Sculpture of an elephant, said to have come from Mandhata, Nimar District, in the Nagpur Museum
Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a sculpture of an elephant, said to have come from Mandhata, Nimar District, now in the Nagpur Museum, taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s.
Mandhata is partially built on the banks, and partially on an island in the Narmada river. The town is situated in the southern part of modern day Madhya Pradesh, and is a celebrated site of pilgrimage for followers of Shiva. The religious importance of the town stems from the presence of the Omkareshvara temple, which houses one of the twelve most important lingas in India. The hills around the town are home to a large number of much older, and now ruined, temples, fortifications and dwellings. The Siddhsesvara or Siddhanatha temple is the most notable of these, as, it is built to an unusual, cross shaped plan and is the largest of the older temples.
The Central Provinces List of 1897 reads, "The temple of Siddhanatha, upon the top of the hill, now in ruins, is the principal and most interesting relic of antiquity at Mandhata. It stands upon the plateau towards the eastern edge, upon a raised platform whose plinth is supported all around by elephants in various positions, in relief, two of which have found their way to the museum of Nagpur, where they guard the entrance to that building."