Rajasthan is not just the land of royalty and palaces, but there are some of the ancient temples which reflects the ages old culture. There are several temples in India but Rajasthan plays a huge role. Rajasthan is situated in the north western part of the Indian subcontinent. The capital city of Rajasthan in Jaipur. Rajasthan is known as Rajputana because it is the country of the Rajputs. The entire state looks like one beautiful vessel which impresses you from each and every corner of it. There are many forts, palaces, havelis, and most importantly several temples which makes most of the state. All these temples are very famous because they are built at the time of kings before 19 century and thus they have a great historical importance to them. So here are few famous religious places in Rajasthan which one cannot miss out when they are visiting the state.
Pushkar, a small temple town, is located around 15 km from Ajmer in Rajasthan. Every November, Pushkar is host to the Pushkar Mela, one of the biggest camel fairs in the country. Perfect choice for a weekend getaway from Jaipur, Pushkar is located amid Aravali ranges. Known for the world’s only dedicated Brahma temple, Pushkar is primarily a pilgrimage site for Hindus.
Spend some evenings sitting at the ghats while sipping chai or taking a stroll through narrow alleys while listening to the chants from temples surrounding the ghats. A delight for street-shopping lovers, Pushkar has shops in the main street selling everything from silver oxidised jewellery to merchandise swaddled in various colours.
The Pushkar Mela attracts millions of visitors from around the world. With folk performances, rides, stalls and even magic shows, the entire town is lit up, music blares from every house, and everyone is in a festive mood. Pushkar has slowly evolved from a religious destination to a multi-cultural hotspot with travellers from all over the world.
Bikaner (Karni Mata Temple):
The Karni Mata Temple, also popularly known as the Nari Mata Temple or ‘Rat Temple’, is a 600-year-old temple located around 30 km from Bikaner in a small town of Deshnoke in Rajasthan. What is unique about this temple is the fact that 25,000 black rats live, and are worshipped, in the temple. Infact, the food that is eaten by them is considered to be holy and is later served as ‘prasad’.
These holy rats are known as kabbas, and people from all over the world travel great distances to come and visit the temple to pay their respects to these rats. Numerous tales and legends are associated with the temple and the rats that live here, but no one knows the exact history of this unique shrine. A return trip from Bikaner cost around INR 600 by autorickshaw and INR 800 by cab.
The Karni Mata Temple is also noteworthy for its architecture that has been influenced by the Mughal style of construction. The beautiful temple is adorned with a fantastic marble facade and marble carvings that further add to the charm of this place. While the entire concept of this temple may seem as gross or weird to some, it is a unique experience altogether and is something you should not miss out.
Surrounded by Aravali ranges, the city of Ajmer is most famous for its Dargah Sharif of saint Muin-ud-din Chishti. Located at a distance of 130 km from Jaipur and 14 kms from Pushkar in Rajasthan, Ajmer is firmly bound by its traditions and culture. Ajmer has a unique charm which lies in the ethos and craftsmanship practised over centuries.
Visit Ajmer to witness the exquisite Mughal architecture set in an aura of spirituality. Ajmer is also a renowned religious spot for Jains because of Golden Jain Temple. During the festival of Urs, the festival commemorating the death anniversary of Saint Moinuddin Chishti, believers from across the globe throng the city. A lot of travellers visiting Pushkar stop by Ajmer and make a day trip to Ajmer.
Dilwara Temples Mount Abu:
Located amidst the lush green Aravalli hills of Mount Abu in Rajasthan, the Dilwara Temple is the most beautiful pilgrimage site for the Jains. Designed by Vastupal Tejpal and built by Vimal Shah between the 11th and 13th century, this temple is renowned for the opulent use of marble and intricate carvings on every hook and corner. From the outside, the Dilwara Temple looks quite austere but, once you enter the inside, you will go head over heels with the stunning designs and patterns carved on roofs, walls, archways and pillars.
The Dilwara Temple includes five equally beguiling temples namely- Vimal Vasahi, Luna Vasahi, Pittalhar, Parshavanatha and Mahavir Swami Temple dedicated to Lord Adinath, Lord Rishabhdeo, Lord Neminath, Lord Mahavir Swami and Lord Parshvanath respectively. Out of these five, Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi are the most famous. Each of these shrines has Rang Mandap, a central hall, Garbhagraha, the innermost sanctum where Lord resides and Navchowki, a group of nine heavily decorated ceilings. Some other spell bounding structures include Kirthi Stumbh and Hathishala. With its simplicity and austerity, Dilwara Temple tells you about Jain values and principles.
Shreenath Ji Temple Nathdwara:
Shrinathji temple of Nathdwara, Rajasthan is a Hindu temple dedicated to one of the avatars of Lord Krishna – Shrinathji. It is located on the banks of the river Banas, at a distance of 48 km from the beautiful city of Udaipur. The glorious temple is a famous pilgrimage point of Rajasthan and a must-see if you are on tour of the religious places of Rajasthan. The Shrinathji temple of Nathdwara is famous for the Shringar of the deity where the idol is dressed in a new dress every day. Devotees come from all over the world come to see the idol’s different forms.
The majestic temple has its story which traces to back to the time of Meera Bai and is important to Hindu mythological history. The Shrinathji Temple has an interesting origin story that mixes the best of both worlds – reality and legend. It has been designed in the lines of the temple of Nanda Maharaj, in Vrindavan. Therefore, it is also known as Nanda Bhavan or Nandalaya. This magnificent temple is overcrowded during the festivals of Holi, Diwali and Janmashtami. The Shrinathji Temple is also known for its culinary feast, which is well sought-after and serves hundreds of visitors every year.
Rani Stai Temple Jhunjhnu:
Carrying the stories from the time of Mahabharata, this 400 years old temple situated in the hills of Jhunjhunu has an interesting story about its inception.
With followers coming from all over India, this temple is one of the oldest pilgrimages of India. There are small temples inside the complex other than the main temple dedicated to Sati.