The story of Talagao was started with two queens, who were the devotees of shiva, their love and imagination towards shiva has compelled the kings, to build a two unique elegant temples. These stunning temples located at 30 km from Bilaspur, posses unending stories through the partially eroded stones. The placid Maniyari river behind the temple and huge old trees create a pleasant aura in the complex. Somehow the temple has survived the ravage of the past but most of the shapes of statues are disappeared along with their stories too.
Jethani temple or Elder sister-in-law, is at the ground level and bigger than Devrani temple, most of the temple is fallen apart and placed depressively. But looking at it gives you the idea how magnificent it would have been in its time.
Both the temples are made up of red stones, jetani temple has three gates in east, west and south, main gate is in the south direction, an entrance for the Garbhgrih and mandap, shiv statue was situated here. Its architecture is laden with various animals, birds and flowers, depicting some mythological stories. As there is barely any written evidence of its ancient history.
I found some astonishing structures, one is pillars standing firmly on kubhs crafted on stones while the top of the pillar consists of Amalaka resting upon a vase, wide stairs leading up to the Garbhgrih, mighty elephants on each gates represents the power and prosperity, few big stones decorated with the lotus design, which is taken as logo of Guru Ghsidas University.
For many years, beautifully crafted Rudra-shiva statue was hidden inside Devrani temple, latter on local people found lying on his belly. Some Britisher studied the idol, They found a unique aggressive form of shiva, but was not confirmed until they got a narrow water passage in the north direction., which is only found in Shiva linga.
The temple has three part, Garbhgrih (inside), Antaral (passage) and Mukhmandap (door). The Mukhamandapa has a beautiful doorway, depicting river goddess. Door is covered with patterned rectangular borders and the artistically carved flowering designs. There are several carving of Shiva and Parvati which are partially broken. On the top of the door headless Vishnu can be seen along the goddess.
The mystic idol of shiva, is associated with all the Eleven zodiac (Rashi). Each species on the body parts represents one zodiac sign. Also the idol is a form of Pashupatinath (god of animals). The immeasurable imaginations of the 6th century artists, is still a mystery.
Temples have mostly weathered with time although Rudra idol is in better shape. Talagao is not just a place of temples but also a mesmerising natural destination. Also an array of new temples has been established with time, which forms a spiritual aura in the Talagao.
Best month to travel
As there is no specific moth, but monsoon and winter are the best to reach here. Also in Savan Period, August month people gather here to worship shiv, its like a big festival.
How to Reach
- Bilaspur is crowded with auto riksha, Ask to Talagao. amerinakapa village or Devrani Jethani temple.
- Buses are available up to the Bhojpuri village, then again take a auto or walk 5 km inside the village.
Nearest railway station : bilaspur railway station
Nearest airport : Raipur airport (mana)