Teli Ka Mandir (Oilman’s temple) in Gwalior is located in the fort complex and it is the oldest temple here. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of garuda (mount of Lord Vishnu). This temple is a perfect blend of northern and southern styles of architecture. The main attraction of this temple is the colossal image of Garuda.
There are several stories behind the unusal name Teli Ka Mandir. One of the stories stresses that Govinda III of the Rashtrakuta dynasty captured the Gwalior fort in 794 and he handed over the services of religious ceremonies to Telang Brahmins and so the temple got its name. Another story says that the oil merchants took the initiative to build this temple. Teli Ka Mandir features the Shikhara (the roof) that is Dravidian in its style, whereas the ornamentation is in the North Indian style. The sanctum in this temple is accompanied by a porch and a doorway, which are imprinted with fine carvings. You can see the figures of coiled serpent, passionate couples, gods and goddesses. The figure of flying garuda is the masterpiece of this temple and it attracts lots of tourists throughout the year. You can also see the figure of the chariot of Lord Vishnu. The massive rectangular shaped sanctuary tower boasts of an arch roof. The peepal leaf shape of the arch roof resembles the shape of the Chaitya windows in the ancient rock cut Buddhist caves. The Suraj Kund, a 100 meter long tank in this temple is supposed to cure skin diseases, especially leprosy.
© 2009 Abiyoyo SL