Neelkanth Mahadev Temple: Khajuraho of Rajasthan

Alwar-Sariska belt is an exquisite place for its variety of offerings. Of course, there is Sariska National Park, which remains on top of the list of any visitor or nature lover alike. Then there are famous palaces in Alwar that everybody knows. Surrounded by rugged hills of Aravali. there are many things, which are yet to be explored. On my recent trip to Alwar, I discovered few of them. Initially, I thought about Siliserh lake palace, Marble mines of Aravali and Neelkanth Mahadev Temple situated in Tehla village, which comes under the buffer zone of Sariska National Park.



The time before I actually get on wheels is always difficult to me. I always feel butterflies on my stomach, and it never let me sleep before journey. This time one of my friends was going along, and he is such a late riser whom I don’t want to get sleep so I convinced him that you can do sleep in car while I’ll drive. So finally at 12 AM I decided that it’s the time to start, I’ll try to drive slow and will reach Alwar by dawn. However, the road condition turned out to be so excellent that from Ghaziabad, I reached Alwar in flat three hours without any fast driving. It is highly recommended to take this route if you are going to Alwar. Drive via Gurgaon- Dharuhera (Keep looking for left turn at Dharuhera)-Tijara- Kishangarh- Alwar, avoiding rush of NH-8. The entire stretch was properly divided and well built, with only state transport buses or few private vehicles to accompany. Finally, I reached Alwar by 3.30 in the morning and to Siliserh palace by 4.00. The palace gate was closed, and we had no other option than to sleep in car. I tried to avoid my friend who continuously scolded me for such a situation and tried to get some sleep.

I wake up with a bang; no it was not him but somebody from outside. I guess it must be around 5.30 or 6 and there were dozens of monkeys and languor of all shape, and sizes were busy in checking the intruders of wee hours. We did what one should do in such a helpless situation, i.e. no movement….no eye-contacts with mighty enemies…not making them angry…and remember God. After half an hour with no potential threat at the sight the troops started to disassemble. Now it was time to check the damages, but thankfully, it was not much except few minor scratches who can be easily washed out in rubbing.

Nearby Siliserh Lake Palace

However, this was just the start of torture of my beloved car. After two years of love that I gave to her, I snatched all of it that day without any mercy and that too unconsciously. If someone owns a vehicle either a car or bike before marriage, then it’s always a first love. And I too was not happy with my stupidity. Until then, the palace get was wide open and few guests were coming out for taking photographs, etc. We didn’t pay attention to their curiosity and smile. We used the outside wash facility of palace and moved out as it was not at all looking promising for a quick visit. First had a tea to get our mind on track, clicked some pics and then moved to Sariska National Park. Nevertheless, again, our luck was not in favor.

dsc_0005Had a hot cup of tea here…

First, a good news that we actually didn’t like at that time, Sariska Natioanl Park is now a properly maintained park, with fixed visiting hour, i.e. 7-12 in the morning and 2-6 in the evening; no private vehicles are allowed except Tuesday & Saturday (due to Pandupole Hanuman temple), and can be visited only by authorized vehicles that are very few in numbers.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Alwar, Rajasthan
It is a nationally protected monument by ASI
Excavation has revealed many secrets here…

It was already 8, and the next shift was from 2 in noon. So, we decided to stick to our plan and moved towards Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. Since SC has banned all construction activity around Sariska National Park, so I guess it has been auto implemented on roads also. The entire stretch from Sariska to Thana Gazi is so pathetic that you force to drive at first gear. Then it was ok until 3-4 km and then again, until Bhangarh it was too bad. Since we came so far that returning was not seemed to be a good idea. After Bhangarh, road was ok somehow for few kms but again came in its worst avatar. What was most challenging that we had to cross Aravali hills as the temple was behind the hills. It was worst driving experience of my life and strongly suggested that without a SUV one should not get on this route. We were like since we came this far so let’s cross it. There was a horrific sound of stones striking on the chassis of the car. Somehow, we managed to reach at the temple.
Now it was time to cheer.

Around the temple…

The temple was a kind of discovery for us. It was like a Khajuraho in Rajasthan. Besides someone like us this place is regularly visited by four-footers.

Neelkanth Temple is also called Khajuraho of Rajasthan

Eternally satisfied we started back and visited marble mines. There were a number of trucks loaded with the huge piece of marbles. We didn’t allow to click around mines, but we saw the process of extraction of marbles from mines. It was indeed an experience.

