Teli Ka Mandir is an ancient temple that is undoubtedly famous for its splendid architecture. Located in the Gwalior Fort complex, Teli Ka Mandir can be reached easily by taking local means of transport from Gwalior. The English version of Teli Ka Mandir is Oilman’s Temple. Built in the 11th century, Oilman’s Temple is the oldest temple of the Gwalior Fort.
Elevating to the height of 100 feet, Teli Ka Mandir is the tallest and most stunning temple in the confines of the Gwalior Fort. The temple is actually dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of his mount, Garuda. The colossal image of ‘Garuda’ (Mount of Lord Vishnu) is the major attraction of Teli Ka Mandir. This unusual image makes the circlet of the doorway, the highest structure in the Gwalior Fort.
The term “Teli Ka Mandir”
“Teli Ka Mandir” sounds like an unusual term, but it has several theories behind its name. According to one of the legends, Rashtrakuta Govinda III seized the Gwalior Fort in 794. He handled the service of religious ceremonies and rituals to Telang Brahmins and as a result of this, the temple acquired its name. Another legend says that oil merchants or the men of Teli Caste took the initiative of temple’s construction. Due to it, the temple got its name. The third speculation reveals that name is linked with Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. This revelation also approves with the synthesis of Dravidian and North Indian architectural styles.
What’s there in the name? The matter of consideration is the architecture of this Rajput Temple. The structure of the temple presents a perfect fusion of the northern and southern architectural styles of India. The ‘shikhar’ (spire) of the temple is undeniably Dravidian in its style, whereas the ornamentation is done in the Nagara style (specific to North India). Unlike other temples, Oilman’s Temple doesn’t have any ‘mandap’ or pillared hall. The temple comprises a sanctum sanctorum accompanied by a porch and a doorway.
The porch and the doorway are imprinted with elaborate carvings. One can trace figures of amorous couples, coiled serpents, gods and goddesses on the doorway. The central position on the doorway is dominated by the figure of flying Garuda. The weird and wonderful arrangement of two architectural styles attracts countless visitors throughout the year. Teli Ka Mandir boasts about the heritage and rich culture of India.
Location: In the complex of Gwalior Fort, Gwalior
Built in: 11th century
Dedicated to: Lord Vishnu
Significance: An Ancient Temple
Highlights: Fusion of Southern and Northern architectural styles of India
How to reach: One can easily reach Teli Ka Mandir by taking local Buses, Autos or by hiring Taxis from Gwalior