Our country has numerous temples big and small, many of them unique. A glimpse of some of the wondrous features of a few temples:
1. The deity in Thiruvannamalai is never brought out through the Rajagopuram but the doorway next to it!
2. The Madurai Meenakshi Temple is the only one to have 14 gopurams.
3. Salt is not added to any of the dishes prepared as offerings in Thirunageswaram Oppiliappan temple near Kumbakonam.
4. Ramanathaswamy temple in Rameshwaram is the only Siva temple where holy water is given to the devotees like in Vishnu temples.
5. Chidambara Nataraja is the only main deity who is taken on procession around the temple streets.
6. Fish does not breed in the Potramarai Tank in the Madurai Meenakshi Temple.
7. There is a temple for Lord Siva in Keralapuram near Takkalai in the Kanyakumari district. There is Vinayaka idol under a peepal tree that changes colour. From the Tamil month of Avani for six months, it is white in colour; from the month of Maasi, it is black for the next six months. This is because it is made using the Chandrakantha stone, which has this ability.
8. In the Chidambaram Temple, if one stands at a particular point, one can see the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Govindaraja and Lord Nataraja at the same time.
9. Thiruvadirai celebrations of Saivaites and Vaikunta Ekadasi celebrations of Vaishnavites are celebrated in the same month in only one temple – Chidambaram.
10. In all Vishnu temples, the conch is shown in His left hand. He is shown holding it in the right hand only in Thirukovilur.
11. Badrinath is one of the Divyakshetras of Vishnu and is located in the Himalayan range. The temple is opened for devotees from the first week of May to first week of November. A lamp is lit at the time of closing the temple. That flame of the lamp remains burning till it is opened six months later.
12. In Kasi, lizards, if any, are not heard.
13. No garuda birds can be seen up to 45 miles from Kasi.
14. There is a hill called Aiwar or Rathinagiri on the way from Kulithalai to Manapparai. No crows can be seen flying over it.
15. According to Shilpa Shastra, the deities ruling the nine planets should be placed in the North Eastern part of the temple they are being installed in.