Thar has always amazed me with its mysterious stories. One of them which I have decided to mention today is of Tanot Rai Temple. I visited this place when I was 10 years old. The 200 KM way to temple was deserted and no mankind was to be seen. The place was very serene and peaceful with view of sand dunes till horizon. I had heard about the divine powers of this temple. The temple had a museum of Bombs that were dropped during the war of 1965. The Temple was also featured in J.P. Dutta’s 1997 Bollywood Movie “Border”.
A long time ago there was a man named “Mamadia” (मामडि़या). He was a Charan (चारण). Mamadia was leading a happy life but he didn’t have his own child. His longing for his own child, led him to seven times to Hinglaj Shaktipeeth, that too on his feet. Impressed by his devotion, Hingalaj Maa came in the dream of Mamadia. The Goddess asked for Mamadia’s wish. He asked Hingalaj Maa to take birth in his home.
After this incident Mamadia’s Wife Gave Birth to 7 daughters and 1 Son. First daughter was Aawad (आवड़). Blessed with Divine Powers; Aawad saved the state when it was attacked by Hun (हूण).
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
It is said that during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Pakistani Army dropped several bombs targeting the temple but none of the bombs could fall on the temple and large number of the bombs in the vicinity of the temple did not explode. All attacks of Pakistan Army to invade this temple were useless. It is said that Aawad Maa Protected its own land. The temple, now, has a museum which has collections of the unexploded bombs dropped by Pakistan.
Longewala Battle of 1971
It was The Battle of Longewala. Indian and Pakistani Armies were in front of each other. Soldiers of both the countries had the same essence. Both of them were ready to sacrifice their lives for their country. There was no difference between day and night. India won the battle because of their strong defence. But there was one Mythological Aspect of this battle also. The Pakistan Army couldn’t move beyond Tanot rai.
After these wars, the temple management was handed over to Border Security Force of India. On date Border Security Force manages the temple.
The temple is some 153 kilometres (95 mi) from the City of Jaisalmer, and it takes about two hours to reach by road. The area has a high average wind speed and as a result there are now a large number of wind-based renewable energy projects in the area. The road to Tanot is surrounded with miles and miles of sand dunes and sand mountains. The temperatures in the area can go up to 49 °C and ideal time to visit the place is from November to January.
The place is close to the Pakistan border, an infertile land, and is prone to enemy attacks. The governments of both countries have planted land mines in the area. Animals like camel or cattle are the worst sufferer of these devices.
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