|Creator||Queen Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore|
This temple is located along the Falgu River, marked by a footprint of Lord Vishnu known as Dharmasila, incised into a block of basalt. The Brahmkalpit Brahmans are the traditional priest of the temple from ancient time who is known as Gayawal Tirth Purohit or Panda. Several legendary saints as Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Sankaradeva and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu have visited this shrine.
Once a demon known as Gayasura, did a heavy penance and sought a boon that whoever see him should attain salvation (Moksham). Since salvation is achieved through being righteous in one's lifetime, people started obtaining it easily. To prevent immoral people from attaining salvation Lord Vishnu asked Gayasura to go beneath the earth and did so by placing his right foot on asura's head. After pushing Gayasura below the surface of earth, Lord Vishnu's foot print remained on the surface that we see even today. The footprint consists of nine different symbols including Shankam, Chakram and Gadham. These are believed to be weapons of the lord. Gayasura now pushed into earth pleaded for food. Lord Vishnu gave him a boon that every day, someone will offer him food. Whoever does so, their souls will reach heaven. The day Gayasura doesn't get food, it is believed that he will come out. Every day, one or the other from different parts of India will pray for welfare of his departed and offer food, feeding Gayasura.
History and location
The construction date of temple is unknown and it is believed that Rama along with Sita had visited this place. The present day structure was rebuilt by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar, the ruler of Indore, in 1787, on the banks of the Falgu river. A flight of 1000 stone steps leads to the top of the Brahmajuni hill, 1 km southwest of the Vishnupad mandir. Visitors prefer to go to the top of Brahmajuni hill see the view of temple from top. There are many small temples near this temple.
This is believed that the temple was built with the footprints of Lord Vishnu in the centre. In Hinduism, this footprint marks the act of Lord Vishnu subduing Gayasur by placing his foot on his chest. Inside the Vishnupad Mandir, the 40 cm long footprint of Lord Vishnu is imprinted in solid rock and surrounded by a silver plated basin. The height of this temple is 30 meters and it a has 8 rows of beautifully carved pillars which support the pavilion. The temple is built of large gray granite blocks jointed with iron clamps. The octagonal shrine faces east. Its pyramidal tower rises up a 100 feet. The tower has sloping sides with alternately indented and plain sections. The sections are set at an angle to create a series of peaks joined at the top. Within the temple stands the immortal banyan tree Akshayabat where the final rituals for the dead takes place. On top of the temple is a gold flag weighing approximately 51 kg. Inside the temple is a (Garv ghiri ) a silver coated hexagon railing also known as (pahal).
- Bhoothalingam, Mathuram (2016). S., Manjula, ed. Temples of India Myths and Legends. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-81-230-1661-0.
- "History of Vishnupad". Department of Tourism, Government of Bihar. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Vishnupad Temple Gaya | Location | History | Best Time to Visit". Travel News India. 2016-09-25. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
- "Vishnupaada Temple". India9.com. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vishnupad Mandir.|