Showing posts with label Odisha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Odisha. Show all posts

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. 
1. Madhya Pradesh - Unknown Attractions around Known Destinations
2. RBS Visitors Guide India - Madhya Pradesh
3. A Wandering Mind                                                                                                                      

In Search of Kanakagiri's Ashokan Edicts -2

While researching about this place, our inquisitiveness about King Bindusura (Father of Ashoka) increased. To our surprise, sadly, very little has been found out about him or documented as compared to king Chandragupta Maurya (Father of Bindusura) and Ashoka himself. Though Bindusara was the key person responsible for the consolidation of the Mauryan empire post Chandragupta era, it seems somehow the life story of Bindusura is missing. It is also quoted at many places that Sushima (elder brother of Ashoka) was the choice of Bindusura as the next heir of Mauryan empire. But Ashoka killed him and 5 other brothers to gain the throne. King Ashoka's life may be divided into two phases, that during pre Kalinga war and post Kalinga war, the war being the turning point.. Ashokan edicts give us the insight of Ashoka's second half of his life, the Buddhist way of life. The edicts are present even today across India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There are 9 such documented Ashokan edicts in Karnataka, all of which have been visited by and written about by a fellow blogger. (Link: Ashokan edicts).
Major Rock Edicts of Ashoka, Dhauli Orissa
Minor Rock Edicts of Ashoka at Gavi Matha Koppal 
In continuation with our previous post, our perseverance was finally rewarded with a piece of information being disclosed by people at the temple about a rock inscription near Kattle Basavanna temple, though it wasn't sure whether  it was the same one we were looking for. They also gave us directions to this temple. We reached the temple and searched for the inscription, but found none. A person directed us to a few stones close by the temple. On close observation, we found one of them to be inscribed and poured water for further investigation that revealed inscriptions in Kannada language.
Kannada Inscriptions Near Kattle Basavanna Temple
 We closely checked all the rocks around the temple but found nothing. We went back and inquired  with people at the temple regarding the edicts. The same person who showed us an inscription near the temple also told us that there are some inscriptions atop a hill located close by. This information gave us goose bumps since Ashokan edicts are located on/close to hills. On asking him for more details about the same, he accepted our invitation to join us in our quest. Hereon, we headed towards the Lakshmi Narasimha hill, situated about 2 km from Kanakagiri. And our search for the edicts continued!....
Lakshmi Narasimha Hill 
PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

Roadissi - "Sisupalgarh The Oldest Fort"

 Sisupalgarh, supposedly the oldest fort of India was discovered during the 80's and is believed to have had the capacity of accommodating more than 20000 people. Thus making it one of the largest settlements of that age, probably even bigger than the city of Athens which housed a population close to 10000 people. We ensured to make an attempt to visit this place when in Bhubaneswar during our road trip to Orissa. After visiting the state Archaeological Museum, we decided to visit this wonderful site.
A Model of the Fort @ State Museum  Bhubaneshwar
   The book we referred to gave us a brief idea about the location of this fort. Following these directions, we realized we had come close to this place yet we were far away since none of the locals were much aware of this place to guide us through. Finally a police man came to our rescue and gave us the right directions. We were greeted by a notice board put up by the A.S.I, signalling that we are on the right path and very close to this fort. With nobody around, finding the site became quite difficult and at one point we noticed  another A.S.I board which took us to the entrance of the fort.
Sisupalgarh, Orissa
Entrance to Fort Sisupalgarh
Remains of the Fort 
Oldest Fort of India
  Researcher B B Lal describes the history of Sisupalgarh as follows , "This was the most celebrated fort during 3rd Century BC and was bigger than Athens". We were the only ones present  around this part of the fort. Unfortunately, we could sight a big township developing adjacent to the fort site making it vulnerable to extinction and crying for help. Sadly what was once the Queen's Palace  has been reduced today to a marshy area. The pillars here have survived for 2000 odd years and today are in a state of pity due to the nasty real estate business, luring the government against taking any effective measures for preserving this historical site.
Remains of Queen's Palace
   It is very disheartening to know that many such historical sites in India have vanished due to greed of the current generation and many more are falling prey to the same. We only hope that a day comes when man realizes that such historical sites have to be preserved for the betterment of the society. 

