Hindu Temples in India and Abroad

Pages: 6 (1706 words) Published: January 5, 2011
North Indian temples
Kedarnath Temple dedicated to Shiva, in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand Tilla Jogian, PakistanUnlike South India, it is rare to come across an ancient temple that has not been reconstructed. Most ordinary temples in North Indian rituals are very simple in stark contrast to South Indian temples which have elaborate rituals. Also North Indian temples often tend to be less orthodox and in many cases everybody are permitted to enter the innermost sanctum of the deity and worship the deity personally. In such cases, the deity is not adorned with valuable jewelry. The innermost heart of the temple is the sanctum where the deity (usually of fixed stone) is present, followed by a large hall for lay worshipers to stand in and obtain "darshan" or divine audience. There may or may not be many more surrounding corridors, halls etc. However there will be space for devotees to go around the temple in clock wise fashion circumambulation as a mark of respect. In North Indian temples, the tallest towers are built over the sanctum sanctorum. The reason for lack of huge temples and elaborate rituals as in the South Indian temples may be the continuous waves of invasions by Muslim armies plundering and sacking temples in the medieval times.

[edit] South Indian temples
Temple in Kerala
Balaji temple of TirupatiMany large bannabs (grand stone temples) still stand in South India. Ritual tends to be orthodox and elaborate especially in the large vedic brahmincal temples, which follow the pan-Indian Sanskrit agama scriptural traditions. Apart from the main fixed stone deities, processional deities made of panchaloha (an alloy of five metals - gold, silver, copper, zinc and tin) are bathed, dressed, decorated with valuables and taken out in processions for various festivals throughout the year. The richer the temple, the more elaborate the festivals. However, many ancient temples in small villages with great architectural and historical heritage value languish for lack of funds for maintenance. Famous south indian temples are Thiruppathi temple-Andhra, Mookambi temple-Karnataka, Chennakesava temple, Belur (Karnataka), Sabarimala temple-Kerala, Guruvayoor temple-Kerala, Kodungallor temple-Kerala, Kanyakumari temple-Tamilnadu (TN), Madurai Meenakshi temple-Tamilnadu, Sriramgam Ranganathar temple and Thiruvanaikaval temple of Trichy (TN),Bragatheswarar temple, Tanjore (TN), oldest temples such as Kailasanathar temple, Varatharajaperumal temple, Kamakshi temple and Ekambareshwarar temple of Kanchipuram (TN), Thirukadiyur Abirami temple, (TN), Andal temple, Srivilliputhur (TN), Natarajar temple, Chidambaram (TN), Kumbeshwara, Kumbakonam (TN), Thiruvannaamalai temple, Tamil Nadu, Palani temple-Tamilnadu, Kodungallor temple-Kerala, Chettikulangara Devi temple-Kerala, Aranmula Parthasarathy temple-Kerala etc

[edit] Temples in other parts of IndiaTemples often greatly vary in their appearance, rituals, traditions, festivals and customs from region to region. Temples in eastern state of Orissa and Western India also have their distinctions. In the south, Kerala temples are very different from temples in the other three states.

Yameshwar Temple near Bhubaneswar,Eastern India

Birla Mandir in Hyderabad, IndiaOther temples in India includes the revered Sai Baba Temple in Shirdi (Maharashtra). Sainath's Rasoi (kitchen)/Prasadalaya has also turned into a popular tourist attraction among the devotees. Sai Baba had spent most of his time in Dwarkamayi in Shirdi. Sai Baba used to accept offerings from 5 houses. Whatever offerings he used to get on Thursdays, he cooked and served it to poor people and animals. At his old age Sai Baba faced difficulty in chewing chapattis, so he used to soak his chapttis in water and later eat the same. Watching this Sai devotees started to offer Sai rice instead of wheat or any other hard substance. The food most liked by Sai Baba was ‘Pyaj-Besan’ and ‘Bajra-Rice’.

[edit] Temples in West Bengal...
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