Temples of Rajasthan
are known for their great architectural magnificence. The temples of Rajasthan
reflect the artistic excellence of the sculptors of yester years. Some
of the prominent temples of Rajasthan are Eklingiji temple, Dilwara Temples,
Ranakpur Jain temples and the Mahavira Temple. The most common feature
of the temples of Rajasthan, located in the western part, is single sikhara
and intricately carved outer chamber known as Mandap.
Brahma Temple Pushkar
Brahma Temple is the only temple that is dedicated to Lord Brahma in India.
Located near the Lake at Pushkar in Rajasthan, Brahma Temple receives
many pilgrims to its doorsteps every year. Built in the 14th century,
Brahma Temple commemorates Lord Brahma, who is considered as the creator
of this Universe according to the Hinduism. Lord Brahma is one amongst
the trinity of Hindu Gods, the other being Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
For the Hindus, Brahma Temple is an important pilgrim place. Raised on
a high platform, the temple lies in the Pushkar valley that is known for
its scenic beauty.
is regarded as a holy place by the Hindus, since all the Gods & Goddesses
of Hindu pantheon observed a 'Yajna' here. Moreover, the Pushkar Lake
near this temple is believed to have been appeared when a Lotus flower
fell from the hands of Lord Brahma in this valley. According to the Hindu
mythology, once Lord Brahma was cursed that he would be not worshipped
frequently by the people. Due to the reason, this is the only known temple
in the world, where Lord Brahma is worshipped.
in marble, the Temple can be easily identified with its tall red spire.
The temple is accessible by a flight of marble steps. An image of 'Hans'
(Goose) can be traced on the entrance of the main shrine. One can also
spot the silver turtle, which is embossed on the floor in front of the
sanctorum. In the vicinity of the turtle, many a silver coins are placed
on the floor. Even, the inner walls of the temple are studded with silver
The main shrine houses
the life-size image of Lord Brahma with four hands and four faces, facing
the four basic directions. An image of Goddess Gayatri, who is known as
the milk Goddess, can be seen near the idol of Lord Brahma. The walls
of the temple are adorned by beautiful images of Peacock and Goddess Saraswati.
From the temple, there is a silver door that leads down to a small cave.
This small cave comprises a temple of Lord Shiva.
Dilwara Jain Temples
Dilwara Temples of Rajasthan are popular for their beautiful artistic
work. Located near Mount Abu in Rajasthan, Dilwara Temple is easily accessible
from any town or city of Rajasthan. Mount Abu is a beautiful and one &
only hill station of Rajasthan. Several train services are available by
Indian Railways for Mount-Abu from different cities. Dilwara Temple lies
at a distance of 2.5 kms from Mount Abu. From Mount Abu railway station,
many bus services and taxis are available for Dilwara Temple.
Temple forms a famous pilgrimage of the followers of Jainism. The striking
use of marble, in the construction of this temple, is truly worth-admiring.
However, the simple architecture of the temple, reminds one of the virtues
of Jainism. Set amidst the picturesque hills, Dilwara temples are said
to have built during the 11th and 13th century. In the huge temple complex,
there are five shrines that are dedicated to Lord Adinath, Lord Rishabhdeo,
Lord Neminath, Lord Mahavir Swami and Lord Parshvanath respectively.
Dilwara Temples are
considered to be an example of perfect architecture, in terms of Jain
Temples. The intricately carved ceilings, entryways, pillars and panels
highlight the aesthetic appeal of this temple. For its mastery over architecture,
Dilwara Temple is sometimes regarded as one of the most stunning pilgrimage
sites of Jains. The temples of Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi get the maximum
attention due to their sheer size and grandeur.
Vimal Vasahi Temple
Out of the five temples, the first temple is Vimal Vasahi Temple that
is dedicated to Lord Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar Lord. In 1021,
Vimal Vasahi Temple was built by Vimal Shah, the Solanki Maharaja of Gujarat.
Encircled by a passageway, the temple is erected in an open square. This
temple is adorned with carved passages, columns, arches and doorways.
The ceilings of this temple are festooned with patterns of petals, flowers,
lotus-buds and murals depicting scenes from the mythology.
There is a huge hall,
which is known as Rang Mandap. This hall looks marvelous with its 12 ornamented
pillars and beautifully carved out arches in the midst of a spectacular
central dome. The temple also comprises an assortment of nine rectangular
ceilings that is commonly recognized as Navchowki. Gudh Mandap is the
main hall, where the idol of Lord Adinath is placed. Another feature is
'Hathishala' (Elephant Cell) that portrays a lane of sculpted elephants.
