Bhubaneswar has a unique position among the cities of India. A temple town with series of ancient sandstone temples, heritage ponds and water tanks, its wealth of monuments is testament to an ancient continuous architectural and historical heritage covering over 2,000 years from the 3rd century BC to the 15th century AD representing most of the important dynastic changes over the period. Bhubaneswar is dubbed the “Temple City” – a nom-de-plume earned because of the 700 temples which once stood here. It still boasts of a cluster of magnificent temples, constituting virtually a complete record of Kalinga architecture almost from its nascence to its culmination. Ekamra Kshetra comprises the area of the old city of Bhubaneswar that forms the centre of this temple architecture and is considered a Hindu holy city.
Although Lingaraj Temple was the centre of Ekamra Kshetra, the old town of Bhubaneswar itself was focused towards the Bindusagar Tank in the near vicinity of Lingaraj Temple. A geomantic approach was adopted in town planning with specific directions vis-à-vis topography, location and orientation of water bodies, landuse zoning et al. The town structure was a not-so-geometric but organic derivative of the Mandala concept. The tanks such as Bindusagar, Devipadahara Tank, Kapilesvara Tank were attached with religious symbolisms and considered holy.