Friday, April 27, 2012

“Have You Been To Vaital Deul?” - Unconventional Temples in Odisha

Vaital Deul is a tantric association of fearsome carvings at Odisha. Located in a serene environment at Bindu Sarovar, the Vaital Deul, has been built in 8th Century. Vaital Deul houses some well kept secrets. From outside, the temple is covered with the inscriptions of innocent women (kanyas) trying to lure the passersby. What lies inside the temple is much more intimidating. The temple is marked by stupefying inscriptions which depict goddess 'Durga' as an eight armed deity 'Chamunda'. This certainly is quite overwhelming.

The deity also referred to as 'Mahishasuramardini', sits on a carcass surrounded by a jackal and an owl. Exactly on the opposite of the 'Chamunda' is the 'Bhairava', who are like yin and yang. Complete opposites. The temple also has a stone post which was used to tether offerings. An artificial light source is required to see this stone post properly.

Another remarkable temple in Odisha is the Raja Rani temple has fascinating images of men and women in stunning postures. The manner in which the women are depicted in various postures is absolutely jaw- dropping. The pillars of the temple are beautifully decorated. Located in the district of Bhubhaneshwar, this artifact has been built by Udayata Keshari in the 11th Century.

The unconventional name of the temple has been probably derived from its past. It is believed that king Udayata Keshari built this temple to honor the wishes of his mother. The pillars of the temple are decorated superbly. The temple is a great example of dexterity in art and masterful architecture. Another point to be noted is that the temple doesn’t have a deity but only images of Gods ad Goddesses. But on the whole the temple is surely a sensuous affair.


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