This 12th c temple is different in design to the other Bhubaneswar temples, and the reason for that rests with the object of prayer inside the temple, which is a 3 meter high ‘lingam’. This lingam is possibly a section of a 3rd c BC Mauryan-era column. The lingam/column is rooted directly in the ground, and the temple has been constructed around the lingam. The plinth of the temple has openings at the center of each side, from which we can see the base of the column. The shrine-room above the plinth has no floor, and the top of the column sticks out from the plinth level into the shrine room, and is venerated like a lingam.
The lingam/column seen through one of the plinth openings
The top of the lingam/column in the shrine room as the main object of veneration, and the shrine room has no real floor!
Ganesh in one of the side niches