Temples of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by popular temples, created centuries back. Some of those belong from the prehistoric times even. As a matter of fact, the vastness and the elaborate history of all the temples of Madhya Pradesh are simply impossible to decipher in one essay. Still we took the endeavor to give you a brief introduction to some of the popular temples situated in the “Heart of India” mostly visited by the Hindu pilgrims over the years.
Apart from the religious significances, the shrines are work of art depicted by unknown stone sculptures of the bygone eras. But what we can do is to see the magnificent temples they had created for their kings or for the kingdoms and to awe-inspire the future generations with its master craftsmanship and devotion they have left on the monoliths and edifices.
Located at a distance of 77 km from Indore, Omkareshwar Temple is situated at the confluence of River Narmada and River Kaveri. Originally known as Sri Omkareshwar Mahadeo Temple, this shrine consecrates one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The Shiva Lingam worshiped here is a swyambhu jyotirlinga that is being worshiped over the centuries.
Thousands of Hindu pilgrims, especially, Shiv bhaktas gather here during the Maha Shivratri, Shravan Melas etc occasions. The nearest railway station is Omkareshwar Road situated in the Ratlam-Indore-Khandwa line. Regular buses and private/rental cars are available from Indore.
Mahakaleshwar Temple, a holy shrine of the Shaivaites is popular for housing and worshipping one of twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Situated by the banks of Lake Rudra Sagar in Ujjain, the Mahakaleshwar lingam is popular for the Tantric Shivanetra traditions. The Bhasm-Aarti is a significant ritual followed here.
According to the historical accounts, the first edifice of Lord Mahakal was destroyed by the Muslim invader Iltutmish but later on, the temple was again built in 1736 AD under the endeavor of Srimant Raanojirao Shinde Maharaj (Scindia) the General of Srimant Peshwa Baji Rao and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of the Hindu Pad Padshahi.
The Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha is dedicated to Lord Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on Earth. According to the ancient chronicles, the idol of Lord Rama, which is now worshiped in the temple, belonged to Rani Niwas Maharani Gansh Kunwar, wife of Raja Madhukar. She consecrated the idol in her private residence and denied to replace it to any other temple. Later on, the Rani’s Mahal became the temple. The name “Chaturbhuj”, which means “four-arms”, was given to the shrine because the idol of Lord Vishnu was of four hands.
The surroundings and the overall ambiance of the temple complex entice pilgrims coming here. The architecture of the edifice deserves special mention. Pilgrims prefer to stop by the serenity and witness the architectural wonder sculpted by unknown artists- centuries back. The Chaturbhuj Temple of Orchha has resemblance with Chanderi’s Kushak Mahal to a great extent.
Devi Jagadambi Temple
Also known as Jagadambika Temple or Devi Jagadambika temple is one of the significant temples still raised high among the other 25 of the Khajuraho Temple Complex, declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Built by the monarchs of the Chandella Dynasty between 1000 AD and 1200 AD, the Khajuraho Temples are famous for the erotic sculptures still enshrined on the temple walls. Apart from the religious manifestations, the temple’s architectural wonders have successfully enticed pilgrims and visitors over the years.
Kandariya Mahadeva Temple
Within the magnificence of the Khajuraho Temple Complex, Kandariya Mahadeva Temple was built during the reign of the Chandela Ruler Vidyadhara. The Shiva Lingam consecrated inside the sanctum santorum is made of limestone. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is protected and maintained by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
Apart from these notable temples, other significant Hindu shrines located across Madhya Pradesh are Taxakeshwar temple, Shyam Kaka Temple, Pashupatinath Temple, Temple of Dakshin Kali, Lakshmi Narayana Temple in Bhopal, Mahua Bhan Ki Teri, Gufa Mandir and so on.