July 21, 2013

Mitawali Temple, inspiration for design of Indian Parliament house

"India is an AMAZING Land" 

There are numerous places worth watching, which are lying hidden in little-known towns and villages, which even the most acclaimed of the tourist circles, at times have no clue about. Once you visit these spots, you tend to realize that the current one is more beautiful than the previous one. 

I was also unaware that “Mitawali” which is situated near to Gwalior; approx. 40-50 kms. when traveling from Agra via NH-3, is one of such spots unless I discovered it. As I was planning one more Road trip to Gwalior, so was looking for some on the way points worth seeing in order to make my drive more meaningful. While surfing the internet I got to know about this place with only mention of a structure like Indian Parliament house, however there was no indications of the way.

As I always say, Good travellers never plan in advance, so one fine day I decided to start my voyage for exploration of Mitawali. On National Highway 3; after reaching Dhaulpur, half-an-hour before Morena, I started asking for directions to reach Mitawali. All I got was blank faces, as clueless as mine. Finally someone in Morena gave a vague information about the place. The situation was not quite encouraging, yet I had no option but to test the powers of trust which I kept in his directions, however to my good fortunes he was right.

It was around 90 kms. from Agra and 15 kms. from Morena on NH-3, I was supposed to take a left turn from Thekari. Keep a close check on the distance meter and ask locales and passerby for Thekari, if you miss the turn you will reach Gwalior or will journey into the ravines of Chambal Valley.
For reference, Thekari: Take a left turn to Mitawali
With a mix of caution and thrill I took the left turn from Thekari (above location for reference), from here route is fairly simple; go straight for around 15 km. to finally see a direction signal to Mitawali. Though the road is narrow, but it is in fairly good condition, except for a few stretches which are being re-laid. Excitement of getting closer to Mitawali had ensured that the road condition was the last thing on my mind. There are no fuel stations after the left turn from Thekari, make sure your vehicle do not run out of fuel.


 


There is very less habitation on this way. Enthusiasm of exploring a new place was enough to keep me in good spirits. After driving for 5 hours, I finally reached “Mitawali” site and it was the time to climb 100 ft. upstairs to embrace the beautiful Shiva temple, situated at top of a hill.


Circular architecture of this temple is an absolute cynosure to the eyes. A circular central hall (Main temple) surrounded by small temples is a unique construction. At first glance it didn't look like a temple at all; it seemed like a university or an ancient seat of administration.

Mitawali temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and consists of 64 Yogini small temples surrounding the main Central temple of Lord Shiva. 

It was the time to thank the Gods for such a wonderful drive to Mitawali and also praying to God his for benevolence to continue my life like this. While I was thanking the GOD's, the perforated base of the central temple caught my attention. The caretaker told me that it was built as a passage for rainwater to go into a huge reservoir below. I tried locating it but failed. It must have been built with precision so as not to obstruct the beauty of the monument in any way and serve its purpose secretly. Even the pipe-like pieces on the roofs, constructed to drain the rainwater, made me hail the architectural prowess of those times. It was perhaps these smart engineering techniques, apart from the limited number of visitors, which has contributed in keeping the temple in a comparatively good state. 




Environment inside the temple is utmost peaceful, walking around in the lonely corridors is a rare delicacy. Each small temple has an image of Lord Shiva, also known as "SHIVLING - शिवलिंग". Sit back and enjoy the silence.





Outer wall of the temple is decorated with numerous images of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. 

Apart from appreciating the temple, you can also have an astonishing pigeon eye view of the surrounding areas.


Vast tracts of land, scattered habitation, not so easy life in the villages will surely take you much closer to real India, very different from India existing in big cities.

As told by locales and caretaker this temple was built in around 9th century AD and used to be a seat of education of astrology and mathematics with the use of the rays and shades of the Sun. My first guess about this place was almost bang on target. Very recently a caretaker has been appointed by MP tourism department for this temple who is doing an excellent housekeeping of this temple premises. He is also maintaining a register and regularly taking feedback from occasional visitors on how to popularise this place.

You call it a sheer coincidence or strange coincidence that structure of Indian Parliament house (Sansad Bhawan) has a close resemblance with this temple. To be honest Indian parliament house looks like hugely inspired from the architecture of this temple.

This place has been lying hidden/ forgotten since ages, so very less information is available about this place. No one can deny the fact that it must have been very majestic during its prime. Despite being situated in the vicinity of vibrant Chambal River, there is meagre inhabitation in this region. This is a significant departure from the Indian perspective; all the ancient monuments situated near to the rivers have ensured settlement of the civilizations and flourishing cities. All the ancient temples and monuments are testimony to this piece of evidence. Looks like some vital facts are still lying buried deep inside the soil, waiting to come out with the passage of time.

To be frank my expectations from this place were not so high but the experience I got of this place was beyond expectations. Whether it was the road to Mitawali, contrasting village life, un-inhabited lands and above all the Temple on top of the hill – it was proud moment for cherishing the Grand Indian panorama. Also I was rejoicing at my decision to explore this place by driving. As I prepared to return and was putting my shoes, I gave one last glance to this historical marvel and silently I wondered what had kept generations of Indians ignorant of this architectural gem.

So whenever you plan an excursion to Agra or a Get away to Gwalior, make sure you keep some time for a visit to Mitawali...believe me you will come back with more than just memories. Keep travelling...

Please find this article published in national newspaper, The Pioneer:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/agenda/travel/history-hunting.html

There are other monuments also close to Mitawali, worth exploring:
  1. Padawali: 3-4 Km. from Mitawali this fabulous temple monument waiting is considered as superior of Khajuraho temple.
  2. Kakan Math Temple: 23 km. from Mitawali, this 115 ft. high ancient Shiva temple is assembled in stones without any adhesive.
  3. Batesara temples: 4-5 km. is a huge comples of temples dated back to 6th -9th century. Around 350 temples are estimated to exist here. Work is ongoing to restore the glory of the temples.

Keep travelling Guys…






Reactions:

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for dropping by...
    This trip was a real crazy expedition in search of a place of which you did not had any idea about location.

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  2. Good and interesting read !! Keep exploring !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Amazing..!! I came to know about this place almost 3 years back thru one of my friends working at Morena. Since then I have been planning to visit but somehow couldn't.

    Your article has now inspired me to visit this place soon. Will get in touch with you to get some more tips. Hope you also visited amazing Bateswar group of temples and Padawali which are in near vicinity.

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    1. Hey Sunny...Thanks for dropping by. Take my words this will be a wondeful expedition.
      Our contry has lot of such places, due to apathy of government they are lying hidden in the interiors.
      I visited Padawai too, however due running out of fuel I was unable to go to Bateshwar. One more trip is on the cards to that side, to cover Bateshwar..Will be eagerly waiting to have your experiences too.
      Would love to share whatever information I have about the path.

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  4. Replies
    1. The place and the temple is indeed much more awesome than the pics...That was my reaction when I actually reached there...

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  5. Dear Mr Lucky Vagabond,
    I must say that your description of all these beautiful and un/less explored places has aroused an urge of exploration in my belly. Must have done the same to other visitors to your site. I will surely take a few leaves out from your diaries to travel my next sojourn.
    Excellent work. Keep exploring and keep writing.
    Thank you and All the Best.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Shelly for your motivating words and special regards for the name new Lucky Vagabond, its good...
      Our country is so diverse and full of amazing spots that pulls people from far off places. You can decide whether to travel or to explore, each city is a different experience...
      Will surely look forward to have your experiences too, you can also contribute here, if you like..
      Regards and take care...

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