A lot is already known about Ravan being a fervent devotee of Lord Shiva and being worshiped in most parts of the Sri Lanka, but India too worships Ravana at certain places. Ravana temples in India are listed below. Although Ravana is considered as a demon, there is no denying the fact that he was a renowned scholar and the greatest emperor of his time.
While mythology mentions Ravana as a demon, there are several tales that narrate and look up to Ravana as a personification of God and admire him for his intelligence, power, and devotion towards Lord Shiva. Ravana’s 10 heads represent his mastery of 6 Shastras and 4 Vedas. He was a benevolent king during whose reign, Lanka prospered well. Ravana is worshiped for his benevolence, his brilliance and his knowledge as a king – the inspiring attributes of Ravana’s that are neglected by the present day world.
While the Dussehra is the festival is synonymous to the win of good over bad, i.e. marking the victory of Ram over Ravana, yet, there are certain regions in the country that epitomize the vice-versa of the above-stated belief where people reverence Ravana and truly believe in this 10-headed king as their hero. Here’s a look at 7 such places in India where Ravana is adored and idolized.
Ravana Temples in India
- Dashanan Ravana Mandir, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
- Ravan Mandir, Bisrakh, Uttar Pradesh
- Ravangram Ravana Temple, Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh
- Ravana Gudi, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
- Ravana Rundi, Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh
- Mandor, Rajasthan
- Ravana Mandir, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
These temples do not believe in commemorating Dussehra and remark it as an earnest occasion instead.
At Dashanan temple, Ravana is worshiped as a symbol of power by performing a set of rituals viz. lighting candles and reciting prayers. The temple is built near the Lord Shiva temple in the region named Shivala.
The temple is 125-year-old, structured in 1890 by Maharaj Guru Prasad Shukl. It is open once a year on Dussehra when believers of Ravana pay homage to their hero. Almost 15,000 devotees turn to the temple on this day.
Born on Dashawin, Ravana died on the same day too. After the mannequin of Ravana is set into the blazes of fire at Ramlila ground, the temple gates are closed until Dusserah, next year.
This temple possesses an idol of demon king, which is decorated and after purification, an aarti is performed. The devotees worship demon king followed by Lord Shiva.
Apart from Ravana, the gigantic effigies of his brother Kumbhakarna and son Meghnath are also burnt.
Regarded to be the place where Ravana was born, Bisrakh possesses a temple dedicated to him. Even though temple has observed the wrath from several followers of Lord Ram, that didn’t alter the importance of the place. The place derives its name after Ravan’s father, Vishrava.
A new temple dedicated to worship Ravana is under construction with a 42 feet Shiva Linga and a 5.5 foot statue of Ravana.
This is the most popular Ravana temples. This region does not indulge in celebrations of Dussehra, rather the day is celebrated as a mourning for the once-great king, and many havans are held to pay respects to Ravana.
It is said that if the statue in Vidisha was to stand, a huge calamity would strike the village.
Vidisha’s Ravangram temple has huge crowds of Ravana worshipers visiting from the surroundings. This temple possesses a 10-foot-long reclining statue of Ravana. The temple is regarded to be the brainchild of Kanyakubja Brahmins–the sect Ravana belonged to. The people of the village include ‘Lord Lankesh’ in every auspicious occasion of theirs.
During the auspicious functions, people of Vidisha visit Ravana’s temples and seek his blessings. It is only recently that Ravana worship on Dussehra is commenced in an elegant way – which otherwise, undergo just regular pujas.
Most of the natives are Brahmins and as Lord Ravana, was a Brahmin, with immense knowledge, he is paid deep respects here. Other few surrounding districts as well worship Ravana in the form of idols.
Indian Temples worshiping Ravana
Located in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh, this temple commemorates the Lankan king’s devotion towards Lord Shiva, and is obvious with the enormous mural of Shivling.
Though not popularly known, this temple in Kakinada is built on a site believed to have been selected by Ravana to build a temple for Lord Shiva. It is considered that Ravana constructed the temple around the statue of Shiva. The temple is situated close to the beach and forms a picturesque environment with its magnificent and spectacular structure.
This is the one and only place where Ravana is glorified in Andhra Pradesh. At the entrance of the temple, stands tall a huge ten-faced idol of Ravana.
The images of Ravana are seen associated with Lord Shiva nearby huge Shivalinga.
Another Ravana temple in Madhya Pradesh is located at Mandsaur. This place is considered to be the point where Ravana and Mandodari had their wedding ceremony. Along with Ravana, other female deities are also worshiped within the temple premises. Harappan civilization texts are scripted alongside the deities, which exhibits the age of the temple being extremely old.
Mandodari, Ravana’s wife is presumed to hail from this district, thereby Ravana is considered as the son-in-law of the place. Devotees here have structured a 35-feet high statue of Ravana and revere him rigorously. Burning Ravana’s figurine on Dushhera is regarded as an act of dishonor and is not performed here.
This place is not exactly a temple, but a place where Ravana’s deity has been established. Dave Brahmins of Mandor are considered to be the direct descendants of Ravana. Hence, they do not celebrate Dussehra, instead, they conduct shraddh and offer pind daan to the Lord on this day. They perform shraddh just like a son does for his father/ancestors and pray for the attainment of Moksha for his soul.
A Ravana temple set up in Jodhpur prays and worships Ravana every day. This temple is worshiped by Mugadil Brahmans, successors of Ravana who are believed to have structured this temple dedicated to the demon king. The statue of Ravana is installed at a position where Ravana used to worship Shiva. The temple premise house huge idol of Ravana.