Located in the lap of the Aravalli mountain range, there is a place of great antiquity on the midway between Udaipur and Nathdwara and next to Bagela Lake. The place is dotted with scenic spots and houses a group of 108 temples. The place, Nagda, was the first capital of Mewar rulers. The place was founded by the Fourth Mewar King, Nagaditya in the 6th Century, and soon became a refuge of the Sisodia’s.
Among those 108 temples, the most famous one is the Sas-Bahu Temple (also known as Sahastra Bahu Temple) which is located at a distance of about 23 km of the north west of the Lake City Udaipur and approx 30 km from the hugely popular Nathdwara.
The temples are dedicated to the Sahastra Bahu (one with thousand arms) image of Lord Vishnu is made of two structures. The larger structure is said to be made by a mother in law hence called as "Sas" temple and the smaller one is known as "Bahu" temple made by a daughter in law.
Iltutmish, the then emperor of Delhi, destroyed Nagda in 1226s. Hence, the temples are in partial ruins now, but one can still be amazed by the splendid architecture, the artistry and the remarkable work of deep inlaying that symbolizes that era.
The main entrance of the temple is decorated by intricately carved lintels and a multi lobed arch in the middle. The rooftop of the temple is painted with the designs of Lotus flower.
Both the temples are quite similar to each other as both are made of Granite and have a shrine along with a columned prayer hall called as mandapa and a porch. Both the temples were built on a common platform and are east facing. The octagonal ceiling of the 'Bahu' temple is decorated with eight complexly carved female figures. The 'Sas' temple holds a 'torana' (archway) in its front.
The beautiful carvings based on the incidents of Ramayana provide grace to the temple. However, there are not enough carvings on the inner walls of the temple. The magnificence of the temple can be noted by the finely detailed sculptures. The sculptures were made in two steps and are arranged in a way that one circumscribes the other. The first step comes with the carvings of the Trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The other platform is carved with the images of Rama, Balarama and Parsurama. The temple was built by King Mahapala in the tenth century.The temples have survived the vagaries of weather and the passage of time and still remain admirable for the exquisite architecture. The temples also come under the list of Heritage Monuments by Archaeological Survey of India.