| Temples in Rajasthan
Temples/ Pilgrimages/ Places of worship in Rajasthan
Location - Jaipur, 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 Adi Sankaracharya.
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 of brass.
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
The exquisitely 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 this period.
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.
| Tourist Attractions of Rajasthan|
The city of Jaipur is capital to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, famous for its colorful culture, forts, palaces, and lakes. . Main places to visit are :- Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar.
Jodhpur is situated at the edge of the Thar Desert with Jaisalmer on its west, Barmar, Jalor and Pali on its south, Bikaner on its north, and Nagaur on the eastern side and Nagaur on the eastern side. The city is like an oasis in the vast desert, with a variety of thorny shrubs all over the area.. Main places to visit are :- Umaid Bhawan Palace, Mehrangarh Fort , Jaswant Thade.
Udaipur is a one of the better-known tourist destinations of India and an integral part of any itinerary for Rajasthan, famous for its forts, palaces, and lakes. Main places to visit are :- Lake Palace, Jag Mandir.
| Other Tourist Destination in Rajasthan|
|Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Mandawa, Alwar, Mount-Abu , Bikaner, Mukundgarh , Bundi, Kota, Samode, Chittorgarh, Khimsar