Amrakh Mahadev Temple – A 1500 Year Old Treasure of Udaipur

Resting beautifully at a distance of 10 km from the Udaipur city is the ancient Amrakh Mahadev temple. The history of the temple ages back to 1500 years. The temple is under the supervision of Prabhav Kumar Dashora, who is the chief priest there. He told us that the temple and the nearby land was acquired by his ancestors in lieu of the astrological work they did.

The less known temple near the city is scarcely visited by the locals, let alone the tourists. However, the footfall increases a bit during the monsoon season as people consider the temple as picnic destination being surrounded by the lush greenery of the Aravali hills.

Picture by: Vikram Chouhan

History of the temple

Around 1500 years ago, there was a king named Raja Ambrish. The king left all the worldly pleasures and came to the place to worship Shiv Ji. Every day to worship the Shiv linga of the Mahadev, he used to go to the River Ganga to bring water which he would use in the Abhishek of the Shivlinga. Goddess Ganga was so impressed by his faith and devotion that one day she decided to come along with the king and from then on it is said that the water of the River Ganga is flowing in the temple. The place where the water flows is known as Gang Kund. According to the Pujari, the kund has never dried even during the situation of drought.

Source: trell

The King later became popular with the name Amar Rishi which is why the temple is named as Amrakh Mahadev temple.

About the temple

There are two temples in the premises. One is where the idol of Raja Ambrish is situated who achieved salvation at the place and the other temple homes the statue of four faced Mahadev who was worshipped by the King. This statue was constructed by the rulers after the King Ambrish as per his wish.

Picture by: Lakshit Samar

Most of the temple was ruined during the Mughal era where the Mughals fragmented the temple as well as the statues. The temple took 10 years to get renovated beginning from the year 1993 and getting completed by the year 2003.

The remains of the temple can still be seen in the temple where pillars and the lower portion of the temple reflect the 1500 years old architecture. Some carving can be seen on the upper side of the inside of the dome.

Picture by: Pradeep Jitarwal

Gang Kund can be spotted outside the temple where one can witness a variety of fishes. It is said that drinking the water of the kund heals several diseases.

Major events at the temple

Source: pictadesk

Every year on the next day of Rakshabandhan, which is also known as ‘Thandi Rakhi’ a fair is conducted at the place. Vibrant food stalls, eateries, and rides can be seen in the fair which is attended by 20-25 thousand people from nearby villages every year. It is said that the fair is taking place from the mythological era. Apart from that, on every new moon day, a grand Kaalsarp Pooja takes place at the temple which is attended by the devotees of the lord.

How to reach the temple

If you have any such interesting story which you want to share with us then write to me at juhee@udaipurblog.com.

Ambika Mata Temple – The Khajuraho of Mewar

At a distance of around 50 km from Udaipur, rests a rarely known gem of a temple which is known as Ambika Mata temple. The village named Jagat houses the architectural temple. Ambika Devi, who is the form of Goddess Durga is the chief deity of the temple. Goddess Ambika is worshipped as goddess Shakti is believed to be the primordial source of energy. She is associated with Durga through her lion mount and is connected to the Jains when a vision from the temple advised Vimal Shah, a minister of the Chalukya King of Gujarat, Bhimdev I, about building a temple of Lord Adinath at Dilwara, Mount Abu.

Source: Astrolika

This ancient temple is said to be constructed in 961 AD, the period when Laxman Mandir at Khajuraho was being constructed. An inscription on the temple suggests that a person named Sabpura who is the son of Vellur has restored the temple in Vikram samvat 1017. The beautiful idols, the posture of the idols, ornaments and the Nagar architectural style of the temple resembles that of Khajuraho temple which is why it is also called – The Khajuraho of Mewar.

Source: Travel with sharad vyas

There are innumerable inscriptions on the pillar and the wall of the temple which charms the eyes of every visitor. The unmatched and eclectic sculptures include Mahishasurmardini, Navdurga, Veenadharini, Saraswati, Ganpati in the dancing posture, Yama, Kuber, Vayu, Indra, erotic sculptures and other figures engaged in their chores. As a Devi temple, most of the temples here represents Goddess Durga, Goddess Laxmi, Brahmani, and other goddesses.

Source: Tour My India

The temples have been perfectly preserved by the State Department of Archaeology and Museum, Rajasthan. It has a pentagonal shape with a gigantic rampart wall in its surroundings which makes it completely exhilarated. One surprising thing about the architecture of the temple is that the unique architectural style doesn’t belong to its surrounding region in any manner. There is no solid evidence of North Indian Hindu temple architectural features or any Rajasthani architectural characteristics in it. It isn’t also blended with local or regional architectural features and characteristics.

