VADNAGAR is a city of temples. There are small and large temples devoted to many different gods and goddesses. Some of these are very old and some recent ones. Two large temple complexes are that of Amther Mata and Hatkeshvar. Both are built with red and yellow sandstone. They present exquisite carvings and themes in stone.

Amther Mata Mandir is the oldest existing temple. In fact it is an enclosed complex of a total of six large and small temples. The temples are built on large spacious platforms, reminiscent of Khajuraho temples in their architecture. The main temple faces west. At present it houses an image of goddess Ambaji. Its external niches contain images of Parvati, Mhishasumardini, and several other gods. Behind the main temple there are smaller shrines of Vishnu, Saptamatrikas, Surya, and other gods. Vadnagar is the only place, besides Modhera, having an ancient Sun temple in the region.

However, in both the places the idols of the Sun are missing. There is an idol of the Sun and the Moon in a small temple on the outskirts of Vadnagar, but in all probability it is not the one belonging to the sun temple.

Hatkeshvar is another large and better known temple complex. Here the main temple is devoted to Shiva. The present temple is a 13th century structure. But it is believed that an ancient Shiva temple existed in the place and newer structures were built in its place with the passage of time. The ground level at which the Shivalinga resides in the present temple probably supports this belief. Also, if the scriptures are to be believed, Hatkeshvara predates Mahabharata.
The Hatkeshvara temple has been built in the classical style. The temple faces east, but has entrances from north and south as well. All the three entrances take one to a very spacious and airy central hall with a large dome.

To the west of the central hall is the real temple or Garbha Gruha. Its floor level is several steps lower than that of the central hall. And it is here that the famous Shivalinga is situated. High above it stands the shikhara or pinnacle of the temple.
The entire temple is full of exquisite carvings and sculptures. On the inside walls and ceilings as well as the outside walls there are carvings depicting scenes from Puranas, Ramayana and other scriptures. One doesn’t find any plain surface anywhere. It is this ornate carving that distinguishes Hatkeshvara from many other temples.