Temples of Gwalior
First Online: March 01, 2001
Page Last Updated: January 29, 2014
Within the Fort of Gwalior is a group of temples
which form a separate series by themselves in architectural style and
chronology. Of the eleven religious structures within the fort's walls,
five are temples.
© K. L. Kamat
The Teli-ka Mandir
The Teli-ka-Mandir or the oilman's temple is probably the earliest of
the temples in the Gwalior Fort. 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, 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.
© K. L. Kamat
There are two other temples of importance, designated as Sas-bahu,
or the "mother-in-law" and "daughter-in-law." The
larger of these appears to have been completed in 1093 A.D. and has an
appearance of imposing solidity. Now only the cruciform porch, which is
three stories high, survives. A unique architectural feature of this
temple is that the building has been raised several stories high solely
with the help of beams and pillars, and no arches have been used for the
purpose. The smaller Sas-bahu temple, though more elegant in appearance
than the greater Sas-bahu temple, is stylistically only a reduced and
simplified copy of the latter.
On the road to the Fort lies a small temple dedicated to Chaturbhuj,
the four-armed, a name given to Vishnu. It was built in 875 A.D. and is
believed to be the oldest temple in Gwalior. It has a small dome over its
pyramidal roof which resembles that of the Teli-ka-Mandir in many