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Old 15th January 2019, 11:48   #1
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Default S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

2018 was crazy, Changing jobs and notice periods gave quite a lot of time at my disposal. 2018 saw me in France, Austria, Germany and Vietnam, but the kicks are in exploring India by road for sure. Looking back, criss crossing India some 35000Kms all in a span of three months made for some lovely memories and experience. If I were to sit down and pen all those experiences, it will definitely give me a lot to cherish and to share with all of you. But unfortunately that will take me quite some time and effort to do justice to such travelogues. To give an insight the trips looked like this finally plotted on to a map!

2018 drive
S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-03.jpg

Starting with a 10K round trip in August drawing a hole in central India, 5K drive in September covering coastal Maharashtra for the second time, this time with my girls, 11K trip in October covering east coast and drawing a much bigger hole in India, a 6K trip through east cost and central India with my girls, a few 1K trips just for the sake of a drive with my Sr. PPG it was one hell of an exploratory trip on our motherland, something which I always wanted to do in this small life.

1. (W)hole in Central India
S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-googlemap20180829_185655.jpg


2. Grand MSH4, Maharashtra coastal drive
S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-googlemap20180907_202819.jpg

3. EC2UK, East coast to Uttarakhand

S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-trip.jpg
This trip saw me doing Varanasi Haridwar nonstop, Palanpur Bangalore (1700Kms) under a day, Gangotri to Ganga Sagar, Spending a Night at Malari and Niti valley, all beaches of West Bengal, Sundarbans and much much more. This is crazy crazy stuff!

4. Diwali drive to central India

S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-01.jpg
We went in search of Mowgli, visiting a few caves in thick jungles of Chattisgarh and topping it up savoring fresh fish from Kona Seema competing to be Kerala of east coast.

All this is going to make me spend a lifetime writing the logs, but then I wanted to share with you a place that was interesting for me. Chhattisgarh amazed me, and for now I will tell you about a place in Chattisgarh. I will make some efforts to pen my experiences from all of the above drives someday.




Bhoramdeo, Khajuraho of Chattisgarh
Quote:
Bhoramdeo temple, built of stone, and dated to the 11th century, which is older than the Khajuraho Group of temples is considered an "outstanding structure". It has profusion of carved images on its exterior walls. Its architectural style is known as the Gurur type, unlike the north Indian Nagara style of architecture. Its structural uniqueness lies in the receding rows or tiers placed successively upwards in the top part of the temple tower
This is also where I saw Tala Icon for the first time.

Tala – The Riddle of an Icon
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More on this as the log progresses.


PS :

1. Viewer discretion solicited, some sculptures are explicit

2. All videos are with faster playing speeds to reduce viewing duration.

Last edited by laluks : 19th January 2019 at 19:03.
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Old 15th January 2019, 12:26   #2
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Bhoramdeo, Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

We visited Bhoramdeo, while we were on our Diwali Drive. Chhattisgarh was tense with elections around the corner, with us being stopped every 20 Kms on the highways and byroads for checking. The personnel did their job and we encouraged them with some pleasant talks, they were intrigued at a family far away from home exploring Chhattisgarh, amidst all the impressions it carries. We loved the days we were there, its a beautiful place. I have made a personal note to return to explore more, and this time the northern parts.

We were at Kanha, at Club Mahindra Resort the night before Diwali. Diwali day we thought to check out from the mad crowds of Kanha and drive to some remote areas to be devoid of the crowds and to get some fresh feel of the central India countryside. Plan was open.

BhoramDeo Temple was some 125Kms from Kanha, so that was an easy plan. Made up my mind to drive early to BhoramDeo temple and on finishing take a look at Kawardha, heard there was palace which is now a hotel, and may be stay back or push to Bhopal or RajNandagaon, where me and my Sr. PPG loved the hotel during our (W)Hole in central India drive. It looked like a plan.

