Hindu temple or Mandir is referred to a place where Hindus go to worship gods in the form of various deities. Many Hindu temples are filled with wooden and stone arts like pashupatinath temple. A mandir is a spiritual place for Hindus. It is the landmarks around which ancient arts, community celebrations and economy were developed, as well as this the mandir has been recognised for.
Hindus believe that gods and goddesses will answer the prayers of the faithful and inspire spiritually. For them, the temple also acts as a contact between the gods and goddesses and the worshipers. They also believe that the gods and goddesses will grant their wishes and protect them from danger.
In Hinduism gods are represented in various forms. Sometimes gods or goddesses are represented in a human form like Shiva, Vishnu, Saraswati or Kali. Sometimes there are gods goddesses in human and animal fused form like Ganesh. Sometimes they are also represented in plants and non-living form like Tulsi and Shaligrams. Murtis are made according to the prescriptios of the ilpasastra, and then installed by priests through the prana pratishtha ceremony. Afterward the divine personality is believed to be present in the Murtis.
To show respect, Hindus give gifts and food to the murtis. They are treated with respect and worshipped everyday. If a temple is a family temple it is treated as part of the family. Some Hindus also offer a part of their daily food to the god or goddess. They are given clothes and are changed at certain times.
The Nataraja Mandir, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India.
- Michell, George (1988). The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. pp. 58-65. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.
- Kramrisch, Stella; Burnier, Raymond (1946). The Hindu Temple. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 135, context: 40–43, 110–114, 129–139 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0223-0., Quote: "The [Hindu] temple is the seat and dwelling of God, according to the majority of the [Indian] names" (p. 135); "The temple as Vimana, proportionately measured throughout, is the house and body of God" (p. 133).
- Michell, George (1988). The Hindu Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.