Simhachalam-Varaha-Laxminarasimha-Temple1s.jpg
06/Nov/2022

Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple is one of the ancient Hindu temples in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located in the city of Visakhapatnam, a suburb of Simhachalam in Andhra Pradesh. Lord Narasimha is said to be an incarnation of Vishnu in the temple. It was rebuilt in the 11th century by the Chalukyas and in the 13th by the Eastern Gangas. The Tamil Chola and Vijayanagara emperors patronized this temple.

This temple of Lord Narasimha established in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. The architecture of the temple is a mix of both Orissa and Andhra. This temple situated on a hill. This temple one of the eighteen areas of Lord Narasimha. It is the second richest temple in India after Tirupati. The annual income of the temple is Rs 500 crore. The granite stone idol of Lord Narasimha is installed in the temple. Lord Narasimha appears in his original form for 12 hours on the day of Akshaya Tritiya and is covered with sandalwood paste for the rest of the time. The festival of sandalwood festival is celebrated in the month of Vaishakh (May).

Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

Legends of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

Brahma Ji’s boon Hiranyakashipu became arrogant that he wanted to be worshiped in the whole world, but Prahlad was opposed to it due to being a god. Hiranyakashipu tried a lot for Prahlad, but Lord Vishnu always protected Prahlad, the king gave Prahlad under the mountain. God protected Prahlad here. It is said that this is the mountain where Lord Vishnu came from Garuda to protect Prahlad. The main incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Simhachalam temple is Narasimha himself. His head is that of a lion and his torso is that of a human. This idol remains covered with everlasting coating.

There is an account of the foundation of the temple in the Sthalapuran. This temple was the favorite site of the gods, but it was not used. The divine Apsara, Urvashi informs Pururvas that she had come to Simhadri hill when Lord Narayana came in the form of Narasimha to save Prahlad. Urvashi along with the Pururavas found the Gangadhara river flowing towards the west. Pururava thought of finding the Lord through penance. On the third day of meditation, he saw the Lord in his dream, who told the Pururavas that an ant held the idol in front of the king and that the king should offer flowers, sandalwood, music, light lamps, and fragrant smoke.

The king awoke, searched Ant-hill, found the idol, renovated the temple, and consecrated it. But the Lord’s feet not found. The Lord told the king that the feet would not be visible and hidden in the earth because from his sight he would get salvation. And therefore, he should not be seen in his pure form, but only covered with sandal paste, except on one day on Akshaya Tritiya, where mere sight was enough to attain salvation.

Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

History of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

 

This temple built by the Chola king Kultunga after the conquest of Kalinga in 1098.

In 1137-56, the idol of Lord Ganga gilded by Queen Ganga of Kalinga Raj.

The central temple built in 1267 by King Narsingh Dev. There are 252 paintings in this building and it is an important and historical building. The king also got the Mukha Mandap and Natya Mandap constructed.

In 1516, Gajapati Pratap Rudra Dev visited the temple and presented many village lands, valuable diamonds-jewels, gold, and silver to the temple. Raja Rudra Deva Raya of Vijayanagara and his queen presented a precious necklace of 991 pearls to the temple.

For the last 300 years, Raja Pushpapati of Vijayanagara is the trustee of the Gajapati temple.

 

Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

Architecture of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

Built on a hill, this temple has wonderfully carved halls. There is extensive use of both Chalukya and Orissa architectural styles. Lord Narasimha is the deity of this temple. The temple situated 800 feet above sea level. A flight of steps leads from the hill to the top, all the way to the temple. At the foot of the hill, there are chitals for the pilgrims to stay. They take bath in the Pushkarni located close to the foothills. The way is through a grove of trees, a wooden hollow near the top towards the north surrounded by a wide circle resembling an amphitheater, this is the temple of Lord Narasimha of the northern circles.

One of the pillars of Mukhtantapa named Kappam Stambham or Pillar of Tribute. It attracts a large number of pilgrims. There is a popular belief that this pillar has the power to cure cattle disease and infertility in women. The deity is covered with a thick layer of sandalwood paste, which pacified the wrath of the Lord after the destruction of Hiranyakashipu. This coating removed only once a year, on Visakha Day in May. The temple consists of a square shrine, with a tall gopura and a small circular tower atop the Mukmantapa. The Natyamandapam consists of a stone car driven by two horses and surrounded by a verandah, where scenes from Vishnupurana skillfully carved.

Outside the enclosure, towards the north the Kalyanamantapam with 96 exquisitely carved pillars where the Kalyan Utsav performed every year on the eleventh day of the Sukalpaksha, Chaitramas. Here Lord Vishnu  depicted as Matsya, Dhanvantari, and Varuna. Many mortals of Narasimha will also be found here. The perennial spring called Gangadhara found here and said to have medicinal properties. The Sthalapurana for the temple describes the temple in 32 chapters, and Vedavyasa writes about the original temple in the Skanda Purana.

The inscriptions on the walls and pillars throw light on the history of the temple. 1099 AD belonging to King Kulottungchola. There is an inscription of who conquered Kalinga. Another Velnati chief belongs to Gonka III and dated to 1137 AD, and said to have covered the image of the god with gold. There are many inscriptions of the Eastern Ganga kings of Kalinga. King Narasimha, I built the central shrine, Mukhamantapa, Natyamantapa, etc. The Reddy kings of Rajahmundry, Vishnu-Vardhan Chakravarti of Panchadala, and others contributed to the prosperity of the temple. Krishnadevaraya visited this temple twice in 1516 and 1519 AD and the ornaments offered by him to the Lord can be seen here even today.

Lord Narasimha

Festivals of Simhachalam Varaha Laxminarasimha Temple

The Chandana Yatra festival performed on the third day of the Sukla Paksha of Visakhapatnam, which corresponds to the day of Akshaya Tritiya. On this day, the sandalwood coating removed, and devotees can have the darshan of the Lord. Vyasa Paynami and Ashadha Paynami days, and Kalyanotsav in the first week of April are also important festivals.

The temple remains open from 4 am to 2.30 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm

 

The temple remains open from 4 am to 2.30 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm. 12 festivals celebrated in the temple. Chandan Yatra and sandalwood dedication would have been the biggest festival in Baisakh.

Route Introduction:

Visakhapatnam to Chennai 781 Delhi 2,650, Mangalore 781, 1,760, Goa 1950, Lucknow 3030 km. is far. The nearest railway station and airport is Visakhapatnam. All level of accommodation facilities is available.

 

Specific Information

  • This is the largest temple of Lord Narasimha in the world.
  • Lord Narasimha covered with sandalwood for 364 days a year.
  • The mountain on which the temple situated, is 40 km from that temple. The journey considered fruitful.
  • Every year Chandan Yatra takes place in this temple, which does not happen in any other temple.

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Kedarnath-temple1s.jpg
05/Nov/2022

Location of Kedarnath Temple

 

Kedarnath Temple (Dham) is built on the Himalayan Mountain ranges near the Mandakini River of Kedarnath in Uttarakhand, India. Due to the very cold weather, this temple remains open from April (Akshaya Tritiya) to Kartik Purnima (usually November). Kedarnath Temple situated at an altitude of 3581 meters, to reach the temple one has to go through Gaurikund. In this, one has to travel a mountainous distance of 21 kilometers.

 

Lord Shiva in the form of a mystic yogi, meditating alone in the hills, is called Kedar and hence his temple is situated precariously from the slopes of the Mahapatha mountain in remote Garhwal.

Kedarnath Temple

Significance of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas and is the most important of the Shiva temples. Surrounded by rocky, snow-capped peaks, the Gray Granite Temple stands at an altitude of 3500 meters at a point where four small streams flow into the Mandakini River. It visited in the 9th century by the fearless saint Shankaracharya, who installed the idol of Lakshmi-Narayan and said to have attained salvation here. Kedarnath is a difficult trek from Joshimath and since it is completely covered with snow in winter, the temple remains open only in the summer months. The worship of Kedarnath continues in Ukhimath during winters.

This Kedarnath Temple is part of Panch Kedar which are five religious places dedicated to Lord Shiva. All these are located in the Garhwal Himalayas. Whoever travels to Panch Kedar has to first visit Kedarnath, Tungnath, then Rudranath and Madhyamaheshwar, and then finally Kalpeshwar.

