About a fortnight ago – it was in fact Mahaashtami in the Durga Puja calendar – I travelled from Ahmedabad to three important temples around Gandhinagar and Patan: those of Borij, Mahudi and Sankheshwar.
Borij Tirth is very close to Gandhinagar, opposite the road to Akshardham. A largish village, the temples are quite impressive. The gateway and the main temple is built of yellow or pink sandstone, looking beautiful in the early morning sunlight.
The walkway from the gate to the main temple is lined with young trees – in a few years’ time, they should grow big enough to provide shade to the weary and hot devotees who come in summer.
While we were not allowed to take photographs inside the main temple, we were allowed to walk up on to the first floor gallery overlooking the shrines and examine the ceiling. The sandstone was already showing the deleterious effects of rain water, and it looks like in a few years’ time, some parts of the ceiling will need replacement or reinforcement.
The marble temples on the left and right of the main temples shone bright and white in the early morning sunlight.
On our way out, we were treated to a wonderful display by the resident supermodel on the green catwalk inside the temple compound. He first showed us his left profile, then pirouetted to display his right profile – and then with the proper arrogance of a star, he took his leave.
Mahudi is about an hour away from Borij, and we reached there by mid morning, when the heat of the sun was getting troublesome. It was abuzz with visitors, while Borij had only the two of us as visitors. The white marble temples were quite blinding, but wearing sunglasses in a place of worship was unthinkable. From the shade of the trees, the temples were beautiful, with the throng of devotees busy with their prayers, and collecting and distributing prasad.
This bell, at top of the steep little ladder, was the biggest attraction for many visitors. It was believed to bring good luck to those who could brave the steep climb and ring the bell.
The rear of the main temple was a small two-storied structure, very pretty, which stood as a relief to the architecture of the main temple.
Sankheshwar, near the town of Patan, Gujarat, is a very old temple town – Wikipedia says that the temple was built in the year 1155 of the Vikram Era (VE). Unfortunately, our visit was a total write-off: what we saw and were not too impressed with turned out to be some small structure in one of the dharamsalas, and not the main temple complex at all.
So, this one got away, awaiting our visit another day.