Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hyderabad - Birla Mandir

On the way back from Ellora and Ajanta we (Anil and I) stopped at Birla Mandir, a magnificent Hindu temple with great panoramic views of Hyderabad. The temple is dedicated to Vishnu incarnation, Venkateshwara, but there are also statues of Shiva, Ganesh, Hanuman, Shakti, Brahma, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

As there is a big Muslim community in Hyderabad and relationship between Hindus and Muslims is tense, Hindus people fear that their beautiful temple might be a potential site of a terroristic attack. Because of that at the entrance to the temple there is a metal detector gate and the guards make sure that no one can bring anything with them to the temple (no cameras, no phones, not even a small purse!)

It is truly pity that I could not take photos there, as the temple is extraordinarily beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Not to mention the great views to Hussain Saagar Lake and the whole city of Hyderabad.

Also, I was very impressed by the fact that in the garden surrounding the main temple there is a wall with descriptions of several world's major religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Jainism and Sikhism. Notice no mention of Islam...

Here is the only picture of the temple that I was able to take:

The statues of Gods are almost always decorated with these kind of flowers: