A mysterious lake and a beautiful temple which was forgotten


Have you heard about the Lonar lake? The lake was created by the impact of a meteorite. Beside the lake, there has been a magnificent Vishnu Temple. The villagers hid the temple to protect the temple from the marauders. Know the story. Read how the temple was re-discovered.

Pleistocene period. More than 50,000 years ago, a giant meteorite broke the security net of the earth and landed at a place named Lonar, located at a distance of around160 kilometer from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Lonar Lake was formed due to the impact of the giant meteorite on the earth. The lake is circular in shape. The water is green, saline and alkaline. Peculiar rocks, glass and minerals are found at the lake shore. The trees and plants found in this area are different. Even the birds are of different varieties. The compass doesn't function in the vicinity of the lake. Several NASA teams visited the lake and the crater formed by the impact of the meteorite for various scientific experiments. The local people say that nobody knows what is there in the centre of the lake.

But we are not going to discuss this mysterious lake in this article. We will talk about a magnificent temple near the lake which was simply forgotten for a long time. We will know how this grand Daitya Sudan temple has been re-discovered.



Daitya Sudan Temple in present Lonar

This magnificent temple is believed to be built by a king of Chalukya Dynasty. The historians say that King Vikramaditya II built this temple in the eighth century. The temple architecture indicates the influence of Chalukyas as well as of the Hoysalas.

What happened during the twelfth century

The Muslim rule was about to start in India. Muhammad Ghori started his innumerable raids inside India. Detachments of heavily-armed Afghan soldiers started visiting various places of India, especially to the holy places of the Hindus. They were basically doing the recces to gather information about the wealth stored in the temples. If they found the temples were not sufficiently protected, they themselves used to raid those temples and loot the wealth stored there. These detachments were strong enough to destroy even a complete village. One such detachment came to know about a very big temple at Lonar, which was almost as famous as the temples of Somnath, Mathura and Varanasi. The detachment came to Lonar.

What did the villagers do

The simple villagers were alarmed. They were very devout and ultimately after a lot of discussions they decided to fight to protect their temple and the God inside it. A fierce battle took place between the marauders and the villagers. The villagers fought and ultimately killed all the invaders. Many villagers also lost their lives in the battle.

What happened thereafter

The villagers understood that it would be impossible for them to protect the temple if a large contingent attacked. They understood that they would have to think a different way to protect the temple and the God. And they found a different way. The Deity was taken away from the temple and kept elsewhere. Then they did an almost unbelievable thing. They hid the grand temple under a huge mound of earth.

How the temple was re-discovered

Time passed. Gradually the invaders forgot. But at the same time, after the passage of several hundreds of years, the villagers also forgot the existence of this grand temple. The great Vishnu Temple was erased from the memory of people.

In the year 1800, a saint named Sachidananda Swamy visited Lonar from some other parts of Maharashtra. He had heard that the water of Lonar lake had miraculous power to heal skin disease. He had some infection in one of his legs. It was cured when he washed his feet and legs in the water of the lake. He decided to build his Ashram at that place. He started building his Ashram at the base of the mound.

An eagle used to come to the Ashram everyday. The bird used to fly away towards the top of the mound. The Swami started to go the top of the mound and decided to build a small prayer hall at the top of the mound for his morning and evening prayers. While constructing the prayer hall, the temple was re-discovered.



Finally what happened

The grand temple re-emerged in front of the Swami, his disciples and the villagers. The architecture of the temple and beautiful carvings made all people spell-bound. The Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) was located. A Sanskrit inscription stated that this place once had a Vishnu deity. At one corner, there was a statue of Garuda. The Swami immediately remembered that the eagle used to take him to the top of the mound.

The renovation of this grand temple began. The magnificent Lonar Temple re-emerged before the devout people of India.


Article by Partha K.
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” - George Gordon Byron

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