Art Wanderer: Orissa temples

Puri Jagannath Temple

Puri Jagannath Temple

This week I will wander through some old pictures of Orissan temples, an easy weekend stroll to please the eyes, without much talk, just a brief introduction.
The Orissan temples are very good examples of the Negara temple style, with their beautifully refined shikaras. That said, they actually have a very peculiar style: the tower is worked admirably with horizontal layers so fine and dense that almost seem a whole. They are fronted with pyramidal vestibules and halls; the whole is a very balanced and refined system.

Orissan temples have also historically given great importance to dance: dancers live in the temple and are “symbolically” (with all due misunderstanding) to the divinity. Another characteristic is the kitchen that provides food for everybody and amazing sweets.
Puri temple cannot be visited by non Hindu and can only be admired from the outside, yet it is possible to try sweets from the kitchens to console one self for the missed artistic delights inside.

Bhubaneswar Lingaraja Temple

Bhubaneswar Lingaraja Temple

Bhubaneswar has a number of temples, from VI to XII century that have amazing carvings, beside their elegant and compact architecture.

DSC_2651

DSC_2626

The final experience is Surya temple in Konark, close to Puri. The temple was meant for the Sun, a Vedic divinity and the project was really ambitious with the Sun’s chariots own wheels carved at the base. Unfortunately it collapsed but it is still a magnificent sight. An anecdote: it seems that Surya was the only Hindu god to have boots, leather boots , that is the top of forbidden impure material, so scholars wonder this god has been inherited by the Kushan empire that ruled India from Central Asia.

Konark Surya Temple

Konark Surya Temple

Spokes of Sun Chariot Wheels with beautiful carvings

Spokes of Sun Chariot Wheels with beautiful carvings

Carvings at Surya Temple, Konark

Carvings at Surya Temple, Konark

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