Project 2009-10

  • Project 2009-10

Project 2009-10


Exploration Of Kadwaha, District Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh


Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest states of the Indian Union and it is situated within the geographical framework of 180 to 260 30' N. latitudes and 74° to 84° 30' E longitudes. It is bounded by the Aravallis in the west, the Vindhyas and Satpuras in the south and Ganga-Yamuna Doab in the north. This state has a large number of mountains and rivers. Some parts of this region are covered with thick forests. Generally the climate is pleasant. Rich flora and fauna is found in this region. The agriculture and mineral products are available in abundance. Hence, physically culturally and politically Madhya Pradesh is regarded as the heart of India.

It is also the passage way from North India to the Deccan. A large number of mountain, rivers and forests in Madhya Pradesh favoured early man to find habitations at foothills and open plateaus as well as for raw materials in order to manufacture stone tools and implements. Stone tools of early man and fossils of animals have been discovered at different sites in Madhya Pradesh where stone is abundantly available for construction of temples. From Sanchi pillar edict of Asoka and the Panuraria inscription of the second century B.C. and several votive inscriptions found at Sanchi and Bharhut indicates that Buddhism gained a footing among the common masses of Madhya Pradesh. These inscriptions help in tracing the evolution of the art and religion. The Besnagar pillar inscription shows that even the foreigner Heliodorus, became a follower of Vaishnavism, and erected a Garuda staff of Vasudeva.

On a whole we find a continuous cultural development from prehistoric period to the modern era in Madhya Pradesh. Traces of earliest temple activities of India can be found from Sanchi, Vidhisha and Udaigiri. With the humble beginning of temple architecture in central India the Nagara style of temple architecture has been reached to its apex with full maturity and refinance what may be seen in the temples of Khajuraho, Gwalior, Lalitpur, Fatehpur, etc. From Gupta period onwards especially, during Pratihara, Chadella and Parmara periods, regional temple styles were developed in different parts of Madhya Pradesh. In addition to that were some other regional styles were also developed which were patronized by subordinate rulers of the principal monarch of this region. Kachchhapaghata rulers were among those who started temple architecture in a great manner.

The district Ashoknagar (240 34' N and 770 46' E) contains a large number of Kachchhapaghata temples. Ashoknagar is the district headquarters its old name is Pachhar which has fallen into disuse. During the reign of Akbar it was the headquarters of Mahal in the Chanderi Sarkar.


The earliest epigraphic records, unlike those of some other tribes of this period, contain no story of the family's mythical origin, but abruptly introduce the founders of the various branches as Kachchhapaghata-Vamsa Tilaka or Kachchhapaghatanvaya-Sara-Kamala-Martanda.

According to verbal tradition the Kachchhapaghata dynasty is said to be the descendants of Kusha, the son of lord Rama, who belongs to the solar clan of Kshatriyas. It is also presumed that the name Kachchhapaghata came into existence as they used to attack their enemies in the manner of kachchhapa (tortoise). The Gwalior inscription of Sas-Bahu temple is the main source to know about the genealogy of Kachchhapaghata rulers. Based on the epigraphical evidence including folklore and traditions, Kachchhapaghata rulers consolidated their power by the 9th cent. A D. They were sub ordinate to Pratiharas and Chandellas. In 950 AD., the victory over Pratiharas by Vajradamana was a great event of the early medieval history of India.

Moreover, there are other epigraphic records which show that in the 10th and 11th centuries at least three families of Kachchhapaghata ruled in and around eastern Rajputana and the region now known as Gwalior.

They may be conveniently designated as below:

  • The Kachchhapaghata of Gwalior.
  • The Kachchhapaghata of Dubkund.
  • The Kachchhapaghata of Narwar.
Temples of Kadwaha

Kadwaha ( Lat.240 55 N. and Long 770 55 E ) is located about 16 kilometers away on northern direction from Isagarh Tahsil and about 40 kilometers from Chanderi on northwestern side in district Ashoknagar of Madhya Pradesh. Kadwaha is a small village with the population of about five thousand is very well connected with Ashoknagar, Guna, Shivpuri, etc., by motorable road. The nearest railway station and airport are Ashoknagar and Gwalior respectively. The name Kadwaha was anciently known as Kadamb Guha. Kadwaha is much popular for large numbers of temples and sculptures of Kachchhapaghata dynasty of 10th - 12th century A.D.

Though they patronized Saivism and Vaisnavism but they were tolerance towards Jainism and Buddhism too. It is also said that the Kachchhapaghata rulers donated the Kadwaha region to Mattamayura cult of Saivism and the head priest was Mahanta to supervise the day today affairs.

The region of Kadwaha is very well acknowledged because of the existence of various group of temples belong to Kachchhapaghata dynasty. Altogether, 15 temples are positioned in Kadwaha village named as various groups such as Bag group, Khirna group, Talao group, Pachli Marghat, Group -7.Presently, the temples are located within the cultivated land (Fig.3).

The temples at Kadwaha are centrally protected and being looked after by the Bhopal Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Sr. Group / Temple Selected Temples
1 Chandla Temple Temple-Siva
2 Talao Group of Temple Temple 'A'- Siva | Temple 'B'-Siva
3 Garhi Temple Temple-Siva
4 Marghatiya Temple Temple-Siva
List of Kadwaha Temples
Sr. Group / Temple Selected Temples
1 Chandla Temple Temple-Siva
2 Talao Group of Temple Temple 'A'- Siva | Temple 'B'-Siva
3 Garhi Temple Temple-Siva
4 Marghatiya Temple Temple-Siva
Other Structures

Although, the village Kadwaha is famous for its group of temples, at the same time a fiew structures like monastery, ruined mosque, wells, tanks and baoli can not be ignored. Garhi area is located in the middle of the village Kadwaha and contains a monastery, a ruined mosque, remnants of a baoli and a beautiful Siva temple. All these structures are surrounded by a raised stone wall.

  • Monastery

    The monastery, locally known as Garhi probably constructed by the Mahanta of Mattamayura cult, prevailed in 10th -12th century AD in Kadwaha. The monastery is positioned at southern side of the Siva temple . The building is double storied and having a central courtyard supported by pillared corridors on all sides with some meditation cells. On plan, it is rectangular and made of dressed sand stone. Its exterior walls are plain with double row of windows. A small entrance has been provided on the northern side of the structure. Even till date one can able to feel the deep silence inside the monastery.

  • Ruined Mosque

    A ruined mosque is located on the western side of the Siva temple. On the basis of a Nagari inscription found in the Siva temple it may be suggested that the mosque was constructed during the reign of Alauddin Khilji. The Garhi area is a unique example for the religious harmony of kadwaha.

  • Ruined Baoli

    Remnants of a baoli have been noticed on the south-eastern side of the Siva temple. The baoli is locally known as Ghoda-pachd baoli. There is an entrance on the southern side with steps to get into baoli.

2. Wells

Mention may be made that the whole Kadwaha village contains more than 25 wells finished with dressed or undressed sand stone blocks. Some of them are found associated with the temples of Kadwaha i.e. Temples of Group-7, Ekla Pachhali Margaht 'A'. These wells are still in usable condition.

Besides, there are number of potshreds, prehistoric stone tools, semiprecious stone fragments are scattered on the cultivated land. This indicates that the Kadwaha of ancient Kadamb guha is not only occupied by human being from 10th -12th century but it may be possible that there could have been some more ancient cultural activities of early period. The area has much more scope and possibilities to reveal the continuity of cultural activities through future excavations.

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