Luna Vasahi Temple
This is the second most important temple amongst the temples of Dilwara.
Built in 1230, Luna Vasahi Temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath, the 22nd
Jain Tirthankara Lord. The main hall of the temple is known as Rang Mandap.
This hall comprises a central dome with a carved pendant. Here, not less
than 72 figures of Tirthankars are positioned in a circular band.
Made on the same structural
pattern, Luna Vasahi Temple also has a Hathishala with 10 marble elephants.
Again, Navchowki holds nine delicately carved ceilings with intricate
marble work. The main hall or Gudh Mandap has the idol of Lord Neminath
that is carved out of black marble. On the left side of the temple, there
is a big pillar made out of black stone by the name of 'Kirti Stambha'.
Pittalhar Temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara
Lord. Built by Bhima Seth, the temple comprises a huge image of Lord Rishabhdeo.
This image is made of five metals and brass (pital) forms the major part
of composition. Due to this fact, this came to be known as 'Pittalhar'.
Once again, the temple contains a Garbhagraha, Gudh Mandap (main hall)
and a Navchowki.
In 1459, Parshavanath Temple was built by Mandlik. This three-storied
building is dedicated to Lord Parshavanath, the 23rd Jain Tirthankar Lord.
This has the tallest shrine at Dilwara. At the ground floor, there are
four big halls on all the four sides of the chamber. The exterior walls
are imprinted with striking sculptures carved out in gray sandstone.
Mahavir Swami Temple
Mahavir Swami Temple is the small structure that is dedicated to Lord
Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankara Lord. Built in 1582, this temple showcases
several pictures on the ceilings of its portico.
Every year, thousands
of devotees come to visit this pilgrimage of religious importance. This
ancient temple attracts tourists as well, with its magnetic lure. Dilwara
Temples truly present a sight to behold and to praise the artistic beauty
of their magnificent structure.
Eklingji Temple is a marvel structure carved in stone and one of the most
famous temples of Rajasthan. Eklingji Temple is positioned in the small
town of Eklingji, which is also known as Kailashpuri. In terms of national
geography, Eklingji Mandir lies on National Highway No.8. The temple is
easily accessible from all the cities and towns of Rajasthan. Dedicated
to Lord Shiva, Eklingji Temple was constructed by Bappa Rawal in 734 A.D.
Ever since, Lord Eklingji became the presiding deity of the rulers of
on, the temple was renovated and repaired by different Kings, to clean
the remains of destruction caused by the attacks of Mohammedans. The outstanding
structure of this temple boasts about the architectural science of those
times. This double-storied temple is certainly an eye treat along with
its pyramidal style of roof and beautifully carved tower. In the temple
complex, the main shrine is comprised of a huge pillared hall (mandap).
A colossal pyramidal roof makes the cover of this hall.
The entrance to this
hall is adorned by a silver idol of Nandi. Inside the shrine, one can
see two other images of Nandi, one is made out of black stone and the
other is made out in brass. A mesmerizing aroma maintains the refreshing
atmosphere of this temple. The shrine encompasses a remarkable four-faced
idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva). Carved out in black marble, the idol lengthens
to the height of 50 feet. The four faces of the idol represent Lord Shiva
in his four forms.
The east, west, north
and south facing parts are recognized as Lord Surya, Lord Brahma, Lord
Vishnu and Lord Shiva respectively. The apex of this comprehensive idol
is called as 'Yantra'. It depicts the ultimate reality of this life. A
silver snake festoons the shivlingam (the phallic form of Lord Shiva)
that gathers the major attention of the people. Here, the whole family
of Lord Shiva can be sited including Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and
Lord Kartikay. There are idols of Goddess Saraswati and Goddess Yamuna
The shrine also boasts
of heavy silver doors that are imprinted with the images Lord Ganesha
and Lord Kartikay. In the northern part of the complex, there are two
water tanks by the names of Karz Kund and Tulsi Kund. For the services
of the Lord, the water of these tanks is used. Shivratri is the major
festival that is celebrated here with full enthusiasm and zeal. Since
centuries, the divine aura of Eklingji Temple is attracting pilgrims and
tourists to its doorsteps.
