Rani Sati Temple


After a long day’s drive over some rough roads, we arrived in Jhunjhunu in the late afternoon.

There was still time for me to visit the Rani Sati temple before the sun went down.

I left my shoes at the shoe room, as one must do when entering any temple. Once I passed through the first gate, I felt like I was entering the Magic Kingdom.

The festive ambience was heightened by beautifully painted decorative gates garlanded with marigolds.

I hadn’t been there long when a pretty lady and her daughters walked by. I admired the daughter’s sparkling fuchsia colored salwar kameez. They didn’t speak much English, but they understood the compliment. It prompted the lady to take me by the hand and lead me all around the temple complex. She pointed out various sculptures and symbols for me to photograph. I rang the small overhead bells in a corridor along with the daughters. It tells the gods that you are there.  They smiled at me when they saw that I knew to do this.

They took me into the white marble temple, where no photography was permitted. Inside the temple the air was filled with the scent of incense. People were praying, singing,  dancing and playing music that reminded me of the kind of music the Hare Krishnas in California used to play in the Summer of Love. Had these lovely ladies not taken me with them, I wouldn’t have felt right intruding on the religious celebrations.

One of the daughters applied a red tikka to my forehead with vegetable color which was on a plate near the shrine at the front of the room. Prem told me when I returned to the car that it was a good luck sign.

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One thought on “Rani Sati Temple

  1. I’m reminded of the beautiful Hindu temple in Neasdon in London. When my aunt was still alive and I was visiting London regularly, her neighbor Nish (whose kindness to my aunt still brings tears to my eyes) asked me if I would like to visit. Naturally I said yes. We drove there one evening in time for a service. Nish deposited me with the women and went to join the men. I was anxious at first that I would seem to be intruding or sightseeing (which I was, of course, in common with other westerners there) but the ladies around me made me feel accepted. I watched what they did, as candles were passed and offerings of money were made, and I did the same. I had no idea what was going on, for which reason I was glad the service lasted only about 25 minutes. After it was over, Nish came to find me and, with an official of the temple he’d somehow managed to co-opt, showed me around.

    It’s quite a place. If you’re in London and the Hindu religion and things Indian interest you, it’s well worth a visit — though it’s not the easiest place in the world to get to. Ladies, you can’t take handbags inside, so put your wallet in your pocket and leave everything else at home (if you’re going on the tube or bus) or else lock it in the boot/trunk of the car before you get there.

    http://www.mandir.org/

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