Friday, May 4, 2012

Lord of the Sky - Architecture of Ambreshwar Shiva Temple

The term Ambernath actually indicates Lord of the sky. Ambernath is the location of an ancient temple, the historic Ambreshwar Shiva Temple devoted to Lord Shiva, the architecture and construction of which dates back to 1060 AD in the 10th century. . Strategically located by the bank of Vadavan ( Waldhuni ) river, the temple is a towering construction encompassed by a fenced barrier. Richly carved and embellished out of one single black stone, the state-of-the-art carvings are impressed from Hemadpanti style of architecture.

One belief suggests that the temple was constructed by the Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharta fame for taking a night refuge during their period of exile (vanvaas). They could not complete the structure which is reflected even today in the missing roof directly above the main sanctum area (Garbha Griha) of the temple. It is also said that there is a km–long passageway which was used by the Pandavas to escape which lies shut and locked today. There is another official version that advocates that this temple was constructed by Shilahara king, Chittaraja and later rebuilt by his son, Mummuni.

However, the saddening part is that a historical monument like this with such an exquisite past is gradually decaying with some of the sculptural carvings falling off due to neglect and poor maintenance by the authorities. Inside the temple, the main sanctum housing the Shiv Ling is situated at a slightly lower level and one has to descend a few of steps to take the blessings of Lord Shiva. There are a couple of other smaller temples too in the temple premises that you will come across along the premises.

One can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the religious place of worship which not only opens the window to the state’s rich past but also brings alive the time-honored stories from our ancient texts. And then, whichever way you may deem these stories to be, true or false; one can’t deny the peace and calm and the sense of spiritual energy that one is filled with when one visits such places of rich architecture.


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