© TOLIS FRAGOUDIS

story   |  SPIRITUAL INDIA BY TOLISART

KARNI MATA: Temple of Rats

TOLIS FRAGOUDIS

They say you get lucky if you can spot a white rat in the temple dedicated to warrior goddess Karni Mata. This is the temple of thousands rats near Bikaner in Rajasthan. People do regard the rats as their ancestors and they treat them very lovely.

© ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

story   |  100+1 SYMBOLS

SHIVA LINGAM & YONI

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

The marriage of Shiva and Shakti transforms both God and Goddess. Linga means phallus. Yoni means womb. A Shiva temple, and by extension the whole world, is the yoni of the Goddess. The Goddess thus draws Shiva’s phallus into the world.

© ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

story   |  ART & CULTURE

MUMBAI
ELEPHANTA CAVES

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

An hour long ferry ride from the Gateway of India in Mumbai to an island locally called Gharapuri and Elephanta by the Portugues, takes you to a hidden world of rock-cut Elephanta caves (UNESCO) with magnificent sculptures and beautiful carvings.

© ANANDU RADHAKRISHNAN

story   |  THEYYAM TALES

THEYYAM: The Legend of Kelan

ANANDU RADHAKRISHNAN

The Theyyam dancer’s dark black mystic eyes are emphasised by the deep bloody red color of his face. The light of the fire reflects on his bare chest decorated by the drawing of two snakes. He is ready to jump into the fire and narrator is telling his story.

© ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

story   |  RAJASTHAN TRAILS

JAIPUR: Galtaji Monkey Rebel Temple

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

They are Rock Stars! Action heroes of National Geographic Channel series Monkey Thieves! Galta Gang! They jump out of the windows and run around Jaipur’s Pink City like action movie heroes! They are modern soldiers of god Hanuman!

© ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

story   |  RAJASTHAN TRAILS

THE KARNI MATA RAT TEMPLE

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

Karni Mata is worshiped as one of the strongest warrior reincarnation of Goddess Durga in India. She might be powerful and fearful, but only until you see her army of 20.000 rats! If you are lucky, you can see the white rat, manifestation of Karni Mata herself!

© ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

story   |  RAJASTHAN TRAILS

RANAKPUR JAIN TEMPLE: 1444 Pillars & 108 Snakes

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

Nestled in a valley amongst the Aravalli Hills, Ranakpur Temple dates to the 15th century. Local legend holds that construction began in 1437 following a divine vision received by Dharna Shah, a local Jain business person.

© ROHIT SINGH

story   |  FESTIVALS & EVENTS

NAVARATRI
Festival of Nine Goddesses

ZUZANA ZWIEBEL

Navaratri is a nine night festival that honors the Mother Goddess in all her manifestations. The worship, accompanied by fasting, takes place in the mornings. Evenings are for feasting and dancing. Each day has a different ritual associated with it.

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