It is not just the Jain temples which are the fabled monuments of devotion in Rajasthan. Bhinmal, especially, houses temples devoted to the Supreme Godhead in Hindu mythology- Lord Mahavishnu. The Varah Shyam Temple in Bhinmal is a temple dedicated to the Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is said that the demon Hiranyaksha had dropped the whole world into the bottom of the ocean so that the Devas would not be able to challenge his power. The Devas approached Mhavishnu and Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Varaha or a boar. He dived into the ocean and used his tusks to bring out the world out of the abyss of the ocean. The temple contains inscriptions and carvings which beautifully narrate this story.
Sundha Mata Temple
Located on the hilltop of the Aravalli Ranges, the Sundha Mata temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi and is considered as one of the most sacred places by the inhabitants of Rajasthan. Located on the Sundha hilltop of Jalore District, the temple is not very far away from the popular and only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu. The atmosphere of the temple as well as the place provides sanctifying solace to the visitors. The temple nurtures a serene environment which is sure to pacify any troubled soul.
Though not flaunting jaw-dropping architecture, the temple still appears magnificent in its white marble habiliment. A beautiful idol of Chamunda Devi is present under a huge stone. The temple premises also treasure inscriptions that are of great historical signifance . The inscriptions indicate the victory of the Chauhans over the Parmaras and other such events of historical significance. The Navratri festival is celebrated with great vivacity in the temple and it witnesses a large number of devotees who come to offer their prayers to the Mother Goddess.
The temple is a fascinating addition to the heritage sites of Rajasthan.
Nathdwara, a small town in Rajasthan, 48 kilometres north-east of Udaipur, is a pilgrimage spot for the devotees of Lord Krishna, where a manifestation of our Lord is present in His infant incarnation and worshipped as Shrinathji. Historically the formation of the ‘Haveli of Shrinathji’ or the mansion of our God, was initiated in the 17th century, during the barbarian destruction of the anti-Hindu Mughal ruler Aurengzeb. The idol was shifted from Mathura in 1672 A.D. along river Yamuna and was retained at Agra for almost six months, and finally while crossing the village Sihad or Sinhad in Mewar, the wheels of chariot in which the icon was being transported sank into mud and could not be moved any farther. The accompanying priests realised that the place was the Lord Shrinathji’s chosen spot and accordingly, the icon was installed in a temple there under the rule and protection of the then Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar. Due to the plunders and loots carried out by Holkars of Indore, the Medas and the Pindaris, the icon was shifted again and was protected at Udaipur and Ghasiyar under the patronage of Maharana Bheem Singh of Mewar. The temple has been designed in the lines of temple of Nanda Maharaj (Krishna’s father), in Vrindavan.
The icon of Shrinathji, carved out of black stone, is symbolic of Krishna ‘lila’, when He lifted the Govardhan Hill. Apart from eight sacred darshanas every day, namely Mangala, Shringar, Gval, Rajbhog, Uttanpan, Bhog, Sandhya, and Shayan, a number of other rituals are taken place. A motley group of devotees gather here during festivals like Holi, Janmashtami, Annakutta and Diwali.
The aura of spiritual enlightenment and blissful union of faith and divinity in Nathdwara, also known as the Apollo of Mewar, makes Shrinathji temple the centre of attraction of Udaipur. Visit and explore !
Shiv Bari Temple
Bikaner has always been known for its delicacies and the splendid tourist locations. The strong forts,the serene temples-every spice of Rajasthan’s culture is present and flourishing in Bikaner. Adding up to the spice of this diverse and magnanimous culture is the Shiv Bari Temple. Located at a distance of 6 kms from the main city, the temple showcases one of the most intricate, exquisite and perfected forms of architecture. The temple reflects a variety of miniature paintings which represent the artistic sentiments of the people in that era. Built of lustrous red sandstone, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is a memorial, built in the memory of Maharaja Lal Singhji by his son, Maharaja Doongar Singh.
The ambience that Shiv Bari Temple creates is captivating and obviously cannot be enjoyed vicariously. So grab your packs to get a firsthand experience of this mesmerizing destination.
