Eklingji Mahadev Temple, Udaipur, Rajasthan
|Date built:||8th Century|
|Major festivals||Eklingji Patotsav, Maha Shivaratri|
Eklingji is a Hindu temple complex in Udaipur District of Rajasthan in western India. Eklingji is believed to be the ruling deity of Mewar Princely State and the Ruler Maharana rules as his Dewan.
According to the 15th century text Ekalinga Mahatmya, the original temple at Eklingji was constructed by the 8th century ruler Bappa Rawal. The original temple and murti (idol) were destroyed during invasions by the Delhi Sultanate rulers. The earliest extent murti was installed by Hamir Singh (14th century), who also carried out extensive renovations to the main temple. Rana Kumbha (15th century) rebuilt the temple, in addition to constructing a Vishnu temple. His 1460 inscription describes him as “the personal servant of Eklinga”.
In late 15th century, Ghiyath Shah of Malwa Sultanate attacked Mewar, and devastated Eklingji. Kumbha’s son Rana Raimal (r. 1473–1509) defeated and captured him, and obtained a ransom for his release. With this ransom, Raimal patronized the last major rebuilding of the temple complex, and installed the present murti at the main temple.
Originally, the temple likely belonged to the Pashupata sect, and was subsequently in the custody of the Nath sect. In the 16th century, it came under the control of the Ramanandis.
Legend / Local stories
Eklingji Temple is one of the most popular temples of Rajasthan and is sited at a distance of 22 km in the north of Udaipur. Eklingnath Temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion and its brilliant architecture drives several tourists here every year. This double-storied temple looks magnificent with its pyramidal style of roof and uniquely carved tower. The outer walls of the temple are stretched with steps that lower touching the serene waters. Inside the arena, the main temple is a huge pillared hall or ‘mandap’ that is sheltered by heavy pyramidal roof
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