Religious

Vrindavan – Jai Shri Radhe

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Despite the grandeur of ISKON Temple, the Banke Bihari Temple, built in 1864 is still the most revered and vibrant shrine in Vrindavan. The temple was originally established by Swami Haridas, a great Krishna devotee, known for his soulful devotional bhajans (was also the guru of the famous musician Tansen). He discovered the sacred deity of Banke Bihari (also popularly known as Thakur ji) at Nidhivana, where Banke Bihari was originally worshipped.
The deity was moved to Vrindavan on completion of the temple in 1864. The most interesting thing about this temple is that, unlike most of the other temples, the curtain is not left open. The curtain is put shut every few seconds and drawn back with a great chanting of Thakur ji. This is probably done with a view to shroud the icon for a moment. It is believed that the brilliance of eyes of Thakur ji can make a person unconscious, if seen for too long a stretch. Another notable feature is that the lotus feet of the deity can be seen only once a year, on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls sometimes in April / May.

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Shettihalli – a church submerged in the waters

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It was the backwaters of the Hemavathy Reservoir and the monument was the Holy Rosary Church built by French Missionaries around 1860. We met a few villagers on our return who told us that this village was once a lush hamlet where the River Hemavathy flowed watering fields of sunflower.

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Trip to Dharamshala and Mcleodganj (Part I)

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After spending time over there, we headed in a steep path downhill (thanks to the knowledge of our taxi driver), and visited a Devi’s temple in the valley below (and there was almost nobody there except for a couple of locals); we rounded off the first day by visiting the war memorial, setup to honor the armed forces.

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Dodital – The Trek

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Another motivating factor was the leeches. They wouldn’t let us stop anywhere. Every stop we had to check for them on the path first and then on our shoes and then take off the ones which had had some luck with our blood.Balloo kept us occupied with his “jokes” all along.

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