Garhi Padawali Temple , Morena ,Gwalior

Garhi Padavali temple Morena, Gwalior built in 10th  AD it is  in a village called Padhavali  situated in Distt. Morena 45 km. from Gwalior , old name of Padhavali is Dharon with neighboring towns were Kutwar ( Kantipur ) and Suhaniaya ( Simphania) originally they collectively formed one large city. The Kutwar  is associated with Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas

Garhi Padhvali Temple Entrance

In the early 19th century, the Rana ( Jat ruler ), of Dholpur, converted a ruined temple atop a mound, into a small fort or Garhi. He used stones, said to be the remains of the old town of Dharon, to construct defensive towers for his fort, A flight of stone steps, guarded by two stone lions, lead up to the ruins of the temple within the walls of the Garhi.

Garhi Padhavali Temple , Gwalior

The remains of the old structure stand atop a carved plinth rise sixteen sculpted pillars supporting a flat roof. The terrace, the courtyard and the assembly hall of this temple are the ‘epitome’ of ancient culture . There are intricately carved panels on the stone beams between the pillars. They depict the divinities Surya, Kali, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma,

Plate depicting Lord Ram & Sita wedding , Garhi Padhavali temple Gwalior

The temple abounds in the depictions of Ram Leela, Krishna Leela, Mahabharat, the 10 incarnations of God Vishnu, Samudra Manthan, Marriage of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva dancing in the cremation ground in Preta ( Ghost) form and hundreds of other Sanatan gods and goddesses .

Lord Brhama , Shiva and Vishnu in old age and at bottom plate depicting celebration at Nand Gaon the birth of Lord Krishna

Lord Shiva flanked by four-headed Brahma and Vishnu holding a conch, a Chakra, a Gada (club) and a Padma (lotus) in his four hands  and Vishnu seated on Garuda

 

Lord Shiva with Ma Parvati and Nandi , bottom plate depicting war scene of Mahabharata killing of Abhimanyu .

 

 

Ma Chamunda and bottom plate depicting Lord Ram and his army of Vanaras performing Shivalingam puja before the war with Ravana

 

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Chausath Yogini Temple , Morena ,Gwalior

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Built by the Pratihara ruler Maharaj Devapal in the year 1323 AD as per the inscription found here ,  circular temple, built  over a rock hill , using red and brown-colored sandstone  found abundantly in this area . the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker who designed the Parliament House in 1927, found his inspiration in the temple. Once a well-known tantric  center and some people still perform tantric  rituals , this place is situated in dry rocky region , located in Rithora area of  Morena Distt. about 45 km from Gwalior ,

Chaushath Yogini Mandir , Morena , Gwalior

A circular structure of 170 ft radius atop a 100 ft mount, One needs to trek by about 200 steps to reach the temple, the path is very well maintained.  The temple has 64 (Chausath) rooms and a big courtyard. There is only one small entrance from East , after entering there is a corridor on left and right side , to reach the central platform there is flight of stairs again on the East direction.

Central Platform Chaushath Yogini Mandir , Gwalior

In the circular courtyard there is a corridor supported by stone pillars one side open space and other side is a row of small 64 rooms with a flat roof , in the center there is a pillared stage with a flat roof , it appears that there were shikhars over all the rooms and the central stage , there are four pedestals found with the names of the Yoginis mentioned on them which confirms it is a Yogini Temple.

Corridor Chaushath Yogini Temple , Gwalior

There was a time when each chamber  had an idol of Yogini accompanying Shiva. While some Yogini idols were stolen, some others are adorning Indian museums.

 

Fossil Rock , Chaushath Yogini Temple Gwalior

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Shalabhanjika , Monalisa in Stone , Museum , Gwalior Fort

Shalabhanjika  is a price less  stone statue of a lady of World fame Ancient India art work recovered from Gyaraspur near Sanchi and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh now kept in the museum of Gwalior Fort under high security , special permission is required from the Archaeological Survey of India to visit this particular  chamber.

There were two such sculpted statues installed at the entrance of Sanchi Stupa , during the raids of Mugal King Aurangzeb’s army  one of it was destroyed and this one was thrown in the forests of Gyaraspur, later to be recovered in 19th Century . In early 1980 a  Visitor French Tourist Group named it Monalisa in Stone

Shalabhanjika , Museum , Gwalior Fort

The beauty of this stone statue is the creation of very clear strange smile on a face by the sculpture , it is probably sculpted during 10 – 11 th  AD , the waist holds lower garment across her broad hips and her full bloomed body which  has a bare torso  with a  pearl necklace around her neck , a long necklace falling between her breasts and then one chain going down up to her naval . Eyes and bowed eyebrows , sharp nose , ear rings , her hair with bun decorated with jewelry and precious stones . The lady seems to be standing under a Saal tree holding a branch . She is also known as the Tree Goddess . The Sanskrit name Shalabhanjika means “A lady breaking Saal branch”

Shalabhanjika

Shalabhanjika are found mostly at the entrances of Stupa . The sandstone beams across the gateways were held up by bracket figures like this, representing female tree spirits called Yakshika . In an ancient  Indian fertility rite, beautiful young girls were said to usher in spring by kicking a tree trunk while breaking off a branch, so as to arouse it into blossoming. the Shalabhanjika Yakshika serves as a fertility symbol associated with the spirit of the tree and earth to ensure the auspiciousness of the site where the Stupa is built.

