Kadwaya – The Vestiges of the Mattamayuras

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Kadwaya is a small village in the Ashoknagar district of Madhya Pradesh. The village was somehow surprisingly skipped by Alexander Cunningham though he visited many sites in the vicinity such as Chanderi, Terahi, Ranod, Mahua, etc. Though in his report of Terahi, he does mention Kadwaha village where remains of four standing temples and ruins of nine others were located.1 As the village possesses more than a dozen temples, a matha (monastery), a few tanks, and a medieval garhi (fortress), it would have enjoyed considerable importance during its heydays. The villages of Kadambaguha and Mattamayura, mentioned in a few medieval inscriptions, are generally identified with modern Kadwaya. It was Keilhorn who identifies Kadwaya with Kadambaguha, the latter is mentioned in an inscription from Ranod.2 The inscription tells that Shiva once pleased Brahma by offering him a sacrifice, the result of which was the origin of the family or line of sages. In this family was Kadambaguhadivasin or “inhabitant of Kadambaguha”. After him came Shankhamathikadhipati (the superintendent of Sankhamathika), Terambipala (the protector of Terambi), Amardakatirthanatha ( the lord of Amardakatirtha), and Purandara, etc.  The Chalukya king Avantivarman, in his desire to be initiated in the Shaiva faith, went to Upendrapura and induced sage Purandara to come to his city, Mattamayura. Purandara initiated the king and in return got sponsorship for the construction of a matha (monastery) at Mattamayura and Ranipadra (Ranod). Upendrapura is mentioned in the Kadambapadraka grant of Naravarman and R D Banerji opines that the Upendrapura of that grant is the same as the Upendrapura of the Ranod inscription, however, he says he could not identify Kadambapadraka.3 Mirashi opines that whether Kadambapadraka of this grant is identical with Kadambaguha of the Ranod inscription cannot be determined at present, however, it is certain that it must be sought for in Malwa region.4 Mirashi suggests Mattamayura, the city of Avantivarman, where Purandara initiated the king and set up a monastery can be identified with modern Kadwaya.5

After the Chalukyas, Kadwaya came under the Gurjara-Pratiharas and a Pratihara king Hariraja was initiated by the pontiff of the Kadwaya matha.

After getting royal patronage, the branches of the Mattamayura sect spread far and wide to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu, and their saints built mathas and temples at various places. Monasteries at Chandrehe, Gurgi, Ranod, Surwaya, and Terahi are a few mathas of importance belonging to the Mattamayura saints. Saints of this line gained much prominence with the Kalachuri kings of Tripuri. King Yuvarajadeva I (915-945 CE) invited saint Prabhavasiva to his capital and get initiation from him. His son, Lakshmana-raja II (945-970 CE) invited saint Hrdayasiva from Madhumati for his initiation.6 The influence of the Mattamayuras over the Kalachuris of Tripuri can be credited to Nohala, the wife of Yuvarajadeva I and the granddaughter of the Chalukya king Avantivarman.7 Nohala would have witnessed the initiation of her grandfather by the Mattamayura saints and when she was married into the Kalachuri family, she invited Mattamayura saints to the Kalachuri domain in order to receive initiation for her as well as for others. On the Mattamayura-Kalachuri ties, Misra says it reflects a phenomenon in which patronage was appropriated, serialized, distributed, and redistributed, and in all these operations it unabatedly strengthened the ruler-pontiff ties.8 Taking cues from a few inscriptions at Kadwaya and other places, Misra suggests that militancy seems to have been an essential ingredient of matha’s existence and function and in this process of helping out the Kalachuri rulers this militant monachism seems to have succeeded in carving out for itself “a State within a State”.9

Tamara Sears10 seems right in attributing Kajarra (or Kajwara) of Ibn Batuta with the present village of Kadwaya. Traditionally, Kajarra is equated with Khajuraho however Sears explains that Khajurano was not popular during the time of Ibn Batuta and it did not lie on the route taken by Ibn Batuta. This also supports the identification of Kachwa (or Kachwaha), a stop before Chanderi, of Baburnama with Kadwaya. Beveridge, who translated Baburnama into English, identifies Kachwa with Kadwaya stating that Kachwa of Babur and Kajwarra of Ibn Batuta should be the same as both the towns were said to be situated at the bank of a large lake.11

Monuments – The town has more than a dozen temples, all constructed in sandstone, a monastery, and a few tanks. These temples are under the protection of ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and are named in various groups i.e. Ekla, Pachhali Marghat (A, B), Chandla, Bag Group (A, B), Talao Group (A, B), Akhati (A, B, C), Khirna Group (A, B), Murayat and Garhi.

