Showing posts with label Gupta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gupta. Show all posts

MP Diaries - Lord Vishnu and Kankali Devi Temples, Tigawa

After spending a good amount of time at Nachna, admiring our ancestral architectural skills. Thereon we drove to our next destination Tigawa which was the most memorable of all drives. The drive was mostly through village roads that were least populated and spotless! The best stretch though was through the forest of Muhandra  and we thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. We covered about 140 km within 2 hours time and reached the temple complex of Tigawa which is home to two small and beautiful ancient temples, the Kankali Devi Temple and Devi/Lord Vishnu Temple.
Kankali Devi Temple, Tigawa
Kankali Devi Temple, Tigawa

The Kankali Devi Temple can be easily classified among the earliest temples of India, built by the Gupta dynasty. This temple complex probably housed many other temples, which is quite evident from the vast ruins spread across the complex of which only 2 survive today. This  temple dates to 5th century AD and was originally dedicated to Kankali Devi. The sanctum now houses a murti of Lord Ugranarasimha. The sanctum entrance is flanked by images of Goddesses Ganga and Yamuna and. The inner wall of the porch bears beautiful carvings of Lord Vishnu reclining on Shesha and Goddess Chamundi which are marvelous specimens of Gupta sculptural art. The roof of the shrine is flat without any shikara but has a front porch (ardhamandapa) supported on columns bearing  patterns of foliage, miniature kudu arches framing small human/animal faces and lions sculpted at its top.
Tigawa Temple
Kankali Temple Doorway
Heavy and Beautiful Pillars
Probably Jain Tirthankara Parshvanatha (??)
Goddess Chamundi and Lord Vishnu
Tigowa Temple
Kudu Arches
River Goddess Ganga, Gupta dynasty
River Goddess Ganga
River Goddess Yamuna on door frame
River Goddess Yamuna
Lord Ugranarasimha
The Devi/Lord Vishnu Temple has a torana (arched portal) at the temple entrance built during the Gupta period datable to 5-6th century AD.. The remaining portions of the temple seems to have been constructed at a later period. The sanctum houses a murti of Goddess Durga and the outer wall in the front has carvings Lord Vishnu with all his incarnations depicted around the main image apart from Lord Surya, Goddess Chamundi and Ganesha. This temple has a front porch resting on four pillars.
Durga Devi Temple/ Vishnu Temple Tigawa
Durga Devi Temple
The Torana
Goddess Durga Devi
Lord Vishnu with His Ten Incarnations
Lord Vishnu with His Ten Incarnations
How to reach Tigawa: Tigawa is located about 65 km from Jabalpur, close to Bahoriband. We reached this place via Pawai - Muhandra - Raipura - Tigawa - Temple complex is located just off the main road while at the entrance of the village.

1. Puratattava 
2. Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent - Takeo Kamiya

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MP Diaries - Chaumukhanath and Parvati Temples of Nachna

For the last day of our exciting road trip in Madhya Pradesh, we had in our itinerary three places to visit namely Nachna, Tigawa and Bhedaghat. We started from Khajuraho early in the morning so we could cover all the three within our time limit. We reached Nachna which is home to two beautiful temples built between 5-7th century, our first destination for the day. Though reaching Nachna was not at all difficult, there was something special about this place probably owing to its remoteness. After a final enquiry at the village of Nachna, we were directed to this temple complex.
Nachne/ Nachna
Chaumukhanath Temple, Nachna

The Chaumukhanath Temple is an old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and built during the reign of the Prathihara dynasty. It is  datable to the post Gupta period around 7th century AD and is regarded as one of the earliest temples built by the Prathiharas. The sanctum houses a very beautiful four faced Shiva linga (chaumukha). The four manifestations of Lord Shiva depicted on the four directions are as follows: facing east is Tatpurusha (three eyed and represents the air element); facing north is Vamadeva (expresses feminine qualities and represents the water element); facing south is Aghora (expresses wrath with bulging eyes, raised nostrils and a widely opened mouth and represents the fire element); and facing west is Sadyojata (expresses calm and serene qualities and represents the earth element). The shrine is square in plan with a porch in the front and has a covered ambulatory path pierced by perforated windows (Jali). The porch in its front seems to be a later addition. The Jali windows are exquisitely carved with depictions of musicians and dancers, and river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna on either sides. The shikara is plain and simple with an amalaka and kalasha at its top.
Entrance to Chaumukhanath Temple, Nachna
Chaumukhanath Shiva Linga
Future Care Taker of This Temple
Tatpurusha Form of Lord Shiva
Aghora Form of Lord Shiva
Sadyojata Form Of Lord Shiva
Vamadeva Form of Lord Shiva
Unique Depiction of Kurumavatar and Vamanavatar of Lord Vishnu
Mithunas and Vidhyadharas
Carving of Animals on Porch Window

