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We see tortoise figurine at the entries of almost all the temples. What is the significance and origin of this custom?

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Tortoise is the Narayan Avatar (one of the Avatar's of Lord Vishnu) which appeared at the time of Samudra Manthan Lord Took this avatar of Kurma(Tortoise) to stabalize the Rock above on the Ocean floor and due to the rubbing of the Mountain on the Back of Lord Vishnu the Divya(magical/mythological) Elements erupted form the Ocean Floor and also the Shakti of Lord Vishnu Godess Lakshmi.

Due to the following properties we keep Lord Vishnu avatar kurma on the temple entrance so that it keeps the balance of the infrastructure and protects it from any harm, there is one spiritual aspect also that we have manthan (torrent of thoughts) going on in our mind to control that manthan and give us the stability to take the correct decision the kurma(tortoise) helps us.

  • You should cite sources for your claim about why Kurma is kept at the temple entrance. – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 20 '14 at 3:30

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