Ranakpur Jain Temples
Ranakpur Temple is a beautiful structure carved in stone. Renowned for
its fabulous architectural style, Ranakpur temple is situated in Ranakpur
village that falls under Pali district of Rajasthan. For the followers
of Jainism, Ranakpur temples are of great importance, as they make one
of the five major pilgrimage sites. One can easily reach Ranakpur Temple
from anywhere in Rajasthan. However, the nearest airport and railway station
is made by the city of Udaipur. Acclaimed worldwide for its brilliant
architecture, Ranakpur Temple is the largest and the most significant
temples of the Jains.
Temple is thought to have been built by Seth Dharna Shah, who was a prominent
Jain businessman, with the help of Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The
king helped the Seth on a condition that the temples would be named after
him and accordingly the temples were tabbed. Sited in a solitary valley
on the western part of the Aravalli Hills, the temples are undoubtedly
laudable for their wonderful architecture. The huge structure of the temple
is entirely raised in light color marble. One of the largest subterranean
vaults makes the base of this colossal temple sprawling in an area of
48000 sq ft.
The vast temple complex
comprises Chaumukha Temple, Parsavanath Temple, Amba Mata Temple and Surya
Temple. Chaumukha Temple is the most prominent amongst all of them. The
term 'Chaumukha' means four-faced. Lord Adinath (the first Jain 'Tirthankara')
is the main presiding deity of Chaumukha Temple. The complex structure
of the temple has four separate entrance doors to penetrate in the chambers.
These chambers lead to the main hall or 'Grabh-Griha', where the idol
of Lord Adinath is placed.
The four-faced image
of the Lord is facing all the four directions. This image suggests the
pursuit of Tirthankara's for the four directions and eventually the cosmos.
The idol of the Lord is encircled by many other smaller shrines and domes.
Again, one more array of cells with detached roofs surrounds these small
shrines and domes. The five spires raise high in the sky and not less
than 20 cupolas elevate from the roof the main pillared hall. There is
a shrine under each spire and the largest spire houses the image of the
Lord Adinath. The ceilings are decorated with pliable scrollwork and geometric
This magnum opus of
architecture possesses around 1400 intricately carved pillars. The temple
comprises 24 pillared halls in the company of 80 domes, which are sustained
by 400 columns. A series of brackets makes a connection between the upper
and lower parts of the domes. These brackets have sculptures of deities
on their surface. Apart for this, the sight of carved nymphs at the height
of 45 feet catches the main attraction. It is startling to know that every
single pillar is carved gracefully and not one pillar resembles the other.
The 'mandap' or the
prayer hall boasts of two colossal bells that weigh 108 kg each. Chaumukha
Temple is shaped in the form of 'Nalinigulm Vimana' (heavenly aircraft).
This beautiful shape and structure provide a celestial appearance to the
temple. Perhaps, the temple took more or less 65 years due to the convolution
of its structure. Besides Chaumukha Temple, Parsavnath Temple is another
attraction of Ranakpur. This temple was constructed in the mid 15th century
and known for its carved windows. In the vicinity of this temple, there
are two other temples. These temples are dedicated to Lord Neminath (the
22nd Tirthankara) and Lord Surya Narayan (Sun God).
its architecture, Ranakpur Temple was also voted amongst the top 77 wonders
of the World. The religious intensity and stunning architecture of the
temple drag the pilgrims and tourists from around the World to the lands
Karni Mata Temple
Deshnok (Rat Temple)
Karni Mata Temple is a popular and unusual holy shrine of India. This
Temple is in a small town of Deshnok, which is located at a distance of
30 kms in south of Bikaner in Rajasthan. Karni Mata Mandir is easily accessible
by regular buses from Bikaner and Jodhpur. To ensure a comfortable journey,
one can also opt for taxis that can be availed from anywhere in Rajasthan.
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Karni, who is regarded as the incarnation
of Maa Durga.
the 14th century, Goddess Karni is said to have lived and performed many
miracles during her existence. Karni Mata was a mystic, who led a virtuous
life committed to the service of the poor and the oppressed of all communities.
The goddess is said to have laid the foundation of Deshnoke. As per the
stories, once when her youngest son drowned, Goddess Karni asked Yama
(the god of death) to bring him back to life.
Lord Yama replied
that he could not return her son's life. Thus, Karni Mata, being an incarnation
of Goddess Durga, restored the life of her son. At this point of time,
she announced that her family members would die no longer; in fact they
would incarnate in the form of rats (kabas) and ultimately, these rats
would come back as the members of her family. In Deshnok, there are around
600 families that assert to be the descendants of Karni Mata.
