Across India there exist mysterious temples, where either the deities are unexpected or the practices followed are absurd, different, and at times, strange.

Many of us know about the Karni Mata temple which has more rats than humans, but here are 20 other mysterious temples of India:

Mehandipur Balaji Temple

Located at: Dausa, Rajasthan

Deity: Lord Hanuman

Famous for: Exorcism by priests is still carried out to free a person from negative spiritual influence.

Visiting time: 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 12:00 PM to 8:30 PM (every day)

Mehandipur Balaji is one of India’s well-known mysterious temples and an extraordinary pilgrimage site in Rajasthan. The priest here performs an exorcism to free a person from a negative spirit in any form. But, it is a site of Lord Hanuman, and daily thousands of people travel to Mehandipur Balaji to cure their relative of the influence of black magic or an evil spirit. A visit to this temple is disturbing for many because sights like people hanging pouring boiling water on themselves, people who are possessed with negative spirits are chained by a priest. This is not simply a regular temple in India because of its absurd rituals but also a must-visit place in Rajasthan to attend the evening Arti ceremony on Tuesday as it is dedicated to Lord Hanuman.

Mysterious Temples in India

The Dog Temple

Located at: Channapatna, Karnataka

Deity: Dog

Famous for: Idolizing the faithfulness of Dog

Visiting time: Nothing specific

The Dog Temple in Channapatna’s Ramanagar district has a complete figure of a dog as a deity, to idolize the dog’s faithful nature. The temple was constructed by a businessman Ramesh in the year 2010. He is also renowned for building Kempamma Temple, dedicated to the main deity of the village, Goddess Kempamma. According to villagers, once two dogs suddenly disappeared from the village. After few days, the goddess herself came in someone’s dream and ordered them to build a temple for the lost dogs close to her temple for the protection of the village and the villagers.

Mysterious Temples in India

Kamakhya Devi Temple

Located at: Guwahati, Assam

Deity: Goddess Sakthi

Famous for: The temple does not have any sculpture to worship, and the Goddess in every monsoon menstruates.

Visiting time: 5:30 AM – 10:30 PM (every day)

Kamakhya Devi Temple in Guwahati is a mysterious temple in India. This temple is located atop Nilachal Hill and is among the century-old famous 51 Shakti Peethas in India. When you enter the temple, you won’t see any deity but a stone-shaped vagina or “Yoni,” which people worship. Pilgrims used to drape it with the red saree. The temple every year remains close enduring June because the Goddess bleeds, making the underground water reservoir red. You will feel bizarre once you visit the Kamakhya Devi Temple of Guwahati. Ambubachi festival is celebrated during the monsoon season every year to celebrate the Goddess’s fertility for three days. During that period, the temple remains closed and reopens on the fourth day.

Digambeshwara Temple

Located at: Nagrala, Karnataka

Deity: Lord Digambeshwara

Famous for: Baby throwing

Visiting time: Nothing specific

In an age-old yet horrifying tradition, toddlers are thrown from the 30-ft balcony of the Digambeshwara temple to a group of people holding a sheet below for ‘good luck’ in an annual ceremony.

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Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

Located at: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Deity: Lord Padmanabhay, Avatar of Vishnu

Famous for: Only the people who profess the Hindu faith are allowed in the temple for the protection of sanctity. No other religious people are allowed.

Visiting time: 3:15 AM to 12:00 AM, and 5:00 PM to 7:20 PM (every day)

Padmanabhaswamy Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Many do’s and don’ts are taken into consideration before going into the Padmanabhaswamy Temple. Only traditional dress code is allowed inside the temple. Men have to don ‘Dhoti’ and women are permitted if they wear a ‘Saree.’ Padmanabhaswamy Temple is presently run by a trust headed by the Royal Family of Travancore. Any electronic equipment is not allowed. The Government authorities offer Z-Security to protect the wealth inside the cellars. In Hinduism, this mysterious temple in India is known for making the wishes come true of all the devotees who visit it. Archeologists revealed Padmanabha Temple dates back to the 8th century CE. The structure of this mysterious shrine in India is inspired by the Chera style of architecture. It is one of the 108 Divya Desamas (holy abode of Maha Vishnu).

