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ASI Begins Excavation in MP To Find India's Oldest Temple In India

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 23-03-2024
ASI Begins Excavation in MP To Find India's Oldest Temple In India Madhya Pradesh 4 min read

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is excavating two mounds in Nachne village located in Panna district of Madhya Pradesh to uncover the oldest temple in India. 

  • The excavation sites are just 30 meters away from two ancient temples – a Gupta-era Parvati temple and the Chaumukh Nath temple built by the Kalachuri dynasty. 
  • The Nachna Hindu temples, also known as Nachana temples or Hindu temples at Nachna-Kuthara, are among the earliest surviving stone temples in central India, along with those at Bhumara and Deogarh. 
  • Although the exact date of the Nachna temples is uncertain, their style is comparable to structures that can be dated to the 5th or 6th-century Gupta Empire era. 
  • The Chaturmukh Temple dates back to the 9th century and reflects the North Indian style of Hindu temple architecture.
  • Archaeologists believe that there is a historic site beneath the ground and they are digging to find it. 
  • The ASI's Superintending Archaeologist, Dr Shivakant Bajpai, stated that Nachne village is an important location from an archaeological standpoint and it houses a Parvati temple.
  • Madhya Pradesh is home to several ancient temples, including the 'Sanchi 17', a Gupta-period shrine that is said to be the oldest complete surviving temple in India to date, dating back to the 5th century CE.

Sanchi 17

  • Temple No. 17 serves as a prime example of the Gupta period's simplicity and grandeur. This stunning temple features a modest, flat-roofed sanctum with a porch boasting four front pillars. 
  • The sanctum's ceiling rests slightly higher than the portico or hall's roof. While the interior and exterior of the temple remain unadorned, its pillars are exquisitely carved with inverted lotuses, while the capital supporting the roof features small lions.
  • As one of the earliest examples of temple architecture in India, Temple No. 17 holds great historical significance.
  • Neighboring Temple No. 18 is believed to have been a stone-and-brick temple from the 2nd century CE, but little of its original structure remains. 
  • Although it dwarfs Temple No. 17 in size, much of its structure has been lost, save for its foundation and a handful of pillars. 
  • This Chaitya temple boasts a horseshoe-shaped plan and is thought to have housed a Stupa within its walls.


Answer: Panna, MP

Answer: Sanchi 17
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