Deogarh, situated on the banks of the Betwa River is dotted with stunning temples dating back to the 5th century. Besides the world-famous Gupta Period Dashavatara Temple, there is the lesser-known Kuraiya Bir Temple seated in the dense forest close to the Varaha Temple.
This east-facing temple sits majestically on a low platform and has a mukha mandapa and garbha griha. The mukha mandapa has profusely decorated pillars and pilasters that have the distinctive bell and chain design.
The sanctum sanctorum has a rare two tier shikhara design with carved openings on four sides in the second tier. This particular design is most unusual for this region and therefore, raises the question of when and by whom this temple was built.
The entrance doorway has elaborately carved panels of Ganga and Yamuna at the bottom of the door jambs. Bands of ornamental patterns are seen on either side of the doorway.
Every part of the temple is adorned with auspicious Hindu iconography, floral and foliage patterns and traditional architectural elements. Fragments of niches are seen on three sides of the sanctum sanctorum. There is a slightly damaged sculpture of Lord Kartikeya sitting on a peacock in the western niche.
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)