1. Hindu history spread across the world
Historians say Hindu Temples did not exist during the Vedic period (1500-500 BC). The ritual of idol worship which became popular at the end of the Vedic age may have given rise to the concept of temples as a place of worship. The remains of the earliest temple structure were discovered in Afghanistan in 1951. However, the unearthing of Hindu temples all across the world is not just shocking but also surprising. Take a look at some such discoveries and wonder about the roots of Hinduism…
2. Was the Christian Vatican originally a Shiva temple?
All religions are one and are derived from Vedic Sanatana Dharma. Historian P.N. Oak claimed that the word Vatican originally came from the Sanskrit word "Vatika", that "Christianity" came from the Sanskrit words "Krishna-neeti", (the way of Krishna), and that "Abraham" came from the Sanskrit word "Brahma". He further claims that both Christianity and Islam originated as distortions of Vedic beliefs. Compare the two pictures and see a striking similarity between the shapes of a shiva linga and the vatican church compound.
3. Was the Christian Vatican originally a Shiva temple?
In these pictures take a look at the tripundra (three lines worn by Lord Shiva as tilak). The word 'Vatican' itself is derived from the Sanskrit word Vatika, which means Vedic cultural or religious centers, such as Yagna-Vatika. Such words and discoveries prove that the Vatican was a Hindu (Vedic) religious center before its incumbent was forced to accept Christianity from 1st century AD. Also, according to some reports, a Shiva linga was found during the excavation and is kept for display at a Museum in Rome.
4. Siva Linga at Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City
This Siva Lingam is exhibited in Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Vatican City. It has the most important Etruscan collection in Rome, starting with early Iron Age objects from the 9th century BC.
5. The Lost Hindu empire of Cambodia
A visit to Cambodia is recommended or may even be de rigueur for any Indian with an interest in the erstwhile history of India.. There are several hundred Hindu and Buddhist temple ruins throughout the countryside, especially around the town of Siem Reap near the large lake Tonle Sap. Siem Reap is the heart of the country. Here is where the splendid temple Angkor Wat has stood for nearly nine hundred years.
6. The Lost Hindu empire of Cambodia
The sprawling temple spreads over a one square mile area. Long walls with stories of Hindu mythology are sculpted as bas-reliefs. It is a magnificent temple complex, constructed in the form of mythological Mount Meru - the Hindu center of the Universe. The brilliant paint used to enhance the reliefs has faded but the architecture and beauty are still preserved. The sheer magnitude of the temple complex is impressive. All the gods of the Hindu pantheon are represented in temple sculpture. Shiva and Vishnu were held in high esteem.
7. 5,000 year Old Shiva Linga found at Harappa
In 1940, archaeologist M.S. Vats discovered three Shiva Lingas at Harappa, dating more than 5,000 years old. This rare archival photo shows that ancient Shiva Linga as it was being excavated from the Harappa site.
8. Ancient Tamil Brahmi script found in Egypt
A broken storage jar with inscriptions in Tamil Brahmi script has been excavated at Quseir-al-Qadim, an ancient port with a Roman settlement on the Red Sea coast of Egypt. This Tamil Brahmi script has been dated to first century B.C. The same inscription is incised twice on the opposite sides of the jar. The inscription reads paanai oRi, that is, pot (suspended) in a rope net. A pottery specialist at the British Museum, London, identified the fragmentary vessel as a storage jar made in India.
9. Potsherd with Tamil-Brahmi script found in Oman
A Tamil-Brahmi script inscribed on a potsherd, which was found at the Khor Rori area in Oman, has come to light now. The script reads “nantai kiran” and it can be dated to first century CE, that is, 1900 years before the present. The discovery in the ancient city of Sumhuram has opened a new chapter in understanding the maritime trade of the Indian Ocean countries, according to specialists in history.
10. Large ancient Hindu temple found in Bali
Construction workers in Bali have discovered what is thought to be the biggest ancient Hindu temple ever found on the Indonesian island, archaeologists said. The workers were digging a drain in the island's capital Denpasar at a Hindu study centre when they came across the remains of the stone temple. They reported the discovery to the Bali archaeology office, which then unearthed substantial foundations of a structure that the excavation team believes dates from around the 13th to 15th centuries.