Mysterious Temples of India

Gata Loops Bottle Temple

Located at: Manali-Leh Highway

Deity: Ghost of Gata Loop

Famous for: Water bottles offered for a safe journey.

Visiting time: Nothing specific

Gata Loops Bottle Temple is a shrine dedicated to the ghost of Gata Loop, where riders on the Manali-Leh highway offer water bottles for a safe journey. Gata Loops is a stretch of loopy road, having 21 hairpin bends that fall on the Manali-Leh road at a height of about 17000 ft. A milestone implies the starting of Gata Loops to the travelers. The complete series of loops is about 10.3 km and every loop measures 300-600 meters. But, the last two loops are 800 and 1 km long respectively.

Mysterious Temples of India

Venkateshwara Temple

Located at: Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh

Deity: Lord Venkateshwara, Incarnation of Vishnu

Famous for: To lead a more fulfilling life, people donate their hair to the deity to express their gratitude.

Visiting time: 6:00 AM to 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM in the night.

The thing that makes Venkateshwara Temple the mysterious temple in India is its entry procedure. You got to submit a declaration form to enter the temple describing your faith in the preceding deity, Lord Venkateshwara. This declaration drives international tourists crazy about this mysterious temple in Tirupati. The deity inside the shrine dons real hair and has been seen sweating several times. The idol’s back gets moist even though priests keep on making it dry.

Devji Maharaj Mandir

Located at: Madhya Pradesh

Deity: Devji Maharaj

Famous for: Exorcism

Visiting time: Nothing specific

An annual ‘boot meal to appease the evil spirits is conducted in Devji Maharaj temple. People also visit the temple during the full moon every month to exorcise evil spirits. Lighting camphor tablets on bare palms is a common practice.

Meenakshi Amman Temple

Located at: Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Deity: Meenakshi (Goddess Parvati) and Sundareswar (Lord Shiva)

Famous for: The only temple in India where Lord Shiva is seen smiling. Locals believe Lord Shiva has a strong significance with this temple.

Visiting time: 3:15 AM to 12:00 AM, and 5:00 PM to 7:20 PM (every day)

Meenakshi Amman Temple will make you feel the divine presence once you enter the temple complex. Recognized as one of India’s most talked-about mysterious temples, this temple holds historical and mythological importance. There is a folk tale that it is the same place where Lord Shiva turned into Sundareswarar (the handsome one) to marry the Goddess Parvati (Meenakshi). The architectural style of this temple in Madurai is inspired by Dravidian. Around 33,000 sculptures are inside the temple complex, dating back to 3000 years (approx.). Meenakshi Amman Temple is the finest example of excellent craftsmanship.

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This Temple Is Covered in Thousands of Colorful Statues

Veerabhadra Temple

Located at: Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh

Deity: Lord Kal Bhairava Nath

Famous for: Out of 70 huge pillars, one pillar is intact without any support leaving the bottom space that doesn’t let it touch the ground.

Visiting time: 5:00 AM – 8:30 PM (everyday)

Veerabhadra Temple in the Lepakshi district of Andra Pradesh is a mysterious temple in India. Its history dates back to the 16th century, and its architecture shows the Vijaynagar style. Because of its one pillar dangling from the roof, many tourists find it fascinating. Hence, Veerabhadra Temple has become a famous temple not only in Andhra Pradesh but across the world. You can put a cloth under the recognizable space to test the magical gap between the pillar and ground. When one enters the temple premises, one is amazed by the cultural and ancient engineering marvel. You will see different deities of God and Goddess carved on the temple walls, including pillars. Be ready to witness roof painting to marvel at the ancient Indian culture and traditions.

The Hanging Pillar of Veerabhadra Temple

Kailasa Temple

Located at: Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

Deity: Lord Shiva

Famous for: The temple is constructed on an amazingly carved mountain with such intricate details.

Visiting time: 6:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM (every day)

Kailasa Temple is the biggest rock-cut Hindu temple at 16th century Ellora Caves. This temple gives you the reason to increase your knowledge about Indian mythology like never before. The structure of Kailasa Temple is built on a single rock. Inside the Kailasa Cave Temple, the story of Ramayana is engraved in it. This three-story tall temple structure has detailed carvings, which were noticed by Aurangzeb. Later, he ordered to demolish the caves, but nothing happened to Kailasa Cave Temple. As per archaeologists, there should be 30 million Sanskrit carvings that are yet to be deciphered. No one has that refined craftsmanship and that makes it mysterious.

