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Sunday, 17 June 2012
70 kms away from Agra, Bateshwar is essentially a temple
town, situated on the bank of the holy river Yamuna. The name Bateshwar appears
to have been derived from Vateshwarnath, one of the many names of Lord Shiva
who is the presiding diety of this pilgrim town. Flanked by the holy Yamuna,
Bateshwar has a plethora of temples, once totalling to 101. Out of these 42
temples still stand here. The beauty of this pilgrim town is its long line of
Ghats dotted with a series of temples. Some of the temples's ceilings still
retain their beautiful original frescoes painted with traditional vegetable
This pilgrim town has been referred to in old scriptures
like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Matsya Puran etc. From 8th century to 17th century,
it remained an important town under the Gurjar, Chandela and Bhadawar kings.
The illustrious King Badan Singh of Bhadawar kings. The illustrious King Badan
Singh of Bhadawar dynasty shifted his capital from Mai to Bateshwar about 400
years ago. The present temples are said to be constructed by him.
The Jain scriptures also contain descriptions of Bateshwar.
According to legends, the 22nd Tirthankar Lord Neminath, was born here.
Presently there are several beautiful Jain temples here.
Bateshwar is also famous for its annual Cattle Fair, which
is now almost four centuries old. It is held between Bateshwar and Mai today,
also at the same site which was earmarked by King Badan Singh for the fair. It
is the biggest and the most spectacular cattle fair held in northern India.
Places of Interest :
Bateshwarnath Temple :
This is the main temple of Bateshwar wherein an ancient
Shiva linga is enshrined. The spectacular evening Arti with ringing of the
bells and blowing of conch shells offers a soul-stirring experience.
River Front :
The long river front of Yamuna with fascinating rows of
temples at Bateshwar is worth seeing. Other attractions are Bhimeshwar Temple,
Narmadeshwar Temple, Moteshwar temple, Jageshwar Temple, Panchmukhi Yati
Temple, Gaurishankar Temple, Pataleshwar Temple, Mandal temple, Bihariraj
temple and the ruins of the old palace of Mai.
Shaouripur (3 kms ) :
A famous Jain pilgrimage centre where, as per belief, Lord
Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankar, was born. Surrounded by a dens forest teeming
with fauna and flora, there are seven big Shwetambar Jain temples. Two Digambar
Jain temples in the vicinity are other attractions.
How to get there :
Air : Nearest airport is Kheria in agra (70 kms away)
Rail : The nearest railway station is Shikohabad. Convenient
rail connections are available from the nearest town Agra.
Road : On Agra-fatehabad-Bateshwar rout, bus service is
available from Agra. Some important road distances are : Agra - 70 kms,
Fatehpur Sikri - 107 kms , Mathura - 124 kms.