Laxman Temple in Sirpur (77km from Raipur), is situated on the banks of
the river Mahanadi. The temple is believed to have been built around the
7th century and is one of the finest brick temples in India. It is characterized
by the precise nature of construction as also by the exquisite carvings
adorning the temple. The top of the entrance depicts Sheshnag serving
as an umbrella to Lord Shiva while the sides are adorned with incarnations
of Lord Vishnu, Krishna Leela ornamental symbols and erotic carvings.
It belongs to the category of Panchrath type temples wherein the religious
segments of a temple - Vatayan, Chitya Gawaksha, Bharwahakgana, Aja, Kirtimukh
and Karna Amalak- are engraved on the pillars. The inside has the Mandap
(shelter), Antraal (passage) and Garbha Grih (the main house). The
temple holds the dual status of being a place of worship as well as an
important archaeological site. The Archaeological Survey of India has
conducted extensive excavation and restoration work here and maintains
a museum of the artifacts collected.