13 Unusual & Interesting Temples Which Could Have Existed Only In India

India is known world over for its million Gods and Goddesses, each having their own mythological story justifying reverence from their countless devotees. It is for the very same reason our country is home to an astoundingly large number of fascinating temples, shrines and places of worship. While a majority of these temples amaze us for their architectural beauty and history, a few make our jaws drop for the bizarre reasons why they are popular among devotees. From a Sikh shrine for people with “international” dreams to a temple where the Goddess only devours a prasad of Chinese delicacies, we’ve got them all. Don’t believe us? Read on. 

1. A visit to Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara (also known as Aeroplane Gurudwara) will help you get a Visa to your dream destination

Visa problem? No problem! This Gurdwara located in the Talhan village of Punjab has the solution for all you globetrotters. According to a popular belief, anyone facing the wrath of Visa officials can easily get that much needed stamp on their Visa application by offering prayers at this ‘miraculous’ Gurudwara. With their hearts filled with faith, devotees offer toy planes at this Sikh shrine and on weekends, one can easily find at least 80 to 100 toy planes strewn on the first floor of this unique Gurudwara.

Image Source: SeeTheCulture (Instagram) 

2. Kal Bhairav temple in Ujjain, where Gods are always game for a drink or two

If you are of an opinion that chugging down countless beer cans on weekends is only your field of expertise, here’s a fact that might make your whole life look like a lie.  Everyday, Kal Bhairav Temple in Ujjain witnesses an unusual ritual of devotees offering liquor bottles to their favorite deity. Vendors are often spotted selling baskets of offerings – that contains a bottle of liquor with coconut and flowers outside the temple. Recently, the state government also set up liquor counters outside the temple. 

The priests pour some liquor from the bottles offered by devotees in a small saucer and offers it to the deity near its lips. The remaining bottle is returned to the devotees as the ‘prasad’.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. The Bharat Mata Temple in Varanasi has been built in honour of our country

All you people whose hearts overflow with patriotism on hearing ‘Mitroon’ on television and radio, the Mother India Temple at Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith campus in Varanasi is a place that will hold you spellbound. Fascinating much? Definitely! 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Sonia Gandhi Temple in Mahbubnagar, Telangana is where the ex-Congress president is worshiped

Let’s put our hands together for Congress leader Shankar Rao who took sycophancy to another level when he built this temple to let the people of Mahbubnagar pray to Sonia Gandhi every day. Couldn’t get any weirder, right? Wait till you get to the last one.

5. Mahatma Gandhi Temple 

Mahatma Gandhi is one political figure who has quite a few temples in different parts of the country where he is worshipped like a deity.

One of his most famous temples of Gandhiji is in Bhatra which lies in the Sambalpur district of Odisha. This temple was established in 1974 and has been attracting people from near and far since them who come to pay their tribute to Bapu. Another famous Mahatma Gandhi temple lies in the Nalgonda district of Telengana.

Image Source: Orissapost.com

6. Narendra Modi Temple – A temple dedicated to India’s Prime Minister 

A Tamil Nadu farmer impressed by Narendra Modi’s welfare schemes and himself receiving the benefits of some of them, built a temple in his honor in 2019. This temple lies in his village near Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu.

Before this, some of Modi’s followers had built his temple in Rajkot, however, it had to be pulled down after the Indian Prime Minister objected to this gesture and asked his followers to clean their neighborhoods instead. Another grand Narendra Modi temple is being planned in Meerut by some of his enthusiastic supporters.

7. Sachin Tendulkar Temple – A place of worship for the God of Cricket 

Well some of the cricket crazy fans decided to build a temple for the God of Cricket in South Bihar’s Kaimur district. This temple has a life-sized (5.4ft) statue of the Master Blaster.

8. A temple for Big B

The All Bengal Amitabh Bachchan Fans’ Association unveiled a life sized statue and museum dedicated to Bollywood’s Shahenshah Big B in 2017. He temple also houses some of the iconic things sported by the star in popular movies including his shoes from Agneepath and a thrones from Aks.

 

9. The Chinese Kali Temple in Kolkata will scintillate your taste buds

A Kali Temple in Kolkata? That’s like finding sand on the beach. So, you must be wondering why this Kali temple found a place in our list? Well, the answer lies in the scrumptious ‘bhog’ this temple offers its devotees. Ever heard or seen noodles being served for prasad in a temple? We know the answer and that is why we thought of putting this Chinese Kali Temple in this list. 

The Chinese Kali Temple is visited by the local Bengalis and Chinese community in Kolkata alike.  The legend says that about 60 years ago, the site of the temple just had black stones with sindoor where the locals prayed. There the parents of a 10-year chinese boy who was on the verge of death prayed here day and night for their son’s recovery. After their son recovered from the illness, this place became very revered for the Chinese community in Kolkata. A granite temple was constructed at the site and the black stones still lie inside the temple.

With chinese community, came the unique prasad here that comprises noodles, chopsuey  rice with vegetables.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

10. Om Banna or Bullet Baba Temple in Jodhpur, where devotees worship a bike

A temple dedicated to a bike? While this might make most of us go ‘say what?’, there are biking enthusiasts who will have a sly grin on their faces after reading this. Yes, there’ an entire temple dedicated to the mean machine in Rajasthan which might give all you bike lovers a sense of pride. Several legends are associated with the temple, but those legends are not even close to the amount of hilarity you get when you see a 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet being worshipped and offered garlands. 

Image Source: The Unruly Traveler

11. Tanot Mata Temple near Jaisalmer – The Temple With Grenades

The Tanot Mata temple lies around 120 kms from Jaisalmer close to the Indian-Pakistan Border. This temple houses a number of grenades fired at the temple during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. It is believed that none of these temple blew up due to the divine power of the temple.

This temple compound also houses a Mazar and is maintained and managed by the BSF.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image Source: The Unruly Traveler

12. Kamakhya Devi Temple, Assam: The Menstruating Goddess

One of the the 51 Shakti peeths in India, Kamakhya Devi is located in the in the Kamrup district of Assam. It is believed to be the place where the yoni (vagina) of Sati, Shiva’s wife fell after her dead body was struck down by Lord Vishnu with his Sudarshana Chakra.

Kamakhya is one of the most important Goddess of Tantric worship. Every year the temple shuts down for a short period in the month of June when it is believed that the Goddess menstruates and the Bramhaputra river nearby turns red.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

13. Karni Mata Temple near Bikaner, Rajasthan

Located at Deshnoke, around 30 kms from Bikaner in Rajasthan, the Karni Mata temple is famous for being a house of about 25,000 rats who are revered in the temple. These rats are considered to be the incarnation of Karni Mata’s male children. The temple attracts curious tourists as well as people who wish to get blessings alike.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Image Source: The Unruly Traveler

So what did you think of these rather unusual places of worship? Think we missed something even more..err..unique? Let us know in the comments below!

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