RAMNAGAR FORT

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Architecture of the Ramnagar Fort
This Great Structure was built by Kashi Naresh ( king of Varanasi ) Raja balwant Singh in 1650. He used yellowish cream coloured chunnar sandstone. The Fort is made in Mughal style of architecture with decorative and carved balconies, huge open courtyards and pavilions. The fort has museum which stores the articles used in history of kingdom of Benaras. It has been home to Kashi Naresh since 18th Century . The present resident of this fort is Anant Narayan Singh. He is also Maharaja of Varanasi.So only a part of the fortress is open for public viewing as the rest of it is the residence of Kashi Naresh and his family. The flag on the fort is raised when the Kashi Naresh is in residence in his palace fort. Within the fortress, the palace has two white towers, which are accessed by a flight of steps. At the end of the flight of steps, there is an archway and many courtyards that lead to the white tower. The private residence of the Maharaja is on one side of thetower while the Durbar Hall and reception rooms are on the other side. An inscription on the fort wall attests “Fortified House of the Rajah of Benares ” with his state Boat.

This buildings inside the fort are specially made high above the ground level so that in the case of flood they are safe.
Present opposite Tulsi ghat the fort offers mesmerizing views with its shadow reflecting on slow flowing Ganga river. The pontoon bridge which provides access to the fort has rickety planks. During the monsoon season, the fort is accessible across the river by ferry service only . Crossing the wooden bridge (pontoon) made up of floating drums on vehicle is no more than an adventure as if you travelling on the crooked pebbled roads of villages on a bullock carts. After crossing the river,climbing up a little bit and move towards left will bring one toward the gate of Ramnagar Fort. Many local handicraft shops are present where stunning artworks are sold for nominal price.

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PUSHKAR : Pushkar Sarovar, Brahma Temple and Savitri Temple

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One Legends states when Devi Sati died Lord Shiva cried and shed off the tears. From his tears emerged two water ponds one at Pushkar and other at Ketaksha (raining eyes) or Katasraj temple in Chakwal district of Punjab in Pakistan. Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India and legend is associated with Lord Brahma and creation.

Although there several other legends but most of them are associated with Lord Brahma, the creator of Universe. According to the Ancient Texts there was demon called Vajranabha who tried to kill children of Lord Brahma . Lord Brahma enraged with these activiteis slew the demon with his weapon Blue Lotus Flower. The petal of this flower fell in the ground where water sprang up making a lake named Pushkar Sarovar by Lord Brahma.

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Mumbai to Ajmer & Ajmer Dargah Shariff

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After reaching Ajmer City and having a look at it I didn’t find this city in a very good shape . Still lot of vehicles from 80’s were used here emitting lot of smoke . Air Pollution was maximum. Sound was hurting and irritating my ears specially the sound of the three tyre vintage diesel rickshaws. The city has lot of dilapidated and ruined old buildings which was not very pleasant site to watch. Overall I felt lack of Municipal Governance. Anyways My goal was to visit Ajmer Dargah Shariff , so I went forward in that direction. I along with my family of seven took two autos and reached the lanes near Ajmer Dargah . Seeing our luggage full of three bags the auto rickshaw driver was again and again pitching for hotel. After repeatedly telling no to him, I got angry and told him that I have booked Hotel in Pushkar and told him to just drop me near Dargah.

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CHITRAKOOT DHAM : Ramghat, Sphatik Shila and Bharat Koop

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Sphatik Shila

It is a landmark destination in the holy pilgrim centre of Chitrakoot called Sphatik Shila. As the literal meaning of this sanskrit word suggests, Sphatik a reddish crystal like rock where Lord Ram and his beloved wife used to sit and admire the scenic ambiance of the surroundings. Nearby boulder houses a footprint, which is believed to be that of the Lord and paying a visit to Sphatik Shila is an inevitable part in the Chitrakoot Dham pilgrimage.
This pictorial location on the left banks of Mandkini River holds a funny but lovable story about the divine concern that Ram has got towards Sita. It says that Ram had taken the eye of Jayant ( came in the form of crow) who had pecked the feet of Sita devi while they were relaxing here at Sphatic Shila. He was unhappy and jealous with this cameo of domestic bliss between Lord Ram and Sita Maa. This is why crows, to this day, tilt their heads to examine anything.

