Sep 13, 2012

Off the beaten track- Gyaraspur

Gyaraspur is a small town (or a big village) 35KM from Vidisha. It has few medieval period monuments of great historical importance. It seems a fair is held on the eleventh month (Maagh) of Hindu calendar and hence the name Gyaraspur. I took a bus from Vidisha and reached the place after 1.5 hours. All the monuments are at walkable distance from the bus stand. 

Very beautiful Maladevi temple is 1.5KM lonely walk from the bus stand. The 9th century temple is located on the south-east slope of a hill overlooking the valley. Part of this hill is scooped out to build this temple. Rest is very structured with beautiful mantapas and gopura. The temple structure has an entrance, hall and the shrine. The shrine is surrounded by very ornate circumambulatory passage. The ceiling is crumbling and huge bee-hives can be seen here. The temple is believed to be originally dedicated to a Hindu Goddess, it was destroyed by inavders and then Jains installed the Jain deities in the empty shrine.
Ath Khamba which means eight pillars, located very near to the bus stand, is a set of eight pillars which could have been columns of a 9th century Bramhinical shrine. The delicate carving on these pillars is proof of high degree craftsmanship those days. Chaukhanba is a four pillared mantapa of a Bramhinical temple on the way to Maladevi temple and nearby is Hindola Torana.
(Dashavatara panels on Hindola Torana)
Hindola Torana, must have been an ornamental entrance arch to the shrine part of which is Chaukhamba. It has two pillars and a beam to support a swing, and hence now named Hindola (swing) torana. The pillars have four panels each which are carved with Dashavatara, ten incarnations of Vishnu.

Braja Math is another temple structure where three shrines are built side-by-side which is believed to be a rare class of temples. The sculptures on the doors and outer walls point to the fact that these shrines could have been dedicated to Hindu Trinity. The doorway has exceptional carving. The outer walls have carvings of various Gods and Goddesses, also dancing apsaras (celestial women). Now, these shrines are sheltering Jain sculptures.

There is a stupa which is 1.5KM north of bus stand. I saw it from far from the road and it looked like a grey mound of mud. Didn't appeal me to walk 1.5KM on the exposed trail under the extreme Sun. I skipped it. One can see all the monuments in half-a-day. Gyraspur doesn't have any options for accommodation for overnight stay. The eateries around sell some deep fried Indian snacks. I wanted to go to Pathari too. But, locals advised me not to go by myself since reaching there might need hitchhiking. Well, then I took a bus back to Vidisha. I was thinking of visiting Udaipur next day for the most beautiful Neelakantheshwar temple.
---

Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Click HERE to read more articles about places on Off the beaten track. Click HERE to read complete Backpacking India series.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
---
Creative Commons License
Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

11 comments:

  1. Oh I had never even heard of Gyaraspur - it's such a beautiful place and looks so well maintained too. I loved the mantapas and the pillars!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gowri for dropping by :) Yeah, this place is on less travelled path.

      Delete
  2. Kusum, your blog is really showing up all these less travelled places. Such a beautiful place. India really has so much to offer! The sculptors above are really magnificent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny! Of course India has a lot to offer, its just not explored and is not easily accessible to domestic travelers.

      Delete
  3. Lovely temple with wonderful architecture. Nice find, Kusum.


    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in/2012/09/belum-caves-deep-down-under.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome sculptures & architecture - One is almost transported back by centuries !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mr. Ramakrishnan! Glad my post made an impact :)

      Delete
  5. very beautiful place.. and you described it very beautifully..

    http://from-a-girls-mind.blogspot.com/2012/08/nerve-wrecking-drive-to-calaveras.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Krishna Ji for your kind words :)

      Delete

I would appreciate to have your precious thoughts, suggestions and kind encouraging words in comments. Please do not include self-promotional links.I am encountering some problems because of these links and hence I may not publish them.