PADAVALI Temple Morena, Gwalior

By Sanjeev Nayyar | 2020

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1. Morena has 3 temples ie Bateshwar, Padavali and Mitawali of which from a temple architecture point of view Padavali is the best. It has 1 small mandapa but has carvings on all sides. Pillars are carved. U see temple pillars & in centre top is Surya, on 7 horses. This is west side facing.

2. East side facing is centre top is Chamundi Kali. You will see close ups later. It is called Garhi Padhavali popularly known as Padavali. It is 35 kms from Gwalior.

3. This mukhamandapa stands at entrance of temple, beyond that open area. Temple dedicated to Shiva. Interiors richly carved with sculptures, friezies of sculptures of different divinities-Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Surya, Ganesha, Chandi & incarnations of Vishnu. Reliefs also reflect stories from Epics & Puranas. It was built during 10th century and fortified during 19th century.

4. External structure is that of a fort. U see fort bastion. Fort was built in the 19th century by the Jat rulers of Gohad & Dholpur. Kevin Stand wrote, “Some scholars have declared that the carvings here are superior to those to be seen at Khajuraho. I’m not totally convinced by that, but in terms of the minute detail that has been applied it would be hard to rigorously argue otherwise.”

5. Entrance has 2 lions. “Note that the lions are in fact replicas, the original carvings can now be seen Gurjari Mahal Gallery in Gwalior Fort.” These steps beyond the gate take u to the mukhamandapa, seem to be a recent addition. It seems parts of the external wall restored. There is no guide there. We were lucky to meet someone who explained the sculptures to us.

6. View of mukhamandapa. Behind are huge empty areas. Green fields. This is in the midst of nowhere. Saw some stone quarries on the way. Bateshwar is before, Mitawali is after. At Khajuraho carvings external of temple, here inside.

7. Fortress courtyard. Side view of mukhamandapa. External walls richly carved. “The eastern wall of the courtyard has 2 storied modern cells that have been screened off which house cannon balls & other possible military paraphernalia. On the southern corner there is deep well like baoli.” Missed seeing the step well.

8. Typical pillar, ornamental designs. Part 2 from top has a kalash. Parts 3 and 4 see how intertwined. Part 5 lowest note the design. On left raised platform is where ruins are kept, went on that to click pic no 9 ie next pic.

9. South view of the mukhamandapa. Open are in centre with 3 pillars on either side. Ceiling supported by pillars in open area. Supporting every pillar is what looks like a being, is called KICHAK (only on right of pic). There are 16 pillars. Was there is January 2020 and about noon so peak sun.

10. Lower panel close up. It seems that have placed individual pieces from the ruins to create this. Originally had 6 level of design, now 5 since part 3 is only a piece of stone. Unable to visualise the original temple.

11. Pillar design similar to pic 8 except that u see 3 sides of pillar design & pillar behind above which Surya Bhagwan sculpture. Kevin Stand wrote, “Remains of numerous Jain sculptures have also been found, so it would appear to have been once an important Jain center as well. Prior to the Kachhapaghatas, this area was ruled by the Chandelas, and the Pratiharas dynasty before that.”

12. Side front view of mukhamandapa. Note pillar design. Above pillar u see Kichak (front face hands backwards) as if supporting stone above. Right of pic bottom seems like an elephant face with no trunk. Left of pic shows entrance slab supported by 4 pillars.

13. Entrance, seem sculpture in the panel top of pic. U will see close up later. “This small structure built on a high platform is an extensive profusion of carvings.”

14. Centre panel end of pic is Surya. Note lay-out. Pillars on that stone. Stone connects 2 pillars. Above the pillar & below square shape stone see Kichak (face with reverse hands) as if supporting the stone above.

15. As u enter mukhamandapa ceiling. How did they make this? Can we replicate this today? Intricate carvings in temple, never seen any temple with such intricate carvings inside temple.

16. Chamundi Kali in centre. Above her head 2 elephants. Same line left and right are Ganga and Yamuna. Below that is sthapana of linga at Rameshwaram. Same line right is Sravan Kumar and left are Sadhus, Sants.

