Sunday, January 31, 2016

बृहदीश्वर मंदिर : अदभुत वास्तुकला, brihadeshwara temple of Tanjore where the temple tower's shadow will never fall on earth

brihadeshwara temple of Tanjore ,  where the temple tower's shadow will never fall on earth


बृहदीश्वर मंदिर : अदभुत वास्तुकला का उदाहरण
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

क्या आप पीसा की झुकी हुई
मीनार के बारे में जानते हैं?? जरूर जानते होंगे. बच्चों
की पाठ्य-पुस्तकों से लेकर जवानी तक
आप सभी ने पीसा की इस
मीनार के बारे में काफी कुछ पढ़ा-लिखा होगा.
कई पैसे वाले भारतीय सैलानी तो वहाँ होकर
भी आए होंगे. पीसा की
मीनार के बारे में, वहाँ हमें बताया जाता है कि उस
मीनार की ऊँचाई 180 फुट है और इसके
निर्माण में 200 वर्ष लगे थे तथा सन 2010 में इस
मीनार ने अपनी आयु के 630 वर्ष पूर्ण
कर लिए. हमें और आपको बताया गया है कि यह बड़ी
ही शानदार और अदभुत किस्म की
वास्तुकला का नमूना है. यही हाल मिस्त्र के पिरामिडों
के बारे में भी है. आज की
पीढ़ी को यह जरूर पता होगा कि मिस्त्र के
पिरामिड क्या हैं, कैसे बने, उसके अंदर क्या है आदि-आदि.
लेकिन क्या आपको तंजावूर स्थित “बृहदीश्वर
मंदिर” (Brihadishwara Temple) के बारे में
जानकारी है? ये नाम सुनकर चौंक गए ना?? मुझे
विश्वास है कि पाठकों में से अधिकाँश ने इस मंदिर के बारे में
कभी पढ़ना तो दूर, सुना भी
नहीं होगा. क्योंकि यह मंदिर हमारे बच्चों के
पाठ्यक्रम में शामिल नहीं है. ना तो भारतवासियों ने
कभी अपनी समृद्ध परंपरा, विराट
सांस्कृतिक विरासत एवं प्राचीन वास्तुकला के बारे में
गंभीरता से जानने की कोशिश
की और ना ही पिछले साठ वर्ष से लगभग
सभी पाठ्यक्रमों पर कब्जा किए हुए
विधर्मी वामपंथियों एवं सेकुलरिज़्म की
“भूतबाधा” से ग्रस्त बुद्धिजीवियों ने इसका गौरव
पुनर्भाषित एवं पुनर्स्थापित करने की कोई कोशिश
की. भला वे ऐसा क्योंकर करने लगे?? उनके अनुसार तो
भारत में जो कुछ भी है, वह सिर्फ पिछले 400 वर्ष
(250 वर्ष मुगलों के और 150 वर्ष अंग्रेजों के) की
ही देन है. उससे पहले ना तो कभी भारत
मौजूद था, और ना ही इस धरती पर कुछ
बनाया जाता था. “बौद्धिक फूहड़ता” की हद तो यह है
कि भारत की खोज वास्कोडिगामा द्वारा बताई
जाती है, तो फिर वास्कोडिगामा के यहाँ आने से पहले
हम क्या थे?? बन्दर?? या भारत में कश्मीर से केरल
तक की धरती पर सिर्फ जंगल
ही हुआ करते थे?? स्पष्ट है कि इसका जवाब सिर्फ
“नहीं” है. क्योंकि वास्कोडिगामा के यहाँ आने से पहले
हजारों वर्षों पुरानी हमारी पूर्ण विकसित
सभ्यता थी, संस्कृति थी, मंदिर थे, बाज़ार
थे, शासन थे, नगर थे, व्यवस्थाएँ थीं... और यह सब
जानबूझकर बड़े ही षडयंत्रपूर्वक पिछली
तीन पीढ़ियों से छिपाया गया. उन्हें सिर्फ
उतना ही पढ़ाया गया अथवा बताया गया जिससे उनके मन
में भारत के प्रति “हीन-भावना” जागृत हो. पाठ्यक्रम
कुछ इस तरह रचाए गए कि हमें यह महसूस हो कि हम
गुलामी के दिनों में ही सुखी थे,
उससे पहले तो सभी भारतवासी
जंगली और अनपढ़ थे...
बहरहाल... बात हो रही थी
बृहदीश्वर मंदिर की. दक्षिण भारत के
तंजावूर शहर में स्थित बृहदीश्वर मंदिर भारत का
सबसे बड़ा मंदिर कहा जा सकता है. यह मंदिर “तंजावूर प्रिय
कोविल” के नाम से भी प्रसिद्ध है. सन 1010 में
अर्थात आज से एक हजार वर्ष पूर्व राजराजा चोल ने इस विशाल
शिव मंदिर का निर्माण करवाया था. इस मंदिर की प्रमुख
वास्तु (अर्थात गर्भगृह के ऊपर) की ऊँचाई 216
फुट है (यानी पीसा की
मीनार से कई फुट ऊँचा). यह मंदिर न सिर्फ वास्तुकला
का बेजोड़ नमूना है, बल्कि तत्कालीन तमिल संस्कृति
की समृद्ध परंपरा को भी प्रदर्शित करता
है. कावेरी नदी के तट पर स्थित यह
मंदिर पूरी तरह से ग्रेनाईट की
बड़ी-बड़ी चट्टानों से निर्मित है. ये चट्टानें
और भारी पत्थर पचास किमी दूर
पहाड़ी से लाए गए थे. इसकी अदभुत
वास्तुकला एवं मूर्तिकला को देखते हुए UNESCO ने इसे “विश्व
धरोहर” के रूप में चिन्हित किया हुआ है.
दसवीं शताब्दी में दक्षिण भारत में चोल
वंश के अरुलमोझिवर्मन नाम से एक लोकप्रिय राजा थे जिन्हें
राजराजा चोल भी कहा जाता था. पूरे दक्षिण भारत पर
उनका साम्राज्य था. राजराजा चोल का शासन श्रीलंका,
मलय, मालदीव द्वीपों तक भी
फैला हुआ था. जब वे श्रीलंका के नरेश बने तब
भगवान शिव उनके स्वप्न में आए और इस आधार पर उन्होंने इस
विराट मंदिर की आधारशिला रखी. चोल नरेश
ने सबसे पहले इस मंदिर का नाम “राजराजेश्वर” रखा था और
तत्कालीन शासन के सभी प्रमुख उत्सव
इसी मंदिर में संचालित होते थे. उन दिनों तंजावूर चोलवंश
की राजधानी था तथा समूचे दक्षिण भारत
की व्यापारिक गतिविधियों का केन्द्र भी. इस
मंदिर का निर्माण पारंपरिक वास्तुज्ञान पर आधारित था, जिसे चोलवंश
के नरेशों की तीन-चार्फ़ पीढ़ियों
ने रहस्य ही रखा. बाद में जब पश्चिम से मराठाओं
और नायकरों ने इस क्षेत्र को जीता तब इसे
“बृहदीश्वर मंदिर” नाम दिया.
