Mundeshwari Temple Bihar Location, Photos, History, Timings

by Surojit Palmal
Mundeshwari Temple

Visiting temples can always be interesting and there are people who love exploring temples. And if the temple is ancient then it becomes even more intriguing as a location. After all you would get to explore so much about the days long gone. Further you will also get to understand a lot about the culture of the land as well by visiting an old location. However, just imagine how interesting it would be to visit the oldest temple of India. This temple claims to be the first ever temple in India and is one such temple that dates back to 108 AD. The temple is the Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar and it claims that it is the oldest functional temple in India. And also this is one such temple that has been functional without any interruptions.

The long history of the temple, the architecture as well as the significance of the Mundeshwari Temple Bihar makes it an interesting visit. If you are wondering how old is the Mundeshwari Temple, then let me tell you the temple is a few centuries old. And the temple is further an important site of pilgrimage as well. People from all over the world visit the Maa Mundeshwari Temple. The temple has definitely passed the test of time to become one of the significant temples in India. You can also check out the Mundeshwari Temple photos to see how beautiful the temple looks. Keep on reading this article as here I will mention everything that you need to know about the Mundeshwari Temple. This will be an important article for you if you are travelling to this temple any time soon.

Mundeshwari Temple Bihar

Where is Mundeshwari Temple?

Mundeshwari Dham Road, Bhabua, Paunra, Bihar

Timings: 6 am to 7 pm

Manokamona Aarti 11:30 am to 12 pm

Temple break time 12 noon to 12:20 pm

Shringaar Aarti time around half an hour before sunset

Entry fee: There is no entry fee. However for a VIP Darshan there is a fee of Rs. 501.

How to reach

By air

The Kaimur district doesn’t have its own airport so if you are traveling by air then the nearest airport is the Varanasi Airport. From the Varanasi airport the temple is located at a distance of 118.9 km. It would approximately take you around 2 hours and 44 minutes to reach the location of the temple from the Varanasi airport. You can easily take a cab or hire a taxi from the Varanasi airport to reach the temple. Or else you can opt for buses as well to reach the location.

By train

If you are travelling by train the Bhabua Road railway station or the Mohania Station is the nearest railway station to reach the temple. From the railway station the location of Mundeshwari Temple is 29 km away. It would take you around 50 minutes to reach the location of the temple from the railway station. Located in the Mughalsarai region this railway station is easily accessible from various major cities. So you will get trains from nearby cities and towns to reach the railway station. From the railway station you can either take a car or else hire a cab to reach the temple. Or else you can even opt for the local transports in the region as well to reach the location here.

By road

You can also travel by road to reach this temple in Bihar. The location is easily accessible by road ways and is connected through the NH 30. The nearest major locations are Patna and Varanasi. From Patna the location of the temple is around 208 km away and from Varanasi it is 118 km away. You will get regular buses from these locations to reach this location in Bihar. You will also get buses from other locations as well that you can opt for. However for hassle free travel the best option would be to take a car or else take a cab to reach the Mundeshwari Temple. And after reaching the Kaimur District you can also opt for the local transport as well to reach the temple.


Overview of Mundeshwari Temple

Overview of Mundeshwari Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

The Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar is said to be one of the oldest temples in India. According to various studies as well as history it is said that this temple is the oldest functional temple in India. Without any interruption this temple and the worship of the deities here are continuing. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Shakti form Maa Mundeshwari. Here the Goddess is worshipped as a supreme power and the temple also represents the union of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati. Not just for the Hindus, even for the Buddhists also this temple holds a lot of importance. It is considered as one of the important temples back from the time of Lord Buddha. There is circular yoni peeth in this temple as well, that the Buddhists believe it as a representation of the Buddhist Stupa.

According to archeologists the construction of this temple goes back to the 6th century CE which was during the Gupta Empire. But there are even some studies that suggest that the temple has been there even before that time period. The actual age and the time frame of the original construction is however something that is difficult to tell.

What’s more?

However the Archeological Survey of India has suggested that this structure dates back to the 108 CE. And these make it the oldest temple in India that is still functioning at present. The temple has gone through multiple renovations at different time periods though. Located on top of the Mundeshwari Hills, this temple is therefore one of the major attractions in Bihar. One of the most impressive features of this temple is the construction of the temple from a single rock.  And that definitely attracts a lot of attention.

A large number of devotees visit the temple on a daily basis. And during special occasions even more people visit the Mundeshwari Temple. The temples celebrate festivals like Shivratri and Ramnavami with a lot of grandeur. They also host a Navratri Fair nearby that attracts even more devotees to the location. The temple is a spot for religious and cultural harmony as well. One of the interesting facts is that the present caretaker of the temple is Muslim. This therefore suggests religious harmony to a different level. The religious significance, the history as well as the age and construction of this temple makes it a must visit temple. So make sure when you are visiting Bihar you must go and visit this temple there.


History of Mundeshwari Temple

History of Mundeshwari Temple
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons

According to beliefs the temple dates back to the 4th and 5th century CE during the time of the Gupta Empire. However there is no clarity about the exact time of this construction though. Some studies and research also suggest different times of the construction of the temple. There are some debates and arguments on the basis of the time frame of the construction as well. According to beliefs the idol of the temple has been worshipped for more than 2500 years. Another important attraction here is the 3000 years old fossil of a tree. Famous Chinese traveler Huen Tsang had written about a shrine located on top of a hill during 636-38 CE. That same temple is the Mundeshwari Temple. A lot of other inscriptions also have mentioned this temple.

The temple had gone through various renovations during the course of time. Some studies say that the construction goes back to 3 to 4 BC and the main deity of the temple was Lord Vishnu. But that idol could not survive for long and later there was another deity here, Lord Viniteswara. Currently the temple is an abode of Devi Mundeshwari who is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. One of the most remarkable facts about this temple is that it has survived from the violent Mughal attacks as the temple has been spared from that. Even after Muslim attacks at nearby locations, the temple could remain untouched.

Currently the temple is in a state of disrepair and that is because of the age of the temple. But still this temple is one of the important sites of pilgrimage for the devotees. For both Hindus as well as Buddhists this temple holds a lot of importance.

Architecture of Mundeshwari Temple

Currently the Mundeshwari Temple is mostly in ruins. The temple has been damaged to a great extent and you will find ruins of the temple around it. However even from the ruins it is mostly evident that the temple is an octagonal structure. The design and the formation of the temple is made of stones. You will find four entrances to enter the temple. But out of the four doors one remains closed completely and there are other doors which remain open partially. The style of architecture is one of the major attractions of the temple and it is built following the Nagara style of architecture.

The oldest temple and the first ever temple in India is an architectural marvel for sure. The Nagara style of architecture took form during the Gupta period. The stone carvings that you can witness here are all reminiscent of that period. Other than the main deities you will also find images of different Gods and Goddesses here. They are Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Surya and Devi Parvati.


Wrapping Up!

So that was all about the Mundeshwari Temple and now you can just plan a trip to this temple as soon as you can. It will be one of the most interesting visits for a visitor and the temple has a lot in store to explore. The fact that it is the oldest temple in India makes the visit even more interesting. Also the old structure, the history attached to it and the cultural relevance of the temple makes it an important site of pilgrimage. Devotees from all over the world come and visit this temple to pay a visit to the Maa Mundeshwari Temple. So if you are in Bihar then you also need to plan a visit to this temple. Let me know if this article on Mundeshwari Temple Bihar is helpful for you in planning a trip to this temple. 

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