P.C: JR Korpa
We often let our imaginations run wild, conjuring up some pretty surreal stuff that could amaze even the most well-seasoned acid trippers. But Mother Nature, the maverick magician, would let us take a backseat in this score when its comes to some of Her most mysterious creations. From sweating stone idols to precariously balanced giant boulders, here are a few places listed out in Tamil Nadu that come by their "could be a Salvador Dalí painting" vibe completely naturally. And before you rub your eyes and gape in wonder; trust us, these locations really exist. Yes! You have to witness it to believe it. In the midst of all the human excellence of architectural brilliance, rich history and folklore, stands the most befuddling things that we have been bestowed with. So follow the trail of these strangest places in Tamil Nadu and set out on an adventurous travel experience and opt to venture beyond the norm.
1. Sikkal Singaravelavar Temple of Karthikeya / Muruga
P.C: Shaouraav Shreshtha
There is nothing quite as mysterious as the sweating idol of the Sikkal Singaravelavar Temple. The temple celebrates a festival every year in mid-October to November, wherein the stone idol of Lord Subramanya profusely sweats! Yes you read that correct. The festival marks the celebrations of the victory of Lord Subramanya over the demon Surapadman and the idol sweats are symbolic of Lord Subramanya's anger who keenly waits to kill the demon. The sweating subsides towards the end of the festival. This water is considered very sacred by the devotees and the visitors, so the sweat water is sprinkled on them as a sign of good luck and prosperity.
2. Thanjavur Temple
Rich in art and architecture, the town of Thanjavur is home to the famous Thanjavur Temple, otherwise known as the Brahadeeswara Temple. Built in the year of 1010 AD by Raja Chola- I, this Hindu temple is dedicated to the Hindu mythological figure of Lord Shiva. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the temple is one of the most notable monuments of the ancient Chola dynasty. The walls of the temple are adorned with a legacy of mythological figures, stories and legends. Its extremely elaborate walls boast of the intricate carvings and sculptures, exhibiting the mysterious instance the temple is well-known for.
The temple walls house the carvings of human figures resembling the then King of France Robert the Second and a Chinese man, yet to be identified. As per the historians, the world was not connected until 1500. As a point of fact, the first European to set foot on Indian soil was Vasco da Gama in the year 1498, which is almost 500 years after the construction of this temple. Does that reveal that the then Indian Raja Chola- I had already established international ties with other countries? If so, what were the means of transport and communication?
3. Ram Sethu Bridge
P.C: Jonathan Safa
Is the Ram Sethu Bridge real? Are the occurrences of the holy book Ramayana real? The mythical bridge built of floating stones between India and Sri Lanka to rescue Sita from the clutches of Ravana is visible to the naked eye. Also known as the Adam's Bridge, it is located in between the landmasses of India and Sri Lanka. According to the ancient Hindu myth, Lord Rama with an army of 10 million Vanars or monkeys built this bridge by throwing huge boulders of limestone into the shallow sea with the name of Lord Rama written on it. This made the rocks float and a 30 kilometer long and 3 kilometer-wide bridge was constructed in mere five days between Dhanushkodi in India and Sri Lanka's Mannar Island. Many historians scientists and archaeologists denied this ancient and unproven version of the story behind the existence of the bridge but simultaneously fail to explain the concept of floating stones found in Rameshwaram.
4. Nachiyar Koil – Kal Garuda
P.C: Sandesh Rajbhandari
Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu is home to one of the most mysterious temples of the country, the Nachiyar Koil - Kal Garuda Temple. The temple houses the famous stone statue of the Hindu deity Lord Vishnu's eagle mount. Every year during the summer months an elaborate procession takes place in the temple where the statue is taken out for the procession. It has been duly recorded that as the statue moves out of the temple, the weight of the statue increases exponentially.
Thus the number of people who carry the idol also increases eventually from to 4 to 8 to 16 to 32 and so on. Similarly, when the Lord Vishnu idol is brought back to the shrine, the weight decreases and the number of people required to carry it also decreases from 64 to 4. This unfathomable change in weight of the idol has baffled scientists and researchers for aeons.
5. Krishna’s Butterball
The giant boulder, measuring about 20 ft in height with a diameter of five meters, perpetually perched on a steep rock slope in the historic town of Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu appears to be frozen in time as the boulder never rolls down the hilly slope it sits on. The actual name being the 'Vaan Irai Kal', that literally translates to 'Sky God's Stone', is precariously balanced on a mere area of a sq ft in such a position on the slippery stone slope for nearly about 1200 years.
The boulder weighs over 250 tonnes and in the year 1908 the Governor of Madras engaged seven elephants to push the rock away from its place for the threat and danger it posed to the people, but all in vain. Till date no one has been able to point out as to why and how such a heavy and massive boulder remains perfectly balanced at an inclined slope.