Imperfect tantric temple Vaital Deul near the Bindu Sagar

Vaytual Deul1Vaital Deul is a tantric temple dedicated to the cult of Chamundi (sometimes referred to as Cali), located near the Bindu Sagar at a short distance from the magnificent Lingaraj temple. It dates back to about the same period as the Parsurameshvar, however, it is rectangular in shape structure of the 8th century. It is unique in Bhubaneswar, according to traditional research on architecture. Two-story vaulted and curved corrugated roof, gable ends, sharp fleuron and tongs with the end part, seems as it was inherited from the Buddhist temple (chaitya-s). On the other hand, the towers resemble Dravidian temple of Bhima Ratha in Mahabalipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, but it is unknown whether this is any consequence of the similarity of academic exchange between the two communities, or it is just a coincidence.

Vaytual Deul3Vaital Deul is a very early and still imperfect model of the structures made in the style of panchayatana (with five temples), in every corner of the rectangular hall (jagmohan) there is an exact copy of the main sanctuary. Small church tower rises only 35 feet, and the area of the base is 18×25 feet.

Vaytual Deul4Horizontally the rectangular tower is encircled by stone ribbons, which are replaced by a row of narrow grooves in a niche under a vaulted roof. Some cornices are plain decorated, and the others, in contrast, are carved in the form of the stone crimps. At equal distances from each other in the stone there are carved miniature windows in a horseshoe shape, with the faces which are peeking from them. On the sides of the temple there are false, but ornate entrances. They are inaccessible because of their distance from the ground. These items are covered by standing figures of goddesses (apsara-s).

Above figures the doorway is changing into traditional Buddhist arch surmounted by images like the Buddha meditating hermit. In other niches, located around the front of the temple, the goddesses re-appear (apsara-s) in bizarre poses. They are surrounded by delicate flowery patterns and carved flowers, creating an impression of lightness and airiness.

Vaytual Deul2On one of the wall paintings of the temple there is a sculpture which depicts Surya with Aryan face with big cheeks and a large straight nose. It is surrounded by a halo of sunshine. Surya is in its chariot driven by Udaey, the goddess of the dawn, and drawn by seven giant horses. They are below the projection panel and not only driving the chariot, but also support the sculpture itself. God obviously jumps to the war because he was armed, and his servants are aimed their arrows at an unseen enemy.

From the hall the pilgrim enters the traditionally dark inner sanctum (garba grha) temple of Vaital Deul. Then it is necessary to pass a small vestibule, which is indicating the direction and at the same time promoting the real aim. This place reminds about the fact that the attention should be focused only on prayer. Holy of Holies (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple is a rare deviation from the usual rules: unadorned altar, which is observed in most conventional churches. Maybe the ancient pagan nature goddess mother explains here the retreat from the Vedic principles. In any case, the altar (garba grha) is charmingly beautiful because of its wall panels decorated by images associated with tantric rituals that nowhere else in India will not be seen.