MAHOBA

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» North India
» Uttar Pradesh
Location: Uttar Pradesh
Main Attraction: Kakramath Temple, Sun Temple
Best season: September to February
Languages: Hindi, English, Bundeli

THE FESTIVE LAND
Sun Temple - Mahoba, Mahoba, Uttar PradeshMahoba is associated with the Chandela kings who ruled over Bundelkhand between the 9th and the 12th centuries. Mahoba derives its name from ‘mahotsava’, which stands for the great celebration performed by its founder Chandravarman, around 800 AD. In the following century, Mahoba became the Chandela capital in preference over Khajuraho.

This one-time capital is now a small town comprising of three distinct areas- the old fort lying to the north of a low granite hill, the inner fort on top of the hill, and dariba or the betel market on the south. Apart from several picturesque lakes, there are also many places of historical and archaeological interest.

Mahoba is famous for its granite, but more so for its fine betel leaf (paan). This is cultivated here in the traditional manner using natural weatherproof shelters called ‘barejas’. While the town is now a centre of trade for betel leaf and stone, it bears remnants of its glorious past and still honours its legendary heroes, Alha and Udal, whose statues are a central landmark.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS

Temples
Kakramath Temple: This well-preserved granite temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located at the Madan Sagar. Its basic plan is similar to the temples of Khajuraho. The Madan Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu stands nearby.

Sun Temple at Rahila Sagar:
This 9th century granite Sun Temple lies to the west of Rahila Sagar, built by Chandela ruler, Rahila who ruled between 890 and 910 A.D. Though in a ruined state today, it still stands as the finest example of early Pratihara architecture in the area.

Manaiya Devi Temple:
This is the temple of the tutelary deity of the Chandelas and stands on the shores of Madan Sagar, near the fort. In front of the fort is a monolithic granite pillar, 18 ft. high and 1.75 ft wide at the base. The shrine of Pir Mubarak Shah, a Muslim saint who came from Arabia in 1252 AD stands nearby.

Others
Vijay Sagar Pakshi Vihar:
5 km from town, this picturesque bird sanctuary has been developed on the shores of Vijay-Sagar, which was built by Vijay Pal Chandela (1035-1060 AD).

Lakes:
Kirat Sagar, built by Kirtivarman between 1060 AD and 1100 AD, has fine embankments with granite steps. Madan Sagar, built by Madan Verma between 1128 AD and 1165 AD, is very picturesque. Other lakes include Kalyan Sagar, Vijay Sagar and Rahila Sagar.

Gokhar Hill:
This is the hill where Guru Gorakhnath resided with his disciples. It has dramatic granite rock formations, with caves and waterfalls. The spot is ideal for climbing and picnics.
Statue of Udal - Mahoba, Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh
Other places of interest include the Jain and Buddhist shrines, the Alha Udal Chowk, Barichandrika Devi Temple, Ram Kurd, Suraj Kurd and Shiva Temple at Katheswar. The Betel Research Centre at Chhattarpur Road, a branch of NBRI Lucknow , is interesting as Betel farming can be viewed in various stages of development here.

EXCURSIONS

Khajuraho:
63 km. Site of the now world-famous temples built between 950 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandellas. Only 25 temples survive, but they are masterpieces of architecture. Dedicated to the lord Shiva, these temples celebrated the human form and man’s spiritual and physical aspects.

Kalinjar:
109 kms from Mahoba, kalinjar is famous for its mighty fort, which was of great importance between the 9th and 15th centuries. Among the remains within the fort is Rajan Aman Singh Palace, which is being converted into a museum to house the fine and rare sculptures found at the site.
Other places of interest within the fort include the Neelkanth Temple, Sita Sej, Patal Ganga, Pandu Kund, Koti Tirth and Bhairon Ki Kharia.

Chitrakoot: (127 kms).
Celebrated in ballads and the scriptures for its natural beauty and closely associated with the epic Ramayana, Chitrakoot is a hallowed centre for pilgrimage. Lord Rama and Sita are believed to have spent their 14-year exile here. The town is situated on the banks of the river Mandakini, the ghats of which are lined with numerous temples.

HOW TO GET THERE

Air: Nearest airport is Khajuraho 63 km.

Rail: Mahoba is connected by railway lines with the rest of India.

Road: Mahoba is connected by road, with all major cities.

Local Transport: Cars, Jeeps, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, Tongas.

PLACES TO STAY

Mahoba is well equipped with a Govt. Tourist Bungalow and some private hotel accommodation.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Banks: State Bank of India, Gandhinagar, Bank of Baroda, Gandhinagar, Allahabad Bank.
Post Offices: Sub Post Office, Main Bazaar.

NEARBY CITIES

Khajuraho : 63-km
Kalinjar: 109-km
Chitrakoot: 127-km

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area: 8.1 sq. km.
Population: 56,000 (1991 census).
Altitude: 210 m above sea level.
Clothing: Summer: Cottons.
               Winter: Woollens.
Festivals: Sawan Kajali Mela.


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