Vadodara: If you ever walk in this temple in the city, it would be akin to experiencing the art not just across the country, but also Europe. There are dozens of Shiva Temples in the city but this 175-year old temple standing on the banks of Vishwamitri River behind Sayajibaug is a one-of-its-kind.

The structure made of sandstone sports a fusion of various cultures from India and European nations.

One side of the wall has sculptures of Gujarati and Maratha style, another side has Portuguese and Roman sculptures carved to perfection.

“There is no such temple in Gujarat that has a fusion of so many cultures. The artists, who made it, were influenced by different styles and I think they wanted to make something distinctive,” said art historian Chandrashekhar Patil.

From women dressed in chaniya choli and Marathi-styled navvari to the ones wearing skirts and blouse, the temple wall exhibits several sculptures. And the ones that stand out are long-legged Roman warriors with swords and big shields. “It is not known who got this temple made but the artists were from Dhrangadhra. It was constructed in 1850s during the era of Maharaja Ganpatrao Gaekwad in erstwhile state of Baroda,” Patil told TOI.

On the top of the temple is a unique idol place that has face of an elephant, body of a lion and wings of a parrot.

“During the Gaekwadi era, people used to cremate their body on this land and then make a temple in the memory of the deceased. This temple must have been made on the death of some wealthy person,” Patil added. While the structure is still intact, many portions outside the temple have now been encroached by the people staying the vicinity.

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