Budhanath Temple – A 11th century Heritage Temple by King Chodaganga Dev of Somvanshi dynasty Near #Bhubaneswar , #Odisha #Travel #Tourism Article & Photo By: Taranisen Pattnaik
Budhanath Temple was built in the 11th century by King Chodagangadeva of Somvanshi dynasty & is believed to be older than Lingaraj Temple. It’s a two chambered temple with rekha deula (above shrine) & pidha jagamohana (assembly hall). There’s one elongated platform near the entry gate which seems like a natyamadap (festival hall). The temple has a saptartha plan & is built on the ground level. Budhanath temple, situated just about 22km from Bhubaneswar, at Garedi Panchana village near Balipatna market, is unknown to most visitors to the state despite its big tourism potential.
Budhanath Temple is also based on tantric principles, especially Garedi Yantra. Interestingly, ‘Garedi’ in Odia means hypnotism and the name of the village also seems to have links to the claim. The temple architecture and construction is based on Garedi Yantra and it was a well-known centre for tantric studies in the Prachi valley. It is known that after the 7th century, due to tantric effects on Buddhism, the followers of the religion were influenced by the tantric cult. Some erotic sculptures have been noticed on the walls, maybe linked with tantrism. Research is on to prove the link between the name of the temple – Budhanath & Buddhism.
Sri Chandrasekhar Panda, the chief priest of the temple speaks proudly about the history of the temple especially that of the smaller temple on the compound, named after Amrutalochani Devi, which is even older than the main temple. Believed to be of tantric origin, the female deity inside the Amrutalochani temple has six eyes. Devi, Shakti , Gayatri – are all worshipped in this small temple which are the various names of Devi Parvati. The Deula Madala is said to be kept in Kerala Museum which can might put some light on the history of the temple. During the zamindari system, the temple’s administration passed on to the family of Bhingarpur Choudhury, the local village zamindar. The main rituals performed at the Budhanath temple which draws huge pilgrims from nearby villages includes Mahashivaratri Jagara, Dola Purnima, Badaosha & other festivals related with Lord Shiva & Parvati.
The architectural features and sculptural details on the outer walls of the deula and jagamohana makes this temple unique in Kalinga architecture. Sadly, the temple is in dilapidated condition due to the depts. neglect & its proximity to sea coast. The main sikhara has collapsed from a height of 42 ft. The jagamohana gandi (trunk) has also collapsed on the north side. The original height of the sikhara was 70ft. The broken statues and other artefacts that have fallen off the temple building placed on a “mandap” because there is no facility nearby to display them in a museum or gallery.
The carvings on the temple walls are seriously affected by salty winds and some have been corroded beyond recognition. Statues of Durga , Ganesh & Kartika can however be recognized from the wall & there’s one particular statue which resembles Buddha. The huge Prakara wall around the temple compound has also partially collapsed which its restoration job is in full swing. There’s also a beautiful ancient temple tank just outside the temple compound.
The Odisha State Archaeology department has declared the temple as a protected monument & has initiated steps for the temple’s restoration. The first restoration job was initiated in 1970s & it was only in 2003 that the complete restoration of sikhara and jagamohana was initiated. The temple looks quite beautiful now after restoration funded by 13th Finance Commission. There’s plan to collect the scattered artefacts and ancient statues from the compound and store them properly inside a small museum at the temple. Budhanath Temple is a must for those who are fond of visiting heritage sites or ancient temples & being situated in a rural village amidst coconut & palm trees adds beauty and peace to the rustic location.
How to Reach Budhanath Temple :-
- It’s about 22km from Bhubaneswar, at Garedi Panchana village near Balipatna market
- Route map-> Uttara Chowk > Balakati bridge (take Nimapara route) > Balipatna market> Biswanathpur> Madhuban chowk> Garedi Pancha village> Budhanath Temple.
Article & Photo By: Taranisen Pattnaik
Main Source: Article in Telegraph by Bibhuti Barik