The Kanak Bhawan Temple

About the Kanak Bhawan Temple

Kanak Bhawan Temple

The ‘Kanak Bhawan’ is the biggest, religiously one of the most important and architecturally an aesthetically built temple dedicated to Lord Ram and his divine consort Sita. It is located in the pilgrim holy town of Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh of India. This shrine is a marvelous sample of temple architecture and design, and is the most beautiful and attractive structure in Ayodhya. Its magnificence and charm is not only restricted to its external façade, but the deities installed in the sanctum are so beautiful and captivating to behold that one is left dumbfounded and spell-bound once one sees them. The enchantment of the divine view of the consecrated deities and their magnetic pull is of such intensity that the eyes of the beholder are riveted by their beauty, and he finds it difficult to move his eyes away from them It becomes a sort of love at first sight when the visitor is compelled in his heart to make a promise to himself that he would come over and over again to experience and soak in this divine glory of the Lord as much as he can.

When the rays of the rising sun as well as that of the setting sun fall on the building, it looks fabulous, it presents a view that is exceptionally captivating and enchanting. The view of the face of the main structure of the temple that faces the sun, i.e. the wall of the main shrine that faces eastward towards the rising sun as seen from the inner courtyard, simply looks wonderful and out of the world as the first rays of the morning sun sprays it with its light. The same thing is experienced during the afternoon hours when the rays of the setting sun light up the walls of the building facing westwards as seen from the same inner courtyard.

History of the Kanak Bhawan Temple

Conceived more as a sprawling palace rather than as a shrine, the Kanak Bhavan Temple resembles magnificent palaces of Bundelkhand and Rajasthan region of India. Its history dates back to Treta Yug when it was gifted by Ram's step-mother Kaikeyi to him and his consort Sita as a marriage gift. With the passage of time it fell to ruin, and was reconstructed and renovated many times. The first reconstruction was done by Ram's son Kusha in the beginning of Dwapar Yug, again by King Rishabdeo in middle of Dwapar, and Lord Krishna is said to have visited the ancient site in pre-Kali Yug era 614.

In the current Yug called the ‘Kali Yug’, it was first built by Chandra Gupta Vikramaditya in Yudisthir era 2431, repaired & renovated by Samudra Gupta in 387 A.D. (V.S. 444), destroyed by Nawab S. Salarjung II Gazi in 1027 A.D. (V.S. 1084) and then finally reconstructed on the ruins & renovated in the present shape by H.H. Maharaja Sri Pratap Singh Ju Deo, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E. of Orchha and Tikamgarh (Bundelkhand) and his Queen Maharani Vrisbhan Kunwari, and consecrated in 1891 A.D. (V.S. 1948) Vaishkh Shukl 6th, Guru Pushya (roughly the month of May).

There are three pairs of consecrated idols—and all of them are those of Lord Ram and Sita. The largest pair is the one installed by Rani Sri Vrishbhan Kunwari who was the moving force in the construction and establishment of this temple. The pair to its right is of a medium height and is said to be those which were established by King Vikramaaditya and were salvaged from destruction when that ancient temple was destroyed by invaders. The third pair is the smallest and is traditionally believed be the one that was given by Lord Krishna to a woman hermit who was meditating on Lord Ram at this site. Krishna instructed her to bury the idols in the ground when she leaves her mortal coil (body) so that later on they would be discovered and act as a mark to identify the sacred place when a king (who later turned out to be King Vikramaaditya) would set out to resurrect this holy place during Kali Yug. It so happened by providence that when Vikramaaditya was digging the foundation of his temple, this ancient pair emerged, and this helped this great king of India to locate the exact spot to establish the sanctum of his own grand temple.

When the current temple was built, all these three pairs were installed in its sanctum sanctorum. All the three pairs are seen now. Due obeisance and worship are offered regularly to all of them daily in the temple.

Main Festivals

Though ceremonies and festivals keep on going throughout the year on various auspicious occasions according to the Hindu calendar, but some of them are special. All these occasions are marked by festivities and ceremonies as well as pomp and pageantry. Music and devotional songs reverberate in the temple. These special occasions are the following—

(i) Phool Bangla

This is an occasion when the deity and the temple are decorated with flowers. It presents a fabulous sight.

(ii) Jhula or the Swing Festival

It is organized during the onset of the rainy season roughly in August. A silver Swing is installed in the main hall of the temple and the deity is brought out from the sanctum to enjoy the Swing. The festival lasts for about fifteen days continuously. On the first day of this festival, the third pair of deities is taken out in a procession in the evening from the temple compound, winds its way through the streets of Ayodhya to reach a place called Mani Parvat. It is a place where the deities of all other temples of Ayodhya too assemble. After return to the temple premises, Darshan (viewing) of the deity is held on the silver Swing already installed in the hall.

(iii) Sharad Purnima

This is the full moon night of Fall when it is believed that the Gods rain nectar on the earth from the heavens. On this occasion, a special Darshan (view of the deity) is organized in the open inner courtyard of the temple, directly under the beautiful light of the full moon shining overhead in the sky.

(iv) Holi

This is the fabled festival of colours in India. A Darshan of the deity is organized in the main hall of the temple, and devotees offer dry coloured powder to their Lord

Location and Timings

Location

The temple is situated in the heart of the town of Ayodhya which lies in Uttar Pradesh state of Northern India. It is well connected by theNational Highway and Railway Network to major cities e.g. Lucknow (135 Km.), Gorakhpur (145 Km.), Varanasi (210 Km.) which themselves serve as major intersection for trans-country air, rail and road network.

Timings

Open on all days of the year.

During Summer - Morning: 8 am - 11.30 am. Evening: 4.30 pm - 9.30 pm.

During Winter - Morning: 9 am - 12 pm. Evening: 4 pm -9 pm.

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