Discovery of Oldest Shivlinga, Dating Back to 1st-5th Century, Unveils Ancient Treasures
Discovery of Oldest Shivlinga, Dating Back to 1st-5th Century, Unveils Ancient Treasures

Panna: Excavations led by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in the mounds surrounding the Chaumukhnath Temple in Panna district, Madhya Pradesh, have unveiled remarkable findings, including the discovery of the oldest temple and Shivlinga to date.

The ongoing excavation, which commenced on March 4, 2024, has revealed a Shivlinga believed to be from the first to fifth century. This ancient temple complex, possibly originating from a monastery, has captivated historians and archaeologists alike.

The excavation site, situated in the village of Nachna Kuthara, is home to two ancient temples known as the Chaumukhnath (Chaturbhuj Nath) and Parvati temples. The Parvati temple, estimated to date back to the 5th century, and the Chaumukhnath temple, believed to be from the 8th century, have long been recognized as significant historical landmarks.

Under the guidance of Dr. Shivakant Vajpayee, an archaeologist from the Jabalpur Circle of ASI, excavations around the temple complex have identified two of the eight mounds for exploration. Approximately 15 days into the excavation, a Shivlinga emerged from one of the mounds, located about 33 meters away from the Parvati temple.

Historians speculate that the Shivlinga could belong to the Gupta period, spanning from the 1st to 5th century. Further investigation is underway to ascertain the origins of the Shivlinga and unravel more historical treasures buried beneath the earth.

The village of Nachna holds significance in ancient history, believed to have been a thriving trading hub during the Gupta period. ASI is meticulously overseeing the excavation process to ensure the preservation of recovered artifacts. Stringent measures, including the prohibition of videography and photography near the excavation sites, have been implemented to safeguard the integrity of the archaeological findings.

Dr. Narayan Vyas, another archaeologist, highlights the architectural marvels of the Parvati temple in Nachna, showcasing intricate carvings and mythological depictions influenced by the Gupta period. He traces the evolution of temple architecture from cave temples to stone structures, with significant findings indicating the presence of ancient temples dating back to the second century BC in Besnagar near Vidisha.

The recent discovery adds to the rich tapestry of historical heritage in Madhya Pradesh, where ancient temples like the Kankali temple in Tigwan village stand as testaments to the region's cultural and architectural legacy. With ongoing excavations and discoveries, Nachna emerges as a treasure trove of antiquity, offering insights into India's ancient past.

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