तंजावुर प्रिय कोविल अपने समय के तत्कालीन
सभी मंदिरों के मुकाबले चालीस गुना विशाल
था. इसके 216 फुट ऊँचे विराट और भव्य मुख्य इमारत को इसके
आकार के कारण “दक्षिण मेरु” भी कहा जाता है.
216 फुट ऊँचे इस शिखर के निर्माण में किसी
भी जुड़ाई मटेरियल का इस्तेमाल नहीं
हुआ है. इतना ऊँचा मंदिर सिर्फ पत्थरों को आपस में “इंटर-लॉकिंग”
पद्धति से जोड़कर किया गया है. इसे सहारा देने के लिए इसमें
बीच में कोई भी स्तंभ नहीं
है, अर्थात यह पूरा शिखर अंदर से खोखला है. भगवान शिव के
समक्ष सदैव स्थापित होने वाली “नंदी”
की मूर्ति 16 फुट लंबी और 13 फुट
ऊँची है तथा एक ही विशाल पत्थर से
निर्मित है. अष्टकोण आकार का मुख्य शिखर एक ही
विशाल ग्रेनाईट पत्थर से बनाया गया है. इस शिखर और मंदिर
की दीवारों पर चारों तरफ विभिन्न
नक्काशी और कलाकृतियां उकेरी गई हैं.
गर्भगृह दो मंजिला है तथा शिवलिंग की ऊँचाई
तीन मीटर है. आगे आने वाले चोल राजाओं
ने सुरक्षा की दृष्टि से 270 मीटर
लंबी 130 चौड़ी बाहरी
दीवार का भी निर्माण करवाया.
सोलहवीं-सत्रहवीं शताब्दी
तक यह मंदिर कपड़ा, घी, तेल, सुगन्धित द्रव्यों आदि
के क्रय-विक्रय का प्रमुख केन्द्र था. आसपास के गाँवों से लोग
सामान लेकर आते, मंदिर में श्रद्धा से अर्पण करते तथा बचा हुआ
सामान बेचकर घर जाते. सबसे अधिक आश्चर्य की
बात यह है कि यह मंदिर अभी तक छः भूकंप झेल
चुका है, परन्तु अभी तक इसके शिखर अथवा मंडपम
को कुछ भी नहीं हुआ. दुर्भाग्य
की बात यह है कि शिरडी में सांई
की “मजार” की मार्केटिंग इतनी
जबरदस्त है, परन्तु दुर्भाग्य से ऐसे अदभुत मंदिर
की जानकारी भारत में कम ही
लोगों को है. इस मंदिर के वास्तुशिल्पी कुंजारा मल्लन
माने जाते हैं. इन्होंने प्राचीन वास्तुशास्त्र एवं
आगमशास्त्र का उपयोग करते हुए इस मंदिर की रचना
में (एक सही तीन बटे आठ या 1-3/8
अर्थात, एक अंगुल) फार्मूले का उपयोग किया. इसके अनुसार इस
मात्रा के चौबीस यूनिट का माप 33 इंच होता है, जिसे
उस समय "हस्त", "मुज़म" अथवा "किश्कु" कहा जाता था.
वास्तुकला की इसी माप यूनिट का उल्लेख
चार से छह हजार वर्ष पहले के मंदिरों एवं सिंधु घाटी
सभ्यता के निर्माण कार्यों में भी पाया गया है. कितने
इंजीनियरों को आज इसके बारे में जानकारी
है??
सितम्बर 2010 में इस मंदिर की सहस्त्राब्दि अर्थात
एक हजारवाँ स्थापना दिवस धूमधाम से मनाया गया. UNESCO ने
इसे “द ग्रेट चोला टेम्पल” के नाम से संरक्षित स्मारकों में स्थान
दिया. इसके अलावा केन्द्र सरकार ने इस अवसर को यादगार बनाने के
लिए एक डाक टिकट एवं पाँच रूपए का सिक्का जारी
किया. परन्तु इसे लोक-प्रसिद्ध बनाने के कोई प्रयास
नहीं हुए.
अक्सर हमारी पाठ्यपुस्तकों में पश्चिम
की वास्तुकला के कसीदे काढ़े जाते हैं और
भारतीय संस्कृति की समृद्ध परंपरा को
कमतर करके आँका जाता है अथवा विकृत करके दिखाया जाता है.
इस विराट मंदिर को देखकर सहज ही कुछ सवाल
भी खड़े होते हैं कि स्वाभाविक है इस मंदिर के निर्माण
के समय विभिन्न प्रकार की गणितीय एवं
वैज्ञानिक गणनाएँ की गई होंगी.
खगोलशास्त्र तथा भूगर्भशास्त्र को भी ध्यान में रखा
गया होगा. ऐसा तो हो नहीं सकता कि पत्थर लाए, फिर
एक के ऊपर एक रखते चले गए और मंदिर बन गया... जरूर कोई
न कोई विशाल नक्शा अथवा आर्किटेक्चर का पैमाना निश्चित हुआ
होगा. तो फिर यह ज्ञान आज से एक हजार साल पहले कहाँ से
आया? इस मंदिर का नक्शा क्या सिर्फ किसी एक
व्यक्ति के दिमाग में ही था और क्या वही
व्यक्ति सभी मजदूरों, कलाकारों, कारीगरों,
वास्तुविदों को निर्देशित करता था? इतने बड़े-बड़े पत्थर पचास
किमी दूर से मंदिर तक कैसे लाए गए?? 80 टन
वजनी आधार पर दूसरे बड़े-बड़े पत्थर
इतनी ऊपर तक कैसे पहुँचाया गया होगा?? या कोई
स्थान ऐसा था, जहाँ इस मंदिर के बड़े-बड़े नक़्शे और
इंजीनियरिंग के फार्मूले रखे जाते थे?? फिर हमारा इतना
समृद्ध ज्ञान कहाँ खो गया और कैसे खो गया?? क्या
कभी इतिहासकारों ने इस पर विचार किया है?? यदि हाँ, तो
इसे संरक्षित करने अथवा खोजबीन करने का कोई
प्रयास हुआ?? सभी प्रश्नों के उत्तर अँधेरे में हैं.
संक्षेप में तात्पर्य यह है कि भारतीय कला,
वास्तुकला, मूर्तिकला, खगोलशास्त्र आदि विषयों पर ज्ञान के अथाह
भण्डार मौजूद थे (बल्कि हैं) सिर्फ उन्हें पुनर्जीवित
करना जरूरी है. बच्चों को पीसा
की मीनार अथवा ताजमहल (या
तेजोमहालय??) के बारे में पढ़ाने के साथ-साथ शिवाजी
द्वारा निर्मित विस्मयकारी और अभेद्य किलों,
बृहदीश्वर जैसे विराट मंदिरों के बारे में भी
पढ़ाया जाना चाहिए. इन ऐतिहासिक, पौराणिक स्थलों की
“ब्राण्डिंग-मार्केटिंग” समुचित तरीके से की
जानी चाहिए, वर्ना हमारी
पीढियाँ तो यही समझती
रहेंगी कि मिस्त्र के पिरामिडों में ही विशाल
पत्थरों से निर्माण कार्य हुआ है, जबकि तंजावूर के इस मंदिर में
मिस्त्र के पिरामिडों के मुकाबले चार गुना वजनी पत्थरों से
निर्माण कार्य हुआ है.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

