Juna Jain Temple
Distance: 42 kms from Barmer
The chief claim to fame of Juna is a Jain temple which was built around the 12th or the 13th century. Jain Temple in Barmer is ascertained from an inscription carved on a stone pillar situated left adjacent to the temple. On the hilltop nearby is an old fort which encompasses an area of about 15 sq km. The fort is surrounded by a series of hills, adjacent to which lays a small lake. Between the mountain peaks is a small island known as Juna Barmer which houses a small well. At one time Juna was quite densely populated, but most of its inhabitants migrated from the area. It is believed that the emigres from Juna established the town of Barmer.
Other Group of Ancient Temples
The other four temples, also considered as ancient are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Vishnu (the Preserver in the holy trinity of Hindu deities). The temples show the influence of the Solanki School of architecture which originated in Gujarat, which is not surprising given the close links the Panwaras had with the rulers there.
Kiradu Someshvara Temple
The Kiradu temples are a group of five temples and are grouped as ancient temples, an important site from the archaeological point of view. The largest and the most impressive amongst them is the Someshvara Temple. Built in the 11th century, the Someshvara ancient temple is said to be the best example of its kind today. Constructed in honor of Lord Shiva (the Destroyer in the holy trinity of Hindu gods), it has a rather stumpy multi-turreted tower and beautiful sculptures dedicated to the god. The inner sanctum has a resplendent image of the Lord. At its base, is a large reverse-curve lotus, which has a resemblance with the early Chola Temples of south India? This ancient temple also depicts scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana. Other notable features are sculptures of apsaras (mythical dancing girls from the abode of the Gods) and vyalas (a griffin-like mythical beast generally associated with the Buddha) which were rarely seen after 1050 AD in temple architecture. All in all, although Barmer is a bit out of the way you’ll get your money’s worth when you visit Someshvara.
Kiradu Ancient Temples
Distance: 39 kms from Barmer
Kiradu Ancient Temples lie at a distance of 39 kms from Barmer city in Hathma village. You find an inscription here dating back to 1161 AD indicating that the place was once called Kiratkoop and had once been the capital of the Panwara dynasty. The Panwaras owed their allegiance to the rulers of Gujarat at the time.
Distance: 62 kms from Barmer
About 12 kms north of Shiv is a tiny hamlet by the name of Devka, also situated on the Jaisalmer-Barmer road. Established in the 12th or the 13th century the major tourist spot in this little village is the Vishnu Temple, famous for its temple architecture. Nearby lay two more temples in a very dilapidated state. However, still existing in these temples is beautifully carved images of Lord Ganesh (the elephant god and Shiva’s son) on stone. The Devka Sun Temple is also worth paying a visit to.
The Hindu Temple
Situated on the banks of the Luni River the town houses four Hindu temples, the most exquisite of whom are the Ranchor Rai Mandir. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (the Preserver in the holy trinity of Hindu gods), the temple houses a mouldering image of a Hindu deity which looks as if it might collapse any minute. At the gate is an image of Garuda (an eagle which is Lord Vishnu’s carrier). The Hindu temple was in a very decrepit condition a few years ago but extensive repairs have been carried out lately and it has been modernized. Other smaller temples in Khed are dedicated to the other two Hindu gods making up the Hindu holy trinity, Shiva the Destroyer and Brahma the Creator. Also while in Khed, do not omit to seek an audience with Bhuriya Baba and Khediya Baba, the local seers. They will provide you with thoroughly entertaining wisdom and wit at their disposal.
Khed Ranchorrai Mandir
Distance: 142 Kms from Barmer
A few hundred years ago Khed was the capital of the Rathores of western Rajasthan, whose influence extended over the entire region. It was at the beginning of the 13th century that the Rathore king Rao Sihaji and his son Ashthanji conquered Khed and the adjoining area of Meva.
Rani Bhatiani Temple
Distance: 158 kms from Barmer
Situated on the Nakoda-Balotara road, Jasol was once ruled by the Mallani clan of Rajputs, who held sway over Barmer for a long time. Jasol was their capital, and from the 12th century onwards to the 16th century a number of exquisite Jain temples were built in Jasol, most of which are in a state of disrepair now.
The major attraction of the town today is the Tour this very ancient temple city to view the magnificent Rani Bhatiani temple. Rani Bhatiani Temple is constructed from materials brought from Khed which originally belonged to a Jain temple dedicated to Mahaveer, their 24th and last prophet. The temple also houses some intricately carved sculptures brought from Khed.