Bhojpur, the 11th century city, located on the sandstone ridges of Central India, is one of the tourist hotspots in Madhya Pradesh. The Betwa river flows beside this laidback ancient city that adds an old world charm to Bhojpur tourism.
Among the places to see in Bhojpur is a breathtaking 11th century structure consisting of two dams intelligently constructed out of massive stones in order to divert and block the Betwa river, thus creating a lake.
Bhojpur is named after the most illustrious ruler of the Paramara dynasty, King Bhoja. The dams constructed under his rule are an illustrious example of Cyclopean masonry, making it a major tourist attraction in Bhojpur.
How to Reach Bhojpur
By Air: The closest airport is at Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh at a distance of 44 km. The Raja Bhoj International Airport is well connected with the cities Mumbai, Delhi, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior.
By Train: Closest railway station to Bhojpur is Bhopal Junction Railway Station. It is on the main north-south line and is well connected by rail to almost all parts of the country. The station belongs to the West Central Railway Zone.
By Road: Bhojpur has good connectivity with Bhopal via road. Bhopal being the railroad and highway transportation hub; it has a very effective inter-state road transport facilities. After reaching Bhopal, travellers can avail the metro or radio taxi services. The inter-state bus terminal in Bhopal is near the Habibganj station.
Photo Courtesy:nevil zaveri
Bhojeshwar Temple is a magnificent structure even with its incomplete status. The temple dedicated to Lord Siva holds one of the largest Shivlingams in India. Carved out of a single rock, the lingam in the sanctum is of a breathtaking 7.5 ft tall and has a circumference of 17.8 ft. With the Shivlingam in its enormous and intricate alignment, the temple prides its position as the ‘Somnath of the East'.
Photo Courtesy:Nagarjun Kandukuru
A must visit place in Bhojpur are the Jain temples which lie close to the Bhojeshwar Temple. Here, you can view yet another incomplete structure of this legendary Jain shrine. The incomplete structure also has a stone-raising ramp similar to the Bhojeshwar Temple. The temple has three figures of the Thirthankaras characteristic of all Jain Temples. Among these, the most important one is the colossal statue of Mahavira standing at a height of 20 ft. The remaining two statues are of Paraswanath.
Photo Courtesy:Atishay monty
The Parvati Cave is another tourist attraction in Bhojpur. It is a typical rock shelter on the west side of the Betwa. The cave is now used by religious mendicants. A visit to the cave can take you to the marvelous 11th century world where you can see a lot of ancient sculptures and architectural fragments. Since it is still a hub of religious mendicants, the flavor of the space is as lively as it might have been thousands of years ago.
Bhoja's Royal Palace
After paying a visit to the cave of Parvati, you can venture out to visit the remains of the Bhoja's Royal Palace. The entire palace is now destroyed with only the foundations surviving. Even though, the palace is not present in its full might, the foundations do give the onlookers a hint about the possible valor it had in the yesteryears. The complex is laid out in a grid structure, with its courtyard lying in the centre. The palace with its carved blocks and engraved graffiti on the rock floor is spectacular. You can also see diagrams for games laid out from the 11th century, giving you a sense of royal entertainment.
Rock Drawings And Quarries
Among the places to visit in Bhojpur are the rock drawings and quarries which are the remnants of the great temple at Bhojpur. The temple was left unfinished, and a series of massive architectural parts can be seen at the site, of rock drawings and quarries. It is here that the stones were cut, chiseled and decorated to be taken to the temple. There are also a major number of engravings, moldings, pillars and temple plans visible in the surrounding.