When we see Odisha, it’s full of cultural heritage and monuments of pre mauryan era were to be found everywhere. Even the kings like Yayati maintained great relations with foreign lands, be they religious or trade. Even the Pharaohs of Egypt can be seen in various temples carved in miniature images. This clearly shows what actually attracted them to India is the worship of the Sun, where we can see the biggest temple ever built was in Konark.

However, the Lingaraja Temple precedes all of them, as it was built by Yayati from the dynasty of Somavanshi, that they say, were the direct descendents of Pandavas, thus they also call themselves as Panduvanshi of Dakshina Kosala. It is evident that the Thar desert was a clear example that it was the leftover as a result of ancient warfare and the civilizations took a step back down south from then on. Then the true lineage of Pandavas were said to be settled in the parts of present Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Their kingdom was vast until the takeover of Haryankas, Nandas and then the Mauryans, they’re being pushed further down into Odisha, where they established a free people society which later annexed by Ashoka at a great price. But the kings revived and again formed a new kingdom.

The Lingaraja Temple is the largest surviving temple in Odisha. Later on, the temple saw an extension by the Ganga Dynasty. The temple has a unique feature with a co existent deities of Shiva and Vishnu tells us that, the Shaivism and Vaishnavism disputes were a result of foreign invasions as they forgot most of the primeval knowledge about creation until the Bhakti Movement. The SomaVanshi King Yayati I shifted his capital from Jajpur to Bhubaneshwar where the temple must have been commenced.

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari

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