Kumbhalgarh Fort almost has more than 350 temples including
Hindu and Jain Temples. Currently only some of major temples are in good
condition with the statues. Rest of the temples were successfully restored
but without the main statues. Some of the major temple are:
The Ganesh temple was built during the time of Maharana Kumbha and it is
located along the road leading to the palaces. According to one of the
inscriptions of Kirttistambha of Chittaurgarh fort, Rana Kumbha
consecrated an image of Ganesha in this temple.
The Vedi temple was built by Rana Kumbha in AD 1457 for performing rituals
after completion of the fort. The building is double storeyed and erected
on a high platform. The temple faces west. It is octagonal on plan with
thirty-six pillars supporting the domical ceiling. A triple shrined temple
dedicated to goddesses is located to the east of this temple.
NEELKANTH MAHADEV TEMPLE
Situated to the east of Vedi shrine, this temple was built in AD 1458 and
enshrines a Siva linga in the garbhagriha. It is built on raised platform
accessible from west through a flight of steps. The temple consists of a
sanctum and an open pillared mandapa all around. The shrine is
sarvtobhadra with entrance from all the four directions. A stone
inscription on the left pillar of the western gate mentions about its
renovations by Rana Sanga.
The temple was built by Nar Singh Pokhad in Vikrama Samvat 1508 (AD 1451).
It houses a three feet high idol of Jaina Tirthankara Parsvanatha.
BAVAN DEVRI TEMPLE
This famous Jaina shrine derives its name from the fifty-two (bawan)
shrines in a single compound built around the main shrine. The bigger
shrine among the group consists of a sanctum, antarala and an open mandapa.
An image of Jaina Tirthankara is carved on the lalatabimba of the doorway.
The smaller shrines are devoid of any idols.
The Golerao group of temples is located adjacent to Bawan Devi Temple and
consists of nine shrines enclosed by a circular wall. The shrines are
adorned with beautiful carved sculptures of gods and goddesses on its
exterior. On the basis of architectural style, the group may be ascribed
to the period of Rana Kumbha. A sculpture bears an inscription dated V. S.
1516 (AD 1459) and speaks of one Govinda. absulite perfecty palace.\
This temple is also known as Kumbha Shyam, and it consists of a flat
roofed sanctum and a pillared mandapa. An inscription of Rana Kumbha
giving detailed history of Kumbhalgarh was fixed on this temple. A large
number of carved idols of gods and goddesses were recovered from the
premises of this temple.
PITAL SHAH TEMPLE
This east facing Jain shrine is located in the northern part of the fort.
Built by Pitalia Jain Seth in V. S. 1512 (AD 1455) on a raised plinth, the
temple consists of a pillared sabhamandapa and a sanctum having entrances
from all the four directions. The jangha is adorned with images of gods
and goddesses besides asparas and dancers.
MUCHHALA MAHAVEER TEMPLE
The story goes that once, when the Rana of Mewar was on a hunt, he came to
the temple where he was offered refreshment by the priest. The priest
offered him the Prasad of the Lord, and the Rana was amused to find a
strand of white hair in the Prasad, which must have fallen from the
priest’s head. As a joke, the Rana asked the priest “what! Does your Lord
have a moustache?” the scared priest, without realizing what he was
saying, replied in the affirmative. Carrying the joke further, the Rana
refused to pay his respects to the Lord that day, and told the priest that
he would return after three days, and wanted to see the moustache of the
lord. The priest didn’t know what to do and spent the next two days in
prayer. When he did not see any results, he decided to commit suicide
rather than be killed by the king. When he picked up the dagger of Bhairon
at the temple to kill himself, the Lord appeared before him and advised
him to cover the face of the idol with a piece of cloth and ask the king
to remove the cloth himself after offering prayers. When the king arrived
the next day, the priest welcomed him warmly and asked the king to have a
bath and offer prayers to the Lord himself. Seeing the cloth covering the
face of the idol, the king became angry and demanded an explanation. The
priest repeated to the king what he had been ordered to do by the Lord.
The king agreed and offered his prayers to the Lord, and when he opened
the cloth, Lo and Behold! The idol of Mahavir not only had moustaches, but
also a beard. The king repented for having made such a joke and asked
forgiveness from the priest. He was forgiven, and the beard and moustache
disappeared, but the name has stuck. The Lord has, since then, been called
‘Mucchal Mahavir’, or the Mahavir who had a moustache.