Lord Shiva is known to have a hundred names. One hunderd and eight in all. 108 is also the number of Upanishads written. Eklingji has been the deity of the royal Mewar family since the time of Bappa Rawal, founder of the Mewar dynasty. Ek means ‘one’ while ling means ‘lingum or the life giving phallic symbol of Lord Shiva’. The patron deity of the Mewar clan is considered the actual ruler of the region while the kings are merely the Dewan (or the Prime Minister) of this God of Mewar, the same way Swami Padmanabha (Lord Maha Vishnu) is for the Travancore royalty in Kerala.
The temple was first built in the year 728AD, however, subsequent changes and renovation work was done later as well. The temple that stands today is not the original structure but the one built on the site of ancient temple. Infact, as later as in the 15th and 16th century, Maharana Raimal too rebuilt and renovated this temple.
The temple complex is located at the banks of Indersagar Lake. Within the walls of the Eklingji Temple, there are 108 shrines built of marble and sandstone. The main shrine has a double storeyed covered platform, a hall with a number of pillars and a flat pyramidal roof with circular knobs. In this main shrine is a four faced black marble statue of Lord Eklingji with Brahma facing west, Vishnu facing north, Shiva facing south and Surya facing east.
Outside the temple are the statues of Nandi, Shiva’s bull and Bappa Rawal. Bappa Rawal is shown facing Nandi with his hands clasped. There is another statue of Nandi in silver in the hall of the temple.
Though the temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva, yet other deities are worshipped here as well. Few of the prominent among these are Parvati, Ganesha, Ganga, Kartikeya, Yamuna and Saraswati. Smaller temples dedicated to Amba Mata and Kalka Mata can also be found in the temple complex.