Khamba Baba, Vidisha

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Khamba Baba or Heliodorus pillar is a stone column located just 4 km away from the Vidisha railway station. It is a monolithic free-standing column which bears an inscription stating that it was raised to honour Vasudeva, the God of Gods, by Heliodorus.

Heliodorus is believed to be the first and the earliest foreigner to be converted into Vaishnavism. During the reign of Greek king Antialcidas, he sent Dion’s son Heliodorus as a personal ambassador to the Sunga court at Vidisha. This information is included in the inscription on this Garuda pillar locally known as Khamba Baba. The pillar is a favourite deity of the Bhois and Dhimars in the region.

The Heliodorus pillar was erected in the early 2nd century BC. The pillar has a sculpture of Garuda surmounted on it. The light brown pillar has three parts—a faceted shaft, a bell capital and the sculpture of Garuda—that stand over a damaged abacus.


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