Lakshman Temple -Archeological Gem at Sirpur, Chhattisgarh
Lakshman Temple is situated in the heart of the holy land of India, Chhattisgarh is revered as the God Bhoomi of time immemorial. There are temples, monasteries, and temples of different sects on this land which further strengthen its distinctive culture and traditions.
Lakshman Temple, a witness of silent love made of red bricks located in Sirpur, Chhattisgarh, has been embodying such uniqueness for centuries. When viewed from the outside, it looks like a normal Hindu temple, but due to its architecture, architecture, and its construction, it is also called the Lal Taj Mahal.
The Pandu dynasty was ruling here at the immediate time, mother to ruler Mahashivagupta Balarjuna, Viasat had built the Lakshman Temple in memory of her husband Harshagupta.
Situated on the banks of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh, Sirpur’s past is full of cultural diversity and architectural elegance.
It is about 78 km from Raipur, the capital of the state of Chhattisgarh. It was settled around the 5th century. There is evidence that it was a major pilgrimage site of Buddhism from the 6th century to the 10th century. Ancient Buddhist monasteries were also found here in excavations.
It was in the 12th century that a devastating earthquake destroyed this vibrant city. It is said that before this disaster, a large number of Buddhist people used to live here. Due to natural calamities, he had to leave this city and gradually this city got lost somewhere in the dust of time. Later it was resettled.
Sirpur is known for its eternal moral values of art and original architectural style. It was famous as a special art pilgrimage in the history of Indian art. Along with this, it is also illumined with the light of religious, spiritual, and knowledge science.
Let us tell you that Sirpur was famous as Shripur in ancient times, during the period of Somvanshi rulers it also had the distinction of being the capital of South Kausal.
According to historians, the Chinese traveler Waensang also came here in the 6th century. At the same time, historical legends tell that the Somvanshi Pandava kings of Bhadravati had left Bhadravati and settled it.
First Brick Temple
India’s first brick temple built in the 6th century is here. Somvanshi kings had built the Ram temple and Lakshman temple here with red bricks. It is unique in terms of ornamentation, beauty, original intent, and construction skills.
If we talk about the Taj Mahal of Agra, then Shah Jahan built it between 1631-1658 in memory of his wife Mumtaz.
At the same time, about 1100 years before the Taj Mahal was made of white marble, the Dashavatar of Vishnu has been inscribed in the monument made of clay bricks in the former Shaivite city of Sripur, which is known as Lakshman Mandir.
You may be surprised to know that European writer Edwin Erald has compared this temple to the Taj Mahal, a symbol of love. He described the Taj Mahal as love built of living stones and the Lakshman Temple made of red bricks as a symbol of silent love. On the other hand, Rabindranath Tagore has called the Lakshman Temple a wonderful gem that shines like a dot on the cheeks of time.
Vastadevi’s Symbol of Love
Lakshman Temple is not only an ancient monument but also a symbol of a husband’s love in South Kaushal. The facts uncovered from the ground show that in 635-640 AD, Queen Vastadevi built the Lakshmana memorial in memory of King Harshagupta.
It built by Queen Vastadevi in memory of King Harshagupta. Vastadevi was the daughter of Magadha king Suryavarma and was of Vaishnava religion. Their love story authentic from the inscriptions found in the excavations, according to which the love story of the Lakshman temple monument is older than the Taj Mahal, the monument of love.
The love story of Vastadevi also mentioned by the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang in his travelogue. A unique blend of the Shaivism of Dakshina Kosala and the Vaishnava culture of Magadha found in this monument made of clay made of pucca bricks.
Amazing Architectural Style
This very grand temple built entirely of brick on a very large platform dedicated to Lord Vishnu. In this, stairs have been made from the north and south directions to reach the top of the temple courtyard, the temple includes a sanctum, antarala, and mandapa.
On the other hand, if we talk about the entrance of the temple, then it is very beautiful, on which Lord Vishnu has been carved. It also describes the major incarnations of Lord Vishnu and scenes of Vishnu Leela.
In the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, there an idol of Lakshmana seated on a five-headed snake, a symbol of Sheshnag. Perhaps the queen must have seen herself as Urmila who waited for 14 years for Lord Laxman’s exile to end.
To know the description of the huge Lakshman Temple is sufficient to know the specialty of post-Gupta art. Its pylon is 6’×6′, on which many types of etchings done. Just above this situated the beautiful idol of Sheshasayi Vishnu. Brahma Ji seated on the lotus originating from the navel of Vishnu Ji. Lakshmi Ji seated at the feet of the idol of Vishnu. Gandharvas holding musical instruments displayed nearby. The pylon is also made of red brick. The idol of Lakshmana is also situated in the temple’s sanctum sanctorum.
The size of the temple’s sanctum sanctorum is 26″×16″. Mekhla in its cut, Kundal in the ears, Yagyopaveet in the neck, and Jatajut on the head adorned and seated on a five-headed serpent, which is the symbol of Sheshnag.
The temple mainly built of bricks. But this fact is very surprising from the craft which displayed on it because such a subtle and wonderful etching can be done even on stone with difficulty. The fine work on the spire and pillars presents a wonderful example of Indian craftsmanship. The main feature of this temple is the frescoes of the Gupta period.
The size of the temple bricks is 18″×8″. The delicate and subtle carvings on them are unique and unmatched in India. Bricks were very common in the architecture of the temple of the Gupta period. Ram Mandir also situated near Laxman Devalaya. But now it has become a ruin.
The Lakshman Temple at Sirpur, built during the 7th century AD by the mother of Mahashivgupta Balarjuna, dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It considered one of the best examples of brick temples in India.
The Lakshman Temple is of great architectural and historical importance, which makes it a tourist attraction. The temple wall has intricated and elaborate carvings, including symbols of Krishna Leela, Lord Vishnu himself, and Vaishnava gatekeepers. Some of the carvings resemble those of the famous Khajuraho temples.
The temple discovered by the British, Lord Cunningham in the year 1872. The temple gets its name from a small black idol of Lakshmana, seated under a serpent-hood, inside the temple. It has remarkable architectural features such as unique symmetry and precise construction. It consists of an agarbagiha, an antarala, and a mandapa (which is currently in ruins). There is a museum on the premises of the Archaeological Survey of India, which has an excellent collection of exhibits. The main attraction of the Lakshmana temple is certainly its stone gate and the ornately carved shikhara around it.
Tourists have described this place as very photogenic. It is beautiful surroundings and the way to the temple is certainly pleasant, well-maintained, and enjoyable. Like most other temples in the Sirpur area of Mahasamund, the Lakshman Temple is worth a visit.
Lakshman Temple Timing:
Sirpur Lakshman Temple remains open from 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM
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