Legend of Kedarnath Temple

 

Kedarnath mentioned in the Mahabharata and the Pandavas said to have built the original temple here. After the disastrous battle of Kurukshetra where their entire dynasty destroyed, the five Pandava brothers had no desire to rule. He renounced the world and began a journey of atonement which ended in the inaccessible reaches of the Himalayas. Atonement was not going to be easy as the death and duality in Kurukshetra angered Shiva and refused to listen to his prayers. The Pandavas had to follow him from Varanasi to Kedarnath, where he finally relented. Here he built a temple and meditated and prayed to Shiva for salvation. Sahadeva, the youngest Pandava, died in Kedarnath.

Kedarnath Temple

Mythological Story of Kedarnath Temple

In ‘Skanda Purana’, Lord Shiva says to Mother Parvati, ‘O Praneshwari! This area is as ancient as I am. I attained Parabrahmatva in the form of Brahma for the creation of the universe at this place, and since then this place is my familiar abode. This Kedarkhand is like a land heaven because of my eternal abode.

It mentioned in Kedarkhand, ‘Akritva Darshanam Vaishvaya Kedarsyaghnashinah, Yo Gachched Badri Tasya Yatra Nishfaltam Vrajet’ which means if one travels to Badrinath region without seeing Lord Kedarnath, then his journey becomes in vain.

Kedarnath Temple

The Architecture of Kedarnath Temple

Kedarnath temple is 85 feet high, 187 feet long, and 80 feet wide. Its walls 12 feet thick and made of very strong stones. The temple erected on a 6 feet high platform.

Like the rigid aspect of the Lord, the Kedarnath Temple is a simple stone structure. Lightly decorated with carvings, its true elegance comes from its classic design and use of dark brown stone. A flight of stairs leads to the arched doorway of the porch that opens into the mandapa.

Both the mandapa and the sanctum sanctorum have sloping stone roofs, with a shikhara above the sanctum. The sanctum sanctorum has a three-faced stone lingam and a Nandi bull at the door and small shrines of Parvati and Ganesha around it. Also, there are carvings of Lord Krishna, the Pandava brothers, his wife Draupadi, and Mata Kunti.

The inner walls of the holy site of the temple adorned with mythological stories and paintings of many gods and goddesses. We see evidence of the origin of the iconic temple in the great epic Mahabharata.

Why is Kedarnath Temple called ‘Kedarnath Dham”

According to mythology, the Asuras wanted to destroy the gods. To avoid the demons, the gods prayed to Lord Shiva to protect them. That is why Lord Shiva incarnated in the form of a bull. The name of this bull was ‘Kodaram’ which had the power to destroy the demons.

The demons were destroyed by the horns and hooves of Shiva in the form of bulls, which were thrown into the Mandakini River by Lord Shiva. The name Kedarnath Dham is derived from the same Kodaram name.

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03/Nov/2022

Location of Vishwanath Temple, Kashi

For the pilgrim, Varanasi is Kashi, the “Luminous One”, a city lit up with the light of Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest surviving cities in the world and the highest Hindu pilgrimage center. It is a pilgrimage of such great purity that visiting Varanasi gives you the same benefits as visiting all the seven most important places of pilgrimage, Saptapuri. Vishwanath Temple, Kashi stands on the banks of the Ganges and pilgrims believe that bathing in the river and then praying in temples promises salvation. It is the supreme salvation when your sins forgiven and you freed from the endless cycle of birth and death. It is the celestial combination of Lord Shiva, the Ganges River, and the ancient city that makes Varanasi so important.

Vishwanath Temple Kashi
Temple Ghat on Ganges

Varanasi (Kashi) is Shiva’s favorite earthly home and the city flows only in praise of this volatile and gentle God. It is the site of a Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlingas said to be self-manifested, they manifest themselves and  not made by human hand. There are twelve Jyotirlingas, the most important of them being the one at Kedarnath in the Himalayas.

Vishwanath Temple Kashi
Temple Top Made of Gold

Mythological Story of Vishwanath Temple, Kashi

The myth of the Jyotirlinga begins with a dispute between the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as to who was the supreme deity. As a last resort, they asked the Vedas and sacred texts to declare Shiva as supreme. Brahma as the oldest deity and Vishnu as the protector were not ready to accept it. Shiva became very angry and transformed himself into a bright pillar of light, the Jyotirlinga. It was an endless pillar that pierced Hades, Heaven, and Earth. To find the ends of this pillar of light, Vishnu transformed himself into a bird, Garuda, to fly in the sky and Brahma became a boar and dug deep into the earth, but he could not find the two ends of the light.

Vishwanath Temple Kashi
Present Temple Look After Renovation

In the end, both accepted the supremacy of Shiva and worshiped him. Satisfied, Shiva reduced the pillar to a small Shivalingam, which was the linga symbol of the Lord and this was the Jyotirlinga, the first Shivalingam. In Varanasi, it is the lingam Adi Vishweshwara that has been at the center of Shiva worship in the city. This is the reason why Kashi alled Avimukteshwar, the city that never leaves its chief deity. Varanasi is also Shiva’s favorite city and as his earthly home, it called Anandavan, his garden of happiness. Geographically, the city situated on three hills on the banks of the Ganges and hence it said that it stands on the three heads of the trident of Shiva.

History of Vishwanath Temple, Kashi

Historically, ancient Kashi mentioned in most of the old texts from Puranas to Mahabharata. Originally Varanasi was the capital of the state of Kashi. The king of Kashi was an important warrior in the battle of Kurukshetra. Later it was part of the kingdom of Kashi-Kosal. Over the years the two names merged and to the pilgrims, the city is more known as Kashi.

Varanasi was already thriving when Gautam Buddha visited here in the 5th century BC. After attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, Buddha went to Kashi in search of five companions. He found them in a mango orchard at Rishipattan on the outskirts of the city and gave his first sermon there. Rishipattan is today’s Sarnath. When Buddha came to Kashi it was a great center of learning and he is said to have met many scholars there. Historians speculate that ancient Kashi may have been a place where many sages had ashrams, where students came to study under these teachers.

Vishwanath Temple Kashi
Present Temple Look

As the greatest place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Varanasi faced attacks of invasion and plunder in the medieval period. The story of its temples is once again that of destruction, resurrection, and destruction. Architecturally, none of the temples in Varanasi have a history that predates the medieval period, while the city itself dates back to the time of the early Aryans. Both Sarnath and Kashi were devastated by the armies of Mahmud Ghazni, Qutbuddin Aibak, Razia Sultan, Sharqi Sultans of Jaunpur, and the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Very often a mosque was built on the site of the temple using temple materials. After these invasions, Sarnath never rose again but Kashi built its temples several times.

There were periods of respite like during the reign of Akbar when Raja Man Singh of Amber built the Bindu Madhav temple and the Man Singh and Mansarowar ghats and Raja Todar Mal helped in the rebuilding of the Vishwanath Temple, Kashi.

Then during the reign of Shahjahan, when his son, the liberal philosopher Dara Shikoh was the governor of the city, scholars and artists were patronized. But Dara did not become king, his brother Aurangzeb did and the Vishwanath Temple, Kashi was once again razed to the ground and a mosque was built in its place.

Man Singh’s fabulous Bindu Madhav temple said to have been the largest temple of the time vanished and the Alamgir mosque now looms at the site. Most of the ghats and temples of present-day Varanasi are the gift of Maratha kings who rose after the decline of Mughal power in the 18th century. Queen Ahilyabai of Indore once again built the main shrine of Shiva, the Vishwanath temple, and today this temple is at the heart of the pilgrimage to Varanasi.

It situated at one end of the labyrinthine lane of Vishwanath Gali. The site is of great antiquity and sanctity as it is one of the sites where the Jyotirlinga pierced the earth. Many temples like Adi Vishweshwar, Avimukteshwar, and Omkareshwar are mentioned in the old texts. The present temple was built in 1775. Queen Ahilyabai retrieved the old Shivalingam which was thrown into a well by Aurangzeb after destroying the first temple.

Vishwanath Temple Kashi
Jyotirlinga

 

The Vishwanath Temple, Kashi

Vishwanath Temple, Kashi a small temple compared to the generously proportioned temples of the south with large courtyards and many mandapas. It stands in a narrow street between shops and houses and very few architectural elements can be easily seen. For example, one has to climb the upper floors of the adjoining houses to see the summit. The increasing influx of pilgrims also makes it difficult to study the carvings and the symbols within the temple usually covered with flowers. Presently, a new look has been given by the administration of this lane as well as the temple and it emerged with a smart look recently.

