Did you ever wonder which one is the ancient temple in the middle part of India? And who built it? The State of Maharastra is widely known to have a vast network of stone-cut temples and underground caves.

The Pataleshwar cave, excavated underground on a huge bedrock of basalt, next to the Jangli Maharaj Math. The Pataleshwar cave connects with the larger rock-cut landscape of the Deccan Plateau.

The stone inscription at the underground temple was in Nagri Script yet scrambled to read, it made archaeologists date the exact builder of this temple. It has a large Pillared Mandapa within along with three smaller shrines.   

The Pataleshwar temple can be reached by a flight of stairs, which will lead one to an open square-shaped courtyard with the central rock-cut monolithic Mandapa with a moon rock in front. A circum-ambulation path is carved around the three shrines that house Moon Rocks with magical symbols. This temple predates the Ellora Caves made by Rastrakuta Dynasty. However, modern constructions have become a threat to the existence of these underground monuments and many yet-to-be-discovered ancient buildings!  

– Viswanath Venkat Dasari

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons