Saas Bahu or Shastrabahu temples, the name itself is exciting and one must have this excitement in their tour to Udaipur. Built in 10th Century by kachhwaha king Mahapala, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The famous temples are strategically located in Nagda district in Rajasthan.
The popularly known Saas Bahu temples are in fact wrongly pronounced. Because of the close association or phoning words, they are misinterpreted as Saas Bahu temples.
The temple was smashed by a Delhi emperor and now remains partially in ruins but still exudes the magnificence and old world charm which attracts various tourists. The temples which have intricate carvings on walls and ceilings are the ultimate travel destination for art and architect lovers. The brilliant designs and architect symbolise the expertise of the past era. The temple has also secured a place as a heritage monument in the Archaeological Survey.
The Etymology of Saas-Bahu Temple:
The temple basically has two structures one of which is known as Saas temple and the other one is known as Bahu temple. The two temples are probably named so because of the inseparable relation of Saas and Bahu in India.
The temple which is dedicated to Vishnu is actually Sahastrabahu Temple meaning one with the 1000 arms carnation of Lord which is also a form of Lord Vishnu.
Architect of Saas Bahu temples:
The twin temples are raised on a platform which has a toran on the entrance. The temples have few religious as well as some decorative carvings. The temples don’t contain any idols, or any kind of worship does not happen at the temples. Though some parts of temples are distorted and statues are missing, the temple still has an aesthetic appeal for travellers.
Both the temples have an altar or mandap like structure at the entrance. The entrance also has lotus carved ceiling. The Bahu temple is slightly smaller than that of saas temple. The Bahu temple has 8 women who are decorated with an octagonal roof like structure. There is an arch in the front part of the temple. Just like the ceiling, the walls of temples too have carvings of Lord Shiva and Vishnu. The walls also have various prominent events of Ramayana carved on them.
The sculptures are carved in 2 stages. The first stage has Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu images carved while the second stage has Rama, Balaram and Parshurama images carved on them.
The temples have good connectivity through roadways. One can travel by a cab or a bus to Nagda through Udaipur, which is a famous travel destination for people across India and a favourite get-away weekend place for people of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The temple site is only 22 km away from Udaipur. It is also in close vicinity to Shaivite shrine of Eklingi and Vaishnavite shrine at Nathdwara which are hugely frequented by people.
How to reach :
Udaipur is one of the most popular and well connected cities in Rajasthan, it is well connected through air and road links as well as railways and because of that a person traveling to Udaipur has all the options available. If a person is planning a road trip then also Udaipur is well connected to all the major cities of Rajasthan.
By air: Maharana Pratap airport or Dabok airport is how the Udaipur airport is known as and it is well connected by daily flights from all the metro cities of India.
By rail: Udaipur railway station or Udaipur city railway station (UDZ) is well connected via rail route with all the major cities and town. Trains are available round the clock. It is dotted with a number of hotels and lodges so if a person has not booked a place to stay can easily find accommodation here.
By road: Udaipur is connected to rest of the country through 3 national highways i.e NH8, NH48 , NH27 and apart from state transport buses there are a lot of private bus operators who connect Udaipur to rest of the country. The kind of buses range from regular buses to sleeper coaches and Volvo bus service operated by Rajasthan State Transport.