Tanot Temple

By Sanjeev Nayyar Sanjeev@esamskriti.com | 2013

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120 kms from Jaisalmer is Tanot Mandir. A few kms before that is the Ghantyali Mata Mandir. Both these temples are highly revered by the Armed Forces and connected with Indo-Pakistan wars of 1965, 1971. U see entrance to Ghantyali Mandir.

U see idols damaged by Pakistanis during the 1965 war. Writing above idols reads ''during 1965 was Ma ka diya hua parichay''. 1 Pakis who tried to remove Shringar of Ma went blind. Two Paki soldiers who reached here tried to break idols. Some soldiers said do not break all Gods are one whilst others said this is Hindustan break. On this soldiers fought, killed themselves. Three soldiers were coming in front of each other. They thought it was enemy soldiers, fired at each other when both sides were Pakis. In firing all soldiers died.

This is the ancient story of Ghantyali Mata. Visited in February 2013.

Ghantyali Mata image. Jai Mata Di. Something about this temple that stirred me. Cannot pin point but felt very much at peace and rejuvenated after visit.

Sun rise enroute to Ghantyali Mandir/Tanot. It is a super drive from Jaisalmer to Tanot. Distance of 120 kms was covered in slightly over 2 hours. Mid Feb morning time was great weather.

For a large part of the drive saw these wind turbines that generate Wind Power. Elsewhere saw huge wind turbine farms, hundreds of them in one cluster. Am all for renewable energy. Blade colors of red and white is pleasing to the eye as well.

Somewhere enroute. Gives you an idea of the terrain that we drove through. Loved it all the way.

Vijay Stambh or Victory Tower at Tanot. Right side of pic white structure is the Mata Mandir or temple. The temple was not touched during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan inspite of them being very close to the temple. For more read next caption.

History of mandir. In brief, during 1965 war Pakistan bombed temple area with 3,000 bombs, 450 landed in temple complex but temple not damaged. In 1971 Mata ki kripa (blessing) see Indian Forces destroyed many enemy tanks who were then forced to flee. Thereafter, Indian Army and BSF have great shraddha (faith) in Mata Tanot Rai Mandir. It has now become a must visit for tourists as well.

Inside the temple. Has a huge hall that you see which must be useful when number of devotees increase.

A jawan from Punjab had organised a Havan with his aged parents, see on right of pic. I took part in the havan as well. From here drove another 20 kms to the Indo Pak border. Quite a different experience. Had a good chat with BSF jawans. Difficult terrain with not a soul on either side of the border. Not easy. Hats off to the BSF for doing what they do.

Image of Mata Tanot Rai. I consider myself blessed to have visited Ghantyali and Tanot Rai Mandirs. It was good to know about what transpired during various Indo-Pak wars. Having "said that our enemy today is China. Read my article Pak is a needless distraction: China is the real enemy Click here"

A typical village home somewhere enroute. Reminded me of a Sunil Dutt movie, Resham aur Shera. Released in early 1970''s it was shot in the desert.

This is the type of terrain that one saw enroute. 38 kms from Tanot is Longewala where a fierce battle took place in 1971 war on which the movie Border was based. Take the short cut road from Tanot to Longewala, do not drive towards Jaisalmer and turn right. I made that mistake, drove an additional 40 kms. Shall be uploading pics of Longewala later.

Whilst returning to Jaisalmer and close to where the Indira Gandhi Canal flows saw sarso (mustard) ka fields. Loved the yellow colors more so in this terrain.

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