(Last Updated on : 13/09/2010)
Rajasthan popularly known as the incredible land is famous for its collection of temples. The architectural magnificence of Rajasthan temples are well known and add to the incredibility of the land. The excellent sculptures of the Rajasthan temples reflect the artistic magnificence that was prevalent in the state during the early days. Some of the famous temples of Rajasthan are the Brahma Temple in Pushkara, the Dilwara temple, the Mahavira temple, the Eklingiji temple and the Ranakpur Jain temples. The artistic spirit of the Rajasthan temples is actually a testimony to the aesthetic artistic talent that prevailed in the state. The predominant religion in Rajasthan is Hinduism
with considerable influences of Jainism
. As a result the beliefs and faiths of Hinduism as well as Jainism are reflected to a larger extent through the architectural constructs of Rajasthan. The feelings of devotion, bliss, rites, rituals, superstitions and sacrifice all amalgamate in the magnificent temples of Rajasthan.
Architecture of Rajasthan Temples
The intricately carved temples of Rajasthan can easily marvel a visitor and the state can almost be called a paradise of architecture. Not only the gallant warriors have contributed the desert land of Rajasthan with forts and palaces but they have also expressed their spirituality by constructing wonderful pieces of temple architecture which till date draws large number of visitors.
The architectural movement of the 8th century till the 11th century had influenced Rajasthan to a large extent. The temple architecture that flourished in the state of Rajasthan during that time reflected a love for beauty and Nature and the adoration of beauty was reflected by the images of voluptuous feminine figures. The temples are mostly dedicated to Hindu deities, like, the Sun God, Narasimha and the Jain temples are dedicated to Mahavira. The temple architecture reflects an originality of creation and is well known for their brilliant art work. The spirit of elegance and poise that is reflected in the temples of Rajasthan is noteworthy and is a treat to the eyes of an onlooker. During the Indo-Aryan period in Rajasthan there was the trend of rock cut temples and several temples in the state testify the trend that had sprung up during that era. For instance the Udayeswara temple in Udaipur is an appropriate example of a rock cut temple. Altogether it can be said that the temples of Rajasthan reflect unusual designs and a prominent culmination that had taken place in the field of architecture.
Hindu Temples of Rajasthan
The Brahma Temple of Rajasthan is dedicated to the Hindu god of Creation, Lord Brahma. The temple is unique because it is the only one which has been dedicated to Lord Brahma in the entire country. As a result Pushkar in Rajasthan serves as a place of major tourist attraction as well as pilgrimage for the Hindus world wide. The temple is built of marble and is studded with silver coins throughout. A silver turtle lies on the floor of the temple. The temple can be identified by the presence of a red spire and a goose which is symbolic of Lord Brahma. Other temples which overlook Pushkar are the Savitri
Temple, the Rangi Temple, the Apteshwara Temple and the Warah Temple.
of Rajasthan also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple
is dedicated to Lord Vishnu
and his wife Lakshmi
. The temple was built in the year 1988. This temple of Rajasthan is one of the major tourist attractions and it stands in the capital city of the state, Jaipur
, with its stunning marble glow. The Birla Mandir has been built with the finest quality of marble in the most contemporary style. A unique feature of the temple is the three huge domes which reflect the three approaches to religion. The glass windows of the temple depict tales from the Hindu mythology and one may marvel at a realness of the deities which are present in the temple. Another major attraction of the temple is that the idols of Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are made from a single piece of marble. Adding to the Hindu mythological stories, the temple also depicts the philosophies of the great spiritual and religious leaders like Buddha, Christ, Confucius, Socrates and Zarathustra. With the splendid exterior and interior the temple serves as one of spiritual and architectural heritage of Rajasthan and tells as to how Rajasthan has continued with its lineage of architectural magnificence.
The Govind ji Temple
of Rajasthan on the other hand reflects the royal past of Jaipur. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Krishna
. The beautiful deities of Radha and Krishna amaze the onlookers and as Lord Krishna is one of the major deities of the Hindus, the temple has acquired the status of an important tourist spot in Rajasthan. Hundreds and thousands of Hindus gather the temple on the occasion of Janmashtami
The Eklingji Temple of Udaipur
is also among the notable temples of Rajasthan. This temple of Udaipur has been dedicated to Lord Shiva and had been formed during the Mewar rule in Rajasthan because Lord Shiva was the most important deity for the Mewar
rulers. The temple has 50 feet high statute of four faced Lord Shiva
made of black stone. The north of the statue has Vishnu, the West has Brahma, the South has Rudra and the North has Surya. The centre of the statue is occupied by a linga encircled with a silver snake. The temple also has idols of Goddess Saraswati
and Yamuna and Lord Ganesha
are depicted in the silver doors of the temple. It can be said that the Eklingji temple symbolizes Hindu faith and belief through its architecture.
Some of the other famous Hindu temples of Rajasthan are Shrinath ji Temple and Krani Mata Temple.
Jain Temples of Rajasthan
Jainism also has had considerable influence in Rajasthan and all the Jain temples that are found in the state mostly dates back to the ancient period. There are five Dilwara Temples
in Rajasthan. The five Dilwara Temples are Vimal Vasahi, Pithalhar, Mahaveer Swami, Luna Vasahi and the Khartar Vasahi. All the five Dilwara Temples of Rajasthan reflect an excellent architectural work. They are made of white marble. The unique feature of the temples is a combination of simplicity and exquisiteness. The Dilwara Temples are surrounded by mango trees and hills which add to the magnificence of the temples. The Mount Abu
Dilwara Temple is unparallel in its architectural expressions and spectacles a beholder. Among the five Dilwara Temples the most famous are the Vimal Vashi and the Luna Vashi.
The Ranakpur Jain Temples of the Pali District of Rajasthan are also important Jain pieces of architecture. This temple was constructed by Rana Kumbha and the main temple of the Ranakpur Temples is the Chamukha Temple which has been dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabdeoji. The temple houses a four-faced figure of Rishabdeoji. The columns of the temple are known for their intricately carved designs and also are a witness to the aesthetic sense of art and architecture that prevailed in Rajasthan during the yester years.
Mahavir ji Temple of Rajasthan is among the holiest pilgrimage of Rajasthan. The temple overlooks the river Gambhir and is dedicated to Lord Mahavira. The temple is made of white marble. Apart from these there is other Jain Temples that occupy an integral position in the land of Rajasthan are the Osiyan Temple and the Juna Temple.
Fairs and Festivals in the Temples of Rajasthan
Fairs and festivals are an important part of the Rajasthan temples. For instance in the Hindu month of Kartik a religious festival is held in reverence to Lord Brahma and on this occasion lots of Hindu pilgrims gather near the Brahma Temple to pay homage to Lord Brahma. As a part of the ritual the devotees take a dip in the Pushkar Lake
which is situated by the temple side. Similarly many other temple festivals like the Teej
and Gangur are also held in Rajasthan which gives evidence to the vibrant life styles of Rajasthan. The festivals are accompanied by fairs which in turn exhibit the artistic skill of the Rajasthani people. Rather it can be said that the temple festivals of Rajasthan are an integral part of the entire Western India.
Hence it can be concluded that the temples of Rajasthan are a testimony to the heritage and aesthetic beauty of Rajasthan. The temples of Rajasthan not only attract tourists from the entire country but also a large number of people throng the desert lands of Rajasthan throughout the year to marvel at the pinnacle of art and architecture.