Agencies, DNAINDIA.COM Wednesday, November 22, 2006
NEW DELHI: The Ravana raj seems to be making a come back. In a recent development, people claiming themselves to be descendents of Ravana are building a temple dedicated to the demon king in Jodhpur. And interestingly, it is coming up in a Hindu heartland where Lord Ram is devoutly revered by all.
This will be the first such temple in north India. The town is considered to be Mandodari, Ravana’s wife’s native place. It is believed that Mandodari hailed from Mandore, which was the ancient capital of Jodhpur. An umbrella named ‘Chavri’ still stands there.
The Ravana temple is being built in Mahadev Amarnath and Navgrah temple premises in city’s Chandpole area, where idols of Ravana’s main deities, Shiva and Devi Kharanna stand.
The temple premise will house a Ravana temple having idols of Ravana and his family members. Kamlesh Dev, the temple priest, said the idol will be in the form of offering prayers and water to Lord Shiva so that people get a feel of the demon king’s religious and softer side and they would be placed after observing planetary positions in the next six months.
Osian sculptor Chunnilal is entrusted with the duty of building the idol from special stone from Jodhpur.
The priest said after Ravana’s capital Lanka was devastated in the war with Lord Rama, many of his descendents traveled to Mandore, considered a haven owing to the place being the native town of queen Mandodari.
He said about 200 families, believed to be descendents of Ravana and from Mudgal Gotra, still live in Jodhpur.
About 110 families stay in Jodhpur town and 70 other families live in nearby Phalodi.
Kamlesh said Ravana is highly respected and revered in the region and the temple is likely to be completed in six months.
Some of the descendents of the demon king also migrated to Gujarat’s Jamanagar, Bhuj and Kutch areas, he claimed.
'Install Ravana's idol'
19 Nov, 2006 TIMES NEWS NETWORK
JODHPUR: Ever heard of demon-God Ravana being worshipped? An idol of the principal antagonist of Ram in Ramayana would soon be installed at a temple by the city's Maudgil Brahmins, who claim to be his descendants.
"By the beginning of 2007, the idol will be placed in Amarnath Mahadev and Navgraha temple on Fort road after determining a proper muhurat," said Kamlesh Dave, a Maudgil Brahmin and the temple's priest.
The marble statue — showing Ravana as a worshipper of Shiva — would be made in Jaipur. "But we are still discussing whether the statue should have one head or 10 heads," said Kamlesh.
"We need about Rs 1 lakh for the marble statue and the amount is being collected from all Maudgil Brahmins living in Jodhpur," said Ajay Dave, Kamlesh's son. For now, the family worships Ravana's picture placed in the Shiva temple.
"We apply tika on his forehead every morning and read out Shiv Mahima stotra, written by Ravana in praise of Shiva," said Ajay. "We also worship Kharanana, the goddess worshipped by Ravana," Kamlesh added.
According to Kamlesh, Jodhpur was Ravana's sasural (his wife's maternal home). "He was married to Mandodari, daughter of the king of Mandore, ancient capital of Marwar."
Kamlesh claimed that the Maudgils migrated to Mandore from 'Lanka' at the time of Ravana's marriage and later shifted to Jodhpur when the city was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. Kamlesh said about 150 Maudgil Brahmin families live in Jodhpur.
The Dave family has also been performing Ravana's shraada for hundreds of years.