Jagat Shiromani Temple of Amer near Jaipur is also known as Meera Bai Temple. It is one of the most beautiful and ornate temples of Amer. I’m sure you must have heard about Amer Fort. In case you haven’t already, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the “Hill Forts of Rajasthan” category. Amer Fort tops the list of places to visit in Jaipur. Here are a few pictures of Amer Fort.
Beautiful Amer Fort complex seen from a different angle.
Wide view of the Amer Fort along with Lake Maota.
Jagat Shiromani Temple Guide
The Jagat Shiromani Temple has become popular among tourists in recent years. It is ironic that the people of Jaipur are not aware of this temple. There is a popular opinion that this is the only temple dedicated to Meera Bai in Rajasthan. I am not sure about this claim but this is definitely the only Meerabai Temple in Jaipur. It is one of the best examples of temples built on raised pedestals.
The Jagat Shiromani Temple is a calm and serene place. Isn’t that one of the reasons we visit a temple?
History of Jagat Shiromani Temple
The Jagat Shiromani Temple dates back to 1599 AD and it took about 9 years to build. The temple was built in memory of Maharaja Man Singh I eldest son Jagat Singh by his mother Rani Kanakwati.
Read The Elusive Mariam Mahal Ruin
The temple has two entrances. It is accessible from the fort road in America city, the main entrance. The other is up the stairs of Amer Fort. Here is a photo of the steps leading up to the temple.
The most striking thing about this temple are the marble Torans (pylon). The Torans are the ornamental arch of the gate. These Torans are said to be made from a single piece of marble. That’s commendable! Torans are mostly found in Jain temples.
Another striking architectural element of the Jagat Shiromani Temple is the amalgamation of different architectural styles – Jain, Hindu, Mughal and South Indian. All these styles are beautifully processed and mixed together in this temple. This architectural style bears some resemblance to the Albert Hall Museum of Jaipur, where many architectural styles have been fused into a beautiful masterpiece.
The Jagat Shiromani Temple was built using three different types of stones – local stone (possibly a type of sandstone), marble and black stone (probably granite). The use of multiple stones has enhanced the beauty of the temple architecture, making it distinctive. Temples nearby are built using a single stone.
Stories and Legends of Jagat Shiromani Temple
The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple also has an idol of Lord Krishna along with the Meera Bai. To the uninitiated, Meera Bai was the wife of the mewar king. She was a devout follower of Lord Krishna. It is believed that the idol of Lord Krishna that houses this temple is the same idol that Meera Bai used to worship in Mewar state, 600 years ago! This idol was saved from destruction during the Mughal attack on Mewar by Amer rulers and was taken to Amer.
According to the Hindu religion, Lord Krishna is a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, which could possibly explain why the idol of Lord Krishna was placed in this temple. Meera Bai considered Lord Krishna as her husband. The idol of Meera Bai is also placed in this temple. Toran at the entrance testifies to this alleged marriage. Toran ceremony is one of the important rituals in Hindu marriage. The ceiling of this temple has beautiful frescoes, although they have been weakened by time and poor maintenance. Some historians state that the above theory does not fit well. It is likely that this temple must have been made as a Jain temple; then, before it was complete, it could have been presented to the king. This theory stems from the fact that such ornate Torans are essentially a Jain temple element. Also, Amer had a large Jain population. Many wealthy merchants and ministers in the Amer court were Jains.
In a canopy next to the temple is the idol of Garuda, who is a bearer of Lord Vishnu.
Beautiful carvings adorn the temple walls, especially the pedestal and canopy enclosure Garuda. The army of elephants, horses and tiger faces is depicted in the image below.
There are two elephants in a playful mood at the base. The second row shows procession and people in jubilation. The top row has carvings of the birds, possibly a peacock. Just above the pedestal are three marble slabs depicting Indian mythological characters.
Another look at the Jagat Shiromani Temple.
Jagat Shiromani Temple is an interesting temple from the heritage, architectural and religious perspectives. It is said to be the only temple with an idol of Meera Bai. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) maintains the Jagat Shiromani Temple.
Read The Elusive Mariam Mahal Ruin
How to reach Jagat Shiromani Temple?
The Jagat Shiromani Temple is located in the city of Amer and can be easily reached within a few minutes from the Amer Fort. Take the left lane after the Amer Elephant Stand on Amer Road. Meera Bai Temple is an essential part of the Amer city heritage walk. Many walking leaders start or end their walk at Jagat Shiromani Temple.
You can locate the temple using this map.
Jagat Shiromani Temple times
Jagat Shiromani Temple is open daily from 6 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 8 PM
Attractions near Jagat Shiromani Temple
See the Heritage Temples of Jaipur
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