Source: Travel with sharad vyas

Apart from the beauteous architecture and sculptures the temple own, it is famous for the fair that is conducted here during the time of Navratri and other functions during Durga puja etc. Along with the religious people all around the world, the temple holds a unique significance for the people interested in archeology, sculptures, and idols.

If you any feedback regarding the article or an interesting story to share with us, then write to me at juhee@udaipurblog.com

Sahastra Bahu Temple:  Find the Tourist, Inside

courtyard of the Sahastra Bahu temple, Udaipur,  Rajasthan

“You are not a tourist, ease up”, said a friend after one look at my itinerary for Udaipur, my hometown, a city I visit every few months. It almost sounded like a bad thing. Was I being told not to change from my usual lazy, procrastinating local self into a discoverer, explorer, foodie and photographer? I was confused. As I prepped for the trip, folks back home were relieved that I didn’t sign up for the package deal (pun intended) – sunhat, camera around neck and the crazy map-in-hand walk. My “let’s make the most of the time” frenzy was acceptable as long as I kept it in check. “I’ll try”, I say. And then go on to see- Neemach Mata Mandir, Shilpgram, Menar Bird Sanctuary, Khmepur Haveli, Dungarpur, Desert safari- in one week. “I tried”, I say, sheepish!

Temples of SahastraBahu near Udaipur

 

It is at the Sahastra Bahu temple where my explorer- fever finally makes sense.

Dedicated to Vishnu, Sahastra Bahu, meaning one with a million arms, is locally called Saas-Bahu – The Mother-in-law – Daughter-in-law temple. Funny! Udaipur’s twisted take on the name and the relation as one with a million (reasons to be up in) arms, I think. Just 22 kms out of Udaipur, the site borders green marshlands with date palms giving a unique oasis-que feel to the hilly landscape. The name and scenery have my interest piqued.

Eroded temple tops of the SahastraBahu temple,  Udaipur

 

I learn that the temple is on the Archaeological Survey of India’s list of heritage monuments. Yet, rushing tourists enroute to Nathdwara and Eklingji are mostly who I find here. With a pose and a click, they move- in and out in 20 minutes. To a structure standing around since the 7th century, this could seem a tad rushed. But then again, as Indians we are spoilt for choice of intricately carved temples across our country. One such as this, with large parts of its craftsmanship eroded can fail to hold attention for long, especially if one is checking it off a sight-seeing list. But who am I to judge, tourists at least make an appearance. Locals hardly ever come by. Heck, it’s my first time here in all these years!

Pillars at the SahastraBahu temple Udaipur, Rajasthan

 

 

Temple Tales

 

Sahastra Bahu temple Udaipur eroded with time

 

I am happy the tourist-curiosity finally gets me here and being a local gives plenty of time to sit back and take it in. History isn’t my strong point, so imagination comes to help. I watch long enough and each temple element begins to fire a story. Like a stoic general, the isolated pillars demand more than just a second look. They command respect for their resilience, for not collapsing like the walls around them; for standing up to wind and war for the last 2000 years.

Statue at the Sahastra Bahu temple udaipur, Rajasthan,  India

Like an aging beauty, the carved walls press for more than just attention. They wait for appreciation, for adoration of their fading elegance, for love that once changed their plain faces into masterpieces.

Temple Carvings at SahastraBahu temple. Udaipur

 

I imagine how the temple must have once stood, in eternal pride, protected by Kings prostrated on by devotees, patronized by artists. It stands now, idol less, in near ruins, with little to offer but a peek into history and some pretty pictures. 

Soon, the impermanence of it all begins to hit hard and close. I recognize  that no matter how self-important I feel today, my super successes, and even my fantastic failures will one day be lost to the forces that have always been – of wind and sand, of water and land. Yet, for the most part, I live deluded, frog in a well, unwilling to step out of my emotional and physical comfort zone.

Sahastrabahu temple near Udaipur, Rajasthan

 

If the ruins could leave me a life message this might be it. 

Like a local, don’t be bound
Not in body, nor in mind
Embrace your world, as a tourist does
Open to adventure each day, that comes

View of the SahastraBahu temple, Udaipur, Rajasthan

 

And there, on the steps of the Sahastra Bahu temple, my explorer- fever finally makes sense.

I am happy that I am here, not just as a tourist in a new town, but better still, as a tourist in my own town.

Not transforming for a temporary, alternate reality, making the most of each day, for a few days; but seeing my own familiar world with new eyes, loving it with new passion and making the most of each day, every day.

I smile. Being labelled a tourist, feels like the best compliment ever!

 

Stone carvings at Sahastra Bahu temple Udaipur

 

This is a personal account of my journey to the Sahastra Bahu temple and the part of me I found there.  

