Monday, 3 August 2015

Gurjara – Pratihara - Ancient Temples of Rajasthan - Best Unexplored places to visit in Rajasthan

Gurjara – Pratihara Temples of Rajasthan - Best weekend destination

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Phase 1 Temples
Rajasthan is not only famous for forts and palaces, it has numerous ancient temples which are must see. If you are planning a trip in Rajasthan then there are many unexplored places where you can visit.
The Gurjara – Pratiharas of Mandore, near Jodhpur and Jalore and their feudatories or contemperories patronized a style which is regarded as one of the major successors to the Gupta style in North India. The most significant early temples in this style can be seen at Osian, Abhaneri, and Chittaurgarh.
Osian, north-west of Jodhpur contains a number of superb temples of the 8th and 9th centuries, alongwith those of later periods. Among these the two Sun Temples, three Harihara Temples, and Mahavira Temple are more significant. These temples usually have decorated terrace and a graceful single – turreted spire. The multi turreted spire of Mahavira Temple is of a later period, while that of harihara III was pyramidal. The Sun Temple I is situated by the side of main 12th century temple on the hill and is perhaps the earliest and most elegant of the lot.
This Temple and Harihara I have only a Porch in front of the sanctum, whereas the sun temple II and Harihara II and III also have Mandapas or Halls. The Mahavira Temple originally consisted of only a sanctum with a covered ambulatory, a closed mandapa, a half manadapa and a porch.
Harihara I and II show a quincunx plan. i.e four sub shrines at 4 corners with the main shrine in the center. The Mandapas of Mahavira Temple has a Pyramidal roof.
The Harshatmata Temple at Abhaneri, only a few Kms off the Jaipur – Agra highway in Dausa District, is today a sad ruin. But it must have been a magnificent structure raised over a decorated platform, itself raised over two decorated terraces. But it is very much worth a visit even now for its sensuous sculpture and splendid step – well.
The Sun (now known as Kalika Temple) and the Kumbhashyama Temples in Chittaur fort have original 8th century features, alongwith later renovations and additions. Both stand on high and originally decorated terraces, further provided with beautiful platforms. The façade of the sanctum of the Sun Temple is especially noteworthy, so are the pillars of its halls and the ceilings of the latter rising in three levels.

Temples of Middle Phase and late phases in Rajasthan
The Kameshwara Temple at Auwa, nearMarwar Junction in Pali District and the Ranachhodji Temple at Khed near Balotra in BarmerDistrict represent the mature middlr phase of this style. The super strcture over the sanctum a Auwa is unique in Rajasthan. It consists of tiered Pyramid in the centre surrounded by tiered bunches of pediments. At khed one sees the beginning of the multi-turreted arrangement in the spire over the sanctum. The main pillars of the mandapa are of a later period.
The denouements of the Gurjara – Pratihara Style is to be seen at Kekind, south of Merta in Nagaur District, Harsha on the hill, to the south east of Sikar, Paranagar in Sariska Sanctuary and Kiradu, west of Barmer. The Neelkantheshvara at Kekind shows excellent, balanced decoration on the outer walls of the sanctum. Each face is cleverly offsetted to accommodate as many as 13 images. The spire is powerful, though still mono – spired. The mandapa has beautiful carved pillars and a rich but chaste main ceiling rising in corbelled tiers. The Harshanatha Temple shows impressive remanents. The hill top has another interesting remains also and commands a beautiful view.
At Kiradu in a deserted hill there are five temples, Someshwara being the most attractive. It has multi banded plinth. 

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