Diyas displayed at night

Dedicated to Shiva as the Lord of the universe, it  built in the northern Nagara style with several peaks that rise to a height of 15 meters. In the 19th century, the original copper spire covered in gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab using 800 kg of the precious metal. This given the temple its modern name, Golden Temple. Nahbat Khana, a music gallery above the main entrance, donated by British Governor General Warren Hastings. Every morning the owner of the sanctum awakened by the melodious playing of the shehnai.

The sanctum sanctorum  placed at one end of the marble pavilion. Around the sanctum sanctorum, there are temples of other deities like Vishnu, Gauri, and Ganesha. The figure of a Nandi bull, Shiva’s vehicle stands in front of the gate of the sanctum. The sanctum has exquisitely carved silver doors and one of the largest bells hanging from the ceiling donated by the King of Nepal. The black stone Shivling placed on a silver snake coil, which has become a crown shaped like a snake’s hood. The lingam placed in a silver-plated recess on the floor and covered with flowers and belpatra leaves.

Gyanvapi

Building of Gyan Vapi Mosque

The mosque which built by Aurangzeb on the site of the earlier Vishwanath Temple, Kashi of Todarmal, stands behind the present temple. Next to it the well of Gyan Vapi. An ornamental stone screen built around the well by Rani Baij Ba of Gwalior in the 18th century. It said that when Aurangzeb’s forces attacked the Vishwanath Temple, Kashi, the Shivling thrown into the well and later Ahilya Bai saved it and installed it in the new temple. Since the material of the destroyed temple used to build the mosque, it is a strange mix of Hindu motifs and Islamic architectural designs. One of the walls of the mosque and two pillars still show carvings of the old temple.

Click here to know details of the Gyan Vapi Dispute

How to Reach Vishwanath Temple, Kashi

By Plane

There is a direct daily flight connection between Varanasi and New Delhi. It also connects Varanasi to Delhi, Agra, Khajuraho, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, etc.

By Train

Varanasi is an important and major rail junction. The city served by trains from all metros and major cities across the country. New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Gwalior, Meerut, Indore, Guwahati, Allahabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, etc. The city has direct rail connections with almost all big cities.

By Road

Some of the important road distances are Agra 565 Km., Allahabad 128 Km., Bhopal 791 Km., Bodh Gaya 240 Km., Kanpur 330 Km., Khajuraho 405 Km., Lucknow 286 Km., Patna 246 Km., Sarnath 10 Km. Lumbini (Nepal) 386 km, Kushi Nagar 250 km. (via Gorakhpur).

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Dilwara-Temple-Cover.jpg
01/Nov/2022

The Dilwara Temple at Mount Abu stand in a beautiful green valley surrounded by forested hills of the Aravali range. This is the only hill resort in Rajasthan. Abu is named after Arbuda, one of the sons of the Himalayas and in ancient times it was a center of Shiva worship. It became a Jain center in the 11th century with the building of the Dilwara temples. The sage Vasishtha is said to have built an ashram here and some of the royal Rajput clans claim they were created from the holy yagnya fire lit here by him. These Jain temples have by far the finest examples of the art of the Rajasthani sculptor.

Mount Abu is the only hill station in Rajasthan, which is also a holy site for Jains and Hindus as it has many temples. A complex made of marble is special in this temple complex, which is known for its abundance of temples. It is called Dilwara Temple Complex.

Dilwara Temple

Location

There are five temples in the Dilwara temple complex. Dilwara temple complex is at a distance of about 2.5 km from Mount Abu in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan. These temples reflect the changing history of the region. These five temples were built at different times during the reign of different dynasties.

Mount Abu is the most sacred place for Jains. It is believed that the 24th Tirthankara Mahavir came here as a beggar. Mount Abu is mentioned in the Rig Veda and Skanda Purana as Arbuda.

Dilwara Temple

History of Dilwara Temple

 

The history of this region begins with the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya dynasty, who ruled from 321 to 297 BC. Later in the second century, it was ruled by the Western satraps. Between the 4th to the 6th century, this region came under the Gupta dynasty. During the 7th and 13th centuries, it was ruled by dynasties like the Pratiharas, Solankis and Parmars.

 

The Solanki dynasty, also known as the Chalukya dynasty, was a medieval dynasty that ruled from the 10th to the 13th centuries. They ruled parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan and Anhilvad (Patan) was their capital. The Solanki dynasty has made a great contribution to architecture. The most important king of this dynasty was Bhima-I, who ruled from 1022 to 1064 AD. During his reign Mahmud Ghazni, the first ruler of the Ghaznavi dynasty, invaded India in the 11th century. After the attack of Ghazni, Bhima had regained all his ancestral territories. During the regim of Bhima architecture flourished. Modhera Sun Temple, Dilwara Temple of Mount Abu, Somnath Temple, which was rebuilt, are some of the important examples of architecture of his time. Bhima’s queen Udaymati had built the Rani ki Vav (Baori) in Patan in the 11th century.

Dilwara Temple

The Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi temples are the most famous among the five temples of Dilwara. Mount Abu’s Vimal Vasahi is the oldest temple, which  built in 1031. According to an inscription in the temple in 1322, two persons named Laliga and Vijada got the temple repaired for the spiritual welfare of their parents. The inscription gives some information about the history of the temple. This temple built by Vimal Shah, the minister of Chalukya king Bhima-I.

It believed that after listening to the discourses of Jain Muni Dharmaghosh Suri, Vimal Shah built this temple to grope his mind and to atone for sins like murders committed while trying to spread his empire.

The Solanki dynasty was beginning to weaken in the 13th century. Around the 12th century, the Vaghelas were in the service of the Chalukyas. They called themselves the descendants of the Chalukyas. Vaghel Dhaval married the aunt of the Chalukya king Kumarapala, who ruled in the 12th century. The Chalukya dynasty became very weak during the reign of King Bhima-II in the 13th century. During this time Vaghel commander General Lavanya Prasad and his son Vriddhavala had become very powerful. But nominally, they accepted Chalukya’s hegemony.

Dilwara Temple

Vimal Vasahi Temple at Dilwara Temple Complex

This temple carved out of marble, represents the culmination of Solanki architecture. This temple  dedicated to Rishabhanatha, the first Jain Tirthankara, also known as Adinath. The temple has a sanctum sanctorum, gudhamandapa (pillared verandah), navchouki (auditorium with nine rectangular roofed chambers) in front of the gudhamandapa, and rangmandapa. Around this temple are small shrines, called Devakulikas, in which the images of Tirthankaras carved. Prithvipal, a descendant of Vimal Shah, built an auditorium in the temple. The main temple houses a 57-inch statue of Rishabhanatha in gold and bronze.

 

The roofs, pillars, and walls of Dilwara Temple very well decorated, which is the specialty of this temple. The pillars of the Vimal Vasahi temple are ornate. The ceiling of Vimal Vasahi Temple is very beautiful and decorated with circular chandeliers. There are images of 16 Vidya Devis on the ceiling. The Rangmandapa has images of Jain Puranas, Jain literature, Jain deities, elephants, musicians, and dancers. Apart from the auditorium, Prithvipala had also built a Hastishala in the temple, in which beautiful marble sculptures of 10 elephants made. Behind the elephants are images of Vimal and his family members.

Marvelous carvings within the temple

There are also images of Krishna subduing the Kaliya snake, the war between Bharata and Bahubali, son of Rishabhanatha, Bharata who attained Keval Gyan (the ultimate knowledge), and the meditative Bahubali surrounded by vines and ants.

Other temples

Luna Vasahi Temple at Dilwara Temple Complex

Luna Vasahi, the second oldest temple in Dilwara, built during the reign of Vaghel ruler Vriddhavala. In 1230, the construction of this temple done under the supervision of Tejpal, the minister of Vadel Vriddhavala. Both these brothers considered to be great builders. Apart from being a skilled administrator, he was also a brave warrior. He spent a lot of money on public welfare many other Jain and Hindu temples, mosques, wells, bridges, guest houses, and water bodies built. The most famous of the temples built by him is the Luna Vasahi Temple of Dilwara, which built under the supervision of Tejpal.