Matha

Matha and Bhuteshvara Temple – This matha represents the primary seat of the Mattamayura saints. The Mattamayura clan was founded by saint Kadambaguhadivasin (inhabitant of Kadambaguha) however no mention is made if he constructed a matha.  The first reference to the establishment of a matha comes from an inscription from Ranod stating Purandara, fifth in the lineage from Kadambaguhadivasin, built a matha at Kadwaya and Ranod. This matha is the earliest structure at Kadwaya and it soon became a focal point of all future constructional activities. It is an impressive double-story building measuring 93 feet square.12 It has a central courtyard lined with cells on all sides. The main entrance is provided from the north and windows are placed on each story to allow sunlight. At a later stage, the monastery was enclosed within a fortress with battlements built around the site.

Bhuteshvara Temple

Chamunda
Ganesha
Kshemenkari
Parvati

The temple standing next to the matha faces west and consists of a mandapa and garbhagrha.  It is built in pancha-ratha plan and is dedicated to Shiva. The temple is built on a low plinth with inverted lotus decoration. The vedibandha (adhishthana) is built of five regular moldings. On all the projections of this vedibandha, provisions are made for niches to house images. Jangha has two registers of images on all the rathas.  Images of dikpalas are present over the karna niches. Images of apsaras, vyalas, and various other deities are adorning the niches of pratiratha and recesses. Bhadra niche in the south has Ganesha and the north has Chamunda, while the niche in the east is empty. Kapili niche in the south has an image of Kshemenkari and in the north has Parvati. When the town was taken over by the forces of Alaud-Din Khalji (1296-1306 CE), a mosque was constructed next to the temple, and the platform of the former buried the latter underneath.

The garbhagrha doorframe is built with five shakhas (bands). Shiva as Natesha is present on the lalata-bimba while Vishnu with Lakshi is on one terminal and Shiva with Uma on another terminal. The recess portion in between is filled with images of nava-grahas. Over the architrave are the dvadash-Adityas (twelve Adityas) with Surya in the center. Ganga and Yamuna are present over the door-jambs with dvarapalas on their side.

Inscriptions: Many loose inscriptions are found in the debris of the monastery, below are a few important inscriptions. Many of these loose slab inscriptions are records of pilgrims providing their names and dates etc. From these, we find that the matha was in use and frequented by pilgrims till the 16th century CE.

