Built on the banks of river Betwa, the tiny historical city Bhojpur was founded by philosopher king Raja Bhoj, in the 11th century. Raja Bhoj a scion of the Parmara dynasty is famous for his writings on philosophy, poetry, yoga, archery and phonetics, it was during his rule that Malwa and its capital Dhar came to be known as one of the chief intellectual centers in India.
The King and his intellectual caliber continue to be reflected in the cities he built and Bhojpur is no exception, this remnant of an era gone by is famous for the historical and half built Bhojeshwar or Somnath Temple,
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple houses the largest Shiva Lingam in the country.
A trip to Bhopal cannot be termed complete without a visit to Bhojpur, however the best time of the year to visit is during the Mahashivratri Festival, when thousands of devotees throng the city to pay obeisance and an extravagant mela (fair) is organised to mark the occasion.
According to the Mahabharata, Kunti the mother of the Pandhavas, worshipped at Bhojeshwar temple each morning and drowned her first son Karan in the river Betwa that flows near the temple.
Similar in architecture to the Bhojeshwar temple is the famous Jain temple, which houses a magnificent 20 feet high statue of Lord Mahaveera and two statues of Parsvanath.
Like all great Kings Bhoj was deeply involved in the welfare of his subjects and all the cities built by him mirror his deep understanding of architecture and a reverence for drinking water, a fact reflected in the Cyclopean Dam of Bhojpur, an architectural marvel, the dam was built without the use of mortar, however today, it lies in state of ruin, apparently destroyed by Hoshang Shah of Malwa.
How to reach
Bhojpur is half an hours drive (28 Kms) from Bhopal, Bhojpur is well connected to the state capital by buses and taxis.