India’s ancient Sidheswar temple in shambles

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The locals call it Sidheswar temple, the State Archaeology Department records it as the Dakra Vibhisan temple and many historians simply call it ‘the Garabadu precinct temple’, but the 11th century temple lies in ruins and is in the process of losing its glory.

The 11th century temple in the Garabadu precinct .Telegraph pictures This marvel of Orissa architecture is 70 just metres away from the famous Lingaraj temple, but unlike the latter, Sidheswar temple is fast losing its sheen.

The temple, which lies in the Garabadu precinct, was built in the Kalingan style and follows the construction pattern of Rajarani temple architecture. Carvings and rock art adorn the outer wall of the temple.

Located on the road from Garage Chhak to Lingaraj temple, the entrance of the sanctum sanctorum faces the door of Lingaraj temple. The neglected temple was built of ochre and grey sandstone.

The 11th century temple in the Garabadu precinct .Telegraph pictures The monument lies in a dilapidated condition as a common compound wall stands across its left and right sides, making it impossible to use worship in it.

A private house lies behind the temple where dense vegetation has cropped up. The frontal portion of the temple lies inside the Garabadu precinct, which is an old monastery.

Tents of the monastery used for storage purposes obstruct the entrance. Wild plants have grown all over its dome. The icons, sculptures and carvings decorating the walls of the temple are have been damaged by rainwater.

The 11th century temple in the Garabadu precinct .Telegraph pictures “The stone the temple is made of is of low quality and unable to withstand erosion,” says Ashwinee Pati, a curator at the state archaeology department. Although repaired by the department under the X and XI finance commissions, the main structure is in a dilapidated condition.

“The temple is important from an architectural point of view but unrestricted encroachments from all sides make access to it difficult. Divided by the monastery and private settlement on two sides, public viewing is hindered. The state archaeology department should build an alternate or independent approach for public entry,” said professor Sadasiba Pradhan, head of department of archaeology, Utkal University.

The 11th century temple in the Garabadu precinct .Telegraph pictures “All temples in the Old Town area are master pieces of architecture and symbols of heritage and have the same value. But every monument has a different ground reality,” said an official at the state archaeology department.

“While some are surrounded by decades-old settlements that cannot be got rid of now, others are repaired time to time. But further conservation work is not possible since there are not many conservation archaeologists here,” added the official.

A resident of the monastery, Prasanna said: “The monastery has been here since decades or even earlier. If the authorities remove it for the sake of preserving the temple, many of us will face problems. There has to be an alternate solution.”


Author: Namita Panda | Source: The Telegraph [January 04, 2011]


1 COMMENT

  1. India is a religious land. Ever since the dawn of civilization, India has been the birthplace of many religions. Being so, the country boasts of a lot of pilgrim destinations within its precincts. Rich in mythology, it has a number of temples, mosques, monasteries, churches and gurdwaras, which attract lakhs of devotees every year. Pilgrimage tour India

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