Bhoramdeo Temple

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2012

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U see Bhoramdeo Mandir. It is referred to as the Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh, is 131 kms from Raipur, dedicated to Lord Shiv, situated amidst scenic mountain ranges, was built in the Nagar style during the early 11th century a.d. after the tribal God Bhoram. It is built on a star shaped platform i.e. 5 feet has a Mandap’(shelter) Antral(Passage) and ‘Garbha Grih’(The main house of God).

The temple has a sanctum ant chamber, a 3 porched square assembly hall, a super structure of seven horizontal and vertical segments, four antefixes in the super structure above the porches and the anti chamber, riot of images engaged in war, dance etc. It has one of the finest flowers of medieval architecture. Temple was built by King Ramchandra of the Nag dynasty.

Left Kanker at 7.30am by bus, reached in 3 hours. Left Raipur at 10.30 am by car to reach Bhoramdeo by 1.30pm. Temple is on the banks of a lake. Saw many people go boating. Centre of pic u can see trees - somewhere there is an image of Shivji. Left of pic walk up the hill there is a Mata ka temple.

Temple view from east side. Left side is a Hanuman Mandir that all devotees visit. Behind that is Archaeological Survey of India Museum which has carefully preserved stone images. Extreme right of pic is ruins of a brick temple. State Tourism have beautified the entire place. U walk thru a garden, climb stairs to reach temple. Quite clean. Temple has three entrances, in east, north and south.

Side view of temple. Not a very big temple. Has a plinth, lots of columns to support the temple and intricate carvings that you shall see later. It is more impressive when seen personally than in pictures. Unlike Khajuraho where there are many temples this is a stand-alone temple.

Centre entrance of temple ke left side par is this panel. From down to up has elephants, flower, three levels and then sculptures. Every level of sculpture is separated by a flower. Missed taking close ups of the flowers and the presence of a Guide.

A close up of the images.

A view of the temple from the southern side. It was Saturday so lots of devotees. Temple is also said to resemble Sun Temple Konarak Orissa.

Panel on exterior side south side entrance. Very good design. Elephants in bottom, images in between (never seen this anywhere), flowers at last level (two damaged) and in between flowers image of a animal think elephant, damaged though.

On left side of side entrance is this panel. Elephants at bottom, 4 levels of design and then sculptures above. Will see close up of images later - erotic, lady dancing - playing musical instruments. We first present a vertical panel like this one, then close up of sculptures panel and a close of one level of sculpture.

Left to right top first is playing a flute, second looks like king and queen. Level two has some erotic poses. I started clicking around 2pm first with normal lens and then close ups with a 300 mm lens.

Same panel close up of images. Centre man playing an instrument. Left looks like child touching feet of parent. First time was using a 300 mm zoom so some learning.

Images of side panel. In between the three vertical panels are images. A lot is made of the frank eroticism of the figure sculptures of Puri, Konarak, Khajuraho, Bhoramdeo. Mithuna subjects were never taboo in Indian art. A creative sensuousness has been regarded as an imp source of energy, vital urge in life. Indeed it was accepted as a normal, nay essential part of life without any shame attached to it. Note everywhere the scenes that depict a sexual act there is a sort of delightful detachment on the actors themselves. They take it so easy and in a such a nonchalant manner that there is not the slightest suggestion of mischief or a shameful act being gone thru. Our current views on sex are Victorian not Indian.

Close up of one of the images on the panel. On the outer walls there are as many as 54 erotic sculptures in different poses. These asanas from the “Kam sutra”, are truly an epitome of eternal love and beauty. They are artistically significant too.

Left lady playing musical instrument. Right is erotic scene. In between image is of a horse type animal on an elephant. The Nagwanshi Kings were believed to be the practitioners of Tantra as their contemporaries in Khajuraho.

Back view of Shikhara i.e. western side. Very amazing work. Can todays professionals replicate something like this. Missed taking close up of the top part of the temple. To see pictures of that Click here

North facing side a close up of the Shikhar is the best I have of a closeup. There are seven gopurams, the one at the lowest is the biggest, they become smaller as they go higher.

A few close ups of the temple so u can see the excellent work.

Close up of the four levels of images. How did they make this nearly 1000 years ago.

Close up. Some erotic poses.

South rear side of temple. 3 images in centre. Lower most is Ganesha. Centre seems like Shiva. Top Vaman. There are a total of five panels with images, 2 on each side and one in centre which you see.

Images on other side of temple. The main idols in the temple are those of Uma-Maheswar, Natraj , Narsimha , Vaman , Krishna, Surya , Kaal , Bhairava, Nritya Ganesh , Kartikeya, Tandul, Shivgang, Chamunda, Ambika, Sapta-Matrika and Laxmi-Naryan

Side panel images. Showing u images of the full temple. The traces of ''Ram-Katha'' are also engraved here in stones - in the absence of a Guide could not know where it is. Main images on right are at lowest level Kali rup of Shakti, above that is Vishnu and top is Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Left of pic lower level is Vaman Avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Close up of image. Right lady playing musical instrument.

Close up of images. I found the images of Khajuraho better made meaning cleaner finish, sharper look as compared to Bhoramdeo. To see pictures of Vishwanatha Shiv Temple Khajuraho Click here

Vertical panel on other side. Design similar as other side. Lower level see elephants.

Close up of images on same panel. Top shows man, woman, children. Lower panel shows playing of musical instruments.

Close up of images. U can go trekking in the jungle of Maikal Hills. In evening see tribal dance.

Close up of images. Left image is erotic. Lady kissing man. Also see close by Madwa Mahal and Cherki Mahal.

Left image is erotic, right is playing flute. See image of horse animal standing on a elephant.

North side entrance to temple has this panel. Sculptures at lower level, images and then flowers.

Lion face at lowest level in pic is Kirti Mukh - ie to ward away evil. Saw in temples of Karnataka and Bodh Gaya mandir. Top are Swans - is part of design. Centre images too part of design.

As I entered the temple from this entrance this was the ceiling.

Inside the main sanctum or Garbha Graha. U see Shiva Linga. Suggest u leave Raipur by 7.30am to reach by 10.15ish, see main temple, go boating, have lunch, walk up the hill to Devi Ma mandir and leave by 3ish. Roads are good. U can stay overnight at Bhoramdeo Jungle Retreat, Kawardha Palace is a heritage hotel.

There is a big garden close to the temple where is this Nataraja. There is a restaurant here too. Was skeptical if it was worth driving 3 hours one way to Bhoramdeo but it was well worth it.