Chandrabhaga Group of Temples

Jhalawar, Rajasthan

View of the Sitaleshwar Temple, in the Chandrabhaga temple complex.

Situated on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River in the heart of Jhalawar district, Rajasthan, lie the ancient temples of Chandravati, also known as Chandrabhaga, at Jhalarpatan. Founded by Jhala Jalim Singh in 1789 CE, the city of Jhalawar, formerly known as Chandravati, has seen the rise and fall of empires, yet its sacred temples remain significant symbols of architectural and spiritual heritage. Within the temple complex, the compound under the Jaipur Circle of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) houses five temples in varying states of preservation. The Sitaleshwar Temple, dedicated to Shiva, is the most prominent, accompanied by two other Shiva temples, a Vishnu Temple, and a temple dedicated to Mahishasuramardini. A modest four-pillared mandapa (pillared hall), with a Ganesha figure at the centre, is also part of the complex.

The Chandrabhaga group of temples have also yielded inscriptions dating from the 7th century CE and pilgrim names from the 11th century CE that provide historical insights. Chhattris (domed-roof memorial structures) and remnants of other later-period sculptures and architecture further add to the site’s historical significance. This module explores the ancient temples of Chandrabhaga, highlighting their historical, artistic, and spiritual importance. The module includes an overview article examining the architectural and historical significance of all five temples. The essay also delves into the rituals and practices that persist at Chandrabhaga as it is revered as a tirtha (sacred pilgrimage site).

The allied article, in the module, focuses on the art and architecture of Sitaleshwar Temple, encompassing its architectural evolution, sculptural intricacies, and insights from ancient inscriptions. Complementing the textual content is an image gallery, showcasing the art and architecture of these revered temples. The module also includes a photo essay and architectural drawings of the temples.