Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pavagadh Jain Temples & Navlakha Kothar (Vadodara - Gujarat)

Beside the Lakulisa temple is the route to climb up the hill. Err... It took some time for me get the word 'Lakulisa' in my mouth. I was repeatedly referring to it as 'Lavakusa' (Lava and Kusa are the sons of Lord Rama)!!!!
Atop the hill, are 3 Jain temples. They belong to the Digambara sect of Jainism. Originally there was just 1 temple here which was in extreme level of ruins. 

In other words, there were panels of just 1 temple, strewn all over this place. In recent years, those have been put together and 3 temples were built.
Sadly in the rebuilding process, the ancient charm of the temple is lost. There are some new panels inserted in the midst of the old ones, totally spoiling the look which should have been like Lalikusa, otherwise!

Almost at the cliff was another little temple which was more in ruins, but with very beautiful sculptural detail, almost like in Lakulisa. I thought, the view from here was spectacular, but little did I know, this was only the intro!!!
Something that intrigued me was these cute creatures in the lower section of these little mandapas on the cliff. On the 2 sides of each structure, were the creatures and they're holding a chain in their mouth, as if they're pulling the chariot shaped mandapa!!!

Further atop was this 5-domed brick structure, built by Solanki rulers called the Navlakha Kothar, almost at the cliff, which was later on used as a granary. Its not the granary that took me by awe, but the walk towards it!!! 
It was a slight trek on a shallow slope, on a dirt track. Yes, I did the mistake of not taking enough water and was almost panting by the time I came down....
A view from the cliff, showed the hill top of a shorter hill beside, into the deep valley. There was another brick structure there completely in ruins. I was told that the brick structure there was used as a prison. A make shift ladder was put in place from this cliff to that hill top using which prisoners were transported there and imprisoned there in lonely cells! 



These are some shots from the cliff of Navlakha Kothar hill to the valley deep inside. The feel was awesome... The feel of the wind blowing on the face was great! The adrenaline of standing at the very last tip of the cliff was fabulous!!! I could stand there all day long. But my friends managed to bring me down and I was the last one to get out of that place as sun started sinking down...

TO GET THERE:
To reach Lakulisa Temple (hill top of Pavagadh): Refer to my prev. post
From Lakulisa Temple: Straight ahead towards hill top leads to the Jain Temples and further ahead at the topmost cliff is the Navlakha Kothar.

On Google Maps:
Jain Temples: http://goo.gl/cSCiNo
Navlakha Kothar: http://goo.gl/Wp0QXw

Dedicated to Prof. Swaminathan & Co...

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