  1.  Fragmentary stone inscription13 – dateable to the 10th century CE on paleography – The inscription consists of 29 lines and mentions sage Purandara as the first in the lineage of the Mattamayuras. He came from Malwa at the invitation of king Avantivarman of the Chalukya family. He chose Aranipadra (Ranod) for his penance. The name of his disciple is not legible, and he is told to be filled with rage at the death of a person when king Gobhata visited the monastery with his army of elephants. The sage, like Tripurantaka, conquered the whole army of his foes by means of a bow and arrow acquired by his own miraculous powers. The name of his disciple is not legible, and he was told to initiate king Hariraja. The king offered rutting elephants however the sage declined and agreed to accept a few villages.
  2. On a slab in the pavement of the Bhuteshvara temple in the garhi14 – dated in Vikrama-samvat 1366 (1309 CE) – mentions sage Bhuteshvara worshiped the Shivalinga of the mulayatana when the world was harassed by the mlecchas. He did severe penance after the Mlecchas committed sins nineteen times and he made a new jaladhara when the previous one was broken by the Mlecchas. The record was written by Pandita Vatsaraja and Kshemdhara.
  3. On the door-jamb of the Shiva temple in the Garhi15 – dated Vikrama-samvat 1626, corresponding 1569 CE – the inscription consists of 34 lines however it is legible only partially. After the regular invocation of Shiva, a mention is made of king Jayantavarmana for Lord’s blessings. Then is mentioned the reign of Gopala and Kshitipala.
  4. On a loose stone slab found in the debris of the monastery16 – records the name of a pilgrim named Pandita Gangadhara, but the name of his father is obliterated. The record was written by Shemandhara, son of Gangadhara. Two dates samvat 84 and 735 engraved separately, seem to be irregular.
  5. On a loose slab found during clearance of debris near the ruined temple17 – As this is only a fragment of a large inscription, therefore, the main purpose of the inscription is lost. The inscription gives a genealogy of a line of Shaiva ascetics, but only the name of Isvarasiva has survived. The inscription mentions the planting of a garden and the construction of a few mansions. Names of three Brahmanas are found, Gangadhara, Vamana, and Sripala Mishra, however, their mutual relationship cannot be ascertained. Sripala is referred to as a mahatma and a great poet and he probably composed this inscription. The writer was Mangalaraja.
  6. On a stone slab found during clearance of debris near the Shiva temple in the premise of the Hindu monastery18 – The first four verses are benedictory offering salutations to Narasimha, Shiva, and Surya. A Pratihara branch is mentioned naming Ranapala, Vatsaraja, Svarnapala, Kirtiraja, and his brother Uttama. Then follows the genealogy of certain Brahmanas of the Talarashtra race, Lohapala, and Govinda.
Chandla Temple | Giriraj Singh Shekhawat

Chandla Temple – This temple is located in the northwest part of the village and is the only temple constructed with a pyramidal phamsana shikhara. It is dateable to the ninth century CE and is the earliest structure after the matha (monastery). The temple faces east and is dedicated to Shiva. It consists of a garbhagrha and a mandapa. The garbhagrha doorway has three shakhas (jambs) and at the bottom of the jambs are Ganga and Yamuna. The lalata-bimba carries an image of Shiva as Natesha and the rest of the lintels are left plain. In the bhadra niches are Surya, Chamunda, and Ganesha.  Over the sukanasika is an image of Shiva. The pillars of the mandapa have ghata-pallava motif at the bottom and top and the rest of the shaft is left plain. Above the pillars, the capitals are resting without bharavahakas (weight-bearers), a feature generally witnessed in many medieval temples of the region. On the basis of its simpler adhishthana (vedibhandha), pillar styles, and decoration over the garbha-grha doorway, the temple is generally considered to belong to the initial temple construction phase at Kadwaya, assignable to the late ninth century CE.19

Ekla Temple

Ekla Temple – The Ekla Temple is built over a high-rising jagati (platform). It faces east and has a pancha-ratha plan. It has survived only with its garbhagrha, its mandapa and shikhara are lost. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and inside the garbhagrha are found sculptures of Yashoda nursing Krishna, Vishnu lying over Shesha, and a standing lady holding a child. A Shivalinga has been placed inside, however, it is a later installation. The garbha-grha doorway is composed of three shakhas (jambs). The middle shakha (jamb), or mithuna-shakha, has panels carrying amorous couples. Over the lalata-bimba is Vishnu riding over Garuda, and at the terminals are Brhama and Shiva. The recess portion is divided into two friezes. The lower frieze has standing images of Nava-grhas while the upper niche has Ashta-matrikas including the regular Sapta-matrikas groups with Vinayaki. Over the architrave are eleven figures, which may represent the ekadasa-Rudras.

Brahma
Parvati

The vertical elevation of the vimana consists of a vedibandha, jangha, varandika, and shikhara. The vedibandha is composed of three regular moldings. The jangha is divided into two unequal tiers, separated by a broad molding. Niches are provided on both tiers, on all the projections. The bhadra (central projection) niche on the lower tier is provided with a chajja (awning). Dikpala group adorns their respective positions on the karna-niches (corner niches) while images of various apsaras and damsels are present over the pratiratha-niches. The bhadra-niches are empty at present. The upper tier of the jangha is decorated with images of amorous couples. The recesses are also decorated with images of vyalas and damsels in various postures. The kapili-niches are also provided with a chajja and it has Brahma in the south and Parvati in the north.

