Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), On Dussehra, when all Hindus celebrate the victory of good over evil and burn effigies of Ravana, a strange temple in Kanpur will open its doors to worshipers of the demon king.
Outside the Chinmastika Devi temple in the Shivala area of Kanpur, known as the Kailash temple, is a ten-headed idol of Ravana. Ravana is kept captive in this temple for 364 days and the temple is opened only for one day – and that day, Vijay Dashami (Dashera).
It is believed that the darshan of Ravana in this temple not only wards off evil thoughts but also brightens the mind.
Devotees from far and wide throng the Ravana temple on the day of Dussehra. There are four Ravana temples across the country, but the one in Kanpur is one of its kind in Uttar Pradesh.
When people chant ‘Siyapati Ram Chandra ki Jai’ during ‘Ravan Dahan’ in Ramlilas in Kanpur, a group of other people build a mandap to worship Lankapati in Shivala area.
This year too Ravana’s ‘Pooja’ and ‘Aarti’ will start from 9 am on Dussehra and will continue till Ravana’s ‘Dahan’ in the evening. Known as the ‘Dashanan Temple’, it is believed to have been built around 50 years after the main temple was built in 1868.
The temple of the demon king is built outside the Chinmastika Devi temple as it is believed that Ravana was also the ‘chowkidar’ (guardian) of the goddess.
Dhananjaya Tiwari, who is the priest of the temple, says, “People throng this temple for a day to have a ‘darshan’ of Ravana. Once the effigy of Ravana is burnt in the evening on Dussehra day, the doors of this temple are closed for a year.
Ravana temple trustee Anirudh Prasad Bajpai said the temple of the demon king was one of many temples located in the Kailash temple complex of Shivala.
“It was built by Maharaj Guru Prasad Shukla, who hailed from Unnao. On the day of Dussehra, a huge crowd visits the temple to offer prayers and attend ‘aarti’. Preparations are underway for this year’s events,” he said.
Ramraj, owner of a local shop selling flowers and garlands outside the Ravana temple, says, “It is a common belief that Ravana visits this temple on Dussehra. Ravana’s ‘darshan’ conveys the message that evil never succeeds.
The priest says that Ravana was one of the wisest and wisest kings who worshiped Lord Shiva, but his evil intention of abducting Sita led to his downfall. “He was wise but arrogant,” he says.
A fair is also organized on this occasion. The idol of the demon king is decorated, clay lamps are lit and ‘aarti’ is performed. It is believed that offering mustard oil and ‘turai’ (striped) flower removes the effects of all malefic planets. (IANS input)