temple is a new concept, and worshipping eight Sivalingas at one
place, at a time was an extant tradition in Bihar. It is a medieval
legacy and was so extensively popularized by the rulers and
spiritualists, that Orissa, inspired by the novelty of this pattern
built Siva temples in many places on that model, but with a
difference. And, as if to out beat Bihar, there emerged several
Sivaalayas enshrining five hundred lingas least in one and the same
temple complex itself. Lingaraj temple in Bhuvaneswar testifies to
this tradition even today.
Khekpatra temple at Benesagar in the district of Singhbhum of Bihar
houses eight Sivalingas, though its splendor and sculptural marvels
are in ruins. It is lying atop an isolated high hill like rock,
enshrining a linga only, but at the foot of the hill lie seven more
miniature minishrines to complete the traditional number, as it
were. This has a curvilinear sikhara resembling the tower of the
Puri Jagannath temple. Hence it appears to represent a harmonious
blend of Orrisan and Bihar Astasambhu temple models inviting
reverent attention of the pious bhaktas, who gain the merit of
worshipping eight lingas at one time in one place, if visited and
adored. In the vicinity of this famous Asta sambhus temple, there
are many more groups of temples, all but in dilapidated condition.
Another queerness greeting the eyes here is, the presiding linga is
biggest in size and shape than the other seven satellite lingas.
There are Saivate gods installed in minishrines as found elsewhere.
lies at a distance of 80 km from Charbasa in the district of
Singhbhum of Bihar state, enjoying bus service from the district