Lingaraja Temple

Located at: Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

Deity: Lord Shiva

Famous for: Temple looks much larger than it is due to an optical illusion. Also, the Shivlinga inside the Garbh Grihya is believed to be self-originated.

Visiting time: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM (every day)

Lingaraja Temple is the biggest temple of all Bhubaneshwara with 54 meters Mandir dedicated to Lord Shiva. This mysterious temple in India dates back to 1090 to 1104 C.E and was built by the king of Jaipur, Jajati Keshari when he shifted his dynasty to Bhuvneshwar city. There are various small shrines within the main temple complex. Though, it is supposed that the smaller shrines or most of the part of the temple was originally constructed back in the 6th century and later given the full-fledged status in the 11th century. Bindu Sagar Lake is in the north of the temple where festival celebrations are organized like Shivratri.

Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple

Located at: Kodungallur, Kerala

Deity: Goddess Bhadrakali

Famous for: People enter into the temple saying abusive words to the Goddess.

Visiting time: 4:00 AM – 8:00 PM

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Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple is known for its Bharani Festival that helps annually between March-April. This festival is unique and begins according to the Malayalam month of Meenam. Earlier, animal sacrifices were done in the name of ritual, but now it has been banned. What will intrigue you about Kodungallur Sree Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple is that locals from their village enter the temple drinking alcohol. According to a tradition, the bizarre thing is locals chant cuss words and sing lewd bhakti songs. Both men and women participate in the festival for 7 days annually and carry swords in their hands. They hit themselves in the head with swords. After this bizarre festival ends, the temple remains shut for cleaning blood stains.

Ananthpadmanabha Lake Temple 

Located at: Kasargod, Kerala

Deity: Sri Padmanabha

Famous for: A vegetarian crocodile, Babia guards the temple without harming anyone. And there hasn’t been an attack on humans until now.

Visiting time: 5:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM (everyday)

Ananthapadmanabha Lake Temple is indeed a mysterious temple of India. The mysterious thing about Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Lake Temple is that it is guarded by a carnivorous animal who embraces a vegetarian diet. The world’s most dangerous meat-eating creature, the Crocodile, feeds only on the temple prasad, including cooked rice and jaggery. After the noon ceremony, people feed the prasad to the soft-hearted carnivorous with their hands without any issue. Babia is living in the pond or lake for the last 70 years (approx.), and he interacts very well with humans. The history of this mysterious temple in Kerala dates back to the 9th century. Inside the premise ceilings, you will encounter an exceptional collection of wood carvings that shows the scenes of 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Stambheshwar Mahadev

Located at: Kavi Kvoi Village, Gujarat

Deity: Lord Shiva

Famous for: The temple gets consumed up during high tides and is not noticeable until tides are low.

Visiting time: 6:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Stambheshwar Mahadev Temple near Vadodara is a soulful devotion to nature’s amazement. It is recognized as a submerging Shiva temple daily and gets noticeable during low tides. If you too need to seek blessings from the mysterious temple of Stambheswar Mahadev, incorporate it in your Gujarat itinerary. It is situated near Vadodara, and you can reach it quickly from any city in Gujarat. Visit this famous Hindu Temple of Gujarat to sense God’s presence around the waves as the temples are sandwiched between the Arabian seashores and the Bay of Cambay.

Kal Bhairav Nath Temple

Located at: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Deity: Lord Kal Bhairav Nath, an incarnation of Shiva

Famous for: Offering to God is done in the form of wine or whiskey into the deity’s open mouth.

Visiting time: 5:30 AM – 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Kal Bhairav Nath Temple in Varanasi has several stalls selling wine or whiskey outside the temple, which people buy before entering the temple. Unlike other temples in India, you will not see garland or sweet shops. You should pray to Kal Bhairav for unlocking courage and joy. Anticipate standing in long queues because it is definitely worth it to seek blessings. To view the best magical fervor of crowds, visit Kal Bhairav Nath Temple on particular Hindu occasions.

Traveling to these mysterious temples of India will add a dash of mythological significance. Check out our Travel Section for more such itineraries.

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