Home Indian travel Udaigiri Caves, Heliodorus Pillar & Bijamandal in Vidhisha

Udaigiri Caves, Heliodorus Pillar & Bijamandal in Vidhisha

Udaigiri Caves, Heliodorus Pillar & Bijamandal in Vidhisha


Vidhisha was an essential metropolis in historical India. It stood on the commerce route connecting the north and south India. It finds point out in lots of historical tales, specifically the tales of the merchants. Moreover the favored Sanchi Stupa there are lots of essential and fascinating locations to discover in Vidhisha like Udaigiri Caves.

Udaigiri Caves

Cave temples are the primary temples that used to exist earlier than the temples had been constructed on the land and on raised platforms. Later, these developed into numerous kinds of temple structure.

Udaigiri Caves in Vidisha Madhya Pradesh
Udaigiri Caves in Vidisha

Udaigiri Caves are about 20 Hindu and a Jain cave temple on a hill. They had been constructed someday within the late4the and early fifth century by Chandragupta II throughout early Gupta interval as per the inscription in Cave 6. This makes these caves the earliest recognized and dated Hindu Temples. It’s generally additionally known as Vishnupadagiri.

Udaigiri actually means the hill of rising solar. We see related hills at Rajgir in Bihar and in Odisha close to Bhubaneshwar. Does this imply it was a middle of Solar worship in some unspecified time in the future in time? In all probability sure. Additionally it is positioned nearly on the Tropic of Most cancers which implies it was aligned to the motion of Solar.

Positioned near confluence of Bes river with Betwa, this will have been part of Vidhisha that’s referred in Kalidasa’s Meghdoota. It could have been a sacred pilgrimage with so many temples positioned on a hill. Archaeological evidences counsel that it was a metropolis as far again a 6th BCE.

It’s believed that the Iron Pillar, an engineering marvel, at Delhi’s Qutub Minar Advanced was initially at Udaigiri.

Cave temples right here point out a sq. mandapa in entrance of the garbhagriha. Pillars may be seen in some caves. Reliefs may be seen on doorjambs. There are niches with Murtis carved within the rock.

Cave 5 at Udaigiri Caves

Bhumi Devi & Varaha Avatar at Cave 5 Udaigiri Caves

Cave 5 is a very powerful piece of labor that you just discover right here. It has an enormous sculpture of Vishnu’s Varaha Avatar on the wall. It’s the signature sculpture of those caves.

Vishnu as Varaha may be seen holding the earth as a lady. Surrounding him are all of the deities like:

Brahma on a lotus and Shiva on Nandi simply above the earth

12 Adityas, 8 Vasus, 11 Rudras, Agni, Vayu and Rishis within the panels on proper of Varaha

Gupta kings and their ministers may be seen nearer to the ocean on the backside

On Varaha’s left toes is Shesha and on the suitable is Lakshmi

On the highest left are many sages led by Narada who’s seen along with his Vina.

Different Temples and Caves at Udaigiri Caves

Cave 6 was known as Vina cave by Cunningham because it has the sculpture of a person enjoying Vina. Ganga and Yamuna may be seen on the door resulting in this cave. Inside you may see a Ekmukhalinga or Shivalinga with one face carved on it.

Vishnu Sculpture at Udaigiri Caves
Vishnu at Udaigiri Caves

Cave 13 has 3.66-meter-long sculpture of Sheshashayee Vishnu. You see one thing related in Undavalli Caves in Andhra Pradesh.

Cave 19 has the scene of Sagar manthan carved on it.

Other than that, there are temples dedicated to many Hindu deities, most of which have been destroyed. Different caves are fairly plain, however a few of them has reliefs of Mahishasurmardini, Ganesha and Matrikas.

Figures right here have Greek options. So, both there was loads of Greek affect in India at that time limit or the artists had been Greek so the affect. Additionally it is doable that these had been the overall options and our current-day options have developed from there.

On high of the hill are ruins of a temple that seems to be from the Gupta interval. Once more, an enormous pillar was discovered there, just like the Ashoka pillar at Sanchi. In your approach down you may see a relaxation home which was constructed by the king of Gwalior about 100 years in the past.

Tropic Of Most cancers

The Tropic of Most cancers is a digital line that divides the northern hemisphere into two elements. It passes by the North of Bhopal. You’ll be able to cross it as you journey between Vidisha and Bhopal. I need to see the equator additionally someday.

Heliodorus Pillar

Heliodorus pillar is positioned between Vidisha and Udaigiri caves. It’s a small spot and plenty of locals wouldn’t learn about its actual location. However they might let you know about it in the event you ask for ‘Khamb baba’. That is how the pillar is worshipped regionally right now.

