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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rajasthan Temples >> Eklingji Temple
Eklingji is located about twelve miles to the North of Udaipur in Rajasthan. Eklingji (Shiva) whose temple is located here, is said to be the guardian deity of Mewar.

This deity was regarded as the virtual ruler, by the Maharajas of Mewar - who considered themselves to be regents (Dewans) under Eklingji. Ekligji (Kailashpuri) is a town situated in a beautiful valley and it attracts multitudes of visitors throughout the year.

The existing structure, is one built out of the ruins of a previously destroyed structure and it dates back to the 15th century CE. The architecture resembles that of the Jain temples of Gujarat Shiva is worshipped here as a four faced black marble image, the four faces representing Bhrama facing west, Vishnu facing North, Maheshwar facing South and Surya (Sun) facing the east. The flat top of the composite idol is covered with a Yantra, a mystic symbolic drawing, standing for the ultimate reality. Shiva here is worshipped as the Ultimate Reality, the supreme power, and the wholesome one - Parabhrama.

This temple is said to have been founded by Acharya Viswaroopa a contemporary of Adi Sankaracharya and is linked with the Sharada Math at Dwaraka founded again by Adi Sankaracharya.

The temple occupies an area of about 2500 sq. feet and is about 65 feet in height. The temple area is fortified and a strong wall runs around it. The main entrance to the temple on the Western side welcomes visitors into a big hall resting on profusely carved pillars. In this hall, is a silver image of Nandi. There are two more Nandis in the temple, one made of black stone and the other of brass.

Other deities housed in the temple complex include Parvati, Ganesh, Ganga, Kartikeya , Yamuna and Saraswathi. There are also small temples dedicated to Ambamata, Kalka Mata and Ganesh in the temple complex. There is another temple called Nathon Ka Mandir in the temple complex with inscriptions dating back to the 10th century CE. No worship is offered here.

There are two tanks situated on the Northern side of the temple - Karz Kund and Tulsi Kund. Water from these tanks is utilized for temple services. Temple services are performed in a very elaborate manner in the Vedic and Tantric styles - everyday beginninG at 4 in the morning. Shivratri is an important religious event, when the image of the deity is decked with jewellery.

The town of Eklingji is full of temples. There are about 70 temples in all.Mention must be made of the Sas-Bahu marble temple, dating back to the 11th century. It is a fine specimen of ancient art with sculptural details. The Adbhudji Jain temple is of black marble and it dates back to the 15th century CE. Other temples in Kailashpuri include those of Pataleshwar Mahadeo, Arbada Mata, Rathasan Devi, Vindhyavasini Devi.

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