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 beautified the desert land of Rajasthan with forts and palaces but they have also expressed their spirituality by constructing temples which stand as wonderful symbols of architecture. Till date these temples are drawing large number of visitors. The architectural movement from 8th century to 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.
Hindu and Jain Temples of Rajasthan
Hinduism and Jainism were both influential in Rajasthan and they are the predominant religions of this state. 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.
The Brahma Temple is located in Pushkar. It is dedicated to the Hindugod of creation, Lord Brahma. One will be able to see the idol of the sacred Goose at the entrance of this temple. The sacred Goose is recognized as the vahana of Lord Brahma. This temple is made of marble and silver coins bedeck its interior.
Eklingji Temple is located in the town of Kailashpuri, about 22 kilometers from Udaipur on national highway 8. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The most noteworthy aspect of this temple is the four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva) that is made of black marble. This figure has a height of about 50 feet and the four faces depict the four aspects of Lord Shiva. Shivratri is the festival celebrated in this temple. This temple also has idols of Goddess Saraswati and Yamuna and Lord Ganesha and Kartikeya. It can be said that the Eklingji temple symbolizes Hindu faith and belief through its architecture.
Varah Temple is located in Pushkar. This temple is dedicated to Varah (wild boar), an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This temple was built in the 12th century by a king named, Anaji Chauhan. It is known that this temple was subjected to destruction and renovated several times. Varah Temple serves as a home to a huge white idol of Lord Varaha along with carvings, sculptures, gold styled pillars depicting Garuda, the mythical bird and life-size statues of door men. Varah Temple is considered to be one of the largest and oldest temples in Pushkar.
Karni Mata Temple
Karni Mata Temple is situated in Bikaner. It is also known by the other name of Nari Mata Temple and is dedicated to Karni Mata, an incarnation of goddess Durga. In the temple, one will be able to see the idol of Karni Mata wielding a trishul (trident) in her hand. A plethora of rats will be evident to the visitors in this temple. These rats move freely in the temple and are believed to be the reincarnations of Karni Mata and her sons.
Savitri Temple is also located in Pushkar. This temple is dedicated to goddess Savitri, the first wife and consort of Lord Brahma. This temple is a fine representation of marble architecture.
Birla Mandir is located in Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan. It is also known by the other name of Lakshmi Narayan Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi. This temple was built in the year 1988. This temple is one of the major tourist attractions of Rajasthan. Birla Mandir has been built with the finest quality of marble in the most contemporary style.
Other Hindu Temples of Rajasthan
Some of the other Hindu temples of Rajasthan are Avari Mata Temple, Bhomiaji Maharaj Temple, Dadhimati Mata Temple, Garh Ganesh Temple, Kunjal Mata Temple and Jagat Shiromani Temple.
The Dilwara Temples are located about 2.5 kilometers from Mount Abu. There are 5 Dilwara Temples in Rajasthan namely, the Vimal Vasahi, Pithalhar, Mahaveer Swami, Luna Vasahi and Khartar Vasahi. They are dedicated to Jain Tirthankars. They were constructed in 11th and 13th centuries AD. All these temples reflect 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 these temples.
Ranakpur Jain Temples
Ranakpur Jain Temples are located in the Pali District of Rajasthan. These temples are renowned for their architecture. Among the Ranakpur Temples, the main temple is Chamukha Temple. It is dedicated to Tirthankara, Rishabdeo. The temple houses a four-faced figure of Rishabdeo. The columns of the temple are known for their intricately carved designs and also serve as specimens of the art and architecture that prevailed in Rajasthan during the yester years.
Mahavir ji Temple
Mahavir ji Temple of Rajasthan is known to be among the holiest pilgrimages of Rajasthan. This temple overlooks the River Gambhir and is dedicated to Lord Mahavira. It is made of white marble.
Other Jain Temples of Rajasthan
Some of the other Jain Temples which occupy an integral position in the land of Rajasthan are the Osiyan Temple, Rajasthan Jain Temple and Juna Temple.
Hence it can be concluded that the temples of Rajasthan are a testimony to the heritage and aesthetic beauty of Ranakpur.