Q. WHY DID ALL THE KINGS OF BHARATA MAKE SO MANY TEMPLES ?
A. COMMERCE , CULTURE AND SOCIETY !!! …
Indian Temples, A center for Social and Economic activities
In India, temples were not merely places of worship, but also a centre for economic and social activities. In fact its construction used to provide employment to scores of people of various caste and creeds. First of all stone cutters used to cut blocks of raw granite from hills which was transported to the place where a temple was supposed to be raised. Then artisans used to chisel the stone and convert it into pillars, columns and idols. The building of the temple also required the assistance of masons and labourers.
Once the temple was complete the idol was consecrated by Brahmin priests with full paraphernalia and attended by people of the place. People used to donate lands to the temple for its maintenance and tillers used to till it. The money deposited to the temple for various purposes was used to provide loans for farmers in need. The temple used to feed the devotees and hence was a large consumer of rice, pulses, ghee, jaggery, etc. The premises around the temple were used by people to sell wares like pots, edibles, flowers, incense sticks, coconuts, handicrafts and other items.
Temples had halls where artists like singers and dancers used to perform and entertain the audience. Religious discourses used to provide moral lessons to the people and guide them in their daily lives. Temples acted as mediators in local disputes and brought about social solidarity and cohesion among different sections of the populations. During special fairs and ceremonies people of different caste had their role to play. For instance members belonging to barber community had the privilege to play the auspicious music in front of the deity; folk artists used this occasion to display their art. Temples also served as centers of education.
In total, a large section of the population including farmers, priests, cooks, menial workers, artists, teachers, etc were benefited by the temple.