Brahmeswara Temple - Bhubaneshwar

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About Brahmeswara Temple

Both the 'deul' (tower) and 'Jagmohana' (porch) of the Brahmeswara temple are in the fully developed mature Orissan style. This temple can be dated with fair accuracy by the use of inscriptions that were originally on the temple. They are now unfortunately lost, but records of them preserve the information.

The Brahmeswara shows quite a bit of affinity with the much earlier "Mukteswara temple", including the carved interior of the 'Jagmohana', and in the sculptural iconography such as the lion head motif, which appeared for the first time in the 'Mukteswara', and is here evident in profusion. There are quite a number of innovations, however, including the introduction of a great number of musicians and dancers, some holding lutes, on the exterior walls.

The carvings over the doorframe contain beautiful flower designs as well as flying figures. Like the "Rajarani", there are images of the eight directional Guardian Deities. There are also quite a number of tantric-related images, and even 'Chamunda' appears on the western facade, holding a trident and a human head, standing on a corpse. Shiva and other deities are also depicted in their horrific aspects.

One of the lost inscriptions stated that a Queen 'Kolavati' presented 'many beautiful women' to the temple, and it has been suggested that this is an evidence of the 'Devadasi' tradition, which assumed such importance in later Orissan temple architecture and temple life.

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