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Vaital Deul Temple




Bhubaneshwar, Orissa



It is one of the finest example of the Khakhara order of the Kalinga style of temple architecture

Best time to visit


October and March

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Called as the land of temples, Orissa houses several temples with delineation of religious architecture and, Vaital Deul Temple is one among them. Vaital Deul Temple or Baitala Deula is one of the finest example of the Khakhara order of the Kalinga style of temple architecture. Here, a Tantric worship, which combined elements from sects of Hinduism and Buddhism can be seen in a unique way.

Built during the 9th century, it is located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa.

Dedicated to Goddess Chamundi, a tantric cult-name for Durga or Shakti, it is locally known as 'Tini Mundia Mandira'. Also a Tantric shrine, it is located near Bindu Sarovara. Belonging to Khakhara order, an offshoot of the Kalinga School, the temple is noted for the 'deul' (tower) with rectangular shape. It was a major centre of esoteric rites and Tantric worship, the combined elements from certain sects of Buddhism and Hinduism.

The deul rectangular in shape and oblong on plan, the temple is positioned at a right angle to the flat-roofed jagamohana which is a leading example of Khakhara order of temple.

Vaital Deul temple is renowned for its rectangular shape sanctuary deul (tower) and the sculptural beautification on its walls and tower. The tower at the right angle to the jagmohana (porch) is decorated with two chaitya windows, one having a carved figure of sun God Surya with his sisters Usha (Dawn) and Pratyusha (Dusk). The other one is carved with an image of Arjuna (third Pandava), driving a chariot of seven horses.

The entrance of Vaital Deul temple is decorated with a four-faced linga with significant carvings. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idol of eight-armed Chamundi Devi adorned with a garland of skulls is seated on a corpse flanked by a jackal and an owl. Each arms of the deity holds a snake, a bow, a shield, a sword, a trident, a thunderbolt , an arrow and a neck of a demon. Around this image, there are 15 niches that are filled with strange figures. Some of the early erotic sculptures in Orissan art are also found at this temple.

Large number of devotees visit Vaital Deul temple to offer prayers.

Unusual carvings adorn the four-faced lingam that is located at the entrance of the temple. A beautiful image of Lord Surya, flanked by twin sisters of dawn, Usha and Pratyusha, adorn the eastern face of the tower. Image of Arjuna driving his chariot is also located at the temple. One need an artificial light to see clearly because darkness exists inside, though early morning sun lights up the interior.