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Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar: One of The Oldest Temples in India!

By Siji Ram

The Mundeshwari Temple, or Mundesvari Temple, is the oldest functioning temple in the world. This temple is located at Kaura of Kaimur district in Bihar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti.

The temple was built in 3-4 BC witht he presiding deity as Narayana (Vishnu). The idol of Vishnu is believed to have disappeared due to have disappeared in centuries and around 7th century, when shaivism was the most popular religion followed, and Viniteswara emerged as the presiding deity of the temple.

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Mundeshwari Temple

Photo Courtesy: Official Temple Site

The temple is a protected monument by the Archaeological Surney of India (ASI).

Architecture of Mundeshwari Temple

The temple was built on an octagonal plan, following the Nagara style of architecture, that is a famous type of temple architecture in Bihar.

There are doors or windows on four sides of the temple and small niches for statues in the other four walls. The temple tower, or shikhara, has been destroyed and a roof was built during renovation.

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The sanctum sanctorum at Mundeshwari Temple

Photo Courtesy: Official Site

The interiors of the temple has walls with rich carvings and mouldings. The temple entrance has door jambs with carvings of Ganga, Yamuna and other murtis. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, the main deities worshipped are Lord Shiva and Devi Mundeshwari. The other deities worshipped here are Lord Vishnu, Ganesha and Surya. The idol of Devi Mundeshwari has ten hands holding symbols, riding on a buffalo.

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An exterior view of the temple

Photo Courtesy: Lakshya2509

Festivals Of The Temple

The major festivals celebrated in Mundeshwari Temple are Ramnavami, Shivaratri and Navratri. Devotees and tourists flock in to this ancient temple during these festivities.

Inscriptions in The Temple

The inscriptions found in the temple by Archaeological Survey of India claim that the temple was one of the oldest temple in the world. There are historical evidences that even state that the temple existed during the Saka era when the Gupta Empire ruled.

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Inside Mundeshwari Temple

Photo Courtesy: Official Site

How to Reach Mundeshwari Temple

The temple is easily accessible via road from nearby cities like Patna, Gaya and Varanasi. The nearest railway station to the temple named Bhabua road railway station is located at Mohania which is around 22km from the temple.

The temple can be visited throughout the year.

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