Rajasthan has been about various Rajas and Maharajas and their significant contributions to this land. Thus, their connection to this must visit place in India can be seen with the existence of exquisite palaces, forts and temples. The Maharajas along with adorning the city of Jaipur with gorgeous palaces and forts started to establish a few temples which turned out to be pompous pieces of artwork. Embellished with temples like Galta Ji, Pataleshwar, Govind Devji and Sun, Jaipur’s silhouette began to look commendable. Despite the development, this city has managed to maintain a balance between the ancient and modern times.
Pilgrimage tourism in Jaipur includes visiting Galta Ji Temple where the shrine of Saint Rishi Galav is present. Located just 10kms away from the city and situated between two hills, the temple has been a tourist attraction for years. There are seven natural water tanks or kunds in this temple. Galta Kund is contemplated as the holiest kund because this is the only water tank of this temple which never goes dry. Makar Sankranti (Indian festival) attracts thousands of pilgrims to visit and douse in this kund as it is considered fortunate to do so. The upper and lower kunds are used by pilgrims to wash away their sins. Monkeys of the rhesus macaque species were featured in a National Geographic documentary after they invaded this place. They are often friendly and you can even feed them.
Close to Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort, Garh Ganesh is located atop a hill near Nahargarh hills. The temple is solely devoted to Lord Ganesha and a belief exists that he is present in a form of a small child- Vigra Purusha Kriti (trunkless). It was built by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh I and he placed the statue in such a way that with binoculars it is visible from Chandra Mahal of City Palace. Ever year on Ganesh Chaturthi a fair of five days is organized attracting a lot of devotees and tourists alike.
Blessing the city of Jaipur, Birla Mandir, also known as Laxmi Narayan Temple is considered as one of the alluring temples of the city. Created by the renowned Birla family, the temple worships Lord Vishnu and goddess of wealth, Laxmi. While it is considered as an architectural beauty, this temple is made out of white marble and consists of three tall spires, depiction of Hindu scriptures on stained glass windows. Scenes and quotes from Bhagavad Gita are presented on the walls of the temple. The beauty of this temple not only brings a visual treat but also gives a feeling of relaxation.
Shila Devi Mandir is one of the famous Hindu temples in Jaipur. The temple has two legends out of which one states when Raja Man Singh I of Amber got defeated by King Kedar, he turned towards Mata Kaali for her blessings. His prayers were answered when the goddess appeared in his dreams and stated that a statue of hers was lying beneath the sea near Jessore (Now Bangladesh). She asked him to bring that statue and build a temple. A slab (Shila) was recovered from the sea. After bringing it back, it was thoroughly cleaned and an idol appeared. Thus the name Shila Devi was given to the temple.
Being located in the complex of city palace, it’s a must visit to Govind Devji Temple. Locally known as Govind Devji, Lord Krishna is visited every year by his devotees from near and far. This temple is considered among the seven temples of Lord Krishna of Vrindavan. The idol was brought from Vrindavan to Jaipur by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II. The legend behind the idol of Lord Krishna goes like, when Shri Bajranabh- the great grandson of Lord Krishna was 13 years old, he inquired about the God’s appearance who was worshipped by everyone, from his grandmother- Lakshmana. While she was answering, Bajranabh started making the statue according to the descriptions his grandmother was giving. After the completion of the statue, only the feet resembled Lord Krishna, and this is how, this idol came to be known as “Madan Mohanji”. With the aim of making a better idol, another image was created by Shri Bajranabh in which the chest part looked similar to that of Lord Krishna, and this idol was called as “Gopinathji”. The third was called “Govind Devji” as the face was exactly like Lord Krishna. This was the idol that was carried to Jaipur by Sawai Jai Singh II.
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Mandir has been a favourite of the devotees of Shiva. Since it is believed that the idol has emerged from the ground itself, it attracts a large number of devotees who come from near and far to pay homage. The temple is quite old and has marble flooring and a 9” diameter black stone Shivling with golden pictographs. There is also a brass idol of “Nandi” and big bronze gongs weighing 125 kg. Mahashivratri, Deepavali, Anna Kuta and Nrisingha leela are the occasions when a major rush of admirers and devotees could be seen.
Situated 6 km away from Jaipur, the Ganesha temple is situated on a hill which goes by the same name. The Moti Dungri temple gets its name from the fort surrounding the hills. The idol of the temple is said to be 500 years old and was brought from Gujarat. Seth Jai Ram Pallival was accompanied by Maharaja Madho Singh of Udaipur while bringing this idol to Jaipur. The construction of the temple was supervised by Pallival. Pilgrims offer a generous amount every year at this temple. The uniqueness of this idol is that the trunk of Ganesha is turned towards the right instead of being turned towards the left. Hence a large crowd of devotees are attracted to this temple. The structure of this must visit Nagara style temple resembles the structure of a scottish castle.
