Sites & cities that bear the name of Vidisha


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Bhilsa, Bhelsa, Besnagar

Description : Vidisha, (formerly known as Bhelsa), and known as Besnagar in ancient times, is a city in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The district was created as "Bhilsa District" in 1904 by joining the tehsils of Vidisha (also known as Bhilsa) and Basoda, but not Basoda State, which were then part of Gwalior state. After India's independence in 1947, the former princely state of Gwalior became part of Madhya Bharat state, which was formed in 1948. It is located near the state capital Bhopal. Vidishā was the administrative headquarters of Bhelsa, or Bhilsa, during the Medieval period. The town is situated east of the Betwa River, in the fork of the Betwa and Bes rivers, 9 km from Sanchi. The town of Besnagar, 3 km from present-day Vidisha on the west side of the river, became an important trade centre in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, under the Shungas, Nagas, Satavahanas, and Guptas, and was mentioned in the Pali scriptures. The Emperor Ashoka was the governor of Vidisha during his father's lifetime. His Buddhist Empress Vidisha Devi who was also his first wife was brought up in Vidisha. It finds mention in Kalidasa's Meghdoot. The ruins of Besnagar were inspected by Alexander Cunningham in 1874–1875. Remains of a large defensive wall was found on the western side of the city. Ancient Buddhist railings were also found just outside of the city, which had probably adorned a stupa. Numerous coins were found, including nine coins of the Western Satraps. The Heliodorus Pillar is a stone column, which was constructed in 110 BCE. This stone column was erected by the Greek ambassador of the Indo-Greek King Antialcidas, who came to the court of Bhagabhadra, a possible Sunga king. Dedicated to Lord Vāsudeva, this column was constructed in front of the temple of Vāsudeva. The pillar is situated about four kilometers away on Vidisha-Ganj Basoda SH-14, from District Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh and located on the Northern Bank Of The Vais River. It is 20 feet and 7 inches tall stone Pillar, which is commonly known as Kham Baba. The script used in the inscription is Brahmi but the language is Prakrit which describes that Heliodorus erected this pillar as a Garuda Stambha to pay homage to Lord Vasudeva, who was later integrated as a manifestation of Lord Vishnu.

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