Showing posts with label Kachchapaghata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kachchapaghata. Show all posts

MP Diaries: Bateshwar Temples, A Legacy of ASI Chief KK Muhammad

Bateshwar, a small uninhabited village about 2 km from Padhavali is home to 300+ temples in a complex spread across 20 acres. This place reminded us much of Aihole, another beautiful place where temples outnumber the houses in the village. The group of temples at Bateshwar were built between 6th - 12th century AD by Pratiharas and Kacchapaghatas kings. The temples here were restored due the efforts of  the ASI chief Mr. KK Muhammad during his service, who took a lot of pain in getting this place back to its shape. While the majority of temples here are dedicated to Lord Shiva, a  few  are dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Bateshwar Group of Temples
Bateshwar Temple Complex
Bateshwar Group of Temples
 
Tandeshwara on the Vestibule 
A Complete Temple Here
Forest, Hill and Temples 
The many temples here showcase various stages of temple construction from an early stage characterized by  flat roofs to temples with curvilinear shikaras. The largest temple here, known as Bhutesvara temple is a perfect example of Pratihara architecture. There are a few temples also dedicated to Lords Surya, Ganesha and Anjaneya. While most of the temples here are simple and plain in outlook without much carvings or decorations on its outer walls, a few portray exquisite carvings on them. The architecture here resembles that of the later Gupta architecture, which was further improvised.
An Interesting Carving of Lord Ganesha 
Sundaris and Lord Surya 
Lord Anjaneya 
 Most of the temples here have only garbhagrihas with shikaras, housing a Shiva Linga or an idol of Lord Vishnu, while a few remained empty. This complex was ruined and in a damaged state when a team of ASI archaeologists lead by Mr. KK Muhammad reached out to rescue the complex. This site had remained inaccessible due to dacoits who had made this place their hideout. Few rounds of negotiations between Mr. KK Muhammad and the leader of the dacoits finally paved way to the development of this site. The care taker here takes pride in sharing the stories of Mr. KK Muhammad and also shows us the photos of before and after of this place. Mr. KK Muhammad retired few years ago, which consequently led to a slow down in the progress of the restoration work here.
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How to reach Bateshwar: Reach Nurabad which is located on the Gwalior-Agra Highway, take right turn towards Padhavali, about 2 km from here is Bateshwar. It is about 32 km from Gwalior.
Entry Fee: Entry is free
Accommodation: There are as such no accommodation options here, though one can stay at Morena or Gwalior where options are plenty and make a day trip to this place. 
Where to eat: There are a few road-side eateries in Padhavali that make tasty chats, especially Aloo Tikki. 
References:
1. Madhya Pradesh - Unknown Attractions Around Known Destinations
2. RBS Visitors Guide India - Madhya Pradesh
3. Ghumakkar
                             

MP Diaries: Garhi Padhavali, A Magnificent Shiva Temple

Mandapa Heavily Decked up with Carvings
The countless peacocks around Padhavali kept us busy for a long, until we realized it was time to explore the ancient temple of Padhavali which is located in the outskirts of the village. We were welcomed by two lions guarding the entrance of the fort gate on either sides. A flight of  steps laid in stone leads us to the remains of the magnificent Shiva temple. The  medium sized mandapa decked up with intricate carvings everywhere was unbelievably beautiful . This temple is believed to be dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built in 10th century by the Kacchapaghatas. The temple was later fortified by the rulers of Jat Ranas of Gohad in the 19th century. The care taker of this temple doubles up also as the guide for this place. He goes on to describe in depth each of the minute carvings here.
 Entrance to the Fort
Padhavali Temple
Remains of Lord Shiva Temple, Padhavali 
Lord Brahma , Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu  along with Stories from Krishna's Life in the Bottom Panel 
Depiction of Lord Surya in the Top Panel with  Lords Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu in the Bottom Panel
Panel depicting Umamaheshwara along with War Scenes in the Bottom Panel 
Depiction of Goddess Chamundi in the Top Panel and Worship of Lord Shiva by Lord Rama in the Bottom Panel
Lord Ganesha with his Consort, Lord Karthikeyan in the Centre (probably) and Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati as Ardhanareshwara
Depiction of Samudra Manthan, Trivikrama , Mohini and Lord Vishnu killing Rahu 
Lords Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu with their Consorts seen in the depiction stories from the Ramayana in top Panel 
Dashavatara Panel  - Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki 
Pillar Capital decked with Gandharvas 
Beautiful Carvings on the Ceiling
Pillar with Inscriptions 
How to reach Padhavali:  Reach Nurabad which is located on the Gwalior-Agra Highway, take right turn towards Padhavali, about 30 km from Gwalior. 
Entry Fee: Entry is free
Accommodation: There are as such no accommodation options here, though one can stay at Morena or Gwalior where options are plenty and make a day trip to this place. 
Where to eat: There are a few road-side eateries that make tasty chats, especially Aloo Tikki. 
References:
1. Madhya Pradesh - Unknown Attractions Around Known Destinations
2. RBS Visitors Guide India - Madhya Pradesh

