MALHAR ~ THE SCULPTURAL JEWEL OF CHATTTISGARH
THIS ALBUM IS DEDICATED TO KATHERINE BROBECK AN AMERICAN WHO KNOWS MORE ABOUT INDIAN IDOLS THAN INDIANS ... I BOW TO HER KNOWLEDGE :
JEWELS OF ANCIENT BHARATVARSHAM SERIES [TM]
Situated in the district of Bilaspur, Malhar has been declared one of
the most important archaeological sites in Chhattisgarh. It is bound
by the silvery waters of three rivers - Arpa in the west, Lilagarh in
the east and Sivanath in the south and is famous for its archeological
importance. It is situated at 40 km by , u take a right turn at Matsuri
town and travel 18 kms to reach there . In Malhar, many ancient
temples have been found, such as Pataleshwar temple, Devri temple
& Dindeshwari temple.
The four handed idol of Vishnu is also very famous. At this place
remains were found of the period from appx. 1000 BC to Culturi
regime. The temples of 10th and 11th centuries are seen here.
Among those Pataleswar Kedar temple is one of them where
Gomukhi Shiv ling is the main point of attraction. The Didneswari
temple of Culturi regime is also found. Artisitc idols are found in
Deor temple. At this place, there is museum having good collection
of old sculpture being managed by Indian Central Govt.
As I had earlier stated, I started reading literature available with the
Bilaspur Museum. It was believed that at the beginning of the Christian
Era, Dakshina Kosala, was under the suzerainty of the Satavahanas.
All inscriptions of that period are referred to as that of Satavahanas.
The 2nd Century rock inscription at Gunji (Barpali) near Sakti
(now Janjgir district) is also attributed to Satavahana period.
The inscription tells about distribution of 1000 cows to local
Brahmins twice by Raja (King) Kumaravaradatta and a third time
by his minister. Because of this hangover I largely read about the
Satavahanas and their coinage. To cap it, a coin found at Balapur
in the sands of the Malhar
When you travel into the town, you'll find its focal point - a prominent
mud rampart with two ditches, internal and external, serving as a moat.
inside the circular internal ditche is a mound covering the main building,
called the gadha or fort. This ancient citadel is one of many that have
been discovered in present day Chattisgarh, especially in the Bilaspur,
Janjgir and Chanpa districts. They were not, however, constructed for
purposes of defence, but were used for storing water for agriculture
and other daily necessities.
Perhaps the most enchanting sight you'll see in Malhar is that of the
many ancient temples here that date back to the 10th and 11th
centuries, such as the Pataleshwar Kedar temple, the Gomukhi
Shiva Lingam is the main point of attraction. These ancient relics
speak their own language, leaving you with the sense of having
stumbled onto something truly special. here you will also find a
museum with a fairly good collection of old hindu, Buddhist and
Jain stone sculptures, going as far back as 200 BC.
Several excavation have been carried out in Malhar and coins have
been found; in fact , a large number of coins are still being found
during surface explorations near the mud fort area by villagers
and avid local coin collectors. We have only numismatic sources
for reconstructing the history of the region from the 1st century
BC to the 4th century AD. The use of coins in large numbers and
the existence of Roman and Byzantine coins shows that malhar
was an important city or town on the trade route in ancient times.
Make the trip to Malhar and you'll be making a trip back in time.
The twin villages of Malhar and Budikhar are littered with many
old time artifacts which is very common place for the local
Amongst the prominent findings are the temples of Didneshwari,
Pataleshwar and Dewari.
The temple of Didneshwari is very popular and people from far
and wide come to offer their prayers here. The beautiful black
idol of Didneshwari Devi is really delight to see.
How to Reach
Raipur is the nearest airport and Bilaspur is the nearest railhead.
It is about 32 km from Malhar by road.
Situated about 30 kms from Bilaspur City, Take turn inside fro
Matsuri and you will be there i about 18 kms , today Malhar is
an important archaelogical site this site is in list of "Ancient
Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains of National
Importance" maintained by Archaeological Survey of India.