I was casually browsing the Outlook India website the article when the headline of an article caught my eye. Save Chambal’s Angkor Wat, it said, and it was sufficiently intriguing for me to click on and read the article.
Chambal’s Angkor Wat turned out to Bateshwar temple, located in Morena district of Madhta Pradesh. Locates about 30 kilometres to the north of Gwalior, this is located in the Chambal valley area, notorious for it’s (now in the past) history of dacoity.
While it is commendable that former dacoits have now turned heritage preservationists, I was struck more by the fact that I had never previously heard of this piece of our country’s heritage. It shouldn’t have surprised me given India’s vastness, diversity and, as yet, underdeveloped heritage movement. While there are many very well-known monuments in the country, I am sure there exist hundred of Bateshwars in the country that are possibly known by a very small population. Most likely these would include the local populace, well read travelers and heritage enthusiasts.
I have previously written about a similar site closer to where I stay, the Bhoganandishwara temple at the foothills of the popular Nandi Hills. Even though I had been living in Bangalore for a few years and had visited Nandi Hills a couple of time previously, it was only when a cousin of mine mentioned this place did I visit it for the first time. And I was blown away by what I saw. And also saddened that most visitors to Nandi Hills would possibly never venture just a few kilometres off the main route to visit this hidden gem.
I am fascinated by the rich heritage of our country and would love for more people to know more about such fascinating places. I am thinking of creating a series of such places. Let’s see how it goes!