The project proposed for the year 2011-12 is the last segment of study of Kachchhapaghata temple art & architecture. The temples of Gwalior, Vidisha, Morena, districts of M.P. comes under this project.
Temples of District Vidisha
Temples of District Morena
Temples of District Gwalior
1. Bajra Math, Gyaraspur
Vidisha or Besnagar as it is called in the Pali scriptures, once the prosperous capital of the western dominions of the Sungas, contains some remarkable antiquities that throw light on the considerable architectural development of the period. Situated in the fork of the Betwa and Bes rivers. Vidisha, 10 km from Sanchi, occupies an important place amongst the ancient cities in India. In the 6th and 5th centuries BC, it rose to become an important trade centre and a bustling city under the Sungas, Nagas, Satvahanas and Guptas. The Emperor Ashoka was governor of Vidisha, and it finds mention in Kalidasa's immortal Meghdoot. The District is situated in Eastern part of the fertile Malwa Region. The tropic of Cancer passes through the Southern stretch of the District about 2 km south of the District Head Quarters.
It is bounded in the North by Guna District, in the South by Raisen District, and in the East by Sagar District. The district preserves beautiful temples of Pratihara and Kachchhapaghata period at Gyaraspur include temple, of Bajra Math, Athakhambha, Chaukhambha and Hindola Torana. By following the legacy of Pratihara art and architecture at this place Kachchhapaghata rulers gave the patronage to develop their own architectural style. Gyaraspur, situated 24 miles of Vidisha was of considerable importance in medieval India. Dost Mohammad Khan, Nawab of Bhopal acquire the control of Gyaraspur in the early 18th century.
About : Bajra Math, Gyaraspur :
It is situated little away on the south-side of village Gyaraspur and Athkhambha. It is a triple shrine temple complex. The entire triple shrine is in single row of same structure. The temple is facing east and the central shrine dedicated to Surya as it is evidenced by the seated figure of god Surya driven by seven horse chariot on lalata. Temple stands on small plain raised jagati and a padma pitha above it. The usual vedibandha consists of khura, khumbha, and kalasha surmounted by jangha of two registers, the lower one decorated with figures of Asthadikpalas, various deities and Naikas while the upper one left plain. Up to the jangha portion it is symmetrical on elevation part it is visible in each side whereas from jangha the central part of the shrine has pancharatha latina sikhara and on the either side temples having phamsana roof or pyramidal roof. The temple on the front side had a common rangamandapa of nine bays, once resting on twelve pillars now only six pillars are existing and four newly planted pillars in conservation. The entire mandapa once surmounted by kakshasana or balustrade. The three shines having separate doorways but common mandapa. The central shrine doorway has seven sakhas of which the central one is carved with eight Adityas four on each side. Interestingly three Adityas, are shown standing with lotus in their hands with their attendants Danda and Pingala on architrave and the recesses are shown with standing Sura-Sundaris.
The lalata is having the twelth Aditya seated on chariot driven by seven horses. The remaining sakhas are ratna sakha, entwined Nagas, creeper, lotus creepers with meanders enclosing birds, animals, Yakshas, Kinnaras , Gandharvas and Usha- Prtyusha while the last one carved with larger design of scrolls. The lower jambs are shown with goddesses and solar guardians and Ganga -Yamuna the river goddesses. Below the door sill a chandrasila is carved above that the centre mandaraka image is not shown, and either side seated Kubera and Lakshmi have been depicted.The shrine on the right side flank dedicated to Siva has six sakhas on its doorway of which the central one is figural sakha bears 8 out of 11 figures of Rudras, the remaining three being depicted on the architrave. The Rudras are shown in standing posture with four hands and five headed snake hood, above their heads with sankha and chakra, mostly the head and hands are broken. The remaining three Rudras are in standing posture on the top of the architrave. They are without snake hood. They are with four hands right side lower hand is in abhaya mudra and upper one is holding gada and left lower hand is holding sankha while upper one is with chakra along with Danda and Pingala as well as side by side two female attendants or Shri Devi, and Bhu Devi, in two hands with lotus in their hands. The recesses are showed small floral motifs. The other sakhas are ratna sakha, and patra sakha with their loop male and female, birds, and other animals are showed. The lalata harboring Garuda holding Vishnu along with seven headed snake hood is shown but it is broken. The doorsill is empty on right side temple.