The two temples, Vimal Vasahi and Luna Vasahi small and plain exteriors that give no hint of the magical world waiting to be discovered inside. The arched doorways lead into a dazzling pure white marble carved with such amazing virtuosity, it hard to believe that such extraordinary interior perfection and beauty created out of mere stone by human hands.

 

Vimal Vasahi built in the 11th century by Vimal Shah, a minister of the Solanki king of Gujarat, and dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Adinath. A parade of marble elephants leads up to the porch and on their backs sit the donor Vimal and his family. The courtyard has 52 cells with icons of Tirthankaras inside. A series of mandapas lead to the sanctum that has the bejeweled bronze icon of the saint.

The walls, pillars, and ceiling ornamented with subtle carvings of apsaras, animals, and scrolls and the doorways have intricately carved arches. The ceiling of the assembly hall, the ranga mandapa, has an exquisite pendant in the center surrounded by delicate figures of female nymphs. The dome designed in concentric circles with carvings of figures, animals, and decorative motifs. The lowest ring has sixteen bracket figures of the vidyadevis, goddesses of learning, all framed within carved aureoles.

The opulent Luna Vasahi even more heavily carved. It built two centuries later by Tejpal, another minister of the Gujarat kingdom, and dedicated to the Tirthankara Neminath. The temple is alive with such exuberant and brilliantly finished marble carvings that it gives the surface the texture of lace. Among the glittering pillars, figures, and animals, the most striking creation here is the ceiling of the rangamandapa. The octagonal dome has an overhanging lotus delicately carved with extraordinary precision.

another temple

Brasshar Temple at Dilwara Temple Complex

Around the 15th-16th century Bhim Shah, minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabad (reigned 1458-1511), built the Brasshar temple in Dilwara, which dedicated to Tirthankara Adinath. The temple known as Prassahar because of the bronze statue of Tirthankara Adinath. The present idol established in the 16th century at the site of the original. This idol of 108 mond made by a craftsman named Dev under the supervision of two ministers Sundar and Gada. This temple is not as ornate as the other two temples, but it has images of many Jains Tirthankaras and deities.

At the end of the 15th century, a fourth temple built in Dilwara, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath. The Chaumukh temple with three stories and one kangoor also called Khartar Vasahi. This temple is the highest among the five temples. While other temples made of marble, the Chaumikh temple made of brown sandstone. Most of the idols present in the temple donated by a person named Sanghvi Mandalik and his family members. The three-story sanctum sanctorum has four-faced figures and depictions of the 14 dreams of the mothers of the Tirthankaras before they were born, which are the features of this temple. There are depictions of Jain deities on the outer walls of the temple.

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Kailashanath-Temple-at-Ellora-Cover.jpg
01/Nov/2022

Location

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora is situated in Northern Maharashtra, about 400 kilometers (250 mi) from Mumbai. The entire Ellora cave system is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an architectural marvel. The vastness and intricate carvings of these caves will astonish everybody with the precision and innovation that ancient communities used to create one of the most amazing sites in the world.

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

History of Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

 

With the Kailashanath temple at Ellora, the rock-cut architecture of the Deccan reached the zenith of creativity and ambitious design. Till then caves had been excavated into the hillside and then the walls, ceiling, and facade embellished with carvings.

At Kailashanath a whole temple with a plinth, walls, shikhara, and subsidiary shrines  carved out of a hillside between the 8th and 9th centuries. It  begun in the reign of King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta dynasty and took over a century to complete. Visualized as Mount Kailash, Shiva’s home in the Himalayas, this remarkable creation makes this temple not a product of architecture but pure sculpture.

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

Amazing Architecture of Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

 

Ellora was called Elapura in ancient times. Here thirty-four Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu cave temples were excavated out of the black basalt hillside. The Kailashanah temple is the world’s largest monolith structure that is twice the area of the Parthenon of Greece and one and a half times as tall. Only the guilds of Indian sculptors could have shown such panache and daring in visualizing this temple which is a marvel of ambitious engineering and superb carving technique. Generations of carvers visualized a complete temple that was scooped out of the hillside.

The stone cutters began on top of the hill, cutting out three trenches at right angles to leave an island of rock in the middle. This immense slab of rock of 6,500 square meters area stood in a pit 86 meters long and 48 meters wide. The temple that emerged from it was an area of 1700 square meters. It carved from the top down, a process of cutting down as against the traditional building up.

The carvers working from the top first chiseled out the shikhara and then moved downwards to the walls, pillars, gateways, and then to the plinth. Once the outward shape created, they moved to the interior. The garbha griha, antarala, and a sixteen-pillar maha mandapa carved out and decorated with friezes of sculpture. A shrine of Nandi created in the courtyard, flanked by two pillars, the dhwajasthambhas.

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

Sculptures Inside the Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

 

A series of gateways lead into a courtyard surrounded by cloisters with the Nandi shrine and the monolithic dhwajasthambhas. The main shrine has the mahamandapa, antarala and the garbha griha. The pretty toranas lead into the temple where the walls covered with a profusion of animals, humans, celestial apsaras, demons, dwarfs, and deities. The high plinth ornamented by a frieze of elephants and lions. Shiva  worshipped as a giant lingam in the garbha griha.

Linga

The shikhara rises in three tiers above the sanctum, soaring to over 30 meters and topped with a cupola. Many episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana shown in the friezes along the outer walls. Among the tableaux, the most interesting are the myths of Shiva. One shown his transformation into a column of light, the jyotirlingam and there is the omnipotent god with his foot on Ravana’s head as the demon king tests his strength against Shiva by trying to shake Mount Kailash.

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora

Kailashanath Temple at Ellora -Main features

Apart from the gopura, the main temple has a sabha griha (hall), vestibule, and a Nandi mandapa that leads to the Garba griha (sanctum sanctorum) with a Shiva linga, all of which deeply carved and with a Dravidian shikhara (tower). A bridge connecting the Nandi Mandap to the Gopuram has been made.

Inside the Cave-Ellora

The beauty of the lotus on the roof of the sanctum made the steep climb up the hill worthwhile. The lotus  crowned by a finial with four mythical lions, each facing a cardinal direction.

How to reach Kailashanath temple at Ellora

The nearest railway stations to the industrial city of Jalgaon are Aurangabad for Ellora Caves (45 minutes away) and Ajanta Caves (1.5 hours away). Travel time from Mumbai to Aurangabad by Indian Railways train is 6-7 hours.

Aurangabad also has an airport, so it is possible to fly from many cities in India.

Alternatively, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation organizes affordable daily guided bus tours from Aurangabad to Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The buses comfortable air-conditioned Volvo buses. Tours run separately—one goes to Ajanta and the other to Ellora—and can be booked in advance at the Central Bus Stand and CIDCO Bus Stand.

Ellora bus journey departs from Central Bus Stand at 8.30 am and comes back at 5.30 pm.

Or, if you prefer to travel independently, you can easily take a public Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation bus from Aurangabad’s Central Bus Stand to Ellora and Ajanta.

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Brihadeshwara-Temple-cover-ss.jpg
31/Oct/2022

Location

Brihadeshwara Temple is one of the major granite temples in the world. This temple is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in the Thanjavur (formerly Tanjore) district of Tamil Nadu.

Brihadeshwara Temple

History of Brihadeshwara Temple

The Brihadishvara temple, called the Great Temple, is the most magnificent creation of the Cholas. The Cholas followed the Pallavas as the most powerful dynasty in the south and ruled from the 9th to the 14th century. The greatest Chola king, Rajaraja I built this temple in his capital city of Thanjavur in the 11th century. As a symbol of his great power, he built a shrine that was five times. taller than any temple existing at the time and one of the biggest structures in the country. Originally called the Rajarajeshvara temple, the Brihadishvara is dedicated to Shiva.

The Chola Empire not only stretched all across the Deccan peninsula but also into Sri Lanka. They had a flourishing trade with Burma, and Indonesia and even sent an envoy to the court of the emperor of China. The visit of the Chola ambassador mentioned in the chronicles of the royal Chinese court. The Chola kings built great temples at Kumbhakonam, Thiruvayur, Srirangan, Gangaikondacholapuram and Chidambaram but their greatest creation remains the Brihadishvara at Thanjavur.

