Indian temples, templets and deities

In many countries, religion is something that sits on top of the culture. Australia is like that. But in some countries, like India (and I imagine Italy and some other places) religion and the culture are so enmeshed with each other it would be impossible to separate them.

There are temples, or at least small templets (as I call them, but I suppose a shrine is a better word) with a religious deity on literally every street and in many cases traffic diverts around a structure that sits in the middle of the street. Not the middle of the street between oncoming traffic like a divider, it is actually permanently in the middle of one lane of traffic.

Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple, Jaipur – right behind Amer Fort,
but off the tourist trail and absolutely worth a visit.
Forecourt of mosque in Kolkata

There are Hindu icons in railway stations, government buildings, farm fields, shops, cars, the middle of nowhere, everywhere. These photos don’t even come close to showing everything we saw.

It is important to attract the attention of the gods, this is one way…

Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple
The end of puja at Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple
Evening puja on the Ganges in Varanasi.
There were several similarly sized events taking place, but it was a bit bigger than usual because of Holi.
Yes, they are all boats on the right hand side.

Photo rules: Always ask permission. Show the subject the result – not only is it respectful, but it is worth it for the reactions.

Kolkata mosque

On the way to somewhere we stopped for chai and ended up in a temple, eventually giving the holy man some sweets after puja

God attracting noise makers – Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple

I love this photo outside the Harshat Mata Temple adjacent to the Chand Baori. Tall Girl is so obviously happy and looks suitably bohemian.

Shri Parshvanath Digamber Jain Mandir Ji Panchayati – Agra
In a city with the Taj Mahal, there are so many other hidden gems that tourists don’t visit

The keeper of the shrine. This is essentially all there was, not a big temple or anything, just this woman sitting with the deity.

It is impossible to over-state the beauty and complexity of some temples.
The Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple, about 500 years old.

Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple

the 80 foot Buddha in Bodhgaya

One can only imagine the age of this palaquin in the Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple

Another very old shrine at the Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan, Jaipur.
It has had buildings added over the years, but this is their original shrine of Shiva.

A different view of the same shrine

Shri Jagat Shiromani ji Temple

Buddha at Bodhgaya

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