Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Madan Kamdev temples, Assam where yearning for love, joy and divinity is frozen in rocks

abhijna-emuseum.com
 The archaeological site in Baihata Chariali, Kamrup, District,  Assam dating  back to the 9th and 10th century AD contains vast ruins and excavations of the then  prosperous Pala Dynasty of Kama Rupa that ruled this part. Madan Kamdev, the main temple dedicated to Shiva and his consort Parvati refers to those edifices and artifacts that lie scattered in an isolated place covering half a  kilometer. These pieces of artistic wonder point out the presence of an  admixture of heterogeneous religion in this place and the blending of of artistic creativity. The ruins at Kamdev bear testimony to the creative expression and supreme individuality of skilled craftsmen of glorious medieval  era. The site is located on the Dewangiri hill in the middle of wooded areas about 40 km from Guwahati city.
ruins of Kamdev. Assam, India.Kamdeven.wikipedia.org/
 The construction of temples at Kamdev is closely associated with the Hindu mythology and the rebirth of Kamdeva, the ''God of Love'' at this particular place where the temple of Madan Kamdev is now located. It is a sort of mini Khajuraho because nicely engraved  erotic sculptures  bear close similarity with those on the walls of the plinth and jangha of temples of Khajuraho; even the adhisthana of the garbhagriha of the Madan Kamdev temple has panels depicting erotic figures in the adhisthana of the temple.The temple  has idols of Uma Maheshwar  carved on the stones of medieval temples; also found are images of the Sun God, Ganesha, and Vidyadhara. Located in the Brahmaputhra river valley, the temple was built in Nagara style. The temple becomes heavenly on the full moon day.
Kamdev temple, Assam. kvrangia.org

The origin and the builder of temples here is a subject of debate. The earliest work in 1855 (published in Asiatic Society of Bengal) was done by one Captain Daltan, an archaeologist in the colonial era and he mentioned 15 temple ruins in this area and their destruction in 1897 in the Assam earth quake. The ruins, it seems, are actually those at  Madan Kamdev with  main temple, surrounded by  huge and small temples  around it. Because the medieval ruins lay hidden in the inaccessible wooded mountainous terrain for a long time, detailed study was undertaken only in 1970s.
In 1977, this area came under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Directorate of Assam and soon their detailed surveys and excavations  discovered 12 amazing ruins of historical value besides the main one.  Scientific study of the temple ruins  and stone carvings of gods concluded  that they were made during 10th century to the 12th century and rulers  Ratna Pala, Indra Pala and Go Pala, had the temples built in this NE part of India.  The following deities  are identified in the ruins  - Bhairav with six heads, Shiva with 4 heads,   Kalpavriksha, Sun god,  Apsaras, Vishnu with six heads, Saraswati, etc. There are images of animals as well in the excavations.  The area is a thickly wooded one and below the Kamdev, the River Madankuri flows in the east and towards the north. Swampy areas lie before the hill.

As for the rebirth of Kamdev, the legend has it that God Shiva in a rage, opened his third eye and burnt the ''God of Love'' Madan Kamdev and tuned him into ashes (cinders) and later   God Shiva restored his life upon continuous pleading by Kamdev's consort Rati.  So the God of love was reborn in this place and it happened to be the Holy Day.  
Near Madan Kamdev, an old temple of lord Shiva, known here as Gopeshwar, is located in the village of Deuduar. Nearby is a large cave known as Parvati Guha (Parvati Cave), after his consort. Kamdev is a haven for archaeologists  and the beauty and the artistic work  of these medieval ruined temples built by the glorious Pala rulers will positively defy our imagination. It is nice place for those who love nature, serene environment, chirping birds and the impressive greenery will make the visitors be at peace with themselves.
http://www.templetravel.info/2013/04/madan-kamdev-temple-in-baihata.html.
http://www.abhijna-emuseum.com/gallery/living-museum/madan-kamdev-amalgamation-devotion-love-erotica/