Of the thousands of temples scattered around every nook and cranny in India, this has to be one of the most unique. The Frog Temple or Manduk Mandir, in Oel town, Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh is one of a kind. The entire temple is built in such a way, that it appears as though it is riding on the back of a frog!
– A frog sacrifice to appease the gods... for a heir
The story of the temple goes back to the time of Raja Bakht Singh, who was the zamindar of Oel, during early 19th century CE . He did not have a male heir and was craving for a son. A Tantric priest asked him to build a temple to Shiva, but first he had to sacrifice a frog as per (apparently common) tantric traditions, as the frog is considered a symbol of fertility. The temple was built on the spot of this ‘frog sacrifice’. That is why the temple is built in such a way that it appears that a giant frog carries the temple on his back.
The main sanctum of the Manduk Mandir, which is a temple dedicated to Shiva, is also built like a tantric Yantra and follows the style of architecture recommended under the secretive tantric philosophy.
– Tantric traditions consider the frog to be a symbol of fertility
The sanctum is constructed a hundred feet higher and has to be reached by steps. It is said that the sanctum is constructed on an octagonal lotus and the outer wall is studded with sculptures of tantric and Hindu gods and goddesses while the inner walls are embellished with multi-color painting made with vegetable color. The carved figures of Shiva and Shakti are on the top.
The tantric rituals have stopped at the temple long ago. But the Frog Temple remains very popular with locals as they believe that a visit to the temple brings great prosperity. Married couples come here to be blessed with children, as the frog is the symbol of good luck and fertility.
The Frog Temple, with its unusual structure, stands out as one of the most peculiar temples in India!
– LHI TRAVEL GUIDE
Manduk Mandir or Frog Temple is in Oel town in the Lakhimpur district of Uttar Pradesh. By rail, the nearest railway station is Lakhimpur Kheri and the Frog Temple is about 14 km away from the railway station. The nearest airport is Amausi International Airport in Lucknow which is at a distance of 135 kilometres from Oel.