Bhand Deul is a 9th Century Shrine Amidst 21st Century Village in Arang

Arriving Bhand Deul temple in Arang, Chhattisgarh is an experience of its own kind. Between the narrow streets of a village, clearing natural hurdles like goats and cows etc, all of a sudden it appears.

The scene on arrival at Bhand Deul temple demonstrate an amazing perspective, little different from other locations in Chhattisgarh. It’s a routine village view, like a daily needs shop, narrow lanes and pet animals running around. And a generic undistinguished noise that almost hints of an active village area. Amidst all these stands this epic monument from 9th Centaury, the Bhand Deul Temple. An epic tale of a developed civilization from 9th century is standing tall in a panoramic view of 21st century village.

Bhand Deul temple is about an hour drive from Raipur on Arang Road. You can use Google Maps for this location. Also, you might as well combine this destination on your trip to Sirpur as it’ll just consume one more hour of a max and is on the way. 

The Bhand Deul Temple

Bhand Deul temple belongs to the Jain sect and devoted to Tirthankaras, the saviours and the spiritual teachers of dharma. Ajitanatha, Neminath and Shreyanasanatha are the three Tirthankaras carved on a highly polished black stone at this place. Also, BhandDeul is also one of the rare temple which has all 24 Jain Tirthankaras carved on a single stone.

According to the literature, Haihaya dynasty rulers constructed this temple during 9th Centuary AD. Bhand Deval temple has meticulously sculpted walls. The front face of the temple has been destroyed due to a catastrophe in the ancient times. The exterior walls demonstrate Urusringas and images of jain Tirthankaras Yaksha-Yakshis. In addition, these walls also depicts erotic couples.

If you’ve been traveling Chhattisgarh and talking of erotic sculptures, Bhoramdev is the temple which will immediately cross your mind.

Towards the base, one can see carvings of elephants, swans, horses and moments of celebration. One of the sides appears compressed, pushing an array of sculptures little back from top to bottom. So, either it’s just our interpretation or the people in those days had an extraordinary talent for details. This temple has stood the test of times but grown a bit weak. To add strength there’s now a metal strap tied around its periphery.

About Arang

This place does not offer more than this unique monument but of course, it got to be on your list if you’ve already started on roads of Arangh. To be noted, there’s only a little known about Bhand Deul in the literatures. We wanted to know why this temple is here, what was around it. But the place is now an elaborated village. This temple is about an hour away from Sirpur, an ancient civilization discovered during the excavation projects of 2006 and older. We know this city for so many historic remains, temples and places of religious importance. There must be so many secrets yet to be discovered from this holy city of Arang in Chhattisgarh.

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By G. Swapnil

Hi! I am G. Swapnil, a working professional happily married to G. Divya and I love to go about places, explore what's around me and script them for memories. I've been traveling Chhattisgarh since I came back completing my PG in 2008 from Amity University, Noida. There was lot to wander in Chhattisgarh as it was comparatively unexplored and had been recently identified as a separate state. Leaving Raipur behind on weekends, finding peace on the roads, the horizon and halts it became a passion. Slowly, I started collecting these journeys on Instagram and later founded this travelogue Welcome236. I am excited to know your opinion of the blog and if you want to get in touch with me for suggestions, feedbacks and collabs then email me on I'll be quick to respond on Instagram DM