Some significant Temples of Vidarbha
The temples of a place tell us about not only the rich heritage of that place but also about the religious beliefs of the rulers who built those temples and also of the people living in that region. Vidarbha, located in the centre of India has a very important place in the history of India. It was a part of Dandakaranya. Vidarbha has been ruled by various dynasties and each one of them has left their impressions in the form of their monuments like their temples. Each dynasty were worshippers of different gods and this was visible through the temples built by them.
Ramtek - Kalidas's inspiration of Meghadootam
Ramtek is situated at a distance of 48 Km from Nagpur. It is built on a hillock called as Ramgiri. Ramtek has the evidence of the earliest style of hindu temples, The Kevala Narsimha temple, the Rudra Narsimha temple and the Trivikram temple, constructed in the Vakatak period in the 5th Cent AD. It is believed that lord Rama in his exile took rest in this place so this place is called Ramtek. Later on, in the 13th Century the Yadava Kings constructed the Ramtek group of temples consisting of Ram Temple, Lakshman temple and Hanuman temple. Ramgiri looks very beautiful in the monsoon and no wonder the famous Sanskrit poet Kalidas was inspired to write his famous poem Meghdootam in the beautiful atmosphere of Ramgiri. This place is also mentioned in the biography of Akbar Aaine Akbari.
Markandeshwar - The Khajuraho of Vidarbha
Markanda is 180 Km from Nagpur in Gadhchiroli district. These are a group of temples built by the Parmar king Jagat Dev Parmar in the 12th Century. These temples are built in north Indian style architecture and are situated on the bank of river Wainaganga. It is dedicated to lord Shiva. It is called the Khajuraho of Vidarbha because of its Architectural plan, style and sculptural similarity to Khajuraho. Every year a huge Jatra of religious gathering is held here during Mahashivaratri. Presently the Archaeological Survey of India Nagpur branch is conducting restoration of the temple.
Rukmini Temple Nagpur
This temple was built by the mistress of King Raghuji III in 1853. The Temple is dedicated to Rukmini Narayan. The temple is located in the premises of Senior Bhosala Palace in Mahal area of Nagpur. The temple is constructed in Nagar style and has beautiful carvings on the Shikhar, walls and Pillars.
Kalyaneshwar Shiv Mandir
The Kalyaneshwar Shiv Mandir at Telangkhedi is 226 years old. It was constructed by Raje Raghuji Bhosale in 1785. Starting the day by offering prayers to the idol there was Raghuji's routine. During Shravan month, the king's family lived in the temple which is east facing. It has 'garbha gruha', 'antralaya' and 'mandap' in stone masonry. The temple has a domed roof over the 'garbha gruha'
Mahakali Temple is situated in Chandrapur. It is dedicated to lord Mahakali, one of the forms of godess Parvati. It was built by the Gond Ruler Dhundya Ram Shah in the 15th Cent. It is built on the congregation of river Irai and Jharpat. The temple is built in north Indian style and its walls and ceilings are decorated with beautiful mural paintings.
Adasa is one of the Ashta Vinayak of Vidarbha and is situated at a distance of 40 Km from Nagpur. The idol is of lord Ganesha in Dancing posture. The idol is about 11 ft in height and belongs to the Parmar period and was built in the 12th Cent. . The original temple was built by the Parmars. But the present temple structure has undergone renovations a number of times.
Article by - Padma Gupta, Horizon Holidays, Nagpur