Gyaraspur (or Garispur).-Village in the Gwalior State, Central
India, situated in 23° 40′ N. and 78′ 7° E., 24 miles north-east of
Bhilsa. Population (igol), 754. Although little is known of the
history of the place, the remains of ancient buildings show that its
importance, as commanding the pass through which runs the old route
from Malwa to Bundelkhand, was recognized at an early date. In the
sixteenth century it fell to the Gonds of Garha Mandla, but was taken
from them by the Mughals. The actual destruction of the temples is
attributed, as usual, to Aurangzeb, but may have commenced earlier.
At the end of the eighteenth century it fell to the Chandel Thakurs
of Bhilsa, and under Thakur Kesri Singh regained some of its lost
importance. The remains are considerable and cover a large area.
The most important are those now known as the Ath-khamba, or eight
pillars,' which stand to the south of the present village, and are all that
remains of a once magnificent temple. The pillars and also the ceiling
slabs, which are still in situ, are richly carved, and a pilgrim's record of
A.D. 982 has been cut on one of the pillars. Two other very similar
collections of pillars are standing in the village, also covered with
elaborate carving, one belonging to a Saivite and the other to a Vaish-
navite temple.. The finest ruin, however, is that of a large temple
known as the Mala Devi. It is magnificently placed on a great artificial
platform, on the very edge of the hill-side, with its back against the
rock, and from its style must belong to the ninth or tenth century.
Though originally a Vaishnavite shrine, it now contains Jain images,
all belonging to the Digambara sect. The Bajranath temple, with- three
shrines placed abreast, has also been appropriated by Jains, though
originally Brahmanical. North of the village lie two tanks, the larger
known as the Mansarowar, having a fine old stone dam, which is said
to have been built by Man Singh, a Gond chief. A school and a State
post office are situated in the village.
[A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, vol. vii, p. go;
vol. xi, p. 3 L]
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