My Buddhist Guide at Mukteswar Mandir
My guide, whose name I could not decipher as his accent was so strong, showed me around with great enthusiasm. I left a small donation made up of Rupees (with Gandhi smiling back) and Rands (with Nelson Mandela nodding agreement). The guide was happy that the 'brothers' were together in the donation plate.
“Mukteswar Mandir is a 10th-century Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva dating back to 950–975. It's intricate exterior shows Jain and Buddist influences. The torana, or the arched gateway, dates back to about 900 CE and shows the influence of Buddhist architecture. The arched gateway has thick pillars that have strings of beads and other ornaments carved on statues of smiling women in languorous repose.” (Wikipedia)
Mukteswar Mandir, is small intimate and, on my visit still exuded a spiritual air, something lost to the big, busy, and crowded Lingaraj Mandir just up the road.
Chatted to a retired historian, Mishra, who lived in the same road as the temple and took the opportunity to relate large chunks of Indian history to me. As a fellow history buff I enjoyed the exchange. I think he did too.