India is a secular country embedded with religious beliefs. Our history and philosophy includes various concepts such as yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, divination, karma, reincarnation and one of the most crucial elements called “RELIGION”. Since ages, it has been an important part of Indian culture. Every year, millions of devotees from every corner commute to various sanctums of India with a view to experience the religious diversity and tolerance. Shrines like Tirupati Balaji, Vaishno Devi (Katra), Amarnath, Kedarnath etc, have a glorious historical past with numerous mythological stories behind them. Rituals performed in the temples located all around India might vary, but the prime objective is to worship the deity and get their blessings for a peaceful life.
However, are you aware of the fact that there’re certain temples in India which has spookiest stories or a bizarre past with no connectivity to scientific theories? Yes! It’s the incredible India with offbeat places to enjoy for recreation and some grotesque locations, the history of which will amaze you. Temples are no far behind! Get ready for a fun-loving train journey to reach these temples along with ordering tasty food in train via RailRestro. Here’re eight specific temples of India that follows peculiar puja rituals making it categorically distinct.
With horrifying incidents in the past, the history of Rajasthan is backed with numerous scary stories; evil forces and phantasm with prove a logical presence of something omnipresent. Whether it’s the devastated and plundered Bhangarh Fort or the cursed village Kuldhara, Rajasthan has been a home to mysterious locations. However, in the Dausa district of Rajasthan lies the foundation of Mahendipur Balaji Temple where exorcism is at its peak. It is believed that any demonic possession of any person can be treated here with 100 percent results. This temple has been known for many years and famous for the treatment of evil spirits attachments and black magic or spells. The temple is dedicated to Lord Balaji and whosoever comes for exorcism or any ritualistic healing, is guaranteed with a better treatment. To reach Mahendipur Balaji Temple, one has to drop at Bandikui junction from where tourists can take a jeep or private taxi to reach the temple. Do not panic! You can see many bodies possessed by evil spirits performing dangerous stunts, screaming and growling. They’re a common part of an exorcism. It is advisable to travel in the morning by 7-8 AM on Tuesday and Saturday (The temple is overcrowded on these two days).
Goddess Kali is considered to be one of the fiercest avatars of Goddess Parvati. It is believed that Mata Kali drank the blood of the demon Raktbeej, who was blessed by the Lord for being immortal. Tangra, located in the eastern wing of Kolkata is renowned for its Chinese Kali Mata temple. It is also referred to as “Chinatown of Kolkata”. This unique temple in the area offers fried rice and noodles as Prasad. There’s legend behind this divine temple. Once, a Chinese boy who was ill got cured by appeasing the Goddess by prayer and rituals. On this upcoming Diwali, add some Chinese flavors to your Prasad by visiting this unique sanctum. On your journey to Kolkata, one can use the RailRestro app for food delivery in train and enjoy the food of their choice right on the seat.
Located at a distance of 10 kilometers from Rampurhat, West Bengal lies one of the Shaktipeeths, called the Tarapeeth. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali (the Asmashan Kali) which has the strangest method of worship. Tarapeeth is also famous for Bamakhepa known as the ‘mad saint’, who worshipped in the temple and resided in the cremation grounds as a mendicant. He practiced yoga and Tantric art under the tutelage of another famous saint known as the Kailashpathi Baba. The tradition continues till date. Unless a body reaches for cremation ceremony, the puja in the temple can’t be commenced, as it’s against the rules of worshipping. Since ages, every day a body is cremated first and the worshipping of Maa Tara begins. Strange but true!
This temple is dedicated to Bhadrakali form of Goddess Parvathi. What makes this temple unique is the Bharani festival which comes in March and April. This festival involves the sacrifice of multiple cocks and blood-shedding throughout the streets of Kodungallur. The members of the Kodungallur Bhagavathy Veedu participate in this special ritual every year. It is believed that the ritual is to appease the Goddess Kali and her demons who take delight in blood offerings. Devotees run around the temple three times with sticks in their hands after which they’re allowed to enter the temple. These sticks represent the sickle-style weapons used by the Goddess to kill the demon Daruka. Some devotees are seen drenched in blood while performing this ceremony because they hit their head with swords and the blood starts flowing freely throughout their body. After entering the sanctum, the Goddess is abused by lewd songs. The sacrifice in the temple isn’t simply, but instead, they’re thrown on the statue of the Goddess. The temple is closed for seven days after the festival. On normal days, it is open for worship at 4:00 AM to 12:00 PM noon and 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. The nearest railway station is the Kochi station from where buses and taxi can be booked to reach the temple.
Our vast Indian mythology has conspicuously stated the relationship between God and human beings. Multiple stories proved that God is always ready to help their devotees when they’re in acute need. But the Kali Singh Temple at Muzzafarnagar is an exception. It’s the only kind of temple in India, where people worship for the safety of their animals (cattle). It is the only temple in India that is dedicated to the well-being of animals. The devotees (mainly females) cook “Kheer” from the milk they get from their cattle and offer the same to the deity and pray for their welfare, protection, safety and good health of animals. “We come here to pray for the happiness and wellbeing of our animals. We bring the fresh milk and prepare ‘kheer’ from it. Later, we offer it at the temple,” said Sangeeta, a devotee. Interesting!
Like the Mahendipur Balaji Temple, the Devji Maharaj Mandir in Madhya Pradesh is a place where people from all over India gather to get rid of ghosts, demons, and evil spirits. As a penance, camphor tablets are burnt on bare hands to scare the spirits. The weirdest part of the temple is the “Annual Bhoot Mela” where thousands flock to go through the process of exorcism. This “bhoot pret ka mela” starts on the first day of Paush Poornima and continues till Basant Panchami. The exorcism is an old-practice in the temple and assures 100% results to set the sufferer free from the possession of spirits and make life easier. The process starts after the aarti is completed followed by a “Parikrama” of the temple in anti-clockwise motion. The sufferers are then sprinkled with holy water and the mantras are chanted which makes them hysterical and ready for spiritual treatment.
The Kal Bhairav avatar is the fiercest form of Lord Shiva. It is represented as a man wearing the garland made of a human skull. The popularity of the temple is such that the residents believe; it’s the only Kal Bhairav who decides about who has to stay in the pious land of Varanasi. People of Varanasi seek permission from the deity before leaving the city for any purpose. As per folklore, it is said that everyone who visits Varanasi has to visit this temple first and seek permission from the deity to stay there. Also, Varanasi is said to be the second home of Shiva. The amazing fact about the temple is; whether its whiskey or wine, only alcohol is offered as a “bhog” to the deity. Also, it is distributed as a Prasad to the people who come here to offer their prayer. You can visit the temple from 5:00AM to 1:30PM and then from 4:30 PM to 9:30PM in the night. Entry to the sanctum is free. Passengers can also drop at Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhaya junction and reserve an auto-rickshaw or travel on a sharing basis to reach the temple. One can also order food in train at Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhaya Junction during their journey.
Devaragattu Temple in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh is renowned for the special Bani festival. The temple is located on the borders of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. During Dussehra, devotees from both the states gather at this temple to worship Devi, but the weird tradition is that the devotees perform a ritual, in which they hit each other with Lathis till midnight. They are drenched in blood, with endless pain. The tradition continues till date. It was celebrated earlier with axes and spears instead of lathis which were one of the most dangerous ways of celebration.
In India, Bhubaneswar is called the “City of Temples” having a maximum number of sanctums located in the city. However, the existence and rituals of these temples are something unusual and extraordinary beyond science. Would you like to visit them?