Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Rani Sati Dadi Temple, Jhunjhunu

     There are in all 13 sati temples in the complex with 12 smaller one’s and 1 main temple dedicated to Rani Sati Dadi. Built in pure white marble with a red fluttering flag at the top, the building forms are interesting and the entire edifice looks stunning.
[ Entrance to the Temple ]

[ Spires of the 13 sati Temples ]

A huge statue of Lord Shiva in the middle of the complex surrounded by the lush green gardens, adds to the beauty of the place.

[ Magnificient Rani Sati Temple spire ]

    Inside the temple, the interiors, adorned with exquisite murals and fascinating rich glass mosaics depicting the entire history of the place, are eye-catching. I grabbed a seat in the middle of the room, trying to soak in every detail…

    Just like Khatu, the history of this temple too takes you back to the times of the Mahabharata.
When Abhimanyu (the son of the great Pandava, Arjun) lost his life while fighting the battle of Mahabharata, his wife and soon-to-be-mother, Uttara had wished to commit sati and end her life too. Citing the fact that it would not be appropriate to kill the innocent yet-to-be-born child, Lord Krishna stopped her from doing so. Since she was adamant, He gave her the boon that her desire to become sati shall be fulfilled in the next birth.

    Many years later, Uttara was reborn as Narayani bai and Abhimanyu as Tandhan Das. A beautiful horse possessed by Tandhan Das was being eyed by the son of king of Hissar from quite some time. But Tandhan Das refused to part with his precious horse by handing it over to the king’s son. On deciding to obtain forcefully then, the king’s son confronted him. He killed the king’s son in the battle that ensued. This enraged the king and he decided to take revenge soon. Sometime later, Tandhan Das was married to Narayani bai. After marriage, while returning to their village, they were suddenly attacked by the army of Hissar. Tandhan Das fought the battle bravely before he was stabbed in the back and lost his life. The young bride, Narayani bai displayed exemplary courage and bravery by fighting the army singlehandedly and killed the king.

    She then asked Ranaji (the caretaker of the horse) to make immediate arrangements for her to be set ablaze along with her husband’s cremation.
Very pleased with Ranaji who played a vital role in fulfilling her wish to be sati with her husband, she blessed him that his name will be taken and worshiped before her name and since then she is known as Rani Sati.

    Soon after, her influence of 'sat' (truth and loyalty) involuntarily set up the pyre ablaze.  A storm rose from the ashes telling Ranaji to take them on the horse and to build a temple wherever the horse stops. The horse stopped in Jhunjhunu where the temple stands today…

    Craning my neck up, I saw a fresco on the ceiling - Narayani bai with her husband in lap, enveloped in flames, Ranaji with the horse in the background. So beautiful, looked like it had been created yesterday. Equally mesmerizing was the main sanctum area.


[ Rani Sati Dadi ]

    Unlike most of the temples in India, the fact that this temple does not enshrine a statue or image of any Gods or Goddesses makes it all the more unique. A trident with two eyes, nose ring, a red bindi and a red chunri is worshipped in the form of power and force which is the supreme might as per the Hindu religion. A fine portrait of the Rani Sati Dadi is positioned in the sanctum (Pradhan Mand) with the imposing Shikhar.

[ The Rani Sati Dadi Temple, Jhunjhunu ]

    In front of the sanctum, there is a marble platform where devotees pray by drawing the Sathiya (Swastik) and offer roli, chawal, mehendi, flowers, coconut, etc to the Goddess. Women also offer Suhaag pitaris (saree, bangles, bindi, kajal, etc) and pray for the long life of their husbands and the well being of their entire family.

[ Back view of the Temple ]

    As I had even stayed here, I got the fortune of attending the evening aarti. It was a wonderful experience. After the prayer, prasad of bundis was distributed to all.

    Whether you belong to this place or not, it really doesn’t matter, It’s spectacular and interesting and hence definitely worth visiting. I am sure the beauty here will linger on your mind for a long time.

25 comments:

  1. You take some amazing photos. Thanks for sharing them with us. Interesting post.

    All the best, Boonsong

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  2. hi arti,

    the story is so inspiring...indian women of our past are so divine...they inspire me...my hubby often says i am his strength..i believe i must live up to his words...the temple so beautifull and after knowing this lovely background story i feel inspired to visit this place..thanks for sharing

    Satya
    http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

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  3. Goodness, what a story! I have never seen a temple like this, so different from the others! And what makes the red around the entrance, is it painted red? I'm wondering how long it took to build this, or was it done in separate stages? Will you be showing pictures of the inside, or do they allow that?

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  4. Arti,
    what I like about you post is,you describe the details quite well.Loved the story of Rani Sati. Good photos too.

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  5. great pictures, nice to know the story behind the temple..keep up the good work

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  6. Such a beautiful place - must be stunning in evening light. The Rani Sati Dadi looks interesting - never heard of her!

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  7. Good morning, Arti! I see that you did come by way of my sweet friend Martina! Thank you for your visit, and what a lovely and completely different world you display here! Certainly "fairytale" for those of use not familiar with the culture, art or religion..it is all visually beautiful, stunning and colorful. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know you came! Please feel free to stop by anytime!

    Anita

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  8. @Ginny
    The red thing on the entrance is a decorative silk cloth!
    I really dont know how long it took to build the entire temple but it surely must have taken quite a few years.
    Yes,Photography is not allowed inside..you have to visit it to see its beauty!

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  9. Interesting facts,very beautiful temple...

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  10. wonderful story... it seems there are stories behind all temples and Gods in Indai... photographs were nice... gave view from different sides of temple? when was this temple built and who built it? the temple is so beautiful...

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  11. it seems there are stories behind all temples and Gods in India.. Thats the best part i like about my travels!
    when was this temple built?
    The temple is over 400 years old!(read previous post)
    who built it?
    I am afraid i dont know the exact answer to this.. but its today managed by the Marwari Temple Board from Kolkata!

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  12. What a fascinating post, the information you give is very readable and never boring. A truly spectacular building, I particularly like the photo of the entrance to the temple - the contrasting colours are beautiful.

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  13. Greetings from india .... yes yes yes & thank you ;)

    India is my second country and I travel back every year. This time I'll be back before the end of December.

    I'm so happy that you found me, and now I will look around in your loveley cyber spirit!!

    Namaste Agneta

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  14. Just visit your blog after long time but thanks for the nice post & photographs.

    Keep it up.

    Best Regards
    Rupam

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  15. jay dadi ki !!

    have been to jhunjhunu soooo many times and will keep going all my life..Rani sati dadi is my kul devi :))

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  16. There is an ancient temple of the same name here in Kanpur also.Never been there but now I plan to visit it.
    Already bookmarked ur lovely blog..:-)
    Regards
    -Vandy

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  17. Dadi ji will bring happiness in your life.
    Please know that it is not our but Dadi ji's choice who can visit her. So you are definetly the lucky one.

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  18. there is great news 4 u all followers of Sri rani sati dadi ki
    new temple has established in raibarelli city on kanpur road so there is request for the loved ones that plz whenever u pass from lucknow or allahabd then have a visit the temple made by Sri Om prakash bansal(owner & caretaker of Sri narayani sewa trust)

    -regards


    Prateek

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  19. Put an FACEBOOK ICON!
    ppl will jump for dadiji...and I THE LONGEST N HIGHEST JUMP TO BE AND BEING BLESSED...With aug 17th as celebration of bhaadi maawas......i m waiting EAGERLY

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  20. Really amazing temple and a must visit for everyone.

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  21. very nice story and pictur,this is india's histry.
    Every on visit one time.

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