Mysteries and conspiracy theories certainly hold a place in our adrenaline-kicked minds. Indian temples though peaceful and serene definitely hold mysteries in their folds. Many of them have remained so for various reasons, and we are going to unfold some of these from an Architectural standpoint. While there are spooky mysteries, we are going to look at some of those harmless ones without a reason and not those, “I can’t go alone in the dark after this”, kind of ones.

1. The No shadow gopuram | Mysteries of Indian temples

The Brihadeeswara temple in Thanjavur is the biggest one in the neighborhood with some hard facts and today it stands as a memoir of the then King Raja Raja Chozha. The vimana of this temple is well over 60ft, *drum roll* But we never see a shadow of this vimana or gopuram on the ground. I can personally attest to this. Even after centuries, no modern-day architect has been able to come up with reasons.

10 Architectural mysteries of Indian temples - Sheet1
©Trip Experience Blog

2. Do you like Music? 

Kanyakumari, our cape Comorin, the beautiful coastal town of Tamil Nadu is known for its sunrises and the Thiruvalluvar statue in mid-sea is also known for its Musical pillars at the Thanumalayan temple. It is said that hitting each pillar would evoke a different tone one that matches the seven swaras of Carnatic music.

10 Architectural mysteries of Indian temples - Sheet2

3. Pillars hold secrets | Mysteries of Indian temples

The Veerabhadra Temple in Andhra Pradesh has well over 70 pillars, But guess what? One of those pillars is a Hanging pillar. It is true, the pillar is suspended from the ceiling but never touches the ground, and there is a gap of about the thickness of a paper between the ground and the pillar.


4. Tunnels too?

Gangaikonda Chozhapuram, a temple in the small town of Jayamkondam in Tamil Nadu is the proud structure that remains as a memoir of the victory of King Rajendra Chozha conquering the Ganges. There is a tunnel that connects this very temple to our first mystery temple the Brihadeeswara which is over 40km. What tittivates the curious mind is the reason behind such secret tunnels. Maybe they were to help the royals flee in case of an emergency?

10 Architectural mysteries of Indian temples - Sheet4

5. Flags, here we come | Mysteries of Indian temples 

Jaganath Puri, the home to Lord Shiva also holds a mystery. We all know that lightweight things like flags float in the direction of the wind and there are no exceptions to physics. But looks like there is! In Jagannath Puri, the flags fly in the direction opposite to that of the wind.


6. We definitely come from a rich country

The Chidambaram Natraja temple is the proud house of the golden roof, a structure that is neither a pyramid nor a cube, tilted at an angle. It is made of 21600, golden leaves that are said to signify the number of breaths the human body requires in a day. The mystery is not knowing how to reconstruct that roof!

©Mylapore times

7. Water issues, not for us! 

Thiruvanai kovil, located in Tiruchirapalli, holds a mystery unsolved to this day. The idol, placed in the garbhagriha is located at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Upon entering the dimly lit cave-like sanctum, we can notice our legs get wet. There is water all around the year in this sanctum. It is amongst Indian legends that Lord Parvati after a debasing with lord shiva was commanded by him to penance in the forests of Jambu as an apology and it is said that the Devi built a Shiva Linga out of Water and hence the reason for the water coming out of the idol.

10 Architectural mysteries of Indian temples - Sheet7

8. Stairs: WE SING TOO! | Mysteries of Indian temples

Airavatesvara temple near the Kumbakonam District has musical stairways. A mystery that even renowned scientists and architects have been able to overturn is this one. At different points upon tapping, we can hear all the seven swaras of the Carnatic.

10 Architectural mysteries of Indian temples - Sheet8

9. We don’t need a meteorological department 

The Jagannathan Temple from Kanpur predicts rainfall. It is said that 15 days before the monsoon, the water collected on the ceiling of the garbhagriha speaks about the upcoming showers. If there is less trickle of water then the rainfall too would be less and if it were more then the rainfall would be plenty. To this day our weatherman hasn’t been wrong.

©The divine India

10. No Beauty beyond the sun | Mysteries of Indian temples

The Gangaikonda Chozhapuram also houses another mystery. The temple doesn’t have any artificial light inside its premises and closes after sunset. At sunset, you witness the beauty of the architecture. The sun is directly on level with the idol which shines through the temple and looks like the sun itself.



An undergrad student who dreams of building castles in the sky with her words. Yep! She is an aspiring architect and writer, living between the grand mosques of the gulf and the palatial indian palaces, currently, hankering for a peripatetic lifestyle all the while maintaining her non-existing social life!