The land of over 330 million deities and two million temples, is full of mystery and allure. From following bewildering traditions to being architectural marvels, the temples of India are enigmas that beckon patronage from all over the world.
The “mysteries” surrounding a few temples in India have challenged the norms of science and physics for decades, if not centuries, and continue to be a conundrum, even today!
If you are a thrill seeker, a visit to these temple should be on your travel bucket list for sure!
Here is a list of some of the most mysterious yet marvellous temples from across India:
1. Mehandipur Balaji Temple, Rajasthan
In the otherwise quiet district of Dausa in Rajasthan, a temple that's dedicated to the childhood (or Baal Roop) of Hanumanji, is popular for a spine chilling reason. It is known for its priests who still practice exorcism and claim to rid the inflicted believers off evil spirits and ghosts that haunt them. No prasad or offering is made to God here. It is said that you shouldn’t take anything offered to you inside the temple either. Penance is offered in drastic ways such as hanging from the ceiling or pouring boiling water on oneself, to cure the effects of the evil spirit of black magic!
What’s more are the strict rules you have to follow when you visit this temple:
No touching anything inside the temple
No photography of afflicted people around you
And finally, no looking back at the temple, once you have exited it (looking back might be seen as an invitation to inhibit your body by looming evil spirits).
2. Jagannath Temple, Odisha
Baffling scientists world over, is this famous temple in the East dedicated to Jagannath, avatar of Lord Vishnu! Apart from being a revered temple and one of the Char Dhams (one of the four most auspicious temples of Hinduism), it is also extremely popular for its annual Chariot or Rath Yatra festival. But it’s allure isn’t limited to its mythological significance alone…there are a host of interesting facts that accompany this famous temple:
The temple has no shadow, from any angle, at any time of the day.
The flag hoisted on top of the temple always floats in the opposite direction from the wind.
It is believed that the flag needs to be changed daily. If this 1800-year-old ritual is skipped for even a single day then it is said that the temple will close for 18 years!
The Sudarshan Chakra, which weighs a ton and is placed at a height of 20 feet, can be seen from every corner of Puri city! What’s amazing is its unique design that always appears to be facing you, no matter which angle you see it from.
Surprisingly, no birds or airplanes fly over the Jagannath temple. This phenomena still has no scientific explanation to it.
If these were not intriguing enough - the Prasad in the temple is cooked in seven earthen pots, stacked one on top of the other using firewood, but the top most pot gets cooked first!
The footfall of the temple varies from 2,000 to 20,000 people a day, but the quantity of prasad cooked remains the same through the year and is always enough for all devotees visiting the temple!
3. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Assam
One of the 51 Shakti Pithas (the important temples dedicated to goddess Devi and her avatars in Hinduism), the Kamakhya Devi Temple situated on the Nilachal Hill in Guwahati has long mystified its devotees with its unusual sculpture.
Legend has it that when Lord Shiva danced the Tandav with Sati’s corpse, her Yoni (womb) fell here. The only sculpture here depicts that Yoni, which is always covered with a red silk cloth.
It is said that the goddess is ‘menstruating’ once every year in the monsoon season. Owing to which the temple remains shut for a period of three days during this time. The Tantric fertility festival or Ambubachi Mela is celebrated on those three days after which the temple reopens on the fourth day. It is believed that the water that flows beneath the sanctum also turns red for those three days! The devotees are given pieces of the red silk cloth used to cover the Yoni during those three days as Prasad.
4. Kailasa Temple, Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple took 150 years and 7,000 labourers to craft the Kailasa temple out of one single rock. It is the world’s oldest single rock carving. Built at a time where technology and mechanism were not as advance as today, the Kailasa temple is an architectural marvel. People still haven’t been able to completely understand how this ancient monolithic structure was created so many centuries back!
5. Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Kerala
The richest temple in the world, the Padmanabhswamy temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple houses a vault that was opened in the recent past at the behest of the Supreme Court of India. In it were 7 chambers, of which only 6 were opened. In those 6 chambers, wealth worth 22billion was found – which included a whooping 66 pounds of solid gold and even an 18 feet long diamond necklace! But it was the mystery behind the 7th chamber that kept even the Supreme Court at bay!
The chamber that still remains closed has no latch or bolt to it, and is rumoured to hold the greatest treasure in the world. But Hindu astrologers and priests there believe that anyone who opens the chamber will unleash disaster upon themselves and the world. So no one have dared to trespass the sacred boundaries of the chamber that is guarded by two serpents carved in stone at its gate.
What do you make of these mysterious places of worship? Are you intrigued enough to plan a visit?