Temples in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a desert state known for its ethnicity and culture, it is a place that is also well known for its stunning palaces and also historical forts. But the next time you plan to visit Rajasthan, make sure you also visit the many temples that this state has. They all depict magnificent architectural marvels. Some of the greatest attractions of this state are the beautiful temples spread across several regions. A few of these temples were built centuries ago and give you a sneak peak into ancient religious architecture. A trip to these temples is sure to transport you to the past and take you on a journey through history.
Birla Mandir is a beautiful Hindu temple located in Jaipur. It is a part of the many Birla temples that are located all across the country. This temple is not an attraction only for its architecture but is also known for the scenic location. Located at the base of the stunning Moti Dungari hill, this temple is also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple.
This temple is one of the biggest attractions of Jaipur. The Birla Temple was built in 1988 in dedication to Vishnu and also Lakshmi who is known to be the Goddess of wealth. Because the temple is constructed by one of the country’s biggest business tycoons, there is no doubt about the architecture. It was built using pure white marble and the massive domes symbolize different ways of one religion. The outside of the temple is very interesting and it displays historical figures like Socrates, Buddha and also Confucius. Even though it is a temple, the architecture is very contemporary and not ancient. Flanked by lush gardens, the temple should be a must visit for those who love such scenic sights. The best time to visit this temples is at night when then the moonlight brings out a distinct glow. It will leave you mesmerized. The staircase that takes you the temple is used by many devotes as a seating place. You will find many deities of the Hindu religion here and also depiction of many important mythological events.
Opening hours: Open all days 05:00 am to 09:00 pm
Entry fee for visiting Birla Mandir: Free
The Brahma temple is also popularly known as Jagatpita Brahma Mandir and is located in Pushkar, It is said to be one those few temples that are made in dedicated to Brahma. And because it is located very close to the beautiful Pushkar lake, this temple is even more a must visit. The temple has images of Brahma and his wife Gayatri.
The Brahma Temple is almost 2000 years old and was made using marble and stone slabs. This temple sees many visitors during Karthik Poornima which is a festival celebrated in the name of Brahma.
Pushkar is a city that has almost 500 temples, out of which the Brahma temple is the most significant one. Though the structure of Brahma temple dated back to only the 14th century, it is older than that. According to beliefs, it is said that the Brahma temple was built by Vishwamitra, a sage after Brahma’s yagna.
If you talk a little more about the history, it is said that Brahma had seen a demon named Vajranabha trying to harass people and even kill his children. Brahma instantly killed the demon with his lotus-flower weapon and the weapon fell in three different places. And today these three spots are the Pushkar lakes- Madya Pushkar, Kanishta Pushkar Jyeshta Pushkar. The name Pushkar literally means Flower(pushpa)- Hand( kar).
Later Brahma decided to do a yagna at the main lake and to make sure his yagna isn’t interrupted, he created stunning hills around him. He asked the Gods to protect the yagna and make sure no demon poses as a threat and hindrance to it. However, while Brahma was performing his yagna, his wife Savitri couldn’t be a part of it when required. This is when Brahma decided to marry Gayatri and carried out the yagna successfully.
Things took a turn when Savitri returned only to find Gayatri sitting in a place that was rightfully hers. Infurittaed by this, she cursed that Brahma would never be worshiped except in Pushkar. She also cursed Indra that he would suffer loss in battles and Vishnu would have to endure the pain of separating from his wife. In a fit of rage, he cursed every God who was even in a small manner a part of the yagna.
But her curse was easily mellowed by Gayatri who had gained powers from the yagna and blessed Pushkar to be the most important place of pilgrimages.And that is why Pushkar and the Brahma temple are the most visited places of worship by devotees.
Apart from such a rich historical significance, you must visit this temple also for the architecture. The pillared canopies of this temple are what you should look out for. The best part about this temple is the symbol of hamsa and also the mount of brahma. There is also a red colored shikhara which is 700 feet tall. The numerous silver coins on the walls are offerings to Brahma given by devotees. Also look out for the s silver turtle inside the mandal that is also build by marble.
Opening hours of Brahma temple: January to December
Open all days 07:00 am to 06:00 pm
The Dilwara temples that were built to Jain Tirthankars are popular for the architectural beauty. The temples of Dilwara were constructed in the 11th and the 13 centuries. The credit of this beautiful temple must be given to the ministers of Solanki rulers who built the Dilwara temples. This spot is one of the most revered places of worship for Jains. And for the rest who haven’t visited this temple yet. You should be here to marvel at the beauty and grandeur. There are a total of five temples that have been built in dedication to different people like Adinath, Nemi Nathji, Mahavir Swami, Rishabhdev and also Parshvanath. Each of these temples is unique in their own way. The most interesting and attractive part about these temples are the gateway and entrance that has been made so magnificently. And because the temples are also nestled beautifully in the middle of forested hills, there is no doubt about witnessing picturesque landscapes.