Few kilometers away from Chittorgarh, in the Udaipur-Chittorgarh highway, is situated an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, popularly known as Sanwariarji temple or Sanwaliya Seth Mandir. Darkness, has always been considered as something inferior or negative, may it dwell in a corner or on a skin. But very interestingly, Hinduism upholds a dark God, and takes pleasure in stories of his miraculous childhood and also in his potentials and might as an avatar of Vishnu, breathing long ago with the common people of our land. Krishna, is worshipped in different names, but the essence of love and devotion attached is the same. This particular temple also holds such an essence, in search of which many Krishna lovers arrive and pray to their heart’s content, asking, making wishes, or simply surrendering oneself to that divine grip unto which human soul finds a reason to live, a reason to serve. Guest houses are built in the campus of this temple where devotees stay and do ‘seva’, trying to compensate some sin or genuinely serving in the name of the Lord. Many people donate here for the upkeeping of the temple. But Krishna asks nothing but love, and so dearly accepts it, returns it, that you tend to coil and recoil in the web of love and harmony, and certainly shall find a fresh enthusiasm which will purify every bit of you.
Salasar Balaji Temple
Lord Hanuman is worshipped as an epitome of strength and devotion and as a watchful protector in India. The stories about the lord lifting an entire hill of the Dronagiri hills of the Himalayas may seem to be mythical stories to some, but it is undeniable that Lord Hanuman is the very basis of firm faith of the people of India in the greatness of the Lord. Salasar Balaji or Salasar Dham, situated in the Churu district of Rajasthan, is a temple dedicated to the lord of power knowledge and strength, Lord Hanuman. The temple attracts innumerable number of visitors throughout the year, especially on Chaitra Purnima an Ashwin Purnima, when large fairs are organized.
Certain stories revolve around the origin of the Salasar Balaji temple, but the most promising one is that one a farmer, while ploughing his land, found an idol which was buried in the ground. He took the idol to his wife. Upon cleaning the idol, they were amazed to find that the idol was of Lord Hanuman. The news spread and soon reached the ears of the Thakur of the village. That night, he saw Lord hanuman in his dream who instructed him to transport the idol to Salasar in Churu district. Accordingly, the idol was sent to Salasar and the temple came to be known as Salasar Balaji or Salasar Dham.
The temple flaunts its white marble dominated architecture and artistic works of gold and silver. In orde to give a rich look to the temple, exquisite floral and mosaic designs in gold and silver were made in the temple’s prayer hall. A number of fascinating rituals like the coconut tying and Savamani are a trademark of this temple. The prime motive of the Salasar Balaji is to promote the worship of Lord Hanuman, and henceforth, Lord Rama.
Ranakpur, a small village located in the Pali district of Rajasthan may seem to be a place of diminished importance when it comes to tourism, but it holds in vicinity one of the most spectacular Jain temples of India. The fabled Jain temple of Ranakpur leaves anyone who visits this place in a state of utter amazement by virtue of its unique architectural style.
The Jain temple mainly flaunts its unique Maru-Gurjara style of architecture, with light coloured marbles adorning the exteriors of the temple. The temple is spread over an area of approx. 3740 m2. The temple instills awe in its visitors by virtue of the beautiful shikaras, turrets and cupolas which rise majestically from the hill top. The pillars are carved out in such a way that each pillar is adorned in exquisite and rich designs. One of the many astonishing facets of this temple is that no two pillars are same in the temple and it is rumored that it is almost impossible to count the number of pillars of the temple. The temple is designed with four faces with symbolize the conquest of all the four directions of the cosmos by the Tirthankara. Apart from the carvings on the pillars, the temple also treasures some other beautiful artistic carving works.
The temple is also historically significant and finds mention in many of the fascinating historical chapters of India. The Jai temple, thus, is sure to leave an indelible impact on your mind and senses. All you need to do is experience it for yourself.
Sri Ramdev Temple, also known as Ramdevra Temple, is homage to Bhagvan Ramdevji Maharaj, a Tanwar Rajput, who is held as an incarnation of God, born to benefit humanity. The miracles and meditation of this saint, and his penance, earned him spiritual vigour to enlighten the society. This temple is located in Pokharan, in Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan. Secular in its views, the temple and the Ramsarovar talab (water tank) is believed to wash away the sins of thousands of devotees, granting them contentment and peace of mind. The Ramdevra Fair, which is a popular highlight of the village, attracts miscellaneous groups of people from different places of the country.
