Vadnagar is a city and a municipality in Mehsana district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is the birthplace of Narendra Modi, the 14th and current Prime Minister of India. The town is also blessed with a magnificent lake named as 'Sharmistha Lake' which has a small island like place amidst it. It is connected with a 7 km long inlet canal. The government is developing this island into a beautiful garden. Vadnagar also has various public architectures like a Museum and Library, government hospital and a government court. There are scores of temples dedicated to almost every God: Shiva, Chhabila, Hanuman, Ashapuri Mata, Ambaji Mata, Vishnupuri, Gaurikund to name just a few. Of the numerous Shiva shrines, the 15th-century "Hatkeshver Mahadev" is the most important. He is the family deity of the Nagar Brahmins. Facing the east, it is enclosed by a high wall surmounted by three circular domes. From the roof of the sanctum rises a massive pinnacle, which soars high above in the sky. A massive congregation hall leads to the sanctum which houses a shivling said to have self-emerged or as it is said -"Swayambhu"(self emerged). The exterior of the temple is exquisitely and profusely ornamented with figures of the nine planets, regent deities, the chief gods of the Hindu pantheon, scenes from the life of Krishna and Pandava princes, besides the varied animal and floral motifs. The premises also house an older Swaminarayan Temples (one for male and one for females), two Jain derasars, a goddess Ashapuri temple (Shaktipith), goddess Bhuvaneshpuri Temple, Somnath Mahadev Temple, Daaneshwar Mahadev Temple and Vishnupuri Temple (it is said that God Vishnu himself had stepped here). Renovated twice or thrice is the "Sitla Mata" Temple ornately carved with figures of celestial beings. Its door frames and ceilings depict the Rasmandala (Krishna dancing with milkmaids). The most striking pieces of architecture in Vadnagar, however, are the two magnificent Kirtistambhas or triumphal arches. Built of red sandstone they are both identical in size and style. Only, one lies in pieces on the ground (now re-erected) and the other stand erect. Its pillars and arches are decorated with lozenges at the base and geometric and floral designs-leaves, creepers, lotus, animal motifs, human figures engaged in various activities and divine figures in different poses. The top bears an image of a seated god Kartikeya flanked by Ganesh and Makara (griffin) from which spring arches. A number of standing female figures also ornament the top. Vadnagar is also known as Skandhpur after Kartikeya, who is identified with Murugan.

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