Dharmarajeshwara Temple (Dharmarajeshwar Temple) is a structural and architectural ingenuity carved entirely out of natural rock. This 8th to 9th century monolithic rock-cut temple was built by either the Gurjara-Pratiharas or the Rashtrakutas, as at first glance, this temple looks a lot like the marvellous Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora Caves.
The temple also known as Dharmanath is seated within an area that has been hollowed out of rock and is about 30 m in length, 20 m wide and 10 m deep. The temple appears to be around 15 m in length and 10 m wide. It has a porch, sabha mandapa and garbha griha. Interestingly, the larger temple in the middle was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is surrounded by seven smaller shrines.
Somewhere probably post the 9th to 10th century, a Shiva Linga was consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum along with Lord Vishnu. There are beautiful sculptures of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, Lord Bhairava, Goddess Kali and Kalki avatar of Lord Vishnu.
The middle temple is about 14.53 m in length and 10 m wide and has a highly ornate shikhara in the typical Nagara style of architecture. The smaller shrines are square in plan and measure 3 m in length. All the temples are individually spectacular and the architectural detailing on each and every one of them is stupendous.
There is a rock-cut staircase in the north-west part of this quadrangular court where one can view the pinnacle of the shikhara clearly. The entire temple is profusely decorated with intricately carved ceilings and motifs of flowers and auspicious Hindu iconography adorning the facades and columns.
This temple is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is located about 60 m from the Dhamnar Buddhist Caves.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)