Parsurameswar Temple

Category: Orrissa
Published on 13 June 2014 Hits: 1005

Built in around 650 A.D., the Parsurameswar Temple is also one of the older temples of Orissa. It is also one of the best preserved monuments and almost all of the sculptures in the temples are in good conditions. A typical example of the Kalingan style of temple architecture, the temple features pine spire curving up to a point over the sanctum and the pyramid-covered Jagamohana, where people sit and pray. The decorative scheme of the shrine, in the temple, is well-organized, with close adherence to ancient architectural texts. This is apparent in the base molding, the clear-cut division of the wall into three segments, and the very precise decorative treatment of the shrine tower.

The shrine of the presiding deity, Lord Shiva is richly decorated. The walls and outer sanctum has sculptures of amorous couples, animals and floral designs. The windows of the temple have exquisite bas-relief of horses and elephant processions and lattice work. The outer wall of the temple has carvings of Lord Ganesh, Kartikeya, Shiva, Parvati, and other deities. There are also several carvings depicting stories from Puranas. The architrave of the inner doorway is decorated with figures of the eight planets. The carvings of the shrine are vastly superior to those of the hall. In the northwest corner of the temple compound is the exotically unique ‘one thousand Lingas’


As per some historians, Parsurameswar temple is believed to have been built in the early 8th century A.D., following the initial set of Satruguneswar, Bharateswar and Lakshmaneswar temples of the late 7th century, but historian K.C.Panigrahi places the date as 650 A.D.[2][5] Fergusson believes that the temple might have been initiated at around 500 A.D.[6] The mid-seventh century date is agreed by most scholars based on style and the presence of the eight planets which appear over the door to the inner sanctum as the later temples are believed to have nine planets.[7]

Parsurmeswar temple was built by the Sailodbhavas, who had Shiva as their family deity.[2] The Sailodbhavas also respected the Sakta deities and depicted Sakta images on the walls of the temple.[2] The temple was repaired in 1903, with some changes in the roof of the inner sanctum, whilst retaining most of the original structure.[7][8] Being located in the eastern coast, the temple, along with the other Orissan temples were not much affected by the Muslim invaders during the 12-13th centuries.[9] In modern times, the temple is maintained and administered by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) as a ticketed monument

Parasurameswar represents Shiva as the lord of Parasuram, one of the avatars of Vishnu. As per Hindu legend, the temple derives its name from the penance of Parasuram and the resultant grace of Shiva.[17] Parasuramashtami is the major festival celebrated in the temple on the 8th day of Ashadha (June–July) when the festival image of Lingaraj is taken to the Parasurameswar temple and feasted