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  ABOUT BARMER KIRADU TEMPLES NAKODA TEMPLES VIRATRA TEMPLES  
 
ABOUT BARMER
 

Located in the north western Indian state of Rajasthan, Barmer district is well-known for its hand block printing and carved wooden furniture. The headquarters of the district is Barmer town. The major towns in the district are Chohatan, Baytu, Guda Malani, Shiv, Balotra and Siwana.

The town of Barmer is 224 kilometers from Jodhpur via Balotra and 198 kilometers via Panchpadra. The city of Jaisalmer is 157 kilometers from here while Jaipur is 588 kilometers away. The city of Ahmedabad is 485 kilometers from Barmer.

Barmer district is situated in the Thar Desert or the Great Indian Desert. The district is well-known for its dance and folk music. One can find the Bhopas or priest singers here. They are known for their music composition honoring war heroes and the deities of the region. Another type of folk musicians, the Muslim Dholis or drummers are also famous here.

The population of the district is around 1963758, according to 2001 census. Males constitute 10, 35,813 of the population while females comprise 9, 27,945 residents. The district is divided into 8 tehsils, 4 blocks and 1999 villages.

There are a number of attractions in Barmer district like Asotra, Batada Kua, Brahma Temple, Jain Temple, Jogmaya Temple, Mahabar Dunes, Surya Mandir Temple, Kher Temple, Viratra Mata Mandir, Kiradu, Nakoda, Nimbari, Garib, Pipa Mandir and Bhimgoda. 
One can see mud huts with beautiful folk motif decorations. The people wear colorful costumes and there are a number of shops selling traditional handicrafts. Barmer festival is held every year in the month of March which is a major tourist attraction of the district.

 

KIRADU TEMPLES

Situated on the foot of a hill near village Hathma in Barmer Tehsil is Kiradu. The inscription dating back to 1161 AD reveals that the place was called Kiratkoop and had once been the capital of Punwars. The ruins of five ancient temples - once dedicated to Lord Vishnu and other four dedicated to Lord Shiva - are of interest to archaeologists and art lovers, alike. The biggest of these temples is the Someshwar Temple.

The Kiradu group of temples is situated near the village Hathma about 43 km away from the Barmer region in Rajasthan. The inscriptions dating back to 1161 AD reveal that the ancient name of this place was Kiratakupa and was once the capital of the Punwars. The temples were built around c. 1000 AD and later. The temples represent the zenith of the Gurjara-Pratihara sub-style of the Nagara or North Indian Style of Temple Architecture.

The Vishnu temple of this group has the sanctum and the mandapa of which only the cubicle and the pillars of the central octagon have remained. The temple stands over an elaborately built plinth.

 

The pancharatha or five-faceted walls of the sanctum are built over the plinth. Only a few mini-spires are left of the multi-turreted spire or sikhara. The central pillar is left of the large open mandapa. The base of the beam is octagonal in shape and features a figure of apsara or heavenly maiden. They are similar in style to the figure from Baroli in southwest of Kota.

The temple of Somesvara is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctum of this temple is also five-faceted.

The plinth has moldings and jadyakumbha or inverted cymarecta. The figurative bands or the tharas featuring elephants, horses and human beings are notable. The jangha or the middle portion of the wall is the rupadhara or figurative band, which is placed below the niche. The niche is of bigger size on the bhadra or the cardinal facet to place a bigger image. The multi-turreted spire is no more. The half annulets below the vases have dainty foliage patterns. The toranas or decorated arches span over the spaces between the pillars are no more. The decoration on the exterior of the mandapa is equally elegant and varied. The notable are the scenes of combat and palace life, kaudakapalik rites and scenes from the Ramayana and from everyday life.

There are other three smaller Shiva temples. Architecturally they are not so beautiful but some sculptural depictions of ritual eroticism, temple building, Bhishma Pitamah lying on a couch of arrows and scenes from daily life, such as a group of acrobats are worth noticing.

The Kiradu group of temple has remained mostly unknown and underestimated because of its location. A visit to Kiradu is a must for keen students of temple architecture.

 
NAKODA TEMPLES

Nakoda is one of the villages in Barmer district of Rajasthan. This place got popular due to the Parshvanath Temple, Nakoda. Though Rajasthan is famous for its majestic forts and grand palaces it is equally famous for its religious places as well. This temple was built in veneration of the 12th Tirthankara, Parshvanath. This temple holds an important place amongst the various other Religious Places in Rajasthan. This temple is an important stopover for the travelers who are on their pilgrim tour of Rajasthan.

Nakoda Prashvanath Temple is situated en route from Jodhpur to Barmer. The ambience in and around this temple is very calm and offers a bliss which is simply captivating. It is surrounded from all the sides by the valleys. The hills have an elevation of 1,500 feet. The image of the Jain saint (tirthankara) Parshvanath is in the black stone apart from the other statues the different parts of India and also the world as well to come and pay visit to this lovely piece of architectural wonder. There are also the other temples that are located in the vicinity of Prashvanath Temple at Nakoda such as the Charbhuja temple and the Shiva temple that are around 500-600 years old.

One can reach to this temple without much hassle as it is located at a distance of 13 km from Balotra and 100 km from Barmer. The closest railway station is Jodhpur-Samadari-Barmer section of North Western Railway. The tourists can also avail the bus services from here as the buses are frequently available from here.

 

VIRATRA TEMPLES

Ancient Temple of Sree Vakrangi Mata (VankalMa), the KulDevi of Nandwana community, near Chohtan in Barmer.

Held at Veertara (12 km from village Chohatan), the fair venerated goddess Vakaldevi and is held thrice a year in the month of Chaitra, Bhadrapada & Magha. It is famous for Jagdambe ma Mandir(temple).

Vankal Devi or Viratra Devi, is Community Godess (Kuldevi) of Nandwanas and Bhopa community of Rajasthan. The beautiful temple is located in the dessert landscape of Village - Dhok thehsil - Chohtan, District - Barmer(Rajasthan). Stituated in the SW Rajasthan the Chohtan is well connected by roads from District headquater. Barmer the second largest desert district of Rajasthan is well connected from major cities of India. 
Constructed by carving out from White Marble blocks the Temple itself is a place to admire. The other temple which is situated at hill top can be visited after climbing nearly 1400 stairs. This temple has been renovated in recent. Reaching here one can take the great view of dessert and INDO-PAK border particularly in evening.

The army camp situated on nearby hill is also a matter of great curiocity since general public is not allowed there for security rasons.
For Visitors there is ample civic aminities. The dharmashala and its members are always at service. The bhojanshala here provides two vegeterian meals a day of good quality and taste and tea and coffee on demand.

Situated far from the hectic city life the Viratra dham is not only a pilgrimage place but also a recreation place for mind body and soul.

One can reach to the nearest district Barmer and travel by bus or taxi to CHOUHTAN. At Chohtan taxis (individual or share basis) are always ready to head towards Temple.

 
 
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