Mitawali, Padavali, and Bateshwar temples – are a magnificent trio of heritage structures situated in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh.
The temple are heritage structures dating back to the 8th-10th century, built during the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasties. The Bateshwar group of temples is not just one temple, but a group of about 200 Hindu temples made of sandstone. All the temples are mostly small and are spread over 25 acres of land. Temples are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, and Shakti – representing the three major traditions within Hinduism.
As we enter the Bateshwar temples, one will be awed by the intricate carvings and exquisite beauty of these ancient structures. It’s hard to imagine the amount of effort and skill it must have taken to create these masterpieces so long ago. The temples were destroyed after the 13th century, but it’s not clear if this was due to an earthquake or Muslim forces. Some of them have been reconstructed by the Archaeological Survey of India in their original form. The good thing is that the forest nearby is full of beautiful birds like peacocks, parakeets, and kingfishers. You can often spot the national bird perching and posing on the rooftop of the temples.
After visiting and offering prayers in Bateshwar temples, one can headed to the heritage fortress of Padavali, which is situated just 2 km away. The Jat Ranas of Dhaulpur built the Padavali fort in the 18th century. The fort also houses many ancient temples, which have intricate carvings and even erotic carvings! One of the temples is famously known as mini Khajuraho for its erotic carvings.
As we walk around Padavali, one couldn’t help but admire the grandeur of Indian architecture. The temples were discovered in 2005 as a result of excavation by the ASI, and the archaeological work is still ongoing. Most of the temples here are dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu and are believed to have been built around the 8th-10th century AD, mainly using red sandstone.
Our last stop was the village of Mitawali, where the popular Chausath Yogini Temple lies. The temple is perched atop a hill surrounded by lush greenery. A climb of approximately 100 steps takes you to the beauty of this splendid round temple. The striking views will definitely have you reaching for your camera too! As claimed by etchings and engravings in the temple.