Situated on the top of Mundehswari hill (608 feet) is the Mundeshwari Devi temple which happens to be one of the oldest temple in the Country, whose history goes back to hundreds of years, around 1st Century AD. It is situated in the Kaimur district. Not only it is the one of the oldest surviving centrally protected monuments under Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), but also is the oldest functional temple in the Country where regular prayers have been performed for the past several hundreds years. It is one of the most popular temple destination in the state.
The temple is one of the earliest specimen of Nagara style of temple architecture in the Country. It is built in stone in an octagonal plan. The main deities in the sanctum are Devi Mundeshwari, situated by the wall on one side and a beautiful four-faced Chaturmukhi Shivlinga, adorns the center of the temple. The temple also has idols of other goddess like Ganesha, Surya and Vishnu. The interior walls have niches and bold moldings which are carved with vase and foliage designs. The ASI has taken lot of renovation plan for the monument, which has been damaged during its long history.
The plaque outside the temple reads " This beautiful temple of Mardaleshvara, now called Mundeshvari is one of the earliest temple of Bihar. According to an inscription found here, it had been in existence in A.D. 635. Built entirely of stone and octagonal on plan, its wall are relieved with niches and bold mouldings, and carved with vase and foliage designs. On its door-jambs are carved figures of Dvarapalas Ganga Yamuna etc. Inside the temple is a Chaturmukha Siva-linga and 2 curious stone vessels. The sikhara of the temple collapsed long ago, the present roof being a recent restoration. "
During Navaratra, an annual fair is held which is attended by thousands of people. Festivals like Ramnavami and Shivratri also attracts large number of people. The local people visits the temple in big number and held great esteem of the temple.
How to reach : Bhabhua is the district headquarter of Kaimur district. It is situated approx 200 km South-West of Patna. It is well connected by road through Grant Trunk road. Bhabhu has a well connected railways station on Kolkata-New Delhi route. Mundeshwari temple is 10-12 km from the district headquarter.
Accommodation : Some small to medium budget hotels are available at Bhabhua.
Recent update : Recently, State government has allocated fund for building an advanced aerial rope-ways for the temple atop the hill.