Temples: The Rich Heritage of Uttar Pradesh
Innumerable temples of various colours, deities and architectural styles are scattered all over India. In fact, the temple cities in India have their own charm, attracting millions of pilgrims every year. But when it specifically comes to temples in Uttar Pradesh, their sacred aura can hardly be penned down.
With alone 5,000 temples in Vrindavan, one can only imagine what the rest of Uttar Pradesh has in store.
While the sacred ruins of Sarnath date back to Mauryan rule in 300BC, the temples of Vrindavan owe their existence to Kushans of 200 BC. Gupta dynasty (320 CE?550 CE) gave birth to the Golden Age of India when art and architecture rose to new heights.
Few important temples in Uttar Pradesh include Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Banke Bihari Temple, Mulagandha Kuti Vihar, Hanumangarhi and Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. Presumably, the oldest temple in the state dates back to 6th century and is situated in Kanpur district. Most of them have been adorned with Indian styles of architecture like Rajasthani, Buddhist, Rajput and Nagara.
Opt for Uttar Pradesh Tourism to experience a spiritual relaxation with the best of North Indian temples. Sight the stunning frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Lord Buddha in the famous Mulagandha Kuti Vihar.
Following are the main temples in Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple
Located in the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ called ‘Varanasi,’ Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva situated in India. The other Jyotirlingas are located in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. History suggests that this temple was established in 1940.
The site was also looted by Mughal invaders several times. Damages were also caused to the building leading to its reconstruction time and again. However, the present temple owes its existence to Ahilyabai Holkar, the Queen of Malwa Kingdom. According to Hindu mythologies, a visit to this temple along with a dip in holy River Ganges washes away every sin of one’s life.
Banke Bihari Temple
This is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.? The term ‘banke’ literally translates to ‘bent at 3 points’ while ‘bihari’ means the ‘supreme enjoyer’. A black and shiny idol of Lord Krishna is seen standing in ‘tribhanga’ posture with three bends in his body. This posture is very famous in the Odissi form of dance.
The shrine primarily hails back to 1864. However, the idol dates back to 1863 when it was worshipped by a Hindu saint Haridas in Nidhivan. Do not expect to see any conches or bells in the complex as the priests believe that the deity dislikes any noise. During festivals the idol is adorned with colourful dresses and offered neatly cooked vegetarian food.
Mulagandha Kuti Vihar
Sited about 11km away from Varanasi, this is a famous Buddhist temple in North India. It stands amidst the ruins of Sarnath. The temple is surrounded by ancient stupas and monasteries excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India. The architecture of the shrine is remarkably different from the other structures in Sarnath.
Relics of Lord Buddha which were brought from Taxila are placed inside the temple. Devotees are allowed to view them during Kartik Purnima (November- December). The walls are adorned with stunning mural art by a Japanese artist named Kosetsu Nosu. A giant bronze bell hangs at the entrance of the temple. The place is looked after by Maha Bodhi Society of Sri Lanka.
Ayodhya is regarded as the birth place of Lord Rama. Hanumangarhi is a beautiful fort-like temple situated in this city. The site is visited not only for its religious values but also for it splendid architecture. An idol of Goddess Anjani along with his infant son Lord Hanuman is placed in the temple.
Legendarily, Lord Hanuman lived in a cave to protect the kingdom of Lord Rama from evil. The land where the temple stands today was actually donated by a Nawab of Awadh during 10th century.? Several devotees climb the 76 flight of stairs of the shrine to seek blessings. The temple is open for its visitors all the time.
Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple
This is another most important Lord Hanuman’s temple situated in Varanasi. Ensconced close to the Assi River, the present temple was constructed by Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. During Hanuman Jayanti (March- April), a colourful procession is taken out from Durga temple to this temple. Garlands of marigold and a sweet made of besan is offered to the deity during the festival.
It is also called as the ‘Monkey Temple’ because of the large number of monkeys living around it. Locals believe that it was built by Saint Tulsidas, author of Ramcharitmanas. Long queues of pilgrims are seen on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There is a continuous chanting of Hanuman Chalisa going on in the temple.
So, come and reconnect with your soul. Book for Uttar Pradesh Temple Tour Package today and feel the power of divine healing.
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