Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Orissa Heritage Development Program

Bhubaneswar's proud possession of magnificent sculptures and architectural heritage, coupled with the sanctity as Ekamrakshetra makes this one of the great religious centres of Orissa since early medieval days. Bhubaneswar has always been known as the “City of temples”. Temples like the Lingaraj Temple have put the city on the map. Together with Puri and Konark and, Bhubaneswar forms the Swarna Tribhuja "Golden Triangle", one of the most visited destinations in East India.

What is less common knowledge though, is the number of lesser known temples, scattered all over the city. Familiar only to locals, many of these temples date back to as far as the 8th century A.D. These temples figure in popular mythology, and are shrouded in stories and legends, however a significant number of these temples are in varying states of disrepair, and very little veritable information is available about them. 

As a tribute to these pieces of exquisite architecture, a team of students from the Social Responsibility Cell, XIMB, created Wikipedia pages as well as mapped the locations on Wikimapia and Google maps the for 150 of these temples as a part of Orissa Heritage Development Program. This program is being organized by the Young Indians Group, which is the youth wing of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The work is inspired from the book “Lesser Known Monuments of Bhubaneswar” by Dr. Sadasiba Pradhan which is also used as primary source for research for the content of the web pages, along with the ASI’s archives.

Some of the temples covered in this project were the series of Siva temples in Old town Bhubaneswar, Jain temples in Khandagiri, Astasambhu Siva Temples which is a collection of 8 Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Siva located in Bhubaneswar etc. A list of all such Hindu temples in Orissa can also be found in Wikipedia.


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