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Rajarani Temple


Rajarani Temple

Rajarani is described as an exotic temple with a combination of architectural grace and sculptural elegance. It is famous for the unusual formation of its superstructure. Originally known as Indresvara and built around A.D.1000 this temple is found at the end of a vast garden having a plain jagamohana and ornate deula. What strikes a visitor at first glance is the cluster of miniature sikharas around the base of the gandi appearing as sharp projections but not as part of the wall surface as in other later Odishan temples. This feature and the double amalakas crowning some of these miniature sikharas make this temple comparable to temples of Khajuraho. The deula is famous for its sculptural wealth depicted in two rows on the bada or the cube of the temple. For the first time one finds dikpalas or deities of the eight quarters and general figures or indolent damsels popularly called alasakanya figures in Odishan art. The sculptures are tall and slender figures in vivacious poses carved in high relief depicting mother and child, female figure looking into a mirror, attending to her toilet, taking off her anklet, playing on musical instruments. Some of these sculptures are master pieces of Odishan sculptural art with their fascinating facial expression and graceful fluid movements. The name ‘Rajarani’ seems to have been due to the use of particular type of sand stone in the construction of the structure bearing the same name.