Dussehra marks the celebration of victory of good over evil, of Rama over Ravana. When devotees mark the triumph of good over evil on Dussehra by burning effigy of Ravana in India today, people in some parts of the country will instead be thronging to temples dedicated to the demon king. These worshipers believe Ravana to be a learned scholar and a devotee of Shiva.
Ravana is also worshipped in parts of countries like Sri Lanka and Bali (Indonesia).
Here are some Ravana temples you just cannot afford to miss!
Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh
Mandsaur is situated at the Madhya Pradesh-Rajasthan border. According to Ramayana, Mandsaur was the paternal home of Ravana’s wife Mandodari and that makes Ravana the son-in-law of Mandsaur. Hence he is worshipped and respected for his unparalleled knowledge and devout dedication to Lord Shiva. The place also has a 35-foot tall statue of Ravana. On Dussehra, people mourn the death of Ravana and hold prayers.
Ravan Mandir Bisrakh, Delhi NCR
Believed to be the birthplace of Ravan, a temple in Bisrakh, Greater Noida, is dedicated to the Lankan king. The temple has obviously faced the wrath of several people who believe in the power of Ram, but that hasn’t changed the stand of the institution that is situated in a village that derives its name from Ravan’s father, Vishrava.
Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Though not very well-known, the Ravana temple in Kakinada region of Andhra Pradesh is built on a site believed to have been chosen by Ravana himself. Ravana chose the spot to create a temple of Lord Shiva, whom Ravana believed in. It is believed that Ravana built the temple around the statue of Shiva. The temple is located close to the beach and is quite a picturesque temple. It is magnificent and beautiful! Kakuinada is the only place in Andhra where Ravana is worshipped.
Ravangram Ravana Temple, Madhya Pradesh
With an entire village dedicated to Ravana, the city of Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh has a set of devout Ravana worshipers. Vidisha’s Ravangram has a Ravana temple with a 10-foot-long reclining statue of the Lankan king. The temple is said to be the brainchild of Kanyakubja Brahmins–the sect of Brahmins Ravana is believed to be a part of. The residents of the village neither burn effigies nor celebrate Dussehra; they in fact turn to ‘Lord Lankesh’ and include him in every joyous occasion there is.
Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
Ravana Dahan is also not observed in the beautiful district of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. As the legend goes, Ravana appeased Lord Shiva with his devotion and austerity at Baijnath, Kangra. It is believed that Lord Shiva granted him his boon here. Hence, Ravana is revered as a great devotee of Lord Shiva.
Dashanan Temple, Kanpur
This temple of Ravana is opened just once a year on Dussehra Day and rituals are carried out. Ravana is worshipped as a God in the temple and not like a demon that he is believed to be. The temple celebrates his knowledge, his brilliance and his benevolence as a king – attributes of Ravana’s that lie forgotten in today’s world.
So, when are you visiting these temples? Tell us in the comments section & stay connected with Awaaznation for all updates!