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SHILA MATA TEMPLE OF JAIPUR IN RAJASTHAN, INDIA


Shila Mata Temple, also known as the Kali Temple, is an intriguingly astounding temple of the 16th century dedicated to the goddess Kali and built by Maharaja Man Singh who was a great devotee of goddess Kali and worshipped the goddess for victory during battles. This temple is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Amber Palace complex.
 
Legend

According to a legend, Maharaja Man Singh I had worshiped the Goddess for a victory over the rulers of Bengal. The Goddess appeared in the Maharaja's dream and ordered him to recover her statue lying under sea near Jessore (now in Bangladesh) and install it in a befitting Temple. True enough, after subjugating the enemies the Maharaja recovered the statute from the bed of the sea. The temple is called after Shila Devi, "shila" meaning stone slab. Like all temples this too has an image of Ganesha on the doorway, but carved from a single piece of coral.

SHILA MATA TEMPLE OF JAIPUR

About Amber Palace

Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur. The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1952 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble.

A breathtakingly beautiful complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples standing in a magnificent state reflects the royal past of Rajasthan. The palace complex emerges dramatically from the placid waters of Maotha Lake, which makes it like a fairy tale palace. A spectacular painted hall, Diwan-e-Aam, and a double storeyed painted gateway are sure to leave you spellbound.

The fort has 4 sections; each with the premises and one has to climb up through the imposing stairway or else the broad aisle, where one can ride on the elephant back for royal feel. The main gate Surajpol that leads to the Jaleb chowk, which is the main courtyard from where one can walk up the stairway, that leads to the palace. Jaleb Chowk was also the area where returning armies were welcome and they would display their war earnings to the population at large.

The Kali Temple

Before you enter the palace just towards the right is a sleep aisle and a narrow staircase reaching up to Kali Temple also called Shila Devi Temple famous for its mysterious history and the huge silver lions. It is a gorgeous temple featuring silver doors with raised relief. Entry into Shila Mata Temple is through Singh Pol. The temple is devoted to Shila Mata (Goddess Kali), the goddess of victory and houses a black marble idol of the goddess which was brought here from Jessore by Raja Man Sigh in 1604. You would find nine images of Goddess Durga (strength) and ten forms of Goddess Saraswati (knowledge) which are carved on the silver gates of the temple. The mandap of this temple is made up of white marble contrasting the colours of the idols. Getting back from the temple the main stairways lead to the second courtyard of the fort.

The Amber Fort of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India

The picturesque situation of Amber at the mouth of a rocky mountain gorge, in which nestles a lovely lake, has attracted the admiration of all travelers. It is seen to be a remarkable example for its combined Rajput-Mughal architecture. The outer appearance of the Fort, being rough and craggy is totally different from its core. The interior of the Fort provides a soothing and warm ambience, which is least expected from its outer appearance. The marvelous decoration of the Amer Fort is influenced by both, the Hindu and Muslim manner of ornamentation. Exquisite paintings of hunting scenes on the walls depict the temperament of the Rajputs, who were adventurous, revolutionary and self-indulgent.

SHILA MATA TEMPLE OF JAIPUR

The intricate carvings on the walls and ceilings simply astonish the visitors. The minute mirror work adds to the grand appearance and royalty of the halls. The Amer Fort undoubtedly captivates the tourists with its artistic quality of delicate work. The mighty walls guarantee the protection of the Fort against the invasion of the enemies.

The palace or the royal apartments lies inside the massive Amber fort complex with gateways, gardens, halls, stairways, pillared pavilions, temples and palaces. Some of the noteworthy architectural marvels in the complex are the 'Diwan-E-Khas', the 'Sheesh Mahal' and the 'Jai Mandir' with exquisite mirror work, the 'Diwan-E-Aam', the 'Sukh Niwas', the Shila Mata Temple and Kali temple and the well laid out garden the 'Kesar Kyari'.

The fort is entered through the 'Dil-e-Aaram' Garden, laid out in the traditional Mughal style. An imposing flight of stairs leads to the 'Diwan-E-Am' (hall of public audience) which has latticed galleries and double row of columns each having a capital in the shape of elephants on the top. To the right are steps that lead to the small Kali Temple. Maharaja Man Singh was a great devotee of Goddess Kali and prayed to the goddess for victory during battles. The temple has huge doors made of silver. The larger white marble Shila Mata temple has the image of Goddess Kali, brought by Raja Man Singh from Jessore in East Bengal (now Bangladesh).

The emperors apartments lies on a higher terrace beyond a two tiered decorative gateway, 'Ganesh Pol, covered with elegant frescoes and pavilions having fascinating jali (Lattice worked) screens. The 'Jai Mandir' (hall of victory) has a glittering ceiling with mirror pieces on stucco and elegant inlaid panels. The 'Diwan- E- Khas', hall of private audience is similar in ornamentation to Jai Mandir and the 'Seesh Mahal', hall of Mirrors known for its craftsmanship in mirrors, is the most spectacular of the lot. Thousands of mirror pieces adorn the walls and the ceiling that, any streak of light makes them sparkle and illuminates the entire room. When royalty lived there, at night when they had to come through and needed lighting they would take a single candle and because of all of the tiny intricate mirrors, the entire room would light up and would also give a romantic illusion of twinkling stars on a clear night. In front of the Jai Mandir is the 'Sukh Niwas' (hall of pleasure) with a door made of sandalwood, inlaid with ivory with a channel running through, which formerly carried cool water acting as an air cooler.

The zenana or the women's apartments and frescoes depicting Krishna Leela scenes surround a spectacular courtyard. There are private chambers from where the royal women could watch the proceedings of the royal court in privacy. The well-proportioned garden, Kesar Kyari in the center of Maotha Lake and the Dilaram Bagh at its north end provide a spectacular view of the palaces.

The best part of this tourist attraction situated on a crafty hill, is the royal elephant ride. The flawless beauty of the Fort can be enjoyed royally with an elephant ride. Amber or Amer Fort is the part of Jaipur and its royalty. A trip to Jaipur would be definitely incomplete, without the visit to this imperial Fort of Amber.

Location and Transport

Amber fort and palace is a 10 minute steep climb through Jai pol (Gate of Victory) from Amber/ Ambar / Amer, 11 km from Jaipur on the Delhi- Jaipur road. Facilities available for elephant back ride up to Amber fort. The city of Jaipur is easily accessible from the major cities of India, so reaching Jaipur is not difficult at all. Jaipur is well-connected by rail, road and air. Jaipur has a brilliant road network making it easier for people to travel.

Air
Jaipur is connected to Delhi (300Km), Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Calcutta and Varanasi by domestic flights.

Rail
The train service to Jaipur is available from all the major parts of the country.

Road
Jaipur can be accessed from all the major places in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai by bus. Jaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Excellent road network serves people to enjoy a comfortable journey to and from Jaipur. This mode of traveling is quite easy and comparatively cheap. Regular bus services from nearby cities connect Jaipur to the other cities. Deluxe Buses, AC coaches and Government buses are available for the convenience of the passengers.

Facts

Location: On Delhi-Jaipur Highway, 11 km from Jaipur in Rajasthan
Built by: Raja Man Singh I 
Built in: 1592 
Highlights: Wonderful carvings and minute mirror work, Exquisite Seesh Mahal
Best time to visit: October to February
Timings: Open 9 am - 16.30 pm

 

 
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