“Unity in Diversity”!
It is a famous quote by Vincent Smith to describe India. The country is a mingling bowl of different cultures and cuisines. People of different faiths and various linguistic groups have been living here peacefully for centuries. With majority of its inhabitants practicing Hindu faith, India is home to several beautiful temples dedicated to deities and gods. Majestic architecture and marvelous craftsmanship apart, all temples have a unique and interesting story that will never fail to leave you amazed.
Udaipur is a beautiful city in Rajasthan. There are several must-visit spots in the city and Saas-Bahu temple is one of them. Saas-Bahu temple is located in Nagda Village situated 23-km away from Udaipur. Curious to know its background story? Here it is for you.
A King Dedicated the Shrine to His Wife and Daughter-in-Law
As per the historical records, no temples in India, except this saas-bahu one, have been built to adore the mother-in-law (saas) and daughter-in-law (bahu). This saas-bahu temple was built by King Mahipala of Kachchhwaha Dynasty in the 10th or 11th A.D. According to the local belief, Mahipala’s wife was a worshipper of Lord Vishnu. Mahipala got a temple constructed for his beloved wife, wherein the queen could worship her favorite deity.
Later, the prince got married to a girl who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Therefore, a temple of Lord Shiva was constructed next to the Vishnu temple for the daughter-in-law.
From ‘Sahastrabahu’ to ‘Sas Bahu’
The shrine of Lord Vishnu was built first and so named Sahastrabahu Temple. Sahastrabahu Temple implies ‘the one with a thousand arms’, referring to Lord Vishnu. Afterwards, the two temples got to be known as Sahastrabahu Temple. With the passage of time, the Sahastrabahu Temple came to be known as Saas-Bahu Temple. The Saas Temple or Vishnu Temple is larger than the Bahu Temple or Shiva Temple.
What to See?
The Saas-Bahu temple is situated en route Eklingji, the shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Saas-Bahu shrine is encircled by ten or five smaller temples respectively. In the front space of the Saas Temple, there is an archway for housing the idol of Lord Vishnu during special occasions. Each of the three doors in the temple faces a different direction whereas the fourth one is situated in a room closed to block public access.
Idols of Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Saraswati are placed at the entrance of the shrine. The architecture of the temple-duo is very impressive and their walls have marvelous carvings. Unfortunately, some parts of the shrines are in ruins due to several foreign invasions and wear and tear of time.
If you have a plan to travel Udaipur, not visiting the Saas-Bahu temple will be an unpardonable sin. This heritage site is not only beautiful but also has a fascinating story to amaze the travellers.
Have you recently been to a heritage site? Does the site have any such interesting story buried in the abyss of time? Write for us to share it with our readers.
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