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Rajasthan tourism promotes visit to Abhaneri, an important ancient village, in the Dausa district of Rajasthan. Abhaneri tourism facilitates a sightseeing tour to Harshat Mata Temple and Stepwell, famous for magnificent carved sculptures and architecture. Abhaneri flourished as a great center of arts.

India - Rajasthan - Jaipur - Abhaneri Temples

Abhaneri Temples


Distance : 90 km east of Jaipur

Abhaneri

Abhaneri, in the Dausa district of Rajasthan, used to be an important village in the ancient times. The sculpture and architecture suggest that it must have been a great centre of arts. But the flourishing town was ruined by none other than the early 11th century plunderer Mahmud Ghazni in one of his invasions (see Historyof Delhi for more on Ghazni.)


¤ Main Attractions

Harshat Mata Temple
Today Abhaneri is mainly famous for the Harshat Mata Temple belonging to the 9th century. of course, only portions of this ancient shrine remain now, like the sanctuary walls, terrace and something of the columned mandapa (forechamber). The sanctum, shorn of its superstructure, is enclosed in an ambulatory and is pancharatha (with five offsets) in structure. The walls have carved nichés in which are images of other deities.

These worn out images indicate that the temple was originally dedicated to Vishnu, the Creator of the Hindu trinity of Creator-Preserver-Destroyer. The architectural details of the terrace basement is more or less complete, showing friezes of geometric ornament and miniature nichés with sculptures of seated deities and amorous couples. The columns and walls are adorned with scenes of dance, music, sport and love, although majorly damaged now. Some of the better panels have been shifted to the Archaeological Museum, Amber and the Central Museum, Jaipur. The sanctum now enshrines an image of the four-armed deity Harasiddhi, locally called Harshat Mata. Many images of Hindu deities have been found around the place which are being preserved by the Archaelogical Survey of India. A mela (fair) is held near the temple in the month of Chaitra (March-April) every year.


Chand Baoli-A Stepwell
Near the Harshat Mata Temple is the stepwell Chand Baoli, belonging to the 11th century AD. The desert kingdom of Rajasthan has many such tanks which served as community centres, and constructing them was considered an act of great generosity and benevolence. These baolis or stepwells were no ordinary structures; they were marvels of architecture. The Chand Baoli has beautifully carved panels inserted into the sides. The steps, in sets of 4 or 5, are in the shape of an inverted 'V'. The carved stone pillars, which are somewhat damaged now, were once strong enough for supporting pulleys to draw water. Several storeyed verandahs surround this beautiful stepwell.



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