Bhojeshwar Temple is renowned as the Somnath of the East.The attribution of the temple to Bhoja is based on the testimony of Merutuṅga, who reports in the Prabandha cintāmaṇi that Bhoja bestowed on the poet Māgha “all the merit of the new Bhojasvāmin temple that he was about to build himself”, and then “set out for the country of Mālava”. The style of the sculpture on the building confirms an early to mid-eleventh-century date for the structure.
Locally, there are several folklores 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 Kama somewhere here along the bank of river Betwa.
This west-facing lofty temple is raised on a 106 ft long, 77 ft wide and 17 ft high platform. The incomplete roof of the Garbhagriha (sanctum) is supported on four colossal pillars and twelve pilasters rising to a height of 40 ft. The sanctum is square on plan and enshrines a polished Siva-Iinga. The door-jambs of the sanctum are carved with figures of the river goddesses Ganga and Yamunaon either 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 functional use, breaks the monotony of the plain 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 Siva Linga with its Yoni Patta rising to height of 22 ft 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 fell down on it, and thus the temple remained with a broken Yoni Patta and 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 transportation of large size stones to the raising heights during the temple building. 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 the temple raised stone as large as 35 x 5 x 5 ft and weighing about 70 tones to the temple could have remained a mystery had this ramp was not in existence.
Again nowhere else detail tine drawings of the temple such as plan, elevation, pillars and pilasters, sikhara and kalasa 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 Siva Linga enshrined the sanctum make it an unsurpassed heritage of mankind.
Cave of Pārvatī
Immediately opposite the temple, on the west side of the gorge facing the Betwā, is a rock-shelter or cave, now occupied by religious mendicants. Popularly known as Pārvatī's Cave, the cave contains a number of sculptures and architectural fragments dating to the eleventh century.
Remains of Bhoja's Royal Palace
One of the avenues in the ruins of the royal palace at Bhojpur. On the low plateau above the Cave of Pārvatī and opposite the Bhojpur temple are the remains of Bhoja's palace. Only the foundations survive. The complex is laid out as a grid in a square, with a courtyard in the centre (see site plan above).The site of the palace, like the neighbouring dams, is unprotected. The remains of the palace are being slowly destroyed as local people collect stones for modern building purposes.
Bhojpur also has an unfinished Jain temple containing a 6-meter-tall statue of Bhagwan Shantinath and two statues of Bhagwan Parshvanath (left) and Bhagwan Suparasnath (right). On the base of one of the images is an inscription mentioning king Bhoja, the only epigraphic evidence connecting Bhoja to the site. The same temple complex hosts shrine for Ācārya Mantunga who wrote Bhaktamara Stotra. In this shrine there are three figures of the tirthankaras contained within one colossal statue 20 feet high, one of Mahavira and two of Parsvanath.
HOW TO REACH
Reaching Bhojpur by Air :-
The nearest airport to Bhojpur temple is at Bhopal, which is 28 km away from this site. Pre-paid taxi services are available from Bhopal Raja Bhoj airport to Bhojpur temple.
How to reach Bhojpur temple: Catch a private bus (Low floor city bus) from Bhopal which is going towards Mandideep and ask the driver to drop you at the diversion to Bhojpur temple. From that point, you need to catch one of the frequent shared autos to reach the temple. If coming from Bhimbetka, you can take the diversion from Obaidullaganj but that road is in very bad condition and not worth driving.
Bhopal-Bhojpur Temple: 29 km
Obaidullaganj- Bhopal: 14 km
There are no options of accommodation in the temple. There are many budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options in Bhopal.
The temple can be visited throughout the year but the best time to visit is between October and March.Visiting hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Entrance fee: 10 INR
Where to eat: There are many stalls in the temple lane where you can sip a tea and enjoy snacks or even have a light meal.
Remarks: During festival time, this place gets crowded with carloads of tourists from Bhopal.