Temple for Monkey, Rat and Dog: 15 Unusual Temples in India
India’s culture and tradition are full of amazing rituals and exciting practices. India is a Hindu dominated country and temples are center of worship in Hinduism. Thousands of temples can be found in every part of India. According to Hindu mythology, there are 33 million gods and goddess and there are temples that are dedicated to these gods. But in India, there are many temples that are not dedicated to god or goddess but to animals, non-living creatures and even to demons. Here is a list of some of the interesting temples in India.
Read Here: Amazing Hindu Temple Situated Outside India
- Temple of Sachin Tendulkar: No one can deny the contribution of Sachin Tendulkar in Indian cricket. Various cricket experts consider Sachin as God of Cricket. But at Kaimur district in Bihar, there is a temple constructed for Sachin Tendulkar. Inside the temple, there is a statue of Sachin in the official blue jersey of the Indian national cricket team holding world cup trophy that India won in 2011. Not only temple but also villagers have composed an Arti(holy song) in honor of Master Blaster.
- Bullet Baba Shrine: You would have heard of animal’s love for their owner in movies like “Haathi Mere Saathi” and “Teri Meherbaniyan”. Do you know that there is a shrine at Pali district in Jodhpur which is famous for a motor bike’s love to its owner. At Bullet Baba Shrine in Pali district every day hundreds of devotees pray here for the safe journey. The story behind this Shrine is “once Om Banna (Bullet Owner) was traveling towards Pali district when he lost his control on the motorcycle and hit a tree on the roadside, he was killed on the spot. Local police took the motorcycle to the police station but next morning motorcycle was found at the same accident spot. Police again took the motorcycle and this time they emptied its fuel tank and tied it with chain. To their surprise next day again motorcycle was found at the same place. As the news reached to locals they built a temple and began worshipping. It is believed that spirit of Om Banna saves travelers from any accident.
- Temple for Sonia Gandhi: Mallial town in the Indian state of Telangana is famous for its temple that is dedicated to Sonia Gandhi, current president of Congress party. Local Congress leader has constructed this temple to thank Sonia Gandhi for creating Telangana State. Inside the temple, there is a white marble statue of Sonia Gandhi and temple walls have the portraits of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, and Rahul Gandhi. Leaders and locals have contributed land, money and other necessary things to make this temple a reality. They have a belief that had not been Sonia Gandhi, there would have been no existence of Telangana State.
- Rat Temple or Karni Mata Temple: 30Km from Bikaner in Rajasthan at Deshnoke there is Temple of Karni Mata which is often regarded as Rat Temple. Karni Mata temple is famous for its 20000 rats that live here along with humans and not a single case of an outbreak of any disease or plague has been heard here. Though Rat is often regarded as the vehicle of Lord Ganesha here at Karni Mata temple they are called Kabbas and believed as the reincarnation of Karni Mata. Local people also believe that after their death they would be reborn as one of the rats in this temple. Kilos of Prasad is cooked for rats and human and rat share food together.
- Temple of Raja Harishchandra: We all have heard the story of King Harishchandra who was famous for his two qualities. First, he kept his word and never went back on what he uttered as a promise. And second, he never uttered a single lie in his life. Even today we quote his example when it comes to speaking truth. First Indian movie was made on the life of King Harishchandra but to our surprise, there is a Temple dedicated to King Harishchandra in Wadvani tehsil of Beed district in Maharashtra. The place where the temple is situated is also known as Raja Harishchandra Pimpri.
- Monkey Temple or Galtaji Temple: Hindu culture believes deeply in reincarnation and a there is a close bond between animals and humans. Monkeys are sacred in Hinduism due to Lord Hanuman who helped Lord Rama in his fight against Ravana. Throughout India, we can see temples dedicated to Lord Hanuman but there is one temple in Jaipur which is famous for monkey inhabitants. The Galtaji Temple is 10km away from Jaipur and its inhabitants are special Rhesus Macaques Monkey species which are world’s most adaptable primates. They have been living here for hundreds of year and prayed by visitors and pilgrims.
- Temple of Devil-Hidimba Devi Temple: Hidimba Temple is located in Manali, a hill station in the State of Himachal Pradesh in north India. Hidimba was the sister of demon Hidimb and both were born into a Rakshas(demon) family. Hidimba vowed that she would marry the person who would defeat her brother. In Mahabharata during the Pandava’s exile, when they visited Manali, Bhima, one of the five Pandavas, killed Hidimb. Thereafter, Hidimba married Bhima and gave birth to their son Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkacha played a very important role in the battle of Mahabharata.
