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Ancient Temples

Odisha is mostly known for temples and especially for Konark (sun Temple) and Puri (Jagannath Temple). Other major temples are: Lingaraja Temple, Mukteswara Temple and Rajarani Temple. These temples are close to thousands years of their existence still showcase architecture marvels of ancient India. Thousands people visit these temple everyday for religious belief, and a face to face with the ancient art and architecture of Odisha.



Konark Sun Temple

While deciding a name for the outlet, special care was taken to identify an element that registers an instant relation with Odisha and its food. 'DALMA' the house hold Odiya dish name was selected to be the brand of this outlet. Considering the success of this restaurant and popularity of the food served therein, today 'DALMA' is a brand. Truly Odiya, developed, promoted and grown from the state of Odisha.

The entire temple was conceived as the celestial chariot of Surya, the Sun-god. Drawn by seven galloping horses which represent the days of the week, while the twelve wheels ranged along the base stand for the twelve months. The eight spokes in the each wheel symbolized the eight prahars of the day. The temple architecture has a lot of erotic figures beautifully carved in stones. Life size couples are depicted indulging in uninhibited sexual acts. Here is voluptuousness with abandon. There are innumerable mithuna (amorous couple) themes carved rather than on any other temple in India. Most of the episodes from the seventeen Puranas have been created on the temple walls of Konark. Theorists relate the plethora of erotic associating it with a universal fructifying force. Moralists point out this as symptomatic of a distraught society. Some suggest that this was deliberately done to create a feeling of aversion for the earthly life and awaken the soul of the devotee before he enters the sanctum of the temple.

The convenient way to get to Konark is drive either from Puri, 35km or Bhubaneswar, 65kms. The drive from Puri along the sea front is a treat through coastal villages and its beautiful houses. Buses as well taxis are freely available from Puri and Bhubaneswar.

Jagannath Temple at Puri

The imposing shrine of Lord Jagannath (Lord Vishnu, Supreme God, God of the Universe) is one of the four holy dhams attracting pilgrims across the globe. The present structure of the temple (214 feet (65 meters) was founded in the 12th century by the Ganga dynasty. The temple celebrates a good number of festivals throughout the year. Its visited by 100s of thousands of people and mostly in the time of Rath Yatra (Annual Car Festival).

The original temple built in Kalinga style, consisted of a deul or the sanctuary (also called bimana) in which deities of Lord Jagannath, his borther Balbhadra and siter Subhadara are installed). The temple kitchen (largest kitchen in the world) prepares 56 varieties of food daily to offer to deities five times in a day as bhogas and then distributed as Mahaprasad form the nearby Ananda bazaar (World's largest Food Market) to thousands of devotees. At festival times as many as 2,50,000 can be served daily.

Jagannath Temple at puri can be reached by road or rail from Bhubaneswar which is only 60 kilometers distance from each other. The nearest airport is at Bhubaneswar and there are many direct trains from Puri to other cities like New Delhi, Kolkatta, Ahmedabad etc. Apart from one can travel to Puri by all weather roads (highway) from any part of India.

Lingaraja Temple

The great Lingaraja (eleventh century), which soars above the city of Bhubaneswar and dominates the landscape as far as 15 kms away, represents Odishan temple architecture at its most mature and fully developed stage.

Although the temple as it now exists can be dated to the eleventh century, Sanskrit texts hold that there was a stone temple here as early as the seventh century AD, and fragments of this earlier structure do seem to appear in the extant building.

Unlike most of the other important temples in Bhubaneswar, the Lingaraja is very much in active worship. The deul (tower) of the Lingaraja reaches a height of just over 180 feet (55 meters).

The temple deity here, the Svayambhu linga, is not, as in all other cases, strictly a Shiva linga. It is considered to be a 'hari-hara' linga, that is, half Shiva, half Vishnu. This and the variety of deities represented elsewhere on the temple, once again point out the basically syncretic nature of so much of Odishan religion.

There are 150 subsidiary shrines within the immense Lingaraja complex, many of them extremely interesting in their own right.

Lingaraja Temple is in the heart of Bhubaneswar (Old Town Area). Bhubaneswar is easily accessible through Road, Rail and Air from any part of the country. It has a good airport and excellent communication system linked to rest of the world.

Mukteswara Temple

Mukteswara Temple dates back to the 10th century (AD 950). The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is carved with figures of ascetics in several poses of meditation. The highlight of the temple is the magnificent torana - the decorative gateway, an arched masterpiece, reminiscent of Buddhist influence in Odisha.

This temple is considered to be the gem of Odishan architecture. The sculptured gateway, the Jagamohana with diamond shaped latticed windows and decorated interiors and the plethora of sculptural work all deserve mention in this temple dedicated to Shiva. There is also a place for planet Got 'Ketu" here. Although it is only a small monument rising to a height of 35 feet, literally every inch of its surface is carved. This temple has also been described as a dream realized in sandstone and it is a monument where it is said sculpture and architecture are in complete harmony with one another. Now it is available to visitors from any religion as active worship is not there.

Mukteswara Temple is hardly 1 km away from the famous Lingaraja Temple which is in the heart of Bhubaneswar (Old Town Area). Bhubaneswar is easily accessible through Road, Rail and Air from any part of the country. It has a good airport and excellent communication system linked to rest of the world.

Rajarani Temple

Rajarani temple was constructed between the 10th and the 11th century. The Rajarani temple is one of the architectural splendors in Odisha and is made up of reddish gold sandstone, known as 'Rajarani'. Legends believe that the temple had been the shrine of Lord Shiva, which was called Indreswara Temple.

Posited amid the paddy fields, the Rajarani Temple at Odisha is constructed on a raised platform. The architecture of the temple features clusters of turrets, a square sanctum and beautiful sculptures. The square sanctum of the temple is reminiscent of the later temple built in Puri. The Rajarani temple, situated in Old Bhubaneswar, is one of the best specimens of Kalinga architecture.

Rajarani Temple is hardly 2 kms away from the famous Lingaraja Temple which is in the heart of Bhubaneswar (Old Town Area). Bhubaneswar is easily accessible through Road, Rail and Air from any part of the country. It has a good airport and excellent communication system linked to rest of the world.