The lesser known vibrant town of Bhojpur has a history of its own. It was founded by Raja Bhoj of Dhar in 11th century after whom the town is named as Bhojpur. The town is famous for the Lord Shiva Temple named Bhojeshwar Temple. Around this part of India, the temple is more popularly known as Somnath. Had it been completed, it would have had very few matches. As it is, even with the ravages of time Bhojeshwar temple remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries. (Click on all the images for bigger picture)
The temple was constructed sometime around 11th century. The incomplete temple structure in height is around 66 feet. Even though the dome is incomplete, the beauty of it is enchanting. In layout the temple is a simple square. The ornately carved dome, though incomplete, has a magnificent, towering strength of line, supported by four richly carved pillars. The dome has an astonishing elegance because of the tapering form. Divided in three sections, the lowest is an octagon with facets of 2.12 feet, from which springs a 24-faced section. The richly carved doorway is plain below, throwing into sharp relief the two exquisitely sculpted figurines that stand on either side. On the other three sides of the structure are balconies, each supported by mammoth brackets and four elaborately carved pillars.
The temple houses the largest `shiva lingam` in India, measuring 7.5 ft in height and 17.8 ft in circumference. it is set upon a massive platform 21.5 ft sq, and it is composed of three superimposed limestone blocks. The architectural harmony of the lingam and platform is marvelous.
From Bhojpur, our next destination is Archeological Treasure of Ancient India, Bhimbetka.
Distance: Bhojpur ---> Bhimbetka 26 kms
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