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» Markanda Temple Cluster Heritage Site

Markanda-heritage-site Markanda village situated by the Wainganga River is 160 kms from Nagpur. The well known pilgrimage spot has a cluster of 24 ancient temples making it an interesting heritage site. Named after Sage Markandeya said to have worshipped here, the temples are undoubtedly the most beautiful and by far the most elaborately sculptured temples dedicated to Siva.

Lord Siva, the chief deity is worshipped here in the form of Siva Ling in the central shrine amid the beautiful group of temples. Built in richly decorated stonework the complex is situated on a bluff overlooking the river. Small hillocks, the group of temples and the river flowing below make it an unforgettable spot. The peaceful spot gets crowded each year on Mahashivratri, in March, when the 15 day fair attracts devotees to the temple.

The temples enclosed in the quadrangle have few temples in complete ruins. Several smaller temples and unfinished pieces of stonework lie scattered about providing an impressive sight. There are no inscriptions validating the age of the structures. Since they are similar to Chandel temples of Khajuraho there is little doubt they are of the same period in the 10th and 11th centuries.

The temple walls are covered with decorative designs and figures that include both human and animal images like monkeys, lions and elephants. Many panels are devoted to representation of Siva and Parvati in various forms. The panel depicting the Sun God on his chariot is mesmerizing in its craftsmanship. Unique of its kind is a shrine dedicated to Yama Dharma Raj or God of Death.