17. Close up of lingam sthapana at Rameshwaram, one of the 12 Jyotirlings. The first Sadhus have a jug in their hands. Perhaps it is water from holy rivers (help with names) ie being poured on the linga. Left side sadhu 5 looks like is blowing a conch. Kevin Stand wrote it depicts Lord Ram and his army of Vanaras performing a puja by a Shiva lingam before the war with Ravana.

18. This depicts story of Sravan Kumar. There lived a boy with name Sravan K. His parents were blind. Parents expressed desire to go on pilgrimage. They were near Ayodhya. Sravan left them to take water from River Sarayu. By mistake Dasarath’s, father of Sri Ram, arrow hit Sravan. He took water to parents. On learning about Sravan death parents cursed Dasarath. Read

19. Top of pic, 3 murtis sitting in Yogic posture. Could be Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Correct if wrong.

20. Centre Shiv-Parvati with Nandi. Left is Ganesha with Ganga. Right is Yamuna. Cannot find son Kartik. Panel below that. Elephant scene is from Mahabharata. Both side see exotic scenes, in same panel. Kevin Stand says lower panel shows killing scene of Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, from Mahabharata.

21. Left of pic shows men with weapons. Right pic is exotic scenes. Close up pic.

22. Help with caption.

23. Close up above column. Lower with reverse hands is Kichak. Above that please help.

24. Every lintel overflowing with carvings. Pic to give u an idea of mahamandapa carvings. Left centre of pic is Chamunda Kali. In front are 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu, close up see next.

25. Lower level is 10 Avatars of Lord Vishnu (Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vaman, Parasuram, Sri Ram, Sri Krishna, Buddha and Kalki). Next scene is from Mahabharata involving Sri Krishna’s elder brother Balaram. Help with details.

26. Lowest level is Shiva Parvati Vivaha (marriage) Kalyana Sundareshwirar (also seen at Menakshi Mandir Madurai). Pic 9 of Meenakshi Temple inside album. Higher level is TRIDEV. Above them are Apsaras with flowers.

27. Ceiling view. Lowest level is Siva Parvati wedding whose close up you saw in earlier pic.

28. Same area as in earlier pic. At higher level is Tridev. Help with caption of level 1.

29. Close up of level 1 shown in earlier pic. Help with caption.

30. Lowest level 1 – can see men with arms and exotic scenes. Help with caption.

31. Pic 20 similar scene centre was Shiva Parvati. Here centre is Surya Devata with 7 horses. Left is Ganesha (note trunk) Ganga. Right is Yamuna. Lowest level left to right is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Above Surya that cannot see are Kuber (god of wealth), Lakshmi and Ganesha.

32. Left to right is Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Lower panel is Krishna Leela from the Mahabharata. There are also carvings of Samudra Manthan, wedding of Ganesh, Shiva dancing in Pret form.

33. Left to right Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh with wives. Upper panel has king Dashrata lying down, Sri Ram & Laxman with Guruji, Sita Haran-Jatayu & Ravan fight, Ram after killing of deer Maricha, Bharat Milap at Chitrakoot & Senapati taking meeting with soldiers. To read Maricha deer story

34. Left centre of pic is Shiva-you see full panel in pic 32. See lintels and internal carvings. Not to be found elsewhere in India.

35. Panel of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu top panel on lintel, u saw close up in pic 22. See side sculptures. Extreme left and right of pic are mithuna scenes.

36. View of mahamandapa pillars / sculptures. Centre is Chamunda Kali. Observe the carvings.

37. Close up of Chamundi Kali and surrounding sculptures. Centre is Lingam Shapthana at Rameshwaram. Top front elephants is Mahabhara war.

38. Close up of elephant scene from Mahabharata.

39. Help with caption.

40. Help with caption.

41. Lady with musical instrument.

42. Mithuna scene.

43. Mithuna scene. From Gwalior plan a heritage day trip Bateshwar, Padavali, Mitali, Ekattardo Mahadev Mandir and Kakanmath Mandir.

44. Centre is Shiva, left is Ganesha, right lady please help.

45. Help with caption.

46. Help with caption.

47. Help with caption.

48. Help with caption.

49. External wall, right is entrance to Mahamandapa. Wall seems to be recently laid. For a nice travelogue

50. In garden around fort many sculptures like what you see on display. Wish there was a small write on temple at gate. To see o/s pictures by Kevin Stand

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