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The Priceless Heritage of Bandhavgarh National Park

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Apart from being a rich wildlife reserve, Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh has other ways to beguile travel aficionados. One can be interested in noticing an age old fort called the Hill Fort or Bandhavgarh Fort standing right in the middle of the national park. This majestic fort allows visitors to peep inside the rich history and shows the prominent influence of religion in the state. So, what exactly are we talking about here? Well, we are focusing on the priceless heritage that includes the cave dwellings, shrines and several sculptures that indicate the strong faith on the power of Lord Vishnu here. Let us learn about some important edifices and sculptures:

Badi Gufa Cave:

badi-gufa
Fortunately it is one the few places in Bandhavgarh National Park that is open to visitors. Set at the foot of the Bandhavgarh Fort, Badi Gufa is a protruding cave with a number of windows that may have been used by guards to keep an eye on the visitors in the Hill Fort. It is also believed that the caves were the shelter for hermits, who liked to meditate in isolation. These centuries-old caves have nine rooms that have articulate hand carvings; it is beyond one’s comprehension as to how long it would have taken to decorate each room. Some also believe that these caves date back to 2000 years, which makes them TRULY a work worth appreciating!

The Reclining Vishnu:

The-Reclining-Vishnu
It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Bandhavgarh National park is the place for Lord Vishnu to rest as it is one of those places, where one can find a statute of Vishnu in a reclining position. This grand sculpture lies at the spring of the Chakradhara stream that waters Tala pond. Today, a large number of devotees throng here during the monsoon season.

The Sculpture of Elephant God Ganesha:

The-Sculpture-of-Elephant-G

Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai

A standing statue of Lord Ganesha can be seen majestically presiding at Bandhavgarh Fort. Carved out from a huge stone, this sculpture has managed to pull large number of devotees to the park from time immemorial. In fact it constitutes one of the major attractions in Bandhavgarh National Park.

Carved pillars:

Carved-pillars-at-Bandhavga

Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai

Almost every structure in Bandhavgarh Fort displays an unmatched quality of workmanship and the carved pillars are no exception. Strategically positioned at one of the entry gates of Hill Fort, the intricate carvings on the pillars catch the eyes of the visitors. These pillars are truly spectacular pieces of work that offer an insight into the passion and dedication for art centuries ago.

Various Incarnations of Vishnu:

Various-Incarnations-of-Vis

Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai

The number of statues of Lord Vishnu evidently indicates that the reigning family here worshipped Vishnu as their prime God. There are many large stone sculptures of Lord Vishnu in his different incarnations. One can see a massive 7m high statue of Vishnu in the incarnation of Narsimha, in which he has the head of a lion and the body of a human. Other intriguing statues are of Lord Vishnu in pig and fish incarnations. Whereas the pig incarnation statue is kept under the open sky, the fish incarnation sculpture is seen peering out of a small temple in the Hill Fort.

The Carved Temple:

The-Carved-Temple

Photo Courtesy- Sachin Rai

The majestic Hill Fort is festooned with many temples in its complex and some have intricate carvings that truly deserved to be praised. A small temple in the fort expresses the dedication towards religion and workmanship. This highly decorated temple is something worth seeing in Bandhavgarh Fort.

So, now you know, Bandhavgarh is not only the best place to see wildlife in India, it is also amongst the best places to go for a heritage walk in the country. It is amongst those few places in India that make one learn about the passion for building and the vigor for creativity. Next time, when you are in Bandhavgarh National Park, make sure you visit this truly majestic place. Happy Exploring!!!

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About

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a well traveled writer whose love for nature can be seen in her writings. She loves to trek and enjoy nature and portrait photography. Nidhi has covered most of the valleys along the foaming streams of Jammu & Kashmir and aspire to cover all major trekking routes of Ladakh and Uttarakhand. She also takes keen interest in different cultures and traditions of the world and enjoys collecting mementos. With her flair for writing and personal travelling experiences, she offers vividly descriptive write ups.


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