The present temple
dates back to the 15th century, when it was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh
of Bikaner. The striking façade of the temple is wholly built in
marble. Inside the temple complex, one can see a pair of silver doors
before the main shrine of the Goddess. These solid silver doors were donated
by Maharaja Gaj Singh, on his visit to this temple.
In the main shrine,
the image of the goddess is placed with holy things at her feet. Surrounded
by rats, Karni Mata is holding a trishul (trident) in one of her hands.
The image of Karni Mata is 75 cms tall, decked with a mukut (crown) and
a garland of flowers. On her either side, images of her sisters are placed.
Karni Mata Temple attracts numerous tourists and pilgrims throughout the
year, due to its unique presiding beings.
The temple has around
20,000 rats that are fed, protected and worshipped. Many holes can be
seen in the courtyard of this temple. In the vicinity of these holes,
one can see rats engaged in different activities. The Rats can be seen
here eating from huge metal bowls of milk, sweets and grains. To make
the holy rats safe, wires and grills are sited over the courtyard to avoid
the birds of prey and other animals.
It is regarded auspicious,
if a rat (kaba) runs across one's feet. Even, a glimpse of kaba (white
rat) is considered promising and fruitful. Twice a year, a festival is
celebrated in the honor of Karni Mata. A grand fair is organized during
this time and people come here to seek the blessings of the Goddess.
Shrinathji Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Lord Krishna.
Located at Nathdwara in Rajasmand district, Shrinathji Mandir is easily
accessible from anywhere in Rajasthan. Nathdwara is small town that is
truly famous for this temple. Shrinathji lies at a distance of 48 kms
from Udaipur, the city of lakes in Rajasthan. Udaipur is well-connected
to the major cities of the country by road, rail and air. From Udaipur,
one can take regular buses or hire taxis in order to reach Nathdwara.
Built in the 17th
century, Shrinathji Temple is dedicated to Lord Shrinathji (form of Lord
Krishna). 'Haveli of Shrinathji' is the synonymous phrase used for Shrinathji
Temple. The word 'Nathdwara' is made up of two terms, one being 'Nath'
that means 'the Lord' and the other is 'Dwara', which suggests 'gate'.
Thus, Nathdwara implies the 'gate of the lord'. Shrinathji forms an important
pilgrimage site for the Vaishnavites.
Like other temples
of India, Shrinathji Temple also has a story behind its foundation. As
per the story, the idol of Shrinathji was consecrated in Vrindavan (land
related to Lord Krishna). In the 17th century, Aurangzeb attacked the
Hindu temples in rant and rave. To safeguard the idol of Shrinathji, many
Rajput rulers tried their best, but all in vain. In 1672, Rana Raj Singh
made an effort to liberate the idol from the monarchy of Aurangzeb.
is believed that when the idol was being transferred to an unapproachable
place, the wheel of the cart sank deep down in the mud at a particular
place. The escorting priest perceived that this place has been chosen
by the Lord himself. Consequently, the temple was constructed on the same
spot. The temple is built in simple terms of architecture, yet the divine
aura of this temple is eternal.
The striking idol
of Shrinathji gets the major attraction and is actually worth seeing.
A glimpse of Lord makes one to feel the aesthetic world. Shrinathji represents
the form of Lord Krishna, when he raised the 'Govardhana' (a hill). Made
out in black stone, the image of the Lord appears majestic with his left
hand raised and the right hand confined in a fist. The Lord's chin is
adorned with a dazzling diamond, which is visible from a distance.
is one amongst the richest temples of India. It receives millions of rupees
as offering to the Lord. The temple authorities possess approximately
500 cows and the milk of these cows, is used for the preparation of sweets
and milk products. Among these cows, there is one cow that is considered
as Shrinathji's cow. This cow is believed to have come from the lineage,
which served the Lord from ages.
Formerly, the temple
used to receive wagon-loads of food and these were whispered to be consigned
by and consigned to Lord Shrinathji. The temple has food-grinders made
of gold and silver. It is also said to have four wells of 'Desi Ghee'.
The huge temple complex is divided into many sections, like the main shrine,
food, Prasad, Priests' lodges and stiching department, where tailors stitch
marvelous dresses of Shrinathji.
During the festivities
of Holi, Diwali and Janmashtami, devotees come in large numbers. Besides
Holi and Janmashtami, Annakutta is a major festival that is observed here
with a whole-hearted passion. Non-Hindus are allowed to visit this temple,
however with the exception of foreigners. Undoubtedly, Shrinathji Temple
is a place worth-visiting and feeling the spiritual delight.
Rajasthan In Details