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CHITRAKOOT DHAM : Janaki Kund, Sati Anusuya Asharm and Gupt Godavari

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Janaki Kund जानकी कुण्ड

This is a lovely stretch of water where it is believed that Sita Maa used to take her bath during her exile at Chitrakoot. Janaki kund poses extreme serenity and tranquility to the pilgrims coming here . Pilgrims visiting Chitrakoot seldom spare the chance to take a dip in Janaki Kund since they strongly believe that these waters are blessed to be the bathing ghat of Sita devi. Nearby boulder houses some footprints, which are believed to be that of Sita Maa.
Entire surroundings of Chitrakoot is festooned with a lustrous greenery and everything around you sings the glory of this delightful place specially Janaki Kund. The water is clear and transparent and the nature is at its pristine best here. Everything in and around this holy place is in perfect harmony rhythm and it would be a great place to spend a leisurely time with your dear ones. One will be definitely impressed by the tranquil surroundings of this beautiful place.

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CHITRAKOOT DHAM : Kamadgiri Mountain and Hanuman Dhara

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Hanuman Dhara Temple हनुमान धारा

It is one among the landmark sites in Chitrakoot Dham.

As any other place in Chitrakoot, Hanuman Dhara also covers a beautiful fable of Lord Ram. It is believed that this cascade was created to ease the hardship of Hanuman while he returned from Lanka after setting fire to Lanka. Lord Ram pierces an arrow in this mountain which springs up water which relieves Shri Hanuman.
Hanuman Dhara provides the awe inspiring scenery of a cascade that falls from the nearby mountains. Though the uphill path is little bit tiresome, the pictorial beauty of the gleaming waterfall take away all your hardships and you will be enthralled by the lovely environ that surrounds you.

An ascend of around 500 steps would get you towards the spring. The temple is dedicated to Hanuman holds a deity which is regarded as one of a rare idol of the monkey god. The spring that falls on the deity gradually fills the nearby kund ais indeed a delightful site to be remembered for a long. Apart from this, Hanuman Dhara gives a implausible view of the legendary town of Chitrakoot and so do not forget to pay a visit to this lovely hillock.

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TEERTHRAJ PRAYAG, ALLAHABAD: Triveni Sangam, Sleeping Hanuman, Mankameshwar Mahadev, Alopi Devi

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Bade Hanuman jee or Sleeping Hanuman at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad

Hanuman Jee is undoubtedly the strongest personalities in the Indian Ramayan. Hanuman temples can be located everywhere each and every village but the Sleeping Hanuman at Allahabad is one of its kind.

This idol of Hanuman Jee in sleeping position exists only in Allahabad at Sangam. As per the mythology, when Lord Ram after conquering Lanka and defeating Ravana came here to worship at Sangam, Hanuman Jee experienced severe body ache and laid at Sangam. Finishing his prayers, when Lord Ram asked Hanuman Ji to proceed further, Hanuman Jee denied to proceed due to severe pain. Sita Maa then blessed Hanuman jee and all the pains were flown away from his body by the sacred water in the Triveni Sangam.

Another belief lies with the people that, the year in which Ganga water do not reach Hanuman Jee’s foot, undesirable situations occur, such as draught and famines. People await the moment when the Ganges meets Hanuman Jee in the monsoons.

This idol is really mesmerizing . One when visualize cannot move his eyes from it. Lots of devotees daily flock here. But on Saturdays the crowd is maximum. There are lot hawkers selling hand made toys near this temple . Merry go round and some play sections are also made .Some small fairs are held periodically. Its really a small time picnic place for families .

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SITA SAMAHIT STHAL, SITAMARHI, UP : Where Sita Maa goes underground

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Physical Scene at the Site where Sita Maa goes underground

After that we went to ground floor where there is another statue of Sita Maa . This is the exact place below where Sita Maa goes underground below. Here there is another idol of white statue of Sita Maa .This statue is what I termed to be as Ultimate Beauty. When one has a look at this one he gets mesmerized and allured. It is so statusque , sublime and radiant that one cannot just take away his or her eyes away from it. Behind the main statue on the walls , there are figures of Lord Ram, Hanuman , Three Mothers , Luv Kush , Valmiki , Three brothers and subjects of Ayodhya , all trying to stop Sita Maa from going down in the Earth. But ALAS ! Nothing happens. For the sheer beauty of the statue I would like to kiss the hands of sculptor showing my emotions to him.

