Madhya Pradesh can be said to be the microcosm of India, for the land reflects the glory of India in many ways. These can relate to the architectural grandeur of its palaces, temples and mosques, the natural beauty surrounding the Vindhyas and other regions, the prehistoric art at places like Bhimbetka, the pilgrimage centres of Amarkantak, Chitrakoot and others, and the adventure trail of the tiger sanctuaries to name a few. For those with a spiritual bent of mind and in the quest for peace and tranquility, the land of Sanchi can be an added attraction in the Madhya Pradesh tourism circuit.
Situated on the banks of the river Betwa,Vidisha is a small town that was once closely associated with Sanchi. The renowned poet Kalidasa described Vidisha as a place where “anyone could become as rich as his heart desired”. Located near small village huttments in Vidisha is the Heliodorus Pillar, revered locally as Khamba Baba. This stone column was erected around 113 BCE by Heliodorous,a Greek ambassador to the court of the Sunga king Bhagabhadra. The column bears two inscriptions in Brahmi characters, written in the Prakrit language. One of these inscription mentions is that the column was erected in the honour of Lord Vishnu, as is evidenced by the Garuda (Vishnu’s vehicle ) that the pillar is ground with. These inscriptions are not very legible anymore but one of these reportedly records Heliodorous referring to himself as a Bhagavata or devotee,within the realm of Brahmanism. The Heliodorus pillar is now primarily a site of worship by the locals. Make a quick stop here to see the pillar as well as the fascinating ancient inscriptions. At the time of writing, the area around the pillar was being spurced up with pathways - a sign that this site is being developed.
Located in a close viscinity to Sanchi are the famed Udayagiri caves. Udayagiri is about 4 km from the town of Vidisha and about 13 km from the Buddhist site of Sanchi. These ancient caves,built during the reign of Chandragupta ll, has all the features that gave Gupta art its unique identity. The Udayagiri Caves feature some of the oldest Hindu images and cave temples in India. Udayagiri is best known for a series of rock-cut sanctuaries and images excavated into hillside in the early years of the fifth century CE. The site is notable for its ancient monumental relief sculpture of Hindu god Vishnu, in his incarnation as the boar-headed Varaha, rescuing the earth symbolically represented by Bhudevi clinging to the boar's tusk as described in Hindu mythology. MP Tourism’s Jungle Resort at Udaygiri is a serene property to relax & revitalize oneself.