This occasion is gaily celebrated in the months of August and September. Baba Ramdevji has attained the stature of folk-deity in this place and folklore connected with him sits on the tongue tip of the local community. His followers hail him as an Avatar of Vishnu and irrespective of religion and caste differences; worship him and his ideologies devoutly. There are many temples in his name, both in Rajasthan and elsewhere in India, which is a constant reminder of the God-like figure Baba Ramdevji and his contributions to social development and moral growth. It is here, in Rajasthan, where, luxurious paradigm connects with religion, belief, humanity, and austerity, blending into a way of living!
Pushkar Brahma Temple
Seldom do we find a temple in India which is dedicated to the Lord of creation, Lord Brahma. But when it comes to Royal Rajasthan, even rarity is a paradigm of its unique culture. The Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, situated in Pushkar, Rajasthan is one of the very few temples which is dedicated to the lord of creation, Lord Brahma. Located close to the Pushkar Lake, the Brahma temple is speculated to be almost 2000 years old. It is built out of marbles and stone slabs.
A fascinating story relates to the Brahma temple and Pushkar, which says that Lord Brahma had to perform a Yajna at Pushkar, but because of the absence of his consort Goddess Saraswati there, he married a Gurjar girl Gayatri in order to complete the Yajna. When the Goddess arrived, she was in serious rage to find Gayatri occupy the place which was rightfully hers. She, thus, cursed Lord Brahma that no one would worship him. However, then she reduced the curse by permitting his worship in Pushkar.
The temple is believed to have been constructed by the great sage Vishwamitra, whilst Lord Brahma himself selected the site of temple. Pushkar has also been described in scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world. Though it does not remain the only Brahma temple in the world, but it is listed in the ten most religious places of the world and the five most religious places for the Hindus in India.
The temple is constructed out of marbles and stone blocks. The statue of Brahma is in a crossed leg position which represents him as the creator of the universe. Saraswati sits to the right of brahma, and Gayatri to the left. Many other architectural designs and sculptures add up to the beauty of the place.
The Brahma temple definitely proves to be a treat to the eyes.
Royal Rajasthan is particularly famous for its Jain temples- their beautiful architecture and exquisite designs. Another feather in the cap, the Ajmer Jain temple, also known as Soniji ki Nasiyan, is one of the most exquisitely designed temple, instilling awe in anyone who visits it. The inner part of the temple, also called the ‘ Swarna Nagari ‘, has several wooden gold plated figures that find mention in Jain religion.
Ajmer Jain temple flaunts one of the most architecturally beautiful structures and also magnificent depictions of various facets of Jain religion, including their ‘Tirthankaras’. The temple is dedicated to their greatly revered, the first of the ‘Tirthankaras’, Lord Rishavdev. The origin of the Jain temple dates back to as early as 1894-1895 A.D. The architecture of the temple draws particular attention of the people, as it is built in red sandstone and beautifully adorned with wooden artworks, carvings and other delicate paintings. Marble steps lead to the main hall of the temple which is adorned ornately with the images of the sacred ‘Tirthankaras’. Inside the temple, Lord Rishavdev is found sitting in a position which is believed to be a symbol of his impartation of knowledge, wisdom and the divine truth of life. There also exists a library inside the temple which mainly consists books on Jain religion and other religious scriptures.
Ajmer Jain temple is sure to mesmerize anyone who visits this place, by virtue of its sanctifying solace and aura that pervades across miles through the air.
Another attraction that adds a sparkling feather in the cap of Bikaner is the Mukam temple.Located at a distance of 80 kms from Bikaner city, the temple is dedicated to Guru Jambheshwarji, who is considered to be the founder of Bishnoi sect and an incarnation of Lord Mahavishnu himself. This place is believed to be his last resting place and hence the name, ‘Mukam’.The temple is adorned beautifully in white marble.The Samadhi of Guru Jambheshwarji is near the Kheri and Jaal tree, around which the Mukam temple is built. The Mukam temple is a place of great religious importance for the Bishnois. On every new moon night, devotees throng the place and it is a sight to witness. Two fairs are held every year in the temple, one in the Hindu calendar month of Ashwin,and the other in the month of Falgun.
Splendid architecture, religious serenity and an innumerable number of devotees thronging the place just to get a glimpse of their spiritual guru-that is the essence of Mukam temple.
Moti Doongari Temple
In the heart of the Pink City Jaipur, is a hub of faith, idolized in the form of Lord Ganesha, known as Moti Doongri Ganesh Temple. The idol is carved out of stone and intricate lattice work on marble is seen. It is said to have been constructed by Seth Jai Ram Paliwal in Ashok Nagar and later built upon.
