Markanda Temple Age:
These are the most scenic group of temples which has no inscriptions to mention their age, but their style is unique and very similar to that of the Chandel temples of Khajuraho. Hence it is believed that they may belong to the same period of the 10th and 11th centuries. Markanda temple area is spread across 40 acres of the land. The construction of Markanda temple is accredited with the Rashtrakuta dynasty
Legend Says :
This temple complex is dedicated to Shiva. However, the Markanda name is derived from the Markandeya rishi, the son of Mrikanda who was an ardent devotee of Shiva. He went into Meditation for many years near the banks of the Markanda river and tried to offer his head to Lord Shiva. Looking at his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and stopped him. The temple was blessed with Markandeya’s name.
As per the legend, once Vibhishan, the brother of Lanka King Ravana fell sick. At that time Hemadpant healed him from the illness. Grateful Vibhishan granted him a boon. Hemadpant asked the aid to build temples. Vibhishan granted the boon on a condition that the Rakshasas will not work for more than a night at a time. This was agreed by Hemadpant and accordingly designed the temples at Markanda in one night. Hemadpant was Head Secretariat of Yadava Kings and a renowned Sanskrit scholar.
Festivals and Celebrations of temple:
Thousands of devotees throng the temples during the Festival of Maha Shivratri and in the holy month of Shravan to perform puja of lord shiva. Every year a 10-day celebration is organized in the temple during the Mahashivratri festival.
The unique art motifs in temples are the main attraction that has the finest traditions of sculptural and architectural work. It is surrounded by a landscape of small hillocks and the Wainganga river flowing adjacent to it makes the Place of Tranquillity and Peace
Three of the Twenty temples like Markanda Rishi, Mrikanda Rishi, and Lord Shiva Temple are still well preserved. The outside of the temple is full of extravagantly carved sculptures. It has human sculptures modeled with rhythm and elegance, and the images of gods and goddesses represent an interesting features. Surrounding there is the temple of Dashavtar, the 12 Pithas, and also 12 Shivlingas in the temple.
The sculpture of Lord Ganesha engaged in dance occupies a prominent place on the south side of the temple. Lord Ganesha is shown holding a battle axe, tooth, serpent, flower, etc. On the other side, you can see a Sculpture of Goddess Saraswati with six arms with a lotus flower, rosary playing upon a musical instrument; the manuscript; and the lower-left having a fruit. The peacock Goddess Saraswati mount is also seen below her Sculpture.
As heard in the news, the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) is been engaged In the restoration of the temple.
Planning to visit
Nagpur is Nearest airport
If travelling by train -Nearest railway station is Gadchiroli
If you are traveling by Road, Markanda village is situated 65 km away from Chandrapur and 184 km from Nagpur.
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I would definitely recommend visiting this place.
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