It is about to venture back in to the past, and get mesmerized by timeless sculptures. Certainly the land of eternity and artistic stone sculptures, Tala is located on the bank of the Maniari River near the village of Ameri Kampa. Often identified as the Sangamagrama mentioned in the records of the Panduvamshis of Mekala, Tala is situated at the confluence of Shivnath and Maniari River. Most famous for its Devrani-Jethani Temples, Tala was discovered by J.D.Welger, an assistant to the well-known archaeologist Alexander Cunningham in1873-74. Historians have claimed that the Tala village dates back to the 7-8th century AD.
Located near Tala is the Sargaon Village that boasts of the Dhoom Nath Temple. This Temple has the Shiva Smaraks of God Kirari, and Malhar is just 18kms from here. Tala is a land of precious archaeological excavations that have revealed excellent sculpture work. Archaeologists and historians are mesmerized by intricately crafted stone engravings. These exquisite excavations narrate the prosperity of Tala during the 6th to 10th century AD. However, the various excavated ruins obtained and the sculpture-style tell us the various dynasties that reigned Tala were Lord Shiva’s devotees and propagators of the Shiva religion. Perhaps, that is why, even today Shiva devotees flock to the temples here in order to perform various rituals and chant the holy Mahamrityunjay Mantra. Lord Shiva’s devotees offer their prayers here and also love to visit other excavations. Tala is also home to various temples built by the Nishad Samaj, which include the Ram-Janaki Temple, the Swami Purnanand Mahajan Temple and Gaushala.
The distance between the Devrani-Jethani temple is approximately 15kms. The Jethani Temple is in a dilapidated state. Famous as Shiva Temples, hey flaunt excellent carving work and pillars. The base of the Jethani Temple flaunts a beautiful ‘Chandrashilla’ at the entrance. The temple consists of the Garbha Griha, the Ardha Mandapa, and the Antraal. Decorative pillars on the stairs have Loard elephant statues guard the sides of the internal chambers, add in more royalty to the mystic ambience.
Tala is a land enriched with beautiful sculptures dating back to the bygone era, buried in mystery. Excavated from the womb of Mother Earth, many such famous statues have been preserved in Tala. Among them is the world-renowned sculpture of Shri Chaturbhuja Kartikeya, the slayer of Tarakasura in Mayurasana position. Abrilliantly crafted statue if Loard Ganesha taking a dauntless flight into the sky, towards the serene moon can also be found here. The Dvi-mukhi Loard Ganesha is holding his tusks and radiates immense power and pride. Idols of Ardhnarishwar, Uma-Mahesh, nagpurush, and other Yaksha sculptures tell great legends and stories of a beautiful, historically rich land.A rare stone statue of Shalbhanjika and many more sculpture are scattered all over the temple. Scientsts and archaeologists have pondered for long over the various complex sculptures and yet, their origin seems to be shrouded in mystery.
Rare Rudra Shiva Sculpture:-
The Devrani-Jethani Temple is very famous for Indian sculpture and art. The famous excavation at tha devrani temple during the year 1987-88 have revealed an extremely unique sculpture of Lord Shiva. The ‘Rudra’ image of Lord Shiva gives us a glimpse into different shades of the Lord’s personality. Belonging to the Shaiva religion, this unique statue of Shiva is crafted using different creatures. The sculptor seems to have used every conceivable creature to form part of its anatomy, of which the serpent seems to have been a favorite. One may even feels as if evolution of life on earth is taken as a theme for this creation. Coming to its various bodily parts, we may perhaps start from top progressively going down.
One statue being addressed by Rudrasiva is most important. This huge monolithic binary image is standing in the Sambhangamudra and its height is 2.70 meters. This statue is a unique idol in the eyes of the scriptures. In it there have been many animals, human or devmukh and lion faces as human organ. The Jatamukut (turban) of its head is made up of added snake charmers. It seems that the artist here was very dear to the serpent and jewelery because in the statue, rudrasiva cut, hands and fingers are shaped like a snake. Apart from this, on the upper part of the statue, each sapphire umbrella is displayed above the shoulder. Similarly, the left leg is wrapped, it is a symbol of the snake serpent. In other organisms, peacock and ears and coil, eyebrows and nose are made of lizards, chunks of the mouth are made of crab and arms are out from Capricorn. Seven human or deforms are made in different parts of the body. Due to being unique as mentioned above, there is still a dispute about the true identity of this statue among the scholars. Due to the lack of scientific depiction of any known form of Shiva, it is not universally accepted as a form of special form of Shiva. Based on the construction style, the antiquities of the lock can be kept in the vicinity of the sixth century AD.
How to Reach:
Raipur (85kms) is the nearest airport well connected to Mumbai, Delhi,Nagpur, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
Bilaspur railway station (30kms) is linked to the Bombay- Howrah main line.
Taxis and regular buses are available from Bilaspur.