Gwalior Fort - Temples
Gwalior Fort is one of the massive forts of India. It includes many structures like palaces, temples, and water tanks. The fort is spread in an area of 3km and is built at a height of 35 feet. There are two gates to enter the fort. One of them is Hathi Pol or elephant gate and other one is Badalgarh gate. Elephant gate is the main entrance to the fort. Many temples are there which are still in use. They are as follows −
Siddhachal Jain Temple Caves
Siddhachal Jain Temple Caves was built during the period of 7th and 15th century. There are 32 Jain temples in the fort out of which eleven are dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The remaining ones are situated in south of the fort. Rishabhanath or Adinath was the first Jain Tirthankara and his idol is the tallest one as its height is 58 feet 4 inch or 17.78m.
Urvashi is a temple in the fort that consists of many idols of tirthankaras sitting in various postures. There are 24 idols of Jain Tirthankaras sitting in the posture of padamasana. Another group of 40 idols are sitting in the position of kayotsarga. The number of idols carved in the walls are 840.
Gopachal is a hill which consists of 1500 idols. The size of these idols range from 6 inches to 57 feet. The period of carving these rock-cut idols is between 1341 and 1479. One of the largest idols is of Bhagwan Parsvanath whose height is 42feet and width is 30 feet.
Teli ka Mandir
Teli ka mandir or oilman’s temple is said to have been built in 8th or 11th century and was renovated in 19th century. The temple includes north and south Indian architectural styles. The temple was built in rectangular shape and people can enter the temple through a staircase.
The door of the temple includes the idols of river goddesses on top and their attendants at the lower part. From the door, devotees enter the garbha griha. It is said that previously the temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu and was later dedicated to Lord Shiva. The outer and inner part of the door includes Shaiva and Shakta dvarpalas. The outer walls are carved with the statues of many Hindu gods and goddesses. There is also a Garuda monument near the temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Sas Bahu Temple
King Mahipal of Kachchhapaghata dynasty built Sas Bahu temple also known as Sahastrabahu temple. The area covered by the temple is 32m x 22m. Devotees can enter the temple through three gates located in three different directions. The main deities who are worshipped here are Brahma, Vishnu, and Saraswati and their idols are located above the entrance door.
The temple is called sas bahu temple because wife of Mahipal used to worship Lord Vishnu while her daughter-in-law used to worship Lord Shiva so another temple was built for her.