Dudhadhari Math, Raipur

By on Aug 16, 2018 in Travel

The story goes that one Balbhadra Das, a devout follower, used to worship a stone as Hanuman’s idol. He was joined in this supplication by a cow who rinsed the stone with her milk each day. Eventually Balbhadra is supposed to have given up imbibing everything but this milk. Hence the name, a derivative of ‘dudh-ahari’ – one who only drinks milk. Today. the math is a large leafy enclosure and home to a number of structures of varying vintage within its chessboard-floored girth. The oldest is an unassuming Narsingh shrine, followed by one to Hanuman, which is enclosed within a tiny space and painted a fluorescent shade of vermillion, its walls barely visible the coconuts strung around it.

Facing this are two temples in honour of Rama; these were built 20 years apart in 1610 and 1630 respectively by the then ruler. The older one, sporting a bougainvillea shrub, is perched on a plinth and reached by a dozen odd steps through a gaily painted portico. Beyond, the enclosing walls of the columned mandapa are embellished by remarkably intricate paintings, even as modern-day kitsch has crept in (more of which is evident in the attempts at wall-art in the later. silver-doored shrine set beside it). To the back of the math are rooms that house young orphaned boys receiving instruction in Sanskrit under the aegis of Balbhadra’s descendants.

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