(Last Updated on : 11/03/2014)
Ambarnath Temple is the only temple in India which depicts Lord Shiva as the Lord of the sky. Dated back to the 11th century this temple is made out of the beautiful stone curvatures in Hemad style. Ambarnath temple which is located on the Mumbai- Pune railway line in Akoli can be compared to the fascinating designs of Dilwara temples
, Mount Abu
. This is one of the oldest temples of India which was built by King Mahamandaleshwar in the memory of his predecessor.
Ambarnath Temple in Maharashtra
attracts a number of tourists every year. This temple celebrates the festival of Shivratri which is popular among the pilgrims. Along with the main temple, Ambarnath also includes the ancient Shivalaya which is another historical site that is made up of stone curvatures that marks the architecture of 11th century.
Ambarnath temple stands out exclusively for its Vesara style of architecture. Vesara style is a style of architecture that is built on the combination of two schools of architecture which includes Dravidian school and Nagara School. This means that this style of architecture includes both the north Indian style as well as south Indian style architecture. The Vesara School of architecture has a number of regional interpretations. Some call it the Hemadpanti Style which came after the Hemadpanti - the legendary prime minister of Devagiri kings. Hemadpanti was a great patron of temple architecture. The Ambarnath temple is distinguished with a steep pyramid structure that forms the roof, while the walls are heavily decorated with bold features and sculptures of Hindu mythology.
Ambarnath temple mainly depicts the Hindu mythology which is based on Shaiva theme that is carved like a chain through the walls of the temple at an eye level. The sculptures are mainly moulded on the type of rock which is flanky. This does not give a polished look to the temple rather causes a lot of erosion due to weather change. As one of the oldest temples of India this temple went through great erosions which affected the sculptures of the exposed area. However the isolated area still maintains the glory of the temple. The tower of the temple reflects typical style of Nagara School of architecture. This is reflected through the tower of vestibule and the central hall which is intact but the pinnacle got collapsed with time. The temple which is located on the slop of a barren hillock is surrounded with small streams which are a tributary of River Valdhan that flows along the edge of the temple compound. The water gets contaminated to a large extent during the festival season of Shivaratri.
The temple of Ambarnath reflects the culture of Silhara clan and Rashtrakutas rulers of northern Konkan. With a number of train routes and bus routes this region is one of the most popular tourist spots around Mumbai.