Introduction of Lord Shiva
From times immortal it has been believed that there is a Single Divine Power that has created and sustained the Universe. This Power is worshipped by people all over the world irrespective of caste, creed, race or religion. Nobody has been able to define this form or shape and size of this Divine Power GOD. However the Hindu Religion of India has imagined GOD in simple human form and has idolised it as MAHADEVA THE GREAT GOD LORD SHIVA.
Lord Shiva (Lord Shankar) is worshipped in the form of LINGA and STATUE. There are innumerable temples of SHIVJI all over the world. However there are twelve chief SHIV-LINGA spread across the Indian sub-continent and are known as the BARAH JYOTIR-LINGA temples.
Of these Barah Jyotir-Linga, the eighth Jyotir-Linga is located at Nageshwar, 17 km from Dwarka city in Gujarat state of India. Lord Shiva is known as NAGNATH (Lord with the Snake around his neck) here and hence the name of the place is NAGESHWAR. Centuries ago, this temple is believed to be built by the PANDAVAS during their exile in the forest.
On a pilgrimage of the Barah Jyotirlinga, LATE SHRI GULSHAN KUMAR The Audio and Video Casseette king, went to Nageshwar to perform puja. He realised that all other Jyotirlinga Temples were renovated and glorified by various Hindu religious Kings or affluent people. However the Nageshwar Temple was still in its old form. Because of its religious importance in Hindu mythology the Temple draws thousands of devotees every day. Late Shri Gulshan Kumar decided to glorify the place by building a Temple accommodate the growing number of devotees. It can be said that the Renovation (Jirnoddhar) of this auspicious Temple was destined to take place at the hands of Late Shri. Gulshan Kumar. After his untimely demise, his works are looked after by his son SHRI. BHUSHAN KUMAR.
SHRI SUBHASH BHOITE is his family friend and ARCHITECT who has obtained his Degree of Architecture from Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Bombay University in the year 1975. He has designed and executed several of his building projects like Office buildings, Recording and Video shooting studios, Factory buildings, Residential bunglows and also Many Temples all over India and abroad. SHRI SUBHASH G. BHOITE is well known Architect in India and specialied in VASTUSHASTRA and TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE of Indian Temples (Hindu Religious Mandir) and he has designed and is looking after the execution of the Nageshwar Temple Project.
The Nageshwar Temple designed in accordance with the principles of VASTU-SHASTRA and is in harmony with the traditional Hindu Temple Architecture of Western India. The Temple faces the West direction (Paschim-mukhi), wherein the devotee while offering his morning prayers of Shivji (Shiv-Linga) also faces the Sun God.
The Planning of the Temple is based on SAYANAM Posture, and is analogous to the Human Body.
The Mahadwar (1) is the feet of the Body. The devotees enter the Temple from the feet, proceed through the Entrance Porch (2) flanged on the sides by the Divine Consorts GANESHJI and HANUMANJI at the hands of the Body, move to the Rangamandapa (3) at the chest and abdomen, worship the NANDI in Antarala (4), to finally reach the SHIV-LINGA in Garbhagriha (5) which is the Head of the Body.
Basically the Temple is on 3 levels. The Garbhagriha. Is 4-6 below ground level. The rangmandapa is 2-0 above ground level. At an intermeidate level is the Antarala where the Nandi is situated guarding the Shiva Linga in Garbhagriha. This is the transition level between the devotees in Rangamandapa and the God in Garbhagriha. The Pujaris (Pandits) represent this transition stage.
The original floor level of the Garbhagriha with Shiv Linga and Rangamandaap was 4-6 below Ground Level. The level of Rangamandap is now raised 2-0 above Ground Level to facilitate healthy light and ventilation in the sultry hot climate, and also to check the inward flow of rain water.
The Garbhagriha (Sanctum or Altar) is Octagonal in shape 16-0 x 16-0, roofed with a tall Shikhara. It can accommodate 4-5 Pujaries.
The Rangmandapa (Main Hall), 76-0 x 84-0 with a ceiling height of 20-0, gives sufficient volume of space and can accommodate 1250 devotees at a time. It is provided with large windows on opposite sides and a Samran (Pyramidal roof) above which has ventilators to keep the area airy and ventilated on occassions of Mahapuja etc.
At the Entrance Porch, the two Divine consorts Ganeshij And Hanumanji are housed in beautifully carved Gokhlas. They are provided with smaller Shikharas, where as the front and side entrance porches have smaller Samrans.
Stores are provided on both sides of Garbhagriha to meet with the requirements of contemporary Pujaries. Dholaks, Nagaras, Divine Ornaments and accessories are stored here. A rear side access is provided for Pujaries.
With its grandeur of shikharas and samrans the temple soars to a height of 110-0 above ground level. Also, a lot of decorative elements like arches, fluted round columns, Lotus shaped capitals and bases, marble jalis add to the style of the temple. Religious symbols like kalash and swastik are incorporated in the design of parapets and chhajjas. Lions are placed all around the temple as if to guard the holy place from evil. The Shikhars and Samrans are also decorated beautifully.
The temple by itself stands as a wonderful example of traditional Hindu Temple Architecture.
The mode of construction of Temple is governed by site conditions and weather conditions. The site slopes towards the Nageshwar lake. Hence a retaining wall is constructed along the lake. The soil is muddy and there is no hard rock strata below. Therefore the temple is built on Raft foundation. Because of its grand size, the Temple is built in Reinforced Cement Concrete. To increase the life span of the R.C.C. Structure, the reinforcement bars are treated with rust chemical coatings considering the weather conditions. The structure is finally cladded with porbunder stone which is soft and porous sandstone of light colour. It gets stronger and harder with time weathering. The labour required on site was brought in from Bombay city and shilpis and masons were brought in to carve out the finishing for the Temple.