This part of Alwar is connected through Rajgarh, which will again put you back to the Delhi route. The road condition was comparatively ok.

Again, we took the same route and reached Delhi by 10, satisfied with our discovery.

20 Comments

  • Kavita Bhalse says:

    Amit ji,
    Apne bahut achchi post likhi pictures bhi achche the

    Thanks,

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  • Aditya says:

    Nice Post Amit…

    Whatever the claims may be the monuments here are in a sorry state….

    The monkey incident…lol…. those creatures do scare me a lot… you have to be on a constant lookout when in there zone….

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Aditya,
    Again interesting narration with excellent photographs. ASI should take care and if required renovate such beautiful heritages well before their going to ruins. Thanks for this beautiful post.

    Thanks.

  • very good one Amit……………………….

    All the best for ghumakkar of the year award……………………………

  • I have visited Alwar-Sariska last year but never heard from anybody about this temple. It is always good to know about new places, thanks for throwing light on Neelkanth Mahadev Temple.

  • Nandan says:

    First on Ghumakkar.

    Thank you for introducing the place here. Was looking forward to read more about the temple (history/archaeology angle), mostly because you have spoiled us in the past about your brilliant stories on Hastinapur covering Vedic and Jain religions.

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Thanks Nandan. This place was so difficult to reach that when I was writing I couldn’t get my mind off from the difficulties that came across. Next time I’ll keep this in my mind. Thanks for going through the post.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Enjoyed reading the account of your trip to the Neelkanth Mahadev temple.

    By the look of the place, it looks as if the temple was partly demolished and that it was a much bigger complex. I wish that you had captioned some of the pics like the first and the fifth. The fifth one looks intriguing, the one with tiny, white wigwam like structures. I wonder what the story is that is waiting to be told in that pic.

    The construction of a proper road is surely not an infringement of the SC ban on construction activities in Sariska, is it? The least that the Government could do is to at least make sure that the road is a motorable one.

    It is perplexing why photography is not permitted at marble mines; is anything illegal going on? In the age of satellite photography and spycams, it doesn’t make sense to ban photography. There should be some clear guidelines in this regard. I remember visiting the site in Sriperumbudur where Rajiv Gandhi was assasinated. I was not allowed to take pictures there. It didn’t make sense then, it still doesn’t now.

  • Amit Kumar says:

    Hi Mr. Narayan,
    There are very little information available on Internet about this temple complex, the locals were also not able to tell much about it.
    As far road is concerned it is true that the condition is getting worst with each passing day and construction activities are banned here.
    Marble mines were belonging to some private firm as I could recollect, and I don’t know what was the actual problem, but there is a sticker in my car of news channel (where I work) so they were quite uneasy with questions and not willing to pass any kind of information, though it was very generic that any tourist could ask out of curiosity.
    Thanks for going through the post and liking it.
    Amit

  • Manish says:

    Kudos to you Mr Amit for disclosing the things!

    I had heard about neelkanth temple there but never heard on Jain Temple there…..but after seeing your pics…I am known. Can you please more describe history, current situation, safety factors of the jain temple? I can send some jain tourists there at least just due to this jain idol…looking great in height…..:)

    Also, it should be famous as Khajuraho, the natural scenary is great…and is not much far from jaipur also.

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Hi Manish thanks for your kind words. Are you interested in visiting personally or you are a tour operator? Let me know and I’ll advise you accordingly.
      Thanks
      Amit

  • Manish says:

    Thanks Mr. Amit for your quick reply!

    I am not a tour operator :) , I want to visit with my family. I love heritage places in fact while my family members like spritual tour. This place looks beautiful by nature as well as by art, heritage and spritual. That’s why I was planning. My mother is interested in visiting old jain temples, so it would also be good for her, I believe. Any boarding/lodging facilities there nearby within 10-20 KM?

    Thanks,
    Manish Jain

    • Amit Kumar says:

      Hi Manish Ji,

      Sorry for late reply.

      Neelkanth temple can be easily covered in a day trip both from Delhi or Jaipur. Still if you want to stay you can do so in Alwar. There is a root from Alwar via Rajgarh to Neelkanth, if I remember correctly. Avoid your own vehicle as the road is in extremely bad shape. You can rather hire a Jypsey to visit Neelkanth as well for Sariska Tiger Reserve and Bhangarh in a full day excursion.

      Let me know if you want any further info

      Thanking You
      Amit Kumar

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