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Temple Architecture


Situated in the hilly country in Maharashtra known as the Balaghat, Tulja Bhavani temple is situated on one of the deep slopes on the ranges of the hill, in the midst of a small side valley of a stream flowing down the plateau to the west of the town The temple is enclosed with a fortress and faces the East and consists of special attributes of Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) The chief shrine is cross-planned construction, the southern one opening in the courtyard, the eastern one leading to the outer Mandapam and the western to the Garbhagriha. On the northern side is a room known as the Shejaghar or bedroom of the goddess.

As one enters the temple complex through the Mahadwar, on the way there is the Kallol tirth to the left and after a descent of nearly 30 steps the Gomukh tirth on the right with a small shrine dedicated to Vitthal Rakhumai nearby. Both these tirths receive perennial water flow from gomukhs. To the left near the main entrance gate leading into the courtyard is a shrine dedicated to Siddhi Vinayak. The imposing gateway is ornamented with flower and creeper patterns carved in relief. To the right of the gate is a shrine dedicated to Dattatraya and to the left residential houses of the temple priests. Occupying a central position in the courtyard, the temple mandap has two side entrances right opposite each other flanked by small columns. Supported on quite a few rows of pillars the mandap hall is 7.62 x 4.57 metres (25' x 15') beyond which is the middle part wherein is installed a marble statue of a lion in a standing posture. Herein to the right there is a small chamber housing the silver palang or bedstead of the goddess. Inside the Garbhagriha is a silver, four-arched canopy holding the delicately carved stone image of the goddess Bhavani. It is very attractive and in point of finish and execution would rival any of the best idols found elsewhere. The entrances leading from the mandap to the middle part of the chamber containing the palang (bed) and that of the Garbhagriha are all plated with silver bearing beautiful carvings and are fine pieces of sculptural ingenuity. The Garbhagriha is crowned with a beautiful tapering sikhar having figure-filled niches. Figures set-in in the niches are mostly those of sages and deities and are very shapely. Its four corners are fixed with temple replicas also set-in with deity figures each temple replica in turn being flanked by two lion statues. The space in between is filled with elephant statues. In the front and right opposite the main entrance gate there is the homakund also crowned with a similar sikhar. Installed here and there at convenient places there are quite a few small Deepmalas or lamp-pillars. On either side of the temple, cloisters have been provided in some of which are installed idols of different deities.

 
 
 
 
 
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