Baitala Temple, Bhubaneswar
About Baitala Temple
Baitaḷa Deuḷa Temple’s striking feature is the shape of its sanctuary tower. The semi-cylindrical shape of its roof is a leading example of Khakhara order of temples— which bears an affinity to the Dravidian Gopuram of the South Indian temples. Its gabled towers with a row of Shikharas reveals unmistakable signs of southern intrusion. The plan of the deuḷa is oblong and the jagamohana is a rectangular structure, but embedded in each angle is a small subsidiary shrine. Baitala deuḷa boasts of some figures, although executed in relief, are however characterized by delicacy of features and perfect equipoise.The outer walls are encrusted with panels of Hindu deities, mostly Shiva and his consort Parvati in her Shakti form, hunting processions, capturing of wild elephants and the occasional erotic couples. The facade of the deuḷa above the left of the jagamohana is dominated by two chaitya windows—the lower one having a beautifully carved figure of Surya the Sun God noted for its facial expression, with Usha (Dawn) and Pratyusha shooting arrows on either side and with Aruna in front, driving a chariot of seven horses. The medallion in the upper Chaitya window houses a 10-armed Nataraja or dancing Shiva. In front of the flat roofed Jagamohana is a stone post relieved with two Buddha like figures seated in Dharma-Chakra-Pravartana mudra. Another striking feature is temple's Tantric associations, marked by eerie carvings in the sanctum and the image enshrined in the central niche, eight armed Chamunda, locally known as Kapaḷini, is the terrifying form of goddess Durga. Thus, Baitāḷa Deuḷa is a Shakti shrine.