Architecture of Chintamanisvara Shiva Temple
Chintamanisvara Shiva Temple, remarkable for its plan and elevation, deserves a prolonged intense examination and admiration. The temple has a square vimana or sanctum that confirms it to the Rekha style of architecture. It is decked from its top to bottom by a mastaka i.e. the head or top, gandi which is the rear portion and abada i.e. a wall. Interestingly, every portion of the temple has been marked by a distinctive name that bears resemblance to the limbs of a human body. The panchanga bada has been defined by five fold divisions while the pabhaga at the base can be identified with a set of five mouldings such as khura, kumbha, pata, kani and basanta. The khura bears the shape of a horse hoof and is partly buried, the Kumbha is decorated like a pitcher, Kani has been kept plain and simple, while the Pata and the Basanta have been elaborately carved.
Set of three mouldings of the bandhana divides the Jangha, also defined as the mid level of the temple layers, into tala jangha and upara jangha. The baranda or the waist portion however, has seven mouldings. The temple mastaka, adapting to the Orissan temple style, encompasses noteworthy features such as beki, amalaka, khapuri and kalasa.
The parsavadevta niche constructed on the eastern side of Chintamanisvara Shiva Temple enshrines a four armed Kartikeya image with his left hand portraying varada mudra while the right arm holding a mace. The raised back left hand of Kartikeya is seen holding a cock and his right hand rests over the head of the peacock. Another idol of a four armed Ganesha established in the southern parsavadevta niche is seen holding a rosary in his right hand and an amodaka i.e. a favoured sweet of the God in his left hand. He holds an anankusa i.e. a goad with his raised back right hand and a broken tooth (tusk) with his back left hand. The parsavadevta raha niche on the northern side houses a sculpture of goddess Parvati.
The magnanimous beauty and splendour of the temple echoing the culture, tradition and the religious preferences of the foregone times has been further highlighted by the ornamental features carved on the walls and doorjamb of the shrine. The tala jangha i.e. the lower thigh and the upara jangha i.e. the upper thigh level of the bada are engraved with a sequence of khakhara mundis defined as the decorations resembling an inverted pumpkin and pidha mundis, a structural motif respectively. The beki recess made above the kanika paga is carved with a deula charini i.e. a goddess image while the raha pagaor constructed above are ornamented with four armed divinities. The base of the doorjamb is flanked by two khakhara mundis. The temple is surrounded by a compound wall measuring 40.00 square m, 1.80 m in height with a thickness of 0.20 m.
Various religious rituals such as Shivaratri, Shiva Vivaha, Jalasaya, Rudrabhisekha are celebrated here with great enthusiasm and fervour, attracting hordes of pilgrims from different sections and destinations.
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