Ancient Architectures in Odisha
Examining Odisha’s Ancient Wonders
There are many historic temples and tribal customs in Odisha, a country rich in history and culture. My most recent trip to this amazing state was an opportunity to step back in time and capture the spirit of its illustrious past. Here, I’ll walk you through my amazing journey, on which I had the honor of photographing some of Odisha’s breathtaking architectural wonders.
Udayagiri Caves : Wide view from the top of the cave
Beginning an Adventure
My classmates and I started the journey early in the morning by going on a picture stroll in Odisha. We left the Cochin International Airport around five in the morning, anxious to discover this fascinating state. By 2 o’clock, we were in the midst of Odisha’s alluring scenery and illustrious past.
Udayagiri Caves : Middle point of the cave
Finding Ashok Nagar’s Excellence in Odisha
Upon our arrival in Ashok Nagar, Odisha, we promptly checked into the “Excellence” hotel. Despite our fatigue from the journey, we couldn’t resist the overwhelming anticipation of the experiences awaiting us. The majestic temples in the vicinity lured us with their charm, leading us to make a spontaneous choice to embark on an unexpected adventure.
Visit Khandagiri and Udayagiri Caves
I had a particular interest in seeing the Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves because each one is renowned for its special attractiveness and historical significance. At exactly 3:45 pm, in the early twilight, we arrived at these ancient wonders. As we paid for our tickets, our enthusiasm grew. These caves are a well-known tourist destination under the control of the government of Odisha.
Udayagiri Caves : Top part of the cave
Finding the Lost Treasures
We were welcomed by a helpful board that provided background information on these amazing caves as soon as we entered. In addition to being a sacred location, the Kataka Caves, usually referred to as the Cuttack Caves, are rich in historical significance for the city of Bhubaneswar.
A Tale of Two Hills: Udayagiri and Khandagiri
The caverns are perched atop Udayagiri and Khandagiri hills, each of which has a distinct personality and tale to tell. Udayagiri has 18 caverns, whereas Khandagiri has 15, all of which were painstakingly sculpted for the esteemed Jaina monks of old. The tight synergy with nature and superb craftsmanship that have attracted so many people to these caverns impressed us as we travelled the routes.
Dhaulagiri and Konark Sun Temple on a Day of Wonders
The following day, we continued travelling through the lovely state of Odisha and had two more amazing stops planned: Dhaulagiri and Konark Sun Temple. As we embarked on our excursion, the rising sun brightened our route.
A tour of Shanti Stupa
Before we set out on our tour, we left the hotel and found the tranquil Shanti Stupa just a few steps away. This temple welcomed us with its vivid walls decorated with culturally significant artwork, each of which told a narrative of the area. It was only 8 miles from Bhubaneswar. I was enthralled by the various artistic mediums on display as I looked at these artworks.
Shanti Stupa : Front side of the temple
After a brief trek, we arrived at our primary destination—a temple located atop a hill. After beginning our trek, we arrived at the top to find a vast temple complex that called us inside. The two imposing golden lion sculptures that flanked the temple’s entryway were masterpieces in and of themselves.
A Moment of Peace
We were in awe of the temple’s intricately carved Buddha sculpture and other architectural marvels as we looked about inside. I was enticed to take a leisurely stroll inside the complex of the temple, where I could also catch a sight of Dhaulagiri, by its serene environment. The area was completely covered in flora, creating a peaceful retreat for both visitors and believers. It was clear from the looks on the faces of other visitors, tourists and foreigners alike, that they had great respect for the temple and the Hindu culture it represented.
Shanti Stupa : Lion sculpture in the top of the temple dhulagiri
The circular shrine was embellished with various carvings and sculptures that chronicled Odisha’s rich past. We found a trail leading to a different, smaller temple on the rear of these sculptures, which told stories of historical significance. Here, we saw devotees praying quietly with their hands folded, a sign of the environment’s holiness.
We left Dhaulagiri when our tour was over and moved on to the renowned Konark Sun Temple. I was eager because of the stories I had heard about its magnificent architecture.
A Snippet of History and Artistry at the Konark Sun Temple
Our day’s travel came to an end when we arrived to Konark Sun Temple in the evening. We arrived at the temple after a kilometer-long walk and eagerly collected our admittance tokens. Visitors crowded the front of the temple, anxious to see this wonder of architecture.
Konark Sun Temple : Night view of the sun temple
The magnificence of the temple was stunning as soon as you entered. The temple was even more magnificent in the golden light of the setting sun. The deep gold hue of the temple was very breathtaking. A monument to the skill that went into its construction were the elaborate patterns that were engraved onto the external walls.
A competent guide on one side discussed the temple’s lengthy history. He emphasized the richness of the artwork, the symbolism, and the themes, especially the legendary erotic sculptures that have become an intrinsic part of its iconography, and said that the temple is a devotion to the Hindu God Surya (Sun).
As the day turned into night, we left the temple with a profound appreciation for the history, culture, and artistry that Odisha had shared with us. It was a journey filled with awe and wonder, one that left an indelible mark on our hearts.
Konark Sun Temple : Sculpture are in the wall of the temple
Konark Wheel temple : The fixed stone in the wall of the temple
All the photos and text in this post are copyright of Geevarghese Joseph , Pathanamthitta, Kerala Creative Hut Institute of Photography .Their reproduction, full or part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.