Pilgrimages/ Places of worship in Rajasthan
Birla Mandir or the
Lakshmi - Narayan Temple, situated just below the Mooti Doongari,
which is a replica of a Scottish castle, is one of the most
revered Hindu temples, dedicated to Shri Lakshmi-Narayan.
Built on raised ground, it is surrounded by large lush green
gardens. The temple has been constructed in white marble and has
three domes, each portraying the different approaches to religion.
Eklingji Temple is
located about twelve miles to the North of Udaipur in Rajasthan.
This deity was regarded as the pragmatic ruler by the Maharajas of
Mewar - who considered themselves to be regents (Dewans) under
Eklingji. A beautiful town, Eklingji attracts thousands of
visitors throughout the year. This temple is said to have been
founded by Acharya Viswaroopa a contemporary of Adi Sankaracharya
and is linked with the Sharada Math at Dwaraka founded again by
The temple occupies an area of about 2500 sq. feet and is about 65
feet in height. The temple area is fortified and a strong wall
runs around it. The main entrance to the temple on the Western
side welcomes visitors into a big hall resting on profusely carved
pillars. In this hall, is a silver image of Nandi. There are two
more Nandis in the temple, one made of black stone and the other
Other deities housed in the temple complex include Parvati, Ganesh,
Ganga, Kartikeya, Yamuna and Saraswathi. There are also small
temples dedicated to Ambamata, Kalka Mata and Ganesh in the temple
complex. There is another temple called Nathon Ka Mandir in the
temple complex with inscriptions dating back to the 10th century
CE. No worship is offered here.
Ossian is located at
the edge of the Thar Desert, 65 kms north west of Jodhpur. The
temples here are among the earliest of all medieval temples of
Rajasthan. Ruins of several temples dot the present day Ossian.
The earlier temples are almost like miniature shrines, some only
eight feet in height. Among these intricately carved red sandstone
edifices, three are dedicated to Harihara- or the union of Vishnu
and Shiva. Profusely carved from their raising plinths, pillars
and right upto the very pinnacle of the spires, these temples are
considered architectural masterpieces even by foreign scholars
such as Percy Brown, James Burgess and Herman Goetz.
Among the oldest group of temples stands the Sun Temple, which was
built in 10th century. They are often compared to the carvings of
the Sun Temple of Konark. According to records , right in the
middle of the town stood another magnificent Sun temple. This, and
a score other beautiful shrines were subsequently destroyed during
the Turkish and Afghan invasions of India. Out of the more than
100 temples this town once had, barely 16 stand today. Even these
have been ravaged by time.
Although majority of the temples at Ossian have decayed with time
and have even lost images of their deities- the one temple that
remains vibrant is the shrine of Sachiyamata on a nearby hillock.
Built in 1234 AD, this temple was dedicated to Durga or Mahisasura
Mardini. Today it has become a very important shrine for Jains.
Govind Devji Temple
Located in the
central pavilion of the elaborate sprawling Jai Niwas Garden, to
the north of the magnificent Chandra Mahal, is the miniature
temple of Lord Krishna. The idol of Shri Krishna, originally kept
in a temple in Vrindavan, was installed here by Sawai Jai Singh
II, as the ruling deity of his family.
Sri Govinddevji, the family deity of Amber's Kachawaha Dynasty,
now dwells in Jaipur, along with his consort Radha. The image,
nevertheless, earlier existed in Vrindaban, where the Lord resided
in the great temple built for him by Raja Mansingh, which was
consecrated in 1590 AD.
Dilwara Jain Temples
carved marble temples of Dilawara in Mount Abu are the finest
examples of Jain temples in India. The hallmark of these temples
is the crisp translucent shell-like treatment of marble, which
surpasses anything seen elsewhere.
No matter how much one hears or reads about these temples, nothing
can prepare one for the sheer elegance and beauty of marble as
displayed here. These temples were dedicated to their saints known
as the tirthankars and also served as storehouses of illustrated
manuscripts and treatises.
The period from AD 800 to 1200 was one of great social awakening
and religious fervor among the people of this region. Jainism (an
ancient Indian religion that originated in 600 BC) found its firm
foundation in Rajasthan. With matrimonial alliances between Mughal
and Rajput rulers and a liberal policy towards Hindus adopted by
the great Mughal Akbar, this was a period of tranquility in most
parts of Rajasthan. Old Hindu shrines were renovated and new ones
including the temples of Ranakpur and Dilwara, were built during
Brahma Temple - Pushkar
This is the only
existing temple dedicated to lord Brahma and was constructed in
the 14th century, standing on a high plinth with marble steps
leading up to it.
A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the
sanctorum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver
turtle is embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors name
engraved on them.
Jain Temple - Ranakpur
60 km from Udaipur,
and in a remote and peaceful valley of the Aravalli range stands
one of the biggest and most important Jain temples in India- the
Ranakpur complex. It is extremely beautiful. The main temple is
the Chaumukha Temple, of 4 faced temple, dedicated to Adinath. It
was built in 1439, beautifully crafted. The marble temple has 29
halls supported by 1,444 pillars, no two of them alike.
Within the complex are two other Jain temples to Neminath and
Parasnath and, a little distance away, a Sun Temple. One km from
the main complex is the Amba Mata temple. The temple is open from
noon to 5 pm.