Temples, the identity of India, are buildings dedicated to religious activities. Originally pilgrimage centers, these places have slowly and steadily turned into very famous tourist spots, owing to the increase in popularity due to their uniqueness.
Here, I have jotted down a few of the temples of India, which are offbeat and unique in their ways.
1. Bharat Mata Temple, Uttar Pradesh
As we consider our country, our mother, this temple is dedicated to the same. Translated as 'Mother India', this temple has a map of India on marble, along with the usual statues of deities.
This eight-floored temple has each floor dedicated to different deities.
Description of Each Floor
1st Floor Dedicated to Bharat Mata
2nd Floor For Shoor veer (heroes) of the country, soldiers who lost their lives at the border
3rd Floor For the achievements of India's revered women such as Meera Bai, Laxmi Bai
4th Floor For various saints from different religions
5th Floor For portraying paintings and history depicting the provinces of India
6th Floor For various forms of Goddesses Shakti
7th Floor For incarnations of Lord Vishnu
8th Floor For shrine of Lord Shiva, the supreme God in Hindu tradition.
Located in Uttar Pradesh, this temple echoes the culture of India.
Time : 7.30 am - 5.30 pm
2. Bullet Baba Temple (Om Banna Temple), Rajasthan
If you love watching horror movies or listening to spooky stories, then the story behind this temple is just for you.
The legend behind this temple dates back to 1998, when a local, Shree Om Banna, was traveling on his bullet and was met with a fatal accident on the Pali-Jodhpur highway in Rajasthan. The bullet was taken by the policemen to the police station, but the next day the motorcycle was reported to have magically vanished and was found at the accident spot. This cycle continued for 3-4 days, after which the locals and the police decided to make a temple under his name.
The unique thing about this temple is, that we pray to a mechanical deity, The Bullet.
Time : 6 am - 9 pm
3.Brahma Temple, Pushkar
Pushkar is often described as the only Brahma temple in the world, as a result of the curse from Savitri. Although it is no longer the only temple in the world, it is still considered to be among the very few temples dedicated to the Hindu creator God, Brahma, in the world.
The story behind this fact
Once Lord Brahma was performing a prayer (Yajna) with His second wife, Gayatri. When Savitri (His first wife) saw this, she got agitated and in the rage of anger cursed Brahma that He would not be worshiped anywhere in the world. But later on, she reduced the curse and allowed Him to be worshiped only in Pushkar.
Time : 6 am - 8 pm
4.The Whiskey Devi Temple (Kaal Bhairav Mandir)
In the heart of India, there lies a Kaal Bhairav Nath Temple, where the devotees don't generally offer milk or fruits to the deity, but a bottle of whiskey, which later on is given as a Prasad to the devotees.
As you walk by the temple premises, you will be shocked to see the local street vendors selling liquor bottles openly in public, as the main offering of the temple is whiskey. They sell everything from local to English wines and whiskey.
When the priest offers liquor in a copper mug to God, you can see the mug getting empty in no time, which is still a miracle for the temple priests, the devotees as well as the researchers who have performed several types of research to understand this phenomenon, but in vain.
Time : Open 24hrs.
5.Stambheshwar Mahadev, Gujarat
Often termed the Disappearing temple of Gujarat, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who plays hide and seek with his devotees.
A 150-year-old temple, in the town of Kavi Kamboi in Gujarat, is located between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Cambay.
What's so unusual about this Temple?
The temple starts submerging during the high tide hours, but during the low tide hours, it again starts reappearing inch by inch, slowly unveiling the 4 feet-high Shiva Lingam.
One should plan the trip to this temple in such a manner that you are able to witness the disappearing and reappearing of the temple.
Time : Open 24hrs.
6. Veerbhadra Temple (Lepakshi Temple)
Also known as the Lepakshi Temple, this temple was built in the 16th century and it remains in good condition and continues to be both a place of spiritual and touristic importance.
The site was built as a place to worship Lord Shiva, one of the great deities of Hinduism. The temple is divided into 3 parts: 1. The Assembly Hall, 2. Ante Chamber and 3. Inner Sanctum.
At the entrance of the Sanctum, sculptures and paintings cover nearly every surface. These works of art feature, divine worshippers and avatars of Shiva.
One of these decorated pillars is the famous Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi Temple, which is a massive block of granite that does not touch the floor at any point. This hanging or floating pillar is considered an act of miracle, and if you could bring a thin object which passes underneath the pillar, then you will be showered with good luck.
Time : 6am - 6pm
7. Duryodhana Temple (Poruvazhy Malanada)
Poruvazhiy Malanada Temple, situated in the Kollam district of Kerala, is a temple dedicated to the eldest son of the Kauravas, Duryodhana. During the 14-year exile period of Pandavas, in his quest, he reached the Malanada Hill of Kerala. The pristine beauty and the hospitality of this place compelled him to stay back with his clan. Happy with the treatment he got from the King and the people, he gifted 100 acres of agricultural land as a charity.
Interestingly, even today Duryodhana owns the land on earth when none of his brothers or the Pandavas have. The land tax is still levied in the name of Duryodhana
People worship Duryodhana not because he was evil, but because he was powerful and intellectual.
Time : Open 24hrs.
8. Hidimba (Hadimba) Devi Temple
Ever heard of a temple dedicated to a demon? Here it is in the very famous hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh.
Locally known as Dungari Temple or Hadimba Temple, it is an ancient cave temple, dedicated to the wife of Bheema, the second Pandava Brother from the epic tale of Mahabharata.
The temple was built in the 16th century where she lived with her brother, Hidimb, and performed meditation. Born into a Rakshas family, she decided to marry a warrior who would defeat her brother. During the Pandavas' exile, they reached Manali in this cave and Bheema defeated Hidimb, which resulted in the marriage of Hidimba Devi and Bheema, and later gave birth to Ghatotkacha, who proved to be instrumental in the Mahabharata war.
Time : 8am - 6pm
India can be a strange country for an outsider, especially considering the unique temples that we are responsible for. These were a few magnificent temples of India, with all the myths and stories related to them.
Let me know in the comments if you have visited any of the unique temples in India.
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