Situated around 28 km from the capital city of Bhopal, this is one of the few less known enchantments of Madhya Pradesh. Bhojpur was founded by Raja Bhoj of Dhar in 11th century. It was after him, the city was named Bhojpur. The town is famous for the Lord Shiva Temple named Bhojeshwar Temple. In eastern Part of India, the temple is more popularly known as Somnath. 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.
Places to see at Bhojpur:
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 buildings. 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.
Cave of Parvati: Immediately opposite the temple, on the west side of the gorge facing the Betwa, is a rock-shelter or cave, now occupied by religious mendicants. Popularly known as Pārvati’s Cave, the cave contains a number of sculptures and architectural fragments dating to the eleventh century.
Jain Temple: Also, incomplete, and with a similar stone-raising ramp, is a Jain shrine that stands close to the Bhojeshwar temple. Three figures of the tirthankaras are contained within; one of a colossal statues of Mahavira 20 feet high, and the other two of Parswanath. Rectangular in plan, this temple probably belongs to the same period as the Bhojeshwar.
Cyclopean Dam: West of Bhojpur once laid a vast lake, but nothing remains except the ruins of the magnificent old dams by which its waters were contained. The site was chosen with great skill, as a natural wall of hills enclosed the whole area except for two gaps, 100 yards and 500 yards in width respectively. These were closed by gigantic eastern dams, faced on both sides with enormous blocks of sandstone. These embankments held up an expanse of water of about 250 square miles. This great work is ascribed to Raja Bhoj, but it may possibly be of an earlier date.
Remains of Bhoja’s Royal Palace: On the low plateau above the Cave of Parvati and opposite the Bhojpur temple are the remains of Bhoja’s palace. Only the foundations survive. The complex is laid out as a grid in a square, with a courtyard in the centre (see site plan above). It is oriented on an exact north-south axis as prescribed in the Samaranganasutradhara, an architectural treatise ascribed to Bhoja. Among the many features of interest are unfinished carved blocks and graffiti engraved on the rock floor. The latter includes diagrams for games and a series of names dating to the eleventh century and later. The palace is a unique survival, being the only medieval building of its kind in northern India. Its association with Bhoja and its close conformity to a text ascribed to the king mark it out as a site of national and international cultural importance. The site of the palace, like the neighbouring dams, is unprotected. The remains of the palace are being slowly destroyed as local people collect stones for modern building purposes.
Nearby Attractions from Bhojpur: Make a trip to Bhimbetka(20 km) and Hoshangabad (40 km) from Bhojpur. Both the places are popular tourist destinations of Madhya Pradesh and are worth a visit.
Things to do at Bhojpur: A place laden with historical heritage Bhojpur is idyllic for the history lovers.
Best time to visit Bhojpur: You can visit the place during any time of the year.
How to go ?
Bhopal (28 km from Bhojpur ) is the nearest airport. It is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior.
Bhojpur is connected by bus with Bhopal.
Bhopal, on the Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Mumbai mainline is the most convenient rail-head.
Where to stay ?
There are not much accommodation facilities at Bhojpur. It is better to stay at Bhopal having hotels suited to all budgets. Some options are:
Hotel Shagun: +91-755-2544250, 2542105,4205250,4205400
Hotel Lake Princess: +91-755-4271051, 4271052
Hotel Noor-Us-Sabah Palace: + 91 – 755 – 4223333, 4239996
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.