For history enthusiasts, more factual information can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SahastraBahu_Temples

http://www.udaipur.org.uk/excursions/nagda-in-udaipur.html

 

 

 

About the Author:

somya deshpande

 

Somya Deshpande, is a Communications professional living in Mumbai. Udaipur is her maternal hometown and growing up she spent many a summers here walking the streets of the old city. Her special bond with Udaipur continues and she visits every few months to connect with family and herself. Somya is a travel and fitness enthusiast, trekking is her passion. You can read her experiences on her blog www.onthehighroadblog.wordpress.com.

 

Get in touch with her at somya_deshpande@yahoo.com

 

Famous Temples In and Around Udaipur

Most of us are unaware that Udaipur is also famous for its temples. These temples are visited by several thousand tourists every year. Many tourists visit these temples regularly. The vibrant and marvelous historical background of Mewar region reveals that many of these temples were built by the emperors of Mewar dynasty. Throughout the history; the emperors of Mewar had showcased a blend of courage and spirituality. These are few famous temples of Udaipur and their small stories behind their construction.

#1 Bohra Ganesh Temple

Bohra Ganesh Ji

Bohra Ganesh Ji a very old and famous temple of Udaipur is situated near Mohanlal Sukhadia University. A standing statue of Shri Ganesh Ji has been established which bestow blessings to hundreds of devotees visiting every day. In India it is a custom to worship Lord Ganesh whenever something new is started like new business, new asset or starting a new relationship. Wednesday is considered as the special day to worship Lord Ganesha. Thousands of devotees visit Bohra Ganesh Ji temple to offer Prayer and Prasad (Sweets) to Shri Ganesh Ji. Without his worship no holy work is considered to be complete.

 

#2 Karni Mata Temple

Karni Mata

Karni Mata Temple is situated at Machhla Hills and surrounded by the bliss of the nature. Being situated at height, people can enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Pichhola, Dudh Talai and Sajjangarh. The sunset could be enjoyed in the evening from the sunset point built beside the temple. The temple could be reached through the rope way that starts from Dudh Talai or through stairs that starts from Deendayal Upadhyay Park. Maharana Karan Singh made residence at Machhla Magra between 1620 and 1628. During this time the temple was built. For a long time it remained as a deserted place and in 1997 Manshapurna Karni Mata Development Committee renovated it.

 

#3 Ekling Ji Temple

Ekling Ji temple is situated 22 kilometers far from Udaipur. It is said that the forefathers of Bappa Rawal ruled the Mewar dynasty. They had enmity with the Mauryas. The Mauryas wanted to kill their family. His mother escaped and came to a place known as Kailashpuri. Bappa started grazing herd of cows. One day he noticed that a cow entered into the dense bushes and at a lonely place and started shredding milk. The place was later recognized as shivalingam and after that Ekling ji temple was built by Bappa Rawal.

 

#4 Jagdish Temple

Jagdish Mandir

Jagdish Temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh of Udaipur. Maharana Jagat Singh had deep devotion in Lord Jaganath Puri of Orissa. He used to visit Jagan Nath temple in every annual rath yatra. At one occasion he could not reached at the rath yatra on time and he had to halt in the midst of his journey. Maharana got disappointed a lot that he could not attend the rath yatra. When re reached there he had a dream in which the Lord told him that there is no need to travel such long distance and he could made a temple in his city itself. After returning Udaipur he started the construction of the temple.

 

#5 Neemach Mata

Neemach Mata

Neemach Mata is a famous temple in Udaipur and it is situated at a small hill top near Fateh Sagar Lake. According to the residents here this temple is also considered as Vaishno Devi of Udaipur. The name Neemach Mata came due to its origin, which is under a Neem tree. People here believe that those who come here regularly and offer their worship never get any skin ailments due to the strong spiritual spirit of the neem tree. Several pilgrims and tourists visit the Neemach Mata temple every year.

 

#6 Shrinath Ji Temple

Shriji

Shrinath Ji temple is situated at Nathdwara, which is around 50 kilometers from Udaipur city and it is also termed as the gateway to lord Shrinath Ji. The temple was built in 17th century and owes a great story behind it. It is said that an idol of Lord Krishna was transferred to a distant and safer place from Vrindavan. There were chances of its destruction of the idol by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. When the idol reached this placed the bull cart stuck in deep mud and could not moved further. The priest accompanying the idol thought it as the right place and therefore Shrinath Ji temple was built in Nathdwara. The spirituality of the temple is so strong that from the poorest to richest person in the world including celebrities & stars visit Shrinath Ji temple for darshans and manoraths.

 

#7 Ambamata Temple

Amba Mata Ji

The Ambamata Temple deserves the fame as it is one of the main temple of Udaipur. The temple too has a fascinating story behind its construction. It is been said that the erstwhile Maharana of Udaipur Maharana Raj Singh had severe eye problem that did not recovered after treatment. Someone suggested Maharana Raj Singh to have darshan of Amba Mata in Gujarat. At the night before the departure for his journey he had a dream of Goddesses that told him to construct the temple in Udaipur. Next day Maharana visited the place where he found the statue of Ambamata and started the construction of the temple and his ailment also recovered very soon.

