Prof. Alok Sharma from MITS guided the city tour of Gwalior. He passionately showed the heritage architecture of the city which has pre-colonial and colonial history. On several occasion he mentioned about the Batesara Archaeological Site in conversation, elaborating possible mythical significance of the place.
The site is approximately 30 minutes drive from city center and has approachable road. The excavation site is on hill, sloping towards west, hence the sun casts deep shadows and illuminating the temple complex almost through out the day. The conversation with the local site in-charge of excavation site explained that the entire site was under the ground and the ASI initiated the excavation and managed to restore, almost 140 temples till now. There are possibilities of more than 60 temples yet to be excavated from site. The site in-charge was carrying an album, showing what was earlier and how it has been restored now. The effort by A.S.I is laudable as we have yet another site of temple complex dated back to 6th to 8th century AD.
As you approached the restored gateway on hillock, the site reveals the collection of quintessential objects bathed in stark sun lights, slowly emerging out of earth as you walk up. The site has varying plinths and series of miniature temples occupies the plinths like experimental models. The each temple is approximately 15’0″ to 20’0″ in height. The main temple however has more celebrated presence by its footprint size and height. The central water tank and temples alinements demonstrating the site planning principles and its spatial configuration. However the history of such miniature temple complex is still unknown but it seems to be place for artisans and craftsmen engaged in series of experimentation to evolve with the distinct temple typology for the region.
The complex has few temples that are very good in conditions, while some needs extensive repair and restoration. The entire site, as explained by site in-charge, was like giant warehouse containing various objects and parts which seems to have left, unattended, for many years. The A.S.I. is carefully taking each of the parts and attempting to resolve the giant jigsaw puzzle, which are left to us as a legacy of “mystery of dead presence of architectural objects of living past”.