Brihadeshwara Temple

Architecture of Brihadeshwara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple or Rajarajeshwaram Temple built in the early 11th century. It also known as Peruvutiyar Kovil. The entire temple made of granite stone. It is the first and only temple of its kind in the world that made of granite. It attracts people with its grandeur, architecture, and central dome. There is a moat on two sides of the Brihadeshwar temple and the Anaikat river flows on one side. Unlike other temples, this temple has a large minaret above the sanctum, which is 216 feet high. This temple has been declared a World Heritage Site on the list of UNESCO.

Brihadeshwara Temple built between 1003-1010 AD by the Chola ruler Rajaraja Chola. It is also called Rajarajeshwara Temple after his name. Brihadeshwara Temple was counted among the largest structures in the world of its time. It is thirteen (13) a storeyed building (the number of stories is odd in all Hindu establishments) and is about 66 meters high. This temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva.

 

Brihadeshwara Temple

Matching the size of the temple, the deity in the garva griha is a giant lingam 3.5 metres high and 7.5 metres in circumference. The lingam brought from the Narmade river. Facing the main door sits a black granite Nandi bull that is the second largest in the country. The consort goddess named Brihannayaki and she has her own Shrine as does Subrahmanya, the warrior son of Shiva and Parvati. The temple has two tanks, Seppunaikan and Shivaganga.

Chola’s sculpture moved away from the profusion and intricacy of the Pallava work with a judicious use of figures between plain panels of stone. The Pallava lions vanished and only the traditional deities, the ashta-dikpalas, celestial creatures, and the Shaivite gods and goddesses find a  place on the walls of the temple. If Thanjavur became a center of the art sculpture, painting, music, and dance – the patronage of the king and this temple played a great part.

There is a square mandapa inside the gopuram upon entering the Brihadeeswarar temple. There Nandi ji seated on the stage. This statue of Nandi is 6 meters long, 2.6 meters wide, and 3.7 meters high and weighs 25 tonnes.

This is the second largest statue of Nandi made in a single stone in India. The Naya rulers built a pavilion to protect Nandi from the sun and rain. Mainly three festivals celebrated with great pomp in the Brihadeshwara temple – Shivaratri in Maasi (February-March month), Navratri in Purattasi (September-October month time), and Apsi (November-December month) Rajarajan festival celebrated.

Inscription on piler

Re-building and renovation of Brihadeshwara Temple

The Chola rulers named this temple as Rajarajeshwara but the Maratha rulers who attacked Tanjore named this temple Brihadeshwar. The deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. 12 feet high Shivling installed inside the main temple. It is an excellent example of Dravidian architecture. The main temple and the gopuram date back to the 11th century. Since then, the temple rebuilt, renovated and repaired several times.

Pilers

The temple  damaged due to war and invasion and sabotage by the Mughal rulers. Later, when the Hindu kings reconquered the region, they repaired this temple and got some other constructions done. Later the kings repainted and beautified the old paintings on the walls of the temple.

The temple includes idols of Lord Kartikeya (Murugan Swamy), Mata Parvati (Amman), and Nandi built by the Nayak kings in the 16-17th century. Many inscriptions in the Sanskrit language and Tamil language also carved in the temple.

Lord Nandi

 

Wonderful Statue of Lord Nandi at Brihadeshwara Temple

 

The huge idol of Nandi installed in the gopuram inside the temple is also a unique wonder. This idol of Nandi is 16 feet long, 8.5 feet wide and 13 feet high and weighs 20,000 kg. The special thing is that the idol has only oneIt carved out of stone. It is the second largest statue of Nandi in India.

Brihadeshwara Temple

Brihadishvara Temple Facts

Brihadeshwara Temple is a wonderful piece of architecture. The temple built in such a way that the shadow of the dome does not fall on the ground. The Kumbam stone on its summit weighs 80,000 kg, and  made by cutting a single stone. One wonders how the 80-tonne stone would  carried to the top of the temple, which remains a mystery to date. It believed that a 1.6-kilometer-long ramp built on which extended inch by inch leading to the summit of the temple.

130,000 tonnes of stone used to build the Brihadisvarar temple. It took only a record 7 years to build such a big temple. After all, how many people engaged in this work, and what was the technology in that era that the construction work completed in such a short time which is not possible even in today’s time. This amazing temple has faced 6 major earthquakes so far, but it has not suffered any damage.

Brihadeshwara Temple

Most of the Brihadeshwara temple made of hard granite stone and the rest part made of sandstone rocks. The nearest source of granite stone is located at a distance of 100 km from the temple. Right now, no one has the answer as to how stones of such a large quantity and size brought to the temple construction site from such a long distance. There is also no mountain around the temple, from where there is a possibility to bring stones.

Granite rocks are so hard that special diamond-cutting tools to be used to cut them. It is a matter of great wonder how such beautiful, artistic sculptures could made by carving rocks in the temple without modern equipment in that period.

Brihadeshwara Temple

Arrangement of Brihadeshwara Temple

The King made lavish endowments of land and money, for the upkeep of the temple. Inscriptions on the walls mention 4 treasurers, 7 accountants, 143 watchmen, and 400 dancing girls employed by the temple. The names and even addresses of some of the devadasis are mentioned but nowhere does one find the names of the architects and craftsmen who built and decorated this temple.

The walls of the temple embellished with frescoes that lay hidden under later paintings done in the Nayaka period. In this century the top layer began to peel off revealing exquisitely beautiful paintings done in the style of Ajanta. The queens and noblemen donated metal icons to the temple which began the tradition of the Chola bronzes. The designs of the sumptuous gem-studded gold jewelry worn by the devadasis are emulated by Bharatanatyam dancers today.

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Kanchipuram-cover-s-1200x800.jpg
30/Oct/2022

Location

A wonderful and unique specimen of South Indian architecture, the Kailashnath Temple is located in Kanchipuram in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which is one of the oldest historical temples here. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is built in Dravidian style.

Kailashnath Temple

History of Kailashnath Temple

The Kailashnath temple was built in the 8th century and belongs to the Pallava dynasty, a prosperous dynasty of South India. The carvings and sculptures made in this temple are also unique in themselves which reflect the rich and illustrious history of the South Indian Pallava dynasty.

While Mamallapuram was part of the Pallavas, Kanchipuram was their capital. A city with a skyline surrounded by gopurams. It is one of the holiest cities in the South. It is one of the Saptapuris, the only one of the seven holy shrines south of the Vindhyas, and is considered the ‘Kashi of the South. Starting with the Pallavas, most of the important dynasties-built temples here so that today Kanchipuram is known as the ‘Golden City of Temples’. The city is dedicated to both Shiva and Vishnu and the two localities here are named Shiva Kanchi and Vishnu Kanchi.

 

Kailashnath Temple

Mythological Story of Kailashnath Temple

The name of the city comes from two words ‘Ka’, Brahma, and ‘Aanchi’ to worship as it is said that Brahma worshiped Vishnu here. It all started when Saraswati asked her husband Brahma who was the greatest goddess, Lakshmi or She, and Brahma was not good enough to choose the latter. So once again, like Pushkar, Brahma faced the wrath of his wife, who refused to sit beside him during the Yagya ceremonies.

When Brahma decided to perform the Yagya alone at Kanchi, a furious Saraswati transformed herself into the fast-flowing Vegvati River and rushed to extinguish the fire of the Yagya. A helpless Brahma called Vishnu for help who lay down on the way to stop the flow of the river. But the war continued between the warring couple and Saraswati first sent the demons and then tried to set everything on fire and each time Vishnu had to come to the rescue. In gratitude, Brahma worshiped Vishnu at Kanchi.

Kailashnath Temple

Significance of Kailashnath Temple

Standing on the banks of the river Vegvati, Kanchi has always been a center of Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu scholarship, attracting some great minds to its monasteries and ashrams. The famous commentator Dharmapala and saint Ramanujacharya lived here, Sri Chaitanya visited the city, and four Vaishnava Alvar saints were born near Kanchi. In addition, one of his monasteries, the Kanchi Kamakoti Peeth, now located in Kumbakonam, established here by the great philosopher-saint Shankaracharya. And like most temples, Kanchi is also an important commercial center. The famous Kanchipuram silk, once woven for the devadasis in temples, is now a major industry.

Detail sculpture

The oldest and most beautiful temple in Kanchipuram is the Kailasanatha Temple, which  originally named the Rajasingheswara Temple. It built in the 7th century by the Pallava king Rajasimha, who also built the Coast temple at Mamallapuram. It built at the request of his queen and dedicated to Shiva as the Lord of Mount Kailash. Shiva’s home  seen as a mountain where he surrounded by his family, other gods, celestial beings, and mythical animals. The temple is one of the finest examples of Pallava architecture. All the sculptural elements like massive lion pillars and deities  seen here under the outer walls.

