North India  |  Temples of Rajasthan

Temples of Rajasthan

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 Tremple

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.
Pushkar 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.

Constructed entirely 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 coins.

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 Mount Abu

Dilwara Jain Temples Mount Abu

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 Buy 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.
Dilwara 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.
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 Nathdwara

Shrinathji Temple Nathdwara

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.

It 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.

Shrinathji Temple 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.