My Views & Interesting News: Famous Ravana Temples in India

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Famous Ravana Temples in India

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Rāvaṇa is the primary villain in the Hindu epic Ramayana, where he is depicted as the king of Lanka. Rāvaṇa is depicted and described as having ten heads. He is described as a follower of Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the veena, but someone who wished to overpower the devas. His ten heads represent his knowledge of the six shastras and the four Vedas. In the Ramayana, Rāvaṇa is the antagonist, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita to exact vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha.

Come Navratri and Dusshera, everyone around will begin celebrating the days of good over evil and burn effigies of Ravana. But then, was Ravana truly as evil as he is made out to be? There are a lot of people who worship Ravana as a deity and Shiva followers truly believe in the 10-headed king. If he really was so good and noble, then why does majority of the population believe him to be evil?

Here below are some Ravana temples you just cannot afford to miss!

1. Bisrakh, Uttar Pradesh This is one of the most famous and well-known Ravana temples. Ravana is worshipped as God in this region and Dusshera is not celebrated here by burning Ravana effigies. Bisrakh is special as it is Ravana’s birthplace and many elders still visit the place to mourn the once-great king. Navratri is the festival mourning in this township. There are many havans held during Navratri to pay respects and homage to Ravana.

2. Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh Though not very well-known, the Ravana temple in Kakinada region of Andhra Pradesh is built on a site believed to have been chosen by Ravana himself. Ravana chose the spot to create a temple of Lord Shiva, whom Ravana believed in. It is believed that Ravana built the temple around the statue of Shiva. The temple is located close to the beach and is quite a picturesque temple. It is magnificent and beautiful! Kakuinada is the only place in Andhra where Ravana is worshipped.

3. Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh This temple of Ravana is opened just once a year on Dussehra Day and rituals are carried out. The temple was constructed by Shiv Shankar, a devotee of Lord Shiva and the believer in the power of Ravana. Ravana is worshipped as a God in the temple and not like a demon that he is believed to be. The temple celebrates his knowledge, his brilliance and his benevolence as a king – attributes of Ravana’s that lie forgotten in today’s world.

4. Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh Vidisha is one of the most famous Ravana temples. There is even a village in Vidisha named Ravangram after king Ravana! During any auspicious function or on any important day, it is the Indian tradition to visit temples and seek blessings. The people of Vidisha visit Ravana’s temples on wedding days and other important occasions. It is only recently that Ravana worship commenced on Dussehra in a big way – otherwise, the temple was treated just like any other temple. Ravana’s wife Mandodari is believed to be from Vidisha.

5. Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh Another of Ravana’s temples in Madhya Pradesh, this one is said to be important as Ravana and Mandodari are said to have wed here. The temple is an elaborate structure. Along with Ravana, there are also other female deities who are present inside the temple and are worshipped. Texts in the script from Harappan civilisation is found next to the deities indicating that the temple is extremely old.

6. Mandor, Rajasthan Well, not exactly a temple temple but the Dave brahmins of Mandor are believed to be direct descendants of Ravana. As descendants of Ravana, they do not celebrate Dussehra as on that day Rama killed and vanquished Ravana. Instead, they perform shraddh and offer pind daan on Dueeshra. They perform all the rituals of shraddh that a son performs for his father/ancestors and pray for the liberation of his soul. A Ravana temple has been set up in Jodhpur India where daily, the king is prayed and worshipped.

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