Archaeological Excavation in Nachne Village: Uncovering India's Oldest Temples
Archaeological Excavation in Nachne Village: Uncovering India's Oldest Temples

Katni: Archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are currently excavating a site in Nachne village, near Katni, with hopes of uncovering India's oldest temples, which may predate the Gupta period. The excavation, initiated on March 4th, is focused on two mounds identified by experts in close proximity to two ancient temples: a Parvati temple from the Gupta era and the Chaumukhi temple built by the Kalachuri Dynasty in the 6th-7th centuries CE. These excavation sites are situated less than 100 km away from the famous Khajuraho temples.

Shiva Kant Bajpayee, ASI's Superintending Archaeologist for the Jabalpur circle, stated that the objective of the excavation is to discover India's oldest temple. The process is expected to take 3-4 months to complete. Bajpayee highlighted that while the earliest known temples in India date back to the Gupta era, Madhya Pradesh hosts several of them, including the Nachne Parvati temple, Tigwa’s Vishnu Temple, and Bhumara’s Shiva Temple. The current excavation aims to uncover temples that predate this era.

Archaeologists working on the Nachne excavation site have indicated that their findings so far suggest the discovery of the upper portion of a temple. The excavation covers two mounds, each approximately two meters in height and spread over 1,000 square meters, out of a total of eight archaeological mounds in the area.

The discovery of the Parvati temple in 1883-84 by Alexander Cunningham, a renowned British military engineer, and later visits by Indian archaeologist R. D. Banerji in 1919, have paved the way for the current excavation efforts. Experts believe that this area holds the potential to unveil India's oldest temple, reshaping historical narratives.

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