I don’t understand why most temples ban photography inside the premises. I mean there are so many strong things that are there inside temples that are “capture-able” that it’s almost criminal that photography is banned. My mom says the ban is so that unscrupulous elements don’t take pictures and then distort them. If this is the reason, then I think it’s better to allow these unscrupulous elements to collect bad karma by distorting images. Anyways.

One signboard inside the Horanadu temple said (ok i’m translating here) – “parents are requested to ensure that their children don’t pee inside the temple”. Unfortunately, by the time I saw this notice, I’d already seen one other that said photography is banned inside the temple. However, I don’t think the temple had done a good job of putting up this signboard in all appropriate places. Before I’d seen one such signboard, I’d already shot a small video of the mangalarathi. It isn’t too clear but then I shot it in a “no video” area so …
Anyway the point of the photography ban has to do more with the Kalaseshwara temple in Kalasa (some 10 km from Horanadu). There, I noticed an unusual thing – a face had been painted on the lingam. I mean, I thought the purpose of the lingam was because Lord Shiva has to be worshipped in the phallic form. Now, when someone goes and draws a head on it, I don’t really know what to say.

The thing is this isn’t an isolated occurrence. I saw in Sringeri, too, in a couple of places, where a face had been painted on the lingam. I seriously don’t know what the painter was thinking. Or was it a conscious effort by the uber-moral Sringeri mutt to de-sex the lingam?

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