Mukteshwar TempleApprox. Time: 1 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

This temple is an important transition point between the phases of the Kalinga school of temple architecture. It was built in the 10th century. The sculptural decoration of the Mukteswara is exquisitely executed, and it is often referred to as the "gem of Oriya architecture." Richly sculpted, the temple offers pride of place to tales from the Panchatantra. The niches on the outer face of the compound wall include Buddhist and Jain images, as well as the Hindu ones, pointing to the unique synthesis which was so much a part of Oriya life. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Orissa. The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Mukteswara, is also carved with figures of ascetics in several poses of meditation.

Courtesy of the India Tourism Board