Heliodorus Pillar at Vidisha
Heliodorus Pillar

Heliodorus pillar is a Garuda Stambh i.e. a pillar carrying the Garuda image on high, the car of Sri Vishnu. The legend is that the pillar was erected by a Greek scholar named Heliodorus, who adopted Hinduism whereas dwelling right here. He was the Greek ambassador within the court docket of king Bhagabhadra of Vidhisha.

The pillar dates to 150 BC as per the Brahmi inscription on it. Inscription additionally refers to Vasudeva as God of the Gods. A later found inscription from the pillar mentions a verse from Mahabharata.

The pillar appears to be standing on their own in an enclosed floor. Once we spoke to the individuals across the space, we heard some fascinating tales.

Tales on Heliodorus Pillar

There isn’t any option to validate these tales, however one individual informed us that the pillar is as a lot inside the bottom as you see exterior. Additionally they inform that this piece of land is constantly going inside. It’s believed that there’s a temple fabricated from gold beneath the pillar. The place, nonetheless, can’t be excavated. At any time when there was an try to excavate the place, the place was stuffed with Snakes and Scorpios, making it not possible to excavate.

Now, I can’t rule out a temple beneath, as Garuda Stambha often stands taller than the temple, exterior a Vishnu temple. Actually, if you have a look at the small a part of it jetting out of the earth, you surprise if it was put in to inform us concerning the temple shut by. Solely time and possibly some excavations would inform us sometime.

Mysterious Tree

There’s a mysterious tree near the pillar. In case you discover intently, there are loads of nails which might be caught within the trunk. A villager informed us that the place is used for lots of Tantrik rituals. There are at the very least a ton of nails contained in the tree. The bark retains overlaying the nails and folks maintain placing the nails there.

Sati Sculptures

There have been stone sculptures depicting the Sati. For the primary time, I noticed the importance of Agni or hearth within the conjugal relationship. The sculpture depicted that it’s the hearth through which the {couples} commit to one another. It’s within the hearth that they go away the world collectively. There may be many questions round it, however an fascinating perspective.

Beejamandal Temple Advanced

Beejamandal is a temple complicated proper within the city of Vidisha. Not many individuals learn about it. There aren’t any boards guiding you to this historical website.

Varaha Sculpture at Vidisha Museum
Varaha sculpture on the museum

It was constructed as a temple devoted to Charchika Devi, an avatar of Durga or some say Saraswati. Parmar King Navbarman constructed it within the eleventh century. Aurangzeb destroyed it and transformed it right into a mosque. After independence, it was taken over by ASI. It’s only a monument since then.

It’s a temple constructed on an enormous platform just like the one at Bhojpur. The damaged sculptures have Hindu deities on them. The stays of the temple are mendacity across the platform, damaged and disfigured, hundreds of them.

Beejamandal in Vidisha

Different sources additionally name it s a Surya Temple that was devoted to Solar God or a Vijaya Mandir that was constructed to have fun a conquest in warfare.


Stepwell at Bejamandal
Stepwell at Bejamandal

There’s a stepped effectively and a Bawdi close to the temple which is claimed to be relationship again to the eighth century. Two pillars close to the Bawdi depict Krishna Leela or the tales from Lord Krishna’s life. It results in a round effectively on the finish similar to Rani Ki Vav at Patan.

The Bawdi is meant to have a water supply beneath it and is claimed to keep up a relentless stage of water.

The positioning has a pathetic state each inside and out of doors the monument.

Vidisha Museum

The museum at Vidisha homes loads of artifacts and sculptures. Most of those have been discovered at numerous excavation websites in and round Vidisha. There’s a enormous statue of Kuber and a Yakshi.

Manibhadra Yaksha and Yakshi at Vidisha
Manibhadra Yaksha and Yakshi at Vidisha Museum

There are items scattered everywhere in the museum. You should buy the plaster of Paris variations of the sculptures together with a number of books on the museum store.

Visiting this heritage place is like visiting a chunk of historical past. Which thrived in some unspecified time in the future in time, and was misplaced in one other. Solely to be rediscovered by later generations, in search of their heritage.

Journey Ideas for Vidisha

Udaigiri caves are about 16 km from Sanchi.

Vidhisha is one other 6-8 Kms from Udaigiri.

You’ll be able to both keep at Sanchi or Bhopal and do it as a day journey from there.

You’ll be able to go to Bhojpur Shiva Temple and Bhimbetka Caves on the identical journey.

At most of those locations, guides aren’t simply out there. So, we suggest studying up earlier than visiting.

There may be nominal or no entrance payment at most locations.



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