Salasar Balaji Temple, Rajasthan
Located in the town of Salasar, in Churu district, Rajasthan, Salasar Balaji or Salasar Dham is a place of great veneration for the devotees of Lord Hanuman. On Chaitra Purnima and Ashvin Purnima, large fairs are organized that attract large no. of devotees as they come to pay homage to the deity. Initially constructed as a small shrine, Salasar temple is now considered to be a Shakti Sthal (a shrine) and Swayambhu (self creation) pilgrimage. The principal deity of the temple Hanuman is unique because it has a round face with moustache and beard. It is believed that drinking water of the wells of the Salasar is due to the blessings of the Balaji. The temple was constructed in 1754 A.D by Mohandas Maharaj with the help of Muslim craftsmen Noora and Dau of Fatehpur Shekhawati as a mudstone structure. Later developed into a concrete temple with the help of the successor of Sikar Jagirdar Rao Devi Singh. Significance: The temple was constructed over a period of about two years using bricks, stones, cement, lime mortar, and white marble. Many popular rituals are performed in the temple to please Lord Hanuman & other deities. The most famous being the tying of coconuts with moli (sacred red threads) in the temple premises by a large number of devotees. It is widely believed that such practice helps them to fulfill their wishes if done with sincere faith. The other widely followed practice is the offering of food (weighing up to 50 kg) by the devotees to their deity, referred to as Savamani. The Sava means one and a quarter of Hindi & Mann means mass weighing about 40 kg thus totaling 50 kg in all. Several delicacies like Dal, Baati, Churma, Boondi, Peda & Laddu are prepared for Savamani which are first offered to the deity and then distributed among devotees & needy.