This Temple Is the Oldest in India!

Tripoto

(C) Maa Mundeshwari Trust

Photo of This Temple Is the Oldest in India! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

India is home to some of the most elaborate religious structures in the world. Devotees from all over the world travel to seek blessings in various parts of the country. It is no surprise then, that every region, city, and the remotest parts have temples located in various parts of the country. While some of these structures have deteriorated over time, there are still a few which have withstood the test of time and are fully functional till date. One such temple which is also the oldest Hindu temple in the world is located in the state of Bihar.

Where?

(C) Maa Mundeshwari Trust

Photo of Maa Mundeshwari Temple, Bhabua, Bihar, India by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located at Kaura of Kaimur district in Bihar is the Mundeshwari Temple which is the oldest functioning temple in the world. Dedicated to Shiva and Shakti, this temple was built between the 3rd and 4th Century BC with the presiding deity as Lord Narayana (Vishnu). The idol of Lord Vishnu is said to have disappeared over the years after it was built and was resurrected with Lord Shiva’s idol in the 7th century when Shaivism was prominently observed.

(C) Maa Mundeshwari Trust

Photo of This Temple Is the Oldest in India! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

Located on the Mundeshwari Hills at a height of 608 ft in Kaimur district near the Son river, it is one of the most respected Hindu sanctuaries in the world. Providing protection to this monument, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) dates it back to 625 CE. Hindu inscriptions dated 625 CE have been found in the temple. The ASI have been protecting this structure since 1915 AD and the temple has been believed to hold religious ceremonies in the premises without a break since its inception.

Architecture

(C) Maa Mundeshwari Trust

Photo of This Temple Is the Oldest in India! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

The temple built of stone is made in octagonal shape which is quite rare. It is one of the earliest specimens of Nagara style of temple architecture in Bihar. The temple shikhara or tower has been destroyed, however a roof has been built as a part its renovation work. There are doors and windows on four sides and small niches for the reception of statues in the remaining four walls. The carvings and fragments suggest the influence of the Gupta era in its architecture and indicate its cultural importance during that period. The door jambs at the entrance are seen carved with images of various deities. The temple also has idols of other gods such as Ganesha, Surya and Vishnu as a part of the complex.

Best time to visit

(C) Maa Mundeshwari Trust

Photo of This Temple Is the Oldest in India! by Neha Bhise Sadalge

The temple gets thousands of devotees all-around the year. However, this number significantly goes up during major festivals such as Ramnavmi, Shivaratri and Navratri. Despite the huge crowds, the celebrations during these festivals make it the best time to visit the temple. The temple also celebrates Mundeswari Mahotsava every year on 7th and 8th April to mark the importance of the shrine.

How to reach

By Air: The closest major airport is at Varanasi (60 km). Private and government owned transportation is available from here to reach Kaimur.

By Rail: Varanasi (60 km) is the nearest major railway station to reach here. Alternatively, Mohania (Bhabua Road) is the other railway station commonly used to reach Kaimur.

By Road: National and state highways connect Kaimur to Patna (200 km) and Varanasi (100 km).

Do you have any interesting stories to share? Write about them on Tripoto. Check out videos and more on Tripoto’s YouTube page!

Be the first one to comment