When we think of Maharashtra, the Maratha rulers come to our mind, but before them, there were many rulers who patronaged the art and culture of this nation. But during the invasion, the Marathas rose to power and took on the responsibility of safeguarding the culture in this region, such a cultural marvel is the Ambarnath Temple.

The Ancient Temple of Ambarnath is one of the surviving Ancient temples near Mumbai region from the invasions said to be built by the Shilahara ruler Chhittaraja in 1050 CE. Only a few carvings left on the walls, yet the temple holds exquisite architecture makes us think that this temple might have been built longer than the main dates.

The temple houses a linga where the sanctum sanctorum is reach by descending 20 feet down and the temple has no pagoda or Vimana, some say the kings didn’t build it and left the Lingam open to the sky while other accounts state that the Vimana has been dismantled during the invasions.

The Shilahara ruler Chhattiraja encouraged literature and art and patronaged Soddhala, the author of the Udayasundarikatha.  According to the researchers, if the pagoda/Vimana of the temple has been completed or saved from destruction, it would have looked identical to the temple of Udayshwar of Udaipur.

-Viswanath Venkat Dasari