Discover regal palaces, submerged temples and exquisite artwork at this lakeside village, a former capital of Rajasthan’s ancient Mewar dynasty.
Nagda is a pretty village blessed with a fascinating collection of centuries-old temples. Admire the fading grandeur of richly ornamented architectural masterpieces and artistically designed carvings, figurines and friezes. Established by Nagaditya, the fourth king of the Mewar dynasty, Nagda dates back to the 6th century. Although ransacked by Altamash in the 1220s, some temples have survived the ravages of time and offer a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era.
The village’s major attraction is the 10th-century Sas Bahu Temple, set on the southern banks of Bagela Lake. It honors the Hindu god Lord Vishnu and consists of two temples, the Sas (mother-in-law) and Bahu (daughter-in-law). Access both via the grand pancharatha sanctum (hall), which leads to resplendent shrines and palaces. Spot intricately carved deities, damsels and portrayals of erotic scenes. Check out images of the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
A short walk away is the Adbudji Jain Temple, built during the reign of 15th-century Mewar ruler Rana Kumbha. Its dominant feature is a 9-foot-tall (2.7-meter) black marble statue of Tirthankar Shanti Nath, a revered Jain saint. Gaze across Bagela Lake, where additional temples sit submerged in the tranquil water. They become visible at times of droughts and monsoons with abnormally low rainfall.
Drive to Nagda in less than 1 hour from Udaipur. The most convenient way to get here is via taxi from Udaipur’s city center. Public buses and minibuses also travel between the village and Udaipur.
Combine your time at Nagda with a visit to the nearby town of Eklingji. Here you’ll find the magnificent Eklingji Temple Complex, a series of more than 100 temples set within high walls. The main temple celebrates Lord Shiva and originates from the 700s. Marvel at the four-faced marble Shiva idol, which depicts four of the lord’s manifestations. Other temples showcase the artistic talents of the Rajput Kingdom.
The temples at Nagda and Eklingji are open daily and admission is free. Check for specific opening times before visiting.