ANCIENT CAVES USED BY HINDU MONKS AND BUDDHISTS

ANCIENT CAVES USED BY HINDU MONKS AND THEN LATER BUDDHISTS
TALAJA Near Bhavnagar Gujarat state . India
The serene town of Talaja on the banks of Shetrunji River, has around 30 ancient Hindu / Buddhist caves cut into the rocks, with perfectly identifiable carvings of Boddhisatva. The most impressive structure is the Ebhala Mandapa, a large hall with four octagonal pillars in the front.
This ancient Mahabharata era caves of the early Haihaiya's whose The adventurous group of Yadava lineages are those which come under the title of the Haihaya clans. These were in the main, five, all of whom called themselves Talajangha (perhaps with the palm tree as totem?). Among these were included the Saryata (whose ancestors had fled from Kusasthali), Bhoja, Vitihotra, Avanti and Tundikera. The Haihayas moved along the Narmada and are believed to have captured Mahismati from the Karkotaka Naga and fortified it as an important settlement.
One line of Yadus via Satvata, Andhaka and Vrsni migrated to Dvarka in Kathiawar.
 The serene town of Talaja on the banks of Shetrunji River, has around 30 ancient Hindu / Buddhist caves cut into the rocks, with perfectly identifiable carvings of Boddhisatva. The most impressive structure is the Ebhala Mandapa, a large hall with four octagonal pillars in the front.
This ancient Mahabharata era caves of the early Haihaiya's whose The adventurous group of Yadava lineages are those which come under the title of the Haihaya clans. These were in the main, five, all of whom called themselves Talajangha (perhaps with the palm tree as totem?). Among these were included the Saryata (whose ancestors had fled from Kusasthali), Bhoja, Vitihotra, Avanti and Tundikera. The Haihayas moved along the Narmada and are believed to have captured Mahismati from the Karkotaka Naga and fortified it as an important settlement.

One line of Yadus via Satvata, Andhaka and Vrsni migrated to Dvarka in Kathiawar.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kalakacharya

Kalakacharya
There was a Jain king Vairisimha of Dhara (Dhar, MP) and Queen Surasundari, who had a son called Kalaka and daughter Sarasvati. Once when they were in Ujjain, King Gardabhilla of Ujjain was enamoured by the beauty of Sarasvati, carried her off. After futile attempts to recover her from clutches of Gardabhilla, Kalaka went westward after crossing river Sindhu reached the country where number of saka chiefs, who were sahi (Subordinates of sahanusahi) ruled. Kalaka broght them under his influence. Once their overlord became angry over Sahis, Kalaka migrated them to India. They came to Ujjain conquering along the way. Sakas defeated captured Gardabhilla alive. They established their ruler in Ujjain and divided the country among themselves. Kalaka recovered Sarasvati and avenged humiliation. After four years of saka rule, Gardabhilla son Vikramaditya drove away sakas and established his rule. Gardabhilla ruled for 13 years, Saka 4 years and Vikramaditya 60 years. This account is from Pattavali (Sanskrit) of Merutunga (14th century AD) sourced from earlier Prakrit Gathas.
 

Rajasthani Video Folk song

video
Rajasthani Song

Saturday, January 23, 2016

मारवाड़ मन्दिर -चमत्कारी मन्दिर, amazing magic temple of Marwad,Rajasthan,India


एक मंदिर ऐसा भी है जहा पर पैरालायसिस(लकवे ) का इलाज होता है ! यहाँ पर हर साल हजारो लोग पैरालायसिस(लकवे ) के रोग से मुक्त होकर जाते है यह धाम नागोर जिले के कुचेरा क़स्बे के पास है, अजमेर- नागोर रोड पर यह गावं है ! लगभग ५०० साल पहले एक संत होए थे चतुरदास जी वो सिद्ध योगी थे, वो अपनी तपस्या से लोगो को रोग मुक्त करते थे ! आज भी इनकी समाधी पर सात फेरी लगाने से लकवा जड़ से ख़त्म हो जाता है ! नागोर जिले के अलावा  पूरे देश से लोग आते है और रोग मुक्त होकर जाते है हर साल वैसाख, भादवा और माघ महीने मे पूरे महीने मेला लगता है !
 सन्त चतुरदास जी महाराज के मन्दिर ग्राम बुटाटी में लकवे का इलाज करवाने देश भर से मरीज आते हैं| मन्दिर में नि:शुल्क रहने व खाने की व्यवस्था भी है| लोगों का मानना है कि मंदिर में परिक्रमा लगाने से बीमारी से राहत मिलती है|

