The Majestic Maitreswar Temple : A Masterpiece of Kalinga Architecture

Odisha is a land of art and culture. Many rulers who ruled Odisha over years have contributed many gems to this land & makes it culturally rich.
The heritage like temples, monolithic rock cut carvings, and stone Sculptures are mute witnesses to our glorious past.
Today in this article we are going to explore one of the 10th-11th century temples called Maiteswar temple.

Maiteswar temple/Papanasini temple complex is a Kalinga-style architectural temple made of sandstone and laterite.

This article gives a brief overview of Kalinga Temple archicture with all relevants details about
Maitreswar Temple.

Kalinga architecture

Temple architecture in Odisha, India, is considered one of the greatest achievements of Indian architecture. The temples of Odisha, also known as the Kalinga style of temple architecture, are famous for their intricate carvings, sculptures, and architectural details.

Some of the most notable features of temple architecture in Odisha include:

Deula: The main temple tower, known as the deula, is the most prominent feature of Odisha temples. It is typically pyramid-shaped and is covered in intricate carvings and sculptures depicting Hindu gods and mythical creatures.

Jagamohan: The Jagamohan is a porch-like structure that leads to the main temple tower. It is often richly decorated with sculptures and carvings and serves as a transition from the outside world to the sacred temple space.

Pidha: The pidha is a low-slung platform that surrounds the main temple tower. It is typically covered in sculptures and carvings, and is used for religious ceremonies and rituals.

Natya Mandapa: The Natya Mandapa is a hall used for dance and drama performances, and is an important feature of many Odisha temples.

Torana: The torana is a decorative archway that serves as the entrance to the temple complex. It is typically richly decorated with sculptures and carvings and is an important architectural feature of Odisha temples.

Mukhasala: The mukhasala is a small room that serves as a vestibule to the main temple. It is typically decorated with sculptures and carvings, and is used for various purposes, including religious ceremonies and rituals.

The temple architecture of Odisha is a witness to the rich cultural and religious heritage of India.

Maitreswar Temple or Papanasini Temple Complex :

Maitreswar Temple is located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state of Odisha. Bhubaneswar is well known for its many ancient Hindu temples and is considered one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in India. Maitreswar Temple is situated in the old town area of Bhubaneswar and is easily accessible by road and public transportation.

How To Reach The Temple :

Visiting Maitreswar Temple is quite simple and easy. Here are a few steps to help you plan your visit:

Reach Bhubaneswar: The temple is located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of the Indian state of Odisha. You can reach Bhubaneswar by air, rail or road. The city has a well-connected transportation network, making it easy to reach the temple.

Reach the temple: Maitreswar Temple is located in the old town area of Bhubaneswar and is easily accessible by road and public transportation. You can take a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the temple, or you can take a local bus from the city center.

Timings: The temple is open from sunrise to sunset, and you can visit the temple anytime during these hours. It is recommended to avoid visiting the temple during peak hours as it can get crowded.

Dress Code: Visitors are expected to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting the temple. It is advisable to remove your shoes before entering the temple premises.

Offer Prayers: Once inside the temple, you can offer your prayers to Lord Shiva and admire the intricate carvings, sculptures and the distinctive tower or “shikhara.”

Visiting Maitreswar Temple is a simple and easy process. The temple has a significant religious and cultural site and is a must-visit for those who are interested in Hindu mythology, ancient architecture, and cultural heritage.

History & Archictural overview:

The Maitreswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, Odisha is believed to have been built during the 10th century CE, during the reign of the Eastern Ganga dynasty. The Eastern Ganga dynasty was a Hindu dynasty that ruled over the state of Odisha for several centuries and was known for its contributions to the art and architecture of the region. The temple was built under the support of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, and the credit for its construction goes to the dynasty and the skilled artisans and craftsmen who worked on the project.

The Maitreswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, Odisha was built using sandstone. Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains. The stone is known for its durability, versatility, and attractive appearance, making it a popular choice for building ancient temples and monuments in India. The sandstone used in the construction of Maitreswar Temple was sourced from local quarries, and the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the temple were created by skilled craftsmen using basic tools and techniques. The use of sandstone has helped preserve the temple over the centuries, making it one of the best-preserved ancient temples in India today.

At first, I had a confusion about the name of the temple as the temple board suggests it as Maiteswar temple, but actually, it’s called the papanisini temple complex, which contains 4 temples.
Currently, All 4 temples are in ditched condition & having No Deities inside them. The four temples in the complex are-
Papanasini, Varuneswar,Baneswar and Maitreswar .
The Papanasini Temple is actually the smallest temple in the complex and could be easily missed. The temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva. The complex is surrounded by Baneswara Siva temple in the east, Maitreswara temple in the south, and the Papanasini compound wall in the north and west. The four temples are in bad condition and are going to be endangered if renovation is not done quickly.

How The Temple get Destroyed?

You can clearly observe the (Gopuram) of the tallest temple is missing.
The superstructure has partly collapsed and damages or cracks can be seen easily in the temple

It is not known who specifically destroyed the Maitreswar Temple in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. However, many ancient Hindu temples in India, including those in Bhubaneswar, were subjected to destruction and pillage by foreign invaders, particularly during the medieval period.

During this time, various Muslim invasions and conquests led to the destruction of many Hindu temples and the loot of their riches. In addition, natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, have also contributed to the destruction of some ancient temples in India.

The Maitreswar Temple has undergone several renovations and repairs over the centuries, and parts of the temple have been restored to their original form. Despite its checkered history, the temple continues to be an important religious and cultural site, attracting thousands of visitors each year.

Through this article let us send a message to local authorities and the ASI team to revive and work on restoring and preserving these ancient temples and monuments.


Omkar Kulkarni

Namaskar i am Omkar Kulkarni from Ugar khurd, Belgavi district,Karnataka. I am a writer who basically writes on ancient History, cultural values and Geo-politics. Love to see Bharat becoming Vishwa Guru. Vande Bharat Mataram.

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