An interesting historical touch is the inscriptions listing the 250 royal titles of Rajasimha and the bas-relief panels running along the corridor that depict the main episodes of his life. They trace the history of the Pallavas to Vishnu himself and also show that the Pallava kings won in battle against their greatest enemies, the Chalukya kings of Vatapi. The story has an interesting postscript. Later, the Chalukya king Vikramaditya II invaded Kanchi and vowed to level every building in the city to avenge the destruction of his capital, Vatapi. But when they saw the Kailasanatha temple they succumbed to its majestic power, and “a mighty conqueror conquered from the building”.

Kailashnath Temple

The architecture of Kailashnath Temple

The deity in the sanctum sanctorum is a 16-faced, black stone lingam more than two meters high. Among the most beautiful sculptures are depictions of many divine personalities of Shiva. Shiva depicted as Dakshinamurthy, the merciful teacher, and Yogeshwar, the handsome young ascetic, as Gangadhar, holding a river in his hair, and as Kirat, battling Arjuna. There are 58 such depictions of many moods and forms of this charming god. There are remains of paintings on the inner walls and ceilings.

stunning carvings of the temple

The temple housed within an enclosure, consisting of smaller shrines with domes against the inner wall. The pavilion was initially a separate hall but joined to the vimana by a gap added later. The aircraft has a four-tiered spire with a wagon-shaped roof over it.

All the elements typical of Dravidian temple architecture the pyramidal spire, and the monastery along the inner wall of the enclosure, the gopuram above the entrance, the carving of the main deity at the bottom on the outer wall of the vimana – seen here. Many of them like vimanas and gopurams would become more exaggerated and ornate with time. Wall of the enclosure, the gopuram towering over the entrance, and the carvings of the main deity in niches on the outer wall of the vimana – seen here. Many of them like the vimana and the gopuram would get more exaggerated and ornamental with time.

In Kailasanath the architects built the plinth in granite but the main structure in sandstone and soft stone gave them greater ease of carving. The temple completed by Rajasimha’s son Mahendravarman and he added a temple at the entrance, while some smaller temples near the entrance are gifts from the queens. Kailasanatha’s design and sculpture lack the luster and opulence of later temples but have a primitive charm in the rough carvings on its age-dark walls, the mighty lion, and the numerous images of Shiva. The clean lines of the vimana and the gopuram make this temple one of the most attractive in Kanchipuram.

One temple

Festival at Kailashnath Temple

The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with great pomp in the Kailashnath temple. Thousands of devotees and tourists visit the temple on this day every year to take part in this festival. On this day, a grand puja is organized in the temple in the evening.

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Shiva Temples

Baijnath Shiv Temple, Kangra, Himachal

Dharmeshwar Mahadev Temple, Himachal

The Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud, Karnataka

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi,Karnataka

Kalahasteeswarar Vayu Lingam Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Vishwanath Temple, Kashi, Uttarpradesh

Kailashanath Temple At Ellora, Maharastra

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple, Maharastra

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple , Uttarakhand

 

Shakti Temples

Kangra Brijeshwari Temple, Himachal

Kangra  Chamunda Devi Temple, Himachal

Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai, Tamilnadu

Kumari Devi Temple(Kanyakumari), Tamilnadu

Bhimakali Temple, Himachal

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Shringeri Sharadamba Temple,Karnataka

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharastra

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Hanumangarhi Temple, Ayodhya, Uttarpradesh

Mahabali Temple, Manipur

Hanuman Temple, Allahabad, Uttarpradesh

 

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Trinetra Ganesh Temple, Ranthambore, Rajasthan

Ganapatipule Temple, Ratnagiri, Maharastra

Bada Ganesh Temple Of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

 

Krishna/Vishnu Temples

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Kerala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kerala

Suchindram Temple, Tamil Nadu


Badrinath-Dham-1s.jpg
29/Oct/2022

If Kedarnath is the kingdom of Shiva, then Badrinath worships Vishnu, whose earthly home is in Vaikuntha beyond the Valley of Flowers. The living shrine of Badrinath Dham situated on the left bank of river Alaknanda and said to be the favorite place of Lord Krishna. In the Mahabharata, he is quoted as asking his disciple Uddhava to go to Badrinath to purify his soul. It is one of the Char Dhams, the four places of pilgrimage established in the main directions of the country are Dwarka, Puri, and Rameshwaram.

Location

Badrinath is a Hindu holy city and a Nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Badrinath Dham situated at an altitude of 11204 feet (3415 m) in the shadow of the Neelkanth Peak and is a sacred Hindu shrine situated on the banks of the Alaknanda River, amidst the Nar-Narayan hills.

From Rishikesh down there is a journey uphill with high winding turns of roads clinging precariously to the sides of the hills with deep valleys. Badrinath is 300 km from Rishikesh and at an altitude of 10,000 feet, it is situated between two hills of Nar Parvat, a man’s mountain, and Narayan Parvat, the God’s mountain. The site is an ancient one, mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam as the place chosen by the sages for their ashrams where they composed many of the sacred texts of the Vedas. It is also called Narada Kshetram because Narada Rishi attained salvation here.

Badrinath Dham

Legend

One of the myths of Badrinath tries to explain the unusual symbol of Vishnu in the temple. The weathered black stone idol is seated in a yogic, cross-legged Padmasana posture commonly seen in the symbol of a meditating Shiva and Buddha. According to the story, once the Lord allowed his wife Lakshmi to massage his feet and was punished by a sage for such worldly pleasures. An ascetic Vishnu fled to Badrinath and began to meditate in the yoga posture of Padmasana. He eventually abandoned his ascetic path at the request of Lakshmi, but on the condition that the Badrinath region remained a valley reserved for meditating ascetics.

Legend has it that an ancient Vishnu temple standing here destroyed 1200 years ago. The original temple dates back to the 8th century when the peripatetic sage Swami Shankaracharya arrived here after traveling across India. His journey had started in Kerala and he had come here to meet a famous scholar named Badrayana, who wrote the Vedanta Sutras. Shankaracharya wrote a commentary, commentary on the text. At Badrinath he and his disciple Padmapadacharya established first maath, a Vidya Mahavidyalaya, and then the temple. Even today the priests of the temple come from the Brahmin community of Rawal Namboodiris of Kerala.

Badrinath Dham

Here Vishnu appeared to Shankaracharya in his dreams in the form of Shree Narayan. This was the idol that stood in the old temple centuries ago. When the temple destroyed the idol thrown into the Narada Kund, a pond in the Alaknanda River. Vishnu asked Shankaracharya to find the idol and install it in a new temple. The sage entrusted the task to Padmapadacharya, who retrieved the idol and built a temple as per his guru’s wish.

Significance of Badrinath Dham

 

The temple of Shankaracharya  expanded and adorned by the Garhwal kings 400 years ago and the shikhara gilded by Ahilyabai, the Maratha queen of Indore. The temple constructed of stone which for some reason covered with bright garish paint. It is not an architecturally significant structure but the great antiquity of the site, the presence of the spirit of Shankaracharya, and the pilgrims and their prayers have given it great sanctity.

Badrinath Dham

The Temple

In the sanctum sanctorum, there is black stone inlaid images of Badrinarayan sitting in the yoga posture of Padmasana under a gold umbrella. At the entrance of the sanctum is a gaddi, the seat where Shankaracharya meditated. There are many hot sulfur springs like Tapatapani and Narad Kund where Agni, the god of fire said to reside, and the icy waters of Alaknanda flow just below the hot springs in a marvel of nature. With the arrival of winter snow, the temple gets closed and the worship continues at Joshimath.

Believe and Rituals

It is believed that by offering Tulsi leaves, God can be appeased. It said that only one Tulsi leaf makes God happy. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the tradition of offering Tulsi leaves here has been going on for years. But here, as Prasad, not Tulsi offered to Lord Vishnu, but Panch Tulsi garland, raw gram lentils, sugar candy, and kernels offered. Here you will get to see the idol of Lord Vishnu painted with yellow sandalwood.

