Teli Ka Mandir || Oilman's Temple
Built in 11th century, Oilman's Temple is the oldest temple of the Gwalior Fort. The temple bears a close resemblance to Prathihara Vishnu temple, and is filled with images of coiled serpents, passionate couples, river goddesses and a flying Garuda. The temple architecture follows Indo Aryan and Nagara style that exhibits superior artistic caliber. The Temple is a fusion of Southern and Northern architectural styles of India. The English version of Teli Ka Mandir is Oilman's Temple. Elevating to the height of 100 feet, Teli Ka Mandir is the tallest and most stunning temple in the confines of the Gwalior Fort. The temple is actually dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of his mount, Garuda. The colossal image of 'Garuda' (Mount of Lord Vishnu) is the major attraction of Teli Ka Mandir. This unusual image makes the circlet of the doorway, the highest structure in the Gwalior Fort. "Teli Ka Mandir" sounds as an unusual term, but it has several theories behind its name. According to one of the legends, Rashtrakuta Govinda III seized the Gwalior Fort in 794. He handled the service of religious ceremonies and rituals to Telang Brahmins and as a result of this, the temple acquired its name. Another legend says that oil merchants or the men of Teli Caste took the initiative of temple's construction. Due to it, the temple got its name. The third speculation reveals that name is linked with Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. This revelation also approves with the synthesis of Dravidian and North Indian architectural styles. A marvelous temple, believed to be the oldest constructions in the fort gives enchanting experience to the visitor.