Arthuna Temple

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24 Aug 21
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DR. Prabhat kumar singhal

Arthuna Temple

Arthuna is located, where we can find remnents and ruins of beautiful temples constructed between the 11th and 13th centuries by various rulers who invaded this area.The place is 220 km. away from Udaipur in Banswara distt. Here, temple construction is not simple stone carvings, but it is sheer poetry in stones, and it's description is beyond the words. In the 8th century A.D. Raja Upendra of Malwa established the Parmar dynasty. Later on, sub branches of this extended its regins over Vagad, Chandrawati, Bhinmal, and the Kiradu areas of Rajputana. Raja Pundarik, One of the members of the Parmar dynasty, set up his capital at Arthuna, whose original name is Amrawati or Uthunaka. He and his descendents started the constructions of many temples.

Here, the temples are broken up into several complexes. Looking to the religious beliefs of different rulers, Arthuna temples are a mixture of Shivaism, Jainism, and Vaishnavites. In 1954, the archaeological Survey of India started excavations here and brought out the existence of the temple complexes. The most important and largest is the Mandleshwar Shiva temple which was built by Raja Chamundaraj in memory of his father, Raja Mandalik, as says the inscription of 1080 A.D. The main gate and Parbota of the temple have collapsed. Out of the temple is situated huge idol of Nandi. At the both sides of the entrance are the statues of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The statues of Ganeshji and Lubooleesh are also here. The idols of Parvati, Ganpati and Uma-Maheswar are situated near Shivlinga. In rainy season, the temple gets overflowed with rainy water. Just near to this, there is Arthuniya Hanuman Temple, built by Raja Vijayraj in 1107 A.D. Someshwar Mahadev is also an important temple in this group. Here, we can see stone carvings of Shiva Tandav, Andhak Vadh, and Goddess Chamunda. Just near to this, there is another Jain temple, Chausath yogini, or Arthuniya Mahadev which was built in 12th century by the then rulers. Since, temples were built at different times, they were constructed in groups. There is one more distinct group known as the Hanuman Garhi complex; an important spot, as a place where a black stone statue of Lord Hanuman was found. A small temple of Neelkanth Mahadev is also a part of this group. Along with all these, we can also see Shivacharya temple and Kumbheshwar temple which is dedicated to goddess Durga.

The general style of the temple architecture at Arthuna is same as was prevalent in India at that time. Temples were built in Nagara style, which means that the base was an elevated square or rectangular platform on which the main body of the temple was set. The main gate was followed by a Garbha Griha. The top part was tapered with a metallic cover known as Kalash. The best time to visit Arthuna is between September and March, as the climate is reasonably sub-humid. As the surrounding areas around Arthuna evolves, it has become a quaint retreat in a colourful village to grab some grub and memories before or after visiting the temples.

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