History of Bhojpur Temple
The temple stands magnificently on the right bank of the river Betwa, ancient Betrawati, over the rocks outcrop. It is about 32 km south-east of Bhopal. This is a unique temple but incomplete for some unknown reason is about ascribed to the illustrious King Bhojadeva (1010-1055 A.D) of Paramara dynasty of Central India, who was a great patron of art, architecture and learning. The king Bhojadeva was a renowned author who wrote more than eleven books of which Samarangana Sutradhara a treaty on architecture is the most important.
Mythology of the Siva Temple Bhojpur
Locally, there are several folklore prevailing in this area. According to one folklore this temple was built by the Pandavas during their exile. Some People even claim Kunti had left Karna somewhere at Bhojpur along the bank of river Betwa.
This west-facing lofty temple is raised on a 106 feet long, 77 feet wide and 17 feet high platform. The incomplete roof of the Garbhagriha (Sanctum) is supported on four colossal pillars and twelve pilasters rising to a height of 40 feet. The sanctum is square on plan and enshrines a polished Sivalinga. The door-jambs of the sanctum are carved with figures of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna on eigher side. The bracket-capitals of four massive pillars of the sanctum are portrayed with figures of Uma-Maheswar, Lakshmi-Narayana, Brahma-Savitri, and Sita-Rama. Externally the temple is bereft of any ornamentation, except on the front facade. The balconies on the three facades although do not have any function use, breaks the monotony of the plan walls. Probably these balconies once accommodated family deities of the Saiva cult which are now scattered around the temple.
It is exhilarating to know that the Sivalinga with its Yoni Patta rising to height of 22 feet is the tallest and grandest in the world. The huge Yoni Patta made of a single block of stone broke into two pieces when a large size stone of the ceiling open to the sky for centuries. But now the Yoni Patta has been meticulously joined together and the opening of the ceiling has been covered with fiber glass sheet decorated with the inverted lotus flower which is exactly alike the original architectural remains of the roof.
The temple is survived with a ramp on its back side which was used for the transformation of large size stones to the raising heights during build the temple. Nowhere else in the world the ancient building technology of lifting large size stone architectural members to the top of the structure is extant. The fact that how the builders of the temple raised stone as large as 35x5x5 feet and weighing about 70 tones to the temple top could have remained a mystery had this ramp was not in existence.
Unsurpassed Heritage of Mankind
Again nowhere else detail line drawings of the temple such as plan, elevation, pillars and plasters, Sikhara (peak/topping) and Kalasa (dome/jar) have been engraved as a stencil on the rock surface. It speaks that before building, the temple plan and elevation were engraved on the rock.
The presence of ramp, engravings on the rock and the grand Sivelinga enshrined the sanctum make it an unsurpassed heritage of mankind.
In Present: Look at some pics taken from the garden at Bhojpur Temple.