History of Ambika Mata Temple
It is believed that this temple was built in about 960 AD, the period when Laxman Mandir at Khajuraho was being constructed. From the inscription on the pillars of the temple it can be concluded that it was renovated in the 11th century by Allat, erstwhile ruler of Mewar. Here Devi has been named Ambika. It is an ancient shakti peeth from religious point of view. The temple has been declared protected monument under Archaeology department. Thousands of tourists visit it. It holds a special attraction for those interested in archaeology, idols and sculpture.
Features of Ambika Mata Temple
Flaunting a treasure of unique idols and unmatched sculptures of Mahishasurmardini, Navdurga, Veenadharini, Saraswati, Ganpati in dancing posture, Yama, Kuber, Vayu, Indra, couple in love making posture, naikayas looking into mirrors, playing children, dancing and singing figures, ladies with pujan samagri, the Jagat temple is a shining pearl in the garland of temples in Rajasthan.
The beauty of the idols, their postures and feelings, ornaments and hair styles, dresses and the attraction of the Nagar style architecture bring it in the category of the temples such as the ones at Khajuraho. The architectural beauty of the pillars, ceilings etc is too good to be described in words. Entering the temple from the east, on the outer walls of the two storey entry mandap, one sees the idols of men and women in love making postures. Extremely charming are the astha matrika idols on the pillars of the gate and the scene of samudra manthan on the ceiling.
The ceiling is built in traditional style with flat corners and padamkesar in the center. As in the Osian Temples, there are ornamental trellis on both the sides of the mandap for air and light to come in. There is an open courtyard between the main temple and the 'pravesh mandap' from where about 50 ft away is the main structure which is in fairly good condition. The outer part of the 'sabha mandap' is decorated with 'dikpal', 'sur-sundari', women in different bhavas, veenadharini Saraswari and hundreds of idols of various Gods and goddesses.
On the left, near the trellis is a rare white stone idol of Ganpati in a dancing posture. In a shelf, in back part of the temple is the idol of Mahishasurmardini which deserves special mention. In the shelves in the north and south can be seen idols of Devi in her different incarnation. Above and below the idols on the walls outside the temple an excellent work 'kichak mukhi' and series of elephants is highly appreciable.
The idols have been carved on the local parera light green stone. For the circumnutating of the main structure, small entry gates have been built on both the sides. The sculptors have done a wonderful job in carving Ganga-Yamuna, Sur-Sundari, Vidhyadhar, Dancers and Idols of Gods.
The idol of Ambika Mata is set up in the main temple. Built meticulously in the glorious tradition of medi temples, the Ambika Mata temple of Jagat is an excellent sample of Mewar's unique sculpture. The liveliness and joyous moments of life have been beautifully portrayed. On the basis of the idols here, historians believe that this place must have been an important centre of the Shiv-Shakti sect in the 5th and 6th century.
Architecture of Ambika Mata Temple
Ambika Mata temple is an ancient temple that dates back to the 10th century. The temple is situated in a cleft of rock. Several inscriptions have been engraved in the temple. One of the inscriptions that date 961 A. D. states that that the temple had been once renovated. Ambika Mata Temple houses several idols of Goddess Durga and other female divinities. Goddess Ambika is revered as Shakti, a primal source of energy. The deity is seated on a lion, her mount. She is related to the Jains and instructs Vimala to construct the Adinath temple at Mount Abu.
Ambika Mata temple has been beautifully decorated with impressive sculptural works which have been preserved till date. The temple is pentagonal in shape. It is surrounded by a huge rampart wall that has 17 turrets. It is topped by a gabled roof that resembles a pagoda. The outer walls of the temple are adorned with exclusive designs. The temple houses figures of gods or goddesses, dancers, musicians, singers and of other beautiful women who reside in heavenly court.
The main theme that dominates the Ambika Mata temple is a mountain palace, the holy abode of the gods and goddesses. The tower of the temple is embellished with intricately designed motifs that consist of clouds. It is enclosed with small shikhara towers. Ambika Mata temple is also sometimes referred to as the Khajuraho of Rajasthan.
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