Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Revisiting Old Delhi - Jainism and Shivaism

March 24, 2012

Do you remember the guided tour we had in Old Delhi? Kevin, Rosie and I decided to return to Old Delhi to visit the other monuments and places of interest that we missed. The main destination was the red fort but of course, there's always other things to see in between.

According to Wikipedia (yes, I am quoting Wikipedia!!!), the Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, or the Red Temple, is the oldest and best-known Jain temple in Delhi. The Red Temple is directly across the Red Fort. The Lal Mandir was originally built in 1656. Red sandstone was used to build the temple for its current state, thus earning it the name "Lal Mandir".
Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir (Red Temple)

A manastambha stands by the entry to the temple.
A column of honor, the manastambha causes someone
to shed his mana (pride) before entering the
samosharana (divine preaching hall).

The temple was closed by the time we finished from Red Fort so were not able to enter. Now that I think about it, maybe this is the Jain temple we're supposed to go to during the Old Delhi walk with Maeve and Drew. Hmmm. Oh, in case you're wondering, the so-called "bird hospital" is the building behind the Red Temple.

Gauri Shankar Mandir (dedicated to Lord Shiva)
Just a few steps from the Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is the Gauri Shankar Temple. According to bharatonline.com (one should be resourceful when trying to explain things!), the Gauri Shankar Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The Gauri Shankar Mandir counts among the most revered
temples of Shivaism in India
The Mandir houses an approximately 800-year old brown lingam, made up of phallus stone. The Lingam is encircled by snakes and represents a "cosmic pillar, the center of universe, the life itself". There are bejeweled statues of Gauri (Goddess Parvati) and Shankar (Lord Shiva), standing beneath the silver canopy, inside the main shrine. Along with these idols, are the idols of their sons, Ganesh (the elephant headed god) and Kartik, (the god of war).

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