Close view of entrance to sanctum, showing sculpture detail on architrave of doorway, Lakshmana Temple, Sirpur
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to the Lakshmana Temple, Sirpur, Raipur District taken by Joseph David Beglar in 1873 or 1874. At Sirpur there are a number of temples and monasteries which date to the sixth and seventh centuries. The site became the Somavamshi capital at this point and was important to Buddhists and Hindus. The Lakshmana Temple, which dates to the 7th century, is widely regarded as the finest early Hindu brick temple in central India. The square sanctuary is covered by a curved tower which has preserved its brick mouldings, the corner amalakas and the arched motifs in the central projections. The sanctuary walls have blind doorways on three sides which are raised on a moulded basement. The sanctuary doorway is decorated with bands of foliation, amorous couples and on the lintel, a worn statue of Vishnu. The right jamb has panels carved with Vaishnava incarnations: Matsya, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Trivikrama and Rama with Lakshmana.