Chandpur – Jahajpura is an excellent historical and archaeological site to appreciate some of the finest architecture of the Chandelas built between the 9th – 12th century. This remote village literally in the middle of nowhere has countless damaged sculptures, carved stones, decorative panels and ruins of bathing ghats, halls and temples in the east and north-west parts.
This complex has five groups of temples spread over a vast area along with independent temples and dilapidated structures. One of the five groups is the Belmori Temple comprising of two temples and smaller shrines.
The larger temple has a mandapa and a garbha griha that no longer exists. Only the base of the sanctum remains. The mandapa has elaborate ornamentation that is typical of the Chandelas. Locals opine that there was a Shiva Linga consecrated in the shrine that was desecrated by successive Muslim invaders.
The smaller temple is in an equally pitiable state with an entrance porch severely damaged and a sanctum sanctorum whose shikhara has collapsed. This temple has beautiful sculptures adorning the walls and entrance doorway along with auspicious Hindu iconography, floral and foliage motifs and repetitive linear patterns.
This temple is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian