India is a country with rich culture and heritage, here you will find lots of religious function, ceremonies, etc. However, most of them are associated with gods and their worship. Similarly, a temple which you are going to read about is the “Jarai-Ka-Math”. This is a Hindu religious temple which is present in Baruasagar district which lies near Jhansi city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Amba, which is also known as Goddess Shakti, Adi Shakti or Parvati. Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva and most of her idols in the country are quite similar, holding different weapons in her eight hands.
Jarai-Ka-Math is a temple that is not known or famous as other temples of Goddess Amba or Shakti are. There is a strong reason behind it, actually, the idol or the statue of Goddess Amba present in this temple is broken and destroyed. In the 14th century, Mughal ruler Aurangzeb attacked the premise of the temple. He was quite sure that there is a huge treasure inside the temple or underneath it. So he attacked the temple and destroyed the beautiful idol of Goddess Amba. Only the right foot of the idol was left and the entire statute which was designed on a lotus flower was destroyed entirely. According to the documentation, it is said that the idol of Goddess Amba was very beautiful because it was carved on an attractive lotus flower.
History of Jarai-Ka-Math
Most of the temples in India has a somewhat similar history, some are preserved and have been destroyed in history. The same scenario is with Jarai-Ka-Math, this ancient temple was created in 860 A.D. It is said that the temple was constructed by the King Mihira Bhoja I. The king belonged to the dynasty of Gujara – Pratihara. This dynasty was hugely popular in the 9th century and had a great influence over the part of Northern India. Most of the part of regions of Northern India were in direct control of King Mihira Bhoja. He made several temples but most of them were destroyed.
Only a few of them survived and still present in some regions, similarly, the Jarai-Ka-Math is also one of them. That’s why you can see the entire temple built in pratihara style of architecture. It is documented that King Mihir Bhoja was a great follower and devotee of Lord Vishnu. And the people used to call him Adivaraha, which loosely refers to one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. In the survey by Archaeological Survey of India, it is said that they found several coins that have the image of Lord Vishnu in the form of Varaha. One of the famous temple built by the King Mihir Bhoja is the “Teli Ka Mandir” which is located inside the Gwalior Fort.
Also Read: 10 Tourist Places to Visit in Uttar Pradesh
The Architecture of the Temple
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team has declared this beautiful temple a protected site. The temple displays a beautiful representation of the pratihara style of architecture. There are only a few temples left in the country where you can genuinely see the beauty of this style. The entire campus of the temple is now covered with fencing and no outsiders are allowed to enter the premise. As it is a protected site by the government so the only tourist is allowed to view the temple. The entire temple is made on a platform which is around 10 to 20 feet above the ground level.
On the centre of the platform is the main temple which houses the destroyed idol of Goddess Amba. Inside the temple, there are other idols of Hindu gods. Most of them are destroyed and some are kept protected. Even some part of the top of the temple is also destroyed, however, the creation of the temple is very strong due to which the temple is still intact after getting attacked by the Mughals. Outside of the temple is also a treat to watch. Every portion of the temple is carved with an intricate style of carving.
The one thought that might emerge on your mind would be, how the workers and architect of that time have managed to build such a beautiful temple with such accuracy. The preciseness of the carving on the temple can be imagined by seeing the small statues engraved on the outer of the main temple. According to the survey team, it is said that these small engraved idols are similar to the figures available in the Khajurao temple. One can also notice the detailing done on the gate of the main temple, where you can find idols of Goddess Ganga and the Yamuna. Even the concierge are also female which heavily indicates that the temple is dedicated to Goddess Amba.
The Pancharata Style
In older times the pancharata style is symbolic to something which is said to be surrounded or covered with its subsidiary part. Thus the entire formula also follows here also, as the temple was built in around 8 or 9th century with the combination of Pancharatra and Prathihara style of architecture. Here also the main Goddess Amba temple is surrounded with four temples or with sub-shrines.
These sub-shrines also enhances the beauty and scenic view of the temple. These sub-shrines does not host the idols of Hindu Gods. All these sub-shrines are placed on the four corners of the platform and the main temple stands in the centre of it. Another noticeable aspect of the temple is that you will also see some ruined idols which are not inside the temple. These idols are kept outside the temple and also preserved from time to time.
If you are someone who loves to travel and discover new things then Jarai-Ka-Math should be the perfect place to start your journey. This temple has an importance on history as well as a perfect example of amazing architectural work. Whereas connectivity to the temple is also seamless. The temple is present on the highway, so one can travel through road also as it is only 20 km away from Orchha City. Even the nearest railway station is also in Orchha City. Thus connectivity is not a problem to Jarai-Ka-Math, so just pack your bags and get ready to experience something unique and unexplored.