It is customary here that no common person can touch the idol of Badrinath. Only one person inside the temple has the right to touch this idol, whose name is V. Kesavan Nambuthiri Rawal. They say that only the people of the elite section of Kerala can touch the main statue of this temple. Let us tell you that you cannot take any kind of photos inside this temple. Cameras, mobiles, and electronic devices not allowed inside this temple. The priests have to say that taking photos here and putting them on the internet hurts the religious sentiments of the people, so it is forbidden to take photos here.

Badrinath Dham also called Moksha Sthal. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that here in Pitra Paksha you will find thousands of devotees offering Pind Daan on the banks of the Alaknanda River. Often people consider the Ganges River as the most suitable place for bone immersion after death. Similarly, Badrinath Dham is also famous for attaining salvation. When Lord Vishnu sets out on his Char Dham Yatra, first of all, Lord Vishnu makeup up Badrinath. After this, after going to Dwarkadhish, they do makeup, and after doing meditation, they come to Puri and take prasad. Eventually, Lord Vishnu goes to Rameshwaram and takes a bath.

 

It said that this is the same area when Lord Shankar convicted of killing Brahma, then the head which kept in the trident of Lord Shankar was freed after coming here. Since then, it also called Moksha Kshetra. It said that one attains salvation immediately after feeding the prasad found here to the ancestors.

 

There is a holy water tank in Badrinath which surrounded by walls from all sides. The special thing about this pool is that Agnidev himself seated in this pool. There is a miraculous element in this pool, due to which the water of this pool keeps on boiling. The more surprising thing is that no one harmed by this boiling water. The miraculous incident related to this pool is also that no one knows from where the water of this pool comes, nor is there any water source nearby. It said that a mere bath in this pool washes away the sins of the people.

 

How To Reach Badrinath Dham

By air

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, which is about 317 km from Badrinath. Taxis and bus services are available from Dehradun airport to Badrinath Dham.

By train

Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Dehradun all have their railway stations. The nearest railway station from Badrinath is Rishikesh (about 297 km). Badrinath can be reached by bus/taxi from Rishikesh.

By road

Badrinath Dham has situated on National Highway No. 58. State transport buses run regularly between Badrinath and Rishikesh (297 km). Local transport Union and state transport buses and taxis run regularly between Badrinath and Rishikesh (297 km), Haridwar (320 km), Dehradun (340 km), and Delhi (530 km).

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Shiva Temples

Baijnath Shiv Temple, Kangra, Himachal

Dharmeshwar Mahadev Temple, Himachal

The Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud, Karnataka

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi,Karnataka

Kalahasteeswarar Vayu Lingam Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Vishwanath Temple, Kashi, Uttarpradesh

Kailashanath Temple At Ellora, Maharastra

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple, Maharastra

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple , Uttarakhand

 

Shakti Temples

Kangra Brijeshwari Temple, Himachal

Kangra  Chamunda Devi Temple, Himachal

Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai, Tamilnadu

Kumari Devi Temple(Kanyakumari), Tamilnadu

Bhimakali Temple, Himachal

Durga Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Shringeri Sharadamba Temple,Karnataka

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharastra

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Trinetra Ganesh Temple, Ranthambore, Rajasthan

Ganapatipule Temple, Ratnagiri, Maharastra

Bada Ganesh Temple Of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

 

Krishna/Vishnu Temples

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Kerala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kerala

Suchindram Temple, Tamil Nadu


Meenakshi-Mandir-Cover.jpg
28/Oct/2022

The history of the Meenakshi Mandir dates back as far back as the 7th century. It is said that the first changes in the structure of the Meenakshi Mandir were made by King Vishwanatha Nayak of Madurai in 1560. During the reign of Tirumalai Nayaka (1623–55), several complexes were built in the temple, including the Vasantha Mandapam and the Kilikokondu Mandapam. Rani Mangalam builds the tanks of the Meenakshi Amman temple and the corridors of the Meenachi Nayakar Mandapam.

 

Many controversies arose about the succession to the Pandya throne around the 14th century. Alauddin of Delhi invaded Madurai in 1310 and exploited the anarchy. His general Malik Kafur was behind the extensive loot of the city which disturbed the life of the common people. Of the fourteen minarets of the Meenakshi Mandir, all were destroyed except only Sundareswarar and Meenakshi.

Meenakshi Mandir

Location

It is 2 KM from Meenakshi Mandir Railway Station. It is situated in a city called Madurai, Tamil Nadu.

History of Meenakshi Mandir

This temple is about 2600 years old. The history of this mythical temple is described in the Puranas. The name of the person who restored this temple for the first time 2400 years ago is not found in history. The glory of the Sundareswarar temple in Madurai was at its height during the reign of King Alavaya in the 7th century. In the 9th century, depicted 30 pastimes of Shiva. After the 12th century, this great temple got the name ‘Meenakshi Sundareswarar’.

Meenakshi Mandir

In 1310, Malik Kafur ransacked and looted the temple. Hindu kings renovated the temple between the 1370 and 14th centuries. Thirumalai Naikkar gave a lot of support in rebuilding this temple. Between 1572-95, Birappa Naikkar got the Sahastra Stambha Mandapa and North Gopura constructed in the temple.

Jata Varman Sundar Pandya built the eight-story Eastern Gopuram between 1140 and 1256. The nine-storeyed Western Gopuram  built in 1323. In the 16th century, Raja Chevvanti Chetti built the southern Gopuram. King Krishna Veerappa built the northern Gopuram in the 16th-17th. Chitra Gopuram  built in 1570 by Kalathimudalai.

 

Seva Nidhi Murthy got the Nayak Gopuram built in the year 1559. Various gopuras  built by different kings between the 15th-16th centuries. This temple famous everywhere for the grandeur of its construction.

The temple built on about 22 bighas of land. It has four main Gopurams around it. By the way, there are 27 Gopuram in the temple, small and big. The highest is the Gopura of the South and the most beautiful is the Gopura of the West. The big gopuras are eleven stories high. On entering through the gopuras one finds a pavilion, which houses fruit and flower shops. It is called ‘Nagar Mandap’.

In front of it is the Ashtashakti Mandapa. In this, in place of pillars, the idols of eight Laxmis have become the base of the roof. There is an idol of Subramaniam on the right side of the door and Ganesh Ji on the left.

Next to it is the Meenakshinayakam Mandapa, there are shops in this pavilion. There is a Shatastambha Mandapa before the big temple. It has 120 pillars. In each pillar, there are statues of kings and queens of the Nayak dynasty. After the entrance, there is a thousand pillared pavilion. Near the gate are sculptures of hunters and animals nearby the Meenakshi Kalyan Mandap.

Meenakshi Mandir

Mythological Story of Meenakshi Mandir

There are many mythological stories associated with Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple. Similarly, there is a story that this temple built by Indra Dev when he came here to atone for his sins. Another legend says that Goddess Parvati appeared as the daughter of the Pandya king Malayadvaja Pandya, as she prayed a lot to the Lord. Let us tell you that the girl had three breasts and it said that when she met her husband, her third breast disappeared on its own.

 

“Tadatagai” was the name of the king’s daughter and she was the heir to the throne. She was a scholar and was proficient in 64 scriptures and had knowledge of all subjects to rule the kingdom wisely. Legend has it that after marriage, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati ruled here for many years. Shiva-Parvati started their journey to heaven from where the Meenakshi temple is located today.

Inside the temple

The architecture of Meenakshi Mandir

Northeast of the Purva Gopur is a lake called Saptasamudra. The idol of Shiva is 7th century old. This temple renovated by King Jatavarman Kulasekara Pandya. In the sanctum, a 3-feet high Shivling installed in a 10-foot circle in a 2-foot Jalhari.

The statue of Nandi installed two feet. This is the Shivshakti Peeth where Mata Parvati seen in the form of Meenakshi. The dome of the temple is 50 feet high. Gopuras built in four directions.

Every Friday, Meenakshi takes out the golden deities of Sundareswarar so that the devotees can have darshan. The security wall of the temple is 80 feet and the other is 40 feet. After Meenakshi Darshan, there are darshan of golden flag pillar, pavilion, copper idols of gatekeepers, Vinayak Ji, Subrahmanyam Swamy, etc.

The specialty is that the indicator of Mercury is knowledge. Hence the planet Mercury is in front of Meenakshi Devi. The green stone is of Mercury. That is why the idol of God is made of stone. The deity of Mercury is Vishnu and Gauri Devi. Therefore, those who worship Goddess Meenakshi get good knowledge.

