Madhya Pradesh popularly known as the 'Heart of India' is the second largest state of the country. The history of this state, its geographical location, its natural beauty, its cultural heritage and the people, makes it one of the best tourism destinations. The state offers all aspects of tourism for tourists to explore and indulge in. From watching tigers at the Bandhavgarh National Park to wowing of architecture of the temples at Khajuraho, you can discover the real India here.
There are many attractions all throughout Madhya Pradesh, but a trip here is incomplete without visiting the many temples present in the region. The sights of the majestic temple architecture, high clinging sound of the various temple bells and the intoxicating fragrances of incense sticks will make a temple tour here absolutely unforgettable. Here is a guide to some of the temples in Madhya Pradesh.
Bhojeshwar Temple is a magnificent structure even with its incomplete status. The temple dedicated to Lord Siva holds one of the largest Shivlinga in India. Carved out of a single rock, the linga in the sanctum is of a breathtaking 7.5 ft tall and has a circumference of 17.8 ft. With the Shivlinga in its enormous and intricate alignment, the temple prides its position as the ‘Somnath of the East'.
Photo Courtesy: Nagarjun Kandukuru
The Sas-Bahu Temple is located in the east side ofGwaliorFort. The irony lies in the fact that as the name suggests it is not the temple of Sas (Mother in law) and Bahu (Daughter in law), instead the name emerged out of ‘sastrabahu' which is another name of Lord Vishnu. It has carvings of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Godess Saraswathi on its door. There are two temple structures, one is small and the other is big. The temple is made of red sand stone with beautiful cravings of lotus. It has a pyramidal structure without any arches and was built by King Mahipala of Kachwaha dynasty in 11th century.
Photo Courtesy: Georgegupta
Surya Madir or Sun Temple is the abode of Sun God. It is a relatively newly built temple which attracts a lot of pilgrims and is modeled on the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. It is made of red sand stone and marble with the architectural style ofthe KonarkTemple. The interior of the temple is made of marble while the exterior has carvings of Hindu Gods. It is situated near residency of Maror and the temple premise is calm and quiet with a beautiful garden.
Photo Courtesy: Abhishek727
Teli ka Mandir
Teli Ka Mandir is placed within the Gwalior Fort and is called as oil man's temple. It is a massive structure which is of 100 ft. Its roof has a Dravidian architectural style while the cravings or sculptures are of North Indian style. It is supposed to be the oldest monument within thefort premises and is supposedly built in 8th century or 11th century. Teli ka Mandir was supposed to be Vishnu temple which, later became a temple consigned to Lord Shiva. The temple has sculptures of goddesses, serpents and Garuda inside it.
Photo Courtesy: Tom Maloney
One of the places to visit in Indore is the Annapurna Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Annapurna, who is the Goddess of Food. It is one of the oldest temples in Indore and is believed to have been constructed in the 9th century. Other than the Goddess you will also find idols of Lord Shiva, Hanuman and Kal Bhairav within this temple. Devotees come from far and wide to pay homage to the gods here. There is also a statue of Lord Kashi Viswanath, which measures the height of 14.5 ft. Tourists come here to marvel at the architecture of this old temple and also the statue that stands here.
Photo Courtesy: Krisbillore
Chausath Yogini Temple
Chausath Yogini Temple is another place to visit in Jabalpur and it adds to the historic fervour of the city. Located near the famous Marble Rocks, the temple houses idols of 64 attendants of Goddess Durga. The hallmark of the temple is the idol of Lord Shiva at the center which is surrounded by the idols of the female goddess.
Photo Courtesy: Abhishek Roy
Nava Toran Temple
A must visit place in Neemuch is the Nava Toran Temple, which is located in the Khor village. This beautifully carved temple is certainly eye-catching and makes you wonder at the skill of the artisans. Although partially in ruins, this temple still shines as a major tourist attraction. There is a statue of Varaha that stands at the center of this temple and is a major crowd puller here. Tourists come here to explore the temple ruins and also to get themselves photographed against the ancient beauty.
Photo Courtesy: LRBurdak
Built by Raja Bir Sing Deo, the Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha is extremely old, dating back to the 9th century. With its tall archways and impressive entrances, the temple is outstanding in its design. Built for the Hindu God Vishnu, this temple dominates the landscape with its towering spires. Observe the ornate lotus symbols adorning the walls along with various other motifs.
Photo Courtesy: Manuel Menal
Laxmi Narayan Temple
The Laxmi Narayan temple in Orchha, dedicated to the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi, combines interesting architectural elements of both fort and temple. The many devotees who come to the temple from various parts of the country are astounded by its beauty. The inside walls with colourful paintings and frescos are a must-see.
Photo Courtesy: Manuel Menal
Sanchi's Gupta Temple is known all over the world for its simplicity and is referred by the historians as one of the most logically designed structures of Indian architecture. The temple beautifies the middle layer of theSanchihill. The temple is from the fifth century A.D and is considered as the esteemed epithet of Golden Era. The temple is an emblem of the rebirth of structural action in this place. It personified each and every precept that was thought to be valuable in the building of an Indian shrine and consists of a stylish plain roofed chamber, and there is also a covered entrance which is supported by pillars. The temple indicates the origin of temple architecture in the history of India.
Photo Courtesy: Aditya Maurya