Odisha Style, Bhubaneswar: Mukteshwar Temple

Mukteshwar, from the late-10th c, is the transitional example from the earlier style represented by the Parashurameshwar temple, and the later period of Odia temple architecture. The most obvious change is in the shape of the mandap, which for the first time gains the ‘Pidha Deul’ style, with a square base topped by a pyramidal roof which rises in a series of prominent horizontal layers/mouldings. Compare this to the rectangular mandap of earlier temples like Parashurameshwar.

A unique feature of this temple is the toran or gateway in front of it. Both the sanctum tower and mandap are profusely sculpted.

To me, the shape of the sanctum tower of this temple seems to be a little at odds with the rest of the sequence of Odia temples. You can see a similarity or evolution between the earlier and later sanctum towers (Rekha Deul), in terms of the boldness of their overall massing and the curvature/taper of the tower as it moves upwards. The tower of Mukteshwar seems to be a little different. Perhaps it is not as large in relation to its mandap as the earlier and later stylistic siblings, maybe the proportions between the lower and upper portions of the tower are different, or perhaps the curvature/taper of the tower is a little different. The tower of this temple seems to be closer to some northern Indian temple tower styles. Chalk it down to the experimentation that marks this temple as a transitional one.


Mukteshwar Temple, with the earliest example of the ‘Pidha Deul’ style mandap

mukteshwar 01 01mukteshwar 01 02mukteshwar 01 03mukteshwar 01 04mukteshwar 01 05mukteshwar 02 01mukteshwar 02 02mukteshwar 02 03mukteshwar 02 04mukteshwar 02 05mukteshwar 03 01

Water tank behind the temple

mukteshwar 03 02mukteshwar 03 03

The Siddheshwar Temple can be seen diagonally to the right of Mukteshwar in some of the photos below

mukteshwar 03 04mukteshwar 03 05mukteshwar 03 06

mukteshwar 03 07mukteshwar 03 08mukteshwar 04 01mukteshwar 04 02mukteshwar 04 03mukteshwar 05 01mukteshwar 05 02mukteshwar 05 03mukteshwar 05 04

The unique toran or gateway in front of the temple

mukteshwar 05 05mukteshwar 06 01mukteshwar 06 02mukteshwar 06 03mukteshwar 06 04mukteshwar 06 05mukteshwar 07 01mukteshwar 07 02mukteshwar 07 03mukteshwar 07 04mukteshwar 07 05mukteshwar 07 06mukteshwar 07 07mukteshwar 07 08mukteshwar 08 01mukteshwar 08 02mukteshwar 08 03mukteshwar 08 04mukteshwar 08 05


Smaller shrines around the temple

mukteshwar 09 01mukteshwar 09 02mukteshwar 09 03mukteshwar 09 04mukteshwar 09 05mukteshwar 09 06mukteshwar 09 07

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s