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1061 AD, Kolavati built this temple, the mother of the Somavansi king Udyotakesari, in the eighteenth regnal year of his reign, in the Siddhatirtha locality at Ekamra. One of the inscriptions, now believed lost, stated that Kolavati presented many beautiful women to the temple.1061 AD, Kolavati built this temple, the mother of the Somavansi king Udyotakesari, in the eighteenth regnal year of his reign, in the Siddhatirtha locality at Ekamra. One of the inscriptions, now believed lost, stated that Kolavati presented many beautiful women to the temple.This presentation is interpreted as an early evidence of the devadasi (God’s Maids) tradition. This tradition influenced the socio-economic as well as the cultural life of the Odissan people at a later date and formed a dominant and recurrent motif in Odissi music and dance. The importance of this system can be realized from the fact that this motif had come to be part of the art idiom too.The temple is a fine specimen of innovative and mature Odishan style of temple building. For the first time iron beams have been used to build up the structure. This is the second temple, after the Mukteshwar, to boast of a Jagamohana that has a finely carved interior. The sculptural details and the immaculate iconography show expert workmanship of the Odishan artists of the era. The figures of the musicians and dancers, the lion-head motif, the amusing and erotic figures and others exude a special charm. The floral motifs, the intricately designed creepers, the flying figures, the images of the eight directional guardian deities and so on, are all meticulously executed and the chiseling shows an excellent sense of proportion, harmony and an eye for aesthetic embellishment on the part of the artists. This shrine, though dedicated to Lord Shiva, shows a number of images that might have been inspired by the Tantric cult of the time. On the western facade the figure of Chamunda stands on a corpse with a trident and a human head. Elsewhere many other deities, including Shiva, are depicted in their horrific aspects.
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