The capital city of Odisha (Orissa) – Bhubaneshwar - has some of finest and popular temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Mukteswara Temple is one of them. The temple is carved with figures of ascetic doing different poses of meditation. The temple is unique in terms of design and architecture, and the highlight is surely the wonderful torana - the hugely decorative gateway.
The torana of Mukteswara Temple is an arched masterpiece and showcases the Buddhist influence in Orissa. The temple has a sculptured gateway and the jagamohana is laced with diamond shaped latticed windows. Its interiors are expansively decorated and it has a lot of sculptural work. However the temple is not as big as others in the city (rising to a mere 35 feet height), its carved surface gives it a unique aura.
Mukteswara Temple is a sandstone jewel and one of rare structures with a complete harmony between the sculpture and architecture. Built in AD 950, this "gem of Oriya architecture" stands out for the finesse shown in the execution of the sculptural decoration. This richly sculpted temple displays a brilliant fusion of Hindu and Buddhist and Jain features to become one of most popular sites in the temple city of Bhubaneswar.