Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Unique Idol Of Hanuman Stepping On Two Figures Who Are Considered To Be Kamadev And His Counterpart Rati - Bateshwar Temples - Morena

The Bateshwar Hindu temples (or Batesara, Bateśvar) are a group of nearly 200 sandstone Hindu temples and their ruins in north Madhya Pradesh in post-Gupta, early Gurjar-Pratihara style of North Indian temple architecture. The temples are mostly small and spread over about 25 acres site. They are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti - representing the three major traditions within Hinduism. The site is within the Chambal River valley ravines, on the north-western slope of a hill near Padavali known for its major medieval era Vishnu temple. The Bateshwar temples were built between the 8th and the 10th-century. The site is likely named after the Bhuteshvar Temple, the largest Shiva temple at the site. It is also referred to as Batesvar temples site or Batesara temples site.

Bateshwar Temple Complex
Bateshwar Temple Complex
Popularly known by name Bateshwar or Batesara , this group of temples is an incredible but barely known place within the deep ravines of Chambal valley, a place which has its history filled with stories of dacoits. The place won’t give away much from a distance but once you get closer, what awaits you is a sight that is bound to fill you with awe. This group of temples falls in Morena district, Madhya Pradesh. Don’t confuse it with Bateshwar temple, Agra, UP which is on banks of Yamuna River. That one is a complex with 101 small Shiva temples, painted white and regularly visited by devotees.

Bateshwar Stanstone Temples
Bateshwar Stanstone Temples
In 2005, the ASI began an ambitious project to collect all the ruins, reassemble them and restore as many temples as possible, under an initiative led by the ASI Bhopal region's Superintending Archaeologist K.K. Muhammed. Under Muhammed's leadership, some 60 temples were restored. Muhammed has continued to campaign for the site's further restoration and calls it "my place of pilgrimage. I come here once in every three months. I am passionate about this temple complex." According to Muhammed, the Bateshwar complex was "built on the architectural principles enunciated in two Sanskrit Hindu temple architecture texts, Manasara Shilpa Shastra composed in the 4th century CE, and Mayamata Vastu Shastra written in the 7th century CE".

Bateshwar Temple
Bateshwar Temple
On the other hand Bateshwar temples, a group of about 200 mini sandstone temples is spread over 25 acres and built on slope of an isolated hill near the village named Padavali, of Morena District. It is assumed to have been named after the Bhuteshvar Temple, the largest Shiva temple at the site.Though very little is known about the history of this place. As per the ASI information board, the temples which are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu were built around 6th-9th century AD during the post Gupta and early Pratiharas period. It also mentions that the earliest of temples are the ones with plain square roof while the ones which were built later have a shikhar and detailed carvings. Most of the temples also have a garba griha or sanctum sanctorum with shivlings.

Bateshwar Restored Temples
Bateshwar Restored Temples
Before the main temple complex starts there is a restored Vishnu temple on the same hill. It doesn’t have a shikhar but its walls are filled with beautiful carvings. The surrounding area is covered with trees which keeps the place full of beautiful birds especially peacocks and parakeets. One can often spot the peacocks casually perching and dancing around the complex. The temple area starts with a garden which is pretty well maintained by MP tourism board.

Lord Hanuman At Bateshwar Temple
Lord Hanuman At Bateshwar Temple
None the less, the site has a charm that is bound to impress anyone who comes here. There is also a Hanuman statue which sticks out amidst these old temples because it is covered with vermilion. As told by the caretaker, locals come here to worship this idol. It is said to be one of its kind, with Hanuman stepping on two figures who are considered to be God Kamdev and his counterpart Rati. The friendly guide at the site might even tell you quite excitedly that no one, not even the machinery, could shift him from that place.

Aerial View Of Bateshwar Temple
Aerial View Of Bateshwar Temple
We come across two ornate pillars which have been reconstructed by putting together the broken pieces. Their positioning is such that it serves the purpose of a temple entrance. All the restored small temples are lined along several steps on the hill slope. The compound also has two stepped water tanks. It is said that they are filled with water all the year round and never dry up even when there is no rainfall in the region. The numbers written on temple stones is how one figures out that these pieces have been put together to restore the structures. Though it’s disheartening to see hundreds of intricately carved, good condition pieces scattered all around the area.

Peacock At Bateshwar Temple
Peacock At Bateshwar Temple
According to Gerd Mevissen, the Bateshwar temple complex has many interesting lintels, such as one with Navagraha, many with Dashavatara (ten avatars of Vishnu) of the Vaishnavism tradition, frequent display of Saptamatrikas (seven mothers) from the Shaktism tradition. The presence of Navagraha lintel suggests, states Mevissen, that the temple complex must be dated after 600 CE. The diversity of the theological themese at the site suggests that Batesvar was once a hub for temple-related arts and artists.

Temple Location:

The marvels of Batesara temples along with Mitawali and Padavli are located only a few kilometres from the Gwalior city and should not be given a miss if you are going to Gwalior. Gwalior is well-connected from Mumbai and Delhi through air and its distance is only 370 km from New Delhi giving it a good connectivity from road and rail transport with most of India. Batesara temple site doesn’t have public facilities. Nor there is any place where you could get drinking water or something to eat. Make sure to carry the above based on how much time you wish to spend at the place. Directions are easily available on Google Maps for the place. While coming from New Delhi one has to move towards Morena. Around 14 km away from it there is a place called Nurabad. A diversion from the highway at this point leads you to Bateshwar. Though locals didn't seem to know of the place till the turn at Nurabad. If you will ask for directions before Nurabad then there is a very good possibility that they will direct you to Bateshwar, near Agra, UP.

Temple Address & Contact Details:

Bateshwar Temple,
near Mitawali Padawali Banmore,
Morena,
Pin Code : 476 001.
Madhya Pradesh.

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