Nestled in the midst of the lush green tea gardens of Tinsukia in Assam, a bell temple attracts the curiosity of the random visitor. An outsider might as well not notice the temple in this corner of the town but for the people who live there, faith speaks in the rings of the thousands of bells stringed together.

The Tilinga Mandir is situated 50-60 km away from the town of Tinsukia, in a small town called Bordubi. ‘Tilinga’ means “bell” in Assamese, and each of these bells in the temple represent a wish fulfilled. There are hundreds of bells in bronze, brass, copper and aluminum, each telling a story of faith and belief. The temple itself has three bell-shaped domes each smaller than the other so that when ones looks from the front, it looks like a single bell. This temple is recorded in the Limca book of records for having the largest collection of bells of all types and sizes.

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The history of this temple goes back to 1965, when some of the tea garden workers noticed a black rock in the shape of a Shiva Lingam emerging from the ground near a Banyan tree. It was unearthed and consecrated. People started praying and offering puja there and over the years they have discovered the mysterious power of the Shiva Lingam. To cater to the devotees, the tea garden administration built a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every wish of the devotees seems to be granted here and the devotees show their gratefulness and appreciation by hanging a bell once their wishes are fulfilled.

Pic Source: Author’s archives

Tilinga Mandir attracts thousands of devotees from all over India. Devotees come here and pray and when their wishes are fulfilled they tie a bell to the banyan tree or on the one of the bars within the temple premise. Close to the mystical tree are more than a hundred Shiva trishuls speared into the sand. Pilgrims visit the shrine throughout the year, with Monday being particularly a rush day.

Om Namah Shivaya!

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