Even if you visit here to see the art of the Idol of Sita Maa it will be worth visit.

Spiritual Reverie and Emotions

While standing at this place I was subjected to lot of feelings and reverie which I feel necessary to express myself here. I felt the sense of ultimate purity, absolute chastity and transcendental beauty. She is the beginning, middle and the end . Nothing is before or beyond this. My soul was totally absorbed and freezed with genuflection. Seeing the face of the idol we feel that the whole life journey of Sita Ram was full of pains and hardship and yet there was not a single sign of minute expression of any grief or any agony or any emotion of hatred to anyone. How to become a true human should be learnt from Sita Ram. Whole life they were troubled by others but didn’t had single feeling of malevolence or abomination with anyone. This is called ” Indescribable Beauty ” . Tears came out o my eyes with reverence and devoutness. The negative energies go away from the body mode of goodness and humility arrives inside. I and my family were gazed here for around 20 minutes failing to converse with each other.

IMAGINE : When I looked at the statue of Sita Maa I felt what I have written above , then what would have been the actual real being ( Sita Maa)

After few minutes we realised that it was time to go as we had lot more to cover.

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WATER KINGDOM : An Ecstatic and Euphoric Experience

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WHAT A COASTER ( Adult Slide)

The best ride in Mumbai’s water park called Water Kingdom is What A Coaster.The height of the slide may be some where around 4 – 5 floors and one has to take a ride on a rubber slide sleeping flat on the stomach with knees bend and legs crossed. One has to catch tightly the two rods on the slides as shown in the video. The slides starts and for ten seconds you feel each and every second is like an hour. In between there are showers of the water flowing straight on your body twice and two large bends. Overall full marks for EUPHORIA it creates. For me it is best slide in Water Kingdom.

DRIFTING RIVER (Family Fun)

After playing around an hour and a half in Goofer’s Lagoon we went to another marvellous relaxing location called Drifting River. There is a huge space in which a canal is made in a circumferential pattern. Water is allowed to flow in one direction. One has to take a float, relax on the float and rest all is done by flowing water. One can just relax after having tiresome play in all the slides. One can use single float as well as a double float.There are bridges in between and water flows fro those bridges. This again can be done with your kids simultaneously. But one has to be with them. This makes one relax and one should opt this ride in between so that he can enjoy to fullest.

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VINDHYAVASINI SHAKTIPEETH : Vindhyachal Dham

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Lal Bhairav Temple
Before reaching Vindhyachal,on the way there is Bhairava Temple on the road . Now in all Devi Puranas and Mahabhagwat it is said that where there is a Shaktipeeth there is always a Bhairava present in any form to guard. Here in Vindhayachal he is in the form of Lal Bhairava. There is huge 6 feet tall idol of Bhairava blood red in color showing one of his angry forms.One feels dense spiritual power here in addition to glimpses of fear. It is said that if do the only darshan of Bhairava also you will get all the benefits and fruits of visiting a shaktipeeth .
Importance of Vindhyavasini Shaktipeeth
Shrimad Devi Bhagwatam has given special importance and special mention to Vindhyavasini Shakti Peeth out of its 108 Shaktipeeths. Every years lakhs of devotees from every corner of India come here of both the Navaratri. Thousands of saints come to Vindhyachal Dham and Vindhya mountains for performing 9 days penance and meditation. Every day the temple has huge crowd of devotees.

Many scriptures state that there is no other shrine as pure as Vindhyachal elsewhere in the universe. The 3 supreme powers Maha Lakshmi, Maha Kali and Maha Saraswati reside at this place.
Devi Parvati had performed meditation at this place for Lord Shiva and got the name Aparna. Lord Rama performed Shraadh – Tarpan of his ancestors at Ramganga Ghat and established the Rameshwaram Linga. He also established the Ramkunda here in Vindhyachal . Lord Vishnu received Sudarshan Chakra from Lord Shiva at this place.
Vindhyachal is situated on the Mahalalakshmi Yantra which is circled with mountain is considered as the land of power. It is a very significant place out of the 108 Shakti Peetha and 12 Maha Peeths. According to legend back of Sati had fell at this place. This place has multiple virtues.
Vindhyachal is called as Shaktipeeth, Siddhipeeth and Manidweep in scriptures.

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