Great craftsmanship

After crossing the three pillars, a 6-feet tall idol of the mother installed in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. There is a gold crown on the stone. The ornaments of gold, diamonds, and gems adorned daily. There is a diamond ring in the nose, the entire idol of the mother made of diamonds and emeralds, in one hand there is a parrot and in the other hand is a peacock.

This place 14th among the 62 divine places of Shakti mentioned in the Devi Gita. Here Mata Parvati established in the form of Meenakshi. The area of ​​the temple 15 acres.

Festivals of Meenakshi Mandir

In the month of Chaitra, the marriage festival of Meenakshi Sundareshwar takes place. At the time of these festivals, when Meenakshi Sundeshwar gets married, many brides and grooms get their marriage done here at a very low cost.

Above the sanctum is a 12 feet high gold pinnacle. Madura called the city of festivals. There are constant festivals going on here. In the month of Chaitra, the Meenakshi Sundareswarar marriage festival takes place, which lasts for ten days. Rath Yatra takes place at this time. In Vaishakh, there is a Basantotsav for eight days from the fifth day of Shukla Paksha. The entire month of Ashadh, Shravan is of celebration. Meenakshi Devi specially worshipped in Ashadh. In Shravan, 64 pastimes of Lord Shankar  commemorated.

It believed that Lord Shankar performed these pastimes with Meenakshi in Madura. In Bhadrapada and in Ashwin, there are special festivals of Navratri festival and Amavasya Purnima. Nataraja consecrated in Adra Nakshatra in Margashirsha and on Ashtami, he undertakes a Rath Yatra to Kalabhairav ​​village. The Rath Yatra of Meenakshi Devi takes place on Paush Purnima.

 

Meenakshi Mandir Timings

 

The temple remains open from 5 am to 9 pm. But the darshan in the temple  closed from 12 noon to 4 pm.

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Shiva Temples

Baijnath Shiv Temple, Kangra, Himachal

Dharmeshwar Mahadev Temple, Himachal

The Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud, Karnataka

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi,Karnataka

Kalahasteeswarar Vayu Lingam Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Vishwanath Temple, Kashi, Uttarpradesh

Kailashanath Temple At Ellora, Maharastra

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple, Maharastra

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple , Uttarakhand

 

Shakti Temples

Kangra Brijeshwari Temple, Himachal

Kangra  Chamunda Devi Temple, Himachal

Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai, Tamilnadu

Kumari Devi Temple(Kanyakumari), Tamilnadu

Bhimakali Temple, Himachal

Durga Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Shringeri Sharadamba Temple,Karnataka

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharastra

Kiriteswari Temple, West Bengal

 

Hanuman Temples

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir, Varanasi, Uttarpradesh

Hanumangarhi Temple, Ayodhya, Uttarpradesh

Mahabali Temple, Manipur

Hanuman Temple, Allahabad, Uttarpradesh

 

Ganesh Temples

Trinetra Ganesh Temple, Ranthambore, Rajasthan

Ganapatipule Temple, Ratnagiri, Maharastra

Bada Ganesh Temple Of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

 

Krishna/Vishnu Temples

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Kerala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kerala

Suchindram Temple, Tamil Nadu


elephanta-caves7.jpg
27/Oct/2022

Location

Elephanta Caves also known as Gharpurichi Leni is located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple complex area is approximately 60000 square feet and consists of a central hall, two lateral ones, several subsidiary shrines and courtyards. Also, the temple complex has three routes. The entire place is carved out of solid natural rock with intricately carved sculptures of idols. Among the low hills, a number of caves were excavated between the 5th and 8th centuries and filled with a profusion of majestic sculpture.

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

The architecture of Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

There are mainly seven caves where the true excellence of ancient Indian architecture can be examined. Elephanta Caves have some highly prepared rocks; However, there are also some hard untreated rocks. The most prominent manifestation of sculpted caves can be seen in the two major groups of caves here.

History of Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

No one really knows for sure who created these cave temples, which king or dynasty chose to leave their imprint in stone on this island. The Portuguese named the island Elephanta after the figure of an elephant that stood at the door of the caves. At the same time, it was Portuguese soldiers who vandalised the caves and defaced many of the sculptures.

The Elephanta caves are dedicated to the many aspects of Shiva and they have some of the most powerful depictions of the many moods of this complex deity. There are a number of smaller shrines around the main cella and the panels of sculptures along the walls illustrate many episodes from the life of the god, like his marriage to Parvati, fighting the demon Andhaka and his bringing Ganga to earth. From the docks, a flight of stairs leads to the entrance of the cave which has a columned verandah with figures of dwarapalas, or doorkeepers, at two ends.

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

Shiva Temple

 

The mandapa has sculptures on all sides but the main icons are along the south wall. These giant sculptures of Shiva and his consort Parvati with their attendants’ groups of apsaras, demons and dwarfs carved not just with superb technique and artistry but also with a fervour that sensed even after the figures  so cruelly mutilated. The sculptures done in high relief carved in deeply cut niches in the wall and guarded by dwarapalas set against pilasters. religious.

The rest of the cave minimally decorated as if to create an ambience focussed on the main deity, a temple where only Shiva is present to receive your devotions. Here he is Nataraja, the cosmic dancer as he dances the tandava his enraged dance of destruction. He is Yogishwara, the supreme ascetic seated in the dhyana mudra on a lotus and he is also Ardhanarishvara, half male and half female as a symbol of the active and passive forces of nature.

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

The most famous portrait of Shiva,  the three-headed bust of Maheshwara, also called Trimurti, on the south wall of the cave. The image is six metres high, with Shiva wearing a high ornamental crown as the king of all three worlds. The magnificent sculpture has Shiva’s three faces showing benign, angry and serene expressions that capture the essence of the god with supreme artistry.

He is the detached creator on the right holding a lotus, the kind preserver in the centre and the ruthless destroyer on the left with a snake writhing around his neck. Chiselled with extraordinary passion by some long-forgotten sculptor this image has a power that only a true genius could have carved out of rigid stone. There are many beautiful shrines to Shiva but through their majestic sculptures, these artists made sure Shiva dances only at Elephanta.

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Elephanta Caves assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1987. Thus, a remarkable site visited by many tourists during their visit to Mumbai to explore the historical and spiritual wonders. Also, every February, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) organizes a spectacular dance festival at Elephanta Island.

 

How to reach Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple

The best travel option to Elephanta Caves is to catch a boat or ferry service from the Gateway of India in Mumbai. It may take around 1 hour by sea to reach Elephanta Caves. You can also opt for economy boats, which charge less for tickets. The first boat leaves the island at 9:00 am and the last at 5:00 pm.

Click to Follow: Facebook and Twitter

 

You May Also Read:

Shiva Temples

Baijnath Shiv Temple, Kangra, Himachal

Dharmeshwar Mahadev Temple, Himachal

The Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjangud, Karnataka

Virupaksha Temple, Hampi,Karnataka

Kalahasteeswarar Vayu Lingam Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand

Vishwanath Temple, Kashi, Uttarpradesh

Kailashanath Temple At Ellora, Maharastra

Brihadeshwara Temple, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu

Elephanta Caves Shiva Temple, Maharastra

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple , Uttarakhand

 

Shakti Temples

Kangra Brijeshwari Temple, Himachal

Kangra  Chamunda Devi Temple, Himachal

Meenakshi Mandir, Madurai, Tamilnadu

Kumari Devi Temple(Kanyakumari), Tamilnadu

Bhimakali Temple, Himachal

Durga Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Shringeri Sharadamba Temple,Karnataka

Mahalakshmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharastra

Kiriteswari Temple, West Bengal

 

Hanuman Temples

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir, Varanasi, Uttarpradesh

Hanumangarhi Temple, Ayodhya, Uttarpradesh

Mahabali Temple, Manipur

Hanuman Temple, Allahabad, Uttarpradesh

 

Ganesh Temples

Trinetra Ganesh Temple, Ranthambore, Rajasthan

Ganapatipule Temple, Ratnagiri, Maharastra

Bada Ganesh Temple Of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

 

Krishna/Vishnu Temples

Ranganathaswamy Temple, Andhra Pradesh

Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple, Kerala

Padmanabha Swamy Temple, Kerala

Suchindram Temple, Tamil Nadu