 

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Man Mandir , Fort Gwalior

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Gwalior Fort built in 8 th Centenary over a sand stone steep rock hill , the earlier records mention 525 AD King Mihirkul and Teli Ka Mandir of 875 AD structures in this area but fort came in existence during the Pal Dynasty of Kachwaha Rajput his 86 generations ruled over 989 years. Pratihar Dynasty ruled for Seven generations, then in 1196 AD there was Turk ruler Qutub ud Din Aibek and Iltumish had a control at this fort , it was taken under control from them by  Narasingh Rao  .

Man Mandir, Gwalior Fort

Tomar Rajputs took over in 1398 AD and held it till 1576 AD , in between Ibrahim Lodhi , Babur , Humayun , Sher Shah Suri and Adil Shah Suri for some time had control . It was Hemu ( Hem Chandra Vikrmaditya ) attacked Adil Shah Suri from here .

Mughal rulers made it a prison for the political prisoners and carried  assassination of many Mughal  family members .

Jats from Gohad ruled  here from 1740 to 1783 , Maratha leader Maha Ji Shinde in 1844 AD finally got it from the British East India Company .

Blue Paint , Man Mandir , Gwalior Fort

The main decoration and additions were done during the Raja Man Singh Tomar’s period 1486 AD-1516 AD , Man Mandir and Gujri Mahal were added , the Jahangir Mahal and the Shah Jahan Mahal were also added to commemorate the visit of Mogul Kings,  wonderful architecture,and beautiful art work done on its front as well as some interior walls. Surrounded by concrete walls of sandstone, the Gwalior Fort encloses three temples, 6 palaces and several water tanks. The Fort also contains many other marvels of medieval architecture. The Gujari Mahal is one such structure whose outer covering has survived the many battles the Fort has encountered. The main attraction is the Blue Tiles used and rows of yellow ducks, Banana Trees , Tiger and Elephants at outer walls and many other places , which is is actually a paint on the wall with different layers . 

Plate representing Aura of Sun , Man Mandir Gwalior fort

Gujari Mahal was built by Raja Man Singh for his wife Mrignayani who was a Gurjar Girl from a nearby village , she demanded a independent Palace and water for daily use  from Rai River near her village as a marriage condition .

Royal Private Chambers, Man Mandir , Gwalior Fort

The Jauhar Kund, which marks the spot where the women of the harem burnt themselves to death after the defeat of the King of Gwalior in 1232.

Royal Chambers decorated Ceiling, Man Mandir , Gwalior Fort

 

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Teli Ka Mandir , Telang Mandir , Gwalior

Teli Ka Mandir or Telang Mandir was built in 8th Century during the period of King Mihir Bhoj  .The structure of the temple presents a perfect fusion of the Northern and Southern architectural styles of India. The ‘Shikhar’ (spire) of the temple is  Dravidian in its style, whereas the ornamentation is done in the Nagara style (specific to North India). Teli Ka mandir  doesn’t have any ‘Mandap’ or pillared hall. The temple comprises a Garbha Griha  a porch and a doorway.

Teli Ka Mandir , Telang Mandir Gwalior Fort

Teli Ka Mandir is 100 feet  the tallest and most stunning temple in the  Gwalior Fort. The temple is actually dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of his mount, Garuda. A  honeycomb design with a series of receding pointed arches within an arch. The entrance door has a Toran or archway with  images of river goddesses Yamuna and Ganga, romantic couples, foliation decoration and a Garuda . Diamond and lotus designs are seen on the horizontal band at the top of the arch

Entrance to the Garbha Griha , Teli Ka Mandir

Within the rectangular structure is a shrine with no pillared pavilions   with a Barrel Vaulted or  Valabhi roof 25 meters (82 ft) in height. Figures of amorous couples, coiled serpents, on the doorway one can see the ladies from a royal family sailing in a decorated  boat , one  of the maid having an umbrella for shade , above it are coiled snakes   .  At the  The central position on the doorway is dominated by the figure of flying Garuda.

