Religion During the Bhaumakaras

The Bhaumakara kings were the patrons of Buddhism. During their reign the Mahayana Buddhism reached the pinnacle of celebrity in Orissa. During their perioc the evolution of Buddhism from Mahayana to Vajrajana took place. The hills of Ratnagir Udyagiri and Lalitgiri near Chandikhol possess various images of the Mahayana deities an, ruins of some stupas. The Bhauma-Karas also patronised Saivism. The Saiva temples of Shishiresvara, Markandesvara and Talesvara in Bhubaneswar bear ample testimony of it. The figures of the couchant bull on the seals attached to most of the Bhauma copper plates are also pointers in this direction. Under their patronage, Vaishnavism also grew I this land. The Dhenkanal plate of Tribhuvana Mahadevi I shows that she bore the title ‘Parama Vaisnavi’, a devout worshipper of Vishnu. Similarly, Subhakaradeva IV, Prithi Mahadevi and Shantikaradeva II were also followers of Vaishnavism.

Among the feudatories of the Bhaurna-Karas, the Bhanjas and Nandodbhavas were the followers of Vaishnavism. Saktism also received patronage from the Bhauma rulers. Their capital Guhadevapataka (Viraja) was a famous Sakti centre during that time. As discussed earlier, Tribhuvana Mahadevi I compared herself as Katyayani (a form of goddess Durga) in her Dhenkana charter when she ascended the throne. The Vaitala temple, Mohini temple and Uttresvara temple in Bhubaneswar which contain the Chamunda figures also bear ample testimony of the patronage to the Sakta cult by the Bhauma-Kara rulers.

Thus, patronising Buddhis Saivism, Vaishnavism and Saktism, the Bhauma ruler tried to bring synthesis among Various religious cults which actually was the precursor of a new era. The Buddhist art, archetecture and sculpture reached their perfection in Orissa during the Bhauma-Kara period. Several images of Buddha and Bodhisattava found at Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri, Khadipada, Solanapura, Kupari, Ayodhya, Tara images of Ratnagi, various Buddhist sculptures found at Choudwar, the Buddhist images of Sankaresvara temple in Salipur and Gokamesvara temple in Dharmasala, Buddhist bronze images of Banapur etc. clearly show that the Buddhist art and architecture were qiver patronage during the Bhauma-Kara period.