Eklingji Temple [20 Kms One Way Drive]
The history of Eklingji Temple is recorded in the Ekalinga Mahatmya, a historical text written in the 15th century. According to the text, the original temple was built in 734 A.D. by ruler Bappa Rawal. The temple has been a victim of loot and plunders during the rule of Delhi Sultanate. The original temple and its idols were physically damaged.
In the late years, the temple was renovated and modified by many kings to preserve the glory and faith of people in Shri Eklingji. The temple originally belonged to Pashupata sect, then Nath sect and post 16th century it is managed and controlled by Ramanandis.
Eklingji Temple was built in the 8th century. It is a prime spot for musing about the Lord Shri Ekling Ji. The temple is located in the Kailashpuri district of Udaipur. This Hindu temple is built by the Maharanas of Mewar as these warriors were devoted to God Shri Ekling Ji, for their success.
Known for its cultural heritage and diversity, India is a land of marvels which can be easily found in every corner of the country. In Hindu mythology, there are three ultimate creators of the whole universe- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva. One of the most famous temples of Shiva is Eklingji Temple in Udaipur region of Rajasthan.
Nathdwara [50 Kms One Way Drive]
NATHDWARA is located in the Rajasmand district on the banks of the river Banas in Rajasthan. The air connection is from the Udaipur airport. It is 48 km from Udaipur and is connected by road and train to all the major cities in Rajasthan as well as from all over India. It is a very small town built only for the temple of ShreeNathji. Many times people just call the town as “Shrinathji”. All roads lead to the Haveli of Shreeji; which is central in location.
The word ‘Nath’ means ‘the Lord’ and ‘Dwara’, which means ‘gate’. Thus, Nathdwara stands for the gate of The Great Lord.
The surroundings are very pretty and scenic and fills an unknown joy whenever I enter this boundary. It is surrounded by the Aravali hills. The place is also built to remind us of Mathura; the Banas river is known as Shree Yamunaji and the surrounding hills as Govardhan; which is the original home of our ShreeNathji. Before the arrival of Shreeji this place was known as ‘Sinhad’.
As we approach from Udaipur airport, about 2 km before the Haveli is Shreeji’s gaushala. As we pass this place our heads bow down in respect, as it is one of the most sacred and pavitra (pure) place in the entire world. (More about this place later).
Approaching the town I always feel the strong vibrations gripping me with an excitement; Shreeji’s Presence is very welcoming; it feels as if He is present there to welcome us to His town; acting like the perfect host. As soon as I enter deeper in bhao at times I hear this divine sweet child voice inside which echos from no where, “Tum log mujhse milne aaye ho, main tumhara dhyan to raakhunga na”. (“You’ll have come to meet me, how can I not be there to make your stay Divine”). This is the sweetest voice that could be ever heard; full of loving mischief and playfullness.
Ranakpur [100 Kms one way]
This Jain Temple was built under the reign of monarc
h Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The Jains are among other things known for their asceticism and absolute nonviolence. With a 4,500 square yards basement (approximately 60 x 62 meters) it is the largest Jain temple in India. Entering this marvel of architecture we were overwhelmed by the lavish abundance of marvellous stonemason works on white marble. There are four subsidiary shrines, 24 pillared halls and all in all 1444 marble pillars each from one piece and all richly decorated with most elaborately carved sculptures and filigrees, including the domes. The creativity and beauty of these elaborate works is unimaginable and the variety is such, that no two of the 1444 pillars are alike! A special effect is the amazing play of shadow, light and colours. As the light shifts through the temple over the day the pillar’s colours change from white over bluish to gold …
When the mogul emperor Akbar visited this temple he was full of admiration that he had made an inscription on one of the pillars which says, that no one ever will be allowed to destroy this jewel of architecture.
Kumbhalgarh [100 Kms one way]
KUMBHALGARH – The Second Longest Wall In The World [70 Kms one Way]
Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. Located at a distance of 70 kms from Udaipur in Rajasmand district, Kumbhalgarh Fort is easily accessible from the city of Udaipur. This unconquerable fortress is secured under the kind protection of the Aravali ranges. Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The fort derived its name from the same factor.
Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometers and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world, the first being ”the Great Wall of China”. The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens making it more magnificent.
Chittorgarh [110 Kms One Way Drive]
CHITTORGARH – called Chittaur, from the 7th century to the 16th, was the capital of Mewar under the Rajputs. Chittaur evokes memories of great heroism and sacrifice by Rajput men and women in the intermittent battles that they had to fight against invaders from Northwest or Delhi. Chittaur witnessed both the ravages of war and the triumphs of the spirit. Allaudin Khilji who coveted Queen Padmini of Chittaur, invaded the city in 1303 A.D. Queen Padmini and the women of the court sacrificed themselves in a pyre of fire rather than submit to anybody. This supreme sacrifice has been called ‘Jauhar’ and epitomises the fiery spirit of the Rajputs of the day. The city stands strewn with monuments and battlements as evidence of the blood and gore that it went through in medieval times.
The Chittaur Fort is the best known fort in Rajasthan. Its origins are traced to the Pandavas of Mahabharata. It is said that Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers, built the fort. Standing on 180 meters high hill, the fort covers an area of 700 Acres. Inside it is the Meera and Khumba Shyam Temple. It is associated with Meera, a mystic poetess devoted to Lord Krishna whose life and bhajans have become part of the folklore and literary traditions of the region and several parts of India.
Haldighati [40 Kms One Way Drive]
HALDIGHATI – is a famed mountain pass in the hills of the Aravalli Range. The pass, about 40 kilometres from Udaipur, connects the districts of Rajsamand and Pali. The pass gets its name from the yellow-coloured soil of the region (turmeric is called haldi in Hindi). The mountain pass has gone down the annals of history as the site where the Battle of Haldighati was fought in 1576 between Rana Pratap Singh of Mewar and Raja Man Singh of Amber who was the general of the Mughal emperor Akbar. The site of the battle lies at the south-west side of Nathdwara. Maharana Pratap fought a brave war, but his loyal horse, Chetak, gave up his life as the Maharana was leaving the battlefield. In 1997, the Government of India proposed and constructed the Maharana Pratap National Memorial, and it is today dedicated to the spirit and valour of the Rajput King. The memorial, a cenotaph with white marble columns, displays a bronze statue of the Maharana riding Chetak. Besides the battle, Haldighati is known around the world for its charity rose products and mud art of Molela.