In the spiritual land of India one can find several temples dedicated to Hindu Gods, some of which are very significant and renowned all over the world. Not to criticize the beliefs of people, some temples seem to be unusual and are dedicated to not so common Hindu Gods. Rather some of the temples are also devoted to villains of Indian epic Mahabharata and Ramayana. Read on to know more about these temples.
Following are the 7 unique temples in India
Temple of Duryodhana
Duryodhana, the main villain in the Mahabharata and the eldest of the Kauravas, is worshipped in certain temples in India. Temples exclusively dedicated to Duryodhan are very rare due to his evil deeds against the Pandavas. But we can find such a rare temple dedicated to Duryodhana in South India, the Malanada Temple in Kollam District in Kerala. Duryodhana is worshipped as ‘Malayappooppan’ and there is no idol for the deity. The chief priest of the temple is from the Kurava community and customs and rituals followed here are Dravidian in nature.
Nagaraja Temple, Temple of snakes
According to Hindu mythology and the beliefs of majority of Indians, snake is god and offer milk and eggs on auspicious days like Nagapanchami and Nagulachavithi. In many temples idols of snakes are worshipped by people. Idols of snakes are also worshipped along with many of the Lord Shiva temples. The largest and the most famous of the snake temples in India, the Nagaraja Temple is located at the town of Mannarsala in Kerala, where more than 30000 stone snake images are exhibited within its compounds. According to the local legends the temple to be 3000-years-old.
Temple of Ravana
The temple of Ravana is situated in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. According to the epic Ramayana, he was a villain and kidnapped Sita (wife of Rama). Ultimately he was killed by Lord Rama. Though he was a villain he was one of the sincere devotees of Lord Shiva. Hence the Dave Brahmins, who claimed to be the descendants of Ravana, believe that Ravana should be worshipped as he was superhuman, a Brahmin and also the king of the three worlds and constructed a temple for him. Daily puja is performed here and death anniversary is performed on Dussehra.
Temple of Rats
30 kilometers south of Bikaner, the town of Deshnoke is home to world’s only temple where rats are the main creature of devotion. About 20,000 rats are fed, protected and worshiped. The Karni Mata temple is one of the more curious places in all of Rajasthan. The site has been a place of worship for the last 500 years. Rats are believed as the incarnations of their ancestors and are fed by the devotees. Devotees are not allowed to hurt them. If anybody kills them accidentally, they have to make a golden rat and offer it to the temple.
Temple of Gandhiji
This Gandhi Mandir located in Sambalpur, Orissa, is perhaps the only temple, where the father of our nation is worshiped as a deity. Idol of Gandhiji that is sitting under the Tricolor is worshipped daily by the devotees. Apart from the daily puja, special days like Gandhi Jayanthi, Independence Day and Republic day are celebrated. The specialty and uniqueness of this temple is here the pujas are performed by dalits who are treated as untouchables by other people.
Temple of Kal Bhairava
The temple of Kal Bhairava is situated in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Bhairav is a fierce appearance of Lord Shiva, is mainly worshipped by the Kapalika and the Aghoras. Deity is offered liquor. Kal Bhairava himself is considered as the guardian of the temple, so the keys of this temple are kept at the temple premises at night. The devotees believe that they can be saved from any danger at night if they offer garland of cashew nuts along with lighting a lamp. Dogs are fed and well treated as they are considered the vehicle of Kal Bhairava.
Temple of Hidimbi
Hidimba Devi Temple, also known as the Hadimba Temple, is located in Manali in Himachal Pradesh in India. Hidimbi was a character in the epic Mahabharata who fell in love with Bhima, the second eldest of Pandavas. Hidimba got married with Bhima and had a son. About 70 meters away from the temple, there is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Hidimba’s son, Ghatotkacha. When Bhima and his Pandav brothers returned from exile, Hidimba did not accompany him, but stayed back and did tapasya to attain the status of goddess. The temple is surrounded by a cedar forest at the foot of the Himalayas.