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Conservation of Temples in the Chambal Valley


A session on the first day of the Hyderabad Literary Fest, January 25, was dedicated to highlighting people’s effort’s on conservation of temples in the Chambal Valley.

This stage talk was a trip down Dr. K. K. Muhammed’s (the host of the session) memory lane, back to when the Chambal Valley’s temples were being reconstructed.

Dr. K. K. Muhammed is a renowned Indian archaeologist. He was the Regional Director of Archaeological Survey of India. Currently, he is the Project Archaeological Director of Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

The session began with an introduction to archaeology. Dr. K. K. Mohammed explaine that there are two main tasks that an archaeologist must do, the first one: exploration and excavation, the second being conservation of the monuments. In this case, the conservation and reconstruction of these temples are what makes this anecdote enthralling. Dr. K. K. Muhammed steered us through this tale of perseverance and tedious work.

Initially, these locations could not be accessed easily because of the dacoit infestation in the valleys.

“The whole temple town had come crashing down like a packbof cards because of an earthquake. We had to reconstruct it like a jigsaw puzzle,” he said while explaining tge ruined situation of the temples when they first looked at the location.

The mining mafia had started mining around the place illegally after the dacoits were eradicated, causing further ruin of the temples. This stalled the reconstruction and conservation process.

Despite the hardships, 80 temples were reconstructed out of a total of 200.

The stage talk was followed by a question and answer session. On being asked about the reason that particular location was chosen, he answered saying that all gargoyles in hindu temples faced northwards, so when they find a river taking a turn towards the north direction, that site is important; which was what happened in this valley.

The listeners thoroughly enjoyed listening to this riveting account of the conservation of the beautiful temples of Chambal Valley that manifest perfect balance, symmetry and proportion.

Author: Anisha Bodapati

Edited by:Beneath The Ink (

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