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The chaotic town of Vidisha, shabby and annoying, even, as you would find it while driving through the narrow and garbage ridden lanes of it, was a major trade centre nearly 2600 years ago. The merchants from this ancient town were famous and wealthy. It was a jewel of every ruler’s eye, right from Emperor Ashoka to the Scindias who ruled the lands of Madhya Pradesh until recently. Today, this small and ignored settlement holds proofs to its affluent past in form of a few monuments that you should not miss if you are passing from the proximity, or if you are a hardcore history enthusiast.

 

Right in the middle of a slum-like neighborhood is the temple of Bija Mandal, the temple of the Sun. Though mostly ignored by the general tourist, history lovers will surely be fascinated by this place. Lying in ruins, the view of the temple site can be saddening. Heaps of broken pieces of precious, ancient artifacts and the portions of the structure itself have been laid here under trees. Some of the better preserved sculptures are placed by walls do make a good viewing.

 

The central portion of the temple makes a good site even though in a dilapidated state. There is also an old well here with a stairway leading down up to it through sculpted gateways. It is believed that this temple was constructed around 11th century from the material of a Parmar Temple during the reign of Parmar Kings. Later, during his rule, Aurangzeb broke it up and built a mosque. The site displays some exquisite figures of Standing Ganesha with eight arms, Mahishasurmardini and dancing Saptamatrikas.

 

Udaigiri Caves fall on the smaller and more picturesque way to Sanchi Stupa that goes through lush green farms and charming villages. Spread over small stretch and in a small number, there are some surprisingly good carvings at Udaigiri. The very first of these surprises is the exquisite carving of Vishnu’s Boar incarnation and the detailed depiction of the interesting story regarding it. The lingam bearing Shiva’s face on it, carved in Cave No. 4, is a rare and probably a unique depiction amongst thousands of Shiva shrines in India. Some of the caves display old incarnations and beautiful patterns that are definitely worth a look.

 

There is also a District Museum and a decrepit Bramhanical Shrine from 2nd century BC in Vidisha which may catch your interest.

 

Finding a good, clean place for lunch or stay at Vidisha could be impossible, so it is suggested that you visit the places of interest here and further pass on your way to Sanchi. This visit will not be very pleasant when the sun is beating down upon you so the period of early morning or late afternoon is recommended.


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Tourism in Vidisha - by Sulabh Nagpal  Dated : 2011-04-08
Vidisha is an ancient city. Vidisha is also known as Besnagar and in historical books, it is called Bhelsa. Vidisha has a long history behind it. It is one of the old and interesting cities in India.

Vidisha is the district headquarters of Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh. It is located just 10 kilometres away from Sanchi and in the past, it came under the empire of Ashoka. Vidisha has a lot of historical monuments.

Vidisha is located at the confluence of the Bes and Betwa rivers. Thus, Vidisha is very scenic and this adds beauty to the historical city.

The foundation of a Vishnu temple was found in Vidisha. The stones of the temple were held together by lime mortar. This was the first instance of using cement in India. The Vishnu temple is dated back to 2nd century B.C.

Vidisha was an important trade and commerce centre in the past. It lost importance after the 6th century and it came back to power in the 9th and 10th century.

There is a State museum in Vidisha and the museum has many interesting artefacts from the Mauryan period, Shunga period and Gupta period. The Mauryan period was during 3rd century BC, Shunga period was during the 2nd and 1st century BC and the Gupta period was during the 5th century AD.

Thus you can see how ancient a place Vidisha is.
Sweet Time Spent at Vidis - by Prabhakar Dev  Dated : 2011-04-04
We had reached Vidisha quite early in the morning when the gates of this place were just opening giving us the advantage of exploring this place all by ourselves. It was like a place where you walk through the hills finding out one temple after another. There are about 15 if I remember correctly. They are all dedicated to the Hindu gods and goddesses -- some to Shiva, some to Vishnu. The most impressive one was the huge monolithic statue of Vishnu in a reclining posture.

It took us good two hours to explore this place. In case you want to have a quick snack break, please beware of the monkeys here. They are all menaces. We had a first-hand experience when a monkey just pounced on us, and snatched our meal of bananas.

The Lohangi Rock Gumerzka - Maqbara and Bijamandal Mosque standing outer foundation of a temple are also worth a visit. Close to the ruins are the remains of pillars with palm - leaf capitals and only one of them are still standing.
Helodirus pillar, also known as Khamba Baba. A monolithic was erected by a Greek Ambassador from Taxial the Hindu Religion.

Actually we had to catch our train from Bhopal to Delhi, and we were advised by everyone we met that we take a state transport bus to Bhopal. It would take us to Bhopal in an hour. So, on this insistence we left Vidisha for Bhopal, we spent a great time there.
Vidisha - by Shankar Jain  Dated : 2011-04-04
A complete move around in and out of Vidisha will have you experience an aura of that of the ancient and medieval times. Its alluring remnants are living testimony to the great kingdoms, their impressive victories, dominant defeats and treachery. A visitor can fetch amazing antiquities from Vidisha and simply marvel the highlights of the architectural development of that period.

A good tour in Vidisha must start from the Heliodorous Pillar, it is popularly known as Khamba Baba. It is a mark in history that narrates the visit of Heliodorous, a personal envoy of Antialcidas to the court of the Sungas, the then rulers of Vidisha. The next most attractive spot are the Udaigiri Caves. They are renowned for their rock cut cave temples and Buddhist remnants. The ruins of a Brahmin shrine, dating back to the period prior to the 2nd century B.C is also a worth visiting place.

The ancient artifacts of the medieval and ancient times are worth a look, and the place that hosts them is the State Museum. Every object displayed in this museum gives a great deal information about the history of the ancient and medieval Indian society. For those who have strong religious faith can add a devotional experience to their tour by visiting sacred shrines like Gyaraspur Mahadevi Temple, Neelkantheshwar Temple and the Udayeshwar Temple.