Joda Temple, as the name suggests is a pair of temples located in the vibrant town of Baihar in Balaghat district. The 12th century temples face each other and are located by the side of an ancient tank.
The temples are in a state of disrepair with a large section of architectural elements and sculptures barely recognizable. Temple No. 1 has been marked down as a Siva Temple by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and has an antarala and a garbha griha.
There is a shikhara built in the Nagara style of architecture above the sanctum and the antarala has the typical sukanasi. The only discernible feature on the otherwise plain entrance doorway is a floral like pattern on the lintel. There are typical mouldings seen on the walls with lotus and ghaṭa pallava patterns dotting the centre.
Temple No. 2 has a mandapa and a garbha griha with a shikhara surmounted by a massive amalaka. The entrance is plain and most of the architectural detailing and sculptures in the niches on the external facades are either broken or destroyed. A lot of sculptures and carved elements are strewn about the temple premises.
It is unclear who built these temples and why but the style of architecture and location by the ancient tank must be pondered over. This is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)