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Naroshankar Temple History – Naroshankar Bell – Nashik Naroshankar Mandir Architecture

The Naroshankar Temple, in Panchavati area, on the banks of Godavari River is a very good example of Peshwai period architecture – expert artisans used designs suitable and harmonious with the natural surroundings. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Naroshankar Temple History

The Naroshankar Temple was constructed in 1747 AD by Chieftain Naroshankar Rajebahaddur alias Dani. The temple then cost 1.8 million rupees.

The temple is of great significance due to the bell and its architecture. 

Naroshankar Temple is completely devoid of any Muslim influence as it was built during the heydays of the Peshwas.

The temple shows an influence of Rajasthani and Gujarati architecture. Carpenters, fresco painters, sculptors, artisans and masons from Gujarat and Rajasthan (Rajputana) came during the period of 17th and 18th-century period and they trained local artisans. They were also instrumental in designing and executing many temples of the period.

Naroshankar Temple Bell

The Temple Bell at Naroshankar has some political significance. The huge bell was brought from the Portuguese territory of Vasai.

Vasai on the west coast of India and its surrounding region was liberated from the Portuguese oppression by the army led by Chimaji Appa, brother of Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa, in 1739 AD. They defeated the Portuguese invaders and liberated the Vasai Fort.

The bell at Naroshankar Temple is famous not because of its big size but because it is a reminder of the bravery of the Marathas.

The bell has been placed at the entrance gate in a structure having chhatri like features.
Naroshankar brought the bell as a sign of conquest to Nashik.

It is said that the bell was brought to Nashik by hanging it around an elephant’s neck.

Nashik Naroshankar Mandir Architecture

The temple is located inside a strong wall made of stone.

Shikhara, mythical art on the Sabhamandapa roof and chhatris on the two sides of Naroshankar bell enhance the beauty of the form and profile of the temple.

The shape of principal Shikhara figures like lions and others mythical animals on subordinate shikharas and other sculpture, when contrasted with the background of the deep blue sky at the riverfront creates vow and admiration for the expert artisans of Nashik. The Sthapatis (artisans) have show kill of a high standard for organic architecture at Naroshankar Mandir.

There is a carving of circular Akshaya Naga or Cobra on the surrounding wall of the temple. Such type of symbolic art is possibly related to the tantric cult. The cobra signifies the victory of Shiva or Kala – time or death.

The form of Sabhamandapa has Hemadpanthi influence whereas the sculptures, columns, finish of the images, and carvings of Upashikharas all are of North Indian style.

The surrounding wall and the chhatris in four corners show the influence of Rajput water palaces. The framework constructed above the main gate to hold the big bell is of Rajput origin.

The height of the surrounding wall of Naroshankar Tempe is 5.5 meters and the height of the Chhatris in each corner is 4.5 meters.

The height of the main Shikhara is 26 meters and height of Upashikharas is 20 meters and 15 meters respectively.

On the rear of Naroshankar Temple and on the other two sides, there are carvings of elephants (Diggajas).

This beautiful temple, which is important both religiously and politically, is not properly maintained. We Hindus have no respect for our tradition and this is clearly demonstrated in the poor condition of many beautiful temples across India.