Architecture of the Dharmrajeshwar Cave Temple
The Dharmrajeshwar Cave Temple is a brilliant example of Indian rock-cut architecture. The monolithic temple of Dharmarajeshwara is carved out of solid natural rock of size 50 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 9 metres in depth. The architectural similarity of this cave temple with the Kailashnath Temple of Ellora is truly fascinating. There is a main temple with a big Shivalingam along with a statue of Lord Vishnu. The entrance gate displays the engraved images of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi. The main temple also has a sanctum with a Sabhamandapa and porch. The temple is almost 14 metres in length and 10 meters in depth and surrounding it are seven small temples. These smaller shrines are dedicated to various deities such as Lord Bhairav, Goddess Kali, Garuda and Goddess Parvati.
There are caves and temples cut into the coarse laterite rock of the southern hill. The south-western rock face has a well planned monastery with more than 70 living quarters, pavilions, meditation halls, stupas and images of Lord Buddha and his disciples. At the entrance of the pavilion, a large relief sculpture of Lord Buddha stands tall bestowing blessings on humanity. In the inner quarters, a sculpture of Kuber-God of Wealth, who is important in the Buddhist iconography, stands guard. In the passage carved within the hillock, there is a chiselled sculpture of Lord Buddha in a reclining position attaining Nirvana with his disciples witnessing him attain Nirvana. These 7th century rock-cut Buddhist caves with monasteries and stupas are cut in a hill called Chandanagiri.
The temple hosts daily pujas and rituals but the ideal time to visit the cave temple is during the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri when a grand fair is held.
Visiting Information for the Dharmrajeshwar Cave Temple
The Cave Temple of Dharmrajeshwar is 4 km away from Chandwasa town and is well connected with all major towns of Madhya Pradesh by road. The nearest railway station is at Shyamgarh which is at a distance of 22 km from the temple. The closest airport is the Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport at Indore which is 167 km away from the temple.