11. Ruins of ancient temple found in Yogyakarta
The ruins of an ancient building discovered at the Indonesian Islamic University in Yogyakarta have been confirmed as a temple to worship the Hindu gods Shiva and Ganesha. Linga, the symbol for the worship of Shiva, and yoni, a Sanskrit symbol for divine passage or place of birth, were found in the area.
12. Mystery of Hanuman: Lost city of the 'Monkey God' found!
La Ciudad Blanca, Spanish for ‘The White City’ is a legendary settlement said to be located in the Mosquitia region of eastern Honduras in Central America. Researcher Charles Lindberg, during one of his flights over the jungles of Mosquitia in Hondurus, claimed caught a glimpse of what he thought was the ‘Lost City of the Monkey God‘ where, legend says that local people worshipped huge ‘Monkey Sculptures‘.
13. A hidden refuge of gods?
Theodore Morde – an American adventurer, worked on the tip given by Lindberg and claimed that he had finally found the lost city in 1940. He claimed sacrifices were made by local Indians to a gigantic idol of an ape. However, he was killed by a car in London before he could announce its exact location. Morde had originally been looking for the White City, a hidden refuge of gods and gold first reported by Hernan Cortez.
14. Discovering the statue
Researchers from the University of Houston and the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping flew over the Mosquitia region and revealed that there is evidence of a plaza dotted with ancient pyramids now reclaimed by the jungle on the east end of Hondurus. On the western end of Hondurus is the city of Copan – the site of the ancient Howler Monkey God statue. This monkey god that Westerners are talking about can actually be related to Lord Hanuman.
15. The Ramayan connection
Ramayana’s Kishkinda Kanda descibes about Trident of Peru, South America etc and Yuddha Kanda (War Episode) describes about Hanuman travelling to Paatala Loka (Central America and Brazil, which are on other side of India in globe) and meeting his son Makaradhwaja, who resembles him. After killing the King of Paatala, Hanuman makes his son Makaradhwaja as ruler of that kingdom and he is being worshipped as God since then.
16. The Ramayan connection
This could be one of the reasons why ancient Americans of central and south paint red color to all their gods statues. The discovery of Vedic Havan Kund in peru is also one more evidence of Vedic influence in this region. After his expedition, Morder described traveling miles through swamps, up rivers, and over mountains before coming across ruins that he interpreted as the remains of a walled city. He claimed to have evidence of large, ruined buildings and said that his Paya guides told him that there once was a temple with a large staircase leading to a statue of a “Monkey God.”
17. The discovery of the ruins
Morde speculated that the deity was an American parallel to the Hindu deity Hanuman, who he says was the equivalent of America’s own Paul Bunyan in his amazing feats of strength and daring. Morde was told that the temple had a “long, staired approach” lined with stone effigies of monkeys. “The heart of the Temple was a high stone dais on which was the statue of the Monkey God himself - before it was a place of sacrifice.”
18. The artifacts from the site
Morde and Brown brought back thousands of artifacts, most of which became part of the collection of the Heye Foundation Museum of the American Indian in New York City.These included metal razors, stone blades, a flute, stone statuary, and stone utensils. Morde and Brown also reported having found evidence of gold, silver, platinum, and oil and are now at display in National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
19. Munneswaram Temple in Munneswaram, Sri Lanka
This temple is said to have been in existence since the days to the Ramayana. It is said that Lord Ram prayed to Lord Shiva here after he won against Ravana. It is a temple complex comprising of five temples. Of these the one dedicated to Lord Shiva is the central and the biggest one. This temple has been destroyed twice in the past by the Portuguese before it was finally handed over to the Jesuits who rebuilt it.
20. Mukti Gupteshwar Temple in Minto, Australia
The 13th and the last Jyothirlinga was gifted to Australia in 1999 by the then King of Nepal -- the late Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. Together with this was gifted 7996 hymns arranged in eight volumes especially to be sung in praise of this deity. According to the scriptures, construction of this lingam had to be in the southern hemisphere which symbolised the 'mouth of the snake', the snake being like an ornament around Lord Shiva's neck. Hence Australia was chosen. This temple's foundation was laid on Shivratri in 1999 in Minto -- Sydney's suburb. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the only cave temple to have been constructed by man. Together with the 13th Jyotirlinga, the temple also houses the replicas of the other 12 Jyotirlingas.
