The Larger Surang Temple, a 10th – 11th century architectural masterpiece of the Chandelas is one of the many shrines in the dilapidated temple complex at Dudhai village. Commonly known as Badi Sarai, this temple is best known for its twin shrines that share a majestic shikhara.
On first glance, this temple sits on a high platform, has two shrines, two maha mandapas, two mandapas and can be accessed from both the east and west side. The pradakshina path allows one to appreciate the original structure and its intricately detailed panels of carvings on the pillars, beams and walls.
The garbha grihas of both shrines stand empty today but historians opine that this was also perhaps a Shiva Temple originally. The entire layout of this temple is extremely unusual as it is very uncommon to see two shrines placed in such a manner.
The temple unfortunately was severely damaged, looted and set on fire by the desert barbarian Akbar during his reign. Court records in fact graphically state that thousands of Hindus were butchered mercilessly by the Muslim invader for protecting the temples of Dudhai village.
Though this temple and the shikhara have not managed to survive the savagery of the Mughals and British, it does offer a glimpse of the grandeur, mastery, ingenuity and craftsmanship of the Chandelas.
This temple 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)