Kakanmath Temple is one of the prominent Shiva temples located near the village of Sihonia in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh. Although in ruins today, the temple is notable for its amazing sculptural wealth.
Sihoniya (also Suhoniya) was known to be the capital of the Kushwahas. The Kushwaha kingdom was established in 11th century within 1015 to 1035 AD. The general belief is that the temple was built by Kushwahas ruler Kirtiraj in 1015 AD to fulfill the wish of Queen Kakanwati. The local lore also goes that the historical Tomar rulers had built the Kakanmath temple.
Kakanmath, in terms of structure and design, is similar to the temples at Khajuraho.The overall structure of the temple is pyramid-like and it has a pillared corridor leading to a central shrine. The temple is originally encircled by subsidiary shrines.
To the right of the temple are the remains of other, smaller shrines including a Shiva linga standing by itself. The overall effect of the towering structure standing in the middle of fields is stunning and would never cease to startle a chance visitor to Sihoniya.
The temple is more than 150 feet in height; and its mandapa has two stories.
The temple which looks like it is about to fall, when viewed from a distance, gets more and more sturdy and amazing as you get closer.
It has some of most beautiful statues carved on its exterior walls, with dancing, joyful figures, along with various Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
Even in its ruined condition, it reflects the majesty it must have exuded before it was destroyed by the Islamic invaders.
Kakanmath was destroyed by the armies of Aibak and Iltutmish in the 13th century and since than it fell to neglect and obscurity. It was only in the 20th century that it was reclaimed as Indian heritage.
The Kakanmath is under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India, Gwalior Region.