Pavaya - Stone Temples

Distance : 68km from Gwalior

¤ Temple Attractions

About an hour and a half away from Gwalior, en route to Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, is a beaten track that leads to the ruins of Pavaya and the neighbouring Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Temple. You’ll reach the village of Pavaya after you cross the bridge on River Parvati. Travel a bit further, and you will reach a T-junction. A left turn leads you to Pavaya or Padmavati as it was earlier known, while the right track branches off to the Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Temple.

¤ Attractions of Ruins Dating Back To Naga Kings

Pavaya - Stone TemplesPavaya or Padmavati is a fascinating stone complex of ruins which date back to the reign of the Naga Kings. There is no proper road leading to these ruins, which results in tourists often passing them by.
The terrain is rich in dry scrub vegetation that has happily sprouted between the monuments. The uneven ground suggests that there might well be some buried monuments or structures waiting to be unearthed. This was the capital of the Naga Kings, which was later abandoned and left to the mercy of nature.

According to the Puranas (check Ancient Scriptures & Folklore of India for details), the decline of the Kushana Dynasty in the third century a.d. led to the emergence of the Naga Dynasty. Naga influence soon spread from Vidisha to Mathura, and Pavaya or Padmavati became their base. Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of the Universe according to Hindu mythology, was the deity worshipped by the kingdom. Forgotten and neglected, the site needs to be explored thoroughly to gain a fresh insight into it.

These stone ruins are spread over an area of half a kilometre, and consist of four main structures and a few Chhattris(cenotaphs). A dome, each with arched doors and windows tops these four cube-like structures. Not far from these ruins stands the lonely, deserted Fort built by the Parmar dynasty, during the medieval era.

¤ Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Temple

The Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Templeis all of 3 kilometres from the Pavaya ruins. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it stands boldly on the rocky banks of the Sindh River that flows nearby. In keeping with the usual architecture of Hindu temples, it has steps leading to its four sections, namely the ardha mandapa(small hall), the mandapa(middle hall), the antaralaya (inner chamber), and the garbha griha or the sanctum sanctorum. The three outer sections have been plastered white, while the inner sanctum retains its original yellow sandstone colour.

The Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Stone Temple is very similar to the Kandariya Stone Temple at Khajuraho, but it bears no sign of the era it belongs to. However, the Shivalinga (symbolic phallus of Shiva) enshrined inside the sanctum is very ancient, while the marble flooring is the contribution of the devotees of Shiva, who flock to the temple in large numbers.

The temple comes alive during the festival of Shivaratri (check Religion for details), with the zest and enthusiasm of scores of devotees.

¤ Tourist Information

Be prepared for a rather rough ride, as the road leading to both these places is rather bumpy. Take along sufficient supply of snacks and water or cold drinks, as none are available near these ancient stone monuments.