Hundreds of Tiny Lingams

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Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. Yesterday we went to a temple in Godaulia, Varanasi which is of the Vira Shaivism or Lingayatism sect of Shaivism. According to Lingayatist Shaivists, devotees should wear Ishtalingas, or small lingam necklaces around their necks at all times and perform puja to these small lingams. This tradition stems from the south Indian state of Karnataka but the temple in Varanasi is one of the oldest remaining temples because it was supported by Muslim rulers during the Islamic period. According to the Brahmin who gave us the tour, the temple dates back to the 3rd or 4th century.

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