India is undoubtedly a land of many beliefs, all of which are backed by immense faith and reverence. In this mix of beliefs, however, some tip towards the more seemingly eccentric half and translate to become unique temples. Here are some of these unconventional spiritual abodes in India. By Bayar Jain

1. Chengannur Mahadeva Temple, Kerala
Where a menstruating Goddess resides

 

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In a country where periods are to be spoken about in hushed tones and people who menstruate are barred from entering temples, the Chengannur Mahadeva Temple dispels this taboo. While Assam’s Kamakhya Temple is famous for housing a menstruating Goddess too, this one in Kerala is a relatively lesser-known version of it. Nestled in a town named Chengannur, this Hindu temple is counted as one of the major Bhagavathy temples of the southern state. During these three days of her menstrual cycle, the temple is closed and Parvati’s idol is moved to a small room, arguably to give her privacy and space. To check whether the goddess is bleeding, devotees believe that her clothes get ‘stained with blood’ – a check made by the priests on a daily basis. The fourth day of her periods culminates with a rare menstruation festival called Thripputhu. Although today this goddess ‘bleeds’ every few months, devotees of the region believe this was a monthly affair earlier.

2. Naugaja Peer, Haryana
Where clocks are offered to the shrine

 

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Located between Ambala and Kurukshetra, the Naugaja Peer translates to ‘nine yards tall holy man.’ Apart from the long grave – representative of mysteriously tall Syed Ibrahim Badshah who once lived here – offerings made by devotees makes this shrine unique. It is believed that many years ago, a truck would often break down near this dargah. Hoping to complete his journey on time, he offered his clock to the deity, and thus began the belief. Since then, it is believed that over 50 clocks and watches are offered to the shrine every day today, mostly from truck drivers wishing for safe and timely arrivals.

3. Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurudwara, Punjab
Where toy aeroplanes are offered

 

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Of the many stereotypes associated with the people of Punjab, it is their wish of wanting to settle in foreign lands stands out the most. This shrine caters to that segment of people. The Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurudwara – popularly known as the hawai jahaz gurudwara or the aeroplane gurudwara – is believed to be your ticket for heading out of the country. Located in Jalandhar, the devotees of this Sikh shrine believe that by offering a miniature toy aeroplane available outside the shrine, an overseas ticket is guaranteed!

4. Om Banna Temple, Rajasthan
Where a motorcycle is worshipped

 

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Also known as Shri Om Banna or Bullet Baba, this Jodhpur-based temple houses a Royal Enfield motorcycle that doubles as the main shrine. Legend has it that in 1991, a man travelling on this bike met with an accident here and died on spot. The bike, which had then fallen into a ditch, was taken to the nearby police station. The following day, the bike is believed to have mysteriously left the station and reached the spot of the accident. The locals then emptied the bike’s tank, hid the keys and returned it to the police but to no use. The bike, they claim, repeatedly returned to the ditch. By now, locals increasingly believed that the motorcycle was a miracle. Thus, a temple was set up where devotees now go to pray for a safe trip and ease a passenger’s distress.

5. Channapatna Dog Temple, Karnataka
Where dogs are Gods

 

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Probably one of the sweetest and most adorable temples in India, this temple elevates human’s best friends to a higher status: Gods. Built in a small village called Agrahara Valagerehalli in Channapatna, Karnataka, this temple is fairly new. In 2010, a rich businessman is credited for the construction of the shrine. The story has it that one day, two stray dogs of the village disappeared. The village’s local Goddess Kempamma, then, appeared in the businessman’s dream, urging him to set up the temple close to hers for protection of the village. While the dogs didn’t return, today their idols are placed within the premises, guarding the area against evil. In honour of the dogs’ great guarding skills, locals also celebrate with a festival every year.

Related: Top 5 Legendary Temples Of South India: Architectural Masterpieces