The Bhojpur temple or the Bhojeshwar temple plays a predominant role in the tourism and pilgrimage culture of Bhopal. Located at a distance of 28 kms from the main city of Bhopal, this temple is actually built in the Raisen district, on the banks of Vetravati River.
What attracts tourists from different parts of the country to this ancient temple is the huge Shiva Linga installed at the Garba Griha of the temple. Of course, on reaching this spot, you also cannot stop yourself from getting mesmerized by the scenic beauty and the serenity of the place.
How to Reach Bhojpur Temple?
Reaching out to Bhojpur Temple is pretty easy from the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. Bhopal is well-connected to different other cities of the country through railways as well as through airways.
In order to get a glimpse of the Bhojpur Temple, you can take any cab service from Bhopal and directly reach Bhojpur in the Raisen district. The best part of this 28km trip is that you can view several amazing views en-route to the temple.
If you are an adventure lover, you can also hire 2 wheeler services from Bhopal and can drive all the way to Bhojpur.
Best Time to Visit Bhojpur Temple
While there is no such specific timing when you can visit the temple, the best time that you can enjoy the place is from October to February.
As the temple is located on a hilltop, you may feel the extensive heat of the Madhya Pradesh region during the summers and it can make you feel extremely exhausted. During the monsoons, the staircases and the pathway of the temple can become slippery that can lead to accidents. Hence, the best time is during and near the winter season.
The History of Bhojpur Temple
Surprisingly, locals have different legends about the Bhojpur temple. One of the most common stories that the locals narrate is that the temple was built by the Pandavas so that their mother Kunti can offer her prayers to Lord Shiva.
But the historians have altogether a different story to highlight about the temple.
According to historians, the commissioning of the temple dated between the dates of 1010AD and 1053AD. It was the then king of Bhopal, Raja Bhoj who constructed and inaugurated the temple.
As per a very famous story, Raja Bhoj was determined to fill up the entire Earth with Shiva temples due to his extreme devotion to Lord Shiva. Records mention that he constructed as many as 104 temples alone in the city of Dhara. But somehow due to several factors, not all the temples could exist till the current time and only a few ones such as the famous Bhojpur temple still stand rigidly to remind the world about this great devotee king of Lord Shiva.
The Architecture of Bhojpur Temple
One thing that makes this temple unique is that it is not complete in terms of construction. It does not have a front covering and the reason for it is not known yet. Some historians mention that the temple work was stopped due to rain and other climatic factors and so what is visible today is the remaining parts of the temple that have been conserved.
Also, it is the very first temple with an arc. There are four pillars that are responsible for bearing the weight of the dome of the temple while the inner roof of the temple is embellished with beautiful stone carvings. The entire temple is built up of sandstone blocks and there are several faux balconies to offer a jeweled look to the temple.
The main attraction of the temple is the Shiva Linga which measures about 7.5 feet and is the longest Shiva Linga in the world to be situated in a temple. The Shiva Linga is placed on a huge square sanctum.
When you take a tour of the entire temple, you will find many carvings on the exterior parts of the temple that add up to the beauty of the temple.
The temple is constructed on a hilltop and when you take a view from the barricades surrounding the temple, you can experience a stunning natural view of the entire area.
Conservation of the Temple
It was in the year 1950 when the Archaeological Survey of India found that the temple structure had weakened due to extreme weather conditions. Saving such a unique and beautiful monument was more than a mission for the team and soon the operation of conservation started in the year 1951.
The task started first by repairing the damaged steps of the temple and then soon the task of restoring the walls and other parts of the temple started under the supervision of KK Mohammed. There were several changes made such as adding up cement along with the sandstone material so that a much durable structure can be created without compromising with the original look of the temple.
What to Do at Bhojpur Temple?
If you are planning for a trip to the Bhojpur temple, it should not take more than an hour for the entire activity. You have to leave your vehicle at the foothills and then have to climb up the hilltop on your feet. So, make sure that you wear comfortable shoes and also that you do not bring along someone who has issues with climbing high stairs.
You can carry flowers and prasad from the foothills for offering at the temple. Once you have reached the top and have taken the blessing of Lord Shiva, you can sit on the stairs to spend some peaceful moments, enjoying the lush view around.
Getting down from the temple, you can have at the small stalls here from where you can buy crystal Shiva linga or many other items available. For your convenience, there are also many small food joints also available here at the foothills from where you can get refreshments.