The Parvati Temple is datable to the late Gupta period around 5th century AD. The temple has a square grabhagriha and probably housed a small square chamber above it. The sanctum is  devoid of any idol. The entrance of the sanctum carries ornate floral designs and is flanked by river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna at its lower portion. The inner band of the doorway shows carvings of tendrils emerging from the navel of dwarfs on either sides and the outer band carries images of mithunas (amorous couples). The lintel bears the carving of Vinadhara Shiva in the center with Parvati along with various attendants and vidhyadharas (semi-gods) on their either sides.The outer walls of the temple have perforated Jalis with the depiction of Lord Ganesha, musicians and dancers.
Parvati Temple, Nachna
Parvati Temple, Nachna
Door Frame of Parvati Temple
River Goddess Ganga on her Vahana
River Goddess Ganga on her Vahana Along With Shaiva Dwarapalaka
River Goddess Yamuna on her Vahana
River Goddess Yamuna on her Vahana Along With Shaiva Dwarapalaka
Beautiful and Small Craving of Lord Ganesha on the Window Jali

Vinadhari Shiva With Parvati on the Lintel
There are many ruins of pillars and other portions of the temple lying besides the temple in the open. On one such pillar are seen images of  Lord Varaha, Lord Narasimha,  Lord Trivikrama and a defaced image probably of Lord Parashurama. Also seen around  is an old shivalinga placed now under the shade of a tree and a widow panel.
A Part of Dashavatara Pillar

How to reach Nachna: From Khajuraho - Panna - Devendra Nagar take right towards Saleha - Take Right turn here and a Left turn to reach Nachna, about 100 Km from Khajuraho.

1. Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent -  By Takeo Kamiya
2. Hindu Deities - By Margaret Stutley
3. Wikipedia

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MP Diaries - Badoh-Pathari, The Ruined Twin Towns

The care taker at Maladevi Temple, Gyaraspur informed us about the places of Badoh-Pathari and Udaypur which were located close by. Driving as per the given directions with a few additional inquiries here and there, we reached Pathari and were now in the central part of Madhya Pradesh. 'Pathari' is a true representation of rural Madhya Pradesh with lush greenery everywhere. 'Badoh' and 'Pathari' are two beautiful villages bifurcated by a lake and are rich in architectural heritage. The Guptas ruled here during the 6th century AD followed by the Pratiharas from 8th-10th century AD and then the Rashtrakutas. The presence of a fort built during the medieval period and a few small Cenotaphs belonging to the late 19th century suggests that this place was continuously occupied and played a prominent role in the history of central India.
Gadarmal Temple, Badoh - Pathari
Gadarmal Temple, Pathari
We stopped by a sign board put by Madhya Pradesh tourism, following which we were led to a cave temple dedicated to Saptamathrikas. This temple might have been destroyed with only the cave as remains. On the wall face of the cave is a beautiful carving of the seven mother goddesses, the Saptamathrikas along with Lord Veerabhadra. This is a 6th century structure associated with later Gupta period. The next place we visited here was a group of Jain temples located in the village of Badoh. Though at the first look we were quite happy to see that restoration work was in full swing, we were equally stunned at the same time due to the shoddy restoration work. The temple walls looked more like unsolved jigsaw puzzles. This group of temples were built between  9th-13th century AD and were hindu in origin, but later converted to Jain temples. There are many shrines inside the temple complex along with a ruined Baoli or stepped well. 
Saptamathrikas Cave Temple, Badoh Pathari
Saptamathrikas at the Cave Temple, Badoh
Cave Temple
Entrance to the Group of Jain Temples, Badoh
Jigsaw Puzzle
Baoli or Stepped Well
Jain temple Complex Badoh Pathari
Jain Temple Complex
Jain Tirthankaras
Elaborately Carved Door Jambs
Next on our list was Gadarmal Temple, the most beautiful temple around this town. We were mesmerized to see this grand structure coming out of nowhere. This temple has the unique distinction of being an eight shrined temple, wherein temples have been added to a panchayatana (five shrined) temple. The ruined Torana (gateway) in front of this temple originally would have been a very grand structure which is evident from its remains. There are 8 pillars in front of the temple entrance with elephant capitals. The door jambs are classical pieces of artwork and carved to perfection. The Shikara is grand with various carvings of apsaras and deities on it, though it seems to be a later addition to the temple. This temple was built in the 9th century and can be assigned to Pratihara kings. Hereon, we went in search of Bheemgaja, driving through the narrow lanes of Badoh village. We came across a beautiful lake on the other bank of which lay remains of a beautiful fort. We were running out of time and as the sun went down, we began contemplating about spending time near the fort as we also had another place to cover. We decided not to explore the fort environs and proceeded towards Bheemgaja. 'Bheemgaja' is a huge pillar with inscriptions erected by the minister of a Rashtrakuta king in the 9th century. There are two sati stones close by the pillar with Sanskrit inscriptions. The other places to visit around are the Varaha temple (houses a huge unfinished sculpture of Lord Varaha), Shiva temple, Koteshwar temple and Solah Khamba. We missed visiting these to due to paucity of time.
Remains of a Grand Torana
Pillared Porch 
Shikara of Gadarmal Temple 
Remains of a Small Temple 
Sati Stones with Inscriptions 
Fort Overlooking the Lake 
Entrance fee: Entry is free. 
Distance from  nearby major town: 75 km from Vidisha via Gyaraspur and about 30 km from Ganj Basoda.
Accommodation: There are no lodges in Badoh or Pathari, however, the closest and a better choice would be Gateway Retreat at Sanchi maintained by MPSTDC. There are a few small lodges in Ganj Basoda. 
Where to eat: There are a few small roadside eateries here.  
1. Puratattva 
2. Architecture of the Indian Sub-continent by Takeo Kamiya 

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