Odi: ଭୁବନେଶ୍ଵର bhubanēśvara

‘Lord of the (Three) Worlds’  City, Odisha

From Skt: tri, ‘three’; bhuvanam, ‘world(s)’; and īśvara, ‘lord’, ‘master’.

The traditional ‘three worlds’ in Hinduism are: swarga, the world of the devas (gods); martya or prithivi: ‘Earth’; and narka ‘hell’.

As an epithet for Shiva it also means ‘Lord of the Universe’.

Bhubaneswar became the new capital of Odisha in 1949, replacing neighbouring Cuttack. The modern city, designed and planned by the German architect Otto Königsberger, was founded in 1948. But the region around the modern city dates back to the 7th century BCE.

The old town features many Kalingan temples dating back to the 6th–13th centuries  including the Lingaraja (with its 55m tower) and Muktesvara temples dedicated to Shiva. Only 400 temples are left of the 7,000 that once made this truly the ‘City of Temples’.

The area is a veritable crossroads for the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions and it forms a Swarna Tribhuja with Puri and Konark [Skt: suvarṇa;  tribhuja, ‘triangle’], one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Odisha place names.