Akhati Group
Temple A
Temple A of the Akhati Group

 

Akhati Group of Temples – This group has three temples. All these temples have lost their shikharas. Temple A is the largest and best-preserved among these and it has survived with its garbhagrha and mandapa standing in the west of the complex. It faces east and is built over a low jagati (platform). The garbhagrha doorway is built with five shakhas (jambs). It has Vishnu riding over Garuda over the lalata-bimba, while Brahma and Shiva are present on the terminals. The frieze in the recess has images of the nava-grahas. The architrave over the lintel has images of Vishnu dashavataras. Over the door-jambs are Ganga and Yamuna standing over their respective mounts.

Above – Vishnu lying over Shesha, below – Yashoda and baby Krishna
Standing lady with a baby

The mandapa pillars have bharavahaka (weight bearers) above the capital. A label inscription over the chandrashila at the entrance reads “Pratihara”.20 Similar to the Ekla Temple, the lateral walls of the garbhagrha are adorned with images, Yashoda with baby Krishna sucking milk, Vishnu lying over Shesha, and a standing lady holding a baby. She may be identified as Yashoda as the temple is dedicated to Vishnu, however, the ornaments over her body and her coiffure contrast the village-woman character of Yashoda. A pedestal with a Garuda image is placed inside the garbhagrha suggesting there was once an image of Vishnu placed over it.

Agni over a karna niche in the south
Vishnu-Vaikuntha murti in the south kapili niche
Narasimha in the north bhadra
Parvati in the north kapili niche

The temple is built in pancha-ratha plan. The jangha is divided into two unequal tiers, a larger lower tier, and a smaller upper tier. The upper tier is decorated with images of vidyadharas over the karna and apsaras over the partiratha. The lower tier has images of dikpalas over the karna and apsaras over the partiratha. The bhadra niches would have carried some form of Vishnu, however, only one such image has survived in the north, a mutilated image of Narasimha. The niches over kapili have Parvati in the north and Vishnu as Vaikuntha in the south.

Temple B

Varaha in the south
Vamana in the east
Bhairava in the south kapili niche

Temple B faces west and is built over a low jagati (platform). It is built in pancha-ratha plan. The jangha has a single register of images, except the pratiratha where a second smaller register for images is provided. Dikpalas are present over the karna niches. The lower register on pratiratha has images of apsaras while the upper register has images of ascetics. In the bhadra niches are found Varaha in the south, Vamana in the east, and Narasimha in the north, the last is very much damaged. The garbhagrha doorway is composed of three shakhas and its lintel has an image of standing Vishnu on the lalata-bimba and Brahma and Shiva on the terminals. In the recess are Saraswati and Ganesha. Ganga and Yamuna are present on the bottom of the door-jamb. The kapili niche in the south has Bhairava and the image in the north is much mutilated.

Temple C – Akhati Group

Temple C faces east. The entrance doorway has not survived therefore posing difficulties in understanding the dedicatory deity of the temple. However, the presence of Ganesha, and Parvati in the bhadra niches suggests that the temple was dedicated to Shiva. Krishna Deva21 suggests that the temple was dedicated to Shiva however A K Singh22 suggests that the presence of Garuda image inside the temple indicates its Vaishnava character. However, Singh does not indicate whether this image is original or a later appropriation as it could be the latter case as witnessed in a few temples at Kadwaya. The temple is built in pancha-ratha plan however there is no recess space between the bhadra and pratiratha. Bhadra and pratiratha have two registers for images, while only one register is present on the karna. Images of dikpalas adorn the karna niches which are topped with a vimana structure. Pratiratha has apsaras on the lower register and warriors on the upper register. Over the bhadra, in the south, we find Ganesha and Saraswati, and in the north are Parvati and Gaja-Lakshmi. The recessed space is filled with vyalas, apsaras, and warriors.

