Showing posts with label Parithars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parithars. Show all posts

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. 

PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

MP Diaries: Jain Temples Budhi Chanderi, A lost Wonder

Every other artifact present at the ASI Museum of Chanderi was associated with the place of Budhi Chanderi, which increased our curiosity about the historical significance of this place. As Budhi Chanderi was only about 16 km from Chanderi, we decided to explore this place post lunch. Being much older than the town of Chanderi, Budhi Chanderi (Old Chanderi) is believed to be the town of Chaidnagar which finds its mention in the Puranas, signifying its antiqueness. The Old Chanderi lies inside the forested area and is believed to house more than 55 Jain and Hindu temples, most of which are in ruins. The ASI has collected more than 2500 artifacts from Budhi Chanderi and its surrounding areas, most of which are preserved at the ChanderiMuseum. The temples here are believed to have been built between 9th - 11th centuries by the Pratihara kings. 
The Jain Temple Complex, Budhi Chanderi
The Jain Temple Complex, Budhi Chanderi 
The drive to this place was pleasant and the winding roads only added to our excitement. We had enough company on the roads as it was the first day of New Year. We were welcomed by the ruins of fort walls and as we continued our drive, we reached a temple which seemed to be functional. We drove further to investigate the surroundings and found an ancient temple complex. My wife took the lead to check if this was the site we are on the lookout for. A flight of steps led to the entrance of the temple complex. On entering the complex, she noticed the presence of numerous temples enclosed inside the compound wall and very excitingly invited me and our little to come and witness the same.
Inside Jain Temple Complex, Budhi Chanderi 
Beauty in Ruins 
 The guide at the complex confirmed it to be Jain temple complex and the same was evident from the images and sculptures here. The architecture is similar to that of the Badoh Pathari Jain temple. Sadly, the ASI has repeated its shoddy restoration work here, with the walls resembling a jigsaw puzzle. Nevertheless, it has been successful in bringing back the temple complex to shape, for us to at least realize its grandeur. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring this temple complex. All the five temples here are dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras. After spending a good time, we decided to head on to our next destination after thanking and bidding a good bye to the care taker. He handed us a register in which we were supposed to enter the details of our visit and as we did it, we realized that we were the first registered visitors of the year 2017 to this place!
Intricately Carved Door Jamb 
Jain Tirthankara Parsvanatha
Jain Tirthankara Parsvanatha 
 PS: A new page has been added to our blog, which has a collection of our Vlogs. Click here to view.

MP Diaries: Ashapuri, A ruined Capital City

Ashapuri is one of the best kept secrets of Madhya Pradesh. Being very close to the capital city of Bhopal and located between two of the most prominent tourist places of Bhimbetka and Bhojpur, this place is hardly visited by tourists. We too were unaware of this place until a board at Midway Retreat in Bhimbetka displayed it. A quick research about the same on google helped us gather more information. We were more than happy to visit this place as it was located on the way to our next destination of Bhojpur. The sign board put up by Madhya Pradesh Tourism made it easier for us to reach this place, which is located about 22 km from Bhimbetka towards Bhojpur.
Ruins of Ashapuri with lake in the background 
Pink Lotus 
Ashapuri was the temple laboratory of the Pratihara and Paramara clans during 9th century AD. The numerous temples that are now in ruins bear a testimony to this. As we entered the Bhootnath temple complex, the care taker walked down the steps towards us with the visitors book in hand. After gathering details from us, he doubled up as our guide. As we maneuvered through the ruins, we stumbled upon the main temple complex of Bhootnath, built on the banks of a lake. The complex houses 26 uniquely styled temples of varying proportions. The locals are bound to the belief that this place was razed to dust by Mughals and hence is in ruins. The site is well maintained by the ASI and temples are systematically numbered from 1 to 26. Temple number 5 is the main temple of this complex and is dedicated to Bhootnath (Lord Shiva). The remains of this temple speaks volumes about the art and architecture of Pratiharas, who contributed majorly towards the temple construction. A large number of idols and other segments of the temples, most of which are partially damaged are kept spread wide across the temple complex, while many others are displayed at the museum nearby.
Remains of  BhootnathTemple 
Andhakasura form of Shiva 
Ruins all the Way
Our guide also mentioned about the presence of another temple dedicated to Goddess Durga at a fair distance (about 400 meters) from the Bhootnath complex. This temple too lies in a  ruined state with fragments of idols spread across the temple. Just outside the Bhootnath temple complex is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Hereon, we drove towards the museum during lunch time and realised it was closed. We inquired about directions to another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Billota temple at the entrance of the village. Unfortunately, this temple too was closed. A big Shiva linga is seen outside the temple with many small lingas carved on it, called as the Sahasralinga. A beautifully carved but broken pillar base is also seen in this complex, with a carving that exhibits the various avatars of Lord Vishnu. Thus ended our exploration. It is good to know that a joint effort has been initiated by Madhya Pradesh Government in collaboration with the World Monuments Fund towards restoring Ashapuri back to its glory.
Goddess Durga Temple
Lord Brahma 
Shiva Temple, Billota 
Parshuram (6th Avatar of  Lord Vishnu)
Vamana (5th Avatar of  Lord Vishnu)
Distance from the nearby town: 36 km from Bhopal. 
Accommodation: There are no accommodation options here. The best would be to plan for an overnight stay at Bhopal. 
Where to eat: The nearest eateries are about 6 km from here, at Bhojpur