Shankar Viman Mandapam in Prayagraj

"Echoes of Eternity: Shiva's Abode in Prayagraj's Skyline"
CVPH+3QC, Triveni Road, Road, Beni bandh, Himmat Ganj, Daraganj, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh 211006
A Nagara style temple in Northern India
Lord Shiva
Primary Idol
Monday-Sunday, 07:00-13:00Hrs & 16:00-19:30Hrs
Opening Hours
6.5 Kms from Prayagraj Junction
Railway Station
The ancient Shankar Viman Mandapam temple is one of the most famous Shiva temples in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. Built in Nagara style of architecture, this intricately carved temple derives its name from Lord Shiva’s aircraft (viman) believed to have landed here. The main highlight is the swayambhu or self-manifested Shiva Lingam revered since the Puranic era. The mandapam has exquisitely carved pillars depicting Hindu gods, goddesses and mythical themes. Lord Shiva remains the primary deity while shrines of Parvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya and Durga are also present. Thousands of devotees visit during Shivratri and Shravan month to offer prayers. The temple carries great religious significance and is known for its architectural grandeur. The Shankar Viman Mandapam stands as a magnificent temple exemplifying ancient craftsmanship and the spirituality of Prayagraj. A visit here provides a peaceful experience as devotees connect with the aura of sanctity.

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The holy city of Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh is known for its deep spirituality, ancient history and sacred Ghats along the confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. Among its many famed temples, the Shankar Viman Mandapam stands out both for its striking architecture and religious significance. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and attracts thousands of devotees annually.

History and Significance of Shankar Viman Mandapam

The history of the Shankar Viman Mandapam temple goes back centuries, though the exact date of construction is not known. As the name suggests, it derives its name from “Shankar” (another name for Lord Shiva), “Viman” (spacecraft or aircraft) and “Mandapam” (hall or temple).

According to Hindu legends, Lord Shiva arrived at this spot in Prayagraj in his celestial aircraft when he was in exile. When the aircraft was leaving, it stopped for some time at this place before proceeding further. A temple was later constructed to mark this holy spot where Lord Shiva had stepped off his viman.

The Shiva Lingam enshrined within the temple is swayambhu or self-manifested, believed to have existed since the Puranic times when Lord Shiva himself resided here. Devotees consider the Lingam extremely sacred and the temple finds mention in several Hindu scriptures.

The Shankar Viman Mandapam thus holds great religious significance and is one of the most revered Shiva temples in Prayagraj and North India.

Architectural Grandeur of the Temple

Built in the typical Nagara style of temple architecture, the Shankar Viman Mandapam mesmerizes visitors with its carved sandstone pillars, lofty walls and towers.

The high-ceilinged main mandapam (pillared hall) contains exquisitely carved pillars depicting gods, goddesses, musicians, flowers and animals. The interior carvings showcase the remarkable craftsmanship of ancient temple builders.

At the center is the sanctum housing the Shiva Lingam, the prime deity. The exterior of the temple has three sections decorated with carvings of Hindu deities and their incarnations from myths. The towers rise high above the temple complex.

The temple architecture represents a fusion of several schools of temple building and follows the principles mentioned in the Shilpa Shastras. The intricate carvings in sandstone reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Major Deities and Religious Significance

  • Lord Shiva – The swayambhu Shiva Lingam depicting Lord Shiva is the main deity. Shiva is regarded as the destroyer of evil and symbolizes infinite knowledge.
  • Goddess Parvati – The wife of Lord Shiva. She is the embodiment of love, beauty and devotion.
  • Lord Ganesha – The elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati. He is the remover of obstacles and patron of arts, sciences and wisdom.
  • Lord Kartikeya – The brother of Ganesha, he is known as the commander-in-chief of the gods.
  • Goddess Durga – The warrior goddess depicted as slaying the buffalo demon Mahishasura. She symbolizes power and victory of good over evil.
  • Lord Rama – One of the major incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Rama is the ideal man and hero of the epic Ramayana.

While Lord Shiva remains the primary deity, the presence of other deities makes this a significant temple for followers of the Shaivism and Vaishnavism sects.

Rituals and Festivals Celebrated at the Temple

The Shankar Viman Mandapam temple follows traditional Hindu rituals and worship procedures. The Shiva Lingam is given a ritual bath with milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee. Offerings of flowers, especially bilva leaves are made by devotees. Lighting lamps and incense sticks are also part of the rituals.

Chanting the Shiva Mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and singing devotional hymns and bhajans are done daily. Major festivals celebrated here include:

  • Shivratri – The annual festival celebrated in February/March with great fervor. Thousands throng the temple to offer prayers.
  • Shravan– The holy month dedicated to Lord Shiva sees heightened devotional activities. Mondays are especially significant.
  • Maha Shivratri– The grand festival sees the temple decked up with lights and colors as devotees stay awake the whole night.
  • Sawan Jhoola Mela– Held during Shravan, this fair marks the swinging of the holy Jhoola gifted by Akbar.
  • Kartik Purnima– Marks Lord Shiva’s victory over the demon Tripurasura.

How to Reach Shankar Viman Mandapam?

The Shankar Viman Mandapam is located near Prayag Railway Station in Prayagraj city. It is well connected by road, rail and air links.

By Air– The nearest airport is Bamrauli Airport, 10 km away. Flights available from all major cities (Contact us for booking).

By Train– Direct trains available from Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Kolkata and other cities. Prayagraj Junction is 7 km away.

By Road– Regular buses operate from Lucknow, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur and nearby towns. Cabs and autos can be hired too (Contact us for booking).

The temple can be easily reached by using local transport like buses, autos and e-rickshaws from any part of the city.

Food Options Near the Temple

After offering prayers, devotees can enjoy local cuisine at restaurants and eateries around the temple:

  • Netram Kachori Bhandar– Iconic place for kachoris, samosa and jalebis
  • El Chico Cafe– Multicuisine restaurant serving Indian, Chinese and Continental
  • Cafe Coffee Day – Popular chain cafe for coffee and quick bites
  • Brijwasi Sweets– Local shop famed for North Indian sweets and namkeens

Shopping Near Shankar Viman Mandapam

Prayagraj has interesting options for shopping traditional handicrafts and artefacts. Near the temple are:

  • Parade Ground Market– Textiles, jewellery and religious souvenirs.
  • Civil Lines Market – Modern stores selling garments, accessories etc.

Final Words

The Shankar Viman Mandapam stands as one of the holiest temples in Prayagraj with its ancient Shiva Lingam, mythological legacy and magnificent architecture. Visiting this temple provides a calm and spiritual experience as devotees bask in the aura of its sanctity. The city offers plenty of accommodation, dining and shopping options for pilgrims. A trip to this iconic temple is a must when exploring Prayagraj and its deep-rooted Hindu heritage.

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Temples to visit in Prayagraj