The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is made of two structures, one by a mother-in-law and another, by a daughter-in-law. The temples are now in partial ruins but one can still marvel at their original splendour, the artisanry and the perfect geometry that must have been the hallmark of that era. They have some Khajuraho style carving, some religious and some decorative carvings. Temples do not have any idols in them and they are not used for any religious purposes. Although some of statues are missing from the temples but overall impressive carving are still there.
Etymology of Saas Bahu Temple
Due to the close association of the temples, they are known by the name of Saas Bahu Ka Mandir. But the name Saas-Bahu is kind of misleading, as name is distorted from the original name of "Sahastra Bahu" meaning ‘One with thousand arms’, a form of Vishnu.
Architecture of Saas Bahu Temple
Carved lintels and a multi-lobed arch in its middle mark the entrance of the temple. Both the structures have an altar, a Mandapa with projections and a porch. The temple of ‘Saas’ is comparatively larger than that of the Bahu. The ‘Bahu’ temple has an octagonal ceiling, which is adorned with beautifully carved eight intricate female figures. The ‘Saas’ temple has a torana in its front and it is believed that the image of the Lord Vishnu was swung from the torana along with hymns in the praise of lord on ceremonial occasions.
Facing towards the east direction, both the temples are constructed on a common platform. Incidents of Ramayana adorn the temple. Made in two steps, the sculptures are arranged in such a way that one encircles the other. Images of Lord Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu are carved on one platform. On the other platform, images of Rama, Balaram and Parashuram have been carved. Built by King Mahapala in the 10th century, the complex includes a cluster of temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. A lotus is seen adorning the roof of the temple.
The site is very easily accessible by road, only 22 km from Udaipur, a mere 2.7 km from the well frequented Shaivite shrine of Eklingji, or 30 km from the hugely popular Vaishnavite shrine of Nathdwara. The temple is on the Archaeological Survey of India's list of heritage monuments.
(Last Updated on : 16-04-2015)
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