21. New finds take archaeologists closer to Krishna
The conch and the Sudarshana Chakra are unmistakable. Although the figures do not match popular images of Krishna sporting a peacock feather, archaeologists are convinced that the coins are of Krishna, revered as an avatar of Vishnu. "These square coins, dating back to 180- BC, with Krishna on one side and Balram on the other, were unearthed recently in Al Khanoun in Afghanistan and are the earliest proof that Krishna was venerated as a god, and that the worship had spread beyond the Mathura region," says T K V Rajan, archaeologist and founder-director, Indian Science Monitor. Having done extensive research in Brindavan, Rajan is convinced that a lot of the spiritual history of ancient India lies buried.
22. 1400-year-old Lakshmi deity found in J&K
This shows the original and ancient Vedic connection that the area of Kashmir has always had. A rare granite sculpture of Goddess Lakshmi, believed to be 1,400 years old, has been found at Waghama village along the river Jehlum in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. The image is seven inches high and 4.5 inches wide and is seen as one of the most important findings.
23. Ancient Hindu temple unearthed in Sri Lanka
A heap of ruins where a Hindu temple of Chola period was believed to have been buried has been unearthed in the Northern part of Delft. The temple is 40 feet long and 10 feet wide. Professor P. Pushparatnam of the Jaffna University History Department commenting on the findings, said the people of the locality are unable to say when this temple was built. The ruins indicate that the building would have been built many years ago.
24. Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found in Russia
An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russia’s Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia. The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities.
25. Ancient Idol of Lord Vishnu found in Russia
Dr Kozhevin, who has been conducting excavation in Staraya Maina for last seven years, said that every single square metre of the surroundings of the ancient town situated on the banks of Samara, a tributary of Volga, is studded with antiques. Prior to unearthing of the Vishnu idol, Dr Kozhevin has already found ancient coins, pendants, rings and fragments of weapons. “We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a hypothesis, which requires thorough research,” he said.
26. Wooden structure found at Dvaraka
Archaeologists are excited about a circular wooden structure found underwater at a near-shore excavation site off the coast of Jamnagar. Thought to be the remains of the lost city of ancient Dwarka, the wooden structure is well preserved and surrounded by another structure made of stone blocks. "It is significant as scientific dating of wood, which is carbon, is possible. This was not the case with evidences like stone, beads, glass and terracota found earlier," said Alok Tripathi, Archeologist.
27. Buried Shiva temples found
The surfacing of five ancient Siva temples partly in sand dunes along the Pennar river in Jyothi village in Siddhavatam mandal has led to the discovery that as many as 108 Siva temples have been buried under sand at the place. Besides the rare presence of 108 Siva temples dating back to 1213 ce, a silver chariot and a diamond crown said to have been presented to the Jyothi Siddhavateswara Swamy temple by Kakatiya Rudrama Devi were present in Jyothi village, according to inscriptions discovered.
28. Hindu temples of Quanzhou - A forgotten history of china
Quanzhou and its surrounding area consists of shrines or temples that according to historians is part network of number of Hindu shrines and temple. At present, there are no Hindus in Quanzhou. But there previously existed a small Hindu community in late 13th century, mostly situated in southeastern part of China. The inscription of bilingual Tamil and Chinese-language has been associated with the remains of a Shiva temple of Quanzhou. Shiva temple is one of the two south Indian-style Hindu temples.
29. Hindu temples of Quanzhou - A forgotten history of china
The roots of the shrine do not lie in china but from the south India. Most of the residents of the village think that deity is Guanyin the female Bodhisattva who is venerated in many parts of China. Every morning the local residents of the village pray, they light incense sticks and chant prayers unlike any deity one might find elsewhere in China. The Hindu temple in the village collapsed 500 years ago but as local residents had belief that they still carry, goddess brought them good fortune, they dug through the ruins, saved the deity and rebuilt the temple.