Beautiful temples of Dipadih Chhattisgarh
Situated in Ambikapur, Dipadih is located on the Kusmi roadway. Dipadih means a reserve of sacrosanct temple ruins. The land near these ancient treasures has been used for farming, destroying them to a great extent. Today, in a range of 2km, some of the ancient godly idols and artistic creations still exist in mud heaps and dunes. These hillocks and mud heaps have revealed beautiful temple remains, ancient idols of Gods, and sculptures dating back to the 7-10th century AD. The excavations in Dipadih have been instrumental in unveiling breathtaking historic treasures like the Samant Sarna, Urav Tola, Rani Pokhra, Chamunda and Panchayat Temples. 6 main temples and many other smaller temples have been excavated in Borja Tila, among which most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu, Lord Surya and many other temples dedicated to Goddesses have been found in Dipadih. Samant Sarna is the most popular archaeological site here.
Named after the brave King Samant, this place holds the most important historical sites in its womb. After excavation the famous ‘Pashudhar Shiva Chaturbhuji’ idol has been found along with idols of other revered deities like Kartikeya, Nandi, Gaja-Lakshmi Chamunda and various Goddesses. Folklore has it that long ago there was a fierce battle fought between King Samat and Tanginath. King Samat sacrificed his life in the war and his Queens were devastated. They too. committed suicide by jumping into a well nearby. The local villagers revered the Shiva (Pashudhar) deity itself as King Samat. Owing to the same legend, the name of this particular region came to be known as Samat Sarna. Excavation activities were carried out extensively in this region, revealing enchanting idols and architecturally brilliant temples.
Shiva Temple at Urav Tola
The Shiva Temple at Urav Tola is famous for intricate craftsmanship of the artisans who have perfectly captured expressions of routine life and animals in stone. An entire fantasy land has been created in carving with flying peacocks, swans and sculptures of mesmerizingly beautiful women. The artistic creations are adorned with ‘Karnabhushans’ like Pongal, Kundalas and Tarki, intricately carved on the statues. There is an extremely unique statue of a woman with two different earrings in each ear, which the old women of Surguja still wear. The hairstyles of the women in statues too are a perfect reflection of the fashion during historic times. In this temple, you will see the eye-for-detail artists of Dipadih have and the way in which they have carved out simple imitations of life in the most creative manner. Through wonderful sculpture work, the craftsman have successfully mastered the art of storytelling too. On a rectangular platform in the temple, statues of two lions sharing the same head have been created. The illusion formed through art is extremely attractive.
The Shiva Temple is quite big and the Garbha Griha of the temple is very unique. The doors of the temple are decorated with carvings of Makarwahini Ganga and Karmawahini Yamuna. The entrance door arches portray ‘Gajabhishekit Laxmi’ and Lord Shiva. Enchanting engravings of a Kalpavruksha’ and brave soldiers surrounding it can be seen. A 7ft tall Shivalinga is installed in the sanctum. During the excavation of the temple site, idols of Kartikeya, Virat Vishnu, Bhairava, Ganesha, Mahishasur Mardini, Durga, Kalyan, Kubera, Varaha, Uma Maheshwar and Lord Brahma have been discovered.
The Uma Maheshwar idol is of special importance as the artist has shown immense mastery by crafting a timeless smile on the face of Uma Maheshwar! Even the hair of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is crafted with immense detail. Goddess Parvati’s jewellery and drapes have been portrayed beautifully in the sculpture. The entire scene of Lord Shiva’s marriage has been depicted through spellbinding carvings which include the holy fire, Lord Brahma and Gauri in deep meditation.
