Navlakha temple, situated at Ghumli in Gujarat is the most ancient sun temple of the state.
History of Navlakha Temple
In the 11th century, the Navlakha Temple was built by Jethwa rulers and is dedicated to the Sun God. It has the largest base of all the temples in Gujarat and measures 45.72 x 30.48 m.
Description Of Navlakha Temple
Navlakha temple possesses the largest base, also known as Uagati, among all the temples of Gujarat which measures to about 45.72 x 30.48 metres. In the eastern part of the temple there was a magnificent arch, called Kirti Toran, which has lost over time. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple, also known as garbhagriha, is a large gathering hall covered with "pradakshina" path. The three shringar chokis of the sanctum are quite charming. Three balconies can be spotted in three directions along the surrounding walking path. Eight sided pillars support the mandapa. Sculptures adorn the small niches of the temple. The entrances of the temple are two storied.
At the back wall of Navlakha temple images of two huge elephants can be seen fighting with their trunks. Image of Lakshmi Narayan is found in the north and Shiva- Parvati in the west. Image of Brahma-Savitri can be found in Bhadra gavaksha. Navlakha temple was built at the expense of nine lakhs for which the temple is known as 'Navlakha'. The splendid architecture and beautiful interiors of the temple are often compared with the architectural beauty of Modhera Sun temple and Somnath temple. Maru-Gurjara style of architecture and Solanki style of architecture adorn the temple with its trademark as three entwining tusks of elephants. The temple is considered to be one of the classic testaments of Solanki style of architecture. A temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha stands outside Navlakha temple and is popularly known as Ghumali Ganesha temple. This temple was constructed in 10th century AD.
The Naulakha Temple is a large Hindu temple from the 13th Century much ruined but still preserving part of its elaborate decoration. The temple is raised on a finely carved basement and consists of a sanctuary surrounded by a passageway and a mandapa of two storeys supported on elaborately carved columns. The brackets are sculptured with kirthimukhas, animal and human faces. The carvings on the outer walls represent figures from the Shaiva mythology and friezes. The tower over the sanctuary has collapsed.
Prsesent Condition of Navlakha Temple
The temple has been undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India for its renovation and development as a significant monument of history and tourism.