The Resonance of Faith - Temple bells chime across the still silence of the desert, the peals a clear sound that ring for a while resound and are then swallowed up into a great nothingness, It is a sound that bathes the dawn with an enchanted magical beauty that gives definition to a life of harsh realities : in sand and scrub, the people have found not discomfort but faith, a force that gives them a positive radiance, and the mettle to create a life that is a celebration of their energies and their beliefs.
Of the literally thousands of temples, a few have come to be known as major pilgrimage centres, and include the following :
Brahma Temple , Pushkar - Though he may have no other temple sacred to his memory Brama seems to have take full advantage of the only one where prayers are offered to him, Not only did he perform a yoga or ritual fire ceremony here he also dropped a lotus from his hands to create the lake where people bathe before offering him prayers.
Eklingji Temple, Udaipur - The founder of the Mewar dynasty that ruled from Chittaurgarh, Bappa Rawal had a miraculous dream in which he prayed before an image of Shiva which resulted in the removal of a problem that had been troubling him in his waking hours.
Govind Devji Temple - The family temple for the Kachchwahas of Jaipur and open to the public the idols in the temple brought here from Vrindavan, are believed to have been carved by Vajranath, one of the greatest sculptors of the time and grandson of Krishna.
Osian - Off the Jodhpur - Bikaner highway and 65 km from Jodhpur this was once a major centre of pilgrimage both for Hindus and Jains.
Ranthambhor's Ganesh Temple : famous as a tiger reserve the fort within the sanctuary has Ganesh temple that has a large following among the people of Rajasthan
The restrained austerity of the Jain way of life has its anti thesis in the delightful exuberance even opulence that one sees in their temples.
Dilwara Temple, Mount Abu - For many visitors this is reason enough to visit Mt Abu. Located within an ancient mango grove the Dilwara temples are profusely carved and are open between noon and sis in the evening.
Parsvaanath Temple Nakoda : - Situated in a valley ringed by hills, on the Jodhpur Barmer highway the temple dedicated to the tirthankara Parsvanath is carved in black stone.
RANAKPUR : Since the Jains held important positions in Rajput courts made their moeny through trading and were influential money lenders to the royal house it was hardly surprising that the Ranas, in turn were patrons of the Jains and their quiet religious ways.
Infect the tract of land on which the Ranakpur temples have been laid was a gift of the Ranas to the Jains in the 15th century. The Chaumukha is its principal deity in the main temple with its impressive dimensions 29 halls spread over 40,000 sqft and consisting of 1,444 pillars not one of which is alike in its carving.
Though there are mosques in most settlements, a few are important.
Dargah Sharif, Ajmer - A Sufisaint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was a descendent of Prophet Mohammed, and was offered this land during the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan. He built himself a formidable following, and not only among Muslims. It is said that when he was 113 years old, the saint locked himself into a room to pray. It is believed that the huge cauldrons were a gift from Emperor Akbar who came to pray at the shrine and pray for the boon of heirs and was blessed with sons.