Mara is the main-antagonist of Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
In Buddhist mythology, Mara is a demon affiliated with death and rebirth and the enemy of enlightenment. His singular goal is to keep souls from escaping the cycle of samsara and leaving his influence. Mara tempts questioning mortals with distractions and joys, and most infamously tried to seduce Gautama Buddha with visions of earthly delights while he sought enlightenment.
Mara is a powerful supernatural entity that was once worshiped in the Lost Delta region of modern India centuries ago. A temple dedicated to him would be built along the Mekong river and would be entered by those seeking gifts and blessings of his power. These gifts would come in the form of earthly riches, eternal youth, or visions of the future. The sole rule of the temple was not to look into the eyes of Mara's idol, lest they be punished and their soul dragged beyond the Gates of Doom.
Following a river-flood roughly around 65 BC, the temple of Mara would be left abandoned and in ruins. In 1935, the temple would be excavated by Indiana Jones and the Jungle Navigation Company, with Jones going missing within the temple after going in to search for Mara's jewel of power. Jones' associate Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir would go on to use the temple for tourism during Jones' absence with the visitors not following the laws of the temple and gazing into the eyes of Mara.
Appearances and allusions
In this attraction, Mara was the namesake of the Eye of Mara Juju which was modeled after his forbidden eyes. To receive this juju, guests had to decode tablets with depictions of Mara and messages written in maraglyphic.
During the, "Tiki Takeover" event, the menu-item, "The Guards of Mara" was offered with a mug modelled after carvings in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Next to the description of this beverage was a ticket belonging to Sneh Falls from the, "S.E.A. Global Charters Pacific Lines" identifying Falls as travelling to Mumbai, India from California in 1937.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Mara is the main-antagonist of this attraction. Murals and statues appear of him throughout the queue before he directly appears as a living statue within the Chamber of Destiny. Here he offers guests one of three gifts before they look into his eyes and inspire his wrath.
Another statue of him appears in the Cavern of Bubbling Death, where half of his face is a skull which shoots fire-beams from its eye at guests. A ghostly manifestation of Mara appears within the statue once guests travel inside
Indiana Jones Summer of Hidden Mysteries
Mara made a cameo within the show Indiana Jones and the Secret of the Stone Tiger which ran during the Summer of Hidden Mysteries event in the now defunct restaurant Aladdin's Oasis. He appeared on a map taken by Indiana from the bengalese Temple of Sherdil at some point prior to the events of Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
A map with Mara's likeness on it is in the Lost & Found of this Disney Springs bar belonging to Indiana Jones' affiliate and SEA member Jock Lindsey. On the map of the bar is also an illustration of the Eye of Mara over India.
A map of the Temple of Mara is hung in Trader Sam's bar with a depiction of Mara's face upon it. A letter from Sallah identifies it as having been given to Sam to bring more guests to the temple for Sallah's tours.
A book in the Skipper Canteen is called "Seeking Knowledge" by an author named Mara. Whether or not Seeking Knowledge was written by the character or not is unknown. Mara is also alluded to in Indiana Jones' book "The Eyes of Mara" which is also located within the library of the Jungle Navigation Company.
- Mara is voiced by James Earl Jones who also voiced Mufasa in the Lion King and Darth Vader in Star Tours.
- The promise of gifts from Mara in the attraction hearken to Mara's seduction of Gautama Buddha in Buddhist myth.