One of the lesser known temples in Jaipur is the Sun Temple. This Hindu shrine is dedicated to the God Sun or Surya. The place is often used for praying or meditation and to have a good and soothing look of the city getting soaked in the sunlight. Going after sunset there, one can see the city bathed in the sun rays that brings a day to an amazing end. Situated on a hill, this temple is a part of Galta Ji Temple complex and the way to it is through traffic free and narrow lanes. Dating back to the 18th century, this temple was built above the flat valley on which Jaipur is established. Since the whole city is visible from the temple, you have the chance to see every famous monument from there.
Usually Lord Hanuman is idolised in orange or red colour but this temple has his idol in black and this makes it a must-visit in Jaipur. The temple was built 1000 years back and is located near Hawa Mahal. Few say that they feel connected to Lord Shiva and he can solve their every problem, be it physical or emotional. The temple has gained fame with its traditions and has been an active tourist spot as well. The story behind the establishment of this temple is that when Lord Hanuman asked the god of Sun on honorarium, the latter said that if he could bring his son- Shanidev to him. So when Hanuman went to meet the son, Shanidev attacked him which made him black. Even after this act of Shanidev, Hanuman brought him to his father who was impressed and gave his word that whosoever will worship Lord Hanuman on Saturday will not get affected from my oblique glance.
Amongst the list of popular temples of Jaipur, Sanghiji- Shri Digambar Jain Temple is considered the most prominent Jain temples. Made out of red stone, this temple stands in Sanganer district which is 16 km from Jaipur. The main idol which is of Lord Rishabhanatha (Adinatha), the first Tirthankara is believed to be 4000 years old. This temple contains a smaller shrine which is guarded by Yakshas (snakes). The visitors are not allowed to visit the seven underground floors to the sacred temple as it is closed due to religious beliefs and it is assumed that a pre-declared ascetic Balyati Digambara saint can enter and for a limited period can bring out the idols. Three summit are present in the inner temple and in the centre a seven serpent hooded idol of Parshwanath is there.
Located in Vaishali Nagar, Akshardham Temple has showcased the fusion of architecture and culture. This temple is the abode of the Vedic Supreme god- Narayana. This temple has been a tourist attraction for its architectural beauty that consists of majestic carvings and sculptures. Being surrounded with nature, this place calm one’s mind. Along with tranquility, this place also offers a visual relief. The tourists feel attracted to this magnificent structure and never miss the chance to explore it. The main idol of Lord Narayana calms the pilgrim’s mind and blesses with a soothing feeling. With the walls being covered with mantras that are recited by the visitors, this temple never fails to amaze.
Amer Fort has been a tourist destination for years but the other enticement here is the Ambikeshwar Mahadev Mandir which happens to be present way before the establishment of Amer city. The legend says that when King Kakil Deo heard about a cow giving milk at a certain place, he ordered to dig up the place. He came across a Shivling upon excavating and commanded to build a temple there. Since shivling and cows are considered auspicious, this temple was built. Men have to peek through a window to look at the shivling. This temple also contains a water tank or kund, near the main temple, which gets filled to the brim during rainy season and overflows towards the main temple.The sudden disappearance of water has kept the pilgrims at their toes.
The Pink city, Jaipur has various temples but this temple has gained too much of attention that on the festival of Maha Shivratri it is flooded with pilgrims. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built around 400 years ago. No evidence has been found on who built it and why but the temple is below the ground level. Around 20-22 feet deep below, this temple was founded in 1977. Eventually to protect it, a wall like structure was built around it since it is still below the ground level. Due to this the temple is named as Pataleshwar Mandir.
This Hindu temple situated at Amer Fort has been attracting devotees of Krishna. The temple was built by Queen Kanakwati, wife of Maharaja Man Singh I around 1599-1608. The idols present within this Jagat Shiromani Temple are of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. According to the legend, this was the same idol of Lord Krishna which Meerabai used to worship in Mewar. The temple is an excellence of architecture and has two entrances. The temple has a sanctum, vestibule and mandapa and carrier of Lord Vishnu- Garuda has been carved in front of the temple. This also contains a statue of Meera Bai.
Kalki temple is devoted to the tenth Avatar of Lord Vishnu which is still to be incarnated. While establishing the city, Sawai Jai Singh II built this temple opposite the City Palace’s eastern entrance. Made out of marbles and red stones, the temple contains two shikharas where one is bigger than the other. Despite being built in the same North Indian temple style, the presence of two domes makes it unique. Devotees of Lord Vishnu often visit this temple which holds various tales to it. According to the legends, at the entrance there is a statue of Devdutta horse which is believed to be the ride of Kalki. At its rear left leg you can see a crack. Few say that when this crack heels, Lord Vishnu will incarnate and end this kalyug. Having a simple yet astonishing architecture, this temple marks a place in your must visit pilgrim site list in Jaipur.
While exploring the city, I came across these must visit temples and none have failed to amaze me. If you are planning to visit Jaipur add these to your to-visit list. Exploring the city like never before, you might need some help. So, to know about the best deals on Jaipur holiday, contact Tour My India at +91-9212777225 or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think that we have missed something, tell us know by dropping a comment in the section below and if you liked this blog, then please give it a thumbs up and share.