Daitya Sudan Temple – the mighty impressive temple is located in the heart of the Lonar village. This beautiful Lord Vishnu temple has been dated to the reign of the Chalukya Dynasty who ruled Central & Southern India between 6th and 12th century AD.
One of the best examples of Hemadpanti style of construction, the temple is built in the form of an asymmetrical star. Wonderful erotic carvings of the temple resembles to the popular Khajuraho temples and definitely reminds you about the exquisitely rich elaborated carvings of Badami or Pattadakkal, built by the mighty Chalukyas only.
The deity idol– the Vishnu Avatar standing atop a demon – is made of an iron ore that look like stone adding an extra edge of mystique to the place. The shrine (Garbha Gruha) is pretty dark and the carvings within abode can be revealed only with the help of a torch light. It is a tree chamber temple. The present idol was made by Bholse rulers of Nagpur after the original went missing.
The second chamber is called “Antaral” where individual poojas are performed. The ceiling of the chamber carries beautiful cravings of slaying of Lavanasur by Lord Vishnu, appearance of Lonar Lake, story of Kansa- Krishna, Narasimha killing Hiranyakashyapa along with Rasleela. Outermost is the the assembly chamber (Sabhamandapa).
The temple experienced various invasions post 10th century and the brickwork evidences the repair of the damaged temple.
The podium of the temple is about 1.5 m in height and measures 105 ft. long by 84.5 ft. broad. The unfinished roof suggests an intended pyramidal form for the tower. The main entrance of the temple is east facing. The niche of West has an idol of Sun God, South has an image of Chamunda Devi and north has Narashima. All of these 3 niches are built like mini temples in themselves having elaborate pillars, base and decoration.
Detailed carvings which covered the entire surface of the temple, elaborates stories from the Puranas, great epics like Ramayana & Mahabharata, incarnations of various gods & goddesses, Apsaras, Yakshas, Kinnaras and Kamasutras.
Mythology: There’s an interesting story here too. Lord Vishnu is said to have come down to this place in the form of a young, handsome boy called Daityasudan to slay Lonasura or Lavanasura, the demon who lived under the Earth in this area along with his sisters. Daitya Sudan killed the demon in a battle which ended up in creating the Lonar Lake.
The standing idol of God Surya is placed in the principal niche on the back of the temple. This further gives rise for an assumption that the temple was originally dedicated to the Sun god. However, in the present form, it is a Vaishnava temple of Lord Vishnu in his Daitya Sudan avatar.
Air of calmness around this marvelous beautiful temple puts you in a mood to linger, stare and appreciate what you are looking at.
Don’t forget to check art gallery of ‘Kamasutra at Daitya Sudan Temple‘
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