Bateshwar Temple group consists of almost 200 temples made out of sandstone. The style of construction and design is that of Gurjara-Pratihara. This complex is 35 km North of Gwalior and near Morena town. These temples are spread over 25 acres of land. They are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti. These temples were built between the 8th and 10th century.
Shiva temple is the largest on site; therefore the complex is known as Bateshwar. Surprisingly this Shiva temple had a relief of Garuda on its top, leading to speculation that the temple may have been a Vishnu temple before it was damaged and reused. The Bhuteshwar temple had a square sanctum with a 6.75 feet (2.06 m) side, with a relatively small 20 square feet mahamandapa. The sanctum doorway was flanked by river goddesses Ganga and Yamuna. The tower superstructure was a pyramidal square starting off from a 15.33 feet (4.67 m) sided square, seated on a flat roof, then rhythmically tapering off. All other temples are smaller than this temple. Why were they constructed is still not known. The temples were destroyed after the 13th century; it is not clear if this was by an earthquake, or Muslim forces.
The restoration project of this complex was started in 2005 by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Not only the local people but the help of dacoit Nirbhay Singh Gujjar was taken to restore these temples.
During a reconnaissance trip, Mohammed (ASI officer who was responsible for the restoration of this complex), to his consternation, found a bearded man smoking inside a temple. An ASI employee informed him that it was the dacoit Nirbhay Singh Gujjar. After protracted negotiations, Gujjar handed over the complex to Muhammed for restoration.
According to Michael Meister, the Bateshwar site illustrates the conception and construction of the "Mandapika shrine" concept in central India. It is reducing the Hindu temple idea to its basics, in a simple concept that is one step further from the single cave cell design.
The basics of temple architecture and temple design are strongly connected to the emotions of the public; thus public participation is key to the success of restoration projects of temples.