The Kalika Mata Temple located within the legendary Chittorgarh Fort is a 8th century edifice of immense historical importance. This is one of the many structures within the famed fort that was desecrated by the Muslim barbarian, Alauddin Khilji in the infamous Sack of Chittor in 1303.
The Chittorgarh Fort was ruled by the Mori Rajputs in the early part of the 8th century followed by the Guhilas of Medapata. The Kalika Mata Temple originally a Sun Temple was perhaps commissioned by Maharaja Manuraja of the Mori Rajputs. The temple was then rebuilt by Maharana Hammir Singh of the Sisodia dynasty who ruled over the Kingdom of Mewar in the 14th century when he managed to recover the Chittorgarh Fort from Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
Maharana Hammir Singh installed an idol of Kalika Mata in the inner shrine and restored the temple to it former splendour. The temple has its own walled enclosure and sits atop a small hillock.
The temple in plan is very similar to the Kumbha Shyam Temple that is believed to have been built in the same period. The temple has an entrance porch, a sabha mandapa, an antarala and a garbha griha. There is another shrine dedicated to Jogeshwar Mahadev opposite this temple.
The temple though in ruins and relatively simple in decoration has exquisite sculptures of gods and goddesses, floral, bell, foliage and pot carvings, auspicious Hindu iconography and panels depicting stories from the Puranas on the ceilings.
As this was earlier a Sun Temple, there is a carving of Lord Surya on his chariot seen on the lintel above the sanctum sanctorum accompanied by Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Indra. There is a Surya Kund nearby that was renovated by Bappa Rawal.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
Leave a Reply