GOPESHWAR MAHADEV TEMPLE

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» North India
» Uttaranchal
Location: Chamoli (Uttranchal )
Dedicated To: Shiva
Sanctum Enshrines: Shivalinga


Gopeshvara, situated on a hill-plateau, 3 miles from the town of Chamoli on the bank of the Alakananda, a tributory of the Ganga, is known for the Gopeshvara Mahadeva temple. Its compound has a large iron trident, bearing two inscriptions, an earlier one of the seventh century mentioning Naga-ending names of four kings and referring to the erection of the trident in a temple of rudra. a later one of 12th century mentions the re-erection of a Vijaya-Stambha (victory pillar) by king Asokachalla.

The existing Shiva temple has a sanctum of design and dimensions analogous to the lakhamandal temple, preceded by a kapili with a prominent sukanasa and a modern rubble-built mandapa. The five-storeyed heavy-shouldered sikhara of the temple, however, is lately restored.

The kapili wall has a plain niche capped by a phamsana model ornamented with gavaksha arches bearing a vertical row of four heads. The kapili has a semi-valabhi roof displaying udgamas on the lateral faces and a figure of dancing siva in front crowned by a lion pouncing on elephant.

The doorway has three plain sakhas capped by five Latina Sikharikas. The sanctum enshrines a sivalinga placed in a late pavilion borne on four octagonal pillars.

The temple is stylistically assignable to A.D. 800-825.


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