The Archaeological Survey of India is taking up the restoration work of Markandeshwar temple in Maharashtra.
- Markandeshwar temple is situated on the bank of River Wainganga in district Gadchiroli of Maharashtra.
- It is also known as the “Khajuraho of Vidarbha”.
- Markandeshwar temple belongs to the Nagara group of temples of North India.
- The Nagara temples belong to Saiva, Vaishnava and Sakta faith.
- Most of the temples have a simple plan, with ardhamandapa, mandapa, antarala and garbhagriha forming the component of the entire set up.
- Ardhamandapa: In Hindu temple architecture, Ardhamandapa is an entrance porch that forms a transitional area between the outside world and the mandapa or hall of the temple.
- Mandapa: It is a porch-like structure through the gopuram leading to the temple. It is used for religious dancing and music and is part of the basic temple compound.
- Gopuram is a monumental entrance tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of a Hindu temple, in the Dravidian architecture.
- Antarala is a transition area between the Garbhagriha and the temple’s main hall (mandapa).
- Garbhagriha: It is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple where resides the murti (idol or icon) of the primary deity of the temple.
- Timeline: On stylistic grounds, their date ranges in between 9-12th centuries CE.
- Religion/Deity: The temples belong to saiva, vaishnava and sakta faith.
- Destruction: About 200 years ago the shikhara of the main shrine and mahamandapa was struck by a lightning which led to the partial collapse of the shikhara.
- Restoration: The Archaeological Survey of India initiated the largescale conservation work of this temple in 2017.