A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh & Her One of a Kind Devotion to Lord Krishna Story!

Meerabai Story

“Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo.. “ these couplets still resonate with the divine devotion of Meerabai. She was the biggest mortal believer of Lord Krishna. She is also one of the key saints of the ‘bhakti movement’ in India from the Vaishnav denomination. Visiting the famous Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh brings forth many legends related to the Meerabai story.

List of Contents

The Legend of Meerabai | Meerabai story – Was Meera Real?

Meerabai or Mirabai was born in the year 1498. Since childhood, she was drawn towards worshipping Lord Krishna. One day when a saint visited her home with an idol of Lord Krishna, the young Meera was enchanted by the idol. She wanted to have it. The saint gave her the idol but on the condition that she will have to pray daily. Since that day Meerabai started worshipping the idol of Lord Krishna like no other person in her family.

The original name of Meera was Mihira. The legends of the Meerabai story are not pure fiction some are validated and some are not. Yes, Meera was a person in real. She was born in a royal Rajput family in Kudki town of Pali district, Rajasthan. However, she lived most of her childhood days in Merta.

Know the Meerabai story Photo Copyright - www.TheOtherBrainInc.com
Know the Meerabai story Photo Copyright – www.TheOtherBrainInc.com

Was Meerabai Married? Who was her husband?

Meerabai was married to Bhoj Raj, the crown prince of the Mewar kingdom in 1516. As Meera idolized Krishna as her husband so this marriage was against her will. She was the daughter-in-law of Rana Sanga. However, in just two years she became widowed. Her deep devotion towards Lord Krishna and disregard for the societal norms were the main reasons for her strained relations with her in-laws.

The persecution done by in-laws towards Meerabai took several forms. According to one legend, a glass filled with poison was sent to her which she drank taking the name of her Lord. Miraculously the poison didn’t work. As per second folklore, she was sent a basket full of snakes but it turned out to be a basket full of flowers.

In another account, it is said that after Rana Sanga passed away, the new king Vikram Singh had asked Meerabai to drown herself. She tried also but she started floating. With the increasing persecutions by her in-laws, Meerabai started visiting pilgrimage sites like Dwarka & Vrindavan.

How Did Meerabai Die?

It is said that in the year 1547 Meerabai miraculously merged with Lord Krishna’s idol in Dwarka. Truly the best ending for such a devotee.

Is Meera and Rukmini same?

Often, confusion between Meera & Rukmini or Meera & Radha happens. Actually, Meera, Rukmini & Radha are three different entities. Rukmini was the actual wife of Lord Krishna. Radha & Krishna were childhood friends and for whom it is famous that both loved each other very much. Meerabai on the other hand was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. Also, Meerabai was born much later than Lord Krishna’s era.

Meerabai Mandir in Chittorgarh Photo Source - Image by Subho Md Dali from Pixabay
Meerabai Mandir in Chittorgarh Photo Source – Image by Subho Md Dali from Pixabay

Visiting Meerabai Temple, Chittorgarh

The brave-heart city of Chittorgarh (Chittor) is located near the City of Lakes, Udaipur. Chittorgarh gained much of its glory and extended its boundaries at the time of Rana Kumbha & Rana Sanga. Chittor Fort is the largest in India & Asia. This small city in Rajasthan has been a witness to numerous historical events in the past. Rani Padmini’s jauhar story along with thousands of other women to protect self-dignity is one such courageous historical event. Furthermore, the exemplary attempt of Maharana Pratap to free his motherland took place here. If one wants to see the actual temple where Meerabai used to sit and worship Lord Krishna then the temple is inside the Chittor fort complex.

Garuda at the entrance of Meerabai Temple (Photo Copyright - www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)
Garuda at the entrance of Meerabai Temple (Photo Copyright – www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)

The original name of the temple is Kumbha-Shyam Temple. Locals popularly call it Meerabai Temple. The actual Meerabai temple is a smaller structure in this temple complex. A chatri in front of this temple was the place where Meerabai sat all day long and chant bhajans for her beloved deity. Despite being a widow princess, she didn’t bother about commoners visiting the temple. This adversely impacted her relationship with her in-laws.

Meerabai Temple Architecture

Sculpture of deities is an integral part of Meerabai Temple Architecture (Photo Copyright - www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)
Sculpture of deities is an integral part of Meerabai Temple Architecture (Photo Copyright – www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)

The temple complex is still in relatively good condition than the other fort area. There are three temples in the complex. Rana Kumbha constructed the biggest temple is of Vishnu or Varaha. The second temple is that of Meerabai (Meerabai mandir) while the third one is a Kali Mata temple. The Meerabai temple architecture is similar to the Indo-Aryan style. With the temple base made on an elevated plinth. There is a sculpture of Garuda at the beginning of this temple. One can also see sculptures of 8 of Chittor’s rulers. The top of the temple is slightly conical while the sides have sculptures of God & Goddesses and local motifs. The sanctum-sanctorum of Meerabai Temple in Chittor has an idol of Meerabai along with Lord Krishna.

