Chandraprabhu Temple, Nalia, Gujarat, 18th Century
Naliya town, headquarters of a taluka bearing the same name, is in Kachchh, the most we sternly district of Gujarat and India. Located in Nagada Mohalla of the town is Naliya Tirth, dedicated to Lord Chandprabhu, represented here as a white idol in padmasana posture, about 75 cm. in height.
The large temple has 16 grand shikharas (spires) in Nagara style, which offsets consisting of clusters of half-spires and corner spires, and 14 mandapas (pavilions) with pyramid roofs. Built by Narsi Natha and consecrated in 1840 A.D., it holds major importance in the Abdasa panchtirthi of Kachchh – Bhuj. Apart from its sheer grandeur, the temple is famous for the exquisite quality of its construction and icons and their carving, its gold inlay work in stone as well as its glass work. In the same precinct there are three other temples.
Facilities for pilgrims include a dharamshala with basic essential amenities for boarding and lodging.
Naliya is centrally located for excursions to other tirths such as Tera (18 km) and Kothara (20 km). It is conveniently reached by road from Bhuj (97 km), the district headquarters town, which has undergone a miraculous reconstruction and revival after the disastrous earthquake of January 2001 to become a vibrant, modern city.
The nearest railhead is Bhuj, but a larger number of long distance express trains, from different parts of India, terminate at Gandhidham, nearly 60 km further east of Bhuj. However for air travelers, Bhuj is the nearest airport, which handles daily flights to and from Mumbai. For those interested in covering Kachchh, with its rich heritage of archaeology, architecture, exquisite handicrafts, folk art and stunning landscapes, the most highly recommended means of travel is in a chauffeur – driven rented car, which can easily be hired in both Bhuj and Gandhidham.