Bhojpur

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.

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Bhojpur is 6 km away

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.

Town Bhojpur:

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.

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Impressive road to Bhojpur
Bhojpur
Perfect composition of river Betwa, cloudy sky and forest area

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.

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Sloping walkway to the main Bhojeshwar temple
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The grand Lord Shiva temple view from the steps
World’s highest Shiva Linga: 21ft tall and 7.5ft in base

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…

Rain welcomed me at Bhojpur temple
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Aarti time at Shiva temple

Every body gathered  inside the temple during Aarti, to escape the rain drops.

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Person wishing something in the ears of Nandi Dev sculpture

According to Hindu’s rituals, If you wish something and says in the ears of Nandi Dev, your wish will get completed.

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Garbh grah (worship place) made outside the Shiv Linga temple.

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“.

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sculptures made on the wall of main gate, temple

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.

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Beautiful sculpture at the main gate
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I think it is the whole family of Gangu Teli.

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.

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Unfinished statue of Goddess Parvati
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Museum through the gardens of temple, where unfinished statues are kept
Unfinished structures near the museum

Look at the temple when rain was over…

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Exceptional look of Bhojpur temple after rain

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.

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Beautiful walkway to the river Betwa
Bhojpur
River Betwa flowing through the Parvati cave mountain

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.

If you like the post, please comment your thoughts below and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and tweet me at Twitter.

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24 comments

  1. ding

    Looks interesting to visit the place and by the way nice pictures there.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks, ding! Yes. the picture session was awesome.

      Reply

  2. Dieter

    Thank you for taking us on the journey with you, super photos

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks, Dieter! Thanks for liking my photographs.

      Reply

  3. Nate Kidd

    It is great to know a little bit of history about Bhojeshwar and its temple. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks to you too, for your valuable comment.

      Reply

  4. Shree

    Beautiful temple. Good info. Temple brick color is made temple more beautiful

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks Shree!! Thanks for liking it.

      Reply

  5. Jane

    What a gorgeous temple. Thank you for sharing. I’ve never been to India but this is now at the top of my bucket list.

    Reply

  6. prachi

    its a amazing place and very well written article picture is so beautiful thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks, Prachi! Thank you so much.

      Reply

  7. Najeem Mujeeb

    Very useful and good information. Thanks a lot

    Reply

  8. Radif Rahman

    What an amazing place to visit, wonderfully written and stunning photos.

    Reply

  9. Aditi

    I have not been to Bhojpur or Bhopal for that matter. But, all the information and rich history that you’ve shared makes me want to plan to trip soon, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks Aditi for your comment.

      Reply

  10. raju

    Nice articles thanks for sharing us.

    Reply

  11. Middle Eats

    The Bhojeshwar temple is stunning, the colour of the stone is amazing! I’d love to take a wander through the museum and explore the river, rain or shine!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot for such a comment!!

      Reply

  12. kalliamanika

    Your blog has very interesting pictures and their quality is beautiful! My favorite picture from this post is the one with the rain on the temple, which the temple itself looks like such a big piece of history!

    Reply

    1. prateekgoel

      Thanks a lot! I’ve to click it many times to get that view! Thanks for liking it. I hope to entertain even more.

      Reply

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