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Bhitargaon Temple near Kanpur

Located at Bhitargaon around 50 km from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, Bhitargaon Temple is a 5th century AD Hindu shrine. The shrine is one of the earliest terracotta structures and is entirely built using brick. The main sanctum sanctorum is no longer in use. The temple is famous for its terracotta sculptures.

The present day structure is largely a reconstruction. The top quarter portion of the present day Shikhara is incomplete as there is no unanimity as to how the ancient structure looked like. The original structure collapsed in a lightning in 1878.

The temple is famous for its terracotta figures especially that of Shiva-Gajari, Ganesha, Shiva-Parvati, Vishnu annihilating Madhu-Kaitaba, Durga killing Shubha – Nishumbha, Krishna Balarama, Varaha, Vishnu, Gaja Lakshmi, Ganga and Yamuna.

The spire, though damaged shows a stepped pyramidal design and staggered ornamentation with crescent topped niches depicting Krishna Lila scenes, Ravana begging alms from sita and Nara Narayana.

Other famous sculptures are that of animals, plants, narrative friezes, Vishnu atop Adi Sesha, Ganesha running with sweets pursued by baby Kartik.