Jaipur is one of the few cities having many heritage temples. Records from the mid-1940s indicate there were more than 600 temples within the walled city area of Jaipur. Some of these temples were constructed many centuries ago with the royal patronage. This manifests in their architectural style, layout, and placement at the prominent sites in the city. Temples like Garh Ganesh and Charan Mandir are two such historic temples commissioned by Jaipur royalty; both predates Jaipur city. While Garh Ganesh overlooks the city from a hillock, Charan Mandir, on the other hand, towers over the hills of Nahargarh Fort. It provides panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
Charan Mandir is just not the usual temples we that we find in the neighborhood around us in terms of architecture and layout. Its layout is unusual with a huge tower attached to the temple complex and fortified walls on its perimeter. The temple complex also has a water storage tank.
You will not find vendors and shops selling offerings/Prasaad, around the temple. No beggars either! A shift from the usual scenes one gets to experience around temples in India
Charan Mandir Jaipur History
Maharajah Sawai Mansingh I of Amer, built this temple. He was a devout follower of Lord Krishna. As per the local legend, Lord Krishna appeared in Maharajah Sawai Mansingh’s dream and instructed him to build a temple in Ambica Van. The entire region of Amer and Nahargarh was once called Ambica Van (forest). It’s being claimed that Charan Mandir has Charan Chinha (foot marks) of Lord Krishna.
Local legends also claim that this entire area was once dotted with the trees of Cadamba/ Kadamaba / Anthocephalus Cadamba. In Hindu mythology, the Cadamba tree was the favorite tree of Lord Krishna. In paintings, you will find the depiction of Lord Krishna playing the flute under the Cadamba tree. Currently, there is no Cadamba tree in and around Charan Mandir. I have seen clusters of Cadamba trees in the vicinity, though. So it’s possible that this legend is true! But then there’s no scientific evidence, it’s just a local legend!
Constructed in a non-ostentatious Rajasthani architecture, the temple follows a simple symmetrical style.
Many historians are of opinion that originally only the tower was constructed. It was essentially a watchtower, enabling one to have an expansive view of the surrounding areas. The temple seems to be a later addition to the tower.
It’s a great experience to visit Charan Mandir during the early hours of the day to enjoy the great views, fresh air & tranquility! It is best to avoid visiting the temple on Sundays! It’s one of my favorite places to enjoy the Jaipur views during the monsoon.
How to Reach Charan Mandir?
Charan Mandir can be reached via the road connecting Kanak Ghati to Nahargarh Fort.
You reach here with help of this map (the site has been marked in red circle)