Bhadra Maruti Temple: Sufism In A Hindu Temple?

Meena and PhenoMenon and their little nephew!
Meena and PhenoMenon and their little nephew!

I first ‘met’ Meena Menon and her husband Pravin (aka PhenoMenon) via the Blogging From A to Z Challenge 2013 . Perhaps it’s the Hyderabadi connection, but Meena and I hit it off like a house on fire.  We were lucky to meet in person when they visited Mumbai late last year. They were on a trip across parts of Maharashtra – and Meena shares one of the stories of her trip here. Meena is one of the most generous and thoughtful souls I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with and I’m so happy to have her over here today.

Do visit Meena’s Space and follow her on Twitter @miamenon

 

When Cory asked me to do a guest post for her, I literally had butterflies in my stomach – imagine doing a guest post for Cory of all the people! Anyway you cannot deny the chief – can you!

This was during the road trip we did across Maharashtra in December last year. That reminds me, I haven’t even blogged about that trip!

Anyway, off we go on a visit to the Bhadra Maruti Temple (Aurangabad District).

It had been  a long day and we were headed towards the Ellora Caves. The last item on the ‘to-do’ list for the day – the visit to the Bhadra Maruti temple. Honestly a temple visit at the fag end of the day didn’t appeal much to either of us. But I am glad we did it.

When we reached the temple – there was hardly any crowd owing to it being the thirteenth hour. Just as we stepped into the temple courtyard, we were greeted with soothing local folk music created by the gent in the picture below.

Bhadra_Maruti_templesingers

The music had us so enthralled that maybe for the first time I was literally ‘lost in the music”. The tiredness was forgotten and a strange calm crept in….. the moon-lit night and the cool breeze added to the magic!

Watch the performance. Please excuse the poor quality and sound interference. This was shot on our phone camera and the conditions were far from ideal!

Did you enjoy the video?  Did you feel their music was heavily influenced by Sufism? Well, I for one did.

Surprisingly, the prayer-style of devotees here is very reminiscent of Islam (kneeling down, prayer cap on the head and hands raised towards heaven!). As you  see in this image, that the idol is positioned horizontally on the floor and not vertically as in a typical Hindu temple.

Bhadra_ Maruti_deity

It goes without saying, we stepped out of this place with a light-heart. Even today, when I recall this place, the feeling I have is one of peace.

This is the beauty of road trips –  discovering many a hidden gem like this.

~ Meena

PS: A quick Google search tells me that the place surrounding the temple is also called “Valley of Sufis” which is purported to contain the graves of 1500 Sufi saints.



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