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About Eklingji 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 of Mewar.
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.
Inside Eklingji Temple
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 east.
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.
Getting there and Around
It is one of the finest temples in Udaipur. You need to travel around 22 kms from Udaipur to reach National Highway No.8, where the temple is located. You can hire a bus or cab to arrive here.