Natural Vishnu Temple in Grand Canyon

Vishnu temple,Grand Canyon.image.jpg

The formation of Rock in Grand Canyon is called the Vishnu Temple.


And there are formations called Shiva, Rama Temples.



The Theory is some Geologists were in the habit of naming ancient natural formation after Hindu Gods and Goddesses,which I doubt.


If naming after Gods were to have been practiced by the Christians, as in the case of many cities and natural phenomenon, they would have named it after some legend in Christianity, not after Hinduism, which they vilify, in many a case subtly.


Please read my Post Americas, The Patala Loka of Hinduism.


In the Mayan-derived dialects along Mexico’s northern east coast down to and including the Central America republics, Patal means ‘abandoned or deserted land; without people.’

Naga-like derivatives also exist in Mexico . In Sanskrit, Nag-asta means Western Naga Land . The Mayan lowlands down to and including Costa Rica are called Nacaste.

According to Hindu legends, a naga could turn into a human being. In Mexico, a nagual was a were-animal. Nagual derived from the Sanskrit Nag-Baal, meaning Snake Demon…

The Hindu Naga Mayas also belonged to a powerful Dravidian group of Nagas calledAsuras. Whether or not the Asuras were demi-gods or demons depended on one’s point of view. The leader of these Naga Asuras was the Hindu (really a Bulgarian) god of precious metals, wealth, traders and even agriculturists (really a group) named Kubera or Khyber (Kheever). ”



Geologists frequently name rock layers after surrounding landmarks (especially if the landmark is near an outcrop of the layer that is a good representation of the type). For example, the Hermit Shale layer in the canyon is named for Hermit Canyon where that rock layer is easily reached and where it was first scientifically described in detail.

Each of the rock layers that you mention derived their name from nearby canyon buttes and mesas. Specifically the Vishnu Schist was named by geologist Charles Walcott in the 1880s after Vishnu Temple, a prominent rock formation on the north side of the canyon near Cape Royale. The Brahma Schist was named by geologists Campbell and Maxson in the 1930s after Brahma Temple, a butte overlooking Bright Angel Canyon. I am not sure who named the Rama Schist (probably Campbell and Maxson), but it probably derived its name from Rama Temple, a rock spire near Vishnu Temple. All of these landmarks can be seen from the major overlooks on the South Rim.

The logical next question is how did these mesas and buttes get their names in the first place? Many of the canyon’s landmarks were named by geologist Charles Dutton who published one of the earliest (and best) detailed geologic studies of the canyon in 1882. Dutton believed that the canyon was such an important and impressive feature on the planet, that the names of its features should reflect all the world’s cultures and thus he chose many names from mythologies and legends from around the world. Other examples of canyon landmarks named in this way are Wotan’s Throne, Cheops Pyramid, Budda Temple, Solomon Temple, Jupiter Temple and Tower of Ra (all of these are major buttes, spires or mesas in the canyon).


Arizona resident, frequent Grand Canyon visitor and hiker, and historian who has researched and written about scientific studies in the canyon.

For an excellent overview of the early canyon geologists and their impact on how we view the canyon today, I recommend the excellent book “How the Canyon Became Grand” by Stephen Pyne

Dutton’s classic work (where many of the formations were officially named for the first time) is “Tertiary History of the Grand Canon District” (published the United States Geological Survey in 1882 and republished by the University of Arizona Press in 2001)

In describing the panorama from Point Sublime he writes:

“The finest butte of the chasm is situated near the upper end of the Kaibab division; but it is not visible from Point Sublime. It is more than 5,000 feet high, and has a surprising resemblance to an Oriental pagoda. We named it Vishnu’s Temple.”

At Cape Final in the Ottoman Amphitheatre “we command a view of the head of the Grand Canyon. The scenery is in a large measure changed, not only in the arrangement of its parts but in its character. The portion of the panorama which includes the chasm is, in the main, similar to what we have seen from other commanding points, and so far is it from being diminished in grandeur that it may in some respects be regarded as the finest of all. But the chasm is only half the scene before us. To the eastward is spread out in full view the great expanse of the Marble Canyon platform, the Echo Cliffs beyond, and in the dim distance the Cretaceous mesas about the San Juan. To the southward is the far off mesa country around the Moquis villages sixty or seventy miles away, and to the southward fifty miles distant rise the grand volcanic piles of the San Francisco Mountains.

As we mount the parapet which looks down upon the canyon the eye is at once caught by an object which seems to surpass in beauty anything we have yet seen. It is a gigantic butte, so admirably designed and so exquisitely decorated that the sight of it must call forth an expression of wonder and delight from the most apathetic beholder. Its summit is more than 5,000 feet above the river. Mr. Holmes’ picture will convey a much more accurate idea of it than any verbal description can possibly do. We named it Vishnu’s Temple.”

Travelers Route of South Rim: The East Rim Drive-Arizona Hwy. 64, begins just south of Mather Point. The drive skirts the rim for 23 miles to Desert View with numerous pull offs for long views of the main canyon. Turn off at Yaki Point for a fine view of the darkly shining Granite Gorge, the innermost canyon. The imposing pyramid-shaped profile of Vishnu Temple, 7,829 feet high dominates the eastern skyline.

3 responses to “Natural Vishnu Temple in Grand Canyon”

  1. When I visited the Grand Canyon was amazed at the naming of these mountain peaks or hillocks being named after Hindu Gods.I asked many people there but they could not explain.Then I suggested that according to Hindu Shastras Lord Vishnu lived in Ksheer Sagar.And I read somewhere that the Pacific Ocean is Ksheer Sagar.America being situated on the shore of Pacific Ocean I surmised that the naming has to do something with the residence of Lord Vishnu.Other ‘temples’ are also suggestive of the prevalence of Hinduism in Americas before Columbus set his foot there.


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