Friday, October 3, 2014

Temple Town of Neelkanth

Gate to Sariska National Park 
We had an exciting trip to the temple town of Neelkanth after our wonderful experience at the ruined fort of Kankwari in Rajasthan. Neelkanth means the blue-throated reincarnation of Lord Shiva,  and is located inside Sariska National Park, which is 21.7 Miles (35km) from the town of Alwar. The view is spectacular as one climbs up the last stretch of road to the plateau where it is situated.

Road to Neelkanth
Lost in a high valley, encircled on all sides by mountains, this ancient temple town is home to the ruins of more than 80 beautifully carved temples dating back to 500 CE. The most famous temple, with Shiva's ancient Holy Sanctuary, is Neelkantheshwar. It predates the others by perhaps a thousand years.

The ruins of the Neelkantheshwar Temple and The Holy Sanctuary
Erotic Sculpture
There are many interesting sculptures around the ruins including many erotic sculptures that date from the ancient times. It has been a battle for Indian authorities to keep thieves from stealing the sculptures for the black market. Luckily, there are a some left on the site.

Tami and our Guide at the Jain Temple of Naugaza
Neelkanth is also the site of the remains of the 7th century Jain temple of Naugaza, where there is the massive 25ft (7.6M) tall pink sandstone statue of Shri Parshavanath-ji – the 23rd Jain Tirthankara.

Temple Ruins
The temple town of Neelkanth was deserted for many hundreds of years and the temples were covered by thick forests.It was only rediscovered by local villagers in the 1950s. It is said that even while the temple town itself was lost, pilgrims to Neelkantheshwar temple kept the sacred candles burning for over 2,000 years in the ancient Holy Sanctuary.

More Erotic Sculpture
The temple town of Neelkanth is an unbelievable site to see. To stand in Shiva's Holy Sanctuary is an experience that is truly awesome. It is the ancient world.

Highly recommended!  

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