wall-fresco-at-ambikeshwar-mahadev-temple-chowk-amer-jaipur-jaipurthrumylens

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, 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.

 

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The entrance of Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer Town.

 

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

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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.

 

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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. 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.

 

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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 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.

 

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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Temple section with the low-level floor, Ambikeshwar Temple.

 

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Recessed Shivling at Ambikeshwar Temple. The marble job looks new and out of place.
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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 10-12 the 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.

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Ancient unnamed temple, Ambikeshwar Temple, Amer

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

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

 

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

 

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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.

Read all related posts on  Heritage Temples of Jaipur

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

    1. Donna, we don’t have documented records on Ambikeshwar temple to fall back upon. So it’s all open… As such this temple is not huge. There are other heriatge temples to check out on jaipurthrumylens.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the way you frame your pictures! There was the picture of the Tata Daimler truck a few days back and then there’s the picture of the door here with the chappals at the bottom. Gives a sense of how time freezes for a few things 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you…I’m happy to know you like the pictures. think we all have our own perspective. The chhapal here signals that it is still occupied and is in active use. Also, that’s what you see….
      Thanks once again for the appreciation and sharing your thought here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Arv, I appreciate how you apply logic along with history and fables to illustrate your beautiful photography of ancient monuments. Proud of you dear friend. Enjoyed reading about this lesser known temple. Thanks for the detailed narrative. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many times, we come across old buildings with no recorded history to fall back upon. I guess that’s the only option we are left with…like fixing a jigsaw puzzle…. I’m happy to know you like reading posts on lesser known places in Jaipur. Thanks for all the encouragement….keeps one going. I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So you won’t believe it, I saw a glimpse on Amer Fort on a programme called David Rocco’s Dolce India. And Basil was surprised that we didn’t see the this fort during our Rajasthan trip. The fort walls look very similar to the Great Wall of China. 🙂 You went to Bhangarh? I must read that post. I heard it’s really spooky. Couple of my friends wanted to visit the entire list. lol. Rajasthan is pretty fascinating with its unique style of architecture and long history with royalty. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen couple of his episode being aired while flipping through channels. I’m not much into food so I don’t care. I guess Amer Fort is most popular among all forts in India. Iconic… actually!
      Yes it has wall running all around. I have posted many pictures from great wall of Amer on my blog. Let me know if you want to see them. Will post links!
      I agree there’s no State like Rajasthan when. It comes to history, architecture and beauty!

      I have been to Bhangarh couple of times. You want to read the post?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did read your post on Bhangarh. 🙂 I think I might have read your posts on Amer. It’s a little confusing keeping track of all the forts in Rajasthan. 🙂 You’re doing an excellent job of highlighting the old gems.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well only five six forts are famous among so many of them. Yeah, its quite perplexing….
        But it’ll be worth all the trouble. Thanks for the appreciation, Cheryl

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, a great post from you. What I especially like is how you’ve honestly told the reader that the temple is not ‘touristy’ enough. And that you did not fall for the ‘5000’ years old folklore. Indeed, some local stories are too far-fetched to be legitimate. But even then, the temple looks inviting enough just because of its architecture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pradita, tourists have different agenda in comparison to the explorers. I think it’s important to inform the reader beforehand to ensure that they don’t get disappointed. I generally mention this in all posts related to the non touristy places. I’m happy to know that you liked the architecture of this temple. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pradita

      Like

      1. I don’t know about others but I certainly don’t want people to visit places with false hopes. We already have many digital marketers who are undertaking this work. So often you come across amazing pictures on internet but on reality it’s not the case. Thanks for appreciating Pradita.

        Like

      2. I know how it feels. If something looks out of the world…its usually a job of photoshop! I always google if something sounds too good. Image search surely helps. Try it next time…I’m sure it saves time and misery!

