Eklingji Shiva Temple, Udaipur
Eklingji Shiva Temple
The temple at Eklingji or Kailashpuri is one
of the prime pilgrimage destinations in Rajasthan.
Eklingji has been the deity of the royal Mewar
family since the time of Bappa Rawal, founder
of the Mewar dynasty. Ek means 'one' while
ling means 'lingum or the life giving phallic
symbol of Lord Shiva'. The patron deity of
the Mewar clan is considered the actual ruler
of the region while the kings are merely the
Dewan (or the Prime Minister) of this God
The Eklingji Temple is located at a distance
of around 22 km from Udaipur and is said to
be initially built by Bappa Rawal on the side
of 72 rooms Jain temple which housed a four
faced statue of Adinath, first Jain Saint.
The site is also important as it was the place
where Bappa Rawal received religious discourse
from his guru, Harit Rishi. The temple was
first built in the year 728AD, however, subsequent
changes and renovation work was done later
as well. The temple that stands today is not
the original structure but the one built on
the site of ancient temple. Infact, as later
as in the 15th and 16th century, Maharana
Raimal too rebuilt and renovated this temple.
The temple is open for the devotees at a little
odd hours -
from 4.15-6.45 in the morning; next 10.30
am - 1.30 pm and lastly from 5.15-7.45 pm
(timings need to be checked before a visit
to conform any changes). Monday is considered
immensely auspicious day for devotees as such
the crowd on this day can be more than usual.
At a distance of around 1 km from the temple
complex is the cave of Bappa. This is a hot
picnic spot for visitors.
The temple complex is located at the banks
of Indersagar Lake. Within the walls of the
Eklingji Temple, there are 108 shrines built
of marble and sandstone. The main shrine has
a double storeyed covered platform, a hall
with a number of pillars and a flat pyramidal
roof with circular knobs. In this main shrine
is a four faced black marble statue of Lord
Eklingji with Brahma facing west, Vishnu facing
north, Shiva facing south and Surya facing
Outside the temple are the statues of Nandi,
Shiva's bull and Bappa Rawal. Bappa Rawal
is shown facing Nandi with his hands clasped.
There is another statue of Nandi in silver
in the hall of the temple.
Though the temple is mainly dedicated to Lord
Shiva, yet other deities are worshipped here
as well. Few of the prominent among these
are Parvati, Ganesha, Ganga, Kartikeya, Yamuna
and Saraswati. Smaller temples dedicated to
Amba Mata and Kalka Mata can also be found
in the temple complex.
The temple is the centre of attraction during
the festival of Shivratri. The entire complex
as well as the deities are decorated to make
them appear as beautiful as possible. Devotees
in large number throng the temple to offer
their prayers to the Lord of universe.