Vaitala Temple Bhubaneswar – Centre for Tantric

After spending some serene moments in the Sanchi Stupa, I travelled towards another reputed temple located close to Bindu Sarovar. It was the Vaitala temple Bhubaneswar which was famous for being one of the chief centers for believers of tantrik. The actual name of the temple, as pronounced by the local people, is Baitala Deula. Some people also call it as the Tini Mundia Mandira. It was constructed in the 9th century and resembles the standard Khakara style. The large idol of Kali or Chamunda laden with a necklace made up of skulls left me spell bound. I was simply awestruck by the dim interior of the temple and could see why it was so reputed for liberating age old power.

Vaitala Temple Bhubaneswar

Vaitala Temple Bhubaneswar | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

The temple’s sanctuary tower was undoubtedly the chief attraction. The towers and Sikharas represent the influence of the South. It has an oblong plan with the Jaga Mohan which is rectangular in shape. I could see a small shrine is present in each corner as well. There were many reprieved figures which are the ideal representations of perfect equipoise. There were many panels related to Hindu deities encrusted on the outer walls. Most of them belonged to Shiva along with Parvati in different forms. The major portion of the deula’s facade has two windows. The lower Chaitya window has been carved with a beautiful figure representing Surya or Sun God. The scene of Dawn or Usha and Pratyusha sending arrows on both sides and Aruna in the middle riding on a chariot left me overjoyed. The upper window has a medallion with the statue of the dancing form of Shiva which is commonly known as Nataraja. I also saw two figures similar to that of Buddha in what is known as Dharma Chakra Pravartana pose seated on a stone placed close to the Jagmohana.

Sculpture of a Couple on the Outer Wall

Sculpture of a Couple on the Outer Wall | Image Resource: wikimedia.org

The temple’s associations with Tantric were represented by the sanctum’s weird carvings coupled with the terrorizing form of Durga in the central part. One inhabitant told me that they called the Chamunda as Kapalini and represents power. The eight hands of the goddess in the Vaitala temple Bhubaneswar are covered with shield, thunderbolt, arrow, trident, snake, sword and bow.

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