Plan was to leave as early as possible the next day, so made the payments for Club Mahindra Stay in the night and told the front office desk I will leave early. Next day was Wednesday, and that would help us out of Kanha without having to encounter the early morning safari Jeep madness near the resorts, since Wednesday Safaris are not allowed.

Packed all our luggage and dumped most of them in to the car and hit the bed keeping an alarm for 04:00 in the morning.

Woke up as the alarm rang and in an hour we were ready to roll. Security was surprised to see a guest leaving on Diwali, and equally perturbed by the fact that it was a Wednesday and there was no Safari. I consoled him saying we are leaving and we had great distances to cover, he sees KA registration and wishes us safe journey and Diwali wishes.

I had two choices for the drive, either go via Anjaniya and hit the main highway or go via Mukki. Since the last day saw me driving to Amarkhantak via Anjaniya route, I preferred Mukki route. By the way Mukki is another gate for Safari at Kanha National Park. Mukki, Sarhi and Khatia are the gates, Khatia being the most famous.

The route plan
S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh-map01.jpg

Thus on Diwali day of 2018 (07.11.2018) we set out on our drive to Chhattisgarh, and the first destination some 140Kms from Kanha. First set of election for 2018 was to be held on 12.11.2018, so I was keeping an eye out on the news and roads and engaged in multiple level of discussions whenever we stopped for tea or food with the locals for any disturbances near our areas of interest.
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Old 15th January 2019, 13:25   #3
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

It was a battle scarred Kungfu Panda from a previous drive with a stitched bumper which was doing duty in this trip.

We were ready to roll, it was 16 degrees and was pleasant

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After some 30 odd KMs and inside the buffer zone Kungfu Panda completes his 40K milestone, temperatures dropped further in the buffer zone to 14 degrees
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Kanha Buffer zone to Mukki Check Post



We reached Mukki Gate
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Mukki Gate
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The road had a check post, since this road goes through the forest zone
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Since it was quite early in the morning and being a Wednesday no body was near the gates. I went in search of a guy who could open the check post for us.

I found this
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There were nobody in the safari booking place
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Finally I managed to find a person who was sweeping the place clean, on asking him he doubled up as the person who will open the check post for us after noting down our details.

I got a chit like this. This had to be handed over on exit. He asked me where I am off to, and I said Jagdalpur to see the waterfalls!!
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Mukki Check Post



After crossing over, I parked to get some clicks of the place
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You can attend an elephant bathing show
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Kanha National park Zones
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Road ahead looked very inviting, but I was told to strictly drive under 20Km/hour. That was the reason for the time entry in the chit which will be checked at exit to see if you sped in this sector.
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Exiting Mukki Buffer


Exit Check Post
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And we moved on towards Chattisgarh

Last edited by laluks : 15th January 2019 at 14:48.
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Old 15th January 2019, 15:57   #4
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Entering Chattisgarh


Chattisgarh welcomes you
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From here till BhoramDeo checkpost its not much of a distance


From the main highway you will see a board for Bhoramdeo, you need to take right here
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Immediately you will see the gate
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You will have to give your details before they allow you to go through this checkpost
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This is a protected Wild Life Sanctuary
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Quote:
In Indian mythology, when Ganesh, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, was asked to circle the world, he walked around his parents declaring them to be his entire universe. In the case of our present day naturalists, I suspect that if they were asked to circumnavigate the ingredients of wildlife conservation in India, they would run a circle around large mammals like the tiger, elephant and rhino. But this circle would only cover the Protected Area network, dominated by tiger reserves, and not the innumerable, little-known wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves, reserve forests and wetlands that support so much biodiversity.While many of these spaces are being degraded or encroached upon, there are some that are managing to quietly flourish. The thriving, biodiverse ecosystem of Chhattisgarh’s 350 sq. km. Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary (BWLS) is one such example. Located in Kawardha Forest Division, the sanctuary is a dry deciduous forest nestled in the foothills of the Maikal range. It gets its name from the Bhoramdeo temple that dates back to the Kalachuri period (10th-12th centuries). Dominated by sal trees Shorea robusta, the forest is interspersed with grasslands. The hills run from north to south, with the Sakri river cutting through the sanctuary. Adjoining the buffer of the Kanha Tiger Reserve along the border of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Chhattisgarh, this is a vital habitat for the tiger Panthera tigris,
We reached a watch tower


