Neelkanth Mahadev Temple Alwar

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple Alwar
Vital Information for Visitors

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Tehla Village, Rajgarh Tehsil, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar, Rajasthan

Open & Close:

Open on all days


05:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Entry Fees:



30 minutes - 2 Hours


Ancient temple of Gurjar Pratihara era


The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, also known as Nilkantheshwar Temple, is located on a hill in Tehla village at the outskirts of Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajgarh tehsil, at a distance of about forty miles from Alwar in Rajasthan. Situated amidst a very picturesque and natural surroundings, Neelkanth Temple was constructed between sixth to ninth centuries, as per an inscription dated 961 AD, by Maharajadhiraj Parmeshwara Mathanadeva, a feudatory of Gurjar Pratihar Empire. The Gurjar Pratihar dynasty was known as Badgujar after eleventh century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and still attracts a large number of Hindu devotees. A drive through steep hilly road leads to the isolated plateau top, the site of the Nilkanth Temple complex, which is surrounded by the dilapidated walls of the Rajogarh Fort.

Although the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is in ruined condition but the existing remnants remind of its opulent glorious days. One can see some beautiful pieces of carving in these stones which reminds one, of the art and skill of those days. The temple of blue throated God, with a sign of bull, faces the east. Though in a miserable condition, it is still worshipped. Its outer walls are extensively repaired and mandapams and pillars renovated. The ‘mandapam’ (मंडपम) of the temple has four central pillars each of sixteen inches in diameter. They are richly carved out with nayikas (नायिकाएं) and with frescos of musicians and dancers. The ‘garbhagriha’ (गर्भगृह) which is 6X6 feet square shape room, adorned & covered with a towering ‘shikhar’ (शिखर), contains a black stone lingam.

On the south face of the temple, there is an image of Lord Shiva with eight arms, holding a mace, a bow and an arrow in his left hand, while in two of his intact right hands he holds a niriga and a ‘damaru’ (डमरू – a small two-headed musical drum). The left part is braced on the head of Nandi, and a swaying garland of skulls sweeps across his full body. Near his foot nestles Lord Ganesh. This is Lord Shiva as Tripurantak (त्रिपुरान्तक) — He of the splendour of gold with a huge stalwart form like Meru who destroys the three castles, one of gold which was in heaven, another of silver in the air and the third of iron on the earth. The legend says that an ‘asura’ (असुर - demon) king defeated the rulers of the world and having taken possession of the three regions by a feat of magic amalgamated them into one fortress. Then through his yoga, he brought about that his kingdom could only be destroyed when pierced by a single arrow. No man, no god could be found with the might to shoot that great single arrow which alone could pierce this impregnable fortress.

Then Lord Shiva — the primeval hunter — the lord of the forests- lifted his bow Pinaka (पिनाक) and shot the single arrow that annihilated Tripura, the stronghold of the demon king. The sculpture of the Neelkanth Temple shows Lord Shiva the hero, wearing a crown, in his right ear worn is the ‘makar kundal’ (मकर कुण्डल) and there are anklets on his feat. He stands triumphant, poised in the cosmic knowledge that the arrow which is to leap from his bow is symbolic of the great potential god force preordained to annihilate the stronghold of the demon king. In the uplifted, proud, bearded face, the silent all knowing smile, the lion chests the tense right leg, is manifestation of a master creator who, having grasped the essence of form, releases and reveals the image enclosed in the silent stone.

Due to few erotic sculptures on the exterior walls, Neelkanth Temple of Alwar is also called as ‘Khajuraho Temple of Sariska’ and ‘Khajuraho Temple of Aravali’.

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