Bhojpur

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General Info of Bhojpur

History of Bhojpur

Bhojpur is named after its founder, the Parmara king Bhoj. Bhojpur is situated 28 km from Bhopal on the banks of river Betwa. Bhojpur is famous for the incomplete Bhojeshwar temple, which is dedicated to Shiva. The temple houses the largest Shiva lingam in India, which is 5.5 m (18 ft) tall and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in circumference and is crafted out a single rock.

Today, the ruined and incomplete Bhojeshwar Temple still humbles the mind. Constructed in the latter part of the 11th century, its great stone blocks encompass a doorframe, which towers ten meters high and five meters wide. Four titanic pillars, richly carved, rise to support an incomplete dome. The high noon sun lances through the dome, illuminates a massive pedestal made of three stepped blocks of sandstone, seven meters square. An iron ladder ascends this huge pedestal to reach the uppermost platform, directly beneath the high roof, open to the sky. Dominating this platform and the great brooding temple is a magnificent lingam more than five meters high and over two meters in circumference.

In the temple, religion and architecture, sculpture, drama and a weird vision combine in a compelling assertion of reality. There is a brooding imminence about this great black temple that demands attention and reverence; and streams of school girls, as bright as moving garlands of flowers, moved up and down the ladder seeking the blessings of the great monolith, bowing to mumbled prayers from an ochre-robed, white-bearded priest who stood near like a vision of a benevolent and slightly portly Father Time.

If the incomplete temple can evoke such awe, how much reverential fear would have been evoked by the final work of Raja Bhoja? But the savant king was fated never to complete his imposing shrine. For, at the glorious end of the Paramara era in 1060, the Chalukyas of Kalyani and Gujarat combined with Lakshmi-Karna of the Kalachuri dynasty attacked Raja Bhoja's capital. In that fierce battle, Raja Bhoja died defending his kingdom. And so today, only the temple stands, and beyond it, a damaged Jain colossus rides in a whitewashed building. Stones still lie around partially carved as they had been when the sculptors fled nine centuries ago when Bhoja fell. Eagles still wheel in the wide sky as they did over that ancient bloody battlefield. And a train chuffs and mourns across the plain like a sad spirit of a warrior, slowly departing.

But Bhoja's forty-two-year reign is still celebrated in myth and legend as well as in this time-defying monument. For, as long as the temple stands, and the doorway towers and the sculptures enchant and the great lingam broods with implacable power in the 900-year-old Bhojeshwar, so long will the memory of King Bhoja shine like a diadem.

About Bhojpur

Shri Shantinath Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra Bhojpur is situated at a distance of 30 km from Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, State of India, surrounded by dense forests of Vindhyachal Mountain Range. This Kshetra is famous for miraculous idol of Bhagwan Shantinath (16th Teerthankar) 22½ feet high in standing posture; this was installed here by the consent of ‘King Bhoj’, the famous King of ‘Dhar’ during 11th century. According to the inscription on idol, it was reverenced in year 1100 AD.

This Kshetra is related to ‘Acharya Mantunga’, who was the writer of famous ‘Bhaktamar Stotra’. Acharya Mantunga’s place of penance – Siddha-Shila (a flat rock) and his shrine is also here. At the place of shrine, a pair of foot images is reverenced. Acharya Mantunga (an introduction): - King Bhoj seated on the throne of Dhara Nagari presently city of Dhar) in year 1100 AD. Great poet ‘Kalidas’ was one of the members of his assembly – Royal Court. One Jain poet ‘Dhananjaya’ was also becoming famous those days in the city. One day King Bhoj called Dhananjaya in his royal court and get introduced with him and praised him for his poems & wisdom.

Shri Dhananjaya told the king very politely that his all wisdom & knowledge was due to his teacher (Guru) Acharya Mantunga – a Jain Muni (Saint), he said that all the knowledge is due to the blessings of Acharya Mantunga. After knowing about the praise worth Acharya Mantunga, King Bhoj desired to meet with Acharya. King Bhoj ordered his servants to bring Acharya Mantunga to his royal court with honor. At that time Acharya were staying at Bhojpur and doing Tapa (Penance) for self – realization – purification. Servants of King Bhoj reached there, prayed Acharya again & again to go with them to city of Dhara to meet their King Bhoj. But ascetic saints have no purpose in meeting with King or any other persons. So Acharya gave no reply to servants and engrossed in deep Tapa or meditation. Servants returned to King and told about their failure. So the King Bhoj became angry and he ordered to bring the Acharya forcefully in his royal court. Servants do the same and thus Acharya were brought before King Bhoj. The king praised Acharya and requested to give some religious precepts to the audience present there. But up to that time looking unfavorable situations, Acharya decided to remain silent during such conditions. So all the prayers & requests of King were all in vain, so King became angry and he ordered to his soldiers to place the Acharya in prison. Thus Acharya were placed in prison.

In the prison Acharya Mantunga started the prayer of Bhagwan Adinath (the 1st Teerthankar), thus he wrote in Sanskrit language a great poem – the ‘Bhaktamar Stotra’ having 48 Chhanda (Verse), this is very popular Stotra among Jains, daily recited in so many families. It is supposed that every verse (Chhanda) of this Stotra has the power of Mantra and is helpful in getting the dreams materialized.

