Teli Ka Mandir

Mihir Bhoja was a great patron of art and architecture and built the famous Teli Ka Mandir in Gwalior fort. Teli Ka Mandir, also known as Telika Temple, is a Hindu temple located within the Gwalior Fort in Madhya Pradesh, India. Dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Matrikas, it has been variously dated between the early 8th and early 9th century CE. It is situated in the spectacular fort that rises 100 metres (350 ft) above the town of Gwalior in central India, and is its oldest monument.

The temple presents a unique blending of Indian architectural styles. It integrates the architectural elements of the Nagara style and the Valabhi prasada that looks like the Dravidian wagon-vault topped gopuram superstructure. The temple is based on a Pratihara-Gopagiri style North Indian architecture.

The rectangular sanctuary is covered by a masonry tower 25 metres high, with a barrel vaulted roof. The niches on the outer walls are covered by gavakshas, arch-like motifs, a North Indian type of decoration. The doorway is decorated with carved figures of river goddesses, amorous couples (mithuna), foliation motifs and a flying Garuda on the lintel.

 

Restoration of

Teli-ka-Mandir (1881 – 1983)

The temple was in ruins in the 19th century. The temple was badly damaged in the plunder raids by Muslim army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak and his successor Iltutmish in 1232 CE along with other temples in the fort following a jauhar. Parts of the ruins were then used to apparently build a mosque nearby.

Between 1881 and 1883, repairs to the temple were initiated by Major Keith, an officer of the Royal Scots Regiment stationed in Gwalior. The temple was restored in 1881-83.

 

Teli-ka-Mandir temple under repair at Gwalior

 

Photograph of the Teli-ka-Mandir temple under repair at Gwalior in 1882. This view shows the temple under restoration, with scaffolding along the façade, with other temples and ruined structures in the foreground.