The temple and its structure resembles a Scottish Castle. Its architecture, modern. India being a country where a divine power is hailed and worshipped as a priority, and Hinduism being a religion where spiritual bond with Gods and Goddesses is claimed, have continued to make its followers revolve around the supreme power and retained their belief by reciprocating it with fruits of wishes, or at least peace of minds. This elephant headed Lord of prosperity dwelling in the pearl shaped hill, from which Moti Doongri gets its name, calls many devotees , thereby making it a popular destination for tourist and wanderers. During Ganesh Chaturthi and Paush Bada, the count of devotees increase.
There are many interesting stories as to how this temple was built; and these allow us a glimpse at the glory of Jaipur, the splendor of Rajasthan and the deepth of religion in India!
Karni Mata Temple
Legends and fascinating phenomena always revolve around all the heritage destinations of Rajasthan. With beliefs that are considered myths by some and devotion by others, Rajasthan never fails to make us glide into a surreal atmosphere of ethereal joy, no matter what. The Karni Mata temple is another such glistening pearl in the oyster of the most fascinating and intriguing destinations to visit.
The temple is the abode of almost 20,000 rats and it attracts people from all over the world, some who come out of curiosity and some by the essence of devotion. Interesting anecdotes revolve around the mysterious dwelling of such a huge number of rats in the temple. The local dwellers narrate such stories with great vigor and interest.
Mughal architecture is predominant in the structural design of the temple. It was completed in the late 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner. Apart from that, silver doorways and other artistic works add to the beauty of the place. The temple also consists some white rats among the large numbers of black rats. These white rats are considered to be especially holy as they are rumored to be the manifestations of Karni Mata herself and four sons.
A vibrant fair is also a part of this attraction. The fair is organized two time a year, one in March-April period and the other one in September-October period. Karni Mata Temple is possibly one of the most fascinating destinations that any tour plan can offer. Don’t forget to enjoy the essence of the place!
Udaipur- the abode treasuring the magnificence and grandeur of Rajasthan’s regality, is known all the world over for its spectacular and mind boggling palaces. But that is not the only attraction that you should look out for when you visit this land of royalty. Situated at the heart of this magnificent city is the Jagdish temple. A popular tourist destination, the temple was once known as Jagannath Rai, but later named Jagdish Ji. It finds its place in the list of the most vivacious and ancient monuments of Udaipur as well as Rajasthan.
The use of a double storied hall along with a double storied Sandhara sanctum adds unique features to its architecture. Lanes from the city wall converge radially into the temple. The temple presents a paradigm of Maru-Gurjara Architecture.
The essence that the temple treasures is too ethereal to be enjoyed vicariously. Only a visit to this sanctum of solace can unveil the true essence encapsulated within.
Govind-Dev Ji Temple
Lord Krishna is the symbol of all love, vigor, compassion and life on earth. The magic of love that Lord Krishna spreads engulfs every soul in its rejuvenating essence. Regal Rajasthan, with its devotional as well as historical attachment to Lord Krishna, is also not bereft of the Lord’s spiritualistic aura and grandeur. Govind Dev Ji temple, situated in Jaipur, is dedicated to the Supreme Godhead. The idol for the temple was brought from Vrindavan by Raja Sawai Man Singh II.
Popular stories narrate the origin of the temple, the most popular one about Lord Krishna’s great grandson Bajranabh, who once asked his grandmother about the Lord’s divine appearance. When she narrated him, he sculpted an idol of the Lord. But his grandmother offered constructive criticism by saying that only the feet resembled that of Lord Krishna. Again he went on with his task of sculpting the Lord’s idol but again, only the chest resembled that of Lord Krishna. Finally, the third and final idol bore exact semblance to the Supreme Godhead. The first one came to be known with the Name Lord “Madan Mohanji”. The second one got recognition as Lord “GopiNathji” and the third One, The Majestic Holy Image is Lord “Govind Dev Ji”.
Let us retrace our steps back to our glorious mythological era. The age of great sages, devotees who dedicated their entire life to the Lord, practicing austerity and refraining from all the worldly pleasures. The atmosphere in which they lived was so much full of tranquility and solace that even now, the serenity instills new life in people.
