Teli Ka Mandir Gwalior

Teli Ka Mandir Gwalior
Vital Information for Visitors
Address:

Teli Ka Mandir, Gwalior Fort, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

Open & Close:

Open on all days
08:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Entry Fees:

INR 20/- pp

Duration:

30 min to 1 hr

Significance:

Intricate carvings & architecture

Teli-ka-Mandir or the Oilman’s Temple (Teli Temple) is probably the earliest of the temples in the Gwalior Fort. Teli Ka Mandir is the highest (30 meter) among all the sires within the ramparts of the Gwalior Fort. Sanctum Sanctorum (Garbhagriha) and Antaralaya are prominent in the temple building plan. It’s the first & oldest example of a temple having amalgam of Nagra & Dravid styles of temple architecture. The ‘shikhar’ of the temple is inspired by Dravidian temple architectural tenets whereas the decoration clearly depicts Nagar architectural finesse. Its exterior walls are decorated with various types of sculptures. Two pavilions and entrances constructed in the eastern part of the temple were built by Major Keith, an officer of the Royal Scots Regiment, in 1881 AD during the British rule. Although commanding in appearance, this temple consists only of the sanctuary with a porch and doorway leading into the inner chamber. There is no mandapa and no pillared hall which is so characteristic of the fully-developed temple in this part of the country. This structure is a rare specimen of a Brahmanical sanctuary, for, like the Vaitul Deul at Bhubaneswar , the shape of its roof bears testimony to its Buddhist heritage. Instead of a spire it has a ridge of the type found on the vaulted roof of a Buddhist chaitya-hall.

Built near Gangolatal, Teli Ka Mandir is set on a huge crest. The top gradually tapers and gets rounded like a cylinder. The entrance of the temple is towards the east. There is a small pavilion outside the rectangular, rather than square, sanctum sanctorum. There are 113 miniature god-cells which have statues of deities. The outer walls of the temple are ornamented with various sculptures of birds, flowers, leaves and goddesses. The entrance of the temple is flanked by the statues of Goddess Ganga sitting on crocodile and Goddess Yamuna sitting on a tortoise.

Teli-ka-Mandir, one of the prime tourist attractions in Gwalior, speaks volume about refined Hindu architecture and the destruction caused by the Islamists. Presently there is no idol in the temple. But actually it was a Vishnu temple. Some historians consider it a Shiva temple. The historical antiquity of Teli Ka Mandir dates back to eighth century. The temple had originally been built during the reign of the Gurjara-Pratihara Mihira Bhoja. Much of the temple was demolished in 1231 AD by the barbaric Muslim invader Iltumish. It was during 1881–1883 AD, under the guidance of Major Keith, the Teli Temple got preserved. Major Keith also built huge attractive gates in front of the Teli Temple out of the ruins & rubbles of the destroyed temple. Two inscriptions at the lower part of the gate mention the expenditure on conservation work.

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