Temples with deference in India, may Leave You Stunned

INDIA is a land of multiple faiths traditions, beliefs and superstitions. There are innumerable shrines dotting the land where quaint customs and rituals are practiced. Masses flock to these temples for getting their heartfelt wishes fulfilled; some expect miracles to occur and change their lives. Yet others simply wish to honour their favorites. Take a look.

Karni Mata Temple

At  Deshnoke, near Bikaner in Rajasthan is the famous Karni Mata temple. It is familiarly known as the Temple of rats!   Believe it all not the temple is infested by nearly 20,000 black rats, venerated by devotees.

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These holy rats are called kabbas, and they draw hordes of visitors who   wish to witness this  unusual spectacle. According to folklore, a 20,000 strong army deserted a local battle and came to Deshnoke. Karni Mata intervened to save their lives but turned them into rats, and offered them shelter in the shrine.

Bullet Baba’s Temple

At the Bullet Baba’s Temple in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, there is no deity. Rather the icon worshipped here is a 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet.

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Legends say, a young man named Om Singh Rathore/ Om Banna got killed here when his bullet motorcycle hit a tree. Police tried to remove the bike from the accident site.But it kept reappearing. Sensing   an occult power at play, local folks built  a temple here.

Visa Balaji  Temple

The Visa Balaji  Temple near Hyderabad (AP) and the Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurudwara in Jallandhar (Punjab) are manifestations of a highly modern concept!

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They are believed to possess miraculous power – of securing European and US visas to all aspirants. People believe that if the visa seekers offer a toy aeroplane, while praying at the Gurudwara along with a toy aeroplane, their wishes will be granted.

Chinese Kali Temple

The Chinese Kali temple is in Kolkata’s Tangra neighbourhood. Originally two sindoor (vermilion) smeared black stones representing Goddess Kali were placed under a tree in this locality with a predominantly Chinese migrant population.

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On one occasion a little Chinese sick boy was brought here to seek divine blessings.  The boy’s recovery prompted the Chinese folks to worship here too. Interestingly the Prasad offered here is all Chinese stuff- chopsuey, noodles, rice Chinese style veggies etc.

Dog Temple

The Dog Temple in Channapatna in Karnataka was established by a community in order to honor man’s best friend. The temple houses idols of two dogs.

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These dogs are believed to possess the power to eradicate all evil.

Khabees Baba Temple

The Khabees Baba Temple in Sitapur (UP)  reputedly possesses powers to cure people of all kinds  of diseases.  The temple is dedicated to a local saint Khabees Baba, who once resided here.

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A heavy drinker the Baba used to cure people’s maladies in his inebriated state. Interestingly, there is only a pair of slippers like structures in the shrine- symbolizing the saint’s feet. Another interesting feature is that devotees offer alcohol at this shrine which is later collected and distributed among the devotees.

Ravana Temple

Ravana, the villain of the Hindu epic Ramayana is venerated by certain sects of Hindus. There are few temples in India dedicated to Ravana. The Ravana Temple in Kanpur (UP) opens just once a year on the occasion of Dussehra.

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On every Dussehra, while most parts of India celebrate Ravana’s destruction, a grand aarati is organized in this temple. It is attended by thousands of devotees. Nearby there is a village named after Ravana. The villagers can be heard chanting “Jai Lankesh… Jai Lankesh” while passing by the temple.

Brahma Baba Temple

Gods also like to be punctual! At the Brahma Baba Temple in Jaunpur, (UP) people make offerings of clocks of all shapes and sizes – out of gratitude after their desires are fulfilled.

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There is no priest or guard on duty here. Nevertheless none has ever dared to steal the clocks

Bharat Mata Temple

The Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi, (UP) contains only map of India, engraved in marble.

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The idea is to pay homage to all individuals who laid down their lives at various stages of the freedom movement.

Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple

The Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple in Kavio Kamboi, Gujarat, is a temple that submerges and then re-emerges from the sea. Hence it is known as ‘Gupt Tirth”.

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Dedicated to Lord Shiva the 150-year-old shrine gets submerged in the waters of the Arabian Sea twice daily only to resurface afterwards. The temple can be visited during the low tide.

The list of strange temples is unending …. There is a temple in a village in Bihar dedicated to Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, one for “Big B” in Kolkata and above all a shrine dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in a tiny sleepy village in Odisha!!

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