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19 दिसंबर 2012

The Rani Sati Dadi Temple, Jhunjhunu

There are in all 13 sati temples in the complex with 12 smaller one’s and 1 main temple dedicated to Rani Sati Dadi. Built in pure white marble with a red fluttering flag at the top, the building forms are interesting and the entire edifice looks stunning.

[ Entrance to the Temple ]

[ Spires of the 13 sati Temples ]

A huge statue of Lord Shiva in the middle of the complex surrounded by the lush green gardens, adds to the beauty of the place.

[ Magnificient Rani Sati Temple spire ]
Inside the temple, the interiors, adorned with exquisite murals and fascinating richglass mosaics depicting the entire history of the place, are eye-catching. I grabbed a seat in the middle of the room, trying to soak in every detail…
Just like Khatu, the history of this temple too takes you back to the times of theMahabharata.
When Abhimanyu (the son of the great Pandava, Arjun) lost his life while fighting the battle of Mahabharata, his wife and soon-to-be-mother, Uttara had wished to commit sati and end her life too. Citing the fact that it would not be appropriate to kill the innocent yet-to-be-born child, Lord Krishna stopped her from doing so. Since she was adamant, He gave her the boon that her desire to become sati shall be fulfilled in the next birth.

Many years later, Uttara was reborn as Narayani bai and Abhimanyu as Tandhan Das. A beautiful horse possessed by Tandhan Das was being eyed by the son of king of Hissar from quite some time. But Tandhan Das refused to part with his precious horse by handing it over to the king’s son. On deciding to obtain forcefully then, the king’s son confronted him. He killed the king’s son in the battle that ensued. This enraged the king and he decided to take revenge soon. Sometime later, Tandhan Das was married to Narayani bai. After marriage, while returning to their village, they were suddenly attacked by the army of Hissar. Tandhan Das fought the battle bravely before he was stabbed in the back and lost his life. The young bride, Narayani bai displayed exemplary courage and bravery by fighting the army singlehandedly and killed the king.

She then asked Ranaji (the caretaker of the horse) to make immediate arrangements for her to be set ablaze along with her husband’s cremation.
Very pleased with Ranaji who played a vital role in fulfilling her wish to be sati with her husband, she blessed him that his name will be taken and worshiped before her name and since then she is known as Rani Sati.

Soon after, her influence of 'sat' (truth and loyalty) involuntarily set up the pyre ablaze. A storm rose from the ashes telling Ranaji to take them on the horse and to build a temple wherever the horse stops. The horse stopped in Jhunjhunu where the temple stands today…
Craning my neck up, I saw a fresco on the ceiling - Narayani bai with her husband in lap, enveloped in flames, Ranaji with the horse in the background. So beautiful, looked like it had been created yesterday. Equally mesmerizing was the main sanctum area.

[ Rani Sati Dadi ]
Unlike most of the temples in India, the fact that this temple does not enshrine a statue or image of any Gods or Goddesses makes it all the more unique. A trident with two eyes, nose ring, a red bindi and a red chunri is worshipped in the form of power and forcewhich is the supreme might as per the Hindu religion. A fine portrait of the Rani Sati Dadiis positioned in the sanctum (Pradhan Mand) with the imposing Shikhar.

[ The Rani Sati Dadi Temple, Jhunjhunu ]

In front of the sanctum, there is a marble platform where devotees pray by drawing theSathiya (Swastik) and offer roli, chawal, mehendi, flowers, coconut, etc to the Goddess. Women also offer Suhaag pitaris (saree, bangles, bindi, kajal, etc) and pray for the long life of their husbands and the well being of their entire family.

[ Back view of the Temple ]
As I had even stayed here, I got the fortune of attending the evening aarti. It was a wonderful experience. After the prayer, prasad of bundis was distributed to all.

Whether you belong to this place or not, it really doesn’t matter, It’s spectacular and interesting and hence definitely worth visiting. I am sure the beauty here will linger on your mind for a long time.
Rajesh Mishra (Jagkalyan News Editor)

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