Nau Toran Temple is a rare 11th century temple with some of the most exquisite toranas (gateway) of its time. The architectural styling and detailing seen on the carved toranas is reminiscent of Hindola Torana built by the Kachchhapaghata dynasty.
This ancient temple has a porch, maha mandapa and garbha griha. The most striking feature of this temple is the highly ornate ten arched gateways that are designed in two rows lengthwise and widthwise. The centre of these two rows has two beautiful pillars that appear to support this structure.
Sages, apsaras, floral and animal motifs, linear and foliage patterns, stories from the scriptures, gods and goddesses placed in miniature niches and various forms of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu adorn the arched gateways. The architectural elements incorporated within these innumerable figures and designs reveals the mastery of the artisans.
There is a Shiva Linga in the sanctum sanctorum. An impressive statue of Lord Varaha sits in the middle of this unusual structure. According to folklore, Maharana Pratap used the tunnel that runs beneath this temple to offer prayers at the presiding deity of Chittorgarh.
The temple, though in ruins is remarkably preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
* Photos are only symbolic (Taken from public domain/internet and any copyright infringement is unintentional and regrettable)