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Rare idols found with 1000-year-old Narmada bank temple remains in Madhya Pradesh

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Special Correspondent

Bhopal: Remains of two temples – over 1000 year old – and associated rare idols of deities like Brahma, Vishnu, Kartikeya and Uma-Maheshwar have been found at a village on Narmada banks in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh.

The temple remains were cleared by a team of Dr VS Wakankar Puratatva Shodh Sansthan (archaeology research institute) during the months of November and December.

The debris clearance work at Richhawar village in Udaipura of Raisen district (at border of Narsinghpur district), about 170km from Bhopal, was taken up at the direction of commissioner of archaeology, archives and museums, Anupam Rajan.

The two temples and associated idols and other artefacts show a mix of Parmar and Kalchuri style of architecture and belong to somewhere in 10-11th century AD, Dr Jinendra Jain, research officer in-charge of the project told 

The Parmars ruled the Malwa area that includes current western MP and parts of Rajashtan, while the Kalchuris ruled over the eastern parts of current MP and some parts of Uttar Pradesh.

The area where the temple remains and the rare idols were found was the border area of Parmar and Kalchuri kingdoms and often saw battles of supremacy. Therefore many remains of that era have the stamp of both the cultures, Dr jain said.

Brahma idol Raisen

The temples remains suggest that they had collapsed, perhaps due to earthquake or other vagaries of nature and got partially covered with earth and vegetation. The presence of some loose parts of temple and some idols gave the survey team and indication of the temples and clearance work was later taken up.

One of the cleared temples was of the dimension 48ft by 40 ft and had idols fixated in recesses in lower parts on three sides. The temples are show exquisite carvings right till the base area.

Among the rare idols included that of Lord Brahma with 24 hands and swan as vehicle (see photo). Also idols of Kartikeya, Uma-Maheshwar, Vishnu, Ganesha, Brahmani, Maheshwari, Kaumari and many idols of Shiva were found. Among the 30 idols found with temple number 1 included nine found underground.

The second temple is of dimension 45ft by 13ft and associated eight idols were found.