Rajarani Temple, in Bhubaneswar
, is notable for the absence of a presiding deity. The 11th century temple derived its name from the red-gold sandstone used for its construction, a stone known locally as Rajarani. No puja
s are performed here.
Fabulously ornate, the temple tower is famous for the artistic spires. Strewn with elegant and lively sculptures, the temple has beautiful female figurines in amorous dalliance, or engaged in activities such as holding children, looking in mirrors and playing with birds. On the lower register of the tower are the sculptures of eight guards. Beginning from the left of the entrance to the tower and proceeding in a clockwise direction, there are the sculptures of
Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirriti, Varuna,
Vayu, Kubera, and Ishana (Shiva).
The ornate sanctuary, which the Rajarani Temple is famous for, has walls and pillars decorated with beautiful nymphs, amorous couples, lions, elephants and various forms and postures of Yama, the god of death. The sculpture of a pair of dikpals (temple guardians) here is striking.
The temple is located south of the city center against the backdrop of green paddy fields.