The Main Features of a Place of Hindu Worship

The Main Features of a Place of Hindu Worship

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The Main Features of a Place of Hindu Worship

There is a Hindu temple in Happy Valley, Hong Kong. Hindu temples
are supposed to face East West because it is the direction that the
sun rises, so each day the light shines into the temple, but because
of the lack of space in Hong Kong, the gate of the temple faces east,
the temple itself faces North. As such, there is a picture of a sun on
the gate.

The temple has a white dome on top to represent the snowy Himalayas
because it is the centre of the world and the home of Shiva. It is
white to symbolise purity. The shikhara on top of the dome points into
the sky, like pointing towards moksha. Once you get in the gate, there
is a very long staircase with steps going up to the main building.
This is for the same reason, it is ascending to moksha. When you reach
the top, there is a shrine on your right hand side. Inside the shrine
is Hanuman, the king of monkeys and all animals. He is there to
protect the temple. On your left, there is a shoe rack for you to put
our shoes in because before going in the temple, you have to take off
your shoes. It is a kind of respect and that you are not bringing
anything inside from maya, the external, unclean outside world.

When you enter the mandap, which is quite big, the boys and girls have
to be separated. The girls sit on the right hand side and the boys sit
on the left hand side. This is because it will make them more focused
on worship, eyes forward surrounding by the same sex. On the right had
side, there is a table with the Vedas, the Holy Scriptures on it. Next
to the table is a bed where the priest sleeps.

Near the front of the mandir, there is a very long and big bell
hanging down from the ceiling. By ringing the bell, it signifies
making peace and to make yourself careful, listen and concentrate on

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your mind.

There are three shrines placed at the front of the mandir. This area
is called the Garbha Griha. There is a fence dividing the shrines and
the worshippers because only the priest can go up towards the Gods.
Starting from the left, is Brahma the generator, with four heads
facing four different directions, which symbolises that he created the
entire universe. He sits on a lotus to symbolise purity. Next, is
Vishnu the operator, together with his wife Lakshmi. Vishnu holds a
mane and wears a crown to show his kingly authority and ability to
protect the world from the evil. Lakshmi represents beauty, prosperity
and benevolence of the Goddesses. Because pink is a colour of
kindness, she wears a pink sari and holds a pink lotus. Lastly, is
Shiva the destroyer together with Nandi, Shiva's bull and the Lingum,
the statue that represents Shiva's energy and power to generate and
regenerate life. Shiva has a serpent coiled around his neck to show
his powers to control his desires and ego. He also holds a trident to
symbolise withdrawing from the pleasures of worldly life. Above the
Garbha Griha, you can see the dome. It is coloured blue because it
represents holiness and the infinite of God.

Outside the temple, there is a notice board with general notices and
notices of rites of passages pinned up. There are also small rooms
next to the notice board. One of them is a management office for
general management with computers and telephones inside. There are
guest rooms for people in accommodation, a room, which is the priest's
living quarter and another room, which is a Community Centre for
activities like yoga, special pujas, holy songs, conversations,
language classes and many many more.
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