Kosaleswar temple :
The Kosaleswar temple at Baidyanath on the bank of river Tel, situated about
14km. to the south-east of Subarnapur is now in a very bad state of
preservation. The structure even in its ruins is a remarkable monument. The
temple provides striking features of an earlier Buddhist shrines refurnished by
the Hindus. Large sized bricks, polished and well set mortar, inter columnation
and isolated niches to hold individual images, all .Buddhist structural features
are met in Kosaleswar temple which has led scholars like Charls Fabri to suppose
that this temple was built on the ruins of a Buddhist monument.
structural details of the temple suggest that it belongs to a much later period.
Here iron bars were used and the earliest use of such iron bars in the Odishan
temple is noticed in the Simhanath temple of Gopinathpur in Cuttack district,
which has assigned to a date not earlier than the 9th. century A.D. On the
lintel of the doorway of Kosaleswar temple all the nine planets are depicted
which seems to be a later development. However, the opinion of Charls Fabri that
Kosaleswar temple was originally a Buddhist structure refurnished by the Hindus
appears to be a conjecture.
The architecture and sculptures of this temple are
the best specimens of plastic art, which can be dated to about 7th century A.D.
or even earlier. Again, the two handed image of Kartikeya provides comparatively
an early date to the temple. The figures of Gods and celestials are provided
with haloes around their hands, which is also an early feature. But basing on
the structural detail N.K.Sahu is of the opinion that the Kosaleswar temple was
constructed during the reign of the Telugu -Chodas in the last part of 11th
century A.D. or 12th century A.D. There is a clear reference in one copper plate
record that Baidyanath (now known as Kosaleswar) was the tutelary deity of the
Telugu-Choda ruling family. So the architectural and the iconographic features
of the temple of Kosaleswar very often are self contradictory and do not help in
arriving at a conclusion to find out the initial period of the construction of
Goddess Khambeswari :
The icon of Goddess Khambeswari in the form of Vanadurga is found in the temple.
The earliest reference of the Goddess is found in the Terasinga Copper Plate of
Maharaja Trustikara of 5th century A.D. Subarnapur was a very important
stronghold of the cult of Khambeswari during the reign of the Bhanjas and the
Somavamsis of 9th - 10th century A.D. The temple of Khameswari at Subarnapur
represents the most vibrant manifestation of this cult. It is said that the
Khemidi princess during her marriage with Rajaraj Singh, the Chauhan ruler of
Subarnapur had brought this icon of Khambeswari to the royal palace. Later on
the Khambeswari temple was built by the king.
Paschim Somanath :
The Paschim Somanath temple lies in the, western corner of Subarnapur town. Lord
Somanath was worshipped in a funeral ground, situated in the western corner of
the town. He was the presiding deity of the powerful Somavamsis of South Koshala
and Odisha. The Paschim Somanath temple was constructed by king Prataprudra
Deva. It has Mukhasala, Vimana, Brisabha mandap, Chandan mandap. Homa mandap
Inside the compound of the temple a south-faced Hanuman and a Bhairava
facing to the west are found. Brisabha is worshipped here by the Saivites before
the worship of Siva. In this temple Goddess Parvati in the north, Lord Ganesh in
the south and Lord Kartik in the west are worshipped as Parsvadevatas.
Jatesingha, located at a distance of 7 km. from Birmaharajpur is the birth place
of Bhima Bhoi, the celebrated poet of 19 century and propagator of Mahima cult.
It is important to mention here that when the educated and urban people of
Odisha were inclined towards Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj, a new faith came into
prominence in rural area which is no other than Mahima cult. Jatesingha can be
visited while going to Godhaneswar temple and to the Vaisnavite monastery at
One can reach Subarnapur either by bus or train. From Subarnapur one can visit
Bhima Bhoi Birth Place by bus or taxi.
Gokarneswar temple :
The Gokarneswar temple is located on the bank of river Mahanadi in the western
corner of Subarnapur. Lord Gokarneswar was the presiding deity of the Imperial
Gangas. His temple was constructed by the Chauhan rulers of Subarnapur. Goddess
Ramchandi is also worshipped with Lord Gokarneswar here.
The most important place to be seen at Birmaharajpur is the Champeswar Shiva
temple. This monument is situated at the village Champamal, 2 km from
Birmaharajpur. Legend says, a devotee of Lord Rameswar Shiva of Subarnapur named
Champa Hota, who happened to be the Birtia (headman) of the village Chamapamal
with his wife used to come regularly by foot from his village crossing the river
Mahanadi and walking for about 17 km to worship Rameswar Siva whose abode is
located on the confluence of the river Mahanadi and Tel.
They did not take food
till the meditation was over. Once they could not come to Lord Rameswar due to
heavy flood in the river Mahanadi in the rainy season. Lord Rameswar told Hota
in a dream that he would personally appear in his village in that night. On the
next day Champa Hota saw the emergence of a Shiva lingam inside the Shakti near
the gilla bushes where a black cow was milking her sportive calf. He built the
temple for the Lord and dedicated the village to his honour.
temple was built during the reign of the Chauhans in 17 century A.D. Two pieces
of roughly hewn sandstone representing Champa Hota and his wife are placed in
the northern and southern sides of the temple respectively and the devotees of
Champeswar Shiva pay due homage to them till today. Apart from the main temple
this shrine has the jagamohan, notamandapa and bhogamandapa. Hundreds of people
gather here daily for a darsan of the Lord. Shivaratri here is the main
The mother Goddess in form of Bhagabati is worshipped here. This temple is situated at a little distance from Rameswar temple. She is the presiding deity of the people of Subarnapur and is believed to be their protector from all evils. An icon of the Goddess facing towards west is found in the temple. The Bhagabati temple is said to be built up by the Chauhans.
One can reach Subarnapur either by bus or train. From Subarnapur one can visit Bhagabati Temple by bus or taxi.