Bhitargaon, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
Bhitargaon is a town in Kanpur district, Uttar Pradesh, India, known for its ancient Hindu temple, the largest Indian brick temple to survive from the time of the Gupta Empire. Bhitargaon is small village in Kanpur district and is famous for an ancient brick temple of the Gupta period. As per a local tradition, there was a city named Pushp-pur (Foolpur) in olden days The middle part of that city was known as Bhitargaon, which literally means the inner village. The external part of the city is known as Barigaon (which literally means the outer village), which is adjacent to Bhitargaon separated at a distance of about a km.
The Bhitargaon Temple is a terraced brick building fronted with a terracotta panel. Built in the 5th century during the Gupta period, it is the oldest remaining brick/terracotta Hindu shrine with a roof, find more about roofing dublin and a high Shikhara, though its upper chamber did sustain some damage in the 18th century.
The temple is built on a square plan with double-recessed corners and faces east. There tall pyramidal spire over the garbhagriha. The walls are decorated with terracotta panels depicting aquatic monsters, Shiva and Vishnu etc. When Cunningham first visited the site, the remains of the porch and of the ardhamandapa were still visible, which later collapsed.
Legend / Local stories
The name of the temple, Bhitargaon, also suggests its location. According to the legend, it was located in the inner area of an ancient village called Phoolpur. Bhitargaon has an ancient temple which was built in 6th century during the golden Gupta period of India. Hence, the temple got its name after the village. Bhitargaon Temple is regarded as the oldest Hindu sacred place having a high roof or shikhara. The 68.25-feet-tall structure from the ground was built with terracotta and 18-inch-long, 9-inch-wide and 3-inch bricks. It is built upon a 36-feet by 47-feet platform. The walls of the temple are 8 feet thick. It contains a vaulted arch which was used for the first time in India. The whole structure is a testimony to the state of architecture in those days. The 15-feet by 15-feet sanctum is constructed in two storeys and it represents the Hindu concept of repentance of Nar and Narayan over the kidnapping of Goddess Sita.
How to Reach:
Bhitargaon is about 43 km from Kanpur. Regular shared tempos ply from Naubasta in Kanpur to Bhitargaon. It lies on Kapur-Hamirpur road on which you need to take a left turn from Sarh (साढ़) to wards Bhitargaon. Kanpur is the nearest big railway-head and airport.