Khajuraho of Rajasthan : The Temple of Ambik? at Jagat - article ; n°1 ; vol.10, pg 43-65
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Arts asiatiques - Année 1964 - Volume 10 - Numéro 1 - Pages 43-65
23 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.



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Publié le 01 janvier 1964
Nombre de lectures 16
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R. C. Agrawala
Khajuraho of Rajasthan : The Temple of Ambikā at Jagat
In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 10 fascicule 1, 1964. pp. 43-65.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Agrawala R. C. Khajuraho of Rajasthan : The Temple of Ambikā at Jagat. In: Arts asiatiques. Tome 10 fascicule 1, 1964. pp. 43-
Udaipur Superintendant, (India) Archaeology tfc Museums,
The ancient Temple of Ambikâ [ie. Ambâ Mâlâ] atJagat is situated at a distance
of about 35 miles from Udaipur City by a bus-route via Korâvada and about 27 miles
by a different bus-route via Jhâmesvara Mahâ Deva. This tenth century edifice,
dedicated to goddess Durgâ Mahisamardinï, was first discovered by me on 22nd
May 1956. A brief account thereof was accordingly published by the author in
Maru Bhâratï, Pilani, Hindi, Vol. V, n° 1, April 1957, pp. 56-58. It was during my
exploratory tours in the vicinity of this temple that I discovered a few post-Gupta
and early-mediaeval sculptures also which were duly preserved by author in Udaipur
Museum while a few others are still under worship in the main hall of the Ambikâ
Temple at Jagat and outside the modern temple on the hillock above. Carved out
of the greenish blue schist, locally called as pârevâ, they are elegant specimens of the
early-Brahmanic art of the region as already pointed out by me in detail in my notes
in Lalitkald, Bombay-Delhi, vol. VI, pp. 63-71 and plates XVIII-XXV and my
booklet ' Sculpture from Udaipur Museum', 1960, Government of Râjasthân, Jaipur,
pi. I-IV. All these specimens from Jagat bear testimony to the popularity of Siva-
Sakti cult at Jagat as early as the Vlth century A. D. The earlier group bears close
affinity with the Mâtrikâ specimens from Sâmalâjï and now preserved in Baroda
Museum. The statue of Harihara, recently noticed under worship in the modern
chapel on the hillock at Jagat, is a rare specimen in the realm of ancient Indian
iconography. Here we notice the matted locks (jalfi) on the head of the standing
deity and a serpent-hood still above. « The presence of a hala (= plough) in one of the
four arms of Harihara » is equally interesting. Another statue of this variety will be
eagerly awaited from other parts of the country (1).
The Ambikâ Temple at Jagat (fig. 3, 4, 5) is an elegant edifice of the Xth century
A. D. as one of the pillars of the sabhclmandapa thereof presents a small inscription
of Vikrama Year 1017 (= 960 A. D.) and which has remained unnoticed so far. It
(1) Cf. R. C. Agrawala's paper in Researcher, Bull, of the Dept. of Archaeology, Râjasthân, Jaipur, vol. II. 44 R. C. A GR AW AL A
appears from this inscription that this temple was built by a certain person named
Samvapurâ, son of Valluka, probably during the reign of Guhila ruler Allatta or
his son Naravâhana of Mewar. It is extremely important from architectural point
of view and bears close affinity to the contemporary temple at Kotai in Gujrat-Kutch,
the latter being a descendant of the Roda type. Contemporary temples have been
recently discovered by me near Udaipur such as the Temple of Lakulïsa at Ekalingajï,
dated Vikrama Year 1028 (= 971 A. D.) (fig. 14, 15, 16) and the Temple of Durgâ at
Unawâsa, dated Vikrama Year 1016 (= 959 A. D.). The entire temple at Jagat has
been built in dry masonary with white sand-stone blocks procured probably from the
hillocks nearby.
The Ambikâ Temple at Jagat is situated about 8 feet below the existing walking
level and covers an extensive area. It faces East and can be approached through
an 'Outer Porch' (pravesa mandapa) towards the East and then a huge compound
wall studded with well dressed stone blocks on the lloor. The distance between the
main temple and the entrance-porch is about 56 feet (East to West) as revealed by
the recent conservation works. To the left of the main temple, at a distance of about
15 feet, is a 8 feet high compound wall built of massive and well dressed stone blocks.
