Just a few km’s away from the city of Jaisalmer lies the old capital of the Bhati Rajputs who ruled this area a long time ago. Most of the remains of their times were destroyed by the early Islamic invaders. The ruins have either been lost over time or are hidden somewhere under the layers of sand. Lodurva temple, dedicated to 23rd Jain Teerthankara Parshvnath today stands an example of how this region would have looked in those days. When the forts and temples told the tales of the times, of the people and their ethos.
It is also an example of the cosmopolitan nature of the place as the temple structure has clear Chinese influence. This region was a part of silk route and an entry point into India. No wonder that the traders and travelers brought in their influences into the life and art of the city.
The curious architecture of Lodurva Temple, Jaisalmer
The structure appears to be very recent but there are signs of old stone pieces being used as you can see signs of vandalism on the anthropomorphic figurines. It is a typical eight corners temple architecture. But gives an impression of being a pagoda style because of its slanting walls. In an amalgamated style, the walls carry the intricate Jaali or lattice work in stone while the Shikhara or the superstructure is a typical Nagar style. There is one Shikhara that has tiered structure.
At the entrance, there is a beautiful Toran and the temple looked through this looks as if it has been garlanded. Surrounded by a tall boundary wall, temple beauty unravels only when you enter the temple. From a distance, it looks like just another temple in yellow stone.
Snake is the key motif of this temple. It is also the symbol of the reigning deity of the temple Parshvnath. The idol of Parshvnath is made of black Kasauti stone and it is the same stone that is used to test the purity of gold. There are 100 snakes carved in the shape of a huge hood behind the idol like his halo. A small hole in the outer wall of the temple has an open space in the front left empty. We were told that this is the place where a snake comes out of the wall to drink milk every day.
The Gargoyle that is usually Simha Mukh or Makar Mukh i.e lion-faced or crocodile faced in most Indian temples. It carries the mythical dragon-like creature here – a strong indication of the oriental influence.
A Kalpataru tree is enclosed in a stone structure with only its frozen blacktop visible from the outside. This is supposed to be the wish-fulfilling tree and I wonder if it still works. Two smaller shrines flank the main temple. Here and there you can find some idols in white marble, from the aging of the marble these look like old idols. I was pleasantly surprised to see a detailed audio guide for the temple. I could listen only to a small part of it. Unfortunately, not much literature is available about the temple, at least not on the Internet or around the temple.
Lodhruva aka Lodurva temple gets added to my list of one of the most beautiful temples in India. Thank you Suryagarh for introducing this temple to me.
Recommend you to read following Places to visit in Rajasthan.