Ekling Ji Temple|Nagada|Udaipur

Ekling Ji Temple Nagda Udaipur was built in 734 AD by the Bappa Rawal (Prince Kalbhoj) a devout Lord Shiva Upasak and a Yati ( a person with full control over his passions), the eighth ruler of Guhilot Rajput dynasty and founder of Mewar, it was repaired by Maharana Mokal ( assassinated at the age of 24) 46th ruler,  the present main temple was rebuilt in 15th century by Maharana Raimal grand father of Rana Kumbha  from the ruins over the destroyed temple. This place is also known as Kailash Puri .

Main entrance Ekling Ji Temple Nagda , Udaipur Rajasthan

Main entrance Ekling Ji Temple Nagda , Udaipur Rajasthan

There are two silver idol of Lord Ganesh and Kartikey to ward off the evils, after crossing this gate no cameras are allowed, photography is strictly prohibited inside.

The temple is big, magnificent in conception and perfect in making , a fifty feet high Shikhar has a sixty feet circumference at base, the Garbhagriha has four doors in four directions , each gate has a Nandi (the Bull) statue facing the main idol.The South and the western Gates are covered with silver strips. The temple complex is enclosed within high wall of hard rocks and in addition to the main temple there are 108 more temples carved out of marble and sand stone.

Ekling Ji Temple , main gate Silver idol of Lord Ganesha

Ekling Ji Temple , main gate Silver idol of Lord Ganesha

Just before the Sabha mandap in the west direction there is a black stone Nandi and small one made of Ashtdhatu on a raised platform facing the Garbhagriha .on the same platform is the statue of Bappa Rawal with folding hands facing the East looking at the statue of Maharishi Harit engraved at the main entrance of Sabah Mandap. Two big white statues of elephants stand before the main entrance to the Mandap .

The main Shikhar Ekling Ji Temple , Nagda, Udaipur, Rajasthan

The main Shikhar Ekling Ji Temple , Nagda, Udaipur, Rajasthan

A five face black marble Shivaling was established by Maharana Raimal son of Rana Kumbha at the end of 15th century, the West face is of Lord Brahma , East is of Lord Surya, North face is of Lord Vishnu, South face is of Rudra and upward is Shivalinga with a silver snake . Shivlinga is encircled by Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikay. In the North direction there are two water tanks. The Mewar Ruling family is a Suryavanshi Rajputs therefore above the Western door in the garbhagriha there is a silver image of Lord Surya.

Ekling Ji Image courtesy Wikipedia

Ekling Ji Image courtesy Wikipedia

Another very important Temple only one in the world is Lakulish Temple, within the complex  built in 971 AD. According to Linga Puran and Skandha Puran the Hindu Religious texts, the Lord Shiva worshipers oldest sect Lakulisha is supposed to be the 28th and last avtar (incarnation) of lord Rudra or Shiva who also introduced the Yoga system in the worship .

Bappa Rawal had his religious education from his Guru Sage Harit who meditated in a cave near by, he educated the code of conduct for the ruling families of Mewar to follow which has been the guiding source. The Ruler of Mewar is lord Shiva himself and Maharana of Mewar is the Diwan ( Prime minister) a representative of Ekling Ji. When Maharana is in Udaipur, every Monday night they pay a visit and worship the deity . Only the Maharana of Mewar can perform the Pooja of Shri Ekling ji, the daily puja is performed by the pujaris and receives the blessings on behalf of Mewar Maharana .

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Ranakpur Jain Temple|Rajasthan

Ranakpur Jain Temple is situated at about 95 km from Udaipur on road to  Udaipur – Jodhpur, on the banks of Maghai river,  built in 15th century by a Jain businessman Seth Dharna Shah inspired by Acharaya Soma Sunder Suriji , Rana Khumbha who was the then ruler Mewar helped him by giving land in valley of Mount Madri but also advised him to build a city near it now known as Ranakpur, the chief architect Deepaka with high value for art a vision of Nalinigulma Viman ( Viman of Gods) put the devotion of his patron to a dream come true in the form of a magnificent temple. It is also known as Patariyon Ka Mandir

Ranakpur Jain Temple, Main Entrance

Ranakpur Jain Temple, Main Entrance

it is the largest and most important Jain temple in India. The Dharna Shah died before the completion of work but before his death he installed the idol of Principal deity Lord Rishabhdeva in 1496 Vikram Samvat (1445 AD aprox.)  his brother Ratanshah carried forward the work with limited resources and could not got the final polish of marble done at many places. It took sixty five years to complete.

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Main gate pillars and carvings

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Main gate pillars and carvings

This temple could escape from the invading armies because it was not on the main routes to the battle grounds.

Kechak (Hindu mythological figure) at ceiling above the main entrance

Kechak (Hindu mythological figure) at ceiling above the main entrance

The construction started in 1446 Vikram Samvat (1395 AD aprox.) and completed in 1511 Vikram Samvat ( 1460 AD aprox ) It is a Choumukha Temple ( Four side open) , temple is 60 x 62 meters,  it does not conform to the traditional longitudinal plan as of Indian temples but follows a crisscross one. This plan has four separate entrances, one on each side. Each of these then lead through a series of columned halls to a central arena and the sanctum which has the four faced white marble 6 ft. tall image of Lord Adinath.

Ranakpur Jain Temple carved pillars, crisscross passage

Ranakpur Jain Temple carved pillars, crisscross passage

Ceiling at the entrance of Ranakpur temple is a mythological character Kechak a five body one head human is representation of five evils among the humans are Lust (Kaam), Anger (Krodh), Greed (Lobh), Attachment (Moh) and Conceit ( Ahankaar) are to be left behind while one enters the temple.

The artistically carved nymphs playing the flute in various dance postures at a height of 45 feet are an interesting sight.  Rishabhadev Ji  is surrounded by several other smaller shrines and domes. These are in turn surrounded by a Bhamati or range of cells for images, each of which has a roof of its own.

Ranakpur Jain Temple, Dome with flute playing ladies, stone carved chandelier

Ranakpur Jain Temple, Dome with flute playing ladies, stone carved chandelier

The ceilings of the temples are carved with fine, lace, leaf like motifs, scroll work and geometric patterns. The domes are carved in concentric bands and the brackets connecting the base of the dome with the top are covered with figures of deities.

Ranakpur Jain Temple, 1008 snake hood and the Lord

Ranakpur Jain Temple, 1008 snake hood and the Lord

The peculiar character of this temple is there are 1444 pillars carved in exquisite details, support the temple  and not a single pillar is of same design and they all are erected in a manner that from anywhere one can have the view of Lord’s image.

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Pillar constructed by Rana Kumbha

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Pillar constructed by Rana Kumbha

Kalpvriksha or Kalpataru is a divine tree , originated during the Samundramanthan (Churning of Sea) the Raja Indra of Swarglok (Paradise) planted it in Swarglok , it is a wish fulfilling tree , Jains, Buddhists and Hindus holy literature finds mentions at various places with divine powers.

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Kalpvriksha

Ranakpur Jain Temple , Image carved on stone of Kalpvriksha a divine tree in Hindu mythology

As the sun rays shift through the day the pillars colour change from golden to blueish in the mandap (prayer hall). In the North of temple there are foot prints of Lord Rhishabhdev and a Kalpvriksha tree .

The people who were associated with the construction and daily rituals then 600 years ago, their families are still continuing the job of repairs, and rituals, family of Seth Dharan Shah lives in village Ghanerao. Events related to its construction are recorded on a copper plate inscribed in Sanskrit .

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