It appears that the original image of Vishnu was worshipped on the spot where the great temple of Ananta Vasudeva was built in the 13th century A.D.Thus in 13th century, Queen Chandrika of Eastern Ganga dynasty was prompted to construct a new temple - the temple of Anata Vasudeva in this place. There must have been an old temple where this Vishnu image was installed. The Marathas, who extended their empire up to river Mahanadi, were responsible for renovating the Vishnu temple at Bhubaneswar in late 17th Century.
Significance of the Temple
This is the only important Vaishnava temple standing at Bhubaneswar. The deities installed in the sanctum are Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. Balarama stands under a seven hooded serpent, while Krishna holds a mace and a conch. Krishna being an avatara of Vishnu, so this temple is basically a Vaishnavite temple. The western side of the Ananta Vasudeva temple lies near the bank of Bindu Sagar Lake. Every year thousands of pilgrims visit this place to pay homage to the Lords. The major festival of this temple is Janmastami.
Vishnu is one of the deities in the Hindu trinity who is worshipped as the protector and preserver of the world and restorer of ‘dharma’ (moral order).Vishnu is known chiefly through his avatars (incarnations). In theory Lord Vishnu manifests a portion of himself anytime he is needed to fight evil, and his appearances are innumerable; but in practice, ten incarnations are most commonly recognized.
The sculpture on the outer facade of the Anant Vasudev temple in Bhubaneswar, represents his boar incarnation “Varaha”. At the end of the last deluge in the last Kalpa or age, Bhoomi Devi (Mother Earth) sank to the bottom of the ocean. Then Lord Vishnu, taking the form of a large boar, dived into the ocean and carried the goddess out of the ocean supported by his two tusks and his massive snout.
Other places to Visit
Lingaraj Temple is the biggest temple in Bhubaneswar which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to archaeological experts, the temple is one of the foremost heritage sites of the east.
Mukteswara temple is considered to be the main specimen of Orissan architecture where the sculpture and architecture are in complete harmony with each another. The temple rises up to a height of 35 feet and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Rajarani temple at Bhubaneswar is also one of the most notable monuments of the place. Dating back to AD 1100, here women are portrayed in a stunning variety of amorous poses and moods reminding one of the
temples of Khajuraho.
Brahmeswar temple is among the earliest temples where iron beams were used in its construction. The Temple is also known as the pancha-ratha temple with five coat plasters that give the structure almost a rounded appearance
This is a quiet beach which is about 3-km from the temple.
Udaigiri and Khandagiri Caves
Udaigiri and Khandagiri caves are one among the famous tourist attractions in Orissa. The most popular ones to mention would be Akshay Ganga, Gupta Ganga, Shyam Kund and Radha Kund.
It is an impressive Buddhist site situated on a small hill and is surrounded by rivers all over. While ascending the hill one can come across wonderful vistas of vast plains with lush greenery.There two large monasteries which includes Sri Ratnagiri Mahavihara Aryabhikshu Sangha which were unearthed during the excavations that were carried out here.
How to reach the Temple
• Through Airways-the city of Bubaneshwar consists of regular Indian Airlines flights to Hyderabad, Nagpur, Calcutta, Delhi, Varanasi, Bombay and Madras. The airport is very close to town. The Indian Airline office is on Raj Path, by the bus stand.
• Through Railways -the city of Bhubaneswar is on the main Kolkata to Chennai line so all the main trains stop here. The Howrah-Bangalore is the main line and Guwahati-Bangalore goes to Bangalore. Even the Coromandel Express is a good train going to Chennai. There are also direct trains to Delhi, Agra, Remuna, and Varanasi. The Rajdhani Express departs from Delhi one day a week on Fridays to Bhubaneswar. The Puri-New Delhi Express is a good train to Delhi.
• Through Roadways- the best way to get from Bhubaneswar to Puri is on one of the Canter minibuses that leave from the old bus station in the center of town, the new bus stand.