A fascinating image of Lord Ganesha (Chaturbhuji, Dwibhuji) in a graceful dancing position as well as in a still position has been depicted. Along with that an image of Kartikeya in a very joyous state with a peacock has been created. Another unique carving is that of Bhairava in his Rudra’ avatar with a garland of many heads hung in his neck. What’s so different about sculptures found in Dipadih is that they are extremely expressive. The Bhairava is seen to be breaking into a grin, and even his pointed teeth can be seen clearly. He is holding a ‘Kapal Patra’ in one hand and a snake in the other. A sculpture of Parshudhar Shiva is also worth observing Highly pious and uniquely built Shivalingas ranging from a very small size to those of St have been found here A huge Shivalinga is made from 108 smaller Shivalingas. There is an exquisite Lord Brahma statue with a beard and moustache This idol is a one of its kind idol found in Inda
The art galore at Dipadh continues to mesmerise tourists with idols of Kubers and Vahn in different avatars. A Chaturbhuj and 20 bhuj (20 Hands) idol of Lord Vishnu has enchanted various historians and archaeologists. Special attention has been given to the weaponry that the God holds including, the conch, wheel, baton, lotut bow-arrow, pasha. Interestingly, Lord Vishnu’s vehicle, the eagle, is seen wearing a crown and jewels. Bhudevi and Sheshnaag have also been shown with him
The valuable collection of sculptures at Dipadih cannot be complete without Goddesses Mahishasurmardini, Chamunda, Yogini, Durga, Gaurt, Skanda Mata Sapa Maruka and many other Goddesses have been portrayed. Most peculiar among them is the idol of Mahishasurmardini Durga riding the lion, fighting the Mahish demon by holding him with his horns. She is portrayed waging a war with m and then slaying him to death. Characters from all the Indian legends and pics including the Krushodari Chamunda, Shrugal, Bhoot, Pishach, Betal and Dakini are stown devouting blood. The seven mothers mainly, Hans Vahin Bramhan Garden Vaishnav, Mayurasin Kaumart, Gajarudha Indrani and many other Goddesses with their children have been showcased, Next to these extraordinary depictions, Lord Shiva and Ganesha have been shown playing a ‘Veena’
Perhaps the most uncommon and rare depiction of River Goddesses can be found in Dipadih. Draped in elegance, the Goddesses are shown with beautiful hairstyles, enchanting jewellery, and ooze with charm.
It feels as if sculptors have put their heart and soul into the creation of these sculptures blending cultural nuances well with art. Tourists are allured greatly by the dedication of artists as they have actually made the carvings come alive through emotions. The lovely sculptures of women show them in interesting positions like, waiting for a lover, grooming themselves in front of mirrors and dancing. The lovely image of a brave soldier picking out a thorn piercing his lady love’s foot will stay with you forever.
Among the sculptures and carvings of divine deities, those pertaining to the Shaiva religion are the highest. Uma Maheshwar, Natraj, Parshudhar, Veena Shankar, Bhairava, Veerbhadra, and Ardhnarishwar sculptures are magnificent. Intricate detailing makes the Shiva and Parvati images breathtakingly beautiful. Lord Shiva’s third eye has been shown along with the moon decorating his long, tangled hair. Amidst sculptures of the revered Goddesses, Matruka and Chamunda idols are in plenty.
In the glorious history of Dipadih, the Chaila Mountain has special importance as the architectural marvel. This rock has been carved out of the holy Chaila Mountain in order to build the temple. Sculptors and artisans have honoured the master of Indian Architecture, mainly Acharya Vishwakarma before using the rock. As a proof of their devotion, they have carved out ‘Om Namah Vishwakarmaya’ in Nagri scripture.
Maheshpur is just 8km from Udaipur, and can be reached via the Kedma route. If you travel in the northern direction, you will find a Shiva Temple on the banks of Renuka River. Splendid sculptures and carvings on the walls and remains of the temple have stood the test of time. It is believed that the temple was built in the 8th century.
It is interesting to note that just a kilometre away from the Shiva Temple, a small town named Badka Deur is located. Archaeologists have been fascinated by the ruins of two Vishnu Temples found here. These temples are assumed to have been 10th Vrishabhanath, belonging the 10th century also here. According the artistic remains found, it is evident that Shaiva and Vaishnav religions were predominant here. you want to witness the Kalchuri Kalin art and culture than these temples are a must see.
How to reach
By Air: Raipur is the nearest airport well connected Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
By Rail: Ambikapur the nearest railway station.
By Road: Local taxis and private vehicles are available for transport from Ambikapur to Dipadih.
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