Temples, Shrines And Spiritual Places Across Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is a kaleidoscopic view of natural beauty, which resonates with the aura of spiritualism. Also known as the ‘Land of the Rising sun’, this north-eastern mountainous state finds its earliest traces in the Hindu epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and Kalika-Purana. The foggy morning mists, the dense mountain forests, and the cool temperate climate weave a trajectory to inner peace.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the least explored states of India, well known for magnificent landscape and beautiful coastline. It is known as the land of dawn-lit mountains and receives the first morning sun rays as the easternmost region of India. A relatively large percentage of Arunachal’s population are nature worshippers, and follow their own distinct tradition. It is also one of the linguistically richest and most diverse regions in India.
The Akashiganga Temple, located in West Siang District is famous for Shakti worship. Legends suggest that one of the body parts of Sati- her head fell into this location. The actual kund is about 100 meters away from the temple, leading devotees via a spiral pathway. Another main attraction of the temple is the visual phenomenon of a shining object, which can be seen sparkling from far, but if gone near is seen to disappear before the eyes. A pond, possessing the qualities to cure ailments is also located near the temple.
The Parasuram Kund Mandir, located on the Brahmaputra plateau amasses huge devotees each year is dedicated to the Sage Parasuram. It is believed that one dip in this holy kund can wash away all the sins and follies of man.
Meghna Cave Mandir, dedicated to Lord Lakulisha (the 28th avatar of Lord Shiva) houses inscribed Sanskrit verses and is one of the most beautiful places of worship. The Shiva Lingam, excavated in the Kardo forest is the largest Shiv Linga. A temple is built around to pay respect to God.
Jain temples such as Digambar Tirth Bh. Parshwanath, located at Naharlagun hosts a large number of devotees each year. It is built by local Jains for community worship. The inner sanctum sanctorium is beautifully carved and houses a large religious library.
Buddhism spread in these mountainous wetlands in their early days. This is quite evident from numerous monasteries dedicated to the Lord. The Buddha Temple at Itanagar is one of the most unique monasteries. The stupa, positioned in the front, contradicts Indian Buddhist architecture. The main shrine is yellow-roofed which draws influence from the Tibetian cultures. One of the most pious elements in this temple is a tree, located towards the end, which was planted by Dalai Lama himself.
The Tawang monastery is the largest monastery in India and is the second largest in Asia. Also known as Galden Namgey Lhatse, this monastery was inaugurated in 1860 to fulfil the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama and seek his blessings. The gompa, being situated at an altitude of 10000 feet makes the temple an architectural marvel
The Urgelling Monastery is regarded as extremely pious for being the birthplace of Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso – ‘His Holiness, Dalai Lama the 6th’. A tree planted by the 6th Dalai Lama is present which possesses medicinal qualities to cure diseases. Many other monasteries like the Namsai Buddhist Temple at Namsai, Kumchaikha Buddhist Temple, Modoi Buddhist temples etc. uphold the religious bliss of the state.
Sikhism has endowed far-reaching influences by mingling with the north-eastern culture. The Gurdwara Singh Sabha, located in Naharlun houses a large number of devotees and travellers seeking refreshment. The temple area is quite large on which community service is usually conducted.
Gurdwara Menchuka Sahib is more popular for its serene ambience. Located in Kargong, this gurdwara has a simplistic slanting architecture, suited to hilly areas. A root bridge guides the pathway.
The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation, with the low altitude areas have a humid subtropical climate, whereas high and very high-altitude areas have a subtropical highland and alpine climate. Arunachal Pradesh is an echo of spiritual solitude, an echo that is a reminiscence of piety and purity.