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54km from Kota is the temple town of Badoli, where, in the Archaeological Survey of India enclosure under an enchanting copse of kadam, mango, jamun & peepal trees is a complex of temples, indicating a past Hindu religious site in a forest. The temples are dated between the 9th and the 12th centuries and the eight big and small temples show a varied degree of preservation, decay and destruction. But what is remarkable about these temples is that they were left largely untouched by the Afghan invaders and still stand in marvellous dignity.

The Badoli temples are not very large ones, & these temples were not designed for hordes of worshippers, and their size makes it apparent that their use was restricted mainly to holy men and local believers, with the royalty dropping by once in a while. Built from stone, all temples here have detailed carvings in pillars, ceilings and roofs.

The main shrine is dedicated to Shiva as Ghateshwara which you can see in the centre. The complex has some ruins strewn around and many images show signs of defacement. Some of the sculptures from these temples are now in the Government Museum at Kota. Some pillars & columns, sculpted with apsaras (heavenly nymphs) and celestial beauties, which once adorned the temples lie in the small garden, is various states of neglect, some lying down, some standing, for renovation & cleaning. I used one such column for the FG in this picture.

Badoli is not exactly a destination in the popular touristic circuit, but is definitely worth a visit.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7688 W: 324 N: 15328] (53990)
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