Saturday, September 18, 2010
The Hindu Temple in Bandar Abbas is a historical monument that was constructed in 1892 during the rule of Mohammad Hassan Khan Sa'adolmolk, Governor of Bandar Abbas. Much of the credit for its construction can be given to visiting Indian merchants and the Temple can be considered as one of the significant cultural interactions between Iran and India. It is one of the few historical structures in Bandar Abbas and is located on one of the port’s main streets and close to the bazaar. The Anthropological Museum of Bandar Abbas is located in the Temple.
The Temple consists of a square room in the center of which is a jagged shaped, conical dome. The unique shelf-like architectural style of its dome not only sets it apart from other domes in Bandar Abbas, but also from any other domes in the country. The architecture of this structure is very similar to that of the Indian temples. Adorning the room are a number of shelves and frames. The altar is on the northern wing and is made out of wood. The room itself is surrounded by corridors which were utilized for pilgrims to circle the room. There are a few rooms connecting to the corridors for the clergies. Some of the rooms contain paintings such as that of Krishna, the Indian deity.
From the western corridor, a winding staircase branches off leading to the roof where four piers and the main dome with its Indian decorations are situated. Surrounding the dome are approximately 72 trapezoidal–shaped mini towers and a huge metal bar in the middle of the dome symbolizes the axis of the universe. On the east side of the dome is a large hall which was used for gatherings and contains various Indian paintings each representing a different Hindu belief or philosophy.
It’s been said the Temple also contained a number of statues of deities, however, around 1965 when the Hindus left the area, they were taken with them. Studies indicate that this Temple was created for the Brahman sect and specifically for worship of the Hindu god Vishnu. While most Brahman temples are traditionally made of stone, however, due the climate of Bandar Abbas, rubble stones, mortar, coral rock, soil material and plaster was used in this Temple’s construction.
The Temple has been closed since 2005 for proposed renovations.