In Rajasthan, you will find several Jain temples, however according to popular opinion; the Dilwara temples remain unparalleled in terms of the architectural perfection. The intricately carved ceilings, stunning doorways and pillars and also the ornamental detailing make the Dilwara temples a must-visit.
Of all the five temples in Dilwara the most famous are the Vimal Vasahi and the Luna Vasahi
Temples. You can easily find accommodation near the temple complex ranging from luxury to budget hotels. And you can also consider accommodation in mount Abu which is just 2.5 km away from the temple.
Opening hours of Dilwara Temples: January to December
Open all days 12:00 pm to 05:00 pm
Entry fee for Visiting Dilwara Temples: Free
The popular and most revered temple of Eklingji is a Shiva temple located approximately 22 km away from Udaipur in the beautiful town of Kailashpuri. This town is also called as Eklingji because of the temple that is so famous.
Eklingji Nath was the king of Mewar and they have been the family deity of the Mewars for every long time. If you look at the temple, it is nothing less than exquisite. The Eklingji temple does have a big mandal with carvings that are different from the rest. The roof of this hall is in the shape of a pyramid. As you enter the temple you will find a silver image of Nandi who was Shiva’s bull. You will also find carvings of this bull beautiful carved out of black stone and also brass. The idol of Shiva is 50 feet tall and there are four faces that depict the different four forms of Shiva. The one facing the east is the sun god and the face facing the west is Brahma who is the creator of the universe. There are also temples that have been made in dedication to Saraswati and Yamuna. The whole temple has many things that will leave you stunned. Shivratri is celebrated with much pomp and joy here. The temple is decorated and so is the idol of Shiva. Eklingji like you now know is a revered place of devotion especially for Hindus. And if you are visiting only to enjoy the beauty of the temple’s architecture and making, you should come on any day except Monday when the temple is relatively less crowded.
Inside the beautiful Jaislamer fort is the group of seven Jain temples. They were all built between the15th and 16th centuries. The temples are made of yellow sandstone and the first temple that you will come across is the Chandraprabhu which was made in dedication to the eighth tirthankar who is symbolized with a moon. The mandapa(hall) and the flawlessly sculpted pillars are the main features of this temple. Before you enter any of these temples, make sure you keep your shoes and any leather item outside. To the right of this temple is the Rikhabdev temple that has the finest sculptures on its walls and these sculptures are well protected by cabinets made of glass and also by pillars that are attractively sculpted and carries portrayals of apsaras and Gods.
The Jain temples are built in Dilwara style and hence are famous all across the glove for its architecture. The name of this type of architecture was derived from the Dilwara temples that are situated near Mount Abu. A visit to the Jain temples will give you a peaceful feeling with a very positive vibe and aura. The temple complex is open for devotees all morning until 12 in the noon. To be here during sunrise is something that you must do.
If you love archaeology, you must also considering visiting that Gyan Bhandar library for they have some of the best and rarest manuscripts.
Karni Mata Temple
Another great temple in Rajasthan is the Karni Mata temple which is located very close to Bikaner. The Karni Mata temple is famous for the 2000 black rats that are said to live in the temple ansd the interesting part is that these rats ate revered. This temple sees large number of tourists and devotees out of devotion and also curiosity. The holy rats here are called as kabbas.
The 600 year old Karni Mata temple is also known as Nari Mata which is dedicated to Durga and the idol of Durga here is seen holding a trishul.
As per popular folklore it is said that Durga the place where the temple stands today is where Durga lived and performed miracles in the 14th century. The deity of Durga is also said to protect the one-time royal family. The story behind the rat population in this temple is a fascinating one. It is said that Karni Mata’s son Lakshnam was trying to drink water from a tank but he fell and drowned. Devastated with this, Karni Mata urged Yama, the God of death to bring back her child back to life. On her insistence, Karni Mata was granted a wish hat Laxman and all her other male children will be reincarnated as rats.
And this is how the temple is believed to have got so many rats. There are about 20,000 rats that roam around freely in the temple and there are also many devotees who ensure that they offer food or anything sweet to the rats. The rats eating their offering are also considered to be very holy.
