Temples most people find seats of tranquility, whatever may be the reason for visiting them. I have put together here a selection of photos from my visits to temples in India.
“Go not to the temple to put flowers upon the feet of God,
First fill your own house with the Fragrance of love…”, Rabindranath Tagore had written.
Vishhnu Temple in Thirunelli
Thirunelli Temple is a famous pilgrim centre in a beautiful jungle valley. Mountains surround it on four sides. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu in the form of Chaturbhuja. There are also deities of Ganapathy and Nagam. The temple is at the base of Brahmagiri hills. It is 30 km from Mananthavady in Kerala, at an altitude of 900 metres.
The temple is 67 km from Kannur. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are the main deities. The temple is on the Sahyadri mountains, also known as Dakshina Kashi. Lakhs of devotees visit the temple during the annual Vaisakha Maholsavam celebrations. On opposite banks of River Bavali stand two temples: Akkare Kottiyoor and Ikkare Kottiyoor. Akkare Kottiyoor opens only for twenty-eight days during Vaishakhamahotsavam – the annual festival of the temple which falls in the months of May-June. During that time, Ikkare Kottiyoor remains closed.
Parassini Muthappan Madappura
This is a Hindu temple at a scenic location on the bank of Valapattanam River. The main deity is Sree Muthappan who is a manifestation of Lord Shiva.
Non-Brahmins perform the pooja rituals. Dogs are free to enter the temple and roam around freely. They are seen as Muthappan’s companions. Offerings to the deity include toddy and dried fish. It is 19 km from Kannur and 10 km from Taliparamba. Calicut International Airport is 129 km by road.
Thalassery Jagannath Temple
Sree Jagannath Temple in Thalassery is one of the best loved temples in Malabar. Sree Narayana Guru consecrated the temple in 1908. The temple functions on the lines of Jagannatha Temple in Puri. Non-Brahmins conduct the pooja and rituals.
Sree Ramaswamy Temple
The temple in Thalassery is popularly known as Thiruvangad Temple. The temple is dedicated to Sree Rama and is located at Thiruvangad, 2.1 km from Thalassery railway station. Devotees refer to the deity as Perumal.
Sree Sundereshwara Temple
The Thiyya community of Kannur built the temple and Sri Narayana Guru consecrated it in 1916. The temple follows the Brahminical way of worship though the poojaris who are Thiyyas.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple
Rani Rasmoni built this famous temple in 1855. It is perhaps the best-known among the temples in Kolkata. It is on the eastern banks banks of the Hooghly in Kolkata, overlooking Bali bridge. The presiding deity of the temple is Bhavatarini, an aspect of Goddess Kali, meaning ‘She who liberates Her devotees from the ocean of existence i.e. Samsara’.
Sri Munisuvrat Swamy Jain Temple
An ancient Jain temple can be seen in Gholvad, Maharashtra: Sri Munisuvrat Swamy Jain Temple. It was built in 1949.
There is an ancient Nandi temple on top of Nandi Hills. It has been entirely built using rocks and is believed to be 1,200 years old. Intricate Chola and Hoysala architecture and carvings can be seen on the rock pillars. The temple is 40 km (1 hour) from Bangalore Airport.
Ernakulam Shiva Temple
The temple is in the heart of Ernakulam city. The deity is well-known as Ernakulathappan.
The 8-day long annual festival at the temple usually falls in January/February months. On the seventh day, there is Pakalpooram. The deity moves out in a grand procession with caparisoned elephants and to the accompaniment of Panchavadyam. The procession ends at Durbar Hall Ground after rhythmic Pandimelam and impressive fire works.
Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple
This is one of the most popular temples in Kerala. The presiding deity is Sri Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The main idol is a four-armed Krishna in a standing position. He carries the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and a lotus.
Sree Krishna Temple in Ambalapuzha
Ambalapuzha is famous for its Sree Krishna Temple which dates back to the fifteenth century. The principal deity is Unnikrishnan (child Krishnan). It is 14 km from Alapuzha. By road, the drive consumes 26 minutes. Trains take 12 minutes.
The prasadam of the temple is Palpayasam. It is famous for its distinctive pink colour as well as sublime taste. The temple’s own goshalas supply the milk for the payasam. Known ingredients of the palpayasam are water from manikinar (holy well of the temple), milk, sugar and red rice.
Mannarasala Sree Nagaraja Temple
This is an ancient temple that draws devotees from all over Kerala and elsewhere. It is a pilgrim centre which is devoted to the serpent gods and is located among woods in Haripad, 32 km from Alappuzha.
Vasai Ayyappa Temple
Sree Ayyappa Temple is built in the style of Kerala temple architecture. Red tiles cover the roof . There is a tall kodimaram (flagstaff) in front of the temple. On festival days, many small oil lamps light up outside walls of the temple. Consecration of the temple was in 1995.
Sree Ayyappa Temple is in Vasai West, Maharashtra. It is 2.3 km from Vasai Road railway station.
A temple in Thalassery, Kerala is Ambalavattam Temple. Durga Devi is the presiding deity. Management is in the hands of Ambalavattam Temple Trust.