The state of Odisha in eastern India has some of the most magnificent Hindu temples anywhere in the world. One such site, which may be visited in the state with tour packages in India, is Rajarani temple. The shrine, located in Bhubaneswar, is believed to be dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva and was constructed somewhere in the 11th century. There are no sculptures in the sanctum to establish, what deity it is dedicated to. The theory is that the names of most shrines in the area, dedicated to Lord Shiva, end with the suffix ishwara or eshwara, which is not the case here. This theory is contradicted by numerous sculptures, though not of the primary deity, of Shaivite origins.
The entire structure is built of yellow and light brown sandstone and is oriented in an east-west direction. Rajarani Temple is typical of such sites in the region as all including it contain a sanctum and a covered hall. A high conical tower called shikhara, rises above the empty sanctum, which is known as garbhagriha in Sanskrit. It has relief of cylindrical spires along its length and circumference and it is crowned by a disk that is further topped by a small sphere with a conical cap. The square-shaped front porch is crowned by a structure, pyramidal in shape, known as jagamohana. Unlike the shikhara, which is richly decorated with sculptures, the jagamohana is devoid of them. Only the stone columns at the entrance gates have carvings of three human figures on their bases and those of entwining snake-women on the capitals.
Statues of seated lions can be seen on the pedestals above the entrance on the eastern and false entrances on the other three sides, respectively. The temple is noted for its abundance of carvings that cover its shikhara completely. Around the shrine on the outside are eight idols of guardians, facing the respective directions, guarded by them. Tourists, exploring the site with their India travel packages, will also see a statue of Varuna, the god of the waters, on its exterior walls. Other notable carvings are of the wedding scenes of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.