Lakshmi Narayan Temple Group, Chandpur Village, Lalitpur District, Uttar Pradesh

The largest group of temples in the historical site of Chandpur – Jahajpura is Lakshmi Narayan. Considered by historians, archaeologists, artists and architects to be one of the finest examples of the engineering, artistic and architectural prowess of the Chandelas, this group of temples though completely in ruins today still manages to exude the charm, grandeur and grace of the Chandela’s glorious reign.

 

Built between the 9th to 12th century, the largest structure has two temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu seated on a raised platform. One temple has an entrance porch and sanctum sanctorum while the other has only the mandapa. This temple has exquisite sculptures on the pillars and intricately carved panels of three tiers on the lintel.

 

The former temple has an imposing shikhara over the garbha griha which stands empty today. The external facades have the typical architectural details of auspicious Hindu iconography, repetitive linear patterns, a prominent ornamental sukanasi, foliage and floral motifs and fragments of sculptures in the miniature niches.

 

The entrance doorway has stunning carvings on either side with gods and goddesses adorning the panels in a structured manner. Chaturbhuja Vishnu sits in the middle of the Lalata Bimba surrounded by figures on either side.

 

Among the ruins are found inscriptions, a beautifully carved figure of Lord Hanuman, two smaller shrines to the south of the large temple, plinths of temples, panels of linear carvings that resemble the sun rays, broken sculptures, amalaka, interesting circular and square drawings, free standing decorative pillars and remnants of halls, dharmashalas and bathing quarters.

 

This temple is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

 

Written by Lakshmi Subramanian

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