Bhubaneswar can be addressed as one of the best cities to evidence the number of beautifully sculptured temples in India. This city holds back a few important incidents in history. The major event was the Kalinga war where it happened in a place near Bhubaneswar named ‘Dhauli’, in the 3rd century. The war which was served as the final battle fought by the Mauryan King Ashoka after which he started following non-violence and the era of Buddhism came into existence.

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Kalinga war site | courtesy:

This is the largest city in Odisha and is often referred to as ‘twin cities’ along with Cuttack. It is also known for its economic and religious importance in Eastern India. It is always visited along with Puri and Konark, these cities together are addressed as ‘Tribhuja’.

One of the main attractions of the city is The Lingaraj temple. This is the largest temple of the city dedicated to Lord shiva. The materials used are the red stone and follow a classic style of Kalinga style of architecture with the main shrine of Lord shiva which heights to 180 feet at the center and surrounded by a number of small temples around. It was built by the King Jajati keshari.

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Lingaraj temple and Bindusagar lake| courtesy:
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Arial view of Lingaraj temple| courtesy:

Planning of Bhubaneshwar

The modern city of Bhubaneswar was designed by the German architect Otto H.Konigsberger in 1946. The city is geographically located near the Mahanadi river which forms the northern boundary of the city. The historical images of the city were considered to be the hub of temples and it was titled as ‘The temple city of India’ till 1948. The city was assigned as the state capital in 1956. Due to various natural calamities, the city underwent huge damage to buildings and infrastructure and it led to a new city plan which was proposed in 1946. The city is subdivided into the old town and the new capital.

The planning concept adopted to design the city was ‘NEIGHBORHOOD UNIT PLANNING’. Konigsberger designed a linear pattern for the city, which had main administrative bodies in the main artery, and the neighborhood units were attached to it. Initially, the city plan was designed for population 40,000. With 5000- 6000 in a neighborhood. When the population reached 40,000 the city plan was revised by Julius Vaz to accommodate additional neighborhood units.

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City planning of Bhubaneswar, Courtesy kalia (1995)

Principles of Planning:

The main aim of the planning was to create a community of housing and the required amenities placed in closer proximity such that the travel distance is less. To break the monotonous character of each community, they were to be possessed with a distinct character.

According to Konigsberger, a planned city capital must have a few important characteristics. They are:

  • A unique local identity and a sense of place

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    Principles of Identity, Courtesy:
  • Regular blocks divided into uniform plots.
  • Hospitals, Open grounds, Schools for meetings, etc.,
  • Commercial Complex
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Principles of Diversity, Courtesy:
  • Straight streets intersecting at right angles
  • Green belts and water bodies to maintain the ecological balance within the neighborhood.
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Road layouts

Along with these principles, Konigsberger also mentioned about the seven types of roads,

  • Footways
  • Cycle paths
  • Parkways
  • Arterial Road
  • Major unit road
  • Major housing street
  • Minor housing street.

These were designed for seven types of users for seven different locations.

Bhubaneswar was initially planned for 40,000 population with an area of 1684 Ha but now it is accommodating about 7 lakhs of the population with an area about 135 Starting from a linear form the city has developed into a rectangular form. The city has extended from the central spine into seven different directions with varied dimensions of spread. The central spine is the Old town consisting of temples. Among other planned cities of Chandigarh and Jamshedpur, Bhubaneshwar has experienced a decent growth rate all these years. It has successfully capitalized both the tangible and intangible elements of a city.

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Growth map of the city | Courtesy: Shodhganga

Urban sprawl has led to the expansion of the city at a much higher rate, Bhubaneshwar –  a well-planned city must follow certain rules to maintain the design of the plan. It is also a tourist place that adds further importance to hold the accommodation of people from other states.

The city is also well known for its creative artisans who are skilled in works such as stone -inlay, wood carving, bamboo articles, textile painting which needs much more guidance as they have good scope to develop because of the tourism.

Planning of the city was originally designed in a gridiron pattern but later it developed into a rectangular plan. In the current scenario, it is important to both follow the planning aspects of the city as well as accommodate enough space for the visitors. Since the city has an economic attraction it is experiencing problems relating to limitation of space, on-street loading/unloading, heterogeneous traffic, idle parking, etc., The development of new buildings has led to the demolition of various temples in the city. These can be avoided if the functions and buildings are located in a place destined for them.

Newer additions can be planned in the new capital region of the city, such that it does not have much impact on the old town of temples.


Amodini an amateur enthusiast, who is an Architect by day and an observer as a whole pushes her limits to explore herself as an artist and relating her works with Architecture. She truly believes that studying Architecture has laid her a basic platform to try every possible things to exhibit her works.

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