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Mahatma Gandhi, Chinese Kali, and a Sachin Tendulkar temple: 10 unusual temples in India for the unconventional Indian gods


Last Updated: September 02, 2014, 12:28 IST

Mahatma Gandhi, Chinese Kali, and a Sachin Tendulkar temple: 10 unusual temples in India for the unconventional Indian gods

There's a temple dedicated to every Hindu god. But did you know there was a temple dedicated to rats too?

The spiritual land of India has a temple for every God we worship. The list of Gods is endless and so is the count of temples in India. Have you heard of the strange and mysterious temples in India like the one dedicated to a motorcycle? Did you also know that there is also a temple in India where Ravana is worshipped?The century old temples in India have a rich history behind why they were built. You wouldn't let a rat enter your house, but there's an entire temple dedicated to rats in Rajasthan. Wouldn't you love to visit a Kali temple where devotees offer noodles as 'bhog'? These ten unusual temples in India exist in real life, don't be surprised!


Chinese Kali temple: In Kolkata, Chinatown is a town that earned this name as most citizens in this area are Chinese in origin. The local Chinese population visits this temple and offers noodles and chopsuey as Prasad. All these people are devotees of Goddess Kali. On Kali Puja, most Chinese residents of Tangra take the day off and get together in front of the temple. On the average weekday, you would catch the Chinese residents pause, take off their shoes, and pray for a moment in front of the idol.

Brahma temple: The world’s only Brahma Temple can be found in Pushkar, Rajasthan. The temple was built in the 14th century and has a four-headed statue of Lord Brahma. It is believed that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses, performed a Yagya here. Legend also has it that the ancient lake Sarovar had appeared miraculously when a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma and dropped into this valley.

Karni Mata Temple: The Karni Mata Temple in Deshnok near Bikaner, Rajasthan worships rats! Rats are believed to be the incarnations of the Goddess Karni Mata and her children. According to scriptures, Karni Mata is an incarnation of Goddess Durga. Rats can be seen roaming freely in this temple where they are fed milk and other offerings.

Bullet Baba Temple: Om Banna is a shrine located in Pali district near Jodhpur, India, devoted to a deity in the form of a motorcycle. In 1988, Om Banna was travelling from the town known as Bangdi near Sanderao of Pali to Chotila when he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a tree. Om Banna was killed instantly, his motorcycle falling into a nearby ditch. The morning after the accident, local police took the motorcycle to a nearby police station. The next day it was reported to have disappeared from the station and was found back at the site of the accident. Legend has it that the motorcycle thwarted every attempt by police to keep it at the local police station; the motorcycle was always returned to the same spot before dawn. This came to be seen as a miracle by local population, and they began to worship the ‘Bullet Bike’. This temple is known as ‘Bullet Baba’s Temple’. It is believed that Om Banna’s spirit helps distressed travellers. The temple includes a tree ornamented with offerings of bangles, scarves and rope.

The disappearing temple near Vadodra: The Stambeshwar Mahadev Temple around 40 miles away from Vadodra stands in the Arabian Sea. It is only visible during low tide and remains submerged during high tides. This temple is famously known as the disappearing temple.

Temple of Hidimba: The Hidimba Deci temple was built in Manali centuries ago in 1550 AD. It is dedicated to Hidimba, the wife of Bhima, according to the Mahabharata. She fell in love with Bhima while the Pandavas were in exile and even ordered Bhima to kill her brother, the ruler of this area in today’s Himachal Pradesh. Hidimba then ruled the kingdom until her son Ghatotkach grew old enough to take over. It has been written that she would regularly visit the forests of Dhungri to meditate. This is where a Pagoda-shaped temple was built to seek her blessings.

Temple of Duryodhana: We know Duryodhana as the main villain in Mahabharata and the oldest Kaurava brother. Though the epic mentions mostly his evil deeds against the Pandavas, there is a temple dedicated to him in Kollam district in Kerala. At the Malanada Temple, Duryodhana is worshipped as Malayappooppan. The temple doesn’t have an idol and the chief priest of this temple belongs to the Kurava community. All religious customs performed here are according to the Dravidians.

Temple of Ravana: There is a temple dedicated to Ravana in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In the Ramayana, we have read about Ravana, the villain, who abducted Lord Rama’s wife Sita. It has also been written in ancient scriptures that Ravana was a devout follower of Lord Shiva. This is why the Dave Brahmins, believed to be descendants of Ravana, worship him and have built a temple for this ‘king of three worlds’. Every year on Dussehra, Ravana’s death anniversary is performed here.

Temple of Gandhiji: In Sambalpur, Odisha, you will find a temple dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, probably the only temple of its kind in India. The idol of Mahatma Gandhi sits under a tricolour in this temple. On special days like Gandhi Jayanti, Independence Day and Republic Day, there are huge celebrations here. Since Mahatma Gandhi was a supporter of ‘Harijans’, the daily prayers in this temple are performed by the dalits, who are treated as untouchables in society.

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    Sachin Tendulkar temple: A village in Bihar has taken the god of cricket Sachin Tendulkar to another level. In a small town called Atarwalia, a life-sized marble statue of Sachin Tendulkar in the official blue jersey stands on a 10-feet high brick platform. The idol weighs 850kg and costs almost Rs. 8.5 lakh. The plan is to build a temple in a 15,000-square feet area with idols of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh as well. Bhojpuri actor and singer Manoj Tiwary has acquired 17 acres of land to build a sports academy and a stadium close to the ‘Sachin temple’.

    first published:September 02, 2014, 12:28 IST
    last updated:September 02, 2014, 12:28 IST