Festivals are a huge affair in India−be it small or big and Jaipurites know how to celebrate well. Isn’t it? Since it’s Shivratri, the city temples have started getting prepped up for the ‘Mahapuja’. If you are visiting the city as a tourist, you would surely be surprised by the commotion that you would rather see on the normal days. And if you are a localite, then you too will be surprised with the long queues and the outrageous behaviour of people to reach first for offerings.
Although you’ll find several Shiv temples in Jaipur, there are ones which have certain fables and folklores behind them. And therefore, we thought you must be eager to dig out the interesting facts behind them. So here goes our list of the shrines which garner a humongous crowd from all parts of Jaipur on the occasion of ‘Mahashivratri’
Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple, Chaura Rasta
Primarily dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was built in 1784 A.D. and since then has been one of the most visited temples in the pink city. The day of Mahashivrati sees a fanfare at this temple as people from all parts of the city turn up to serve their beloved god with water, milk, sandal paste, kapoor, etc., which is applied on the lingam(Lord Shiva’s idol) approximately 9” in diameter. Apart from this, the other attractions of this temple include the golden pictograms, four bronze gongs each weighing 125 kilograms, the brass effigy of Nandi (Lord Shiva’s mount) and the Lord Ganesh’s idol with the left turned trunk.
Jharkhand Mahadev Temple, Queen’s Road
It is probably the only temple in Jaipur where you would see the glimpses of the Dravidian style of architecture which belongs to the Southern India. As the history foretells, the construction of this shrine started in 1918 and at that time it was just a piece of land with a sanctum. However, it was in 2006 when the temple was rebuilt and several additions were made to it. As you’ll enter, you will see an outer structure which is similar to a Gopuram (monumental tower), a mandap (pavilion) and a garbh grah (sanctum). It is said that artisans from South India were specially invited for the establishment of this sacred shrine.
Eklingeshwar, Moti Doongri
This particular Shiv temple belongs to the Royal family of Jaipur and is open for the common people just for a day i.e., Mahashivratri. You won’t believe, but there are several stories behind the construction of this temple, out of which one is a complete mystery. According to the forlorn, when the pundits tried to get Lord Shiva idolized along with his family figures, these statues disappeared after some time. It is said to have happened twice after which the temple was solely dedicated to the Shivaling (Lord Shiva’s idol), which is why the shrine is referred to as Eklingeshwar (one idol). To reach this temple, you’ll need to climb for almost a kilometer on the small hill situated behind the Birla Mandir.
Shree Chandreshwar Temple, Chandpole Bazaar
Situated at the gateway of Sirah is the Ramchandra temple whose southern courtyard is dedicated to Chandreshwar Mahadev. This temple is famous for the intricate carvings on the marble pillars and the brass portals which are an extraordinary example of Jaipur architecture. The lingam is said to be taken out of the river Narmada and then manifested in the temple. An interesting fact to note is that this temple was built by Maharaja Ram Singh for his beloved wife Maharani Chandrawati. Hence, the shrine has been popularly known as Chandreshwar Mahadev.
Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple, Amer
According to some, Amber or Amer derives its name from this shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple boasts of its sinking Shivaling which stands 3m (almost 10 ft) below the ground level. It is one the oldest temples in Jaipur known to exist for around 5000 thousand years now which is even before the Amber fort was built.
‘Mahashivratri’ is an enormous celebration for the Jaipur people, where you would see people from almost every Hindu family residing in the city standing in the unending queues waiting for a turn to pay their tribute to the Lord even if it means to turn up at the wee hours. It is this devotion which makes the pink city stand proud for its rich culture.
Har Har Mahadev!