Bag group of temples
Temple A – Bag Group

In the lower recess – Saptamatrikas with Ganesha and Veerabhadra, in upper recess – Nava-grhas

Bag Group of Temples – This group is referred to as Nahalvar group by Krishna Deva.23 There are two temples in the group, the larger, A, faces west and is dedicated to Vishnu. It is built in pancha-ratha plan and is consisted of a garbhagrha and mandapa. It is built over a jagati (platform) approachable by a flight of steps. Vishnu riding over Garuda is present over lalata-bimba of the garbhaghra doorway which is built with five shakhas (bands). Brahma and Shiva are present on the terminals of the lintel. The lower recess portion is carved with images of the sapta-matrikas accompanied by Ganesha and Veerabhadra at the left extreme end. The upper recess portion is carved with the nava-grahas. Over the architrave are depicted Vishnu dashavataras.

Vamana

Varaha

In the bhadra niches are, Vamana in the east, Varaha in the south, and the niche in the north is empty. The kapili niches have Brahma in the north and Vishnu in the south.

Temple B – Bag Group

Lakshmi-Narayana
Shiva as Natesha

Surya

Temple B faces south and is dedicated to Vishnu. It is built in pancha-ratha plan and has survived only with its garbhagrha, the mandapa is lost. The jangha has two registers for images, the lower register larger than the upper register. Bhadra niche in the north has an image of Shiva-Natesha, in the east has an image of Surya and in the west is an image of Lakshmi-Narayana. Kapili niche in the east has an image of Brahma and in the west an image of Vishnu. Garbhagrha doorway consists of five shakhas (bands) with Vishnu at the lalata-bimba. Brahma and Shiva are at the terminals. In the recess are carved nava-grahas. Ganga and Yamuna are present over door-jambs. Krishna Deva24 suggests that it is affiliated with Shiva but not with Vishnu.

Marghatia Temple

Marghatia Temple – This temple faces east and is dedicated to Shiva. It is built in pancha-ratha plan and consists of a garbhagrha and a mandapa. The garbhagrha doorway is composed of five shakhas (bands) with Shiva at the lalata-bimba and Brahma and Vishnu at the terminals. The recessed space is adorned with the images of nava-grhas and ashta-matrikas comprising the sapta-matrika group and Vinayaki. Inside the garbhagrha, on the rear wall, is an image of Uma-Maheshvara.

Saraswati and Shiva-Andhakantaka

Surya and Natesha

The jangha is divided into two tiers separated by a broad molding. Niches are provided on all the projections while the recess portion is decorated with vyala images. The bhadra niches are topped with a chajja (awning). Dikpalas occupy their respective positions over the lower and upper tiers of the karna niches, in the lower tier they are shown standing while in the upper tier they are shown seated. The bhadra niches in the north have Lakulisa (?) and Parvati, in the west Surya and Natesha, and in the south Saraswati and Shiva-Andhakantaka. Parvati is shown holding two standards, one is topped with a linga while another has an image of Ganesha. The upper tier of the pratiratha is occupied by the sapta-matrika group. The lower tier of the pratiratha has various forms of Shiva. The sukanasi over the mandapa has an image of Surya riding a chariot driven by seven horses.

Khirna Group of Temples – This group has two temples, both dedicated to Shiva. Temple A has survived with its garbhagrha and shikhara but its mandapa is lost. Temple B has survived with its garbhagrha and mandapa, but its shikhara is lost. Temple A is built in pancha-ratha plan with its jangha carrying two registers of images. Bhadra niches in the north have Uma-Maheshvara and Shiva-Natesha, in the south Uma-Maheshvara and Kartikeya, and in the east Brahma and dancing Chamunda.  Kapili niches have celestial couples, in two registers, Uma-Maheshvara, Ganesh-Vignheshvari, Brahma-Savitri, and Lakshmi-Narayana. Dikpalas are present over the karna niches. The rest of the niches are adorned with apsaras, vyalas,  and various Shaivite figures. The garbhagrha doorway is composed of five shakhas with Shiva at the lalata-bimba. On the terminals are Brahma and Vishnu and in the recess are nava-grahas and sapta-matrikas in two friezes. Ganga and Yamuna, riding over their respective mounts, are present over the door-jambs with their attendants.

