PLACES

TAHAKARI

It is situated in Akola taluka in 1936' north latitude and 7355' east longitude about eight miles to the north-west of Akola, the taluka head-quarters. Tahakari covers an area of 3.7 square miles and has, as per the Census of 1971, a population of 1,093 souls. It is situated on the bank of the river Andhala, an important tributary of the Pravara. It has a primary school and a co-operative society. The village contains three temples, one dedicated to Jagadamba Devi, other to Mahadev and yet another to Keshai Devi. The chief of these temples, viz., that dedicated to Jagadamba Devi was constructed in the 8th century. The temple has an inam land of 25 acres. The other two temples are smaller in size and stand in the bed of the river Andhala. Both are in a dilapidated condition and some of their portions are buried under the heap of mud and sand. One of them has a stone inscription which could be located with great difficulty under a mound of earth.

The main temple of the Jagadamba goddess situated on the river-bank still attracts frequent visitors for the delightful artistry of its design and ensemble. It is a Hemadpanti structure built in an octagonal form. The temple has the front portion of 15'x15', the mandap of 20'x20' and the gabhara of 20'X20' wherein an idol of the goddess is placed. The gabhara, the mandap and the front portion has a dome each. The mandap, on its east and west, has a room of 8'X12' with a dome. The premises occupy an area of about 70'X40' and were formerly surrounded by a wall.

Figures of women are excellently carved on both the sides of the main door which leads to the front portion of the temple. The twelve pillars and the six figures of women, each two feet in height, carved on the ceiling with their heads meeting in the centre constitute the principal attraction decorating the front portion of the temple. Such figures are also carved on the ceiling of the mandap. A smaller door leads to this mandap where could be seen the fine architectural designs on the four main pillars, artistic and delicate engravings on the ceiling, and the ornamental sculpture and figures of men and women in various postures of amorous play which are delicately carved on the side walls at a little distance from the pillars. There is a small space of 10'X5' between the mandap and the main door of the gabhara. This door is of 12'X5' and has figures of horses beautifully carved on its right side and those of women on its left side. Some figures of women are also carved on both the side-walls of the door. The walls on the three sides of the gabhara present from outside a unique example of architecture.

The construction of these walls presents a common style. The two basal layers are built in stone. Of these, the second possesses artistic figures. The third layer is also built in stone on which figures of women in dancing postures are carved.

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