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Temples of cats, tigers and rats: How tailed deities are worshiped in different countries
Temples of cats, tigers and rats: How tailed deities are worshiped in different countries

Human love for animals can manifest itself in different ways. Someone keeps a dozen cats at home, someone feeds homeless poor fellows, some fight for their rights and try to protect them by law, but some simply pray to animals, and in the literal sense of the word. And we are not talking about old totem cults.

Temple of cats (Japan)

Temple of cats in Japan - a new shrine

Not very original with the name, the creators called this beautiful place "Temple of Meow-Meow". The fact that the shrine was opened in Kyoto is not accidental; according to statistics, there are several domestic fuzzies for every Japanese. Here cats have always been treated with respect and considered them to be very useful animals. The temple is only three years old, but it has already become a truly religious building. The author of the idea and inspiration was the famous artist Toru Kaya, who also painted several paintings especially for the sanctuary. In general, the interior in this unusual place is very homely, because the main idea that the creators want to convey is that cats are the deities of home comfort. By the way, for many visitors the Temple is not just an attraction like a petting zoo, but a truly sacred place, even ceremonies of worship of a mustachioed and tailed deity are held here.

Koyuki is the main figure of the Temple of the Cats in Japan

The personification of the main feline saint is the incredibly beautiful and photogenic cat Koyuki. He lives at the Temple and has a special status. The remaining 6 local tailed inhabitants are minor figures, although they get no less attention from visitors. All the cats are wearing aprons with pockets containing goodies. Visitors can indulge in the pleasure of feeding living gods, as well as stroking and scratching - this is how the mental activity develops into something more important and cosmically justified.

The interiors of the cat's temple are designed in the same style

Temple of the Tigers (Thailand)

The Buddhist monastery in western Thailand was founded in 1994 by Abbot Phra Acharn Phusit Kanthitharo as a forest monastery and at the same time a shelter for wild animals affected by poachers. The first tiger cub appeared here in 1999, it was brought by local residents, and then the number of dangerous animals began to increase at a tremendous speed - some of their parents died, some were kept at home until they changed their minds. At the beginning of January 2011, there were already 85 tigers in the monastery, and besides them, there were about 300 different animals: peacocks, cows, Asian buffaloes, deer, pigs, goats, bears and lions.

Tiger monastery in Thailand

The tigers are fed here with boiled chicken and cat food - such a diet allows the animals to get everything they need without getting to know the taste of blood. Until recently, visitors could cuddle and feed small tiger cubs. True, in the future, the monastery was repeatedly criticized in the press - the monks were accused of poor conditions for keeping animals and even of selling them. Therefore, now, unfortunately, this place is closed to tourists.

Until recently, in the Tigrin Monastery it was possible to closely observe the life of these animals

Temple of the Rat (India)

To get to the shrine, you have to stand in line

An Indian legend says that in the 14th century a girl was born in a small village, who was then considered the earthly incarnation of the goddess Durga. She was nicknamed Karni Mata, and during her long 150-year life, the woman managed to become a political and spiritual leader and gathered many followers around her. Once, when her stepson drowned in the river, Karni turned to Yama, the "Lord of the Underworld," with a request to resurrect the boy, but he refused.And then the saint proclaimed that all the men of her caste would never get to the Yama. After death, they will begin to take on the temporary bodies of rats, and in the next birth they will again turn into humans. According to a more peaceful version, the powerful lord of the dead nevertheless agreed to return Karni's son, but on the condition that all the prematurely deceased children of poets and bards (the Charan caste) would be reincarnated into rats. Thanks to such a confusing history in the north of Rajasthan in the town of Deshnok, a temple of these tailed animals was founded.

The rat temple in Deshnok is a holy place for all locals

Unloved all over the world, they still thrive here, because believers believe that they see a new incarnation of their deceased relatives in front of them. Every year, during the Navratri celebration, thousands of pilgrims come to Deshnok on foot to greet the local saints and ask for their blessings. Today, according to various estimates, from 20 to 200 thousand rats live here (data from various sources differ greatly). All animals are fed so satisfyingly that many suffer from overeating. Believers and tourists can communicate daily with smart animals, which, of course, are not at all afraid of people. They go into the temple barefoot, which, according to reviews, is not very pleasant for obvious reasons - even though animals and saints, they digest in the same way as ordinary rats. Local believers consider it a special favor to eat from one plate with living deities. In their opinion, it brings good health and longevity.

The temple of the rats attracts not only believers, but also many tourists

Chapel for dogs (USA)

Chapel for dogs built in the style of 19th century England

This place may soon also become the center of a new cult, which is still only gaining momentum. An unusual chapel appeared in Vermont in 2000. It was designed and built with the help of money and donations from dog lovers, artist spouses Stephen and Gwen Hanek. The area called "Dog Mountain" has become a real art space for dog owners and their pets. Walking in the park together, playing with friends and going to church together is not a dream for any real dog lover. The idea came to Stephen after he was on the verge of death and it was the tailed pets that helped him to get out of a difficult condition. The main idea of ​​the chapel is to create a place where people can find a spiritual connection with God and all living things on Earth.

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