Kiradu Ancient Temples
Located at a distance of 35 km from Barmer are the beautiful Kiradu ancient temples that are five in total. The temples are known for their unique style of architecture and sculpture. Out of the five temples the Someshvara temple is the most stunning one. Also symbolizing a Solanki style of architecture, the Kiradu ancient temples should be on your list of must-visits. The Kiradu ancient temples are also known as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan because of the erotic sculptures that can be found here. The temples are believed to have been built in the 11th and 12th centuries. Originally called Kiradkot, it was the Kiradu clan who ruled during the 8th century. As per popular folklore, it is also believed that once a saint left his disciple in Kiradu so that he took care of the people there. However, nobody except for the potter’s wife did as the saint wishes. On the saint’s return, he was furious to see that nobody cared for the people and in a fit of rage cursed the town. He asked the potter’s wife o leave and the town and never returns. But out of curiosity, the wife returned and was instantly turned into stone. Her statue can still be seen in the outskirts of Kiradu. You must visit this temple for its beauty and architecture.
Ranakpur Jain temple
Located between Jodhpur and Udaipur is a beautiful town called Ranakapur. It is situated exactly 162 km from Jodhpur nestled on a beautiful valley on the Aravalli range. If you ever plan to explore Rajasthan, you must visit Ranakpur that is widely known for its stupendous temples, architecture that is also filled with pillars. They are mostly popular for their Jain temples that are al made of marble. Of all the temples here that most famous one was built in dedication to Tirthankara Adinatha.
The legend as per locals is that a local businessman who was also a Jain named Dharma Shah was the man who first started building the temple and this occurred in the 15th century. He derived this idea of constructing such a beautiful temple as per a divine vision. The architecture of this temple is a sight to behold. With four chaumukha which means the four faces, it symbolized the Tirthankara’s journey to seek the four cardinal directions. If you look closely, and also if you are an architecture buff, you will realize that the temple bas been built on the basis of the ancient Mirpur Jain temple.
Because Ranakpur is a town that has many temples, it sees many devotees as tourists visiting every year. It is one of the most important and significant pilgrim sites for Jains. The temple is vastly spread over 48,000 sq ft. Also since the construction of this temple was immensely supported by Rana Kumbha, the town got is names as Ranakpur.
Along with the four chaumukhas, this temple also has 29 stunning halls that are all pillared and 80 beautiful domes that are supported by 1444 pillars exact. You should be here to view the beauty and grandeur of this beautiful temple. Situated amidst plus landscapes, a visit to this temple is sure to give you some peace of mind. The whole vibe and aura of this temple is believed to be very soothing and peaceful.
Sachiya Mata Temple
Another great temple situated in Osian, Rajasthan is the Sachiya Mata temple. Osian is a quaint town situated very close to Jodhpur. This temple was built in dedication to Sachiya Devi and was constructed by the Parmar king called Upendre, He built this for his kuldevi in the 10th century CE.
A large section of Marwadis, Jaimsa, Brahmins, Oswal and Agarwal and several other castes worship the Sachiya Devi
The history of the name Sachiya is as follows: Sachi was the daughter of the Pauloma, a Asura King who ruled a big and one of the best kingdoms. He was a very generous king and also did everything is his best to keep the people of his kingdom happy including sponsoring many Brahmins. Vrut was the chief of the King’s army and he had desried to wish Sachi. However, Sachi took this as an insult since Vrut was her father’s army servant.
Vrut soon became aware of the thoughts and immediately left the town and Pauloma’s service to continue worshipping to Shiva. Seeing his dedication, Shiva was immensely pleased and put of joy blessed him with a boon that Vrut will never be killed by any kind of weapons of those times.
Vrut made the most of this blessing and went on to build a great army and with his immortality boon he also set out to take over the Aryan lands and build a bigger kingdom than Pauloma.
And the responsibility of defending the Vrut kingdom from Vruth was given to Indra. Indra was well aware of his powers and boon and because he knew of his blessing Indra also approached Dadhici a sage who was believed to have bones that were stronger than any weapon of those times. Dadhichi happily agreed and in a self sacrifice act gave away his bones to Indra to prepare a weapon that was one of a kind. The weapon is known as Vajra.
Vajra is today considered as the highest award of bravery named as Param Vir Chakra. This Vajra symbol is clearly seen on this award.
After Indra made created this weapon, he set out to rage a war against the Vrut kingdom and suggested that whoever wins the war will marry Sachi. Since Indra had made a weapon that could never be broken, he had already defied Vrut emerged and has fate had it, Indra emerged victories in this war.
This is the history of Sachi and is now know n as Sachiya. There is a different history of the Sachi that is according to the Jains.
This temple has a great architecture and is a sight to behold. The idol of this temple is decorated with colorful clothes and adorned with beautiful jewelry. If you love the sight of beautiful temples, you must explore the Sachia Mata Temple. It doesn’t matter if you are not a believer, you can visit this temple for the history and the stunning architecture.
You will large number of devotes visiting this temple during Navratri since Sachi Mata is also considered to be an incarnation of Durga.