Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Lord of Pandharpur- The Vitthal Rukmini Mandir, Maharashtra

Lord Vittobha is none other than  Krishna and in Pandharpur He is waiting patiently  on the banks of Chandhrabhaga with his  hands on his hips for his dearest bhaktha Pundalik.

The legend goes like this, once Lord Krishna came to meet his devotee Pundalik . He was so  engrossed in his duty of serving his parents, he  just threw a brick (Eet or Veet in local parlance) for Lord to stand on as the area was full of slush and asked Lord to wait till his duty was over.   The kind and merciful God waited for his devotee but Pundalik never returned as he didn't want Lord to leave that place thus making Pandharpur a sacred place. The deity came to be known as Vittobha as He is standing on Veet .( Ba ' stands for father figure).
There is a  separate shrine for Rukmini near to Vittobha's sanctum .

The temple always reverberates with devotional songs. The unique feature here, one can enter sanctum and touch the feet of the Lord . The main entrance of temple is known as Namdev Mahadwar.

Ashadha Ekadashi and Kartik Ekadashi  are very important days here  and thousands Varkaris march on foot from various parts of Maharashtra singing the glory of Lord to be with the Lord.

The temple is also considered among the 108 divyadesams of Vishnu.
Tips to devotees
There are online facility to book the darshan ticket and one can choose darshan timings . Before going for darshan the ticket  has to stamped at the  administrative office which is very close to the temple. Entry for online darshan is through the main gate.These online tickets are free of cost.  
Cameras, electronic gadgets and mobile phones are banned inside the temple.

Check the link below for ticket booking and other details.

Very few good hotels in Pandharpur .  Recommend Prabhu Residency, it is neat and clean  right in the centre of the  town and is just a Kilometer from the temple.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Triyugnarayan temple-Triyugnarayan village, Rudraprayag district

Triyugnarayan temple, nestled in a  small quaint village amidst the Himalayas  is dedicated to Lord Narayan. This temple structure resembles   Kedarnath temple and is very popular as this is believed to be the  venue of  Shiva and Parvati's marriage which took place in Satyayuga in the  presence of Lord Narayan and other Gods and Rishis. 

There is a Akhand Dhuni ( perpetual fire) which burns in front of the sanctum and it is believed that this Dhuni is burning since the divine marriage of Shiva Parvati.
Devotees worship the Gods in the sanctum  and then offer firewood in the Dhuni and this ritual has been going on since three yugas hence the temple derived its name Triyug Narayan. There is a Brahma sila in front of the temple and this is the exact place where Siva-Parvati marriage was solemnised.

There are 3 natural springs inside the temple known as Brahma Kund , Vishnu Kund and Rudra kund and devotees sprinkle holy water from this kund on their head . 

 The serenity enveloping the temple, the amber glow of Dhuni, the recitations of mantras by the priests  will help  one to easily connect with the divinity .

This temple is 5 Kms from Gaurikund, the base camp for trek to Kedarnath. 

As it is close to Gaurikund do visit and get blessed when planning a visit to Kedarnath temple.

Performance of  marriage ceremony in this temple  is considered very auspicious.

Check some pictures Captured during my recent visit.


                                                                   Annapoorna Devi

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Kohlapur Mahalakshmi temple. Maharashtra

Mahalakshmi temple,  located at Karveer on the banks of Panchganga river in Kohlapur  is one among the 108 Sakthipeetas of Mother Sakthi.
Goddess here is also known as Amba Bai  and her idol is made of gemstone which is facing the west. The idol with four arms carries a mace, a fruit, a shield and a bowl.
The mount of goddess ,lion is behind the idol.
The idol is resplendent is bright silks and is always adorned with dazzling  jewellery.
sandal paste is smeared on the forehead with a huge vermilion dot  in the middle.

The temple was first built in 7th century by Chalukyas and is  referred in various puranas.
There is a also a shrine for Mahakali here.
Outside the main shrine, there are many sub shrines devoted to Navgrahas, Shiva, Tuljabhavani, Nagas, Vittal and   Rukmini.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi reside here eternally and will not leave the place even during mahapralaya.
The cluster of lamp posts which we see around the temple  are unique, unlike what we see in other  temples.  Here they appear  like huge cones made of rocks  with lamps extending out . Really a visual treat.

Tips for devotees
Do not use mobile or cameras inside the temple .
A few quick photographs of exterior is not banned.
Selfies are a big NO
There are no special paid darshan queues here .
more details here.

                                                  Lamp Post

      This image below ;courtesy 

Plants: image 1 0f 4 thumb

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bhadrachalam-Sriramachandra Swamy temple - Telangana

Sriramachandra Swamy temple at Bhadrachalam is situated on the banks of river Godavari and is known as Dakshina Ayodhya.
The temple is situated on a small hillock and a few  steps would lead one to the temple.
The sanctum here has beautiful granite idols of Sri Rama with consort Sita sitting in his lap with  Lakshmana  standing nearby with an arrow in his hand. 

The legend is that Sri Rama, Sita and Lakshmana spent their days here in Dandaka forest during their exile . Rama's grace turned a  hillock into a human form called Bhadra who was a great devotee of Rama and he spent his life chanting Tarak mantra. He wanted Rama to reside there on his head but as  Rama was in search of Sita as she was abducted by Ravana ,he promised to return after finding her; a promise which was never fulfilled in his life time.

As Bhadra's penance continued, Lord Vishnu manifested to bless his ardent devotee as Vaikunta Rama with  conch, disc, bow and  arrow in His four hands forgetting that Rama was a mortal being. 

To give salvation to Bhadra ,he was again turned into hillock and as per his wish Lord decided to reside at the hillock. The hill also came to be known as  Bhadradri (bhadrachalam).

This temple was constructed by Bhakta Ramdas in 1674 AD.
More details here.

Tips to devotees

Lift facility is available for physically challenged and very old  citizens.
Paid darshan tickets are available inside the temple complex which allows devotees to go closer to the sanctum.
Mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple and there is a cloak room for safe keep of phones for a small fee of  Rs 5.
Bhadrachalam road is the nearest rail head and one can travel by bus or cab to reach Bhadrachalam temple town which takes about a 45 minutes by road.
Only Chatrams and budget hotels are available in the temple town.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Murudeshwar temple, Bantwal Taluk, Karnataka

  Lord Shiva is known as Murudeshwar here and  this temple is set beautifully right on the sea shore atop a small hill. The massive tower in front of the temple is magnificent and so is the huge image of Siva .The temple is  surrounded on all three sides by water.

Once inside the temple, the sanctum houses Shivalinga  and there are sub shrines around the temple.
The interior of the temple is maintained well . The breathtaking view of sea from the terrace of the temple is something that one should experience as I am at a loss for right choice of words. 

It is believed that the deity here is the  Atma Linga which Ravana received from Lord Shiva himself as he wanted to take it with him to Lanka. Read the legend here.

The massive tower of the temple has 20 storeys and an elevator  helps devotees to reach the top  of the tower .
Don't miss the stunning view of Maravanthe beach,here the river Jog is running parallel to the sea with road running in between when one approaches Marudeshwar from Kundapur.

This temple is situated in Bhatkal taluk and is in North Kannada.

                                                             Massive tower
                    Gigantic Shiva statute on beach which is  visible from top of the temple
                                                             Main shrine

                                                                Sub shrines

                                                         The Golden Vahana
                                                       A beautiful view
                                                                 Main temple