On Nov 8th, after seeing the Breathtaking Bateshwar group of temples, we visited Garhi Padhavali which is just a few kilometers away. We were still under the spell of Bateshwar, but the intricate carving at Garhi Padhavali made us to focus on them !!
The more we see Madhya Pradesh, the more we wonder why the hoards of tourists don’t descend here. The road infrastructure is very good, connectivity by air and train is also very good and the forts, monuments and places of historic interest abound here. While I have no problem with the Agra-Delhi-Jaipur circuit, I think we are underselling ourselves without places like Bateshwar being on the tourist map.
This is a single temple dedicated to Bhagwan Shiva. The temple mandap (spire) was so tall that when the lamp was lit on it, it was visible from the Gwalior fort. The Mughals immediately demolished the temple :(. What remains is just the foundation and the raised platform on which the temple rested. The garba griha is just rubble. If the Mukhamandapa (chamber at the entrance of the temple) has such amazing carvings then I wonder what has been lost ….
The carvings are so exquisite !! They just take your breath away. How talented our sculptors were and how much time they spent in perfecting the art. These 10th century temples also are testimony to the engineering skills of those times. They still stand 1100 years later… with the traditional binding agents and no modern day cement to hold the stones together.
A Photo Tour of Garhi Padhavali
Please do visit this temple as well. You will come away with a greater appreciation for our culture and the art of sculpting.