Brick temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Kalayat, Harayana
The 7th-8th century AD Shiva brick temple is situated in Kalayat on the Narwana-Kaithal road. The temple built in the Pancharatha style.
The brick temple dedicated to Lord Siva is an exquisite master piece of ancient architecture and of great interest to tourists with archeological interests. From a distance it appears as a huge tomb made of bricks. The backyard of the temple has steps going down that lead to a Kund, created to take bath before the worship. In the garbhagriha of the temple it has a stone linga (Lord Siva’s Idol). The temple has various sculptures and snake statues. Built in the Pancharatha style the temple is square in shape with an antarala (a small anti-chamber between the shrine and the porch leading to the temple) and a portico. The shikhara has much miniature chaitya window themes created on a decoratively arched frontage. The style is used repeatedly and slowly withdrawn in the corners of the temple. The center of the temple is beautifully decorated and looks like an inspiring canopy. The bricks used in the temple are beautifully carved with floral and other designs without any mortar.
The temple is a very good example of Gurjara-Pratihara style of early temple architecture. Though the temple calls for conservation and restoration attention yet at other point it can be said that it is this original construction that makes it a tribute to the exotic ancient architecture. The premises of the temples are specially lit up and decorated with flowers on festive occasions especially during Mahasivaratri.
The brick temple was built hundreds of years ago and has a rather interesting story behind it. It is said that King Shalivahana, the ruler of Kaithal, was cursed to death. He was terrified by the danger coming on his way. The King however managed to touch the soil of the spot where he was standing. After touching the soil he was relieved to find himself all fine and healthy. Overjoyed by the magical spell of the earth, the King decided to build five Brick Temples there.
Only two temples still stands here and the other three are ruined. The remains of the ruined temples show the brilliant ancient architectural efficiency. Designed in sync with the famous Ajanta Ellora Temples, the Brick Temples were believed to have been made up of specially carved bricks that have an added architectural elegance. The peak of the structure is joined that looks like a beehive and makes it unique from other existing shrines of the place.