राजस्थान की धरती के इतिहास में चमत्कारी के अनेक उदाहरण भरे पड़े हैं| आस्था रखने वाले के लिए आज भी अनेक चमत्कार के उदाहरण मिलते हैं, जिसके सामने विज्ञान भी नतमस्तक है| ऐसा ही उदाहरण नागौर के 40 किलोमीटर दूर स्तिथ ग्राम बुटाटी में देखने को मिलता है। लोगों का मानना है कि जहाँ चतुरदास जी महाराज के मंदिर में लकवे से पीड़ित मरीज का राहत मिलती है।

वर्षों पूर्व हुई बिमारी का भी काफी हद तक इलाज होता है। यहाँ कोई पण्डित महाराज या हकीम नहीं होता ना ही कोई दवाई लगाकर इलाज किया जाता। यहाँ मरीज के परिजन नियमित लगातार 7 मन्दिर की परिक्रमा लगवाते हैं| हवन कुण्ड की भभूति लगाते हैं और बीमारी धीरे-धीरे अपना प्रभाव कम कर देती है| शरीर के अंग जो हिलते डुलते नहीं हैं वह धीरे-धीरे काम करने लगते हैं। लकवे से पीड़ित जिस व्यक्ति की आवाज बन्द हो जाती वह भी धीरे-धीरे बोलने लगता है।

यहाँ अनेक मरीज मिले जो डॉक्टरो से इलाज करवाने के बाद निरास हो गए थे लेकिन उन मरीजों को यहाँ काफी हद तक बीमारी में राहत मिली है। देश के विभिन्न प्रान्तों से मरीज यहाँ आते हैं और यहाँ रहने व परिक्रमा देने के बाद लकवे की बीमारी अशयजनक राहत मिलती है। मरीजों और उसके परिजनों के रहने व खाने की नि:शुल्क व्यवस्था होती है।

दान में आने वाला रुपया मन्दिर के विकास में लगाया जाता है। पूजा करने वाले पुजारी को ट्रस्ट द्वारा तनखाह मिलती है। मंदिर के आस-पास फेले परिसर में सैकड़ों मरीज दिखाई देते हैं, जिनके चेहरे पर आस्था की करुणा जलकती है| संत चतुरदास जी महारज की कृपा का मुक्त कण्ठ प्रशंसा करते दिखाई देते।

Friday, January 22, 2016

PAZHUVUR TEMPLE TAMILNADU

PAZHUVUR TEMPLE TAMILNADU
When Uraiyoor was the capital of the Chola kingdom, many local kings became their supporters and vassals. One of them called Pazhuvettarayar was the king of Pazhuvoor. The name of Periya Pazhuvettarayar was Ambalavaanan and is mentioned in the ASI board displayed outside the Keezha Pazhuvur Temple. Another famous general, Paluvettaraiyar Maravan Kandanar served Uttama Chola. A battle-hardened old warrior and a powerful nobleman, he was Sundara Chozhan's treasurer as well. His son, Kumaran Maravan also served Uttama Chola. Ambalavan Pazhuvurnakkan (also known as Vikramachola - Maharajan of Kuvalalam) features during Uttama Chola's rule and continues into Rajaraja I's reign.

The Pazhuvettaraiyars, related to the Cholas by marriage, were responsible for a number of donations to the Pazhuvur Temples. Inscriptions say that in the 12th year of Parantaka Chozhan, Paluvettaraiyar Kandan Amudanar fought a victorious battle at Vellore against the forces of the Pandya king and his Ceylonese ally, in which the Pandya lost his life.

Keezha Pazhuvur’s Alanduraiyappar Temple finds mention in the hymns of Thevaram sung by Thirugnana Sambandar, the poet-saint of Tamil literature. The hymn says that the temple rituals were conducted by priests from Kerala who settled down in this area. Legend says that Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and creator of the land of Kerala, brought them to conduct the poojas and rituals of Alanduraiyappar Temple. Some scholars say that the Pazhuvettarayars, who belonged to the land of Parasurama, may have encouraged their migration.



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Murudeshwara temple in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India.

Murudeswara Temple Raja Gopuram.Image.jpg.Murudeshwara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, lies in the holy beach town in the Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district in the state of Karnataka, India. Situated between the Honnavar and Bhatkal town(about 12kms) The statue of Shiva here is the world’s tallest and it lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea.
 Murudeshwar, the temple town with a vibrant scenic beauty and golden history, is located on the Arabian seafront in North Kanara Dist, Karnataka. It is situated on the NH-17, about 160 kms north of the port city of Mangalore.

The nearest airport is also at Mangalore. Daily flights operate from Bangalore to Mangalore. Murudeshwar is well connected by road and most buses plying on the NH-17 between Mangalore and Mumbai stop at Murudeshwar. There are overnight buses also from Bangalore to Murudeshwar.

But the most picturesque and memorable experience would be to reach Murudeshwar from Mangalore or Goa by Konkan Railway and alight at Murudeshwar railway station adjoining the National Highway. Many trains stop at this station.

Murudeshwar can be visited throughout the year. Each season brings out a different hue of the coastal town.


History of Murudeshwara Temple

 The legend of Murudeshwar goes back to the age of Ramayana.
Ravana, the asura king of Lanka, wished to have the all powerful Atmalinga of Shiva, so that he can become invincible and immortal by worshipping it. Pleased by his severe penance, Lord Shiva gave him the Atmalinga but warned him not to place it on the ground till he reached his destination.

Lord Shiva, Murudeashwar.Image.jpg.
Upset by the thought that Ravana would become more powerful by worshipping the Atmalinga, the Gods devised a plan to take it away from Ravana. The Gods knew that Ravana being a pious devotee of Lord Shiva was punctual in performing the periodical rites everyday.

