Even as the rest of India prepares to burn effigies of Ravan as a symbolic victory of good over evil, devotees are quietly lining up outside a nondescript temple in Kanpur.
This temple that opens its door for devotees only for one day in a year — Dussehra — is dedicated to the Lankan king Ravan.
Devotees come from far and wide to worship Ravan on the day he was slain by Lord Ram.
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This 150-year-old temple is located in Shivala area and devotees light oil lamps as they offer prayers. The deity is decorated and ‘aarti’ is performed.
“Ravan is worshiped as an embodiment of ‘Shakti’ (power) and ‘gyan’ (knowledge). Ravan was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva and is known for his knowledge and power.
“The temple here is a part of a Shiva temple complex and Ravan is worshipped as a guard of Lord Shiva. People believe that Ravan was also born on Dusshera-the day he was slain,” says Pandit K.K. Tiwari, the temple priest.
Devotees at the temple claim that when Ravan was dying, Lord Ram had asked his younger brother Laxman to take blessings from the king because his knowledge was unparalleled. (IANS)