Temple B is also built with pancha-ratha plan however its jangha has only one register of images. Over the bhadra are found Surya in the east, Ganesha in the south, and Parvati in the north. Kapili niches in the north have Natesha and in the south have Parvati. Garbhagrha doorway is composed of five shakhas with Shiva at its lalata-bimba. Brahma and Vishnu are present over the lintel terminals and the recess space is filled with nava-grahas and sapta-matrikas. The architrave over the lintel has ekadasa-Rudra images. Inside the garbhagrha, on its rear wall, is an image of Parvati.

Pacchali Group, Temple A, Vishnu Temple

Pacchali Marghat Group of Temples – This group has two temples, A & B, both facing west. The bigger temple, Temple A, is dedicated to Vishnu, and the smaller temple, Temple B, is dedicated to Shiva. Temple A has survived with its garbhagraha and mandapa, but its shikhara is lost. Though it has a linga inside the garbhagrha however it was originally dedicated to Vishnu as evident from the iconography of the doorway. The garbhagrha doorway is composed of five shakhas with Vishnu riding over Garuda present over its lalata-bimba. Shiva and Brahma take positions at the terminals. The recess portion of the lower lintel is decorated with nava-graha. The recess portion of the upper lintel has sapta-matrikas accompanied by vinadhara-Veerabhadra. Interestingly, the figure of Chamunda is not depicted in its usual iconography. The positions of images in these two friezes are reversed, as navagraha panel starts with Rahu, and Ketu on the right side and ends with Surya on the left side. Similarly, the group of matrikas starts with Chamunda on the right and ends with Veerabhadra on the left. Was there a special objective behind this arrangement is not very clear. The architrave above the lintel is decorated with Vishnu dashavataras.

The temple is built in the pancha-ratha plan. The jangha is divided into two unequal tiers. The lower tier of the karna has dikpalas in their respective positions while the upper tier is occupied by vidhyadhara couples holding garlands or by warriors engaged in a fight. The lower tier of the pratiratha has images of apsaras while the upper tier has images of Kubera in his eight different forms. The bhadra niche in the north has Varaha, in the south Narasimha, and the eastern niche is empty. The kapili niche in the north has Vamana and in the south Brahma.

Pacchali Marghat Group – Temple B – Shiva Temple
Garbhagrha doorway
Chamunda

Hariharahiranyagarbha

Temple B is composed of a garbhagrha and a mandapa and is built over a low plinth. The garbhagrha doorway consists of five shakhas with Shiva-Parvati as Kalyanasundaramurti present over its lalata-bimba. Brahma with Savitri and Vishnu with Lakshmi take their place over the terminals of the lintel. The recessed space, in two friezes, is occupied by nava-grahas and vidyadharas. The architrave above the lintel has ekadasa-Rudras. The temple has pancha-ratha plan however no recess portion is left between bhdara and pratiratha projections. Bhadra niches in the north have Chamunda, in the south have Ganesha, and in the east has an image of Hariharahiranyagarbha, a composite image of Surya, Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. Dikpalas occupy their respective places over the karna niches. Niches on the pratiratha are occupied by apsaras. The lower tier of salilantara (recess) between the karna and pratiratha has images of vyalas while the upper tier has images of warriors.

Murayat Group
Temple A – Murayat Group – Toteshvara Mahadeva Temple

Murayat Group – This group has two temples. Krishna Deva opines Murayat as a corrupt form of Mattamayura. The bigger temple of the group is known as Toteshvara Mahadeva. The temple faces east and is entered through a flight of steps. This is the most developed and advanced temple at the site, dateable to the eleventh century CE. It is built in pancha-ratha plan and consists of a garbhagrha, an antarala, and a mandapa. Garbhagrha doorway is composed of seven shakhas and has an image of Ganesha over the lalata-bimba. The architrave above the lintel has Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, all with their consorts.

