Sunday, 24 June 2012

Ancient Shiva Temple at Ambernath

The Shiva temple at Ambarnath is one of its kind in this region. 

This temple is a fine example of the Vesara style that was predominant in the central parts of India. Vesara style is essentially a tasteful blend of two schools of architecture, the Dravidian style and the Nagara style, in simple words, a mix of the north Indian and south Indian styles of temple making. 

There were many regional versions of Vesara styles. The one in Ambernath is in the Hemadpanti style. Hemadpanti was a legendry prime minister during the regime of Devagiri kings. He was a great patron of temple architecture and the style evolved under his patronage is named after him. 

The features are bold. For example the heavily decorated outside wall and the stepped pyramid that forms the tower. The whole temple is executed in coarse brownish stone that is typical of this region. The plan of the temple is corrugated or fluted along its edges. The idea is to have a larger wall surface to accommodate a plethora of sculptures and other decorations that is the these of this style. Had it been a straight outer wall only less that half of the sculptures could be accommodated on along the outer surface of the wall. The sculptures of Hindu mythology, predominantly Shaiva theme , forms a chain around the temple et the eye level. There are fluted mouldings above and below the sculptures. A large number of the sculptures has lost its details to the weathering. Unlike the soapstone used by the Hoysalas or the hard marble , the type of rock used in Ambernath temple is flaky. The weather took its toll. The details got blended thanks to the flaking over the centuries. The portions relatively isolated from the natural elements were better preserved. Still as a whole the sculptures are intact. The tower is in the classic Nagara style. The tower over the vestibule and the central hall is intact, but the pinnacle over the sanctorum is partially collapsed. One can find the image of dancing Shiva on the tower. The motif on a block standing skyward is beautifully carved. 

There are three porches that give access to the central hall of the temple through a vestibule. The priests sit in this portion of the temple. This portion is intricately carved. The roof is supported by an array of pillars , which itself is a piece of art. Never forget to look up at the ceiling with all the details carved in stone. A Nandi ( Bull) image is located at the center of the main porch, which is in the west. To reach the inner sanctrom, one has to climb down from the main hall. The linga is located in this underground sanctorum which is open to the sky. Devotees offer prayer sitting close to the linga, which is installed at the center of this open sanctorum. 

The temple is set on the slop of an otherwise barren hillock. A small stream - a tributary of the Valdhan - flows along the edge of the temple compound. The water is much spoiled though. Shivratri is a major festival day for the temple. Devotees throng in thousands on that day. It falls in February or March every year. 

The name Ambarnath literally means 'Lord of the sky'. Ambarnath is the site of a very old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, dating back, to 10th century. It is a beautiful temple carved out of stone in Hemad style construction. Ambarnath has a Mumbai Suburban Railway link to
Mumbai and lies on the route to Karjat and Pune. 

Mumbai suburban railway : Central Railway
Next station south: Badlapur
Next station north: Ulhasnagar
Stop No: 27 from Mumbai CST
KM from starting: 60
Coordinates: 19°12′N 73°10′E / 19.2, 73.167.

Wide Arial View of Shiva Mandir

Shikhar of Shiv Mandir

Side View of Shivs Mandir

Garden area near Temple site
Main Entry and Nandi at front side door

Pillars at main door

Beautiful carvings on pillars 
Cravings of God & Goddess on Wall of Temples

Amazing side view of this Beautiful Temple

Back View of Temple

Enjoy every angel of this temple
Inside main Hall Sunlight is coming from top is look like magical rays.

Underground Shiva Linga

God Shiva Bless you All....
One Holy Pond is also near Temple 
Do visit this place you can find this place on Google maps also.

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. photo's are really marvelous but this requires details about distance from station, nearby by ashrams, hotels, transport facility from station to temple

    1. It's 2.5 kms from station, rickshaws ply which go to ulhasnagar @10 rupees, but no ashram or hotel, but there are ladge at station

  3. Very informative...very useful...and great pics... Thanks Himanshu !!!

  4. Very nice blog. Went thro' some other posts as well...thanks for sharing so much :)

  5. very informative.... thanku for sharing...

  6. this temple in exposed black rock has none of the commercial atmosphere of the paint and plaster city temples. Tourist Attractions in India

  7. Great Pics Himanshu. I have been staying near the temple all my life but have never seen such beautiful clicks anywhere! - Ameya

    1. Thanks to you and all for supporting and motivating .

    2. Very informative...very useful...and great pics. Thanku 4 sharing. Namashivayah.

  8. Thank you so much Himanshu. I am a resident of Ambarnath but did not get such detailed information anywhere. Keep up the good work :)

  9. Hi Himanshu,
    It's great for the information. Is the temple open on Sunday so I can plan visiting?

  10. Very Well written post, thoroughly enjoyed it. Shiv Mandir is really amassing place. You can also check my post at Shiv Mandir Ambarnath at

  11. thanx for informative post. plan to visit tomorrow lord shiva's day. hope my wish is granted+

  12. Very nice pics brother, may god rudra bless you with all his powerful blessings, I am leaving in Ambernath sice my birth and this temple is carved from one single stone

    1. Thank you so much Brother, for your appreciation and prompt reply on comments.

  13. Awesome detailing!

    Please help with temple timings & seva that can be performed, thanks.

  14. Very nice post, really loved to read this post. Pictures were beautiful and well explained about this place. Thanks for sharing this lovely place. It is one of the must visit place. If anyone wants to visit this place, try your booking in Bus Ticket Booking portal.

  15. Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks Old World

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