The fertile land of Fatehpur district has been a renowned centre for learning, knowledge, art and architecture since the Vedic Period. This region is dotted with a fair number of temples built in different periods that survived the savagery of Muslim invaders particularly Aurangzeb.
Tucked away in the historically significant Dhamna Khurd village is an ancient brick temple dedicated to Lord Surya. This temple is also locally known as Lord Chaturbhuj and sits majestically in the middle of the bustling village.
It is unclear when and by whom this temple was built with some historians claiming that it was built in the post-Gupta period (roughly around the 8th century) while others say it was built by the Pratiharas based on the repetitive motifs on the shikhara.
According to the locals, this temple is believed to have been built at night over a six-month period. The external facades are plain and the niches are bereft of sculptures. The upper part of the curvilinear shikhara embellished with the traditional chandrasalas and amalakas have fallen off. The shikhara interestingly has star-shaped projections at the corners at regular intervals. This is alternated by typical architectural patterns to lend strength to the structure.
There is an idol of Lord Surya as chaturbhuj consecrated in the sanctum sanctorum that has unfortunately been broken. Aurangzeb ran amuck in the early 17th century and instructed his rabid army to desecrate all the temples in this region. Many broken sculptures are housed in the sanctum sanctorum.
This temple is revered by the locals who have put in a lot of money and effort to repair the temple.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)