Kashishwar Mahadeo Temple in Mohanlalganj was built by Raja Kashi Pershad Sahib in 1860 was once a flourishing temple, but today lies in ruins. Neighboring trees are eating into it and the fast-growing city has already made inroads inside the temple complex, breaking through the walls. The temple is dying a slow death, but isn't quite dead as yet...
Sissendi is a village in the Mohanlalgang taluka and was founded by the Shiv Singh, a thakur of Rajpoot Chhatris a long time back. However, the history of the temple is more recent, and is linked to India's first war of Independence from the British in 1857.
As the Muslim rulers, the Mughals and the Nawabs joined the war along with numerous common Hindus and Muslims in the region, the then Sissendi king Raja Kashi Pershad decided to join hands with the British to help them quell the so called rebellion. Eventually Indians lost the war, and the last Indian monarch in Delhi, Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar, was exiled to Rangoon in Myanmar, and many others were executed.
Raja Kashi Pershad, however, was rewarded for his loyalty by the British and granted large estates. The temple was built in 1960, three years after the king chose the British over his own brethren, and then later renovated in 1926 by Rani Subhadra Kunwar Saheb. It's might be a bit unfair to judge the king too harshly now, he was, of course, looking survival himself then.
There are places that you pass by on numerous locations and always think about visiting next time, but sometimes that never quite happens. This was one such temple that I passed by many a times when I traveled extensively in rural Uttar Pradesh (include link) in 2013. Eventually my trip got over and I moved back to Pune, and the temple visit never quite happened, and the regret stayed with me.
So this time when I was passing by the temple once again, I knew there was no way I was going to miss a visit. Thankfully I was by myself in the my Ola Outstation cab travelling from Varanasi to Lucknow, so there was no one complaining about my obsession with old structures and places of worship.
The light was falling when I entered the complex, but in my hurry to get to the temple, I forgot to fetch my DSLR, but my ever dependable iPhone 7 Plus came to my rescue and managed to take some decent pictures there.
The periphery of the temple was full of monkeys who made unhappy faces when they saw me walking in their territory, but we made peace soon when they realised I was pretty harmless. Finally I went inside and this is where the main surprise was waiting - completely painted walls and ceiling of the garbhagriha, or the sanctum sanctorium. Clearly the temple had seen better days and it was clear that the place was in desperate need of funds for restoration.
The panditji put teeka and gave me prasad and thankfully also agreed to be shot. Many Hindu temples prohibit photography inside, but the panditji never complained and so I took a few shots. Enjoy :)
It's not at all a place meant for travellers and it's pretty much a local temple. There is a large vegetable market at the entrance and temple is the last thing on anyone's mind. If you do visit, go with an open mind to see a temple which might turn into ruins soon.
Well if you want to visit these temples, here's a map for reference. The easiest was would be to reach the Tehsil Mohanlalgunj, and the temple is located diagonally opposite the office building. If you are coming from Lucknow it would be on your right and it's hard to miss it's tall shikhar.