Rajasthan is lucky enough to house such a destination- the Gaumukh temple. The great sage Vashishtha’s Ashram and the Gaumukh Temple are in juxtaposition and at around 5 kms from the Hanuman temple. The area consist of dense, green vegetation and impregnable forests. Hence, it is advised to the visitors by the authorities to visit the place with expert supervision and guidance during the rainy season and after sunset. The ambience and aur of the place cannot be felt vicariously. The essence can only be felt by witnessing it yourself !
The royal place of Udaipur is not just fabled for its spectacular and magnificent palaces, but it also treasures some of the most beautiful and exquisite temples of India. Built in the royal city of Udaipur, the Eklingji Temple is a dedication to Lord Shiva, the name of the temple depicting a form of Lord Shiva. The construction of the temple began in the year 971 A.D by the Sisodia dynasty of Mewar. The temple instills awe in its visitors by virtue of its spectacular architectural marvel. The temple complex consists of hundred and eight temples, so beautifully sculpted that it is sure to mesmerize anyone visiting this place of solace and divinity.
The main temple was constructed somewhere in the 15th century, which was renovated from the dilapidated remains of an earlier existing temple. Marble and granite work finds ample usage in the construction of the temple, along with the application of double storied mandaps, and a pyramidal covering at the top. The temple houses a four faced image of Lord Shiva in black marble. The temple is located 23kms from Udaipur and is well connected by means of transportation available in that region.
The Eklingji temple is definitely a must add destination to your travel plan.
At a distance of two and a half kilometres from Mount Abu, in the Sirohi district, is located the Dilwara Jain Temples, which was built by Vastupal Tejpal between 11th and 13th centuries AD. Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath; Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Neminatha; Pithalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Rishabha; Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshva; Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Mahavira; are the five temples which follows the Jain ideals of abstinence and simplicity.
Apart from being a significant pilgrimage site, the Dilwara Temples are also known for its architectural perfection. Vimal Vasahi temple outshines, being carved entirely out of white marble. It was built in 1031 A.D. by Vimal Shah, a minister of Bhimdev I, the Chalukya King (Solanki Maharaja) of Gujarat. The Luna Vasahi temple was built in 1230 by two Porwad brothers – Vastupal and Tejpal – both ministers of a Virdhaval, the Vaghela ruler of Gujarat. The details on the ceilings, doorways, pillars and panels are minute and threaded to Jainism.
The tourist is made aware of the tour hours outside the temple. The highlight is the blend of ascetic life and ornamental structure of the temples which makes it worth visiting!
It’s not just forts and palaces that glisten as a paradigm of Rajasthan’s grandeur and magnificence. The abode of virile warriors not only fascinates people by virtue of its gargantuan structures, but also allures them spiritually into the majestic and tranquil ethereality of its temples. The solace and peace that prevails in the environment of these ‘mandirs’ makes one feel close to Lord’s divinity.
Exquisitely adorned in white marble, the Birla Mandir makes a fine addition to the pantheon of temples. Constructed by the Birla group, the temple is dedicated to Lord Narayana and his spouse, Goddess Lakshmi. Stationed over the hill top of Moti Dungari hill, the temple flaunts exquisite art work in tinted glass windows. The most fascinating attraction of the temple is its luminescent nature in moonlight, that instills awe in every visitor who is always ready to be mesmerized by the splendor of the place. The temple not only patronizes Hinduism but it also flaunts paintings and carvings which showcase teachings propagated by different religions. Birla Mandirs all over India are famous because of architectural marvel, which comprises of fine carvings and structural work on marbles as well as their lush-green gardens which add fervor to their enticing beauty.
Birla Mandir, Jaipur is definitely a treat to the eyes, wondrous to behold and even more alluring in the midst of its sanctifying solace.
72 Jinalya Temple
Jain temples are an integral part of Rajasthan’s religious culture. A number of Jain temples and each temple unique in itself- such diversity in temples depicting the same ideology is a rarity. Continuing the streak of Jain temples is the Jinalya Bhinmal Jain temple. It is located in Bhinmal town which is at a distance of 72 kms from Jalore main town. Bhinmal is of great historical significance as it is the birthplace of the great mathematician and astronomer Brahmagupta and Sanskrit poet Magha. Bhinmal was once the capital of the Gujjar kingdom, during the reign of Gujjar Pratihar.
The city constains some inscriptions in many of the temples which state that the twenty fourth Jain Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira Swami wandered about here.