A JOURNEY THROUGH SACRED PLACES: EKLINGJI AND NAGDA TEMPLES

Eklingji

Eklingji is a 1000-year old temple complex dedicated to the god Shiva. It is only a short ride away from the hotel in the neighbouring village. It is an ideal choice for your first journey to explore Hindu religious practices, as the temple is usually not too crowded and in remarkably good condition.

The quality of the upkeep is due to the fact that Eklingji is serviced by the personnel of the Rajasthani maharana himself, who visits the temple every Monday, on the holy day of Shiva. The temple-complex consists of a main temple and 107 other shrines for the worship of the different manifestations of the god. The central temple houses a remarkable four-faced idol of Eklingji (Lord Shiva). The four faces of the idol represent Lord Shiva in his four forms. Carved out of black marble, the idol is 50 feet high. Eklingji is believed to be the presiding ruler of the Mewar region hence the reason why its kings are maharajas (princes) and not maharanas (kings).

Every marble surface is adorned with intricate carvings, while the walls in the main temple are covered with embossed silver plates depicting Hindu deities and their attributes, such as the god Ganesha with his symbol, the mouse. The milky whiteness of the immortal marble slabs is offset by the colourful swirl of lotus petals, coconut shards and flower garlands: votive offerings presented to the gods by devotees visiting the temple.

It is also said that whoever whispers their wishes into the ear of the stone bull in front of Shiva’s statute will have them fulfilled in due course by the favour of the God.

Nagda

Nagda, the abandoned capital of the Mewar region, is an ancient group of temples dating from the 7th century, situated beside an ever-expanding lake covered by a floating forest of lotus flowers. Most buildings were destroyed by the Mughals or have been submersed by the lake over the years. Yet, the surviving pair of 10th century temples, called the ‘mother-in-law’ and ‘daughter-in-law’, still offer a breath-taking glimpse into the colourful history of the city. Of particular interest is the marriage area with its four ornate, carefully carved pillars depicting lovers in embrace, to which couples are supposed pay homage upon visiting the complex.

Nagda is no longer a place of active worship; it is owned and maintained by the government, owing to its status as a national heritage monument. The temple is in easy reach of Eklingji; a quiet area of contemplation and peace, where the only signs of life are local children relaxing on the ruins and cows grazing in the background.

Details

Distance: 15 minute drive
Total Duration of Visit: 1 hour

Opening Times:
Eklingji – 10:30am – 1:30pm and 5:30pm – 8:30pm daily
Nagda – 10am – 5pm Daily

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