 

#8 Sagasji Bavji Temple

Sagas Ji Bavji

Sagasji Bavji temple is situated at Sarvaritu Vilas. Sagasji Bavji is worshiped as a symbol of bravery as people say that he never lost a war in his life. Sagasji was son of Maharaj Raj Singh. When Sagasji lost his life his wife Maharani Kunwariprada became a sati. Every year Sagasji’s birthday is celebrated with full glory and fervor. Thousands of devotees wait in long queues to have a glimpse of Sagasji Maharaj. There is a large idol of Ganesh Ji that catches eye of devotees visiting the temple. On his birthday the temple remains open for 24 hours for few days. The occasion is celebrated with night jagrans and the crowd enjoys with full enthusiasm and vigor.

 

#9 Mahalaxmi Temple

Mahalakshmi TempleThe Mahalaxmi Temple is situated at Bhattiyani Chohatta and it was named after Bhati Rani who developed this area. It is said that the temple was built by Maharana Shambhu Singh who fought a battle and brought idols of Mahalaxmi, Rishabhdev and Sundar Vinayak. Mahalaxmi is considered Goddess of wealth and prosperity and worshipped by everyone. The birthday of Mahalaxmi is celebrated every year with fervor and passion. Devotees visits temple and wait in long queues to offer their prayers and Prasad. On the day of Deepawali the temple opens at 5.30 am with the Mangla Aarti. His highness Shri Arvind Singh Mewar visits the temple every Diwali to offer prayers on the occasion of the holy festival of lights.

 

#10 Mahakaleshwar Temple

Mahakaleshwara Temple

The marvelous Mahakaleshwar Temple is situated at the bank of Fatehsagar Lake opposite Panna Vilas surrounded by the lush green Aravali Hills. The temple is spread around 3.5 acres of land and great saints like Guru Gorakhnath, the dignified devotee of Lord Shiva, has worshipped here. The devotees have strong faith in Lord Shiva and every day huge number of devotees visits temple to have a glimpse of Mahakaleshwar. The temple opens at 5.30 am with the first prayer and the last prayer takes place at 10.30 pm and the prayers are attended by hundreds of devotees. On special occasions the Rudrabhishek is also performed here by the temple priests.

 

#11 Rishabh Dev Ji

Shri Rishabh Dev Digambar Jain Atishay Kshetra is situated at Dhulev village at Udaipur. The place became famous as Rishabh Dev due to the miracles of Bhagwan Adinath (Rishabh Dev). This is also known as Kesariya Ji because there is a tradition of worshipping the idol with Kesar (Saffron). The idol having black color is also known as Kalia Baba and the local people call it by this name. The place is surrounded by the magnificent Aravali Mountain Range. The idol established here is very ancient as it even does not provide any information at the base. It is also said that this idol was worshipped by Acharya Vidyanand in 9th century. Few ancient petro graphs were also found here that reveals that this Khetra was renovated from time to time.

 

#12 Old Shrinath Ji Temple Ghasiyar

It is called as the Old Shrinath Ji Temple and it holds very long history behind construction of this temple. Shrinath Ji temple was made in Nathdwara and Shrinath Ji were well settled in Nathdwara temple. Soon Nathdwara faced attack from Scindia army. Having seen the glory and beautiful architecture of Nathdwara he threatened and asked for 3 Lacs gold coins as ransom. The Maharana of Udaipur being heard this soon made the arrangements to move Shrinath Ji to Udaipur. While Shrinath Ji moved to Udaipur a similar replica of Udaipur haveli was started building at a place called Ghasiyar. The scenic place was situated in midst of Gokunda Mountains. After keeping Shrinath Ji to Ghasiyar after some time they were again moved to Nathdwara. And this way the place Ghasiyar became famous as the Shrinath Ji temple.

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This is just a general list of temples suggested by People.

You can suggest us more temples by Commenting Below. 

Temple established without permission ordered to remove

The Controversial Sai Baba Temple
The Controversial Sai Baba Temple

The Devasthan Department has objected the establishment of the Sai Baba Temple and the business activities at the Barahthji ka chabootra behind Jagdish Chowk. The deptt. declared that Barahthji ka chabootra opposite to the girls school on Jagdish Chowk to Chandpole way is a sole property of the deptt. Three years before, a committee established a shrine of Sai Baba at the place. Since then, there have been many religious meetings at the place, as well has many business activities have also risen up from past few months. The deptt. has issued a notice recently and appealed to stop all such activities with immediate effect, failing which, there will be strict action taken by the deptt.