Front view of a large brick temple at Ranipur Jharia
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a large brick temple at Ranipur Jharial, taken by Joseph David Beglar between 1874 and 1876. Situated on a rocky hill, the site was an important centre in the 9th-13th centuries. Originally there were one hundred and twenty temples at Ranipur Jharial however there are only fifty still standing today. Most are small and have no sculptural ornamentation. The large quantity of religious architecture can be explained by an inscription written on one of the larger temples which claims that the site was a tirath, an important centre of pilgrimage. The temples are divided into four main groups arranged around a central, oval shaped tank. The members of each group were built at the same time to a similar design and from similar materials. The brick temple in the photograph, known as Indralath, was built in the 10th century. The sanctuary is covered by a curvilinear tower with mouldings decorated with motifs of arches and amalaks. The basement is ornate with mouldings and niches now empty.