Source : Wikipedia The Shiv Mandir of Ambarnath is also called the Ambreshwar Shiva Temple. It is situated 2 km away from Ambarnath(East) railway station in Maharastra, India. It is said that Shilahara king Chittaraja constructed it, his son Mummuni rebuilt it. The temple is on the bank of Vadavan (Waldhuni) river. The temple is Hemadpanthi styled beautifully carved on stones. It is also believed by some people that the temple was built by the five Pandava brothers in just one night in a huge single mass of stone. But official records are not supportive to this. This temple has 20 steps to go down in the main room called (Gabhara) there is one shivling at the center of the room. on the occasion of Mahashivratri there is a big fair in the ambarnath to get blessings from lord Shiva.Mahashivratri Fair continues for 3-4 days. It starts 2 days prior to Mahashivratri and continues for 1 day after shivratri as well. This temple is overcrowded in Mahashivratri. On the day of mahashivratri Ambernath's Eastern side is blocked for vehicles and route is diverted for vehicles due to heavy traffic of pilgrims. Temple becomes overcrowded again in Shravan mahina(Month) to get blessings from Lord Shiva. Source : Wikimapia Ancient Shiv mandir in Ambernath. Over 1200 years old. Built of interlocking black stone in the "hemadpanti" style. Covered with exqusite carvings. Has a "swayambhu" Shiv Ling. Some carvings are now falling off due to poor maintenance and neglect. The temple is the focus of a huge fair during Mahashivratri. THE TEMPLE IS ESTABLISHED IN 1060 NEAR OLD "VALDHUNI" RIVER BY A KING IN THOSE DAYS. IN SRAVAN MONTH THERE IS HUGE CROWD ALL THE DAYS AND SPECIALLY ON MONDAY THE CROWD IS TRMENDOUS. THERE IS A NEW TEMPLE BESIDES IT IS OF SHERAVALI MATA AND IT IS TOO GOOD. VISIT THE OLDEST TEMPLE IN MUMBAI AND SEE ATLEAST ONCE HOW IT WITHSTANDS THE RAINS AND HOT SUMMER AND STILL STANDING STRONGLY. NOW ITS OUR TURN TO MAINTAIN THE CONDITION. THANKS FOR READING Shot taken at Ancient Shiv mandir in Ambernath. Over 1200 years old. Built of interlocking black stone in the "hemadpanti" style. Covered with exqusite carvings. Has a "swayambhu" Shiv Ling. Some carvings are now falling off due to poor maintenance and neglect. The temple is the focus of a huge fair during Mahashivratri. For more details just goto en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiv_Mandir,_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 wether 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 intricatley 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 commissioning of the temple is attributed to the Silhara king Chittaraja. Silhara clan ( 800 - 1240AD) , once the vassals of the Rashtrakutas ruled the northern Konkan including the present day Thane and Mumbai. According to the details inscribed on the temple, the Ambarnath temple was constructed in 1060AD. It is often said that Chalukyas of Badami (500-753AD) were the first to create school of style. The style further advanced under the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta (750-983AD), who built the temples of Ellora. Unlike the Ambarnath temple , the Ellora is executed in rock cut style. The most spectacular of this style at its zenith was executed by the Hoysalas (1000-1330 AD) , with their jewel like temples at Belur . Ambarnath Temple , the outerwall with mouldings.Ambarnath is a small industrial town in Thane district of Maharastra. It is located about 60 km ( 37miles ) east of Mumbai on the Mumbai-Pune route. The easiest and fastest way to reach Ambarnath is by the Mumbai suburban train. It's about an hours travel from Mumbai CST. Get to the Central line at CST. There are many direct trains from CST to Khopoli via Ambarnath. The frequency is roughly one train in every one hour. CLOUDS gather, rumble, then flash and burst with loud reports... Streams swell, lakes breach their bounds... It's Tandava: Shiva's dance. Few of Man's creations can withstand it for long. Especially in the Konkan, where the skies pour June through September. But the Shiva temple at Ambarnath has withstood 943 monsoons without losing much of its grandeur. Surely, the temple must be a favourite of its patron god to outlast not only the rain but also four centuries of Muslim rule and a forest breathing up its walls! This exquisite temple was got built by Chittaraja—a king Where is Ambarnath? of the Silhara dynasty—in the late 11th century. An Ambarnath is 52 km from Mumbai's Dadar inscription above the north-facing door of the temple station, on the Central line. The suburban train states Saka 982 (1060 AD) as the date of construction. takes one hour and 13 rupees to get there. The temple is just a five minutes' auto ride from the The Silharas started out as vassals of the Rashtrakutas. Ambarnath station. Govinda III, a Rashtrakuta king, had conferred the kingdom of North Konkan on Kapardin-I, founder of the Silhara dynasty, around 800 AD. The Silharas thereafter ruled North Konkan, comprising the modern Thana, Bombay and Colaba districts, till 1240 AD. The temple was constructed at a time when the Silharas were facing political problems. Chittaraja had to accept the suzerainty of the Kadambas, another dynasty. Nonetheless, he could muster the means to erect a beautiful temple. The Ambarnath temple is made of richly carved stone blocks. It is not very big, like some of the temples down south, but impresses no less. The carved edges of the tower around the garbhagriha The temple's sides are irregular and one view is that, its floor plan is based on a spread-out tiger skin-Shiva's mat. It has two main sections: A mandap or forecourt and the garbhagriha or sanctum. The mandap has a circular, step-cut roof. It has three doors, in the north, south and west. The main door is in the west and it has an idol of Nandi, Shiva's mount, under the porch. The north and south doors are in a line. The mandap's concave ceiling has an ornate pattern carved into it. Its four supporting pillars are also carved top to bottom. Seen from the west, the mandap's three porches form a 'T'. The garbha or sanctum is an uneven circle from the outside. Its roof was shaped as a spire, but it has partly collapsed. To enter the sanctum, one has to go up two steps and down twelve from the mandap. The prayer chamber is lit from a vent at the top. Its marble flooring, shivling and a Shiva bust modelled on Shivaji are unmistakably new. Its dark walls are also completely unadorned. Floral offerings on a carved deity The carvings on the temple's outer walls are probably theme-based but even a novice can make out carvings of Shiva, Ganesha and Nandi. Though some of the carvings have been dulled by seeping water, most stand out sharply. An Archaeological Survey of India board at the site states that the Ambarnath temple is "perhaps the oldest shrine dedicated to Shiva in the coastal parts of Maharashtra." However, continued worship at the temple is affecting its beauty. Devotees still burn incense in the alcoves and pour milk over the Nandi idol. Some restraint on their part might allow their great grandchildren also to see the temple in its full glory.
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