Ashapuri is one of the best kept secrets of Madhya Pradesh. Being very close to the capital city of Bhopal and located between two of the most prominent tourist places of Bhimbetka and Bhojpur, this place is hardly visited by tourists. We too were unaware of this place until a board at Midway Retreat in Bhimbetka displayed it. A quick research about the same on google helped us gather more information. We were more than happy to visit this place as it was located on the way to our next destination of Bhojpur. The sign board put up by Madhya Pradesh Tourism made it easier for us to reach this place, which is located about 22 km from Bhimbetka towards Bhojpur.
Our guide also mentioned about the presence of another temple dedicated to Goddess Durga at a fair distance (about 400 meters) from the Bhootnath complex. This temple too lies in a ruined state with fragments of idols spread across the temple. Just outside the Bhootnath temple complex is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. Hereon, we drove towards the museum during lunch time and realised it was closed. We inquired about directions to another temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Billota temple at the entrance of the village. Unfortunately, this temple too was closed. A big Shiva linga is seen outside the temple with many small lingas carved on it, called as the Sahasralinga. A beautifully carved but broken pillar base is also seen in this complex, with a carving that exhibits the various avatars of Lord Vishnu. Thus ended our exploration. It is good to know that a joint effort has been initiated by Madhya Pradesh Government in collaboration with the World Monuments Fund towards restoring Ashapuri back to its glory.
Distance from the nearby town: 36 km from Bhopal.
|Ruins of Ashapuri with lake in the background|
|Remains of BhootnathTemple|
|Andhakasura form of Shiva|
|Ruins all the Way|
|Goddess Durga Temple|
|Shiva Temple, Billota|
|Parshuram (6th Avatar of Lord Vishnu)|
|Vamana (5th Avatar of Lord Vishnu)|
Accommodation: There are no accommodation options here. The best would be to plan for an overnight stay at Bhopal.
Where to eat: The nearest eateries are about 6 km from here, at Bhojpur.