 As Ravana approached Gokarna, Lord Vishnu blotted the sun with his Sudharshana Chakra. Thinking that it was evening, Ravana was in two minds whether to put down the Atmalinga or skip his evening rites. Just then, Lord Ganesh came to that place in the guise of a brahmin boy. Ravana called the boy and asked him to hold the linga until he completed his evening rites. The boy agreed on the condition that he'd keep the linga down if Ravana didn't return before the boy called out his name thrice. Ravana agreed and went about his rituals, but by then the boy called out his name thrice and place the Atmalinga on the earth, and it got firmly entrenched in the earth.
When Vishnu withdrew his Sudharshan chakra, Ravana saw bright sunlight and understood that he was tricked by the Gods. He became furious. He came to the Linga and tried to uproot it with all his might. But the idol did not budge even a liitle. The idol's shape now looked like a cow's ear. Hence, the place is known as Gokarna. [Go means Cow and karna means Ear in sanskrit.] The crest fallen Ravana was deeply upset and beat the boy on his head. In anger he pulled and threw the case of linga, which fell 23 miles away at Sajjeshwar. He threw the lid to the south 27 miles away at Guneshwara in the form of “Vamdev Linga”. He threw the cloth wrapped to the idol to south, 32 miles away at Kanduka hills on shore of sea. It took the form of “Aghora”at Murudeshwar. The thread winding the idol was flung to south at Dhareshwara, came to known as “Tathpurusha Linga”.

Shiva learnt all this from wind god Vayu. He came on earth along with Parvathi and Ganesha and visited all these five places and worshipped the linga. He declared that these would be his Panchakshetras and those who worshipped lingas at those places would be free from all sins and their wishes would be fulfilled and ultimately reach the abode of Shiva.

   

Pilgrimage Destination

 Murudeshwar is a pilgrim's paradise. Right from the monumental entrance arch, the divinity of the place envelops the pilgrim.

The Rajagopura at the entrance of the Temple is the world's tallest, standing at 249 feet. Inaugurated in May 2008, this mammoth structure is the latest addition to the Temple. The Gopura has 22 floors and is the only Gopura to be fitted with elevators.

Besides the temple, the pilgrim finds himself in the midst of numerous sculptures on the Kanduka hill. The Geetopadesha, Sun chariot, the sculpture of Lord Ganesh receiving the Atmalinga from Ravana in the form of a young boy, and others dot the landscape of the hill. On the very top is the Shiva statue. Beneath the statue is a cavern with impressive life-size sculptures depicting the story of Murudeshwar narrated through an impressive sound and light show.


   

Vacationer Destination

 Not just the Temple, Murudeshwar has a plentiful to appeal to the visitor. The scenic beauty of this coastal town is sure to relax and rejuvenate you!
The calm and wide sea soothes the senses even before you enter the water. A stroll along the seaside pathway with green landscape on one side and the sea on the other is the ultimate relaxation.

There's more for the children, and the child in the vacationer. There's a wavepool and waterpark also nestled on the hillock.

Definitely not to be missed on a trip to Murudeshwar, is the spectacular sunset across the sea on a clear evening. The best view would be from the Sunset Point next to the wavepool.

How to Reach

 Road: Murdeshwar is one km deviated from the NH17 from Mangalore and 220 kms from Goa. There are private and state transport buses operating between Bengalaru and Bhatkal from Majestic.

Train: Murdeshwar lies in the Konkan stretch and many trains stop at this station, including express trains.

Air: Nearest airport is at Mangalore (127km).

 

Hotels


Sai Vishram Beach Resort
Dombe Village, Paduvari, Byndoor, Udupi 576 214
Tel:
Fax: 08254-32 3902
Email: enquiry@saivishram.com
Website: www.saivishram.com
Tariff: 2000.00 to 7000.00

Akuna Matata
Mahalingeshwar Temple Road, Vchil, Udupi
Email: akunamatata@live.in
Website: www.akunamatata-beach.com
Tariff: 1500.00 to 3000.00

Paradise Isle Beach Resort
Malpe Beach, Udupi 576 108
Tel: 0820-253 8666
Fax: 0820-253 8035
Email: info@theparadiseisle.com
Website: www.theparadiseisle.com
Tariff: 1320.00 to 9350.00

Hotel Century-Executive
Mosque Road, Next to Swarna Jewellers, Off Udupi District Bus Stand, Udupi 576 101
Email: info@centurycomforts.com
Website: www.centurycomforts.com
Tariff: 1299.00 to

Palm Grove Beach Resort
Fisheries Road, Yermalbada, Udupi 574 119
Tel: 0820-257 7115
Email:
Website:
Tariff: 1200.00 to 2000.00

Hotel Shaan
Near City Bus Stand, Mosque Road, Udupi 576 101
Email:
Website:
Tariff: 800.00 to 1000.00

Indianreligious Temple 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat,INDIA

