Vidisha is formerly known as Bhelsa and in ancient times it’s also known as Besnagar. It is located in the state capital, Bhopal in the east direction. there is a river named bais which is mentioned in the Puranas, and the name of this city is derived from it. The district joining the Vidisha and Basoda tehsils in 1904 was created as “Bhilsa district”, but not the Basoda state, which was then part of the state of Gwalior. 

Udayagiri Caves

Udayagiri caves are dating back to the 5th century CE and there are twenty rock-cut caves near Vidisha in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It includes some of the oldest surviving Hindu temples and iconography in India. It is the only site that can be verified from its inscriptions with the king of the Gupta period. One of the most important archeological sites in India, the Udayagiri hills and its caves are protected monuments managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Udayagiri caves contain sculptures of Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Shaivism. 

Heliodorus pillar

The Heliodorus pillar is a stone column that was erected at Besnagar around 113 BCE in Central India. The pillar is named after Heliodorus, the ambassador of the Greek king Antialcidas of India, who dedicated the inscription on the pillar in Brahmi script. Declares himself a devotee of the supreme deity, Dev Devata, or “Lord of Gods”, Vasudeva. The Heliodorus pillar, joining earth, space, and heaven, is believed to symbolize the “cosmic axis” and express the universal perfection of God. 

The Heliodorus Pillar site is located about 60 km northeast of Bhopal, near the confluence of two rivers. It’s located 11 km from the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi and 4 km from the Hindu Udayagiri site. The pillar was discovered in 1877 by Alexander Cunningham. Two major archeological excavations in the 20th century have revealed the pillar to be part of the site of the ancient Vasudeva temple.

Vidisha Museum

The Vidisha Museum or Vidisha District Museum is the main museum of the ancient city of Vidisha. The museum features sculpture, terracotta, and coins from the 9th to the 10th century CE, as well as Harappan art. One can usually see the famous statue of Yaksha from the time of the Mauryan Empire or the Sunga Empire.


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