Is Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple A Protagonist In The History Of Amer?

Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple or Ambikeshwar Mandir in Amer town is more like a protagonist. Protagonist? As per local legend, Amer or Amber as some people prefer to write is named after the Ambikeshwar Mahadev temple in Amer Town. The word Amer is synonymous with Amer Fort and Rajput kings like Raja Man Singh I, Bharmal, and Jai Singh II for their bravery and valor. Amer has a history of the Rajput rule of 600-700 years. Their valiant stories and close association with the Mughal rulers are well documented in history. Ambikeshwar Temple might not be the most famous Shiv temple in Jaipur but it is certainly one of the most historic ones.

The entrance of Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer Town.


Read related post:  5 Reasons Why I Love Amer Fort -The Most Popular Tourist Attraction In Jaipur?

Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer town with a backdrop of the Great Wall of Amer

History of Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple

Initially, Amer was a territory of Meena chieftains. According to the historians Kachhawa Rajput, the clan that ruled Amer and Jaipur, snatched Amer from the Meenas with deceit and force. As per the legend, Kakil Deo, a Kachhawa Rajput ruler heard a strange incident through his informant. One of the cows would give milk only at a certain spot. The curious kind ordered his men to dig up the spot. Upon digging, a Shivling was found. Thereafter, the king had a temple constructed at this very site which is now known as Ambikeshwar Temple.

These idols look out of place. Probably, they were not part of the original plan but someone decided to place them here. Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

Many people claim that this temple is 5000 years old. In reality, it’s a laughable claim. The history of Rajput rule over Amer town itself dates to 1070 AD. From my personal experience, such false claims and stories are created by the priest community for understandable reasons. Their livelihood is dependent on devotees. Using such tricks they want to ensure that devotees keep coming back.  Claims of a temple being 2000 or 5000 years old are rubbish and cannot be proven with facts. If you ever come across such claims, corroborate the same with logic and facts. As per historians, Ambikeshwar Temple dates to the 10th century. It is also known as Unda Mahadev.

Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple occupies an important place in the town of Amer. Its a well-known spot in this small settlement. Ambikeshwar Chowk is a large open area in front of this temple.

Ambikeshwar Chowk and Ambikeshwar Temple in Amer Town

In a town characterized by small lanes, having a large open area points to the fact that provision was made for the large congregation at this spot. Maybe a victory or religious parade was routed through this temple. Rajput rulers participated in a large number of battles fighting for the Mughal ruler and winning many. It’s quite likely that blessing was sought after or before such battles. There are no records to prove this theory, though. It’s also likely that Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple was the most important temple hence a large gathering of the public warranted such space. Chowk in Jaipur and elsewhere in Rajasthan is a public space where people can sit, meet and socialize. These are also meant for community celebrations like Jagran, Holi celebration and so on. There is no recorded information about Ambikeshwar Chowk. My presumption is that it indicates the importance of Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple for Amer Town.

Ambikeshwar Temple with a beautifully painted exterior wall in Amer town.

Upon entering temple one finds is a small courtyard having a residential quarter of the priest family.

Beautiful “weathered” door of the residential unit inside Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple, Amer.
Ambikeshwar temple, Amer

Beyond this residential section is the temple section. The floor of the temple area is at least 6 feet below the road level. The temple is adorned with a prominent Shikhar.

The temple is constructed in the Nagara style of architecture, common among the temples in Amer town, and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Entrance to the temple section at Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

Shiva Temple is at the entrance housing the Shivling which is below the floor level; uncommon for the Shivling. As per the local legends, this entire area gets submerged in water during the monsoon season. While I have not seen this personally, I have come across a picture in a book.

Temple section with the low-level floor, Ambikeshwar Temple.
Recessed Shivling at Ambikeshwar Temple. The marble job looks new and out of place.
The beautifully decorated ceiling of Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

There are more temples in this complex. It is strange that none of these temples have idols and they are not active i.e. Puja ritual is not performed. Something that I also came across in Bhangarh which is famed for being the most haunted place in India. The architecture and construction indicate that these temples are ancient possibly dating to the 10th-12th centuries. There are some idols randomly placed in the temple compound. These are old and are currently not worshipped! I could not find any reliable information about these temples and idols.

Ancient unnamed temple, Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer


The structure of these ancient temples shows they are from different periods.

This region was largely following Vaishnavism. There are very few temples built by royalty dedicated to Shiva. In stark contrast, there are many temples commissioned by royalty dedicated to Lord Krishna which shows dedication to Vaishnav following. Amer Town has temples dedicated to a variety of deities.

Lord Ganesha on the pillar of one of the temples at Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer
Ancient idols at Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

However, Ambikeshwar Temple being a prominent temple shows that before shifting their capital to Jaipur, the Kacchawa rulers were not ardent followers of Vaishnavism. This is just a personal deduction. The Dwaja Stambh (flag pole) also is an important pointer that exists in no other temple in the vicinity.

Dhwaja Stambh at Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

Read another related post on the most beautiful heritage temple in Amer town: Jagat Shiromani Temple

I don’t recommend everyone to visit Ambikeshwar Temple because it’s not grand or opulent. Nor it is beautiful. It will not interest a tourist. But surely worth a visit for the traveler, history buff, heritage lover, and people who love to explore. What about the story of Maharajah Kakil Deo that I mentioned above? Frankly, I’m not sure if that was Kakil Deo or some Meena chieftain because in history books the place is known as Amer only. If the town was named during the Rajput rule, what was it called before? Yet to be answered!! But the temple holds special significance to Kachwaha Rajputs probably as a bridge between the history of their community & this region.

In the end, let me share a picture of the beautiful wall of Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple featuring a procession of Maharaja’s army. Ambikeshwar Mandir is definitely worthy of putting in the list of Jaipur Temples worth visiting.

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100 thoughts on “Is Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple A Protagonist In The History Of Amer?

  1. You say the Ambikeshwar Temple isn’t beautiful, but the detailed architecture looks amazing to me. Such interesting history, Arv, and although you say that tourists probably wouldn’t find this site impressive, I’d love to see it for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Millie, I mentioned with respect to the fact that there are plenty of temples with similar architecture. So everyone has their own preferences. I’m sure person like you who loves history and architecture will love visiting this place. That’s what I have mentioned at the end of this post too 😊


  2. very nice. Each temple in India represents the then political-social status of the society as well as the length of the education & knowledge of people lived in the era. I hope you could write an article on the Martand Sun Temple of kashmir

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Ambikeshwar Temple looks beautiful with its colourful ceiling, wall collage and architectural style. Often the priest community claims lofty myths about the temples for obvious reasons. It’s important to make people aware of the historical facts. Thanks for sharing the bits of history, much appreciated… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maniparna human greed has always continued to distort facts in its favour. Nothing new…even kings used to get their biographies re-written to build things for themselves. Happy to hear that you liked this post and temple too. By the way do you love heritage and history, maniparna?

      Liked by 1 person

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