UDAIPUR: Nagda, a small town known for its temples, situated 23 kilometres to the north west of Udaipur, continues to enthral visitors from far and wide. Here is situated a famous 10th century temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu which is popularly known as the ‘Saas-Bahu’ temple.

Nagda town was found by Nagaditya, the fourth Mewar king. Initially, it was known as Nagahrida and served as the capital of Mewar. “Nagda is famous for this unusual temple that dates back to the 10th century. The term ‘Saas-Bahu’ suggests ‘motherin-law and daughter-in-law’ respectively and it was made by a pair of Saas-Bahu. The queens in Mewar were very empowered and had a deep love for sculpture and art.

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There has been a history of queens who built many temples mostly of Lord Vishu till the middle of 16th century,” historian and writer Shri Krishna Jugnu told TOI. Queen Mahalaxmi, wife of king Bhardbhatt, made the Saas temple while her daughterin law Hariya Devi, wife of king Allat, made the Bahu temple.

The main entrance to the temples is made through a door that has carved lintels and a multi-lobed arch in its middle. Both the structures are laid out on a same platform on altar, a mandapa (columned prayer hall) with projections and a porch,” said Jugnu.

The temple of Saas is comparatively larger than that of the Bahu. The ‘Bahu’ temple has an octagonal ceiling, which is adorned with beautifully carved eight intricate female figures. The ‘Saas’ temple has a torana (archway) in its front and it is believed that the image of the Lord Vishnu was swung from the torana along with hymns in the praise of lord on ceremonial occasions. Both the temples are constructed on a common platform facing towards the east direction. The temple is accredited for having wonderful carvings

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