Sharda Peeth

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Assignment on Sharda Peeth (Saraswati Temple) located within the University Campus at BITS, Pilani.

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Sharda Peeth

  1. 1. Sharda Peeth, BITS-Pilani Pariculars: Name: Sharda Peeth Estd: 1960 Direction:  The Temple faces North-West slightly: This is in compliance with Vaastu which suggests that devotees lean towards south while offering prayers.  The Temple, A bronze statue of GD Birla and The BITS Clock Tower fall in a straight line, running North-South from the Clock Tower to the Temple.  The Temple has a single entrance towards North.  Two decorated elephants are on each side of the entrance. The Steeples:  The First Steeple has 7 small statues of goddesses on each of the four sides.  It houses the front porch. 12 carvings of Lakshmi, Ganesh and Saraswati (3 each) look over the front porch.  The Second Steeple has marble carved wall panels on the outside. These panels depict various mythological events. For, example the panel towards the west depicts scenes from Lord Krishna’s life. Page 1
  2. 2. Sharda Peeth, BITS-Pilani  The Third Steeple has many statues of deities. These statues go towards the top on the outside  The steeple houses the Temple hall meant for the devotees to sit and meditate, or stand during the aarti.  The Ceiling of the Steeple on the inside has intricate marble work.  The Fourth Steeple houses the deity. The height of this steeple gives a clear indication of importance of housing the Garbhagriha.  The outer wall of the steeple has many marble carved wall panels  Significantly, being the tallest steeple it also has a lightning conductor on the top. The Inner Chamber:  The inner chamber is housed within the the 4th steeple. The tallest one.  The statue of the deity is the only coloured sculpture in the temple, except the elephants guarding the entrance.  There is a walkway around the walls of the inner chamber for circum-ambulation by devotees around the deity as a mark of respect to the goddess.  Each side of the inner chamber has a small carving of Goddess Saraswati. Statues of Ganesha, Durga, Lord Vishnu in Varah Avatar are present above the carving. Page 2
  3. 3. Sharda Peeth, BITS-Pilani The outer walls:  The East wall has three rows of carvings.  The Lower Row depicts Gods and Goddesses in pairs.  The Middle Row depicts various Indian personalities.  The Top Row depicts many mythological events.  There is one exception in the lower row where Lord Ganesha is depicted alone.  The West wall has a more intricate fusion.  It depicts mostly personalities.  The people depicted range for Abraham Lincoln to CV Raman.  This signifies the universal nature of knowledge from politics to science. Also, that it spans the world and can’t be restricted by geographical boundaries.  The only oddity is a carving of GD Birla placed at the bottom, which stands out because of distorting the regular symmetry.  The back wall depicts religious integrity.  There are carvings of Jesus, Natraj, and Lord Vishnu.  Goddess Durga is also depicted slaying Mahishasura. Page 3
  4. 4. Sharda Peeth, BITS-Pilani Keechak is present on each pillar of the temple. He is depicted floating in air and carrying the weight of the temple. Oddities:  Hindu temples grant the highest honour to the deity in the temple. No other person is given a higher or an equal position to the deity. But, the temple has two bronze statues of the parents of GD Birla sitting on a chair outside the temple. Interestingly, the chair of the mother has a peacock carved on the back. Also, Hinduism always depicts couples in pairs, they are never separated. But, these statues are placed in 2 different directions.  Though the temple does follow Vaastu Shastra, the placement of water taps is towards the west rather than east (which is the recommended direction). Page 4

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