Road trip to Bhojpur town on a cloudy day
Lots of people travel to India in search of spirituality as India is known for that. The reason behind this is that India is well known to have thousands of sites illustrating almost all the religions. It is also true that every traveller looks for an opportunity where he can seek something unusual and unfamiliar which can easily be found in India. India’s deadliest destinations offer opportunities for Wanderers to trek, hike its mountains and experience wide range of culture, heritage, food, shopping etc.
But do you know there are certain towns/villages which remain silent till date? Usually, these regions remain a secret to the outside world but are well liked by the locals. Following this, I made a decision to have a road trip to such a hidden gem and share my experience with the world. This hidden gem is Bhojpur – a town near Bhopal (capital of Madhya Pradesh). Bhojpur is a place which is not on the regular circuit of a sightseer but can give a feeling of astonishment. The presence of incomplete Shiva temple and Bhagwan (Lord) Shantinath Jain temple has made it more lively.
I know some of you might be thinking; ANOTHER TEMPLE? Just hold your nerves, my dear!! It is not just a typical religious destination but has a lot more to offer.
Bhojpur is a town 30 km away from Bhopal and is can be considered as a perfect road-trip destination. Bhojpur is situated on the banks of River “Betwa” and is greatly known for its sandstone mountain range. It is known that the brilliance of Indian architecture and ancient engineering marvels flourishes out in the form of temples. One such example is Bhojpur temple. Bhojeshwar temple is known to have world’s highest Shiv Linga (18ft tall and 7.5ft in circumference).
Moreover, the photographic landscapes and serenity of temples make Bhojpur a perfect weekend destination. Yes, landscapes make the Bhojpur more worthy. Basically, Bhojpur is perfectly nestled between the eye-catchy landscapes and surreal farm fields. Such a comprehensive grandeur can easily impress any traveller and photographers. The road to Bhojpur makes you feel like you are truly a road aviator.
The roadway is free from the hustle-bustle of city life and is surrounded by trees and farm fields. That’s what made me visit Bhojpur and that too on a cloudy day. When it comes to a cloudy day, the aroma of this destination becomes different. The spot becomes more vulnerable to photographers.
But before that, let’s have a look at what it the temple has in it all…
Bhojeshwar temple (an incomplete marvel):
Bhojpur is a religious town established by legendary Raja Bhoj of Parmara Dynasty (1010-1053) of central India. Raja Bhoj was a great contributor to art and architecture. For this reason, the took a task to make Lord Shiva temple. The temple houses world’s highest Shiva linga (made of single sandstone) and the periphery of the temple is covered by greenery. The whole structure’s blueprint was made on the flat surface of a quarry which is now not so much visible because of natural activities. He named the temple as Bhojeshwar temple. It is also known that the whole structure was made within a day only. Bhojeshwar temple is also as “Somnath Temple of East” because of the fact that it resembles like an unfinished sun temple.
According to the mythology:
According to the mythology, it is said that the Shiv Linga was established by Pandavas of epic Mahabharat. But the remaining part was made by Raja Bhoj in order to establish a temple. However, it still remains incomplete because Raja Bhoj was called at Somnath (Gujarat) to build the temple at Somnath when Mughals raided Somnath. Now, Bhojpur temple is under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India. That’s why the main attraction of Bhojpur is this Shiva temple. However, the history is still unclear about why it remained unfinished till date.
However, the history is still unclear about why it remained unfinished till date. all of the above, I was filled with enthusiasm when a quick rain shower welcomed me. I don’t want to say anything more, just have a look at it…
Every body gathered inside the temple during Aarti, to escape the rain drops.
According to Hindu’s rituals, If you wish something and says in the ears of Nandi Dev, your wish will get completed.
There is one tale I want to share with you. The tale is regarding the sculptures present on the main gate. This is the tale of Gangu Teli. If I tell you about who is Gangu Teli, then you must have heard the aphorism, “Kahaan Raja Bhoj, Kahaan Gangu Teli“.
The Tale of Gangu Teli:
The tale of Gangu Teli has a great importance in making of this Bhojpur temple. The tale has been outlined in the era of Parmar dynasty. Gangu Teli was an oil worker who has occurred in the reign of Raja Bhoj. According to the tale, Raja Bhoj had sacrificed a woman and her newborn baby in order to please gods of the mountain. The woman was the wife of Gangu Teli.
What made Raja Bhoj to sacrifice a woman is also an interesting story. He wanted to build a fort in South Maharastra but was not able to do so as the fort collapsed many times under the construction. So for that reason, the astrologer of Raja Bhoj recommended him to sacrifice a woman and her newborn child in order to please the gods of mountains. And Gangu Teli was the only person whose wife was going to had a newborn baby. Gangu agreed to the king as the fort will have a small tomb in his name after the sacrifice. Thereby, the fort was made with his tomb inside it.
Furthermore, as the tomb was built Gangu Teli become boastful and wanted to be as equal as Raja Bhoj. That’s why we can find the sculptures of his family at the main gate. However, the scholars of temple say, the sculptures at the door and the unfinished one may belong to goddess Parvati. I don’t know what is the truth after all. But the architectural beauty is worth watching.
Look at the temple when rain was over…
When you walk through the gardens of Bhojpur temple, you’ll see river Betwa flowing through the mountain. Nowadays, it is a restricted area becuase of many accidents that had happened at the river.
Landscape view on a sunny day from the top of Bhojeshwar temple. But one thing is for sure, we should not sacrifice others lives in order to complete our work. Instead of the highly maintained temple, the region experiences less footfall.
Although the temple is a thousand-year-old, the temple is so lively that the Bhojpur is converted into a serene destination. Also, instead of the highly maintained temple, the region experiences less footfall. However, during the festive season (Maha Shivratri) the place becomes so glittering and over-crowded.
The last thing, since it again started raining I was not able to visit Jain temple. But I visited it just a few days back, so I’ll share it in another post with one more interesting destination.