On visiting Meerabai Mandir, guides often also narrate the event when Emperor Akbar visited Meera bai. Akbar had a secular ideology. He was always eager to learn more about different religions. Akbar met Meerabai in this very temple. He was dressed as a sage while Tansen accompanied him. On seeing her devotion and hearing bhajans from Meerabai he had gifted her a pearl necklace.

Vijay Stambh (Tower of Fame), Chittorgarh is one of the places to visit in Chittorgarh apart from the Mirabai temple (Photo Copyright - www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)
Vijay Stambh (Tower of Fame), Chittorgarh is one of the places to visit in Chittorgarh apart from the Mirabai temple (Photo Copyright – www.TheOtherBrainInc.com)

Other Places to Visit in Chittorgarh

Interesting facts about Meerabai:

Apart from being an ardent devotee to Lord Krishna, Meerabai also was a great poet. Her poems are called ‘Meerabai ke Pad (padavali)’ or Meerabai bhajans. These find mention in Brihad Pada Sangraha. Some of these bhajans by Meerabai are adapted as devotional songs. The most famous Meera Bai song is “पायो जी मैंने राम रतन धन पायो” (Payo ji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo). While few others bhajans include Pag ghungharu bandh Meera Nachi Re, and the song sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sanson Ki Mala Pe...

Rare footage of Lata Mangeshkar singing P

How to reach Chittorgarh?

Chittorgarh lies in the Mewar region of Rajasthan. One can easily reach here by road from Udaipur in 1.5 hrs. The nearest airport is Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur. Alternatively, Chittor is also well connected via railways.

Final Thoughts on Meerabai Temple, Chittorgarh

Hope you found this article about the Meerabai story and the Meera temple interesting, if so, then let us know in the comment section below.

Feature photo of Meera: By Treesa.rose – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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(49) Comments

  1. I was not aware about Meerabai’s marriage and the story of her life you shared is really beautiful for every devotee. Would love to visit this temple someday!!

  2. the Meerabai temple is totally new to me, love the facts , this is super interesting

  3. I never knew that there is a temple for Meerabhai. This is a celebration of unconditional love and prayers. Lovely

  4. After the first lockdown, travelling has become s dream for me. This Meerabai temple in Chittorgarh genuinely urges me to visit there.

    1. That is a very beautifully expressed post on Meerabai. It was interesting to know about her era and her devotion for Krishna. Thanks for sharing such an interesting read.

  5. I’m totally in awe of how you have explained everything about the Meerabai temple in detail. The architecture, Beauty – you have captured everything

  6. What an interesting read it is Judy! I remember my granny used to narrate me Meera Bai’s stories and I used to be so fascinated with it.

  7. Meera bai has a special place in my heart and whenever I visit Rajasthan , this place will be on my list for all the pointers you shared. How one can usher so much positivity with the temples and through the legacy is beyond imagination.

  8. I always like your detailed post. Your have touched upon every important aspect. So many things I want aware about. Would love to visit this place.

  9. Such beautifully written post on Meerabai, her era and how she was a wonderful devotee of Lord Krishna. Loved the details around the story of meerabai temple in Chittorgarh

  10. Wow I love checking out all these temples all around India. We have not been here but definitely putting it on my list of things to do and places to visit after this pandemic goes away

  11. Thanks for sharing this detailed account. We did visit a meera bai temple in Rajasthan, but it was not in chittodgarh fort. This was informative

  12. Wow this was an interesting read. While I knew about MeeraBai as the biggest and ardent follower of Krishna, I didn’t know she was born way after the Krishna Era. I got to know some interesting things from this blog.

  13. What a lovely article. I really enjoyed reading about Meerabai’s life,and about this temple. it is amazing how you manage to find such gems of places 🙂

  14. I wasn’t aware about Meera Bai’s story and her marriage. The info is fascinating. Chittorgarh is a beauty, love the architecture of temple

  15. Amazing your post is. I never knew her story and love that temple. Would love to visit some day

    1. Wow. Just can’t stop reading again. I am an ardent believer of Lord Krishna and Meerabai always fascinated me. O am definitely going to visit this te.ple soon.

  16. Alpana Deo says:

    I have read about Mirabai and knew most of these facts. But wasn’t aware that her real name was Mihira. This post reminded me of Maharana Pratap serial that I used to watch.

  17. Dr. Surbhi Prapanna says:

    I have visited Chittorgarh years ago but did not remember of visiting this temple. after reading your post felt that it is must visit place. will surly keep it in mind, when visit Chittorgarh in future.

