temple

गढ़वाल घुमक्कडी: कर्णप्रयाग – विष्णुप्रयाग – बद्रीनाथ

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चूँकि आज हमे सिर्फ़ बद्रीनाथ ही पहुँचना था (जो की यहाँ से मात्र 125 किमी ही है), इसलिए हम संगम पर काफ़ी देर बैठे मस्ती करते रहे. संगम का आनंद लेकर और दोनो नदियों के जल से विशुद्धि व उर्जा पाकर हम लोग आगे की यात्रा पर निकलने को तैय्यार थे. ढाबे पर नाश्ता करने के बाद, हम लोग सीधे बद्रीनाथ की बस लेने आ पहुँचे. थोड़ी देर इंतेज़ार के बाद, एकाध बसें आई पर सब खचाखच भारी हुई, पाँव रखने तक की जगह नही थी, यात्रा सीज़न मे ये एक आम नज़ारा है.

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Atla and Nalateswari

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Next day we have time in hand so we decided to visit a Shakti peetha called “Nalhateswari Devi” According to the mythologies it is here where the “nala” or throat of goddess Shakti had fallen and so the shrine came to be known as the Maa Nalateswari. It is located in Nalhati, a municipality in Birbhum District of West Bengal near the West Bengal – Jharkhand border.

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The legendary Tarapith temple

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 In next 30 mins we were at Rampurhat station, for going to Tarapith one needs to take means of transport from here only. There are numerous mode of transport starting from e-rickshaws, Van-rickshaws, Autos and maruti omni.We hired an  Auto rickshaw for INR 300 and dumping our luggage we sat in bliss and waiting to reach our destination as soon as possible. The entire way towards Tarapith is now becoming commercialized day by day due to increasing number of devotees and mostly its now a weekend getaway as it serves both spiritual and fun peaceful sojourn for travelers.

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Kolkata to Kumaon – Patal Bhubaneswar and Mukteswar

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Apart from mythology the limestone creation is thrill fully unique, the cave is still building from crystallization. The many forms resembles the tail of Gods, one unique formation described as the spine of “Sesh Nag” and one ice like formation is called “Jyota” of Mahadeva, a mushroom like formation holds four stalactites called the four ‘Yug”. It is said that when a specific stalagmite would touch the stalactite hence the “Satya with Kali”, the earth may end. For both the believers and non-believers the place gives a life time experience.

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Kolkata to Kumaon – A stay at Allahabad

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In Hindu tradition Triveni Sangam is the “confluence” of three rivers. Sangama is the Sanskrit word for confluence. The point of confluence is a sacred place for Hindus. A bath here is said to flush away all of one’s sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth.One such Triveni Sangam, in Prayag (Allahabad) has two physical rivers — Ganges and Yamuna — and the invisible Saraswati River. The place has religious importance and the site for historic Kumbh Mela held every 12 years,

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Shrikhand Mahadev – Unexplored Himachal

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Himachal is an interesting place. Isn’t it? I would like to post my writings on unexplored Himachal to give a off the road view and a different Himachal to let you all see. Shrikhand Mahadev is one such place. Its hidden. Its unexplored. Not many people know it or visit here. Its purely natural. No hick ups. Best place for people who enjoy trekking. Actually i love to go to such places.

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A Triad in Time – Gharapuri, Ambarnath and Pataleshwar

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The most important sculpture here is the Trimutri, 3 faces of Mahadev which have found its space on Maharashtra tourism logo as well. Nearly full length of wall, the faces are very skilfully carved. Point to note that this is not a sculpture of Trimurti – Brahma , Vishnu and Mahesh but these are faces of Shiva only. There has been tradition to carve faces on Shivling as well. And based on number of faces, the shivling gets the name from Ekmukhi to Panchmukhi.
Although the common man thinks these are 3 faces, the experts have always more to add. Stella Kramrisch is one such expert in Indian iconography. She has proven that these are not 3 but 5 faces. There are distinct names to each of the face and it really represents the attribute of colorful character of Shiva. Five faces of Shiva represent five elements, Ishana (sky), Tatpurusha (wind), Aghora (fire), Vamadeva (water) and Sadjoyata (earth) and together this depiction is called as Sadashiv as per iconography. We see three faces and there is one assumed to be behind and one on top.

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The Idea of getting soaked in the Roman Bath

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What we see today are the beautiful remains of the ancient Roman Spa, well maintained even to this day with an amazingly designed circuit for the tour. A multi-lingual audio guide provided there helped us learn facts better and also gave us an imaginative explanation of how life was in the olden times.

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Land of Temples

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This was like a long long line of adjacent temples connected with each other, flanked by enormous ruins of even bigger structures now collapsed with a deserted, lonely and forested look. Each doorframe complete with a chandrashila ( decorative step before and after the stepping stone), leading into quadrangular enclosure with side wings opening into corridors leading to outside structures, the closed sanctums sometimes blessed with a Shiv ling, or an idol or just a block carved to hold an idol.

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Visiting The Chattarpur Temple – Seat of Shree Adya Katyayani

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It is not the grandeur of its architecture which makes the Shaktipeeth different from the other temples, but the moving spirit of its founder, Shree Durga-chranan-anuragi Baba Sant Nagpal, who dedicated his entire life for the service of the down trodden and the needy people.
Baba’s mission to reveal to them the Sanaatan Dharma in its true and undistorted form with a view to spread the message of brotherhood, tolerance and patriotism attracted more and more people, who were willing to provide not only the financial support but also the physical labour required for building of the temple.

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Memories of Mewar (III): Udaipur, City of Lakes and Palaces.

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After visiting the Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranakpur, the Krishna Temples at Kankroli and Nathdwara, and the Sajjan Garh Palace, we were now on the last leg of our trip to Mewar, Rajasthan, and had two full days to take in the beauty of Udaipur, the City of Lakes and Palaces. This beautiful city is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Venice of the East’, ‘Most Romantic City of India’ and ‘The Kashmir of Rajasthan’.

Udaipur was the capital of the kingdom of Mewar, ruled by the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. The founder of Udaipur was Maharana Udai Singh II, father of Maharana Pratap. Udaipur was founded in 1559, when a hermit blessed the king and asked him to build has palace at a spot on the east ridge of the Pichola Lake. In 1568, the Mughal emperor Akbar captured Chittaurgarh, and Udai Singh moved the capital to the site of his new residence, which became the city of Udaipur. As the Mughal empire weakened over the years, the Sisodia Maharanas recaptured most of Mewar district. Udaipur remained the capital of the state, which became a princely state of British India in 1818.

After India’s independence in 1947, the Maharaja of Udaipur acceded to the Government of India, and Mewar was integrated into India’s Rajasthan state.

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Memories of Mewar (II): Kankroli, Nathdwara, and Sajjan Garh (Udaipur).

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The temple of Shrinathji at Nathdwara is among the most sacred places of worship for the followers of Lord Krishna. The idol is made of black stone and is said to have been brought here from Mathura in 1669 to protect it from the marauding Moguls under Aurangzeb’s rule.

The temple opens its doors to the public for worship seven times a day for just about half an hour each, and there is a huge crowd always waiting to rush in. Inevitably there is some pushing and jostling and you barely get a minute for darshan before you are pushed out to the exit, just like in a Mumbai local train. This makes the whole experience quite unpleasant, and the temple authorities should take the initiative to organise it in a better way. Some touts promise to get you in through the VIP channels, but they only serve as paid guides, and can do nothing when the push becomes a shove.

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