Fodor's Expert Review Eklingji Temple

Eklingji and Nagda Religious Building/Site/Shrine

A pleasant and scenic drive (22 km [14 miles] north on the Nathdwara road; about an hour) from Udaipur through the Aravali Hills, Eklingji is a small village famous for its 15th-century sandstone-and-marble temple complex (some parts of the shrine date back to the 8th century) of 108 temples. Steps embedded with gems lead up to the unique four-sided, four-faced black-marble image of Eklingji within an enclosing silver grille, miniature replicas of which will be eagerly offered to you in the village bazaar. Look out for the large carved statue of the Nandi bull as well. This god is an avatar of Shiva and is the favorite deity of the Mewar royal family, hence the location of this temple close to Udaipur, their erstwhile seat. Every Monday evening the Maharana of Udaipur visits the temple privately. Morning and evening, devotees sing and chant hymns in praise of Shiva. Aside from religious festival times and auspicious Mondays, this is a peaceful and a good place to experience a living... READ MORE

A pleasant and scenic drive (22 km [14 miles] north on the Nathdwara road; about an hour) from Udaipur through the Aravali Hills, Eklingji is a small village famous for its 15th-century sandstone-and-marble temple complex (some parts of the shrine date back to the 8th century) of 108 temples. Steps embedded with gems lead up to the unique four-sided, four-faced black-marble image of Eklingji within an enclosing silver grille, miniature replicas of which will be eagerly offered to you in the village bazaar. Look out for the large carved statue of the Nandi bull as well. This god is an avatar of Shiva and is the favorite deity of the Mewar royal family, hence the location of this temple close to Udaipur, their erstwhile seat. Every Monday evening the Maharana of Udaipur visits the temple privately. Morning and evening, devotees sing and chant hymns in praise of Shiva. Aside from religious festival times and auspicious Mondays, this is a peaceful and a good place to experience a living Hindu temple. The temple is closed many times of the day; ask for the latest timings from your hotel. Cameras, shoes, and socks are not allowed inside; lockers are available. Hardly more than 2 km (1 mile) away, at Nagda, is the serene, deserted 11th-century Sahastra Bahu temple also called the Sas Bahu temple—the ruins of a Vishnu temple complex with exceptional carvings, including erotic tableaux, at the side of Bagele lake. Stop by at the nearby Heritage Resort by the lake or slightly farther away at the beautiful 18th-century Devi Garh palace hotel for a thali meal or a cooler. This outing is for the temple buff and an option to consider after you have toured Ranakpur, Chittaurgarh, and Kumbhalgarh, which are more must-do side trips from Udaipur.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Quick Facts

Eklingji, Rajasthan  India