Watch Tower

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People here calls it a ghost tree since the bark reflects moonlight and creates a scare!
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View of Bhoramdeo wild life sanctuary from the tower
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Road ahead
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The path we took so far
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From the top some random clicks
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Last edited by laluks : 15th January 2019 at 16:16.
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Old 15th January 2019, 19:32   #5
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

We continued onwards after a short stop at the watch tower. We reached another checkpost, which looked like we were to exit the WLS

Exiting Bhoramdeo WLS


Check Post
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Immediately after the check post, I found this sign board
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This is Nagmori Tourist Resort, just a 100m from the checkpost
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We drove on till the entrance of Bhoramdeo Temple complex


My girls at the entrance
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Kungfu Panda too
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You can find all these places inside the gate
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This was a kind of walkway built on Bhoramdeo lake bund
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Bhoramdeo lake
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That hanging bridge was called Lakshman Jhula
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At the other end of the bridge there were many statues.
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Old 15th January 2019, 20:32   #6
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

We reached BhoramDeo temple by 08:45.

Some information about the temple.
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Quote:
Bhoramdeo Temple is a complex of Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva in Bhoramdeo, in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It comprises a group of four temples of which the earliest is a brick-temple.
The main temple is the Bhoramdeo temple built in stone. The architectural features with erotic sculptures has given a distinct style akin to the Khajuraho temple and the Konarak Sun Temple in Odisha, and hence the Bhoramdeo complex is known by the sobriquet the "Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh".

The Bhoramdeao temple complex is built at the foot of the thickly forested scenic backdrop of the Maikal range of hills, in the Daksina Kosala region.

The temple complex, rich in history and archeological details, is dated to the Kalachuri period (10th-12th centuries, one ruling over areas in Central India in west Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and were called Chedi or Haihaya (Heyheya) (northern branch)) with close identity with the sculptures found in nearby archeological sites such as Janjgir, Kalachuri, Narayanpur and Ratanpur sites. The brick temples were built during the rule of Pandus and are similar to those built in Kharod, Palari, Rajim and Sirpur in the state.

The temple complex, highlighted as a "scintillating poetry in stone", is credited to Nagwanshi Kings who practiced tantrism and who ruled in the then Southern Koshal region, which is now the state of Chhattisgarh. Its construction is dated between the 7th and 12th centuries. As the Gond Tribals of the area worshiped Lord Shiva whom they called Bhoramdeo, the temple was also named Bhoramdeo with the Shiva Linga deified in it.

Bhoramdeo temple, built of stone, and dated to the 11th century, which is older than the Khajuraho Group of temples is considered an "outstanding structure". It has profusion of carved images on its exterior walls. Its architectural style is known as the Gurur type, unlike the north Indian Nagara style of architecture. Its structural uniqueness lies in the receding rows or tiers placed successively upwards in the top part of the temple tower.

The first stage of the temple is a large platform or plinth that is built to height of 5 feet (1.5 m). The platform itself, on its exterior faces, has many sculptures of Hindu deities carved on it.

The temple built over this platform which measures 60 feet (18 m) x 40 feet (12 m) has the conventional Hindu temple composition of a mandapa (hall), followed by an antral or passage leading to the Garbhagriha or sanctum sanctorum, the main enclosure in the temple where the chief deity, Shiva in form of a Shiva Linga, is deified. The mandapa is square on plan and is supported on four main central pillars, apart from the peripheral pillars. The sanctum sanctorum measures 9 feet (2.7 m)x9 feet (2.7 m). All the three enclosures are linked by passageways.

