The Temple that Rings a Bell

The place of Bordubi which lies in the Tinsukia district of Assam houses the sacred “Tilinga Mandir”. A shiva temple which is believed to be nearly half a century old has been drawing a lot of people because of its popularity of being a wish fulfilling sacred place till this date. The temple stands isolated in a territory of tea garden with bells hanging all around the temple complex. The sizes of the bells vary in all sizes, a few weighing to 55kg.

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The establishment of this temple relates to a popular local story, which says that, in the year 1965, the tea garden workers of this area noticed a Shiva Linga, which emerged from the ground near a Banyan tree. The administrator of the garden decided to build a temple around the premises of the Banyan tree. Initially, people who came to offer their prayers, they promised to come back and present a bell if their prayers were answered.

With the passage of time this particular tradition of presenting and tying or hanging a bell on the sacred banyan tree increased manifold. Devotes came thriving to this place to get their wishes fulfilled. The mystical power of this temple is so great that without any exuberance and grand standing this simple abord of the Lord Shiva brings millions of devotees who shower their beliefs by offering bells thus popularizing it as the Bell Temple.  Many people even offer pigeons after their wishes are being fulfilled. The offering of a trishul (trident), a pigeon or a bell is considered sacred in a Shiva temple and thus this tradition is followed here too.

In the beginning the temple had only the Banyan tree with the grounded Shiva Linga and a boundary wall, with the passing of time the devotees had created a beautiful temple that has three bell shaped domes lined up in decreasing order in context of size from left to right. But still the temple unlike a typical north Indian temple is devoid of exuberance, style and other pompous splendor.

If we visit the place we can see bells hanging all over, some have rusted through the years but some are shiny golden. Along the iron bars heaps of bells in various sizes are stringed together with red strings that easily capture the eyes and display an unusual sight of creativeness. Along the corners there are mountains of bells forming a sculptural image.

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A temple stands without a statue, have no commercial shops or a fleet of priets running around, no loudspeakers belting out devotional music. But, is rather a simple hidden Shiva Linga beneath a sacred banyan tree and thousands of bells hanging and chanting the mystical powerful note of Om Namah Shivay and the sign of a prayer being fulfilled.


4 thoughts on “The Temple that Rings a Bell

  • July 28, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    Amazing work. Found a treasure kinda feeling.. Quite young but interesting n informative compilation of the less known.. History,heritage,culture… Keep it up… Looking forward to read more with abhijna e museum..

  • August 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

    The saddest part of the story was left unsaid. The Banyan tree that you can see in the picture does not seem very old. And it looks dead. So, what happened to the old tree? In their jest and ignorance, the temple administrators in collaboration with the district administration had put concrete flooring around the old Banyan tree killing it. That’s the danger of mindless integration of modernity with tradition.

  • September 3, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I must appreciate the writer. Reading this beautiful article really gave me the essence of the place. Beautifully described and excellent choice of words. An article worth reading.

    Gaurav Pratim Dey
    G Plus

  • July 3, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Really nicely written. Thank you!

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