Monday, 11 February 2013

The temple that devotees fear to pray

Shiva is one of the famed trinity of Hindu Gods, the other two being Vishnu and Brahma. If Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the giver and Shiva the destroyer.
Though there are thousands of temples to Shiva and Vishnu, there are only a handful of temple to Brahma. If Madhwas and Iyengars  flock to Vishnu temples, Smarthas, Iyers and Lingayats believe in the supremacy of  Shiva.
But did you know that people of all faiths and even locals of Bithoor fear to come and worship at a temple in Bithoor. This is the Shiva temple located amidst thick vegetation.  
Bithoor, near Kanpur, which is located on the bank of the Ganges has temples dedicated to all the three-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva or Maheshwara. A horse shoe is worshipped in a small temple at the Brahma Ghat in Bithoor. This horse shoe is believed to have been left behind by the horse that Brahma rode when he performed Ashwamedha Yagna here.
There are also temples to Vishnu and Shiva here.
People of all faiths come to Bithoor. Among Hindus, almost all classes of people make a bee line to bathe in the holy Ganga and then pray to the Gods who are consecrated in the many ghats that ring Bithoor.
But what is surprising is that people from all the sub castes be it Madhwas, Iyengars, Smarthas, Lingayats or any other denominations tale care to avoid the Shiva Temple that is located behind the Dhruva Teel.
Dhruva Teel is the exact spot where Dhruva meditated. It is marked by a small water pond. Just behind this is a temple dedicated to Shiva.
This temple is given a miss by almost all pilgrims and even by locals. The temple is called Shiva Sadhana. There is a Linga in the ancient temple.
The Shiva Sadhana Temple is on a small hillock that is about 120 feet high. The single tower structure dominates the surroundings for miles.
The structure was damaged but the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has taken up its repair  along with two other structures- Tikait Rai Baradari and the Rajmahal.
Both these structures long with the Shiva Temple are believed to be more than two centuries old. Of all the three, the Shiva Temple has an interesting tale.
The temple always presents a deserted sight and the doors are generally closed. This is because there are only a handful of visitors and even lesser number of devotes. There is a strange reason for this phenomenon.
The locals of Bithoor and the priest of the temple says that if a man or woman come and worships the Linga or prays here, he or she has to continue doing it for a month. Thus, the pooja has to be done for a longer duration.
The locals arn that of this practice is not followed or adhered to, the person and his or her family will suffer. There has been many incidents when harm has come to the family of a person who disregarded this legend and never came back to worship the linga here, says the priest.
Another reason why the temple is not visited is because of its location. The path behind the Dhruva Teel is tough to negotiate. There is dense vegetation and a hill to negotiate along with a drain before you can reach the temple. All said and done, the fact is that devotees, even Shaivaites, fear to visit and pray at the temple.    
Bithoor is near Kanpur in the State of Uttar Pradesh and it is approachable by road and rail. Stay back at Kanpur and take a taxi or autorickshaw to Bithoor.  

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