Toran Vadnagar

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1. Vadnagar is famous for its torans, a pair of 12th century columns supporting an arch, about 40 feet tall built in red and yellow sandstone. U see both the torans in this pic. Will call front toran as Toran 1. We reached about 8 am from Sidhpur where we spent the night whilst returning from Abu road.

2. Side view of toran 1. Broad base, that first has elephants, next image of I think a god or goddess, get narrower as moves upwards and then has well designed pillars on either side that join after a point. These are called Kirti Torans and located near the Arjun Bari gate.

3. Side view of Toran 1. Notice the toran joining the two pillars. Both torans on a platform. Stones are fixed in a natural locking system i.e. why perhaps they are like this for hundreds of years.

4. They torans are among the "few surviving examples of the entrance gates, once a regular feature of the architecture of Gujarat in Solanki period." Solanki rulers ruled the Vadnagar region between 942 A.D to 1242A.D. There is a sculpture on top of toran, now badly damaged. Not sure whose image is there on toran top.

5. A closer view of the toran 1 top. "These torans were constructed by the Solanki rulers in commemoration of a decisive war victory."

6. Bottom of toran 1. Lowest level are Kirti Mukhas (to ward away evil). Next are elephants. Thereafter please help. "Perhaps erected after a war victory, the architecture is embellished with carvings of battle and hunting scenes".

7. Vertical view of toran 1. Lowest level Kirti Mukhas, elephants, battle scenes, not clear what scene represents. Please help with description of big larger image. Wish they had a information board for each toran.

8. Corner view of toran 1 second pillar. On this huge piece of stone rests the pillar. "The torans might have served as an entrance to a large temple complex, but there are no remains found here." In Sidhpur the torans are part of a temple that exists. Here they are in isolation. The carving style is similar to the Rudra Mahalaya at Sidhpur.

9. Close-up top part of toran 1. Note pillar design - how such huge pieces of stone continue to be in balance.

10. Vertical view of top part of toran 1. Huge pieces of stone in alignment.

11. Side view elephants at bottom. Please help with what next 2 levels mean.

12. Side view of toran 1.

13. Toran is minutes away from Sharmistha Talav. They are just behind the mosque, earlier there was a small one. Locals said the newly built mosque had encroached on the lake embankment as is apparent if u see right side of pic. A local said it looked similar to the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar.

14. Entire city is within a fort. Close to the NADIAL gate is the HATKESHWAR Mahadev Mandir. "Though the existing temple was constructed in the 13th century (some versions say 17th century) it is believed that a temple existed at this site from before the times of the Mahabharata."

15. Nadial Gate. There are 6 gates for entry into the town. Some gates in ruins, others renovated. In Patan too saw a fort wall surrounding the old part of the town.

16. We now come to Toran 2. This too is on a raised platform. "The pillars are designed with an upper storey or attic, between which is thrown an ornamental cusped arch, making the effect of an archway more apparent. All the parts forming the ‘toran’ are devised on the same principles as those employed in the temple design."

17. Angular view of pillar to give u a sense of its design. Broad at the bottom, gets thinner as it moves upwards followed by well designed columns. In toran 2 pillars have lady images on 4 sides.

18. Front view. Image on top of toran 2 damaged. Notice the lady images on all sides.

19. Top left has mythical animal with a being in its mouth.

20. Side view of pillars. We missed visiting Gauri Kund ie 20 minutes away and Paschim Mehta ni vav, both of which travellers say are worth a visit.

21. Lower part of pillar design is the same as of toran 1.

22. Elephants at lowest level. Unlike toran 1 next level has a elephant being pulled or something like that.

23. Images mid level pillars toran 2.

24. Recent excavations have brought to light a Buddhist Monastery belonging to the 2nd-7th century AD. It took some effort to find this. Most locals do not know. For a good travelogue on Vadnagar http://www.sid-thewanderer.com/2011/01/vadnagar-temples-torans-havelis-and.html