DUSSEHRA CELEBRATIONS end with the burning of the effigy of Ravana, the evil, as most of us see him. However, not everyone finds the ten-headed king a demon. Some people like to see the positive side of his personality and look upon him as an intellectual. That is perhaps why hundreds of years ago Maharaja Shiv Shankar Bajpai built a temple in his name in the Kailash Mandir Shivala Kanpur.
The temple is opened only once a year- on the eve of Dussehra, for worship. The situation then makes an interesting view, as at one place in the temple Ramleela is performed and effigy of Ravana is torched, while just a few meters away in the temple, the same demon is worshipped.
According to Anirudh Bajpai, the owner of the temple, “It is well known that Ravana, a demon, was destined to be killed by Lord Ram, but we also know that he was a genius and a great scholar. That is why Lord Ram asked his brother Laxman to take some lessons from Ravana before he died.”
He further said, “There are always two sides of a coin and the same applied to Ravana. We burn Ravana’s effigy to end his evils, but we worship him for his infinite intelligence.” Though the exact motives behind building the temple are still unknown, he added. Irrespective of the history behind it, the temple continues to be a big draw for the city people.