The Sun Temple, Modhera, at Modhera in Gujarat, is a temple dedicated to the Hindu Sun-God, Surya. It is situated on the bank of the river Pushpavati, 25 km from Mehsana and 102 km from Ahmedabad. It was built in 1026 AD by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. In the present times, prayers are not offered in this temple. This temple is now under the supervision of Archaeological Survey of India.
History
According to the Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana, the areas near Modhera were known during ancient days as Dharmaranya (literally meaning the forest of righteousness). According to these Puranas, Lord Rama, after defeating Ravana, asked sage Vasistha to show him a place of pilgrimage where he could go and purify himself from the sin of Brahma-hatya (the sin of killing a Brahmin, because Ravana was a Brahmin by birth). Sage Vasistha showed him Dharmaranya, which was near the modern town of Modhera. In the Dharmaranya, he settled at a village Modherak and performed a yagna there. Thereafter he established a village and named it Sitapur. This village is about 15 km from Becharaji Modherak village and it subsequently came to be known as Modhera.
The Sun Temple was built by Bhimdev I of Solanki dynasty in 1026. This was the time when Somnath and the adjoining area was plundered by Mahmud Ghazni and reeled under the effects of his invasion. The Solankis, however, regained much of their lost power and splendour. Anhilwad Patan, the Solanki capital, was restored to glory.
Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshi Gurjar or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes.
Architecture
Plan of Temple and Reservoir
The Sun temple is of a unique architecture. The temple comprises three separate, axially aligned and integrated elements: Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap.
Surya Kund
This Suryakunda, also known as Ramakunda, is a large rectangular stepped tank measuring 53.6 x 36.6 meters under the east face of sabhamandap used to store pure water. Devotees were required to perform ceremonial ablutions here before worshiping the Sun God. The Suryakund is a finest example of geometry. The organization of stone into composition gives shape to a dazzling pattern of art. It is proportioned with innumerable stone steps leading devotees down to its base. 108 miniature shrines are carved in between the steps inside the tank. Also number 108 considered to be auspicious by Hindus as Hindu rosary has same number of beads.
Panoramic view of the Surya Kund
Reservoir deities
 There are four terraces to descend to reach the bottom of the tank. Small pyramid-shaped steps are for each terrace. God and Goddess depicted in immortalized stone unfold the sculpture wealth: Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesh, Lord Natraj, Sitlamata's presence a marvel created during Solanki era.
Two huge ornamental arches called Toran forms a gateway to the Sabha Mandap (assembly hall)/{aztaca}.
Sabha Mandap
The Sabha Mandap with ornately carved pillars and ceiling
This hall of religious gatherings is a magnificent pillared hall. It is open from all sides and has 52 intricately carved pillars representing 52 weeks in a year. The carvings depict episodes from the Hindu epics of Ramayan, Mahabharat and Krishna Lila (i.e., story of Lord Krishna).
Between the Sabha Mandapa and the sanctum sanctorum is a beautiful hall with pillars and arches, whose facade has been renovated and partially redone. The walls have 12 niches showing the different aspects of the Sun God in each month.
Sanctum sanctorum
The Guda Mandap
This is called the main temple or the Sanctum sanctorum. Lotuses open with sunrise and close itself with sunset; it is considered to be the sun's flower. The entire temple is therefore based on an inverted lotus-base plinth. It was designed so that the rays of the rising and setting sun on the day of Summer solstice 21 June and NOTequinox (20 March and 21 September generally) fell on the bejeweled pure gold idol of Sun riding on his chariot driven by Saarthi Arun. Sun's chariot has seven horses and Saarthi Arun sits on the fourth. The entire gold idol (including the charioteer, chariot and horses) was placed on a pit that was 15 feet deep and filled with gold coins. It was built by the Solankis in honour of their ancestral God. It was plundered by Mahmud Gazni. The entire gold idol was taken away by him.
Exterior
The exterior of the temple walls has 12 different postures of Adityas - Sun God along with eight Dikpals, Lord Vishwakarma - who constructed Golden Dwarka city for Shri Krishna, Varundev - God of Water, Agnidev - God of Fire, Ganesh - God for starting, Mata Saraswati - Goddess of Education & Wisdom. Also seen Samundramanthan.
Erotic sculptures
All important religions of India like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism have presented erotic motifs in their art. It was seen as an act that brought about fertility. Hence at this temple a most profound depiction of sexual iconography is displayed, at the exterior walls of the main temple itself.
Erotic motifs in Indian temples are not meant for artistic scultures. The errotic motifs were meant for training the minds of the Jain aspirants. These young aspirants have to be celibates throughout their lives. Therefore, they must have a knowledge of sexual acts. The aspirants are given chance to think about remaining celibate. Various theories are there right from challenging aspirants to not go to toughest part of celibates to artistic erotic sculptures being seen as very normal and normal revered human nature which commanded reverence and admiration.
Detail from Wikipedia

Sri Nrusinghanath Temple in Orrisa, India

        
Sri Nrusinghanath, One of the great temples of Orissa in India. Orissa is always been known as the place of Lord Jagannath and Sun Temple Konark. However, there are few exciting places remains hidden to the popularity for different reason. One of such place is Sri Nrusinghanath. Sri Nrusinghanath temple is situated at the foot of Gandhamardhan Hill in Bargarh district of Orissa.The nearest bus stop to Nrusinghanath is Paikmal around 40 Kms. from Nuapada and around 190 kms from Raipur. From Paikmal take right turn to Sri Nrusinghanath. The Sri Nrusinghanath temple is one of the ancient temple of Orissa. It always excite forest lovers. On the way to the temple from Nuapada, one will enjoy the exciting dense forest both side of the road. The Nrusinghanath temple it self is covered by forest and a small water fall. Apart from the temple one can also visit Patora dam near by. The Patora dam is around 20 kms. from Nuapada. The temple is well connected by road from each side. However, a direct rail connection is yet to be there. People coming by rail have to get down at Khariar Road and take a taxi to Nuapada. From Nuapada, take left to Paikmal and then right turn to Nrusinghanath temple. From Nuapada, one can take right turn to Patora Dam. Here are few exciting moments of my tour to the place.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Annavaram Temple East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh

Annavaram Temple

  • Destination: East Godavari

Location

Annavaram Temple is situated in Annavaram, a village situated on the banks of the Pampa River in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The main feature of Annavaram is the shrine of Lord Veera VenkataSatyanarayana Swamy situated on the Ratnagiri hills. This temple stands second only to Tirupati in terms of size in Andhra Pradesh.

History Of The Temple

A tale goes behind the origin of the hill and how the Lord came to exist in that place. Meruvu, the Lord of the hills, with his consort Menaka did a great penance and as a result, were gifted two sons by the grace of Lord Vishnu. One was named Bhadra and the other Ratnakara. Bhadra pleased Lord Vishnu with his great devotion and was blessed to become a hill known as Bhadragiri on which Lord Vishnu resided permanently in form of Lord Rama. This place is now well known as Bhadrachalam. To emulate his brother, Ratnakara also started praying Lord Vishnu. Pleased with his penance, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamy and blessed him to turn into hill known as Ratnagiri. Since then the Lord resides on the hill of Ratnagiri, named after Ratnakara.
There is also a myth related to the place as how the idol was discovered. It is said that the Lord Vishnu himself came into the dreams of a villager named EarankiPrakasam and told him that his Vigraha (idol) was lying on the Ratnagiri hill, under a tree, unattended and abandoned. He told him to trace it and sanctify it again. That villager informed this very fact to Sri Raja I.V.Ramanarayanam, the then landlord of Gorsa and Kirlampudi estates. The landlord with the help of villagers acted accordingly and found the idol underneath a tree on the hill. They performed the main rituals and installed it at a little higher place from where it was found in the year 1891 AD. This place is now known as the Sravana Suddha Vidiya.

