Archaeologists endeavour to conserve ancient temples in Jharkhand

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Maluti (Jharkhand), May 20 (ANI): Maluti, a village 55 kilometres from Dumka in Jharkhand and bordering West Bengal, is famous for centuries old 108 temples.

Today, expert archaeologists are trying to conserve the ancient village temples.

Reportedly, the village did boast of 108 temples, but presently only 72 remain.

It is said that all these temples in the village belong to the Mughal period and they are built out of terracotta stone.

No wonder, Maluti village has been a popular tourist destination, particularly those who love ancient and historical spots.

"Maluti is known for 108 temples in the village. The temples are very beautiful and made of terracotta stone. I have not seen so many Shiva temples before. I like the peace and serenity of the place," said Subir Chatterjee, a tourist from Kolkata.

As most of the temples are dedicated to Shiva, Maluti has earned the name 'Gupt Kashi'. The style in which these Shiva temples are built is known as Shikarshaili.

The temples don't have any particular architectural style but constitute certain patterns and styles integrated from various regions of eastern India.

"Some of the temples have architectural style similar to Bengal and Birbhum patterns. But, by and large, the temples of Maluti have their own unique and exclusive architecture," said Surendra Jha, a history scholar.

Out of 72 temples, 58 have Shiva as the deity while the rest 14 are variously dedicated to Vishnu and Goddesses Kali and Maulisha.

The temples also have lovely sculpted terracotta art works, depicting mythological stories of Ramayana and Krishna.

Earlier, the government of Jharkhand had taken up the task of preserving these ancient temples, but they didn't have the proper experts.

Consequently, they were handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for proper conservation and further improvement. By Girija Shankar Ojha (ANI)

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