Kanpur: When the nation was celebrating Vijaya Dashami by burning effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhakarna, and his son Indrajit (Meghnaad) as a mark of victory of good over evil, people, in a small pocket of Uttar Pradesh`s Kanpur city, people were seen worshipping Ravana at Dashanan Mandir (temple) located outside Chinmastika Temple at Shivala.
The temple, which was built in 1868, opens only once a year - on the morning of Vijaya Dashami. Devotees offer prayers and worship Ravana as per tradition.
Devotees consider Ravana an astute scholar and a brave warrior. They believe Ravana had mastery over all the ten `Mahavidyas` (great wisdoms) or `Dasha-Mahavidyas` and the people who worship Ravana on this day gets wisdom.
A devotee said, "On Vijayadasami, we recall only the bad image of Ravana and burn his effigies across the nation, but his positive side remains hidden. When Ravana was dying, Lord Rama asked his brother Lakshman to take a lesson from one of the greatest scholars of the world and touch his feet."
They added, "Lord Rama was so great that he even respected his enemy. He killed Ravana because of his vices. At the same time, Lord Rama also acknowledged the scholarly side of the Lankan king and we are simply continuing that tradition."
Dashanan Mandir priest Pandit Ram Vajpayee told ANI: "Our last three generations have been offering prayers at the temple of Ravana. We worship him for his scholarship. The temple is closed in the evening after burning his effigy."