The shrine on the proper left flank dedicated to Sankarshana -Balarama, is also similar to the right side shrine, having six sakhas of doorway. Here we find eleven Sankarshana - Balarama in standing posture. The Sankarshana-Balarama each in four hands standing with their attendants. The right side weapons are trisul and Abaya, left upper holding naga lower is broken but most probably it was dolahasta. On lalata the image is not known due to its broken condition.
On architrave three standing Sankashana-Balarama shown in abhaya and trisul, and left side almost broken, the female most probably Shri Devi and Bhu Devi holding lotus in their hands. The centre image of architrave is missing. The pilaster on the left side shrine is missing only three pilasters well decorated are visible in the front side of the shrines. The upper parts of the capital decorated with the load bearers are also shown. The doorsill is empty, with a small chandrasila. The river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna with their attendants and Vishnu guardians. The central shrine inside contains seated Mahavira image in a gigantic position with prabhavali and his attendants seated in padmasana in dhyana mudra. Seated over a cushion below two elephants and lions are depicted. The right side garbhagriha contains standing Jaina Tirthankara image along with his attendants. Two standing Parswantha images are also depicted and above their heads seven headed hood is shown while at the left side a single standing Mahavira and below him a sleeping Devi is showed on the cart.
In the left side shrine a seated Buddha image is kept in dhyana mudra on padmasana. Above his head three chatris or umbrella and maladharas or garland bearers are shown. The chakra is showed in moving posture along with loins also showed. The each doorway frames are made into two stone slabs. The study revealed that seven sakhas are made by vertically single stone and above that another horizontal stone with their decoration fitted with. Thus each doorway is completed by using two stone frames. The rangamandapa pillars are well.
2. Siva Temple (Athkhambha), Gyaraspur
The temple remains situated about 24 miles from district Vidisha is an ancient site with large number of remains of temples dating from the 11th to 12th century. The well ornate reddish color sandstone 10th century Kachchhapaghata Siva temple remains locally called Athkhambha. The existing remains of ornate four central pillars of a mandapa and two pillars of an antarala or kapili and a sanctum entrance doorway with profusely carved sakhas looks like a pair of pilasters.
3. Vishnu Temple (Chaukhambha and Hindola-Torana)
The temple is almost ruined only its periphery is available and its scattered architectural and sculptural fragments can be seen all around the sites. Only the temple basement is visible here and there and the centre mandapa supported by four bhadraka pillars. Apart from this a well preserved makara torana called the Hindola torana is the best example for the Kachchhapaghata art.
Torana or entrance way: it stands on a padma pitha and a pair of majestic bhadraka pillars with its own pitha and molded base all are adorned with minor niche sculptures.
Shaft of the torana pillars: on all four sides the niches are provided with images of Vaishnava pantheons and other multiple registers carries figures and decorative ornaments, including ghatapallava placed on a pot-rest of entwined Nagas base, kirtimukhas and half-diamond enclosed by palmettos with capital with cruciform taranga brackets, above which a circular pillar decorated with chequers designs and an amalaka and again a cruciform bracket with bhuta and the space between the two pillars is filled by a makara-torana of two complete loops, springing from the lower brackets. Loops are carved with figures of garland holding vidhyadharas, touching the base of the upper beam. The upper beam embellished with resisters of scrolls and a frieze of deities in niche and devotees in the recess. The crowning member of the torana lost however a small niche at the center having image of Narsimha is seen. The bhadraka pillars of the torana contains ten incarnations of lord Vishnu which are depicted as follows. Matsya, Kurma, Vaman, Narsimha, Rama, Balarama, Parasurama, Bhuvaraha, Buddha, and Kalki.
