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Teli Ka Mandir

This Rajput Temple is an amalgam of the northern and southern architectural styles of India, although many opine that it is closer in design to the temples of Orissa than the South.

The tallest and most impressive temple within the precincts of the Gwalior Fort, there are several theories as to how the shrine acquired its name.

According to one surmise Rashtrakuta Govinda III occupied the Fort in 794, and appointed the Telang Brahmins (check Religion for details on Brahmins) to supervise all religious ceremonies.

The temple got its name from them. According to another version, the monument is called the Teli Temple, because men of the Teli caste or oil merchants handled its construction. A third conjecture is that the name suggests a link with the Telangana region in modern Andhra Pradesh, suggesting the fusion of Dravidian and North Indian architectural styles.

Magnificent Architecture Splendor

Whatever the truth, the fact remains that the Teli Temple, is a marvellous amalgam of the architecture features of the temples of North and South India.

The shikhara (spire) is definitely Dravidian in style, while the decorative details are in the Nagara style - specific to North India. Figures of river goddesses, amorous couples, coiled serpents, and a flying Garuda (Lord Vishnu's vehicle) abound in the temple complex.

Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.