Lingaraj temple was built in 617-657 A.D and its height is about 54 meters. The Lingaraja temple is said to have been built first by the ruler Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar. Bhubaneshwar remained as the Kesari capital, till Nripati Kesari founded Cuttck in the 10th century. Inscriptions from the period of the Kalinga King Anangabhima III from the 13th century are seen here. Structurally, the Parasurameswara temple at Bhubaneshwar is the oldest, dating back to the middle of the 8th century, and the Lingaraja is temple is assigned to the 10th century. The nata mandir and the bhog mandir of the Lingaraja temple are of later origin
The temple is dedicated to "Tri Bhubaneshwar", or Lord of the three worlds also known as Bhubaneshwar. The granite block representing "Tri Bhubaneshwar" is bathed daily with water, milk and Bhang (Marijuana). It is enclosed and has four features - a sanctuary, a dancing hall, an assembly hall and a hall of offerings. There are many smaller shrines around the temple in the enclosed area. The Lingaraja temple has got various pillars and halls which add to its beauty. The Lingaraja temple has got various pillars and halls which add to its beauty. At the main gate is the temple of Lord Ganesha followed by Nandi pillar. Its towering spire-like beauty dominates the Bhubaneswar skyline.It represents the the peak of Kalinga style of architecture spanning over 25 centuries of progressive history.This 11th century temple is the culmination of architectural beauty and sculpted elegance. The outer walls of the temple exhibit unparalled carvings. The beautifully carved and sculpted images of various God and Goddess are unrivalled. The temple complex has three compartments and each one has a temple each. Towards south of the entrance to main temple is image of Lord Ganesha, at the back is the image of Goddess Parvati and to north is Lord Kartikya.Legend has it that Shiva revealed to Parvati that Bhubaneshwar - or Ekamra thirtha was a resort favoured by him over Benares. Parvati in the guise of a cowherd woman, decided to look at the city herself. Two demons Kritti and Vasa desired to marry her. She requested them to carry her upon their shoulders, and crushed them under her weight. Shiva, then created the Bindu Saras lake to quench her thirt, and took abode here as Krittivasas or Lingaraja.