The jangha has two registers of images all over its various rathas. The shikhara is executed in the Nagara order of shekhari variety. Many images embellishing the jangha niches are broken or mutilated. Images on the niches above the jangha are more or less intact.

Inscription in the temple

Inscriptions: A few inscriptions are found on the mandapa and the garbhagrha of the temple. Many are single-line pilgrim records, and a few mentions gifts. Details of a few inscriptions are provided below.

  1. On the south kakshasana in the mandapa of Toteshvara Temple25 – It records some gifts to the Brahmana Bhagohara belonging to Gautama gotra by Pandita Ramadasa, son of Pandita Dhanudeva, and grandson of Mujaladeva.
  2. On the garbhagrha of the temple26 – dated Vikrama Samvat 1512, corresponding 1454 CE – Obeisance to Ganesha, mentions the reign of Maharajadhiraja Sri Sultan Mahamud Sah. The writer of the inscription was Mahipala, the son of Sri Thirapala. Sutradhara was Gagumata.
Temple B – Murayat Group

Shiva-Natesha

Temple B of the Murayat Group is a unique temple, as it has two garbhagrhas, one in the east and one in the west. The temple is built in pancha-ratha plan and is dedicated to Shiva. The eastern garbhagrha doorway has Shiva on the lalata-bimba and Brahma and Vishnu at the lintel terminals. Bhadra niches in the north have Shiva-Natesha and Parvati and in the south an image of dancing Ganesha. The front portion of the shikhara is exposed due to missing sukanasika.

Food and Accommodation – Chanderi is the nearest town where you will get proper accommodation. MP Tourism runs the hotel Tana Bana which is the best place to stay. I would recommend you contact Mr. Kalle Bhai who works as a guide in Chanderi. He is very reasonable and adequately knowledgeable about Hindu temples and nearby sites. He can be contacted at +91-9425381065.


References:
1 Cunningham, Alexander (1885). Reports of a Tour in Bundelkhand and Rewa in 1883-84; and of a Tour in Rewa, Bundelkhand, Malwa, and Gwalior, in 1884-85, vol. XXI, parts I & II. The Superintendent of Government Printing, India. Calcutta. p. 177
2 Epigraphia Indica, Vol. I. pp. 351-360
3 Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX. pp. 105-106
4 Mirashi, V V (1950). The Saiva Acaryas of the Mattamyura Clan published in the Indian Historical Quarterly, vol. XXVI, No 1. p. 3
5 Mirashi, V V (1950). The Saiva Acaryas of the Mattamyura Clan published in the Indian Historical Quarterly, vol. XXVI, No 1. p. 7
6 Mirashi, V V (1950). The Saiva Acharyas of the Mattamyura Clan published in the Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. XXVI, No. 1. pp. 1-16
7 Mirashi, V V (1950). The Saiva Acharyas of the Mattamyura Clan published in the Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. XXVI, No. 1. p. 9
8 Misra, R N (1993). The Saivite Monasteries, Pontiffs and Patronage in Central India published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay volume 64-66 for 1989-91. p. 108
9 Misra, R N (1997). Pontiff’s Empowerment in Central Indian Saivite Monachism published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay volume 72 for 1997. p. 72
10 Sears, Tamara I (2015). Following River Routes and Artistic Transmissions in Medieval Central India published in Ars Orientalis, vol. 45. ISSN 05711371
11 Beveridge, A S (1921). Babur-nama Vol. 1. Low Price Publications. New Delhi. ISBN 9788175364257. p. 591
12 Singh, A K (2015). Kadwaha Temples published in Art Icon and Architecture in South Asia: Essay in Honour of Dr. Devangana Desai, Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola (eds.). Aryan Books International. New Delhi. p. 363.
13 Epigraphia Indica Vol. XXXVII, pp. 117-124
14 Annual Report on Indian Epigraphy for 1975-76. p. 97
15 Annual Administration Report of the Archaeological Department, Gwalior State for year 1939-40. pp. 19-20.
16 Annual Administration Report of the Archaeological Department, Gwalior State for year 1939-40. p. 40.
17 Annual Administration Report of the Archaeological Department, Gwalior State for year 1939-40. pp. 44-45.
18 Annual Administration Report of the Archaeological Department, Gwalior State for year 1939-40. pp. 45-46.
19 Singh, A K (2015). Kadwaha Temples published in Art Icon and Architecture in South Asia: Essay in Honour of Dr. Devangana Desai, Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola (eds.). Aryan Books International. New Delhi. p. 363.
20 Singh, A K (2015). Kadwaha Temples published in Art Icon and Architecture in South Asia: Essay in Honour of Dr. Devangana Desai, Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola (eds.). Aryan Books International. New Delhi. p. 367
21 Deva, Krishna (1998). Kacchapaghatas of Gopadri: Phase I published in Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, North India: Beginnings of Medieval Idiom, Vol. II, Part 3. Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts. New Delhi. ISBN 8173042268. p. 22
22 Singh, A K (2015). Kadwaha Temples published in Art Icon and Architecture in South Asia: Essay in Honour of Dr. Devangana Desai, Anila Verghese and Anna L. Dallapiccola (eds.). Aryan Books International. New Delhi. p. 368
23 Deva, Krishna (1998). Kacchapaghatas of Gopadri: Phase I published in Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, North India: Beginnings of Medieval Idiom, Vol. II, Part 3. Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts. New Delhi. ISBN 8173042268. p. 23
24 Deva, Krishna (1998). Kacchapaghatas of Gopadri: Phase I published in Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture, North India: Beginnings of Medieval Idiom, Vol. II, Part 3. Indira Gandhi Centre for the Arts. New Delhi. ISBN 8173042268. pp. 22-23
25 Singh, A K (2000). Inscriptions from Kadwaha, Dist. Guna (M.P.) published in Pargdhara No 10. pp. 231-32
26 Singh, A K (2000). Inscriptions from Kadwaha, Dist. Guna (M.P.) published in Pargdhara No 10. p. 232