- Snake Temple-Mannarasala Temple: India is home to one of the poisons snakes in the world “The King Cobra”. A single bite of Cobra can paralyze and kill twenty humans or an elephant but despite this, in many parts of India snakes are worshipped. There are festivals when snakes are worshipped like Nag Panchami and Maha Shivratri. One temple where snakes are worshipped is Mannarasala Temple and it is situated in Alappuzha District of the Indian state of Kerala. This temple has nearly 30,000 images of snakes idols along the path. Mannarsala Aayilyam is the main festival celebrated here and on this day all the idols are washed with milk and worshipped. Women came here seeking fertility and once their wish is fulfilled they install idols of snakes.
- Duryodhana Temple- Poruvazhy Peruviruthy Malanada Temple: Duryodhana Temple is located in Kollam district of Indian state of Kerala. Duryodhana was the eldest son of Kauravas and it said that due to his greed the whole war of Mahabharata was fought. Though there is no specific deity of Duryodhana present here it is believed that at the time of Mahabharata Duryodhana visited this place and worshipped Lord Shiva. He also gave away 100s of acres of land as an act of charity.
- Temple for Dog: In Chennapatna Taluk of Ramanagar district of Karnataka there is a temple dedicated to a dog. According to villager’s, the dog was one of the first animals that have been living with humans and they believe if they worship dog then nothing wrong can happen in their village. Temple has been built near to the village deity and it has idols of two dogs. You never know every dog has its day.
- Temple for Mahatma Gandhi: Everyone in India and around the globe knows the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian war of Independence. His method of “non-violence” is still famous all around the world. In India, he is even considered as “Father of Nation”. He not only fought for the independence of India but also led a war against social inequality in India. The ward Harijan was first used by him for the untouchable caste of India. To pay homage to his work there is a temple dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Sambalpur district of Indian state of Odisha. In this temple, there is an idol of Gandhiji sitting under Tri-color and during the days of National festivals like Independence Day, Republic Day and Gandhi Jayanti there are huge celebrations. Prayers and other rituals are performed by people who are treated untouchables and not by Brahmins or pundits.
- Aeroplane temple in Punjab: A temple dedicated to rat, monkey, politician, and sports icon, all you can find in India and we have a specific reason for all but it is amazing to know that there is a temple/gurudwara in Talhan village in Jalandhar district of Punjab which is famous for special offering of Aeroplane. The gurudwara is known by Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurudwara but locals prefer to refer it by “Hawai jahaz gurdwara” or the “airplane gurdwara. It is believed that praying here increases the chances of going abroad. People visiting here purchase aeroplane toys from nearby shops and offer in the temple. It is believed that the size of aeroplane offered in temple decides the type of city a devotee might get. A small plane can increase chances of traveling to smaller European cities and offering big planes like Boeing 747 can provide you a ticket to New York.
- Temple for Lord Brahma: As mentioned at the beginning that in Hinduism there are about 33 million gods and goddess that are worshipped from ancient time. Out of these 33 million 3 gods i.e. Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are most important. We can see many temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva all over India, but for Lord Brahma, there is only one temple that is located in Pushkar in Rajasthan. Temple is situated near to Pushkar Lake. Brahma temple is considered as one of the ten most religious places in the world and one of the five sacred pilgrimage places for the Hindus, in India. These is Apteshwar Temple situated next to Brahma Temple and it is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Although Pushkar Temple is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma he is worshipped in other temples too. For example, Brahmapureeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu also has a Brahma idol but this temple is primarily for Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma is prayed along with Lord Shiva.
- Chilkur Balaji Temple or Visa Balaji Temple: The Chilkur Balaji Temple is an ancient Hindu temple which is dedicated to Lord Balaji. The temple is situated in Hyderabad on the banks of Osman Sagar Lake. The striking feature of this temple is, it is famous among devotees for visas approval and it is believed that anyone who wants his visa to get approved can pray here and soon he would get good news. A person who seeks visa has to go through the process of interview and documentation so devotees before appearing for those go to their visa god and offer him prayer and Prasad. They perform three circumambulations of the inner shrine and makes a vow. Although now in India we can hear many temples that are now famous as visa temple like Khadia Temple in Ahmedabad and Perumal temple in Tamil Nadu but Temple of Chilkur Balaji is most famous among all.
- Temple where wine is offered as Prasad: Whenever any devotee goes to any temple his prayer is not considered complete until he/she offers the Prasad to temple god. Prasad can differ from place to place and temple to temple in India. There is a temple of Shri Kaal Bhairav in the city of Ujjain in the Madhya Pradesh State of India. The prime Deity of this temple is Shri Kaal Bhairav and devotees offer him liquor as Prasad. Visitors and devotees offer prayer to Lord Kaal Bhairav and wine is poured into the mouth of deity as Prasad.