Brahmeswara Temple situated around a kilometer east of the Lingaraj Temple, the Brahmeswara Temple was built by Somavamsi king Udyotakesari’s mother, Kolavati Devi, in honour of the deity Brahmeswara (a form of Lord Shiva) in 9th century.
Standing tall at 60-feet, the walls of the temple are exquisitely carved inside and outside with sculptures of several gods and goddesses, animal, birds, erotic couples, damsels and religious scenes. The carvings over the doorframe contain beautiful flower designs as well as flying figures.
Like Rajarani Temple, there are images of ‘Dikpalas’ or guardians of the eight directions in Brahmeswara, besides a number of tantric-related sculptors. A carving of ‘Chamunda’ appears on the western facade, holding a trident and a human head, standing on a corpse.
Historians say this was the first time that iron beams were used in the construction of a temple in Odisha.
Lord Shiva and other deities are also depicted in their horrific avatars. Historians say this was the first time that iron beams were used in the construction of a temple in Odisha.
One of the lost inscriptions of the temple stated that Kolavati Devi presented ‘many beautiful women’ to the temple, and it has been suggested that this is an evidence of the ‘Devadasi’ tradition, which assumed great importance in later Odishan temple architecture and temple life.