Temples at Kumbhalgarh
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.