About the Temple
A ruined temple complex of Rudra Mahalaya is located at Siddhpur in the Patan district of Gujarat. Siddhpur is an ancient holy town on the banks of river Saraswati. The town of Siddhpur derives its name from the ruler of Gujarat, named Siddhraj Jaisinh, who built a magnificent Rudra Mahalaya temple in the 12th century AD.
Temple History and Temple Legend
The construction of Rudra Mahalaya was started in 943 AD by Mularaja Solanki and was completed in 1140 AD by Siddharaj Jaisinh. The temple was dismantled by Allauddin Khilji during 1410-1444 and later Ahmed Shah I demolished this temple, and converted some part of it into the conjoint mosque. In the 10th century Mularaja Solanki, the founder of the Solanki dynasty of Gujarat, began the construction of Rudra Mahalay temple. As per the local folklore, Muladev had killed his maternal uncle to usurp his throne. He murdered an entire of his mother's kindred. However, his crimes hung heavily on his mind during his old age. To get rid of his bad deeds he built Rudra Mahalaya. However, the construction remained incomplete due to unknown reasons. Siddharaj Jaisinh established the temple complex during the 12th century and it became the prime temple complex of Siddhpur. The temple stands on 1600 pillars. Around 18000 idols are installed in the temple. Rudra Mahalaya was a splendid structure with 30,000 golden pots and 1700 flags. In the ancient era, the temple shined beautifully but today it is destroyed.
According to another legend, Govinddas and Madhavdas took up their haunt among the grass that covered the neighbourhood of the Rudra Mahalaya. They found a shrine and Shiva linga. This led to the erection or completion of the temple. Then the astrologers had predicted the destruction of the building. Then Siddharaj put up the images of many great kings in the temple, along with a representation of himself in the attitude of supplication, with an inscription saying that, even if the land was laid waste, this temple will never be destroyed. In 1296 AD, Mughal king Alauddin Khilji sent a strong army under Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan Jalesri who destroyed the temple complex. The temple was further demolished and the western part was converted into a mosque by Ahmed Shah I of Muzaffarid dynasty.
How To Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel airport (111 km) which is located at Ahmedabad.
By Train: The nearest railway head is Palanpur which is 28 km away from Sidhpur.
By Road: Siddhpur has well-connected road network and can be easily reached from Ahmedabad and Mehsana by road.