The stairs in this wall are connected with an outer compound-wall and steps thereof at
a distance of about 36 feet, still further towards the South. So there was another
arrangement for access to the main shrine from South. The main entrance was of
course from the East, through the outer porch cited above. The entire compound
appears to have been studded with a lloor built of huge stone blocks. Further
conservation work is likely to throw more light in this connection.
Outer Porch.
The outer porch, cited above, is well connected by means of a llight of steps from
the East and then a 8 feet long and 4 feet wide pavement. On the front portion was
a lorana studded with a 3 feet high female figure (Surasundari) hanging towards the
north while the one to the South remains completely mutilated. The fiat and re
ctangular ceiling of the small porch, in front of the entrance door, has been profusely
carved, note worthy feature being the movements of the chariot, etc. The round
pillars of the Vase and Foliage designs are equally imposing. The exterior of the outer
entrance porch is studded with amorous scenes and dikpâlas towards North and
South ; below is the simple and plain pltha covering a space of about 30 inches in
height. The total height of this structure (from exterior) measures about 15 feet
from the floor level inside the courtyard.
The main entrance door of the porch, under study, is about 81 inches high and
42 inches wide. On the sides of the door frames have been carved tiny figures of
Mâtrkâs in a traditional manner. Here, the image of 4 armed Vârâhï is important
as we notice the presence of a fish (malsya) in one of her hands (fig. 1) as can also be
seen in the dancing Vârâhï from Abânerï-relief and reproduced by me in Bharatiya KHAJURAHO OF RAJASTHAN 45
Vidyâ, XX-XXI, Bombay, ie. Munshi
Indological Felicitation Volume, 1963,
p. 303 and plate I. The association of
a fish with Vârâhï « is probably due to
the inlluence of some 'Tânlric' Irait)).
The matter needs further investigation
before any view is hazarded with defi-
The interior of the above porch
contains a Hat and rectangular roof
Illustration non autorisée à la diffusion supported by six round pillars (with
octagonal bases) in the middle. It
covers a space about 30 feet in width
(North to South) and has been divided
into nine parts, three in each of the
three rows ; corner portions depict the
klrllimukha motifs ; the central four
present the lotus designs whereas the
ninth (in the main centre) depicts the
churning of the Ocean scene (Samudra-
manthana) in an elegant manner with
dancing Siva in the centre thereof. This Fig. 1. — Ambâmâtâ Temple. Entrance porch,
porch is completely open towards the Vârâhï holding a fish. (Dessin de Cheda Lai).
West in order to allow an unobstructed
view of the main temple.
It may be pointed out here that none of the above-cited and contemporary
Temples at Ekalingajl and Unawâsa presents this type of 'outer porch' and that
enhances the importance of the Jagat monument still further. The distance between
this Porch and the main Ambikâ temple at Jagat comes to about 56 feet.
Main temple of Ambikâ.
With an extensive courtyard in front ie. towards East, the main Temple of
Ambikâ is approached by means of steps leading to the sabhâ mandapa which has got
two small openings (facing West) in order to facilitate exit towards the exterior of the
main sanctum ie. towards North and South respectively. The sabhâ mandapa is
supported by four round pillars (with octagonal bases) in the middle. One of the
left hand pillars bears inscriptions of V. S 1017, 1724 and 1744 ; the front right of
V. S. 1306, the back right of V. S. 1228, 1277 and 1745. The average height of a
pillar comes to about 8 feet including the base, the middle portion and the upper
portion depicting the llower and creeper motifs. Above 8 feet can be seen a small
niche with amorous scenes and surmounted by a kïcaka (bracket) figure, thus raising H. C. AGHAAWLA 46
the total height to eleven feet. The circumference of each pillar here measures about
4 feet 6 inches. Still above can be seen the Mâtrkâ figures in seated pose as can inva
riably be noticed in most of the mediaeval temples of Râjasthân. They are further
covered by a carved celing (fig. 6) which is equally note worthy. The « fro/a-corbelling
of the interior is strongly reminiscent of the Laksmana Temple at Khajurâho and
Trinetresvara Temple at Than in Western India (1) ».
Equally important is the depiction of developed form of half-lotus designs in a
line in the interior here whereas this motif can be seen on the exterior all around in
case of Lakulïsa Temple of V. S. 1028. The sabhâ mandapa at Jagat has further
been provided with rectangular lattic

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