Project 2010-11

  • Project 2010-11

Project 2010-11


Architectural Survey Of Kachchhapaghata Temples At Thoban, District Ashoknagar & Surwaya, Terahi, Mahua and Rannod, District Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh

In the year 2010-11 Ashoknagar and Shivpuri districts were intensively surveyed and many temples were studied.

This work was the second segment of the study of architectural survey on Kachchhapaghata temples of districts Ashoknagar and Shivpuri of Madhya Pradesh. The Kachchhapaghata rulers extended their role in Thoban, Terahi, Mahua, Rannod and Surwaya and constructed temples in their own style. However, some impact of Pratihara temple style is also seen in their temples.

The work was carried out in order to know the specific regional style, compare it with to its main central Indian temple art & architecture and its development. The temples of Kachchhapaghata dynasty are less known and not studied much by scholars hence temples have been studied in detail and brought to light new ones. The temples under study speak about the socio-cultural, and economic status of contemporary society particularly of this region. All temples have been systematically studied through documenting them by photographs and Auto-CAD drawing with plan and elevation, and describing them with their architectural and sculptural details. Along with temples, mathas, tanks, and baolis and other secular structures have also been brought to light during the survey.

In the course of exploration total 46 temples of Kachchhapaghata period have been documented. The table below gives statistical data on these temples:

Kuti Area, Village - Thoban, District - Ashoknagar

7 temples, six cells

Kuti Extension, Village - Thoban, District - Ashoknagar

4 No’s of Temples

Village Thoban Area, District - Ashoknagar

5 No’s of Temples

Gargaj Area, Village - Thoban, District - Ashoknagar

11 No’s of Temples

Sitamarhi Complex, Village - Thoban, District - Asoknagar

14 No’s of Temples

Garhi Surwaya, District - Shivpuri

3 No’s of Temples

Jaina and Hindu Temples, Ballarpur, District - Shivpuri





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 have been come from 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). Gwalior inscription of Sasa-Bahu temple is the main source to know about the genealogy of Kachchhapaghata rulers. Based on the epigraphical evidences including folklore and traditions Kachchhapaghata rulers consolidated their power by 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 early medieval history of India.

Moreover, there are other epigraphic records which show that in 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.

INTRODUCTION : Kachchhapaghata though politically small but not culturally negligible power and built marvelous temples like that of Chandella rulers . The Siva temple (locally known as Kakanmath temple) at Suhania, only the skeleton structure of which standing at present demonstrating the glorious charm of it, once is raised almost the same height of the Kandariya Mahadeva temple, i.e. 30mts. The Sas-Bahu group of temples at Gwalior are renowned for their intrigued ornamentation and graceful sculpture wealth. The group of temples at Ashok Nagar and Shivpuri districts clearly portrayed the intension of the author to create this group parallel to that of Khajuraho.

  • The templa is consisting of a santum, an antrala in side an a pillard porch.
  • The mandapa(porch) is composed of two pillars and two pilasters at the rear.
  • Pillars in most of the cases are adorned with pot an foliage motif sometime at base or at both the ends.
  • Temples stand upon a low platform( jagati). How ever, the platform comparatively becomes higher in the state of maturity.
  • Normally the sculptures shown on jangha in double rows (registers).
  • The pillars of the mandapa are comparatively short.
  • In most cases Saptamatrikas and Navagrahas are shown on door lintel in recesses.
  • Doorsill is adorned with a central scrolled Mandaraka flanked by Udadhikumaras and fighting scene between elephant and lion depicted on the cardinal ends.
  • Sculptures are comparatively shorter.
  • In most case the sikhara is missing.
  • In addition to the general reprentation of god-goddess, the Kachchhapaghat temples presereve beautifull figures of dikpalas in their respective direction which is very significant from the stduy point of view.
List of Temples Ashoknagar and Shivpuri Districts
Sr. Group / Temple District Selected Temples
1 Temples of Kuti Area, Village - Thoban Ashoknagar Temples complex (Saiva-Vaishnava)
2 Temples of Kuti Extension, Thoban Ashoknagar Temple No.7/A (Vishnu Temple) | Temple No. 7/B (Vishnu Temple) | Temple No. 7/C
3 Temples of Gargaj Area, Thoban Ashoknagar Temple No. 04 (THB-5B) | Temple No. 06 ( THB-5D)
4 Temples of Village Thoban Ashoknagar Holi Ki Mariha | Bajra Ki Mariha | Jain Ki Mariha
5 Temples of Sitamarhi Group, Thoban Ashoknagar Temples of Sitamarhi Group
6 Temples of Garhi, Surwaya Shivpuri Temple No.1 -Siva
7 Temples At Terahi Shivpuri Temples At Terahi | Mohajamata Temple
8 Temple At Subhashpura Shivpuri Temple At Subhashpura
Other Structures

Apart from temples there are a few monasteries and water tanks, baolies and other secular structures constructed during Kachchhapaghata period.

  • Monastery at Surwaya.Gallery

    This is roughly square building dedicated to Hindu pantheon located in the premises of temple complex of Garhi, Surwaya. The double storied building having rectangular rooms with pillars in front. There is a beautiful miniature sarvatobhadra temple over its roof.

  • Monastery at Terahi.Gallery

    There is a ruined Hindu monastery which once stood over here. Originalluy it was double storied. This structure is consisted of a central courtyard surrounded by various cells preceded by pillared corridor.

  • Monastery at Rannod (Khokhai Math).

    It is very famous monastery at Rannod also have a central courtyard surrounded by various cells with pillared corridor all around.

  • Tank Rannod.Gallery

    This is a unique stepped water tank constructed very close to the monastery; this may be compared to that of Hampi. There is a water channel which brings the rain water inside the tank. This must have been used by the Saiva monks for their day to day needs. Besides, it must have been used for agriculture purpose too as the tank is surrounded by the agricultural land.

  • Tank at Sitamarhi.

    This is square water tank located on the southern side of main Siva temple of Sitamarhi.

  • Tank at Surwaya.

    This tank locally called as baoli is constructed in front of the temple No. 03 of Garhi, Surwaya in which the Stairs have been provided to go downwards.

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