  18. The story of Meera bai’s marriage life is new to me . I wasnt aware about it. Chittorgarh is a true beauty .. love the pictures

  19. Incredible, what a detailed information you have shared regarding Meera bai and her life from born to death. These images of the temple inspire me to visit these historical places in future. I love the way you have touched everything that connects to Meera bai. Also I wonder hoe you have collected and jotted all the informations so aptly and precisely.

    1. Glad you liked this post. A bit of me belongs from Chittor so I have so much of info about this place.

  20. The story of Meerabai is so fascinating, and visiting the place where she spent hours singing paeans of love for Krishna is quite an experience. We had visited Chittorgarh a few years back and loved the Meerabai Temple. Reading your post brought back our own memories.

  21. I can’t tell you how absolutely loved this blog. “Payo ji maine” is a bhajan which has a special place in my heart as it was one of my most fav performances I gave on the stage.

  22. Roma says:

    Meera Bai’s life has always intrigued me buddy, my nanihal is in Brij, which is full of tales of Merabai. Will so love to visit this temple.

  23. I had no clue that MeeraBai had a temple too, this post clears many rounds of misinformation about the legend of Meerabai.Thank you for sharing the details of this beautiful temple and also the Lord Krishna’s devotion.

  24. Being a Krishna follower, ofcourse I have heard about Meera Bai but still there was so less that I knew about her till I read this blog. I really enjoyed reading this.

  25. Meerabai’s character has always intrigued me. Her devotion was beyond anything we’ve heard. I didn’t know there was a temple for her as well. Would love to visit.

  26. Radhika Jindal says:

    Glad that I came across this blog. You have mentioned each detail for someone who’s planning to go there.

  27. Such a beautiful written post .I was not aware about Meerabai’s marriage and the story of her life. Would love to visit this temple someday!! Loved the architecture of the temple

  28. The details about Meera Bai’s married life is new to me .I am sure the temple at Chittorgarh is a beauty

  29. Milan says:

    I was not aware that Meerabai has a temple too dedicated in her name. It looks beautiful and good to know about her story.

  30. I am fortunate enough that I have been to this place. One of the beautiful temples of Mirabai and Krishna. Thanks for the detailed blog

  31. The Meerabai temple is a unique place to visit in Chittorgarh. The presence of Mirabai seems to still haunt the beautiful temple, where she spent a lot of time, lost in the dreams of here beloved Krishna. Sandy N Vyjay

  32. Indeed Rajasthan has been always best tourist destination and this is a add on place . Thank you for the story I was not aware about . I am sure will visit some day .

  33. I did not know much about Meerabai and her story. I also did not know about Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh. This is so cool will add it to my list.

  34. This is such a beautiful guide! Your vibrant pictures with your write up will make one fall in love with Chittorgarh. I visited there long back.

  35. I would love to visit the Meerabai temple in Chittorgarh someday. Thanks to your wonderful coverage; it seemed like I was traveling with you. The story and your pictures are just mesmerizing.

  36. Gurjeet Chhabra says:

    I have hear about meera’s stories and recently I have visited Rajasthan but I have missed this Chittorgarh which I love to visit again

  37. I never knew Mira bai had a temple of her own

  38. Meerabai was an amazing lady as per me. However, I haven’t visited the temple in chittorgarh but I would love to!

  39. What a fascinating and an admirable woman! It feels like touching the structure and walking in the premises will bring a different kind of peace to those who come and have faith in her. Blessings onsite, indeed!

  40. I really like how you give the history of Meerabai before talking about traveling there. It really puts it into context. I would love to visit this place. It looks absolutely beautiful.

  41. I do love that the temples in India have so many legends associated with them. A great way to imagine Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh in another time. Interesting that some of the legends of Meera have been validated. It is good that the temple complex is still in pretty good shape.

  42. Umiko says:

    What an interesting story! Real with a mix of legend. Her temple looks similar with Rukminis’ temple. Or, what appear to me as a tower, is part of the Lord Khrisna’s followers temples?

  43. Meera bai was an enigma. Funny I read this after my recent post on Bet Dwarka. That is where she is said to have merged with Lord Krishna. In fact, there is a small shrine dedicated to her. I am just amazed with her devotion. Reading this on her early life in Chittorgarh, makes me want to get here and see it for myself.

  44. Meerabai’s in-laws do not sound like kind people, but I love the folklore stories and that there attempts to kill her did not work. Meerabai Temple in Chittorgarh looks like an interesting place to visit and the structures appear to be well maintained. The image of Vijay Stambh grabbed my attention and has me wanting to know more, thanks for sharing!

  45. Amrita says:

    Meerabai Temple is a beautiful place to visit in Chittor. I remember visiting the place and feeling a sense of calm! Meera Bai is a legend and her devotion to Krishna is so beautiful. I loved reading about the story of Meerabai again.

  46. WOW. I love to visit places rooted in so much history and lore. I have now added this to my list of places when I go back to India. When I went, it was really just a long layover – 3 days in Mumbai and I am itching to go back and see more of this diverse and enigmatic country.

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