1. Padhaoli, Siva Temple
Situated in Padhaoli district Morena not for from Batesara has inside an 18th century Garhi remains of a highly ornate 10th century Siva temple.Originally consisted of sanctum sanctorum and rangamandapa which is totally obliterated except the ornately decorated rangamandapa and the porch of this temple have survived with ornate pillars carrying architraves and ceilings, well decorated with figural friezes and decorative ornaments. The temple faces east, built over a considerably raised adhisthana. The temple might have been dedicated to lord Siva as evident from the huge Nandi noticed from the ruins. The front mukhamandapa supported by two full sized bhadraka pillars with the entrance marked by chandrasila. Once we entered the mahamandapa or rangamandapa which is fully intact and supported by misraka pillars and the utkshipta-vitana.
The rangamandapa with six pillars and the façade with kakshasana balustrade with elephant heads projecting from the bases of the 16 numbers of dwarf pillars overlying the asanapatta. Thus total 24 pillars noticed in the mandapa. The pillars and dwarf pillars are decocted with bands of kirtimukhas, ghatapallava and floral designs capped by a square ribbed capital and kumara bracket.
The entire mandapa ceilings and architraves of the interior are exquisitely carved and decorated with rows of figures two to four depicting scenes of various events of the Ramayanas, Mahabharata, and Puranas. The Brahmanical deities viz., Surya-Narayan, Vishnu, Siva, Kalyana-Sundara murti, Vinayaka,etc,.are also depicted. The other scenes like Gur-Sisya, Sura-Sundaris, Vidhyadharas, Gandharvas, amorous couples, musicians, are noteworthy to be mentioned. The warriors, are some of them showed in foreign face and dress, and the entire ceilings are decorated with coffered and cusped designs of high quality and richness undoubtedly one of the best example for the medieval style of Kachchhapaghata art.
2. Siva Temple, Chaubaya
The temple is located about two kilometers from Padhaoli on the southeastern direction. The temple is composed of a garbhagraha, an antarala inside and a pillared porch in front. Modern super structures over the sanctum have been noticed in the temple. There is a Siva-linga inside the sanctum and three sculptures one on each wall of the sanctum. The walls of the temple are composed on wooden and plank fashion. The vedibandha has usual khura, kumbha and kalasha mouldings. The jagati and kapili are displayed with Brahminical deities. The mouldings of the mancihka are ornamented with ratna design. Mandapa is provided with asanapattakas.
3. Sun Temple, Aniti
The temple faces east stands upon a jagati of dressed sand stone. On plan it is a pancharatha type and composed of a garbhagraha, antarala, and a mahamandapa. Contrary to other Kachchhapaghata temples it has open ambulatory path around the sanctum. The roof of the mahamandapa is supported by pillars decorated with pot and foliage motifs. Though a Siva-linga is placed in the sanctum but on lalata the figure of Surya riding over horse chariot suggests the temple was dedicated to Sun god. At the left cardinal end of the lintel is occupied by Siva with his consort while the figures at right cardinal end is not clearly visible but they seems to be the figures of lord Vishnu and his consort.
1. Sasa -Bahu Temples
Though many scholars dealt already these famous twin temples situated inside the Gwalior hill fort however the survey carried out by my team will give a detailed description of its architectural and sculptural details, their positions in temple, and their location, direction, and other architectural features below.
2. The Temple No. 1
The temples mark the pinnacle of the Kachchhapaghata dynastic style. Gwalior was the seat of the Kachchhapaghata rulers. These two temples are in same style and order, the larger one is built by Mahipala in 1093AD. The temple faces north and built on high jagati, on plan the temple consists of a garbhagraha, an antarala, and a closed mandapa with three entrance porches. Originally the temple must have been a vast complex with grand dimensions and with impressive design. The two storied elevation for the antarala and the porch and a three storied elevation for the mandapa which has a tall bell roof (savarana). The sikhara over the sanctum is missing it must have been taller than the mandapa roof hence one can visualize how loftier could have been.
Jagati (platform) :
The temple faces north and entered through flight of steps leading to mandapa. The entrance is marked by the presence of Vishnu dvarapalas. In front of the temple a tall single stone dvajastamba (flag hosting pillar) can be seen. Temple stands on a raised high jagati (platform) now plain and a tall pitha decorated with bands of chequer, diamond, and Kunjaraksha, motifs and crowned by grasapatti, gajathara, and narathara. Above the pitha prominent row of niched sculptures of various divinities which are badly mutilated.
