Madhukesvara and Bodhakesvara: The Sibling Temples

Ancient Prachi river (named derived from Prachina meaning ancient) is a  part of Mahanadi river and is said to be the most holiest among the rivers flowing in Odisha. Presently, the parts of the modern day districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsingpur comprises the Prachi valley region. It has witnessed the co-existence of various religions such as Jainism, Buddhism & Hinduism (Shaivism & Vaishnavism). The valley houses monuments from 7th to 15th century AD from which there are around 300 traceable monuments  including temples, muths, ghats & stepped wells (bamphis) . And, among the existing Hindu temples, there are two lesser known temples – Madhukesvara & Bodhakesvara.

Madhukesvara Temple

MADHUKESVARA is sandwiched between Kusabhadra river (a distributary of Mahanadi) & Gop branch canal, at Deulidharpur, near Banamalipur (22 km from Bhubaneswar). As the name suggests, it’s a 15.8 m Shiva temple built in Kalingan style with a rekha vimana and a pidha jagamohan. The important features of this temple is the torana (façade) which has resemblance with Mukteswar temple’s torana in Bhubaneswar. The stone inscription inside the temple mentions about Gajapati dynasty, but it seems like built during Somavamsi rule (as per the brick sizes used) & later renovated by Gajapatis in 15th century. The epigraphical record (12 lines in proto Odia script) found in the rear wall of jagamohan, can be loosely deciphered in current Odia as :

Epigraphical record found in the rear wall of Jagamohana

ଶ୍ରୀମାହାଦେବ = ମହାଦେବ = ଶିବ
ବୀରଶ୍ରୀ ଗଜପତିଗ ଉଡେଶୋର ନବକୋଟି କର୍ନାଟ କଳବର୍ଗେଶ୍ୱର….= ଗଜପତି ରଜାମାନଙ୍କ ପାରମ୍ପରିକ ଉପାଧି
୫ ଅଙ୍କ = ରଜାଙ୍କର ୫ମ ଅଙ୍କରେ ନବୀକରଣ କରାଯାଇଥିବା ଅନୁମେୟ ।
ବୀଜଈଶ୍ୱରୀ = ମହାରାଜଙ୍କ ଇଷ୍ଟଦେବୀଙ୍କ ସମ୍ବନ୍ଧିତ କିଛି । ବୋଧହୁଏ କୁଳଦେବତୀଙ୍କ ଆଦେଶକ୍ରମେ ମନ୍ଦିର ପୁନରୋଦ୍ଧାର କରାଇଥିଲେ ।
ମଧୁକେଶ୍ୱର ଦେଉଳ = ଦେଉଳର ନାମୋଲ୍ଲେଖ ।
ପାସାଣ = ପ୍ରସ୍ତର ନିର୍ମିତ ।
ମହେଶ୍ୱରୀ ଶଙ୍କିରୀ = ପୂର୍ବକଥିତ ଦେବୀଙ୍କ ସମ୍ବନ୍ଧିତ ତଥ୍ୟ । ଅନୁମାନ କରାଯାଇପାରେ ଯେ ମହେଶ୍ୱରୀ ରାଜାଙ୍କ କୁଳଦେବୀ ଥିଲେ ।
ଗୋପାଳ = କୌଣସି ଗୋପାଳ ଠାକୁରଙ୍କ ସମ୍ବନ୍ଧିତ କିଛି ।
ଖଣ୍ଡାଇତ, ମା’ପାତ୍ରେ, ପାସାଣକରେ = ଖଣ୍ଡାୟତ, ମହାପାତ୍ର, ପାଷାଣକାର (ପ୍ରସ୍ତର ଶିଳ୍ପୀ) । ବୋଧହୁଏ ଏହିମାନଙ୍କ ସହାୟତାରେ କାମ କରାଯାଇଥିଲା ।

It’s a living temple built in pancharatha plan facing east with a Shivalinga . On the outer side, there’s not much images beyond parsvadevtas. The building technique used is aslar dry masonry with sand stone & bricks. Since it stands in isolation & located between a canal & river, there is water logging issue during the monsoon.

Bodhakesvara Temple Facing West

BODHAKESVARA Temple (locally Budhikeswar Temple), on the other hand, is also a Shiva temple located on the other side of the Gop canal, opposite Madhukesvara. The temple is almost 9.9 m height & its front door is facing west side. It has a rekha vimana and pidha jagamohan of Kalingan architecture in panchrath plan. It’s a living temple and the presiding deity is a laterite Shivalinga within a circular Yonipitha of chlorite stone. It was build during the reign of Gajapati dynasty in 15th century. There’s one beautifully made Vinayaki image kept inside the premises. The building technique is ashlar dry masonry in sandstone. The annual viswa shanti mahayagna held here draws good crowd.

Vinayaki Image

The common festival & rituals carried in both the temples includes Mahashivratri, Makar Sankranti, Bada Osha etc. Local legend says about the temples to be two brothers who were on a journey in a jungle, one walking a little behind the other. Both had decided not to call each other. And, when one of the brother could not see his brother in the deep jungle, he called up the other’s name. And, the one brother turned into a stone in the location where the temple was built later on. Madhukeswar is the older one as per year of construction, but the local villagers terms Bodhakesvara as the elder brother.

The route : Bhubaneswar >>Uttara Square>>Balianta>>Balipatna>>Banamalipur market>>Deulidharpur

Photos: Taranisen Pattnaik
(with inputs from, Ashish Sarangi, Prateek Pattanaik)

About Tarani Trotter

I'm Taranisen Pattnaik, originally from Aska (Ganjam). I grew up in the capital city of Odisha – Bhubaneswar. An MBA by qualification, an Accountant by profession, but a freelancer by interest with phillumeny (matchbox collection) as my hobby. I like going to places, meeting new people & capturing the moments through my camera which helps me in my storytelling.

View all posts by Tarani Trotter →

20 Comments on “Madhukesvara and Bodhakesvara: The Sibling Temples”

  1. A commendable effort in bringing to limelight stories of some lesser known wayside temples. Any story on Buddhist culture from that area?

  2. Interesting to learn a different facet of Odisha.. There so many places to see and learn Odisha culture and heritage. One life is not enough to grasp the whole..
    Great writing style and very informative. Thanks for sharing you knowledge

    1. Thanks sir for stopping by. There are two types of restrictions for non-hindus in major living gods temples, one inside complex & another inside shrine (garv griha). In this particular temple case, since its away from village area, a foreigner can visit it preferably with a hindu local. I’m there for it 🙂

      1. Thank you. I might take you up on your offer. All booked and confirmed. We are really looking forward to visiting your state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *