Ancient Temples of Kalchuri - Amarkantak
Amarkantak is called as the "Tirtharaj" or "King of Pilgrimage". This less visited destination in India has the origin of Narmada river, temples from Kalchuri Dynasty, temple dedicated to the highly revered design of Shree Yantra and much more. The positivity that this place brings along is unparalleled.
Narmada Kund is known by many but not the same with the Ancient Temples of Kalchuri. It is managed by ASI and is a protected monument.
These are the oldest temples in this region and are located just opposite to the Narmada Kund. The great legend Shankaracharya had installed the idol of Shiva in the Pataleshwar temple here, however, the construction of the compound and other temples was done in the reign of Kalchuri Dynasty (somewhere around 10th century).
The premises has many temples, Pataleshwar and Karna temple being the more prominent ones. Pataleshwar temple has a panchratha shikhara , meaning that it has five elevation type structures at the top.
One amazing feature that I find in ancient temples is the ability to maintain a cool atmosphere inside the temple. You do not need an AC at all! One can very easily tell the difference between the outside temperature and inside.
It is said that Shankaracharya had installed the Shiva idol beneath the temple to pray and find out about the source of Narmada. Legend has it that Maa Narmada used to offer her prayers at this temple and that is how the source was found. Even today, the water level below the temple rises during Shravan as Maa Narmada comes here to offer her prayers.
The Karna Mandir is the oldest in the compound and also the most neglected. It appears that the tree temples raised on a platform were supposed to be connected but the construction never completed.
Here is a quick sneak peak of the Kalchuri Temple premises:
Amarkantak is a 5 hour drive from the city of Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, which itself offers a lot of things to visit. I bet you cannot miss this amazing drive to have a well spent holiday!
Also in Amarkantak: