SAAS BAHU MANDIR, NAGDA, UDAIPUR

Located at a distance of about twenty kms. from Udaipur on the Nathdwara road and about three kms. east of the Eklingnathji Mandir are the famous Saas-Bahu Mandirs at Nagda.

The area that once formed part of the capital of Mewar and was named Nagahrid or Nagadraha is now popularly called Nagda. It was an important city of ancient and mediaeval India, where except Buddhism, all the other religious sects such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Jainism etc. flourished simultaneously. The town was established by king Nagaditya, the fourth ruler of Mewar in the line of Guhil in the seventh century A.D. The town remained an important centre of political, commercial and cultural activities during post Christ centuries until the thirteenth century. It was ruined after the invasion of Sultan Iltutmash. There is evidence that Bapa Rawal, the seventh ruler of Mewar in the line of Guhaditya spent his childhood and pastured the sacred cow while living in Nagda town and afterwards ruled over Mewar with Nagda as the capital. However, now only the relics of some old temples remain. It is believed that the remains of the old township lie buried under the waters of Baghela Talab that is said to have been built during the reign of Maharana Mokal in the memory of his brother Bagh Singh.

Both the Saas Mandir and Bahu Mandir are eastfacing and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The credit for construction of these temples goes to Guhil queen Mahalaxmi and her daughter-in-law Hariadevi who was a Hun princess. Out of them, the one on the south, the Saas Mandir has beautiful carvings. On the right side of the Pravesh Mandap are engraved idols with postures of Ashtang Yoga. On the roof are engraved Kalpavriksha. The form of Onkar is also visible. On four pillars are engraved  figures of Apsaras. Other engravings include Brahma, Savitri, Shiva Parvati, Laxminarain, eight-arm Narsingha, Chamunda, Mahishasur Mardini, Buddha, Varah, Shiv-Parvati Vivah Prasang and Sur-sundaris. In the outer part are engraved eight-arm Vishnu.

On the shelves above the pillars in the Sabha Mandap of Bahu Mandir are engravings of idols in Matrika Bhava. On the inner part of the ceiling are engraved Sur-Sundari. At the back of this temple, is a small temple that has an idol of Martanda Bhairav.

The temples are also known as Shastra Bahu Mandir as they have idol of Lord Vishnu that means Lord of one thousand arms.

The exquisite idols and carvings of gods and goddesses and Khajurao like carvings of Nayakas and Naykas, idols engaged in singing and dancing, Kinnars etc attract a large number of visitors. The verdant hills, the placid lake and serene ambience are added attractions of the place.

The Shikhars of some temples that have been drowned in Baghela Talab are still visible. Near the lake there are two temples with huge idols of Ganpati and Shiva.

The old relics of Khuman Rawal Deval, a Jain temple is another important monument of Nagda that is a beautiful specimen of religious architecture and stone carving. There is another temple dedicated to Shri Shantinathji, one of the preceptors of Jain sect. The nine feet tall idol is unique and is called Adhbhutji and the temple as Adhbhutji ka Mandir. It was built by Oswal Sarong during the reign of Kumbha.

It is believed that once there were ninetynine temples at Nagda.

 

(Source: Dr. Rajshekhar Vyas)

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