The Chitrakarini Temple, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Chitrakarini Temple is a Hindu Religious Place in Bhubaneswar, Orissa .The Presiding Deity is Chamunda Devi. The Kalinga architecture with Nagara style temple is well preserved with manicured gardens enhancing the sublime stone carved sculptures of the shrine by Archeological Survey of India (ASI). Lingaraj temple and Chtrakarini temple share the common boundary wall and one can have a panoramic view of the former from here.
Chitrakarini temple belongs to the later group temples of Bhubaneswar. It was probably built by the Ganga Kings. It was perhaps built by the Ganga King Narasimha Deva I, who was also called as Parama Mahesvara, in the middle of 13th century CE.
Although the Orissan temple architecture style falls under the broad category of Nagara style of temple architecture, it has its unique and distinct features. Within the Orissan temple architecture style, there are three types based on the period of the construction and which dynasty constructed the temple. Chitrakarini temple, which was built by the Ganga Kings in the 13th century , is a Panchayatana temple, where there is a main shrine in the middle with four sub-shrines in the four corners. The main shrine has two divisions - sanctum sanctorum (moolasthan) and Jagmohan. The other four shrines have only sanctum. All the sanctum sanctorums have tall vimanas/chariots (called as rekha deul as per the Orissan term). The Jagmohan of the main shrine has the pyramidal shaped roof called Pidha. It should be noted that Orissan temple architecture has tall vimanas unlike Dravidian temple architecture where the vimanas are shorter.
In the main shrine, Chamunda's idol is found. It is a red colored stone idol. In the Jagmohan, the idols of Hanuman and base relief idols of Navagraha in a single row are found. All these idols are not old as the temple. It is said that once, there were five idols in the main shrine and four idols each in the other four shrines, making totally nine idols of Shakti in this temple. However, no idol is found in the other four shrines nowadays.
The vimana, pidha as well as the walls of the shrines are intricately decorated and lot of sculptures such as elephants, lions, lions controlling elephants, dancing girls, erotic figures, Nagas and deities are found on them.
Bhubnaswer is well connected by Air , Rail and Road with major towns of India .