temple bears a close similarity to the 'Deul' of the 'Parasuramesvara' both in architectural features and decorative details. The scheme of decoration of the front 'Raha' with two 'Chaitya' windows containing "Ravananugraha-Murti" and 'Nataraja', crowned by a 'Kirti-Mukha', above which is a seated figure of 'Lakulisa', is identical.

A Thematical Presentation
Like the 'Svarnajalesvara' temple, the 'Kanthi' of this temple is relieved with scenes taken from mythology, of which the marriage-procession Shiva depicted on the northern side is interesting. The theme of the lintel, however, presents a variation. The central piece of the composition is the seated figures of Shiva and Parvati, with their attendants by their sides and their mounts below, worshipped by devotees; the enshrinement of Shiva, both in his phallic and anthropomorphic forms, is represented by the two outermost panels. The extant side-niches have different forms of Shiva, like 'Nataraja', 'Hari-Hara' and the dancing 'Ardhanarisvara'.

A large central lithic beam resting on corbels and a number of smaller rafters forms the 'Garbha-Muda' in these temples. The ends of the latter rest on the beam on one side and on the wall on the other.

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