India has around 5,00,000 temples across the country. India has many ancient temples which have great religious and ethnic importance. They show India’s architectural and cultural beauty. Do you know which temple of India is the oldest temple of the country. In this article you will know about the Oldest Temple Of India- Mundeshwari Temple.
Mundeshwari Temple is the oldest temple of India. The Archeological Survey Of India (ASI) dates the temple to 108 AD and has been a protected monument since 1915. An information plaque at the site indicates the dating of the temple at least to 625 CE and Hindu inscriptions dated 635 CE were found in the temple.
The Archaeological Survey of India has restored the temple under instruction from the Union Ministry of Culture. Restorative works included the removal of soot from the temple interior via a chemical treatment, repair of damage to religious murti (idol) and cataloging and documentation of scattered fragments for later reuse. Other works included installation of solar powered lighting, displays for antiquities and provision of public amenities. The Government of Bihar has allocated Rs 2 crore to improve access to the temple.
The temple is stone built on an octagonal plan, which is rare. It is the earliest specimen of the Nagara style of temple architecture in Bihar. There are doors or windows on four sides and small niches for the reception of statues in the remaining four walls.
Its shikhara has been destroyed and a roof has been rebuilt, as part of renovation work. The interior walls have niches and bold moldings which are carved with vase and foliage designs. At the entrance to the temple, the door jambs are seen with carved images of Dwarapalakas, Ganga, Yamuna and many other murtis.
The main deities in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple are of the Devi Mundeshwari and Chaturmukh Shiva linga. There are also two stone vessels of unusual design. Even though the Shiva linga is installed in the center of the sanctum.
Devi Mundeshwari deified inside a slot, which is seen with ten hands holding symbols riding a buffalo, attributed to Mahishasuramardini. The temple also has murtis of other popular gods such as Ganesha, Surya and Vishnu. A substantial part of this stone structure has been damaged, and many stone fragments are seen strewn around the temple. However, under the jurisdiction of ASI, it has been the subject of archaeological study for quite some time.
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