The temple is built facing the eastern direction, where there is an entry door; in addition, there are two more doors which open to the south and north but there is no door in the westerly direction. The three doors have open "half shelters".

Right at the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, there are very finely sculpted images of the ten avatars of the god Vishnu, apart from images of Shiva and Ganesha. The towering roof of this garbhagriha is topped by Kalasha, which is circular in shape. The garbhagriha has striking right angled offsets in the north east and southern part which add to the elegance of the temple. There are many small towers which surround the main tower.[5]
The front entrance door of the temple has sculpted images of Ganga and Yamuna on its doorpost.

Also sculpted on the exterior and interior walls of the temple are the bass reliefs in the entablature part, of elephants, mythical figures and sensuous sculptures; the sensuous figures on the exterior walls represent the Kama Sutra, the erotic postures which reflects the then prevailing social, cultural, architectural and religious ethos in the region. These sculptures are crafted in three tiers on the exterior face of the temple up to the pinnacle,[6] and are housed in niches. The sculpted images arranged in rows on the outer faces of the main tower vary in size from 1 foot to 1.5 ft to 2 ft in descending order from the top of the tower to its lower end. The main tower expands lower down into four other subsidiary structures to provide stability to the main tower.

The lowest tier of the exterior walls is embellished with sculptures of lions and elephants. The material used for the sculptures are of black and ochre stones (black stone is used to carve pantheon gods while Ochre stone is used for other sculptures). Also sculptured on the exterior face of the temple are divine images of Vishnu and his incarnations. In addition, the entrance doors are flanked by images of mythological figures, which are of 1 or 2 ft in height. On the southern face of the shikara or tower there is well crafted image of Ganesha with six arms and well turned out trunk. Some of the other images of interest are: A stone slab of Vishnu and Lakshmî mounted on Garuda with a king offering prayers, a gana adorning the top part of the pillars; inside the sanctum sanctorum, next to the main deity of Shiva Linga, is serpent with raised hood, and also images of Ganesha and Shiva, and that of a king and queen.

Typical architectural feature which represents the Khajuraho style of architecture is the tower of the temple which is a synthesis of a view of the receding Maikal Hill range. The sharp curved forms, typical of temples of Orissa. are also a built-in feature of this temple.
Ancient Bhoramdeo temple

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PPGs at the temple

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Entrance to the sanctum

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Old 15th January 2019, 20:38   #7
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

I tried to catalog undamaged sculptures so that later we could infer the meanings from it, or to start a discussion with evidence on why it was so or it existed and the likes. I could not research much, due to lack of time at my end. I am posting all of them here, so that it will exist online and anyone who could be having more knowledge on the subject can take it up and we could all learn.

Viewer discretion solicited, since some sculptures looks explicit!! Indeed it seems we were quite open as a civilization 10 centuries ago!!

Pictures of sculptures from the temple

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Old 15th January 2019, 20:41   #8
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

More Pictures of sculptures from the temple
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Old 15th January 2019, 20:42   #9
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Some more Pictures of sculptures from the temple
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Old 15th January 2019, 20:44   #10
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Some more Pictures of sculptures from the temple
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Old 15th January 2019, 20:55   #11
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Some more Pictures of sculptures from the temple
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There seems to be boating options on the lake, we never tried

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While exiting the temple this sculpture or idol got my attention. This idol looked very unusual and intriguing.

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This is the enigmatic Tala Icon. There is no consensus among the scholars as to whom this icon represents. It was impressive reading about this icon.

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Quote:
This enigmatic image was discovered in 1988 during an excavation work taken up by The Department of Archaeology and Museums, Madhya Pradesh by G L Raikwar, Rahul Kumar Singh, A P Singh and C L Gupta under the supervision of K K Chakravarty and V K Bajpai. The image was found near the entrance of the Devrani Temple in the south-east direction. It was found buried on its ventral side. Considering the dimensions of the statue, 2.7 m high and weighing about 5 tons, it may be said that the statue could not have been removed far from its original location and probably was standing at the same location where it was found buried near the entrance of the temple.