Torana or Arched door way at Teli Ka mandir

There are legends about the name of this temple . One says  it was made from donation of a Oil merchant who locally called Teli, given its name Teli’s Temple. The other story says as it was built form princes from Telengana (region in South India) it is called Teli Ka Mandir. One more  story says, “Teli Ka Mandir” term came as this Rajput Temple according to some legends, Rashtrakuta Govinda III conquered the Fort in 794 AD . He then handled the rites of religious ceremonies and rituals to Telang Brahmins , it seems to be true because of its fusion of Indo Aryan and Dravidian architecture from the Telangana region .

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Sahastra Bahu Mandir , Saas Bahu Mandir , Gwalior

Sahastra Bahu or Saas Bahu Temple is within the Gwalior Fort complex ,   built in 1092 AD by the King Mahipal ,  it is a twin temple a  larger one dedicated to  Lord Vishnu Lord with Thousand arms ( Sahastra Bahu )  it is the most impressive structure  32 x 22 meters ,  built  for  the King  Mahipal’s wife who  was a devotee  of Lord Vishnu ,  a smaller one dedicated to Lord Sun built for her daughter – in – Law  who  was  a  devotee  of  Lord Shiva .  Collectively called  the Mother – in – Law      ( Saas )  and  Daughter – in – Law  ( Bahu ) Temple . Both intricately carved and designed with floral and mythical motifs.

Saas Bahu or Sahastra Bahu Temple Gwalior Fort

Raised on a platform, the walls of the temple have scriptures, figures and intricate stone works and is an example of the architectural skills of sculptors belonging to the 11th century.

Sahastra Bahu or Saas Bahu Temple Gwalior Fort

Using the red sand stone with several stories of beams and pillars but no arches.It has got three entrances , entire temple is covered with idols ,  Lord Bhrama ,  Lord Vishnu and Saraswati ( Godess of Learning)  placed above its entry door.

Pillars supporting and no arches

Built in Nagara style, both the temples are richly decorated with carvings of deities, human and animal figures, and geometric patterns .  It is difficult to find a piece of plane surface in this section that has not been carved,  interlocking the horizontal and the vertical elements and to set up the images at the most appropriate places.

Thirty Meter high carved ceiling Sahastra Bahu Temple

The roof is decked with a wonderful lotus carving which is one of its main attractions. In a way, one can imagine the outstanding architectural brilliancy of ancient times in India . The ceiling containing the pattern of the successive formations of the square, the octagon and the circle is repeated, in its variant forms, in the porches and the central hall.

The Smaller temple is  one-storey replica of the bigger one. Apart from the erotic couples that are particularly  here and not in the other temple , it carries the usual features the floral motif, the geometrical designs, the animal bands running on the surface of the plinth.  It doesn’t have the intricate fully or partially relieved  deities and the smaller pillars.

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Gwalior , Madhya Pradesh

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Gwalior is situated 320 km from Delhi,  in Madhya Pradesh state , one can reach by road , there are regular daily trains from Delhi it is about four hour journey by fast trains ,  also there is a domestic airport which is connected with Mumbai and Delhi flights.

Gwalior a historical city of central India founded by a Kachwaha Rajput  Suraj Sen of Silhonia Village  in 8th centenary , the legend is the Suraj Sen who was suffering from Leprosy lost his way on a hunting expedition in this area , suffering from thirst and hunger  he was then helped by a Sage Gwalipa who not only led him to  a water pond but also got him cured of Leprosy . To pay him a respect and in gratitude a city was founded by his name , initially wall was made to protect the area where sage Gwalipa lived , then Suraj Sen built a palace within the walled area upon the hill , slowly people started living around it .

Water Pond where King Suraj Sen Leprosy was cured

 

Temple dedicated to Sage Gwalipa

After its establishment many different rulers came , ruled around and over it and became a prominent place for religion and cultural development . 6 BC it was under the control from Patliputra under Naad Kingdom , in first centenary Naag  Dynesty Kushans came and ruled till 3rd AD , it was with Guptas till 467 AD  and then Pratihar Dynesty ruled and made it capital of Kannauj till 740 AD . Kachwahas were the rulers when Mohmmad Gauri invaded and plundered the area around it  but could not succeed to capture the fort in  1195-96 AD ,  It was Shams Ud- Din Iltumish in 1231 AD after one year siege , succeeded and this fort came under the Muslim rulers .

Man Mandir Palace , Fort Gwalior

Tomar Raja Veer Singh became the ruler in 1375 AD and during the Raja Man Singh the present Palace Man Mandir was constructed . It came in the hands of Scindia in 1730 AD and became a Princely state during the British period .

Shalbhanjika

Places to be worth visiting are  Gwalior Fort , Fort Museum , Sahatrabahu temple, Teli Ka ( Telang)  Mandir , Gurudwara Data Bandi Chor , Gujri Mahal and Museum, one must ask the curator to show the Shalbhanjika  10th Centenary a beautiful carved lady in a stone feminine features with smiling face , it is kept in a strong room because of its archaeological importance .

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