From some ancient forts in Rajasthan to beaches like Dumas in Goa to apparently ‘jinxed’ villages like Ajabgarh, many sites in India are linked to some mysterious tales and folklore. While some tales will take you to the bygone era of rich heritage and tradition, making you want to stay there, others will make your bones shiver.
If you are one of those people who like getting immersed in histories and mysteries, here are five mysterious stories on Ancient India.
- Kamakhya Temple
In a country like ours where talking about menstrual hygiene is still considered taboo to some extent, here is one temple that openly celebrates the biological process of a woman body.
Legend has it that upon Goddess Sati’s death, Lord Vishnu had to cut her body into 51 pieces that fell upon various locations across the earth and became sacred sites that are today called Shakti Peethas. It is believed that the place where Sati’s womb and vagina fell is what constitutes the Kamakhya Temple. The temple’s name is originated from Kamadeva, the Hindu God of Love. Having lost his virility to a curse, it was Sati’s reproductive organs that brought his potency back. As a tribute to her, the deity of Kamakhya Devi was set up.
Interestingly, every year in the Hindu month of Ashaad, the Brahmaputra River flowing near Kamkhya turns red and that is when the goddess is said to be menstruating.
- Mehandipur Balaji Temple
Mehandipur Balaji Temple stands witness to thousands of exorcisms against black magic practices every year and that is why the tales associated with it are among the top mysterious stories in ancient India. Situated in the Dausa district of Rajasthan, the temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and believed to have been bestowed with magical powers to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.
The three deities of the temple – Lord Hanuman, Pret Raj and Bhairav, are said to have self-appeared and been there for over 1000 years. However, the temple around them was built in the 20th century.
Despite the rich history, Mehandipur Balaji Temple is definitely not for the faint-hearted. From pouring hot water on the head of the ‘possessed’ to pelting them with stones within the temple walls, a lot of strange things go on. Moreover, once you are done with your prayers and walk out of the temple premises, you are not supposed to look back as doing so will supposedly lead the evil spirits to follow you.
- Kaal Bhairav Nath Temple, Varanasi
One of the oldest Shiva temples in Varanasi, Kaal Bhairav Mandir holds great historical and cultural significance in Hinduism. The temple is dedicated to Bhairava, from whom even death is said to be afraid of. Even though the exact date of the temple construction is unknown, it is estimated that the current structure was built in the mid-17th century.
It is believed that Kaal Bhairava was appointed by Lord Shiva as the ‘kotwal’ of Kashi. Therefore, to live in Kashi, one has to seek permission from the deity by making offerings to him. While there are many legends surrounding Kaal Bhairava, according to the most popular one, Lord Shiva, enraged by some blasphemy committed by Lord Brahma, created Kaal Bhairava to teach the creator of the universe a lesson.
Kaal Bhairava decapitated Lord Brahma’s fifth head however, it remained stuck to his hand despite his several attempts to throw it away. As a penance for killing a Brahmin, Kaal Bhairava had to undergo Kapaal Vrata, wandering all over with the skull still stuck in his hand. It was only when he reached Varanasi that it fell on the ground. Since then, he has been appointed by Lord Shiva as the protector of Kashi.
- Jatoli Shiv Mandir, Solan
Perched on the top of Solan Hills, Jatoli Shiv Temple is considered as the highest Shiv temple in Asia and is indeed an architectural marvel. Like any other Hindu temple in India, this one also has many tales and fables associated with it. It is also believed that the temple was built at the same spot where Lord Shiva rested during his voyages.
It took almost 40 years to build the Jatoli Shiv temple. In addition to the fact that it is being revered as the resting place of Lord Shiva, there is another interesting thing about the temple. On the northeast corner is a water tank called ‘Jal Kund’ that is said to have medicinal qualities for treating certain skin diseases.
- Jagannath Temple
Talk about mysterious stories on Ancient India and Jagannath Temple is one such holy site that defies all scientific explanations. It is one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites in India and is famous for its annual chariot festival.
On the top of the temple is a chakra that weighs a ton. What is interesting about the chakra is that it is always seen facing towards you irrespective of which corner of the Puri city you are looking at it from. Similarly, it is surprising that the temple does not cast any shadow at any time of the day, the reason behind which is yet to be deciphered.
While these mysterious things about the Jagannath temple definitely leave one baffled, the history associated with it is worth immersing in.
The assembly hall or Jaga mohan and chariot or Vimana, were constructed by King Chodaganga during his reign and later, Anangabhima Deva completed the construction of the entire temple in 1174 AD. Legend has it that the original image of Jagannath (an avatar of Vishnu) was manifested near Puri seashore in the form of a blue jewel. Given its ability to grant instant moksha, Yama hid it under the earth. King Indradyumna, a devout follower of Lord Vishnu, wanted to find that mysterious deity and he went through harsh penance for that. In fact, it was he who commissioned the construction of the first Jagannath temple.
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