Decoding Mystery of Markandesvara Temple through Inscriptions
Girish Nandkishor Naphade
The Markanda temple remains as one of the controversial site for historians while dating temple art. Historically it is a significant but comparatively neglected group of monuments from Vidarbha which is situated at Chamorshi taluka, Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. The Archaeological Survey of India protects the site accommodating eighteen temples out of twenty-four. The total area of the Markanda temple complex is 196 × 168 sq feet. Local people call the place as Markandi or Markanda Deva, and assign the major temple in the group to Markanda Rishi or Markandesvara, which was damaged by striking of lightening 300 years back. Therefore, it is difficult to trace the original form of Markandesvara temple. The architecture and sculptures of these firmly resemble the Khajuraho temples. It is famous for its “Hemandpanthi” style of construction. This research paper attempts readings of all the available inscriptions and a newly found inscription at Markanda that has never been discussed by scholars. Here we are trying find out some possibilities and additions that will give a particular perspective to the present study by concluding the date of Markandesvara temple.