As the saying goes, world is a book and those who do not travel don’t read the story, so was Bhopal to me; A page in the book that I had never thought about reading, ignorant of the interesting stories it held, because there is so less being talked about the splendours of Madhya Pradesh. Fortunately my husband is from Bhopal and after marriage my first visit to Bhopal was during the Durga Puja, a beautiful festival of colours and splendour. Bhopal, like many Indian city is currently at crossroads, from being a calm peaceful city to the city of students and chaos, its landscape and view changing with the changing times. It presents an interesting juxtaposition of old and new.
It was not Bhopal that fascinated me though, and my next trip will be about discovery of the capital of Madhya Pradesh which I am really looking forward to, this trip was discovery but the places around that had mysteries calling out to me. So the first stop in this Journey was, Bhojeshwar temple in the Bhojpur district.
At a distance of two to two and half hours from Bhopal is the beautiful and majestic Bhojeshwar temple. Before starting the journey itself, I had heard a few interesting stories around it, that it is no completed in construction and that it has one of the biggest Shiva Lingas in India. We started the journey early around 7AM and quickly left the city roads for Highway which was in quite good condition. With agricultural fields on both sides and the heavy sun still some time away it was a beautiful journey. The idea was to reach the temple place by 10, because although it was october, Madhya Pradesh heat is legendary and anything in afternoon becomes a difficult journey.
We reached the bhojpur district after an hour of travel and decided to have a quick breakfast of the famous Poha-Jalebi and masala chai, which costed us Rs.15 per person, one of the most economical and delicious breakfast I had ever had. If you are ever in bhopal or areas nearby do try it definitely.
After that delicious breakfast, we started the journey towards the temple with roads still being in good condition. Post reaching the temple, the first thing that catches attention is that Its clean and I give a lot of credit to the government for that, there are dustbins visible everywhere and proper information areas.As you enter, before climbing the steps a majestic sight greets you, the unfinished temple of Bhojpur.
Its an interesting architectural creation and looks majestic. We climbed up the steps and were greeted by the beautiful sights of the temple and with the early morning rays falling on it, its a visual treat.
The temple from inside has a huge gigantic Shiva linga which rises up till ceiling and there is like a chamber around it with engravings in rock. its mesmerising to see the shiva linga rising up to the ceiling and you feel awed by the huge structure, there is nothing much to see inside the temple apart from that.
We did the small puja and the rotation around the Shiva Linga and then moved out. Outside there is a beautiful small garden and as we made our way towards the end we read the rock inscription of the archaeological survey of India which detailed out that its the only temple in India for which there was a precise drawing of the building done on the rocks with the dimensions mentioned.
Curious and excited, we made our way towards the rocks and indeed we saw how the entire structure drawing was done on the multiple rocks, it was fascinating to see how at that time there was so much advancement that we had in this field.
As we decided to complete the trip, we went towards the beautiful river that flows behind the temple; I forgot to mention that temple is actually situated on a hill and behind the hill is the river, earlier there used to be boat rides but after a couple of students drowned its been barricaded.
With one long back glance at the majestic beauty of Bhojpur temple, we made our way towards the exit, carrying with us a feeling that India has so many hidden gems, places, temples, natural marvels that are breathtaking and I was fortunate to experience one such gem in the form of Bhojpur temple.