We always believe that the most exciting part of any travel experience starts with planning. The excitement increases as you Google for details, talk to friends to know their experiences, find out small nuances of the place etc., Especially so when you are going to an offbeat place like Chhattisgarh. When we started this process, some places became must sees – Chitrakote falls, Tribals, Chiukhadan palace and to that list was added Bhoramdeo – The Khajuraho of Chattisgarh.
A good breakfast in Chiukhadan made us ready for the long drive. The road from Chiukhadan to Bhoramdeo via Kanwardha is excellent. Driving in central India between March and May is a colourful experience. No doubt it will be hot, but you will see the colourful “Flame of the Forest” trees blooming in abundance. To our bad luck, we did not come any of them in Bastar. But here in Kanwardha, our wishes came true and there were many. Interspersed in the fields, they made the landscape look beautiful.
Excitement mounted as we crossed the welcome arch of Bhoramdeo temple complex. The tourism department and Archaeological survey of India have joined together to maintain this place neatly. There are good restaurants and Chattisgarh Tourism has Bhoramdeo Jungle resort inside the complex. We had to wait for couple of minutes as the circuitous road led us to Bhoramdeo temple. The temple is not imposing like the ones in South India. It is small. But the location of the temple in middle of the forest next to a pristine lake gives it a tranquil setting.
The temple is a little gem. It reminded of the Jain temple at Ranakpur near Udaipur in Rajasthan which is also in the middle of forests. The temple architecture is similar to the ones in Khajuraho. If I am not wrong, the same group of rulers’ were responsible for building this. I wonder as to what made them to build the temple in the middle of jungle!
The walls of the temple are embellished with erotic figures of men and women in different poses of making love. The carvings are intricate and capture the mood of the lovers very well. I don't want to deliberate much on this. Like they say, “seeing is believing” and here are the pictures.
The sanctum sanctorum of the temple has Shiva linga. It is located few steps below the ground. The entrance to the sanctum sanctorum has some beautiful figurines as well.
Our next stop was “Madwa Mahal” situated a kilometre away from Bhoramdeo. ‘Madwa’ is a word from the local dialect synonymous to marriage pandal. Madwa Mahal was originally a Shiva temple but due its shape, like a marriage shamiyana, it came to be known as “Madwa Mahal”. This is a small temple dedicated to Shiva. The erogenous idols of this temple are also extremely beautiful. On the outer walls there are as many as 54 erotic sculptures in different poses. These asanas from the “Kamasutra”, are truly an epitome of eternal love and beauty. The Nagwanshi Kings were believed to be practitioners of ‘Tantra’ as their contemporaries in Khajuraho.
It was the end of the Chhattisgarh leg. We could only see half of the beautiful state in this trip. We then travelled to Kanha National Park.
We will be posting details about the trip from planning perspective in the next post.
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