Sonia Gandhi Temple, Telangana ~ When the Videsi Lady Became Devi
To express their gratitude to AICC president Sonia Gandhi for creating Telangana, Congress leaders from the district constructed a temple for her in Mallial town. The leaders installed a white marble statue of Sonia Gandhi and had the portraits of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on temple walls outside. (Source: The Hindu)
Sachin Tendulkar Temple, Bihar ~Cricket is my religion – Tendulkar is my God
A village in southwestern Bihar has begun to worship Sachin by installing his statue. Its a year now since Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwary along with Kaimur district magistrate Arvind Kumar Singh unveiled a life-sized (5.5 feet) statue of the Master Blaster at Tiwary’s village Atarwalia, in Kaimur district, about 170km southwest of state capital Patna.
The white marble statue, which dons the official blue jersey of the Indian national cricket team, weighs 850kg and was crafted at Rajasthan’s Nathdwara at the cost of Rs. 8.5 lakh. It has been installed on a 10-feet high brick platform. Tiwary also laid the foundation for a temple which will be constructed to house Tendulkar’s statue. The idols of Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star player Yuvraj Singh would also be installed in the temple after its completion. America has its hall of fame for sports legends and we build temples for them … (Source: Hindustan Times)
Aeroplane Gurudwara, Jalandhar ~ A Toy Plane To Fulfill Your Dreams of Going Abroad
Devotees offer miniature aircraft at Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara in Punjab to fulfil their dreams of going abroad. It’s not difficult to locate Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara in Talhan village near Jalandhar on NH-1. Just ask for the “hawai jahaz gurdwara” or the “aeroplane gurdwara”, and you’ll be promptly guided to it.
The gate to Talhan village has a cement model of a British Airways aircraft sitting on top of it, and the road to Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara is lined with shops selling toy models of international carriers such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada, etc, priced between Rs 50 and Rs 550. (Source: Indian Express)
Visa Temple, Hyderabad ~Your Ticket to US
In the past few years a Balaji temple in Chilkur village outside Hyderabad has become the pilgrimage destination for US visa-seekers. It has acquired a reputation among the dollar-driven, that the deity here is particularly powerful in granting an American visa. Typically, an aspiring American visa-seeker visits the temple a few days before his visa interview at the US consulate.
During the visit, the devotee goes through the usual rituals of prayer, including three circumambulations of the inner shrine, and makes a vow. Then, they go off with their documents and dreams to convince the US consulate officer that they are worthy of receiving the visa. If they get their visa, they return to the temple, and fulfil their vow, which is to walk 108 times around the temple. (Source: TOI)
Kal Bhairav Temple, Ujjain ~ The Whisky Loving God
His name may as well be changed to Bacchus. Kal Bhairav, the presiding deity of a small shrine in the temple town of Ujjain, guzzles liquor like any old tippler. Science and reason may not agree but believers say that Bhagwan Bhairav has the miraculous powers to swallow the liquor that devotees offer him. Liquor is offered as a matter of routine to Kal Bhairav. He’s not particularly fussy about it either: desi or Scotch, any will do.
The liquor is offered to the god because it forms one of the five rituals of tantra, called the five Ms. These are Madya (liquor), Mans (meat), Meen (fish), Mudra (gesture) and Maithun (copulation). Although there are several deities across the country that are propitiated with alcohol, only Kal Bhairav is supposed to be endowed with the mysterious powers of drinking the liquor.Worshipped by many, and questioned by some, the deity ‘drinks’ a quarter bottle of liquor in a couple of minutes. (Source: IndiaToday)
Dog Temple, Channapatna, Karnataka ~ A Temple For Man’s Best Friend
The dog temple was built in 2009 in Chennapatna taluk of Ramanagar district, 60 km from Bangalore. The temple of the canine is situated next to the temple of a village deity. Villagers believe that the dog possess the quality of stopping any wrong doings and works along with the deity.
Chinese Kali Temple, Kolkata ~ Noodles, Chopsuey Eating Kali Mata
There is nothing different about the Kali idol. But one look at the `bhog’ – noodles, chopsuey, rice-and-vegetables dishes – and you realize this isn’t just any Kali temple.
In the heart of Kolkata’s Tangra area — India’s own Chinatown — stands this unique symbol of cross-cultural assimilation. The `Chinese Kali Temple’ (so the marble plaque says) is not only a bridge between Chinese and Indian cultures, but also strengthens bonds within the Chinese community. (Source: TOI)
Om Banna Shrine ~ Bullet Baba Ki Jai!
Om Banna is a shrine located near Jodhpur Rajasthan devoted to a deity in the form of a motorcycle which is a 350cc Royal Enfield. This temple is known as Bullet Baba’s Temple and is dedicated to a person Om Banna. Om died in an accident 20 years ago while driving his bike. Strangely the bike kept disappearing from the local police station only to be spotted at another site each time. To honor this miracle the bike is now a temple!!
Karni Mat Temple, Rajasthan ~ Holy Rats!
The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan, India, is known for its devotion to the furry animals, often seen as the scourge of urban areas. Rats scurry throughout the temple, where they are worshipped, fed and protected. Devotees have even gone to extreme lengths to protect the species by building netting and grills to keep out predators such as raptors.
The rodents move freely within the temple and can be seen eating from a huge metal bowl of milk and grains, placed there daily by devotees. Small children can be seen playing and interacting with the rats – while scores of tourists flock there each day to catch a glimpse of the unique spectacle. Many visitors offer sweets and other candy to the vermin. The food nibbled by the rats is also considered holy and is sometimes consumed by a devotee – even if it has been half eaten by rodents. (Source: DailyMailUK)
Bharat Mata Temple, Varansi ~ Bharat Mata Ki……..
The Bharat Mata temple does not have any statues of gods or goddess but just has a map of the Mother India. It is made up of marble and looks like a model symbolising the entire country. The temple in fact pays homage to all those who took part in the freedom movement and sacrificed their lives for their motherland. (Source: TOI)