100000 Km of XYLOing

Monkeys Play
Boys checking out the Interiors of the Xylo
Xylo beside Kunigal Lake
In  the Middle of the Ghat some where in Kerala

Parked under the tree belonging to One of Oldest Grove
With Toy Cart in Coastal Andhra

At the site of the supposedly Oldest Fort in India, located in the state of Orissa
On the Turn of Kolli Hills, Tamil Nadu
In Front of A Temple in East Goa

Rear View Mirror's View of Antaragange Hills, Kolar 

Roadissi - Varahi Temple, Chaurasi, Orissa

Chaurasi is an offbeat destination strategically located between Konark and Bhubaneshwar. One needs to take a deviation midway after crossing Pipli, towards Konark to reach this sleepy village. We inquired about the route to Varahi temple at many places but in vain. Finally a person came to our rescue and told us to proceed further on the same road and then take a left turn. It is normal for the locals here and probably most of the East Indian people to pronounce V as B and this, we realized only after meeting the last person who saved us from the trial of searching for Barahi!  As we drove, we spotted the board at a crossing that directed us towards the temple. Varahi/Barahi temple stood there silently, witnessing its great past, the silent present and an uncertain future. This temple holds a very unique place, since it is extremely rare to find a temple dedicated solely to the Goddess Varahi (one among the seven mother goddesses), though many temples are found having the Saptamatrikas (the seven mother goddesses) and the goddess Chamundi. This temple was built during the 10th century A.D. 
The Information Board
Varahi Temple

        The temple is built on a platform devoid of decorations, though the outer walls have elaborate carvings. The shrine is unusually rectangular (most Orissan temples are square) in shape and the Shikara is a form in the evolution of Kharkhara deul, wherein a semi-cylindrical ridge crowns it. A beautiful statue of Lord Surya is installed in the niche. It has a two tiered hipped roof and has 2 latticed windows on either sides of the Jagamohan (Navaranga). There are varieties of sculptures on the walls depicting various divinities and other aspects of daily life. The idol of Varahi is indeed very beautiful.
The Deul or Shikara
Latticed Window
Naga Pillar
Walking Ganapathy
Lord Surya and his Horses

We Visited this place during our road trip to Orissa .

Temples of Udayagiri, Nellore

After exploring the beautiful pillared Kalyana Mandapa, we moved on to explore another beautiful temple located few yards away from here. This temple is dedicated to Lord Balakrishna and was built by the Pallavas during 9th century. This temple consist of a garbagriha, an antrala, Sukanasi  and Navaranga with a missing Mukhamandapa.
Lord Balakrishna Temple, Udayagiri
Lord Balakrishna Temple, Udayagiri
9th Century Temple built by Pallavas
 Udayagiri was one of the most important cities of Medieval south India. It was ruled by Satavahanas, the Cholas, the Pallavas, the Telugu Chodas, Vijayanagara, Gajapathis, Golconda Nawabs and Finally Britishers. Udayagiri was captured by Vijayanagara King Virupanna II in early 15th Century (around 1402 AD) from Telugu Chodas and later went into hands of Gajapathis (Kings of Orissa) under the rule of King Purushottam around 1485 AD, who also captured the surrounding areas of Kondavidu and fortified these towns. In 1512 AD King Krishnadevaraya recaptured Udayagiri and its surrounding areas and moved forward towards Cuttack to capture the Gajapathis, who then offered a peace treaty by asking Krishnadevaraya to marry their Princess Jaganmohini(Bhadradevi), the daughter of Gajapathi king Prataprudra  . Though there is no documentation of this marriage in any form of Inscriptions (further reading on this). In response to this Krishnadevaraya returned back the territories earlier held by Gajapathis. In celebrations of this roaring victory over Gajapathis, Krishnadevaraya made lavish donations to many temples in his Kingdom, namely Vijaya Vithala temple (Hampi), lord Venkateshwara Temple (Tirupathi) and so on. Almost all the temples down south were provided with an imposing Rajagopuras, beside a many pillared mandapa or pavilion were added to the temple complexes. Most of the old temples in Hampi were renovated and lot of additional structures were erected. A complete temple dedicated to Lord Krishna in Hampi was built to mark his victory and where he installed the murti of Lord Balakrishna which was brought war trophy from the Lord Balakrishna temple in Udayagiri as per inscriptions found at this temple of 1513 AD.
Lord Balakrishna Temple
Decorative Door Frame with Dwarapalakas
Empty Garbhagriha
Note The Carvings of Various Animals
Lord Lakshminarasimha 
Lord Balakrishna
Lord Balakrishna and Butter Churning
Rear View of Shikara
Ananthashayana Sculpture on the Shikara

1.Book "Vijayanagar" edited by Vasundhara Filliozat
2.Book"Archaeology, Art and Religion, new perspectives on Vijayanagara" written by Anila Verghese.
3.Kannada Book "ಕನ್ನಡ ವಿಷಯ ವಿಶ್ವಕೋಶ - ಇತಿಹಾಸ ಮತ್ತು ಪುರಾತತ್ತ್ವ " -  University of Mysore.