MP Diaries: Ekattarso Mahadev Temple Mitawali - The Mysterious Yogini temple


First Look of Mitawali Temple 
Next on our list was the Chausath Yogini temple of Mitawali located about 18 km from Sihoniya. The village of Mitawali is located close to Padhavali, on the way from Sihoniya. The drive was quite enjoyable along the ravines of Chambal. We were only wondering how it was when the dacoits were all around, with horses and the guns. After driving for about 25 minutes, we were able to see a small circular temple atop a hill. This temple from far resembled that of the Hirapur Yogini temple, which is also circular in shape. Though many people believe this temple to be an inspiration behind the construction of the Indian Parliament, it could also be an easy coincidence with the resemblance of its shape (further reading).
Ekattarso Mahadev Temple, Mitawali
Ekattarso Mahadev Temple, Mitawali 
Chausath Yogini Temple, Hirapur
Chausath Yogini Temple, Hirapur 
 The beautifully laid sandstone steps lead us to the temple on the small hillock. There were a few people here who had come to visit this temple and the care taker was also present. A small doorway on the eastern side welcomed us into the temple. The temple is hypaethral (with no roof) and comprises of a circular cloister around an open courtyard over a high plinth. There is also a central circular shrine facing east in this courtyard. This temple was constructed in 10th century by the Kachchapaghata rulers. But as per inscriptions found here, this temple dates to 1323 AD and is said to have been built by Maharaja Devapala and also states it to be the “Ekattarso Mahadeva Temple”. It may have happened that the king converted the original Yogini temple into a Shaiva temple by placing a Shiva Linga in each of the 64 cells here. Though there are no records to prove the above statement nor that the temple built originally was a Chausath Yogini temple, it is only based on the assumptions of shape, number of cells and certain recent studies undertaken here that point it towards being a Yogini temple.
Typical Cell with Shiva Linga 
The Central Temple 
 This temple is very much similar to the Chausath Yogini temple of Hirapur (near Bhubaneswar) and Jharial (also in Odisha) and closely resembles the Yogini temple in Bhedaghat (near Jabalapur, M P). However, the Yogini temple in Khajuraho is square in plan, unlike the above and does not comprise of any central temple. Though doubt persists about whether this was originally a Yogini temple or not and is rather difficult to prove so, it is good to see that most of this temple remains intact today. This was the first of the surviving 3 Yogini temples we visited in Madhya Pradesh. There is also a small shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu outside this temple, with another ruined shrine at the hill base.
Chambal Ravines
Chambal Ravines 
Vishnu Temple and The Guardian 
 How to reach Mitawali:  Reach Nurabad which is located on the Gwalior-Agra Highway, take right turn towards Padhavali and proceed further to reach Mitawali, about 35 km from Gwalior. 
Entry Fee: Entry is free
Accommodation: There are as such no accommodation options here, though one can stay at Morena or Gwalior where options are plenty and make a day trip to this place. 
Where to eat: There are a few road-side eateries that make tasty chats, especially Aloo Tikki. 
References:
1. Madhya Pradesh - Unknown Attractions around Known Destinations
2. RBS Visitors Guide India - Madhya Pradesh
3. A Wandering Mind                                                                                                                      

MP Diaries: Kakanmath Temple Sihoniya, Chambal Ki Rani


Kakanmath Temple, Sihoniya
Kakanmath Temple, Sihoniya
After a wonderful river safari at Chambal Sanctuary and an exciting visit to the Eco-park at Deori, Kakanmath temple of Sihoniya was the next destination on our list to visit in Chambal region. After having some food on the way, we reached Sihoniya and drove towards Kakanmath temple which is located about 1 km outside village limits amidst the fields. Huge skeletal remains of a magnificent Shiva temple are seen, giving us a glimpse of what had stood once here. The temple complex consists of a main temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Linga surrounded by 4 small temples which are now in complete ruins.
Pillars  Remains of a Mantapa 
This temple complex is believed to have been built in 10th century by King Kirttiraja of Kachchapaghata dynasty, as per the inscription found at the SaasBahu temple in Gwalior.  The temple here stands on a lofty ornate pitha/platform similar to other temples in Madhya Pradesh built around this time such as the VijayaMandir, Vidisha.  The temple comprises of a sanctum and mukhamandapa which can be approached from the east by stairs. The Ashtadikpalas are carved in the eight directions of the sanctum, which are surviving even today. Carvings of various gods adorn the temple wall of this temple.
Lord Ganesha (He looks smart and slim) 
Lord Trivikram  (Lord Vishnu's Avatar) 
Indira on Airavata (The Guardian of East)
Indira on Airavata (The Guardian of East) 
Yama on Mahisha  (The Guardian of South)
Yama on Mahisha  (The Guardian of South)
Lord Brahma (The Creator)
Lord Brahma (The Creator) 
Agni on Mesha (The Guardian of South East)
Agni on Mesha (The Guardian of South East)
Kubera (the guardian of North)
Lord Vishnu on Garuda 
Various Apsaras Adorning the Wall of the Main Temple
The shikara of this temple is around 30 meter in height, of which only the inner part crowned by a bell member has survived. The remains of balconies can be seen even today with pillars carved to perfection. There are also remains of a small mandapa in front of the main temple with only 2 of its pillars surviving. The ASI and MP tourism have done a wonderful job in restoring this temple which probably was damaged during an earthquake. The excavation work is still underway and in the coming days, we can hope to see much of this temple getting back its original shape. The sculptures found here are preserved in the Gwalior ASI museum.
Lord Shiva Linga 
Pillars of Mukhamandapa 
How to Reach Sihoniya: Reach Morena which is located on the Gwalior-Agra Highway, take a right towards Ambah and travel for about 16 km. Then take a right turn and travel for about 12 km to reach Sihoniya.
Entry Fee: Entry is free. 
Accommodation: There are as such no accommodation options here, but one can stay at Morena or Gwalior where various options are plenty and make a day trip to this place. 
Where to eat: There are a few road-side eateries that make tasty chats, especially Aloo Tikki. 

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