Mundeshwari: Oldest Living Temple
LOCATION: Keeping the traces of ancient India, the oldest temple ‘Mundeshwari’ is built at Kaura in Kaimur district in Bihar state across Son River.
PRIME DEITIES: Adorning the beauty of Mundeshwari hills, it is signifying the existence of lord Shiva and Shakti.
HISTORY: This is one of the oldest temples of India located in Bihar. It is the oldest Hindu temple.
DATE OF FOUNDATION: 108 AD
BUILT BY: Gupta dynasty (320 AD), the Saka Era in India
CONSERVED BY: Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI)
BEST WAY TO REACH: It is accessible through Mohania-Bhabua Road Railway Station that is 22 km away by road to the temple.
AUSPICIOUS TIME TO VISIT: Annual fair on Ramnavami, Navaratra and Shivratri
BELIEF & SIGNIFICANCE:
1). The worshipping, here, continues for long without break.
2). Since it is dedicated to Ma Shakti as well therefore, puja of foretold goddess ‘Mundeshwari’ is performed in the temple. This puja is done in tantric cult of worship, which is very famous in eastern India.
Style: Nagara Style of temple architecture in Bihar
Fencing: The doors and windows are built enclosing the statues.
Shikhara: The tower of the temple has been destroyed.
Interior walls: The interior walls of the temple have bold mouldings and niches. It has motifs and carved vase as well as foliage designs.
Entrance: The temple has jambs and carved images of Dvarapalas, Ganga, Yamuna and others.
Sanctum Sanctorum: The main part of the temple houses the image of Devi Mundeshwari at a corner and Chaturmukh Shivalinga at the centre. The idol of Devi has ten hands and the ride ‘buffalo’ that attributes ‘Mahishasurmardini’.
OTHER IDOLS: There are other idols also in the temple, i.e. deities of Ganesha, Surya and Vishnu.