Construction Of The Temple

The main temple was constructed on the Ratnagiri hill with a soothing view of Bay of Bengal (15 km away) on one side and row of Eastern Ghats on the other side. The hillock is about 300 feet above the sea level and about 460 well laid stone steps leads to the top of it. When the idol was found in 1891, only a small shed was constructed. The temple got reconstructed with the locally available stone in 1933-34. Later, when the same reached in neglected condition, it was again renovated during 2011-12.
The main temple is constructed in the form of a chariot with four magnificent wheels on each of the four corners. Opposite to the main temple is Kalyana Mantapa, established and decorated with modern style of architecture. As you go along the way down, you will see Ramalaya and the shrines of Vana Durga and Kanaka Durga. The Akriti of the temple is according to Agni Purana, a manifestation of the Prakriti.The front side of the temple depicts the Chariot. It symbolises the seven worlds of universe. The Meru on the floor with pillar at the center and the idols at the top, are enlightened to bring forth the fact that Lord not only remains at the heart’s centerbut alsocontrol the whole universe. The wheel depicting the Sun and Moon remind us that this universe moves on the wheels of time, and goes on forever and ever. Thus, the ritualistic values and spiritualistic aspirations of the devotees are fulfilled when they visit this temple.
The temple consists of two floors. The ground floor contains the Yantra and peetham of the Lord. There are four deities namely Ganapati, Suryanarayana swamy, Bala Tripurasundari and Maheswara swamy on the four sides of the Yantra which combinely constitutes to form panchayathanam. The 1st floor contains the main idol of Lord Satyanarayana Swamy which is in the centre, the image of Goddess Anantha Lakshmi Ammavaru in the right and Lord Shiva on the left. The idols are very elegant and varnished in gold kavachams. The adjoining shrine of Lord Rama, the Kshetra Palaka of this holy abode, is also considered deeply sacred.
The most special and unique attraction of the temple is the 13 feet high cylindrical structure representing the Trimurthis or the holy trinity of the universe- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The base being in the lower sanctum representing Lord Brahma, the top is in the upper sanctum representing Lord Vishnu and the middle portion represents Lord Shiva. Due to this, temple attracts both the Shaivite and Vaishnavite pilgrims.

Best Time To Visit

September to March and May
Festivals are celebrated year around this temple. Thousands of pilgrims flock here during popular festivals like Kalyanam Festival in May and Devi Navaratri Festival in September.

Temple Timings

Temple remains open for public between 6AM to 12:30PM and 1PM to 9PM every day.

Official Website

For more details about the temple, visit www.annavaramdevasthanam.nic.in

Transportation

By Air

Rajahmundry Airport is the nearest one, which is 80 km away from the temple and is well connected to Hyderabad. Visakhapatnam Airport (115 km) is the other airport which is situated close to Annavaram and is connected to major cities of India and abroad.

By Train

Annavaram has its own railway station. It falls on the Chennai-Howrah route. Most of the express trains halt here. It is just 3 km away from the temple.

By Road

APSRTC and private travels operate regular bus services to Annavaram from major cities of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Devasthanam at Annavaram is also running buses from Downhill to Uphill. The best way to reach temple is by your own means of transport like car or private taxis.

Ramalingeswara Temple ,Mulug Taluka in Warangal district, Andhra Pradesh

Ramappa Temple

  • Destination: Warangal
Ramalingeswara Temple is located in a valley of Palampet village of Venkatpur Mandal, in the Mulug Taluka in Warangal district. It is situated at a distance of 64 km from Warangal, the ancient capital of Kakatiyas. The temple bears the great Kakatiyan style of art and is situated near the Ramappa tank (now Ramappa Lake), an ancient engineering marvel of the 13th century AD. It is a well built tank where semi circular chain of hills is connected with a 2000ft long earthen dam to form a lake.

Histoty

The temple is more popularly known as Ramappa Temple due to the astounding fact that Ramappa is neither the name of the king nor the deity worshipped, but the architect of the temple. It is probably the only temple in India which is known by the architect who made it. Inscriptions dated way back to 1213 serves proof of the temple having been built under the reign of King Kakati Ganapathi Deva by his chief commander Recherla Rudra Samani at Ranakude in the province of Atukuru.The temple has also been tagged as the “Brightest star in the galaxy of medieval temples in the Deccan”. The temple was built in 40 years.Its presiding deity is Ramalingeswara, one of the many forms of Lord Shiva and a personal God of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation, Ram.

Construction

The temple stands on a 6feet high star shaped platform elevated above its surroundings with Garbagriha, an Antarla and Maha Mandapa with lateral porched entrances on three sides. The main sanctum is surrounded by a pradakshinapatha and is crowned with a shikhara. The hall in front of the sanctum is engraved by exquisite carved pillars that combine light and space so as to complement the magnificent walls and ceilings. Rich and beautiful carvings adorn the walls and pillars of this wonderful temple. The most prominent of them all are the sculptures of Hindu mythology that covers the temple from its base all the way to its ceilings and wall panels. The entire complex is enclosed within a compound wall. There are two subsidiary shrines on either side of the main temple, which are in good condition apart from the other votive shrines present in the temple. The temple houses a Shivalingam that is over 9 feet tall. A ruined Nandi Mandapam at the entrance of the temple with an imposing 9 feet high Nandi is still intact. Kakatiyan’s temples have the Nandi in an alert position which seems to be waiting for an order of Lord Shiva, unlike the other temples of India where Nandi are placed straight to deity. There is an additional entrance from the north which leads to Navaranga Mandapam in front of the sanctum. The ceilings are carved with exquisite patterns and divided into compartments by columns from the bottom. The temple signifies many facets of the Shiva like the Himalaya Mountains, his royal residence and his in habitation of the sacred space beyond the mortal realm.
The entire temple is spread over an area of 5 acres. The main entrance gate facing east in the outer wall of temple is now ruined, so one can enter through small west gate only. The temple is approached through a lawn with a tree lined path. The most exceptional thing about the temple isthat the bricks of the temple are so light that they can float on water. Hence, the temple is also known as “Temple of Floating Bricks”. The temple is still so intact after natural calamities, numerous wars and invasions over the years. There were even instances of local people carrying away the bricks to see that they float in water, before the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) took charge of it.

Best Time To Visit

October to March
The temple celebrates the festival of Mahashivratri in a grand manner and thousand of devotees during this time flock here to take blessings from Lord.

Temple Timings

Temple remains open for public from 6AM to 6PM every day.

Transportation

By Air

Hyderabad is the nearest airport which is around 230 km away from the temple and is connected with major cities of India and abroad.

By Train

There are no trains to Palampet. Nearest railhead is Warangal; one should get down there and reach down Ramappa Temple by a bus or taxi
.

