Brahma Mandir, Pushkar
Deity: Lord Brahma
Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a Hindu temple situated at Pushkar, close to the sacred Pushkar Lake. The temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to the creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them. Pushkar is often described in the ancient scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world. Although now the Pushkar temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Lord Brahma.
According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (also refered as Vajranash) trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake. When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower (“pushpa”) fell from Brahma’s hand (“kar”) as “Pushkar”. Brahma then decided to perform a yajna (fire-sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake. In order to perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar – Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance.
Eklingji Temple, Udaipur
Deity: Shri Ekling Ji
Eklingji is a Hindu temple complex in Udaipur District of Rajasthan in western India. Eklingji is believed to be the ruling deity of Mewar Princely State and the Maharana rules as his Dewan.
According to the 15th century text Ekalinga Mahatmya, the original temple at Eklingji was constructed by the 8th century ruler Bappa Rawal. The original temple and Vigraha (idol) were destroyed during invasions by the Delhi Sultanate rulers. The earliest extant idol was installed by Hamir Singh (14th century), who also carried out extensive renovations to the main temple. Rana Kumbha (15th century) rebuilt the temple, in addition to constructing a Vishnu temple. His 1460 inscription describes him as “the personal servant of Ekling”.
Ambika Mata Temple, Udaipur
Deity: Ambika Devi (Goddess Durga)
Ambika Mata Mandir is a Hindu temple located in the village of Jagat, about 50 km southeast of Udaipur. The temple, located in a cleft of rock possesses a number of inscriptions. The earliest one, dated 961 AD, refers to a repair made to it.
The temple is also known as the Khajuraho of Mewar. There are many fine sculptures in the temple which have been excellently preserved. The architecture of the mountain palace, as the heavenly abode of the gods, echoes the temple which is their earthly residence.
Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), Jaipur
Deity: Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Narayan
Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir) is a temple located in Jaipur, and is one of many Birla mandirs. It is dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu (Narayan), whose images appear inside, along with other Hindu gods and goddesses and selections from the Gita and Upanishads. Festivals such as Diwali and Janamashtami are celebrated at the temple.
The temple was built by the B.M. Birla Foundation in 1988 and is constructed solely of white marble. It is located in Jaipur’s Tilak Nagar neighborhood near Moti Dungari hill.
Galtaji Temple, Jaipur
Deity: Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Lord Hanuman, Lord Surya
Shri Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage about 10 km away from Jaipur. Outlined by the striking Aravalli hills, it consists of several shrines, holy kunds, pavilions and natural springs. A natural spring emerges high on the hill and flows downward, filling a series of sacred kunds (pond / water tanks) in which pilgrims bathe. Visitors and pilgrims can ascend the crevasse, continuing past the highest water pool to a hilltop temple from there are views of Jaipur and its fortifications spreads out across the valley floor.
According to the ancient belief, a Saint named Galava lived here in Satyuga, and did meditation and tapasya for about 60,000 years. He brought the sacred Gangaji to Shri Galtaji which comes out of the Gau-mukh (Cow’s mouth). According to ‘Galvashram Mahatmaya’ on every full moon day of the Hindu month ‘Karthik’, Brahmaa, Vishnu and Shiva, the Trinity of Gods of Sanatana Dharma visit this holy place as the reason of which taking bath in the sacred kunds provide divine blessings. This ancient pilgrimage place also has temples of Lord Ram, Lord Krishna and Lord Hanuman within the temple. The temple complex of Sita Ram ji temple is colloquially known as the Monkey temple (Galwar Bagh) in travel literature, due to the large number of monkeys who live in here. There is a small Surya Mandir on the top of the hill dedicated to the Sun God.
Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner
Deity: Devi Karni Mata
Karni Mata Temple is dedicated to Karni Mata, located at at Deshnoke, 30 km from Bikaner, in Rajasthan, India. It is also known as the Temple of Rats. The temple is famous for the approximately 25,000 black rats that live, and are revered, in the temple. These holy rats are called kabbas, and many people travel great distances to pay their respects. The temple draws visitors from across the country for blessings, as well as curious tourists from around the world.
