If you love to breathe the air filled with the scent of ancient Indian culture, if stories of the gods and kings fascinate you in your deepest senses, if all that you dream is to visit a place that will make you rethink about history and culture, Here is Ekamra…
Bhuban Patra, the author of this fascinating piece of work Where is Ekamra, being a contemporary traveller, has penned down his spellbinding experiences about his exploration of this splendid “Temple city Bhubaneswar”. Through this book, he attracts attention towards revealing the deepest secrets of history and culture of the major temples and sculptures, and the stories they speak of, which are unknown to the majority of the population today. What an amazing journey would it be with such a guide, while visiting the enticing sculptures of this enticing place!
Odisha has been a major tourist attraction in the past decades along with its capital city Bhubaneswar, which is otherwise also know as the “Temple city”, for the fact that the number and variety of ancient temples this city has to its name. Starting from the pre-BCE time, influence of various religions like Buddhism and Jainism, invasions by different dynasties, the book reveals in a stepwise manner, how this beautiful city came to its present form of existence over the millennia. Right from the location of Ekamra to its three brothers temples namely Bharateswar, Lakhmaneswar and Satrughneswar, the evolution of temple architecture over time, the sacred texts and engraved sculptures in the temple walls, to the vast variety of temples attributed to different deities, the sacred lake Bindu Sagar, shrines of Tantric importance, and also the temples of lovers, this book gives a spine chilling experience to all who have wondered regarding the different aspects of temples.
In his topic “Start of the Golden Era”, he explains the meaning of “Shiva lingam”, the story attributed to it, and the reason for its existence and also sheds light on the fact as to why “lingam” is both scientifically and spiritually considered as eternal and the most powerful form of infinite energy, with reference to important scriptures of the Hindu Religion, like Shiva Purana and Skanda Purana. The entire book is laden with bountiful pictures of the mighty religious structures in every chapter, and this will keep one entertained more than ever. From the importance of Maha Shivratri to the spine chilling stories of Lord Shiva, to the sacred Brahmeswar temple and the “King of lingams” The lingaraj temple, this book deciphers every intricate detail of the strategic and spiritual importance of this holy land in Odisha.
Finally, the author unveils how the main form of worship changed over time from Shaivism (with Shiva as the supreme god) to Vaishnavism (with Vishnu as the supreme god) along with change in architecture, philosophy, food and practices, in the chapter “End of an Era” which also describes the history of the elegantly built Vaishnavite temple, the AnanthVasudeva Temple.
There is hence, no doubt in the fact that Ekamra, the entire temple city Bhubaneswar and in fact the entire state of Odisha is sacred and blessed with the presence of supreme in various forms, around almost every corner. And if mythology and tradition are two things which ignite you from within, Where is Ekamra by Bhuban Patra is something that cannot be missed. It is indeed the best tourist guide for any person who wants to explore this beautiful land of serene and vivid culture but has no idea where to start. The book is written with the purpose of delivering that knowledge and insight, which even majority of the people of the people in Odisha itself are still unaware of, and it keeps its promise of delivering that knowledge and wisdom in the best possible way. A splendid piece of work by a Balasore born, MBA graduate turned passionate traveller!
Author: Bhuban Patra
Publisher: Evincepub Publishing (2018)
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