By Diptimayee parida | bangalore September 3, 2017
The temple is a place for praying God and people approach for spiritual knowledge, divine blessings. The construction, architecture, decoration and the rituals performed for or at temple focus on enlightenment and liberation. The spiritual principles symbolically represented in hindu temples are described in vedas and upanishads.
It is a synthesis of arts, the ideals of dharma, beliefs, values and the way of life cherished under hinduism. The temple is a link between man, deities and the universal purusa in a sacred space. The vastu shastras were theoretical descriptions of the architectural traditions and conventions to be followed.
A typical hindu temple consists of an entrance, often with a porch, one or more mandapas. The inner sanctum is called the garbhagriha. The womb chamber and the tower are built directly above the garbhagriha. According to the puranas the gods always play where groves are near the rivers, mountains and springs. So the temples in India are usually situated near water body or mountains.
The idols of the temple provide access to the divinity. It is very interesting to know that it is not the idol painter who is honoured for this work as he would be considered as donor. Almost all hindu art is anonymous.
Certain customs in hindu temples are practiced before worshiping. The worshipers remove their shoes before entering the temple. According to hindu religion all life forms are created by Brahma and the human must share space with the animal kingdom. So it is common to see dogs, cows and various species of birds at temples. Inside the temple the devotees keep both hands fold together as a sign of respect. They recite the mantras and follow the instructions of the priest.
At the exit area of the temple the worshiper often distribute prasad and money in acts of charity towards the poors and weak. If the worshiper exit the temple with changed mental state then the ritual is understood to be effective.