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The Oldest AMPHITHEATRE and Love Poem in Chattisgarh -Jogimara Caves

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Published on May 7, 2010

Jogimara caves-heritage symbol of Chhattisgarh.
Before any dual policy is adopted for Ayodhya let me first trace the development of art and idol sculpture in various parts of Hindustan-whereupon Ramji dwelled during his various ashrams of life.One milestone is the Jogimara caves where Ram Laxman and Sita dwelled at length during their exile and its ancient murals can be traced to the 300 B.C.
Whatever was elucidated in the epic age with the Ramayana and Mahabharata versions was true in full faith and religion was exemplary .
The body beautiful was incorporated with core spiritual values .The senses were awakened with lucid details of krishnabhisarika with her glowing mukh mandal and Shiva Parvati union along with austere and rigorous performance of ones duties.Manu Smiriti formed the backbone of culture.In the history of cave paintings the Jogimara caves occupy an important precedent.If Shiva is the soul power of Hindus sitting atop the Kailash and inhabiting the Amarnath caves ,thus are the Jogimara caves derivative of their location which represents symbolic Hinduism,evident also in the ruins of the Indus valley civilization whereupon idolatory Hinduism took origin .The coins and other idols all represent a Shaivaite and Shakti group of Aryans who inhabited the Indus and Ravi locale.
They are located in Amarnath in Chattisgarh at the origin of the Sempiternal Narmada-the purest of pure today.That is why it serves as an eternal marked pilgrimage for devout Hindus.The marble rocks of Jabalpur the Sanskardharni of the middle of Hindustan ,where idols are made of the soft marble stone and the transparent Shivalinga Narmadeshwar,which is found only in the waters of the Narmada is the soul music of the meandering Narmada which make it worthy of worship.The beauty of this river on a moonlit night of a Purnima reflected on the marble hills and thence on the gnostic river is both spiritual and erotic-esprit Hinduism.
Kalidasas Meghdoot took origin near this river only here ones love for ones beloved is relived in the power of the eternal and a human being feels fulfilled of his birth on this earth.
The Jogimara caves too has both the murals of saints wherefrom they derive their name ,and lovers -Sutnika and Devdutta.The immortal expression of love ; a poem inscribed on the walls of Sita Banghara cave written in Brahmi script,describes the beauty of Sutnuka.
Archaeologists describe it as the worlds first documented message of love.
The caves exist near Udaipur in the far off Sarguja district of Chattisgarh and were made by carving into the Ramgarh hills.
To reach Jogimara one has to alight at the Pendra station.From times immemorial this place is the sacred pilgrimage of the hindu devouts who come here in millions,to pay obeisance to the Narmada and sacred inscriptions and murals of Ramayana scenes on the walls of the caves along with the purity of the place as lord Ram spent his exile period here.The sanskriti of Bharat and its Dharma is enlivened at this pure place.Showing a deep rooted connection between Sanskriti and Dharma.
The aim of the artists who poured out their Abhyavyakati or soul onto the walls in these paintings must have been to immortalize their Dharma in the living murals.The medium of art and architecture of Bharat since ancient times was used to express religion and faith.They serve as an enduring monument both to faith and human expression through art.and archaeological heritage.
On the mountain top is a temple of Ram ,Laxman and Sita. with their immortal idols.Outside the temple is an engraving of the brave warrior along with his footprints.Upon deep reflection the engraving seems to be of a guard ,or chowkidar or a protector or Devta.
The main classic depth and significance of the paintings lies in the inscriptions accompanying them.In one inscription is the conversation between the sculptor and dancer,full of love imbued epithets.
Archeologists describe it as the worlds first documented message of love.though now fairly visible,the inscriptions speak volumes about the intensity of love between Sutnuka and Devdutta.,who archeologists believed used to watch his beloved dance in this theatre.The Sita Bhangara cave and adjoining Jogimara caves were made by cutting the Ramgarh hills or the ancient Ramgiri ranges.
The amphitheatre is 45ft long,15 ft.wide and 6ft high.circular in shape it has straight walls and a polished roof..this was probably used as a gallery where the king or queen would sit to watch the show ,held on a platform in front of it but lower than the gallery.This again was made by cutting into the mountain.Steps were carved on the sides for the audiences.during the ancient times after the puja and aarti of the deities,a dancer deft in the ancient art forms would perform for the invoking of the blessings of the benedictory supreme powers and the concept of Devdasi was prevalent.

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