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Mundeshwari Temple in Bihar is known as being the oldest functional temple as rituals are continuously being performed here without interruption.The temple dates back to 108 AD and is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Maa Mundeshwari (or Shakti). Many loose sculptures can be found dispersed around the temple which were once a historic part of the temple’s mandapas and sikhara. You can have a wholesome experience here as devotees and history buffs alike. With this comprehensive guide, learn about its significance, architecture, and more and plan your visit with loved ones.

Mundeshwari Temple: Intriguing History

The view of shivlinga.

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The temple was built from 3 to 4 BC with Lord Vishnu as the main deity. However, with time, the statue could not stand the test of time. Then in 348 AD, another deity called Lord Viniteswara was put in the temple. This deity held a subsidiary position in the temple and was below Lord Vishnu. Then by the seventh century AD, Shaivism rose to prominence. This turned Lord Viniteswara into the temple’s main deity. His form, the Chatur Mukhalingam, was given the central position in the temple. Even today, this lingam sits in the centre of the temple.

A fierce aboriginal tribe called the Cheros tribe was the original people who lived in Kaimur Hills and came to power. They worshipped Shakti or Mundeshwari Devi, also known by the names Durga and Maheshmardini. They decided to dedicate this temple to this main deity. However, they did not change the way the idols were set up. Today, people from everywhere know this temple as the Mundeshwari Devi’s abode and come to pray to the powerful goddess. The Chatur Mukhalingam became the subsidiary deity and remains so today as well.

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Quick Details Of Mundeshwari Temple

Mundeshwari Temple is perched at 600 feet in Kaimur.

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Mundeshwari temple is located on top of a 600-foot-high hill in Kaimur District, Bihar. The cool breeze and lush greenery around the temple will awaken you spiritually. Here are some other quick details about the temple.

As you ascend the steps to the temple, you can see that VIP darshan can be done by paying Rs. 501. If you want to perform Rudrabhishekam, you can contact the temple trust to get permission and pay the fee.

Location: Mundeshwari Dham Road, Bhabua, Paunra Village, Bihar
Temple timings: Opens half an hour before sunrise and closes at sunset, Monday to Sunday
Manokamana aarti timings: 11:30 am to 12 pm
Shringar aarti timings: Half an hour before sunset
Temple break time: Noon to 12:20 pm
Entry: Free
VIP Darshan: Rs. 501

Deities At The Mundeshwari Devi Temple

Shivlinga in a temple.

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You will find the idol of Goddess Mundeshwari in the eastern part of the temple even though she is the main deity worshipped at the temple. She is depicted in the Vaarahi state on Mahish ( vehicle). The Panchmukhi shivaling is at the centre of the temple. The interesting part about it is that the colour of the shiva ling changes according to the sun’s positioning. You will find the Nandi on the west side of the temple’s entrance.

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Mundeshwari Temple’s Nagara Architecture

Remains of the Mundeshwari Devi Temple scattered around the premises

Image Source: Nandanupadhyay for Wikimedia Commons

Some portions of the temple have been damaged, and they lie as ruins around it. However, there is sufficient proof that the Mundeshwari temple is octagonally designed and made entirely of stone. There are four entrances to the temple, one of which remains closed and the other partially open. The temple was built using an architectural style called Nagara.

It is believed to be the oldest and perhaps one of the first temples built in this way. The Nagara style of architecture was born during the Gupta period, and the stone carvings are also reminiscent of that period. The Nagara style of architecture usually has a ground plan that represents a cruciform and a tower that resembles a mountain peak.

Festivals Celebrated At Devi Mundeshwari Temple

 The view of a pooja thaali in Mundeshwari Temple.

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Ram Navami, Navratri, and Shivaratri are the festivals celebrated at the Mundeshwari Temple with much gusto by the devotees. The temple is beautifully decorated with flowers all around the temple walls. You can see creative designs using different coloured flowers around the temple for decoration. You will see a huge influx of devotees from all over the country coming to the temple during the festivals. Every inch of the temple premise is beautified with flowers, petals, etc.

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Fascinating Facts About Mundeshwari Temple

Mundeshwari Devi Temple has many amazing facts.

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  • The temple is named after the sculpture of Maa Mundeshwari, and the hill on which the temple rests is also known as Mundeshwari hill.
  • You can find loose sculptures around the Mundeshwari temple, which are images of many gods and goddesses such as Kartikeya, Parvati, Surya, Ganesha, etc.
  • A foundation stone inscription was found on the site of the temple. This resides in the Indian Museum in Kolkata.
  • In many temples, the sacrifice of an animal (such as a goat) is done by decapitation. However, in this temple, the goat is laid down, a mantra is chanted by the priest, and the goat loses consciousness. Then, rice grains are thrown on the goat, after which he regains consciousness.
  • The Mundeshwari temple was built for Lord Vishnu first, then it was dedicated to Lord Shiva, and then finally to Maa Mundeshwari.

How To Reach Mundeshwari Temple

 Mundeshwari temple can easily be reached by road, train, or air

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You can easily reach Mundeshwari Mandir by road, train, and air as it is well connected with all the major Indian cities.

By Road

There are a few state highways in the city, and you can easily reach it from Varanasi, Patna, and Gaya. Once you reach Bhabua Road, reaching the temple can take up to one hour. You can also reach the temple by bus.

By Train

You can get off at Bhabua Road railway station in Mohania. The temple is 22 km from the temple and it can take you about an hour to get there.

By Air

There is no airport in Kaimur District in Bihar. The nearest airport is in Varanasi. It is over 102 km from the temple and it will take around 3 hours to reach.

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Tips To Visit Mundeshwari Devi temple

  • You cannot take pictures or videos inside the temple where the deities are kept. You can keep your valuables with you though.
  • You will be charged a parking fee if you bring your vehicle. This can range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 50 depending on the vehicle type.
  • You may need to wait for 15 minutes or longer to get darshan during weekends as there may be a rush. This is also true during holidays.
  • You can climb the stairs to the temple. There are about 530 stairs. Otherwise, you can park close to the temple and climb only a few stairs.
  • The best time to visit the temple is from October to March when the weather is pleasant, and you can spend time near the temple premises.

Further Read: Top temples in the world

This was all the main information you needed to know about Mundeshwari Temple in Kaimur so you can plan your trip to Bihar. This ancient temple should be on top of your list if you love visiting heritage sites. You can visit the temple alone on your solo trip or take your family along for a spiritual refresh. The memories you take with you will be forever as this temple is so mesmerizing and powerful. Coming here during any of the major festivals is a bonus because the vibe is just another level!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Mundeshwari Temple

Why is Mundeshwari temple so popular?

It is the oldest functional temple, the architecture is exquisite even though only some of it remains, and it has a unique sacrifice process where the animal is not decapitated.

Why is Mundeshwari Devi not in the centre of the temple?

The temple was originally built for other gods and Mundeshwari Devi was placed on the side. Eventually, the goddess Mundeshwari became the prime deity of the temple and this remains true to this day.

What does functional temple mean?

It means a temple where rituals and worship are constantly taking place without any break of any kind. Devi Mundeshwari temple is the oldest functional temple located in Bihar.

Who built the Mundeshwari temple?

As per the inscription on the foundation stone, the revered temple was built by King Udayasena in the Nagara architecture style.

What is the best time to visit the Mundeshwari temple?

You can visit the temple anytime. However, the winter months are best suitable to stay safe from the heat. If you want to do darshan, come in the morning time before the rush arrives so you don’t have to wait for long.

When was the Mundeshwari temple built?

According to ASI, the temple was built in 108 AD. However, other records believe the temple was built much later.

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