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Bhadra Maruti Temple: Sufism In A Hindu Temple?

Meena and PhenoMenon and their little nephew!
Meena and PhenoMenon and their little nephew!

I first ‘met’ Meena Menon and her husband Pravin (aka PhenoMenon) via the Blogging From A to Z Challenge 2013 . Perhaps it’s the Hyderabadi connection, but Meena and I hit it off like a house on fire.  We were lucky to meet in person when they visited Mumbai late last year. They were on a trip across parts of Maharashtra – and Meena shares one of the stories of her trip here. Meena is one of the most generous and thoughtful souls I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with and I’m so happy to have her over here today.

Do visit Meena’s Space and follow her on Twitter @miamenon


When Cory asked me to do a guest post for her, I literally had butterflies in my stomach – imagine doing a guest post for Cory of all the people! Anyway you cannot deny the chief – can you!

This was during the road trip we did across Maharashtra in December last year. That reminds me, I haven’t even blogged about that trip!

Anyway, off we go on a visit to the Bhadra Maruti Temple (Aurangabad District).

It had been  a long day and we were headed towards the Ellora Caves. The last item on the ‘to-do’ list for the day – the visit to the Bhadra Maruti temple. Honestly a temple visit at the fag end of the day didn’t appeal much to either of us. But I am glad we did it.

When we reached the temple – there was hardly any crowd owing to it being the thirteenth hour. Just as we stepped into the temple courtyard, we were greeted with soothing local folk music created by the gent in the picture below.


The music had us so enthralled that maybe for the first time I was literally ‘lost in the music”. The tiredness was forgotten and a strange calm crept in….. the moon-lit night and the cool breeze added to the magic!

Watch the performance. Please excuse the poor quality and sound interference. This was shot on our phone camera and the conditions were far from ideal!

Did you enjoy the video?  Did you feel their music was heavily influenced by Sufism? Well, I for one did.

Surprisingly, the prayer-style of devotees here is very reminiscent of Islam (kneeling down, prayer cap on the head and hands raised towards heaven!). As you  see in this image, that the idol is positioned horizontally on the floor and not vertically as in a typical Hindu temple.

Bhadra_ Maruti_deity

It goes without saying, we stepped out of this place with a light-heart. Even today, when I recall this place, the feeling I have is one of peace.

This is the beauty of road trips –  discovering many a hidden gem like this.

~ Meena

PS: A quick Google search tells me that the place surrounding the temple is also called “Valley of Sufis” which is purported to contain the graves of 1500 Sufi saints.


  1. Proactive Indian Proactive Indian February 27, 2014

    I loved the music! Definite Sufi influence. Only when I listened carefully did I realise the lyrics were in a dialect of Marathi.
    Thank you, Meena and Corinne!

  2. Aditi Aditi February 27, 2014

    So serene.. Yes perhaps hugely influenced influenced by Sufi culture… Any idea how old is this temple?…clearly shows that cultures can and did co-exist happily. True road trips are filled with fascinating surprises…do a full post soon! Who am I to say anything… I did a road trip in Oct and still haven’t posted…lol 😉

  3. Obsessivemom Obsessivemom February 26, 2014

    That’s so simple and yet so captivating. That must be Marathi, right? Wish I could figure out what he’s saying.

  4. Bhavya Bhavya February 26, 2014

    If not for the PhenoMenon tag in the intro, I’d have thought this Meena is someone else entirely! 😛

    • CorinneRodrigues CorinneRodrigues February 26, 2014

      I’m wondering why you would say that, Bhavya? I’m hoping you liked the content all the same!

      • Bhavya Bhavya February 26, 2014

        Of course I liked the content… I did mention reg the same to Meena also.
        Oh! I didn’t leave comments about that here, that’s why!
        The intro was very sweet na, that’s why its easy to get confused with some other Meena 😛

  5. Kathy Kathy February 26, 2014

    What a lovely experience. So glad you shared the pictures and the video.

  6. Vaisakh Venugopal Vaisakh Venugopal February 26, 2014

    Very soothing music indeed. Quite interesting, the way the idol is placed. Do blog about the other hidden gems you’ve discovered 🙂

  7. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg February 25, 2014

    Agree, road trips do take you to some not so commonly seen places. A horizontal idol in a temple is so rare. Good to see you here, Meena 🙂

  8. Pixie Pixie February 25, 2014

    oh how wonderful!! 🙂

    Looking at the pics and hearing the music brought a sense of calm 🙂

    Meens – you are absolutely adorable and yes, agree with Corinne when she says you are one of the most generous and thoughtful souls I’ve met! 🙂
    I suppose I should say thank you to Corinne only no? 😛 😉

  9. Kalpana Solsi Kalpana Solsi February 25, 2014

    Truly inspirational music and the song is in Marathi and tells us about parent’s affection to a child. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury February 25, 2014

    Thanks to my son, I’ve had the honor of visiting some amazing off-the-beaten-path temples. Your post reminded me of one of those trips, Meena. Thank you. Please do blog in detail about your trip, won’t you?

    Thank you Corinne. What a treat!

  11. Eli Eli February 25, 2014

    I so enjoyed this:-) And agree – roadtrips can take you somewhere – where you had not expected to go, and reveal wonderful things:-) Was fascinated by the picture of the 2 men, and also by the music… Thanks for sharing:-)

  12. Jyothi Nair Jyothi Nair February 25, 2014

    What a wonderful experience it must have been. The music indeed is refreshing and calming. Thank you for sharing this with us Meena. <3

    Corinne – Loved the intro you have given her. Perfect. 🙂

    • Meena Menon Meena Menon February 25, 2014

      ” most generous and thoughtful soul” – That seems like somebody else all together!

  13. José José February 25, 2014

    Nice post, Meena. And a pleasant reminder that we can and do co-exist, if given a chance. Unfortunately, there are too many who have a vested interest in keeping the pot boiling. And the music, despite the not being able to comprehend the lyrics, is soothing.

    • Meena Menon Meena Menon February 25, 2014

      I know J, only if we could decipher these lyrics….

  14. Kajal Kajal February 25, 2014

    The sound is definitely inspirational. Sometimes we do encounter some real gems where we least expect them.

    • Meena Menon Meena Menon February 25, 2014

      And they are the most unadulterated ones too, Kajal….

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