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Temple Survey Project (N.R.), Bhopal
Significant Projects

The humble beginning of the Temple Survey Project (NR), Bhopal was initiated by the legendary scholar of temple architecture, Shri Krishna Deva who made an intensive survey of temples in central India and studied the Khajuraho group of temples. During his tenure he studied central Indian temples at Bhojpur, Bhilsa, Gyaraspur, Badoh, Pathari, Udaipur, Surwaya, Kadwaha, Amrol and Gwalior districts, datable to the 9th-10th century AD. In 1969, he brought out a small book on "Temples of North India" published by the National Book Trust, highlighting the salient features of North Indian temples along with detailed illustrations of studied monuments. This small book is consisting of ten chapters dealing with Gupta & Late-Gupta temples(c.400-700AD), early and late Chalukyan temples(c.500-750AD), Pratihara temples etc. Besides these, temples of Khajuraho were classified for the first time and studied in a systematic manner. Consequently, in 1990 two volumes on Khajuraho Temples were published by him. "Temples of India" in two volumes is another outstanding work of Shri Krishn Deva.

From 1963 to 1977 the temple Survey Project was headed by many scholars. Shri M. D. Khare surveyed the group of post Gupta temples at Thoban, Guna in MP. As a result of his efforts several beautiful Vaishnava and Saiva sculptures were brought to light ( IAR, 1969-70,72-73). He also wrote on pre-Gupta temples at Basnagar, Nagari, Bairat, Mathura, Sravasti, Kausambi, Nagarjunkonda and Taxila, dating from c. 4th century BC to 3rd century AD( IAR-1969).

The period between 1977 to 1984 was hectic in terms of studies in temples of Pratihara period . Shri R.D. Trivedi spent seven years in the Temple Survey Project (NR) and did intensive survey of temples in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, covering Shivpuri, Vidisha and Morena districts in MP, Jhansi and Lalitpur in UP, and published about Pratihara temples. He surveyed the temples at Amrol in Gwalior, Naresar & Batesar in Morena and Deogarh in Lalitpur(UP). In addition, he studied many more temples belonging to the Pratihara period. According to him the Pratihara temple art and architecture had been developed in three phases. The first phase is datable to c.725-800AD and the temples of Naresar &Batesar group at Morena or temple at Mahua in Shivpuri district, fall in this period .

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