MANDIR: More than just a religious temple: History
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Mandir, a religious temple for Hindus to worship. This is the glimpse everybody thinks as they hear the word "Mandir" and a great mistake they make is that they don't think anything beyond this thought. In ancient times, Mandirs were not just a place of worship but also................

  • mandir
  • temple
  • history
  • culture
  • hindu
  • hinduism
  • temple university
  • university
  • knowledge
  • religious temple

1. Introduction

When the word "Mandir" is referred to, maximum people conjure up photographs of serene temples where Hindus accumulate for worship an[1]d non secular solace. However, this modern understanding scarcely scratches the floor of what Mandirs represented in historic India. Far from being mere locations of worship, Mandirs served as sizeable hubs of expertise, education, and way of life. They had been establishments in which students (Shisyas) and teachers (Gurus) converged to engage in scholarly pastimes.

2. Mandirs as Centers of Learning

In historic instances, Mandirs were indispensable to the educational framework of Indian society. These temples frequently housed libraries, or Granthalayas, that contained considerable collections of manuscripts. Scholars from remote lands would tour to these Mandirs to observe these texts and benefit information in numerous disciplines. This culture underscores the temples' position as custodians of expertise and education.

One of the maximum illustrious examples of such a Mandir is the Sharada Peeth, situated in gift-day Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). In historical India, Sharada Peeth changed into famend at some stage in the Kashmir valley as a most reliable center of mastering. Named after Saraswati, the goddess of information (additionally called Sharada), the temple performed a essential function in disseminating the Sharada script across North India. This script, named after the temple, helped Kashmir earn the moniker "Sharada Desh" or "the land of Sharada."

3. Notable Scholars Associated with Sharada Peeth

Several eminent figures in Indian history are associated with Sharada Peeth, underscoring its importance as a scholarly hub. Swami Ramanuja, the renowned Vaishnava saint of the 11th century CE, traveled from Srirangam in Tamil Nadu to Sharada Peeth to consult the Brahma Sutras. This journey became pivotal for Ramanuja, as it enabled him to compose his seminal observation, the Sri Bhasya.

Another brilliant determine is Thonmi Sambhota, credited with inventing the Tibetan script. Sent to Kashmir to gather an alphabet for the Tibetan language, Sambhota learned diverse scripts and grammatical treatises from the erudite Pandits at Sharada Peeth. His paintings in devising the Tibetan script changed into considerably motivated via the Sharada alphabet. Additionally, Rinchen Zangpo, a translator of Sanskrit texts into Tibetan, is thought to have studied at Sharada Peeth.

Adi Shankaracharya, one of India's maximum respected philosophers, is likewise linked to Sharada Peeth. Legend has it that he earned the title of Jagadguru after successfully answering the questions posed by means of the temple's pupils. Shankaracharya is also credited with beginning the temple's southern door, symbolizing his attractiveness and popularity by the scholarly community there.

4. Other Prominent Temple Universities

Sharada Peeth become now not an isolated example; several other temples across India served as facilities of training and getting to know. The Azhagiya Narasimma Perumal temple at Ennayiram in Tamil Nadu, as an instance, functioned as a Vedic university throughout the Chola length. This temple complex blanketed hostels and hospitals, indicating a holistic approach to training that catered to college students' educational and bodily well-being.

Another splendid organization become the Kanthalloor Shala in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, regularly called the "Nalanda of South India." Supported by using the Chola dynasty, Kanthalloor Shala became a vibrant instructional center that presented a big range of subjects, including the Vedas, grammar, philosophy, common sense, science, mathematics, martial arts, music, and painting. This variety of disciplines highlights the comprehensive nature of training provided at temple universities. The Kuvalayamala, an eighth-century Prakrit work by using the Jain monk Uddyotana Sūri, mentions the various topics taught at Kanthalloor Shala, testifying to its broad curriculum.

5. Cultural and Educational Influence

The academic activities at those Mandirs had a ways-achieving cultural and intellectual impacts. Temples have been not merely non secular areas however have been fundamental to the highbrow and cultural lifestyles of the community. They facilitated the maintenance and dissemination of understanding across generations and geographies. Scholars who studied at those temple universities frequently went directly to make considerable contributions in numerous fields, influencing no longer only Indian society however additionally neighboring cultures and regions.

For example, the Sharada script's spread via North India and its have an impact on on Tibetan script development exemplify the Mandirs' role in fostering pass-cultural interactions and information switch. This dynamic cultural alternate contributed to the wealthy tapestry of India's highbrow history, blending indigenous and foreign elements right into a cohesive whole.

6. Decline and Legacy

Despite their illustrious records, many temple universities faced decline due to different factors, inclusive of invasions, political adjustments, and moving socio-financial situations. For instance, the relocation of Kanthalloor Shala from Vizhinjam to Thiruvananthapuram following a Chola attack marks a good sized event in its history, reflecting the turbulent instances these establishments regularly persisted.

However, the legacy of these Mandirs as centers of learning endures. The manuscripts and knowledge structures preserved and evolved inside their precincts remain studied and respected. Modern institutions and pupils draw concept from those ancient centers of learning, underscoring their lasting effect on India's educational and cultural landscape.

7. Conclusion

The position of Mandirs in ancient India prolonged a ways beyond their religious features. They had been colourful facilities of schooling, cultural alternate, and intellectual pastime. Temples like Sharada Peeth, Azhagiya Narasimma Perumal, and Kanthalloor Shala exemplify the rich educational background of India's past. By recognizing and celebrating this multifaceted records, we gain a deeper appreciation of the Mandirs' contribution to the upkeep and development of know-how. This expertise invites us to look beyond the traditional view of Mandirs and renowned their profoundness has an impact on India's intellectual and cultural improvement.


  1. Sharada Singh. Reference no. 1; Notionpress: India, 2017; pp. 20-67.
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