8 COMMENTS

  1. Temples Nos.4 to 9 seem to be matching with the earliest temple architecture. I was unaware of this ancient site. Thanks and kudos for the missionary zeal.
    kindly consider dispensing with the CAPTCHA Code requirement for posting comments. This does not augur much but sometimes inhibiting.

  2. वाह. मंदिर क्र 4, 5 और 7 गुप्‍तकालीन आरंभिक मंदिरों (सांची-17) का विकास देखने के लिए अच्‍छे उदाहरण हैं.
    CAPTCHA Code अब भी विद्यमान है.

  3. Saurabh,
    very fascinating stuff..
    this website is very rich in its content..
    and not even half of the website I have browsed through…
    and very impressive that you share these…

  4. Very good information are given in this blog.This area was anciently known as Kadamb guha.i think the Sas-bahu temple inscription of Gwalior is the main source of genealogy of Kachchhapaghata dynasty.They were sub ordinate fo Pratiharas and Chandellas.Initially stages they followed the ideas of Guptas and Gurjara Pratiharas and then they introduced their own style.All most all structures are of Nirandhara which comprising garbhagriha and a short Kapili preceded by mukhachatuski.Their temples of Kadwaha is in no way less than Khajuraho in the matter of the elegant edifices.They also excavated large number of water bodies.

  5. Excellent Post !
    The 3 faced Vishnu idol you have mentioned is actually four faced and called as Vaikunth Vishnu. These idols are quite common in Himalyan region of Chamba, Nepal and Kashmir. The famous Laxmi-Narayan temple at Chamba, Himachal Pradesh has a Vaikunth Vishnu idol.

  6. Thank you!
    Not just for this one article, but your continued work.
    I had travelled to Guna seeking some “buddhist” site, that turned out to be Shiva mutt/matha. Furthering my research in to Shiva matha in the regions I narrowed to few of these places. I did not imagine you would have been here too 🙂 And discovered this article, and as always (with you!): seriously and carefully taken photos, in depth resources listed, sites covered in full, and detailed descriptions.

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