Bhojeshwar Temple ,Bhojpur

bhojeshwar

Founded by the legendary Parmar King of Dhar, Raja Bhoj (1010-1053), and named after him, Bhojpur, 28 km from Bhopal, is renowned for the remains of its magnificent Shiva temple and Cyclopean dam.

The temple which has earned the nomenclature of the Somnath of the east, is known as the Bhojeshwar Temple. The temple was never completed and the earthen ramp used to raise it to dome-level still stands. Had it been completed, it would have had very few rivals. As it is, even with the ravages of time, it remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 11th – 13th centuries.

The lingam in the sanctum rises to an awe-inspiring height of 7.5 feet with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive platform 21.5 feet square, and composed of three superimposed limestone blocks, the architectural harmony of lingam and platform creates a superb synthesis of solidity and lightness.

The temple was never completed, and the earthern ramp used to raise it to dome-level still stands. Had it been completed, it would have had very few rivals. As it is, even with the ravages of time, it remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries.

Also incomplete, and with a similar stone-raising ramp, is a lain shrine that stands close to the Bhojeshwar temple. Three figures of the tirthankaras are contained within, one being a colossal statue of Mahavira 20 feet high, and the other two of Parsvanath. Rectangular in plan, this temple probably belongs to the same period as the Bhojeshwar.

Places of Interest

Samaspur –

It is situated 22 kilometer away from Bhopal. This place was discovered 70 years ago by a jain Muni.Hundred of idols of Jain tearthankars can be seen there.

Manua Bhan ki Tekri –

Near seven kilometer away from Bhopal on Gwalior road on the top of a hill is situated Manua Bhan Ki Tekri, the Jain temple, a pilgrimage and faith of jain devotees. On the tekri the Jain saint Maharaj Shri Vijay Suriji, Shri Jindutta Sureshwarji and Acharya Manutung’s footwears are kept and also a idol of Shri Man Bhadarji has been installed. On the Simha Gate of the temple is an old manuscript carved on the stone, the language in which it has been written is still to be deciphered. It is also said to be the Sadhana Sthali of Oswal Dynasty. A big fare is also held every year here on Kartik Purnima.

Bhimbetka –

 has nearly 1000 caves dating back to pre-historic times. There are paintings in the caves, the oldest of which are believed to be 12000 years old. Set among forests of teak and sal these archaeological discoveries were made by VS WAKANER of the Vikram University, Ujjain in 1957. The site in where digging has continued since 1971 stretches for nearly 10km from the village of KHARITALAK in the east to JONDRA in the west.

Sanchi –

 46 kilometers (30 miles) to the northeast of Bhopal, has some of the finest and most varied examples of Buddhist sculpture and architecture in India. The Great Stupa, with its majestic dome built over Buddhist relics, is India’s oldest stone structure. An intricately carved railing encircles the stupa, and for magnificently sculpted toranas, or gateways, illustrates the Buddha’s numerous lives with an intricacy that can only be described as an act of worship. The Buddha is here represented only by symbols: the lotus, the tree of life, foot-prints, and a throne. The unusually lustrous Ashoka Pillar near the southern gateway was originally inscribed with a religious ordinance and surmounted by a lion capital, now the national emblem of India. Of the other stupas in the vicinity, numbers 2 and 3 are of particular interest. Only a few ruined monasteries remain. The famous Begging Bowl, carved from a single huge boulder and used to collect food for the monks, is near one of these.

Getting there and Around

By Air –

Bhopal (28 km from Bhojpur)is the nearest airport. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Indore and Gwalior.

By Rail –

Bhopal, on the Delhi-Madras and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head

By Bus –

Bhojpur is connected by bus with Bhopal.

Accommodation

There are a number of hotels and lodges in Bhopal to gratify the needs of travelers. One can find cheap, medium and high-end accommodation in the hotels across Bhopal.

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