Garhi Padhavali - the Fortress Temple

Inspired, charged and rejuvenated after the exploration of Mitawali, it was the time to unearth one more jewel from the chronicles of Golden Indian Heritage.


Friends welcome to "PADAWALI", a fortress temple dedicated to all the Gods (Padawali is spelt differently across various places/ platforms). Padawali is just 3 km. from Mitawali and can be visited comfortably with Mitawali. You only must make sure your vehicle does not run the risk of running out of fuel. Area around Mitawali is devoid of any habitation however the region around Padhavali is populated with several villages. 

As an honorary tradition in India, Red Carpet welcome is extended to all the visiting dignitaries at the entrance. Find out yourself, a grand welcome by none other than the mighty: LIONS: on moving closer to the main structure:

At the top of stairs, we found ourselves inside an ancient "Vishnu temple" with numerous delicately carved sculptures of:

  • Ram Leela
  • Krishna Leela (butter churning gopikas, Krishna fighting the bull Kesi), Mahabharata.
  • The ten (10) incarnations of God Vishnu, Samudra Manthan, Vishnu holding a conch, chakra, Gada (club) and a Padma (lotus) in his four hands and Vishnu resting on Garuda.
  • Marriage of Lord Ganesha
  • Lord Shiva dancing in the cemetery in Preta (Ghost) form, Siva flanked by four-headed Brahma and

Hundreds of other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Roof of the temple, pillars and walls are covered with the eye-catching statuette of GODS and GODDESS. In a nutshell enjoy the panorama of Hindu religion here: Zoom in on the below pictures to see more intricate details of the carvings:

According to studies, the beautiful temple is the superior of the renowned temple of Khajuraho where statues are built inside whereas in Padawali the statues were built outside the temple. All the carvings on wall, pillars are inside the temple. Like Khajuraho, this temple too, has withstood the test of time. What is even more interesting is that there are some erotic images in the temple, which is a very unanticipated/ exceptional attribute for such a temple.

Though the temple is small, but the charm is much bigger than the appearance.

As per the transcript by Archeological Survey of India and related studies this temple was built around 10th Century AD as a Lord Shiva temple. Long time for any monument/ structure to remain intact, forget about retaining the pristine glory.

The terrace, courtyard and the assembly hall of this temple are present a true essence of ancient Indian culture. The details of the carvings inside the temple look so novel that as if this temple has been constructed recently. Surprised...

Thanks to the good work by Archaeological Survey of India, temple has been restored to its past glory. The Jat Ranas of Dhaulpur in the first half of the 18th century built the adjoining fortress which is known as "Garhi Padhavali". In local languages Garhi is known as a "Small Fortress". This area is known as Padawali because it is surrounded by several hills.

Small Fortress...??? If you have missed out the details in the first picture. Lets check again:

Structure of a fort is clearly visible adjoining the temple premises. Lets go back to the temple courtyard and continue exploring the fortress Padhavali:

The cells visible above must have been once a centre of buzzing military activities, now sports a deafening silence.

The cells and rooms in the above portion are no more accessible to general public; the witness to umpteen accounts of history can be viewed from a distance only.

While walking around we came across this wall. Arrangement of different stones in one of the walls is strange as well thought arousing. Check closely the stones are just kept one above the other and are not even plastered or fixed. Generally, walls meant for forts are constructed out of homogenous stones for strength. Some of the stones have carvings on them and does not look like they were ever meant to be placed in this wall. Looks like these stones might have been once a part of some statues or temple or palace, which got ruined over the time; thanks to some restoration works are now a part of this wall. Else they would have lost forever, maybe some of the deep buried facts are still waiting to emerge out.

Go to the top and have a pigeon eye view of the fortress as well as the nearby region or better lack of it.

Which was once a flourishing land/ city now is a pale shadow of its Glory. This region has remained secluded for better parts of history, as a result very little information is available about the actual time frame of this temple.


According to the studies after the Naga period, the Gupta empire was established in this area. Around this region there are the ruins of several temples, houses and colonies. As told by locales more than 300 monuments of different kinds can be seen at Padawali up to the valley of Batesar.

What a trip it has been to the Gwalior region, hunting down the treasures preserved by Chambal ravines in its heart.... May GOD almighty be benevolent on me to continue these rides of life...

Read more about Mitawali, the monument which inspired the design of India Parliament house...


Lot more to go and more trips to be made in near future for unravelling some more hidden particulars about INDIAN history....

Gaurav Verma

A passionate Traveler who wants to see the whole world before hanging his boots. Always ready to explore offbeat and hidden spots. MBA + Engineer from Ivy league colleges, Gaurav is much sought after for his choice of lifestyle activities and Brand promotional campaigns.


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  1. Very Interesting and knowledgeable information has been shared through the blog keep searching new place and spread the Indian heritage among us.

  2. Looks like this forbidden place MITAWALI has conserved one of the beautifully carved sculptures.
    Very Interesting Unravelling -- While reading i actually imagined myself in the olden era and started thinking what actually used to happen in those cells and why the wall with such a unique arrangement of stones on it.
    Keep the unravelling going always.

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