This stone image represents a male in sampada posture. This two-armed image is carved in urdhvamedhra (erect penis) mudra. Various animals are shown all over his body, amalgamated to form different limbs. Snake coils form a turban over his head with two snake hoods at the side of his head. A lizard forms his nose while its hind legs form the brows. Eyes are formed probably of a frog who can open his eyes wide. The moustaches are formed of two fishes while a crab forms the lower lip and chin. Two peacocks with their fanning tails form the ears while crocodiles form the shoulders out of which his arms emerge. Snakes are also used in adorning the fingernails and thumbs.


There are total of seven human heads on his body excluding the main head of the image. Three heads are with moustaches while four are clean shaven. The face on the stomach is the largest, even than the main face of the statue. A tortoise neck makes his erect penis while two bells form his testicles. Two lion faces are depicted as his knee-caps. The feet are supposed to be of an elephant. One hand is broken however it appears that it was resting over a club as a part of this handle is still left there. His another hand is akimbo.


The image is very interesting from iconographic point of view as it have many peculiar features which are otherwise unknown in iconographic texts and art forms. This opens up a scope for various interpretations for the identification of this image

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Old 19th January 2019, 11:58   #12
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

After visiting Bhoramdeo temple we moved on to see the mahals. There are two of them nearby, Cheraki mahal and Mandwa Mahal.
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I drove past Cheraki till Mandwa Mahal


We reached Mandwa Mahal
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Mandwa Mahal was built in 1349 AD to commemorate the marriage of the Nagavanshi ruler, Ramachandra with the Haihaya princess, Ambika Devi.
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Apart from the stunning Bhoramdeo Temple this region boasts of two more Shiva temples, the Mandwa Mahal and the Chheraki Mahal. Though not as magnificent as the Bhoramdeo Temple, they are nevertheless worth a visit. Half a kilometre from the Bhoramdeo Temple towards Kawardha, is Mandwa Mahal. Set in a fenced courtyard, with trees and green lawns, it makes for a pleasant sight.

Entering through the small gate of the compound, a paved path leads to the temple. Built entirely of stone, Mandwa Mahal is known for its many erotic sculptures carved on its outer walls. Epigraphic evidence dates the Mandwa Mahal to 1349 AD. An inscription found in this temple makes reference to a Shiva temple constructed by the Nagavanshi ruler, Ramchandra. Historians claim this to be a reference to the Mandwa Mahal itself.
The original name of the temple is not known, and it has long since been referred to as Mandwa, Marwa, or the temple of Dulha Deo, which are popular appellations given by the local Gond villagers.
From a distance it looked interesting
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Nearing the mahal I was disappointed
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The gopura seems to be redone without any sensible thoughts!!
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Just cement blocks!! who would have authorized this!!
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At least there are some sculptures still on the walls. Hope it stays for the next generations.
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Nandi looking towards the sanctum
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Old 19th January 2019, 12:44   #13
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Pictures of the remaining sculptures from Mandwa Mahal. (viewer discretion solicited, erotic nature of sculptures)

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Old 19th January 2019, 12:53   #14
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

More pictures of the sculptures from Mandwa Mahal
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It would have been best it this type of restorations were not attempted
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Last edited by laluks : 19th January 2019 at 12:54.
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Old 19th January 2019, 15:27   #15
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Default re: S-Cross'd : Bhoramdeo Temple, the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh

Some more pictures of the sculptures from Mandwa Mahal
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You can see Nandi facing towards the sanctum
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Mandwa Mahal's upkeep left me sad, lots of history in here, but sadly we are losing it, what ever is remaining on date hopefully is preserved for many more years to come, but wonder if the method adapted as seen will stand the test of time.


We then moved on toward Cherakhi Mahal
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