Vaital Deul Temple

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India >> Orissa >> Bhubaneswar >> Attractions >> Vaital Deul Temple

Vaital Deul Temple

History

Situated near Bindu Sarovar in Bhubaneswar, Vaital Deul Temple is a Tantric temple built during the eighth century. The shrine belongs to a subsidiary of the Kalinga School i.e. the Khakhara order. The main deity worshipped in the temple is Goddess Chamunda, who is also known as the Tantric form of Goddess Durga. Chamunda Devi is depicted with a dazzling red tongue protruding out and wearing a garland of skulls.

Vaital Temple is also renowned for its breathtaking architecture with prominent features of the tower, with sculptures all over. The temple is supposed to be the main hub for Tantric devotion and teaching. The shrine depicts an approach of worshipping with a blend of fundamentals from particular sects of Buddhism and Hinduism.

The entrance of the temple is bedecked with a four-faced linga and extraordinary carvings. The picture of Surya God flanked by his sisters Usha and Pratyusha is also located on the eastern side of the tower. A representation of the third Pandava, Arjuna, driving his chariot is also seen on the tower walls. The outer fortifications of Vaital Deul Temple are covered with panels of Hindu deities, mostly Shiva and his wife Parvati in her Shakti form, hunting processions, and wild elephants among other images.

The front wall of the tower on top of the left of the jagamohana is subjugated by two chaitya windows, with the lower one having a marvellously imprinted figure of the sun god Surya celebrated for its visage, with Usha (Dawn) and Pratyusha, his sisters, shooting arrows on either side and with Arjuna ahead of them driving a chariot of seven horses. On the other hand, the medallion in the upper chaitya window has a 10-armed ‘Nataraja’, the dancing form of Lord Shiva. In front of the smooth roofed jagamohana is a rock post with two Buddha like figures seated in dharma-chakra-pravartana mudra.

Goddess Chamunda sits on a carcass flanked by a jackal and an owl and decked with a garland of skulls. She holds a sword, trident, snake, bow, shield, thunderbolt and an arrow, and is shown to be piercing the neck of a demon. The Chamunda is encircled by a crowd of other smaller sized connected deities engraved in the subordinate parts of the bulwarks, each in a slot disconnected by a pilaster. Indeed, the figure on the eastern wall, to the right of the door, is a carcass form of Bhairava who forms the counter part of Chamunda.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Vaital Deul Temple is during winters from October till March.

Trivia

A remarkable quality is temple's tantric links, marked by uncanny carvings in the chamber and the picture preserved in the central niche of the eight armed Chamunda, who is locally worshipped as Kapalini, and her terrifying form of goddess Durga. Thus, Vaital Deul is also popular as a Shakti shrine.

Timing

The temple is open for visit from morning till late night.


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