Temples of Eastern States
Most people of Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram follow Christianity and one may find more number of churches here. However some of the iconic temples of Lord Shiva and Goddess Kali are found here. Following are some of the famous temples:
Temples in Nagaland
The State of Nagaland is one of the sister states of the North- East regions surrounded by the Assam in the West, Myanmar in the East, Arunachal Pradesh in the North and Manipur in the South.
Dimapur Kalibari is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali in the town of Dimapur in Nagaland State of India. The temple was built in 1956. Its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 2006 with the launch of various community services like ambulance service and a library.
Kalibari Temple is a 17th century temple which is situated 27 km from Agartala, on a hill overlooking the Kamalasagar Lake. This is the reason it is also called the Kamalasagar Kali Temple. Kamalasagar Lake is a huge lake near the border of Bangladesh. According to legend, the lake was excavated in the 15th century by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya. The deity in the temple which is made of sandstone is similar to that of Durga but is primarily worshipped in the form of Kali.
Shiva Temple at Dimapur is a sacred pilgrim destination. Located in the Singrijan village it is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Temples of Manipur
Sri Govindji Temple This is the main temple of Manipur. It enshrines the royal deity Sri Govindji. The temple is situated near the present palace. It was built by king Churachand. The royal deities were shifted from the old Govindji temple of Kangla palace to this temple on its completion. The surroundings are very suitable for the site of temple. There is a beautiful Vatica (the temple garden), a lake and a big ground with lofty trees in the periphery.
The temple structure has been constructed in a palatial form raised on a square and on sufficiently high pedistal. It is the most magnificent and biggest temple of Manipur. In front, it has the portico. It can be considered two celled type, the internal sanctum and the outer jacket with pradakshna path. The internal cell is partitioned by two septica walls. The outer cube and the portico cube are constructed in the form of massive pillars raised at intervals in the arcade system.
The main deity of Govindji with his consort is placed in the central chamber. Jagannath, Subhadra and Balarama in the northern chamber and Balarama and Krishna in the southern chamber. The chambers are nicely spick and span. The temple is in Nagra style of Hindu temples. The architectural maturity and richness is reflected through the temple structure.
The prayers are punctually performed in strict discipline and in ritualistic manner. A musician is permanently engaged to perform music during the prayers. Several special festivals are celebrated in this temple with particular display of Manipuri dances. This temple maintains the social order in Manipur Valley.
Sri Hanuman Thakur Temple
The temple is situated in Imphal on the bank of the Imphal river amongst the groves, Mahabali forest. It was built by king Garib Niwaj in the year of 1725 AD. The temple was built in bricks and later a cement coating was given to the entire structure. In front of the temple the Mandapa has been constructed which has shadowed the structure of the main temple. The pedestal of the temple is not visible from outside.
The sanctum cube and the porch walls are raised as a rectangular structure up to the roof. The eastern and western walls have got a triangular window having nine slits. The temple is in a hut type shape, of Bengal style. The stone icon of Hanuman is raised on the pedestal wall. It is carved out on a big slab of stone. Hanuman is shown in Human form.
The temple reminds us of the spread of Ramanandi cult of Hinduism in Manipur. It is the only temple which was built during the period of Garib Niwaj. After his death the Ramnandi cult also vanished from Manipur. The temple in thus important and a monumental evidence in the religious history of Manipur.
Thangal General Temple
The temple is situated in Wangkhai locality of Imphal town. It was built by Thangal General in 1879 AD. The temple structure is raised on a distinct platform. The plan of the pedestal is square.
On the ground at all four corners, there is one temple replica of Bengal hut type on each corner. ‘Garbha Griha’, the internal sanctum is a square and is surrounded by pradakshna path. The sanctum cube wall internally can be seen reaching up to the dome. The parabolic lines of eight arches start from the last brick layer on the sanctum cube. The ceiling of the circumambulatory path is slightly curved.
Temples of Meghalaya
Ramna Kali Mandir
The Ramna Kali Mandir also known as the Ramna Kalibari (house of theHindu Goddess Kali) was one of the most famous Hindu temples of the Indian subcontinent. It was believed to be over a thousand years old and was situated in Dhaka (the capital of present day Bangladesh) on the outskirts of the Ramna Park (now renamed as Suhrawardy Udyan).
The temple was bulldozed by the Pakistan Army on 27 March 1971 as it commenced its genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Common lore holds it that the temple was established by a Nepalese devotee of the Goddess Kali who had come to Bengal from the Himalayas. The major development of the temple occurred under the patronage of Rani Bilashmoni Debi of Bhawal estate. The Ramna Kali Mandir is clearly seen in the pictures of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s famous address of March 7 1971, Probably the last time it was photographed by mass media.
Mahadev Khola Dham
The most famous Hindu place of worship in the State of Meghalaya is located approximately about (5 kms) on the outer edge of (Shillong) towards the (Upper Shillong), contrary to the (101 Canteen Area). The Umshyrpi River flows quietly by the surface of the holy place. On the reverse hill, a vertical trip of tangible stairs guides you to the region of Lawshotun.
The place of worship belongs to ( Lord Shiva) and is known as (Mahadev Khola Dham). Spiritual faith says that the 1st person to stopover in this location was a sadhu known as (Lakhiya Baba) who approached this place to ponder some (150 years) ago. Now the current place of worship is the location of that quarry. Soon, parishioners started visiting this location and a concrete temple was built here. Slowly, people of diverse (Hindu community) came ahead and erected other places of worship for other goddesses and gods all over the chief site. You will find temples of Baba Ramdeo Maharaj,Tulsi Mata,Laxmi Narayan,Gauri Shankar Mahadev,Ganesh Durga,Lakshman Parivar,Surya Narayan,Bajrang Bali etc.On the side, there is a tiny opening where a small idol of Lord Shiva is placed. It is said that this cave leads to the sanctified Kamakhya Temple located in Guwahati and is said that the embodiment of (Lord Shiva) walked through this small cave. A story goes around this as it is said that a local also passed through this path and he reached a pond, which is supposed to be heaven. He was warned by the almighty not to reveal what he saw there or else he would turn to a stone. However, he could not resist and he narrated everything to the sadhus sitting outside the cave. As a result, he turned into a massive stone
(With inputs from Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya Tourism)