Bhojeshwar Temple

Bhojeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is 28 km from Bhopal, is renowned for its magnificent Shiva Temple. Founded by the legendary Parmar king of Dhar, Raja Bhoj (1010-53), and named after him, Bhojpur, is renowned for the remains if its magnificent Shiva Temple. The Temple, which has earned the nomenclature of the Somnath of the East, it is known as the Bhojeshwar Temple. In plan a simple square, with an exterior dimension of 66 feet, it is devoid of the re-entrant angles usual in such buldings.

The richly carved dome, though incomplete, has a magnificent, soaring strength of line and is supported by four pillars. These, like the dome, have been conceived on a massive scale, yet retain a remarkable elegance because of their tapering form. Divided into three sections, the lowest is an octagon with facets of 2.12 feet, from which springs a 24-faced section. Richly carved above, the doorway is plain below, throwing into sharp relief the two exquisitely sculpted figures that stand on either side.

On the other three sides of the structure are balconies, each supported by massive brackets and four intricately carved pillars. The lingam in the sanctum rises to an awe-inspiring height of 7.5 feet with a circumference of 17.8 feet. Set upon a massive platform 21.5 feet square, and composed of three superimposed limestone blocks, the architectural harmony of lingam and platform creates a superb synthesis of solidity and lightness.

The temple was never completed, and the earthen ramp used to raise it to dome-level still stands. Had it been completed, it would have had very few rivals. As it is, even with the ravages of time, it remains one of the best examples of temple architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries.