The mysteries of the unknown have always fascinated the human mind. India is definitely a place of mysteries and for very long, people in the west have thought of India as a place of snake charmers and magicians. This wonderful land is riddled with mysteries and astonishing things that anyone could have ever imagined. India is full of surprises. India isn’t called Incredible India for nothing. The country has something to offer to every traveler – scenic beauty, beaches, mountains, historical monuments, and places of worship – few holding mysteries around them.
India is a beautiful yet deliciously mysterious country that beholds the secrets and stories of a lot of palaces. Following is a list of certain Indian places of worship where, exist mysteries. Mysteries that some consider the brilliance of science, and some others tag these as God’s blessings shown alive. Whatever may be the perception, the interesting quotient these carry remains put.
1. Nandishwara Teertha Temple: Water flowing from the mouth
The temple was discovered in 1999 when a vacant plot of land near the Kadu Malleshwara temple was excavated only to yield a perfectly preserved central pool of water surrounded by granite steps and pillared mantapas, which until then remained preserved in thick layers of soil. People believe the temple to be over 7000 years old.
The temple houses a ‘Shivalinga’ continuously bathed with water dripping from the mouth of a Nandi statue, and this is where the mystery resides. No one knows the source of this continuous stream.
2. Levitating Stone – Shivapur, Maharashtra
Somewhere in Pune, in a quaint little hamlet called Shivapur, there lies the Hazrat Qamar Ali Darvesh that has a magical story to tell. In the vicinity of the dargah, is placed a chiseled smooth stone in a pile of sand pebbles. They say that 70 kg rock can only be lifted by 11 people, each using their one finger. Precisely 11 people are required to engage in the act, neither less nor more. The stone goes flying 10 to 11 feet up in the air, while the 11 chant in unison, “Qamar Ali Darveeeeesh.” The most amazing part is that nobody feels any weight while lifting the stone up. They compare the entire process to the weightlessness of a single rose petal on a finger.
Also at this dargah, there is a lamp encased within glass, which burns 24X7, and is believed to possess a mystical power that is believed to cure fatal snake bites.
3. Hanging Pillar – Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Located in the Anantapur district in southern Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi is home to many ancient relics and architectural marvels. The hanging Pillar of Lepakshi is a mystery indeed. Amongst the 70 pillars of the temple, one hangs without any support! You can actually swipe a piece of cloth or paper mid-air that separates the ground and the pillar.
As a matter of fact, a curious British Engineer tried to figure out the secret of its support, consequently dislodging it a bit in the process. Some believe that the entire complex stands on the pillar. According to locals, passing objects under the pillar brings prosperity to one’s life.
4. Karni Mata Temple, Rajasthan: Home to Thousands of Rats
A little town called Deshnok, 30 kms from Bikaner in Rajasthan, holds an intriguing sight: the Karni Mata Temple, home to over 20,000 rats. Rats are worshipped here as it is believed that they are the incarnations of the Goddess Karni Mata (who is an incarnation of Maa Durga) and her four children. ‘Kabbas’ as they are called these rats are allowed to freely roam in the temple premises and also fed with milk and other Prasad.
Devotees consider it highly honourable to eat Prasad nibbled by one of the rats. There are some white rats too, which are considered special and are believed to be the manifestations of Karni Mata herself and her four sons.
5. The Musical Stone Pillars of Vittala Temple, Hampi
If Hampi was the showpiece of the Vijayanagara Empire, then the Vittala Temple is undoubtedly the showpiece of Hampi. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Lord Vittala), this temple is truly a grand example of human craftsmanship. The most notable and certainly an intriguing feature of the temple has to be its magnificent 56 pillars, that when struck gently, emanate the 7 notes of music. Owing to this fact, the musical pillars are also popularly known as SAREGAMA pillars.
Enthralled by this wonder, the Britishers even tried busting the mystery behind. They cut two of the pillars but were more than amazed to find nothing inside. The pillars were simply hollow (Those two cut pillars can still be seen). This shows the skill of the Stone Mason who could discern the sound probability while cutting the stone to desired sizes and shapes to give different sounds.
6. The Mysterious Seventh Door of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Temple
The seventh door of Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy temple is considered as highly mysterious, sacred; risky and dangerous to unveil it. The door has two big COBRA PORTRAITS on it with no nuts, bolts or other latches. They say that this eerily mysterious looking door can only be opened by a highly erudite ‘SADHUS’ or‘MANTRIKAS’ who are familiar with the knowledge of extricating ‘NAGA BANDHAM’ or ‘NAGA PASAM’ by chanting a ‘GARUDA MANTRA’. But, what lies behind the door remains a mystery because at present nowhere in India or in the world, such a highly sacred and powerful ‘Siddhapurusha’ or ‘Yogis’ or ‘Mantrikas’ who does know how to execute highly sacred ‘Garuda Mantra’ are existing.
The believers can hear the sounds of the gushing Arabian Sea coming from the other side of the door. Some also compare the sound with that of the hissing of snakes.
7. The Growing Nandi of Yaganti temple
Located in the Kurnool District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple was constructed in the 15th century. According to the locals, the Nandi idol in front of the temple is continuously increasing its size. The locals say that the idol was initially much smaller than its present size. They say that certain experimentation was carried out on this idol and it was said that the type of rock out of which the idol is carved has a growing or enlarging nature associated with it.
Just how big it has become over the years can be analyzed by the fact that the temple staff had to get rid of one pillar because of the expanding Nandi. Also, it is said that people used to do Pradakshinas (rounds) around ‘Nandi idol’ in the past. According to Potuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy, the Basavanna (stone Nandi) of Yaganti will come alive and shout when Kali Yuga ends.
8. The Eternal Flame – Jwala Ji Temple, Kangra
Throughout the year, people visit the Jwala Ji Temple of Kangra to seek blessings from the Goddess. In the centre of the temple, a hollowed stone holds a flame that has been burning for hundreds of years. According to the legend, Lord Shiva’s wife, Sati, immolated herself in anguish when her father disrespected her husband. A furious Shiva danced the Tandav Nritya carrying the burnt corpse. In doing so, she fell into 51 parts and landed on the earth. Each of these locations turned into a religious shrine for the Hindus. The Jwala Ji of Kangra is believed to be Sati’s fiery tongue.
9. Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple, Sikkim: The Spirit God
Major “Baba” Harbhajan Singh was an Indian army soldier who died in 1968 near the Nathu La in eastern Sikkim, India. According to legend, Harbhajan Singh drowned in a glacier while trying to lead a column of mules carrying supplies to a remote outpost. His remains were found after three days and he was cremated with full military honours. The legend further claims that it was Harbhajan Singh himself who helped the search party find his body. Still later, through a dream, he instructed one of his colleagues to build and maintain a shrine in his memory.
As with most saints, the Baba is said to also grant favours presumably to those who revere and worship him. Some Indian soldiers believe that in the event of a war between India and China, Baba would warn the Indian soldiers of any impending attack at least the three days in advance.
10. Tanot Mata Temple: Bombs Dropped Near the Temple Never Exploded
The temple located in the western state of Rajasthan, India. It is said that during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Pakistani Army dropped several bombs targeting the temple but none of the bombs could fall on the temple and large number of the bombs in the vicinity of the temple did not explode. After the war, the BSF of India took over the management of the temple. The temple has a museum which has collections of the unexploded bombs dropped by Pakistan.
11. Hazrat Sharfuddin Shahvilayt: The Scorpions Here Crawl Upon The Humans But Never Sting
In Amroha, UP, is situated the mazar of Syed Hussain Sharfuddin Shah Wilayat Naqvi, a prominent 13th century Sufi, who is popularly addressed as Dada. The astonishing feature of this mazar is the fact that it is home to deadly black scorpions (species which can strike painful sting or even cause death). But, these scorpions seem to crawl up the skin of the devotees without harming them in any way whatsoever.
The devotees are even allowed to take the scorpion’s home by seeking permission from the shrine along with the return date. The scorpions are said to be harmless even when taken out of the shrine, but they tend to sting when not returned to the shrine by the set date.
12. The Motorcycle God: Bullet Baba Shrine, Rajasthan
Amongst the endless list of Gods and Goddesses we have, here’s a Royal Enfield bullet that has managed to get worshipped! The Bullet baba or the Om Banna shrine is situated close to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Devotees worship a Royal Enfield bullet here and the deity is also offered liquor. The residents of the village believe that the deity saves them from road accidents and other peril while travelling.
Om Banna, an avid bike lover was on his way during the elections to meet some people on his Bullet bike. En route, he met with an unfortunate accident and passed away. The cops seized the vehicle and put it in the police station, only to discover that it was missing the next morning. After a few searches, they found it at the same accident site. Even after placing the vehicle back, the incident repeated again.
It was believed that the late owner himself rode it there. The motorcycle was moved permanently to the location and the Om Baba (or Bullet Baba) Shrine was erected. Every day many passers-by come to offer their prayers. The spirit of Om Banna is believed to protect travellers.