        Like

  5. Arv! I’m taking a blogging hiatus over the summer months with the exception I’m participating in my Monday music posts each week since I co-host this meme. Anyhow, while going through my email I realized it’s been a long time since I visited, so thought it was time to venture over to see what’s going on in your part of the world. As always, it was interesting to stroll through the distant city streets taking in the various sights that you share and to read the history behind the architecture and relics within the touring area you’re visiting. I have to ask what are those fin like protrusion that spirals the Dwaja Stambh? It almost looks like a winding staircase except the steps are too far apart. It was nice to visit with you, my friend. Have an excellent day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cathy for your visit. I understand that it’s time crunch that makes it impossible to visit each other’s blog. The fins you mentioned are steps. It was popular in certain period. It was not used regularly and with this design pattern a full fledged stair case is not possible. Thanks for checking out things here in this part of the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ambikeshwar Temple sounds like every bit the interesting temple. It is interesting to hear others disputing how old the temple is. But from the sounds of it, it has been around for a while and that it has had quite an impact on the local community. Pity that part of it can get submerged during the monsoon season – but I am sure the people who designed the temple had a reason for building the temple that way, and maybe it was to prevent water from going to other parts of the temple. No surprised to hear temples are commissioned by royalty…after all, they take a heap of resources to be built. And at the end of the day, sacred religious places like these unites the world in more ways than one. Great historical write up, Arv 

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mabel, without anything in written and record, people can always misuse faith. Many religions are facing similar issue be it facts or interpretations. When something is left open…people can always use it to their advantage!

      While we may not the reasons for submerging of water in the temple, which Lord Shiva is associated with I’m sure it must have been a deliberate design since this is only part in the vicinity which is quite low…must have been dug up!

      There are many old temples commissioned by the erstwhile royalty and be for the reason you mentioned. Thanks for the visit and sharing your opinion, Mabel!

      Like

      1. ‘people can always misuse faith.’ This is such an interesting idea and it is so true these days given that people are so globalised and open-minded.

        Maybe in the past someone believed there was treasure underneath that part of the temple, and so it was dug deep. Or the stones below were very valuable 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No idea about the reasons Mabel but I’m sure they were intelligent. Its a deliberate design for sure.

        I don’t advocate the idea of everything old is good but design from that era had both aesthetic and utility in mind.

        These days people don’t have so much time and they just believe whatever is being fed to them. That’s why media has become so powerful. Today you can implant anything in people’s mind by buying media…. I’m sure you’ll agree.

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      3. Having majored in media at university, I agree that the media can be manipulative. Often with historical places, the media are fond of playing up the happier side of it – and really with many travel destinations. It is good that you sought the right facts and visited the place for what it is at your own pace.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow that’s something I didn’t know. Media is always about selling…idea, place, news….

        So are you still into media in terms of career?

        Like

      5. True. Media is forever selling, commercial media that is. Different story with niche media outlets, like smaller publication and of course, media such as blogs like your blog…

        I have decided a long time ago that media isn’t for me as a career 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Agree with you on the last picture. There is so much history behind us that it seems almost unbelievable…who knows what really would have happened then!

    But atleast we can preserve our historical sites and enjoy them till they last.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Looking at the technology available during those times, the precision, planning and clarity of thought needs to be appreciated. I just hope we are able to preserve it for the future generations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha! Good point. Even Apple seems to be running out of such employees looking at the way new products are being developed. Surely Steve jobs was a better driver.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! I know…Amer Fort itself demands lots of time! Keep me posted whenever you are visiting Jaipur, will suggest you on how you can see them in short time span!

      Like

  8. I went to Jaipur in 2012, and how I wish I could revisit it but something or other keeps coming. Also, Amer Fort is one place I could not visit. This piece of yours is so intriguing, it makes more tempting to visit Amer asap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Five years? Although not a long time but certainly you should visit Jaipur again! I can understand how it feels when you can’t travel …when you want to! I’m hoping you get to visit Jaipur soon! 🙂

      Like

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