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.
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.
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.
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.
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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