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|Tanot Mata Temple|
Tannot Mata is a temple in western State of Rajasthan in District Jaisalmer of India. As per the oldest Charan literature Tannot Mata is an incarnation of divine goddess Hinglaj Mata. The village is close to the border with Pakistan, and is very close to the battle site of Longewala of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, indeed some credit the temple for the outcome of the battle. Tourists cannot go beyond this temple to see the Indo–Pak Border unless one gets the relevant documentation in advance from the District and Military Authorities. It is now a tourist destination in India. The area is said to have oil and gas reserves.
It is said that during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Pakistani Army dropped over 3000 bombs targeting the temple but not even one exploded! The Pakistani Tank regiment was stupefied and kept shelling but not one bomb exploded. After the war the Pakistani General actually asked his counterpart in India about this incident and on knowing the story of the power of the temple that apparently protected the area he asked to see this place. This request was granted and the Pakistani General actually went to the temple and paid his respects and acknowledged the supernatural happening. After the war the temple management was handed over to Border Security Force of India on their request and to date the temple is maintained and manned by the BSF soldiers. The temple has a museum which has collections of the unexploded bombs that were shot by Pakistani tanks. In 1971 again when Pakistan and India went to war this area was again targeted by the Pakistani Tanks for 4 days but again all the tanks were stuck in the sand and the Indian Air Force picked them out easily by bombing them where they stood as they were unable to move even one inch. Over 200 Pakistani tank troops were killed here and the majority actually left their stuk tanks and ran for their lives. This Temple has protected the area that is only 10 km from the border outpost and the faith is such that the army and BSF soldiers still stop at this temple and apply the sand on their foreheads and also to their vehicles which keeps them safe and their journeys fruitful. The legend is since 1965 and was re-affirmed in 1971 and it is a recorded fact that each and every enemy soldier who dared to attack this area was killed. The Population of Tanot Village is 492 Person having 49 Household. The place is close to the Pakistan border, an infertile land, and is prone to enemy attacks. The governments of both countries have planted land mines in the area. Animals like camel or cattle are the worst sufferer of these devices.
The temple is some 122 kilometres (76 mi) from the City of Jaisalmer, and it takes about two hours to reach by road. The area has a high average windspeed and as a result there are now a large number of wind-based renewable energy projects in the area. The road to Tanot is surrounded with miles and miles of sand dunes and sand mountains. The temperatures in the area can go up to 49 °C and ideal time to visit the place is from November to January.
The place is one of the best places to explore in the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. This temple was shown in the film Border. The best time to visit is November - January when the temperature is not likely to be extremely high. Taxis can be hired from Jaisalmer with a fare not more than Rs. 2000. There is no mobile network coverage after the village of Ramgarh on the route to Tanot except for BSNL. Public telephone booths are also not available.
In popular culture
- The shelling on Mata Tanot Rai Mandir during 1971 Indo-Pak War was depicted in 1997 Bollywood War Film Border.
- Hindi news channels like Zee News and Aaj Tak depicted Mata Tanot Rai Mandir incident in their 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak war documentaries.
- Col J Francis (Retd) (30 August 2013). Short Stories from the History of the Indian Army Since August 1947. Vij Books India Pvt Ltd. p. 95. ISBN 978-93-82652-17-5.
- Land Mines