Due to the effect of Bhaktamar Stotra, Acharya Mantunga automatically came out of prison. The watchman saw this miracle, but thinking about the self-ignorance, he again closed Acharya in prison and checked the locks firmly. But after sometime locks of prison again opened and Acharya were free again. Seeing this the watchman hurried to the king and told him about the event. King came there and he ordered the soldiers to tie Acharya firmly with strong chains and kept in the prison having 48 locks. Acharya again recited Bhaktamar Stotra and all the 48 locks with chains broken. Acharya automatically came out of prison. Looking this miracle, King Bhoj felt down in the feet of Acharya, he pardoned for his mistake again & again.

After this, Acharya Mantunga entered the city of Dhara, due the effect of preaches & Tapa of Mantunga, so many people’s accepted Jain Dharma (religion).

Later on Acharya Mantunga stayed at Bhojpur he practiced for penance & meditation, tried to get rid of worldly affection & aversion. At the end, he accepted ‘Sallekhana Vrit’ and give up his body doing Tapa. Shrine of Acharya Mantunga and his Siddha Shila (a rock where Acharya seated for Tapa & meditation) is also here in Bhojpur. A pair of footprints of Acharya Mantunga are installed on the shrine.

At a distence of 13 km from Dhara, in the village ‘Ahu’, ruins of 48 pillars may be seen where Acharya were kept during prison. Later on a huge temple of Bhagwan Shantinath was constructed here by the consent of King Bhoj and 22½ feet high standing idol of Bhagwan Shantinath was installed in the huge sanctum of temple.

Main Temple & Idol:

This huge temple was established in year 1100 AD. The miraculous idol of principal deity Bhagwan Shantinath in standing posture (22½ feet in height) is installed in the huge sanctum of this temple. On the both sides of this idol, 2 standing beautiful idols of Bhagwan Parshvanath & Suparshvanath (7th Teerthankar) 8 feet in height each are installed. Near the feet of Bhagwan Shantinath, artistic whisk bearers are carved on both sides.

Places Of Tourist Attraction

Main Temple & Idol

This huge temple was established in year 1100 AD. The miraculous idol of principal deity Bhagwan Shantinath in standing posture (22½ feet in height) is installed in the huge sanctum of this temple. On the both sides of this idol, 2 standing beautiful idols of Bhagwan Parshvanath & Suparshvanath (7th Teerthankar) 8 feet in height each are installed. Near the feet of Bhagwan Shantinath, artistic whisk bearers are carved on both sides.

TOURIST PLACES

The town of Bhojpur is rich with immense historical and religious importance. Located at a distance of 28km. from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, it was founded by the legendry Parmara king, Dhar Raja Bhoj. Bhojpur is renowned for the remains of its magnificent Shiva Temple and Cyclopean dam. Tourist Attractions of Bhojpur

Bhojeshwar Temple

Bhojeshwar Temple is renowned as the Somnath of the East. The richly engraved dome has a brilliant rising and is supported by four pillars. The intricately carved doorway exudes magnificence with the two finely sculpted figures that stand on either side. The lingam rises to a soaring 7.5 feet with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive platform and composed of three overlying limestone blocks, the architectural splendor of the lingam and the platform creates a unique impression. The temple was never completed and the earthen ramp which used to raise it to dome-level, still remains.

Jain Temple

The Jain shrine stands close to the Bhojeshwar temple. This temple also, with a similar stone-raising ramp, stands incomplete. There are three figures of the Trthankaras - one, a colossal statue of Mahavira 20 feet high and the other two are of Parswanath. This temple probably belongs to the same period as the Bhojeshwar temple.

Cyclopean Dam

Once there was a vast lake to the West of Bhojpur. Now, the magnificent old dam has been reduced to the ruins. A natural wall of hills enclosed the whole area except for two gaps of 100 yards and 500 yards in width. These were closed by mammoth earthen dams, faced on both sides with enormous blocks of sandstone. The smaller dam is 44 feet high and 300 feet thick at the base, the larger dam 24 feet high with a flat top 100 feet broad. These embankments held up an area of water of about 250 square miles. This creation is attributed to Raja Bhoj, but, other possibilities assign it to an earlier date.

Excursions of Bhojpur

Bhopal

Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh combines scenic beauty, historicity and modern urban planning. It is situated on the site of an 11th century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja.

Bhopal today presents a multi-faceted profile; the old city with its teeming market places and fine old mosques and palaces still bear the aristocratic imprint of its former rulers; among them the succession of powerful Begums who ruled Bhopal from 1819 to 1926. Equally impressive is the new city with its verdant, exquisitely laid out parks and gardens, broad avenues and streamlined modern edifices.

Bhimbetka

It is believed that Bhima, one of the five Pandavas of Mahabharata, the Hindu Epic is associated with the location. Bhimbetka is hence named after Bhima.

Raisen

45 km from Bhopal is the ancient fort of Raisen on the Bhopal-Sagar road. The fort was built in the early 6th century. It is situated on a high hill and once had 84 lakes and ponds, of which only 15 remain. The fort was under the famous Hindu king Rai Puran Mal before it was seized by Sher Shah and brought under Afghan control.

Delawadi

62 km from Bhopal. Situated in a lovely forest glade, Delawadi is a picturesque picnic spot, rich in scenic splendor and natural beauty.

Tour packages of Bhojpur

How to get there

Reaching Bhojpur is not difficult at all.

By Air

The nearest airport is Bhopal which is 40km. away. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Indore and Gwalior.

By Rail

Bhopal, on the Delhi-Madras and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient railway station.

By Bus

Bhojpur is connected by bus with Bhopal.

Map of Bhojpur

Photo Gallery of Bhojpur