The biggest monolith murti of Bhagwan Natraja has been unearthed at Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. The murti that was discovered at an ancient site located about 140 kilometers from Bhopal (15 kilometers from Ganjbasoda) is believed to be 1500 years old.
The dimensions of the murti carved out of a single are 9 meters long and 4 meters wide and its massiveness can be estimated from the fact that its image could never be captured in one frame until Intach used a drone which revealed for the first time that it is a murti of Bhagwan Natraja. “It is the largest Nataraja sculpture in the world. The ruins have great potential of turning into a national and international tourist destination”, ToI (Times of India) quotes Intach state convener Madan Mohan Upadhyay as saying.
In this regard, the ToI report further notes “For the past one year or so, Intach has been working at the site of Udaipur, a city created by Parmar king Udayayditya, around 1059 CE. Udaipur ruins have many layers of history The Nataraja sculpture predates these ruins. The village and associated infrastructure of palaces, temples, water bodies, bastions, fortification wall and the gates to the city and innumerable monuments speak volumes about Udaipur”.
Measures are being jointly undertaken by the Vidisha district administration, Madhya Pradesh tourism department, and state archeological department to preserve this rich heritage. The place is reputed in the entire state for the ASI-protected Neelkantheshwar Mahadev temple that draws a large number of visitors, particularly on Maha Shivaratri.
The story of the creation of this place along with the Neelkantheshwar temple of Bhagwan Shiva is found in the inscriptions preserved in the Gwalior museum. The ruins that sprawl over a few thousand hectares are believed to have many layers of history indicating the domination of different dynasties, including Parmars, Gonds, and Marathas, during different time periods. However, why the Nataraja murti in Udaipur could not be installed as a standing Shiva sculpture remains a mystery and Upadhyay emphasized the need for further research to find out the reason for the same.
(Featured Image Source: ToI)