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Rajasthan’s Khajuraho lies in ruins, needs immediate restoration

The ancient Bhand Devra Temple in Baran, known as ‘Khajuraho of Rajasthan’ for its erotic carvings, may soon be a part of history textbooks if not conserved properly

jaipur Updated: Jul 27, 2017 20:11 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Khajuraho,Bhand Deora
Baran’s Bhand Deora temple, which are known as Khajuraho of Rajasthan, cries for attention. (AH Zaidi/HT)

The ancient Bhand Devra Temple in Baran, known as ‘Khajuraho of Rajasthan’ for its erotic carvings, may soon be a part of history textbooks if not conserved properly.

The temple, which was built in the 11 century by Raja Malaya Verma of the Nag dynasty, now lies in ruins and is in immediate need of repair and restoration.

“The almost 1,000-year-old temple in Ramgarh is in a deplorable condition and is deteriorating with time following natural wear and tear,” convener of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Baran Chapter, Jitendra Kumar Sharma said.

“The temple has faced the wrath of nature and may collapse if not conserved,” Sharma added.

He said that the former Congress-led state government had sanctioned ₹7 crore for restoration of the temple in 2011. “The restoration fund lapsed when the contractor failed to finish restoration work in 2012. No restoration work was carried out later,” he said.

“INTACH had written to the state government in 2015. Recently, we have written to the state archaeology department and asked them to carry out restoration work, but so far nothing has happened,” said Sharma.

The site is now protected by the state archaeological department.

Tourism promoter, Abdul Haneef Zaidi, who visited the site a couple of months ago, said that the Bhand Devra Temple is of immense archaeological importance as the main Shiva temple was constructed in the style of Khajuraho Group of Monuments, hence the name ‘Little Khajuraho.’

“Several sculptures and idols have fallen from the temple complex over the years,” he said.

Sharma said that after restoration, the Bhand Devra Temple can be developed into a major tourist attraction in Baran.

When asked about the history of the temple, Sushma Ahuja, a professor of history and now the principal of the Janaki Devi Bajaj Government Girls College, said that the 11th-century temple with it various erotic carving and architecture bears resemblance to the famous Khajuraho Temple in Madhya Pradesh.

The temple has an audience hall, vestibule spire and a base, she added.

The director of state archaeology department, Abhay Kumar Sharma, said that the department plans to restore the temple and a Detailed Project Report will be prepared. “The restoration of the temple may start in October this year and there will be no dearth of funds,” he said.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 20:11 IST