Friday, July 12, 2024

Rani Ahilya Bai fort- Maheshwar, Madhya pradesh

Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar (1725-1795)   the queen of  Malwa kingdom established her capital at Maheshwar 84 Kms from Indore. You may wonder why I am referring to a queen in my pilgrimage  post. This great  queen is pride of our country as she constructed  and supported to restore many Hindu temples especially after they were destroyed by the invaders

Some famous temples in that prestigious list are  Puri jagannath, Omkareshwar, Badrinath, Dwarka, Rameswaram, Haridwar. Every pilgrimage Centre in India received  contribution from Ahilya Bai  in one way or the other.
Most notable was the  Kasi Viswanath  temple which she rebuilt and restored after 111 years after its destruction by Aurangzeb . The Ghats which we see on the banks of Ganges today  were also  built by Queen Ahilya Bai hence I made a post in her name; without her contribution we would have lost our precious  gems forever .

Maheshwar fort or Ahilya Bai fort
There are several shrines within the premises of Maheshwar fort dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu , Ganesha and Narmada river on whose banks the fort stands. The ghat and fort view from the river is breathtaking and magnificent. Here are a few pictures . Camera was not allowed inside the queen's residence and could get only a picture from outside ( shot 1)

                                                                      Queen's Fort 
                                                                  Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar 
                                                         shrines inside from the fort 

                                                                      Ghat of the fort 
                                                  Fort view from Narmada river side

Monday, June 3, 2024

Adi Keshava Perumal Temple -Tiruvattar, Kanyakumari District

 Do you know, there is a temple dedicated to Anantha Padmanabha Swamy in Tiruvattar, Kanyakumari district similar to the one in Thiruvananthapuram.     Lord here is  known as Adikesava Perumal  and is believed to be very much more older than the Padmanabha Swamy of Thiruvanthapuram.

This temple was part of Kerala and was under Travancore kings but presently it is part of Tamilnadu  after State reorganization. This is one of the 108 divyadesham of Vishnu, Nammalwar has sung hymns in praise of Lord Adi Kesava here. Legend  also says that Lord  killed the demon Kesi and came to be known as Adi Kesava .There is lot of resemblance in pooja rituals of Thiruvananthapuram and Tiruvattar temples.

 Known as the Dakshina Vaikuntam,  one has to view the Lord through three dwaras akin to the Padmanabha temple.  it is said that both deities are reclining on Adisesha in respective temples  facing each other . This temple is surrounded by 3 rivers Pahrli, Kodhai and Tamirabharani,

One can view the  Lord; the saligrama sila only with the help of oil lamps in the sanctum and one may get a better view if one can have darshan from the raised platform outside  the sanctum. The Panchloha idols  were being worshipped outside and  we  could have beautiful darshan.

The temple is  a magnificent edifice and is on an elevated ground. One has to climb a few steps to reach the temple. The temple corridors on all four sides are lined on either side with  granite  pillars.

Beautiful murals and sculptures  from our puranas  decorate the walls and interior.  There is huge dwajasthambam as this a Mahakshetram and there is small shrine for Tiruvambadi Krishna. One can enter and exit the temple through East or West gate. 

Tiruvattar is a village panchayat and is 6 kms form Marthandam  in Kanyakumari district.

The temple surroundings are serene and very  clean. The peace and quiet one feels during the visit was a added blessing. 

Dress code -women can wear saris/chudidhars. Men can enter the inner precincts of the temple without shirts just like any Kerala temple. Those who plan  Kaniyakumari can definitely add this in their itinerary.

No Photography allowed inside the temple .

A few pictures from my recent visit.

                                                                   Western Gopuram

                                                                 Front side of the temple
                                                            Eastern Gopuram
                                                             The Banyan tree with Nagas 

                                                                         The main temple

Monday, June 28, 2021

Triambakeshwar, Triambak, Nasik district, Maharashtra

 Trimbakeshwar  Shiva temple is in the  town of Trimbaka in  Nashik district, it is an ancient temple and is situated at the foot of Bharmagiri hills. We had visited the temple during monsoons and the rain drenched green hills with clouds looming over provided a scenic view. But could not spend much time inside the temple as it started pouring heavily.

This is one of the 12 Jyothirlingas of Lord Shiva. Inside the sanctum there are three lingams of Brahma,Vishnu,Maheshwara .

The Lingam is visible during the morning worship and gets adorned later for other worship and rituals. 

There are also deities of Kedarnatha, Rameshwara, Gangadevi and many other images inside the temple. The sacred pond inside the temple is the origin of  the river Godavari. The present temple was built by Peshwa Balaji Baji Rao.

The spire of the temple is very impressive with beautiful stone carvings.
There are free and paid darshan facilities in the temple.
This place is famous for Kalasarpa Shanti, Narayana Nagabali and Tripindi vidhi.
The temple is 30 Kms from Nashik and we did travel by road as we were visiting many other temples in Maharashtra. Check the link for more details

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Mandarti Durga Parameshwari, Mandarthi, Udupi district , Karnataka

Mandarthi Durga Parameshwari  is the Goddess of this temple situated in Mandarthi village in Udupi district of Karnataka.
The Goddess here is very powerful and is very famous among the locals and nearby villages.
Navarathri festival is celebrated for 9 days with great  religious  fervor.
Annual festival is celebrated in February.
The Yakshagana worship here is very famous. Stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata are enacted and it is offered as a worship to Goddess here  by devotees  for fulfillment of their wishes.
The temple remains open form 5.30 am to 8pm which becomes very convenient for the long distant travellers. More details here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Kalaseshwara temple , Kalasa, Chikmagloor district , karnataka.

Kalasa is a tiny serene and picturesque village situated on the banks of river Bhadra. This place is famous for its hill top temple of Kalaseshwara. A few steps up the hill leads one to this temple. The top of the hill offers a stunning view of the village below.
 The presiding deity is Shiva known as Kalaseshwara, a swayambhu emerged from the kalasa of sage Agastya. Sarvanga Sundari is Lord's consort here. The God sits in a silver mandapa in the sanctum. There is also a shrine for Kasi Viswanathar here.
It is believed that when Shiva married Parvati all the Gods and celestial beings attended the wedding. The earth started titling due to the big assembly of Gods  in one place. Lord Shiva asked  sage Agastya to proceed to  South to balance the weight of the earth. He did so but was sad as he would miss the wedding. Lord Shiva blessed him to view the celestial wedding from wherever he was. And sage did so from Kalsa.

There is also a separate shrine for Kasi Viswananthar here. One would also find a imposing  idol of Shiva at the entrance of the temple. There are also twin Ganeshas in a small shrine on the way up the hilltop.
I visited this temple on my way to Horanadu from Sringeri.