According to ancienr stories, son of Karni mata drowned in a pond in Kapil Sarovar in Kolayat Tehsil while he was attempting to drink from it. Karni Mata implored Yama (the god of death), to revive him. First refusing, Yama eventually relented, permitting Laxman and all of Karni Mata’s male children to be reincarnated as rats. Eating food that has been nibbled on by the rats is considered to be a “high honour”. Out of all of the thousands of rats in the temple, there are a few white rats, which are considered to be especially holy. They are believed to be the manifestations of Karni Mata herself and her four sons. There is not any case of any disease being spread by the rats till date.
Shri Mahavir Ji Temple, Karauli
Deity: Shri Mahavira (24th Tirthankara of Jainism)
Shri Mahavir Ji is a famous Jain pilgrimage site. The temple situated in Shri Mahaveerji town in Hindaun Block of Karauli district is one of the miraculous pilgrimages of Jains. Built at the bank of a river, this pilgrimage is a prominent centre of devotion for Jain devotees. Chandanpur Mahavir ji temple is hailed as the heart of pilgrimages. This is a sacred place of the tradition of Jainism.
The iconic idol of Lord Mahavira, the principal deity of the pilgrimage temple, was found during an excavation. It is said that some ‘Kāmadhenu’ (self milching cow) used to pour out its milk everyday upon a mound near Chandanpur village. It was surprising for the owner of that cow and the villagers. They excavated the mound. The villagers were overwhelmed with emotion on witnessing the emergence of the icon of the Lord. The news of appearance of the icon spread everywhere. The masses surged to have a glimpse. The wishes of people began to be fulfilled and thus a magnificent temple was built to ceremoniously install this uniquely miraculous icon of Lord Mahavira.
Ranakpur Jain Temple, Ranakpur
Deity: Shri Rishabhanatha (1st Tirthankara of Jainism)
Ranakpur Jain temple or Chaturmukha Dharana Vihara is a Jain temple dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple is located in a village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan.
Darna Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 15th century following a divine vision. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) according to Jain cosmology. The Ranakpur temple is one of the largest and most important temples of Jain culture. The campus includes various temples such as Chaumukha temple, Surya temple, Suparshvanatha temple and Amba temple.
Dilwara Jain Temples, Mount Abu
Deity: Shri Adinatha (Rishabhanatha), Shri Neminatha, Shri Parshvanatha
The Dilwara Temples or Delvada Temples are located about 2 1⁄2 kilometres from the Mount Abu hills settlement. There are five temples in all, each with its own unique identity. All the five temples are enclosed within a single high walled compound. They are a pilgrimage place of the Jains, and a popular general tourist attraction. The Dilwara temples are believed to be the most beautiful example of architectural perfection of Jain Temples.
These Jain temples were built by Vimal Shah and designed by Vastupala, Jain minister of Dholka, between the 11th and 16th centuries and are famous for their use of white marble and intricate marble carvings. The temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. It is said that workmen were paid in gold according to the weight of marble powder scraped off. This group of 5 temples is named after the small village of Dilwara or Delvara in which they are located. The five temples are:
- Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Shri Adinatha (Rishabhanatha).
- Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Neminatha.
- Pittalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Shri Adinatha.
- Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Parshvanatha.
- Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last (24th) Jain Tirthankara, Shri Mahavira.
Rani Sati Temple, Jhunjhunu
Deity: Devi Rani Sati
Rani Sati Temple is a temple located in Jhunjhunu district. It is the largest temple in India devoted to Rani Sati, a Rajasthani lady who lived sometime between the 13th and the 17th century and committed sati (self-immolation) on her husband’s death.
The story of Rani Sati Dadi Maa starts from the time of Mahabharata. Narayani’s wish of being married to Abhimanyu and her desire to be sati in her next life. Various temples in Rajasthan and elsewhere are devoted to her worship and to commemorate her act. Rani Sati is also called Narayani Devi and referred to as Dadiji (grandmother).