The Stone Carvings of Jagdish Temple, Udaipur – unexpected effect

 

“I’m an artist. I’d like to show you my works”.

Isn’t it a much better interpretations of the infamous “come to see my shop”. Needles to say, I wanted to see the works of art. Quite predictably, I ended up in a dreary shop full of lousy, mass-produced paintings of elephants, horses, tigers, peacocks and camels on silk pieces. Each of these “artworks” was “Rupees two thousand only, and you can pay in USD, euros or whatever currency you happen to have”:) In my mid 30s, I still haven’t mastered the art of saying a strict “no, I’m not interested”. Yes, I managed to get out of the shop without buying a thing, but what a waste of time it was, considering I initially came to see the astounding hand carved stone of the Jagdish Temple.

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Jagdish Temple

Located near the City Palace of Udaipur, Jagdish temple is not only a major place of worship for countless devotees, but also a popular touristic attraction.  A few roads lead to the temple from different directions, as if inviting people to pay a visit to the monument no matter where in the city they are. The square in front of the structure (known as Jagdish Chowk) is always busy.

Jagdish Chowk

Jagdish Chowk

Built in traditional Indo-Aryan architectural style, the temple was completed in the middle of the 17th century when Maharana Jagat Singh ruled the state. The opulent shrine was erected in honor of Lord Vishnu, the protector and maintainer of the world. With a 24m shikhar, or steeple, the temple defines the skyline of the city. The whole monument is a visual treat, with its three-storey structure being covered with exquisite stone carvings, designs, figurines. In front of the temple there is a separate shrine for Garuda – a bird-like creature, used by Lord Vishnu as a mount (or vahana, a kind of vehicle).

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

A bronze statue of Garuda in the shrine

The outer walls had been carved with sculptures of deities and apsaras, elephants, lions, warriors, musicians and dancers. The number of them was so impressive that it made my head spin. Perhaps the kaleidoscopic effect was intended? This way one could almost see the stone dancers swirling, and horses prancing, and playful elephants stamping their heavy feet in order to keep to the rhythm. By the way, it was at this moment when I was approached by the “artist”. The magic was broken:)

Jagdish Temple Udaipur photo

The dancers

Sadly, lots of these carvings are badly disfigured due to exposure to the elements and acts of vandalism during the turbulent periods in history of India. You’ll find many elephants’ trunks being chipped off and warriors’ heads bashed in.

Jagdish Temple Photos

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

The monument in all its might

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Elaborate carvings

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

The number of figurines is mind blowing

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Disfigured horsemen

Jagdish Temple Udaipur photo

Every bit of the outer walls offers something engaging to look at

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

A lion attacking a horse?

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

As usual, elephant theme prevails

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Even more elephants

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

The grandest water spout I’ve ever seen 🙂

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

I’m not sure what’s this, but it was one a marble slab which is believed to have healing powers. According to the locals, it eases pain in any body part that is rubbed against.

Jagdish Temple Udaipur

The last glance and idding goodbye to the temple

Jagsish Temple travel tips

  1. The temple is situated  only 150 m from the City Palace, so you can easily visit both places in one go.
  2. After climbing the marble stairs you’re expected to take off your shoes.  Caretakers will look after your footwear, and a small monetary reward will be appreciated.
  3. Avoid taking photos inside the temple when prayers and religious rituals take place.

Indian BloggersJagdish Temple on the map


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18 thoughts on “The Stone Carvings of Jagdish Temple, Udaipur – unexpected effect

    • Yes, the effect was very powerful. And yes, I consider escaping the shopkeeper my little victory – usually I feel uncomfortable leaving a shop without buying anything when a person takes so much trouble showing me their stuff.

  1. It has so many stairs and the old age people find it difficult to reach there in the temple !! Have you tasted “Mirchi Bada ” just in front of this temple ? This place is reminding me my Udaipur Journey in January 2015. Great post Antonina !!

    • Yes, thee are 32 rather steep marble stairs leading to the temple, and it might be a challenge for an older person indeed.
      He he, although I’m accustomed to the spicy food after all these years in India, I wouldn’t order “mirchi” filled snacks on my own free will 🙂 Though I admit it might be very tasty. Thanks for reading, Yogi.

  2. Hahaha, yes, I had this exact same thing happen to me when I visited; namely, an ‘artist’ approached me and summoned me to his shop. I too managed to get out without buying anything…did we get the same guy! But agree that the architecture here is sublime. Great photos 🙂

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