Vedibandha of the mandapa has khura, kumbha, and the kalasha mouldings. Internally the gudha mandapa entered through three entrance porches on either side. Temple built in a grand dimension, with impressive design. Antarala having two storied elevation for the porches and three storied elevation for the hall which is about 40mts, high roof.
The mandapa transepts are having minor pillars of circular and plain design whereas the main entrance porch and the mahamandapa are having very massive and tall Ruchaka type of pillars and pilasters which are extensively decorated with typical Kachchhapaghata art style representing the rows upon rows of stenciled scrolls, with middle bands of figures or stylized foliage and ghatapallava designs. With every minute iconographical details of various divinities are carved below the pillars and pilasters in niches, and canopied by toranas and flanked by Sura-Sundaris. The inner mandapa supported by four very massive and tall pillars with marking 12sides and 12 pilasters supporting circular ceilings. From ground floor a small size steps of about ten numbers leading to the first floor where the circular path around the first floor with 12 dwarf pillars supporting the kakshasana (balustrade) however kakshasana is missing in all transepts but its evidences is in the form of small pits available.
Gudha Mandapa :
Internally, it is very spacious with twelve sides, having circular Utaksipta vitana supported by massive four pillars and 12 pilasters. The gudha mandapa is very famous and exhibiting the exuberance and extravagance of decoration both interior and exterior which speaks about the greatness of the Kachchhapaghata art.
The centre ceiling of the mandapa one can see a series of about 13 concentric circles forming various designs of floral in cusp coffered designs.
Two dwarasakhas are noticed one in front of the mandapa and the other in front of the garbhagaha doorjambs. All of them are decorated profusely with more than five sakhas . Ganga and Yamuna always standing with their usual attendants and their vehicle. The stambha sakha (pillar) motifs seem to be very prominent among all sakhas and followed by patra, lata sakhas.
The middle part occupied by seated Vishnu and Lakshmi, holding gadha, and Padma, in right hands and the left hands embracing lakshmi, and with chakra. On either side Brhama along with Brahmani, holding kamandalu and surk, in right hands, and left embracing consort and holding pushtaka(Veda) the other side seated Siva and Parvathi, right hands pushpa and trishula, while left hands embracing Parvati, and having snake. The upper row is shown with Navagrahas.
The centre part mark with mandaraka symbol and on either side series of male and female attendants are showed with holding kalasha in their hands. Once entered inside the mandapa the dwarasakhas also been noticed inside the doorjambs thus it is a twin side dwarasakhas.
Garbhagraha Doorjambs :
Same likThough many scholars dealt already these famous twin temples situated inside the Gwalior hill fort however the survey carried out by my team will give a detailed description of its architectural and sculptural details, their positions in temple, and their location, direction, and other architectural features below.e the mandapa dwarasakha with standing divinities along with Ganga and Yamuna with their attendants. The main sakha is stambha enriched with intricate carvings, along with patra, lata sakhas.
The centre part is occupied with seated Vishnu in four hands and Brahma, and Siva are shown on either side. Most of their hands are mutilated. Seated Garuda is showed below them at the centre. Above them a row of Navagrahas are shown.
At the centre decorated mandaraka is shown and Ganesha and Kubera are shown on either side. Inside the garbhagraha two pillars and eight pilasters supporting the plain ceilings noticed.
The inscription found on either side of the entrance regarded to be very significant evidence with regard to the genealogy of the Kachchhapaghata dynasty and based on this inscription that this temple was built by grandson of Kirthiraja, Padmapala (c.AD, 1075-1080) founded this grand Vishnu temple, but he died without completing the grand edifice, and Padmapla's nephew and successor Mahipala (c.AD, 1080-1100) who completed the unfinished temple and put up its foundation inscription in AD 1093 which is providing the detailed description of the temple, and constitutes principal source of information for the history of the family. The inscription starts with "Om Padma Nabaya Namah" invoking the name of lord Vishnu.
The sikhara over the sanctum is lost, mandapa are provided with samvarana roof and dharani is decorated with lata-karma and kirtimukhas.
Nandini-dvara double framed of this temple bears the figures of Garuda holding the snake on a lalata bimba flanked by attendants.
Uttaranga: decorated with figures of Brahmanical deities.