By Road

There is no direct bus from Warangal to Ramappa temple. You have to reach Mulug from Warangal by APSRTC or local bus. From Mulug, you can take a bus or auto rickshaw. The bus will drop you at a point where a separate road is built towards this temple and basically it’s a small village, which is only 1.5km from the temple. The best way to reach the temple is by your own mode of transportation like Car.

Official Website

There is no official website of this temple.

Gnana Saraswati Temple, Adilabad, Basara Telangana,Andhra Pradesh


Gnana Saraswati Temple

  • Destination: Adilabad, Basara

Location

The Gnana Saraswati Temple, also known as Basara Temple is located on the banks of Godavari River at Basar in Adilabad district of Telangana. It is situated around 148 km from the district headquarters and 45 km away from Nizamabad. It is one of the two most famous Goddess Saraswati Temples of India, the other being located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. This is an ancient temple dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and learning. It is also the abode of Goddess Laksmi and Goddess Kali.

History Of The Temple

The history of the temple goes back to the times of Mahabharata, nearly about 5000 years back. According to a legend, Maharishi Vyasa also known as Veda Vyasaand his disciples with sage Suka decided to settle down in calm and soothing atmosphere after the epic Kurushetra war was over. Therefore, he travelled from north to south and in a quest to found peaceful place, came to Dandaka forest and settled here. He used to meditate very deeply everyday and due to his meditation, this region was also called as Tapobhoomi. One day, in the passage of his meditation, he got the dream of Goddess Saraswati who told him to bring fistful of sand from Godavari River after having sacred bath every day to this cave and keep it as three heaps. After some days, due to true penance and devotion of VedVyasa, the three deities from the three heaps appeared in the form of Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Kali. This idol made of sand has their face marked with turmeric and it is said that eating little bit of turmeric paste will enhance one’s knowledge and perception. Since Maharishi Vyasa spent ample of time in prayers here only, the place was named after him as Vasara, which turned later into Basara or Basar due to influence of Marathi speaking people in the region. It is also said that, according to BrahmandaPurana, Maharishi Vyasa wrote Mahabharata here only. You can see the Maharshi’s idol made of marble and his Samadhi near the temple. It is also believed that this is one of the three temples constructed by Ashtrakutas near the confluence of Godavari and Manjira rivers.

Construction Of The Temple

The temple was first constructed by Maharshi Vyasa only. Then, during 6th century, King Bijialudu, who was the ruler of Nandagiri with Nanded as his capital, renovated the temple. During 11th to 18th century, various attempts to destroy the temples and idols of Basar were done by Mughal Nawabs. At that time, a young man named Sri Makkaji Patel who belonged to the Veershaiva dynasty of Renukapuram with the help of some locals fought against them and thus protected the temple from Muslim invasions.
The main presiding deity in the temple is of Goddess Saraswati, is in seated position with her instrument Veena in one hand and adorned with turmeric. Adjacent to it, is the shrine of Goddess Lakshmi and to the eastern side of it, is shrine of Goddess Kali. This temple does not have magnificent carvings like the other temples in the region. Devotees often go to nearby mountain which bears the idol of Goddess Saraswati on top of the rock. Due to the presence of these three super goddesses, Basar is called as the abode of the holy trinity.

Some Interesting Facts

Many pilgrims take their kids to this temple to perform the ‘Akshara Abhyasam’ ceremory before starting their formal school education. The kid performs the exercise of letters and devotes pens, books, pencils and notebooks to the Goddess of knowledge.

Best Time To Visit

September to April
Special poojas and celebrations are held during MahaShivaratri, commencing from Vasantha Panchami (15 days before) and continued till 3 days after the festival. Devi Navrathrulu is another festival which is celebrated for 10 days during Dussehra in grand manner. Thousands of pilgrims flock to this place during this time.

Temple Timings

Temple remains open for public from 4AM to 1PM and 2PM to 9PM every day. Temple remains closed between 1PM to 2PM.

Unofficial Website

For more details about the temple, visit www.Basaratemple.org. Note that there is no official website of this temple.

Transportation

By Air

Nearest airport is at Hyderabad, which is situated 235 km away from the temple and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.

By Train

Basar has its own railway station, which is just 2.4 km away from the temple. It is situated on the Secunderabad-Nanded via Nizamabad route. It is well connected to major cities of India.

By Road

APSRTC operates regular buses to Basar from major cities of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple, Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh


Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple

  • Destination: Tirupati

History of the Temple

Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple is one of the oldest and the most famous temples of India. It is situated in the Tirumala, a hill town near Tirupati in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The Tirumala Hill consists of seven peaks which represent seven heads of Adisesha (the first serpent) and hence this hill is also known as Seshachalam Hills. The seven peaks are namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrushabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri. The temple is on the seventh peak, Venkatadri and known as “Temple of Seven Hills”. It lies on the southern ridge of Sri Swami Pushkarini, a sacred holy tank.Lord Venkateshwara means the supreme god who destroys the sins of the people in this material world. He is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
There are several myths and legends related to the origin of the temple. The exact period is not known in which the temple was founded and it is believed that the temple is Swayambhusthala, means it came into existence on its own without anyone constructing it. Numerous temple inscriptions from the 9th and 10th century records details of the temple with contributions made by both Pallava and Chola Kings. As per believers, there was only one shrine at Tirumala. When Ramanuja, a Vaishnav Saint visited Andhra in 12th century, the temple at Tirupati was built. The Chola period saw the temple prosper and expand further. When Srirangam was invaded by Malik Kafur in 1310-11 AD, their presiding deity, Ranganatha Swamy was sheltered in the Ranga Mandapam of the temple. In 1517, Shree Krishna devaraya of the Vijayanagar dynasty, on his one of the visits to the temple donated gold and rich jewels enabling the inner shrine roofing, Vimana to be glided. He had statues of himself and his spouse installed at the portals of the temple and these statues can be seen today also. After the decline of Vijayanagar Empire, the kings from Mysore and Gadwal state also gave valuables to the temple. Then, Maratha general Raghoji Bhonsle visited the temple and for the conduct of worship in the temple, set up a permanent administration. Raja Todarmal, revenue minister of Mughal Emperor Akbar also visited this holy place and you can see his idol in the premises of the temple.
In 1843, with the rise of East India Company and coming of Madras presidency, SevaDossji of the Hathiramji Muttwas entrusted to the administration of the temple and number of shrines as Vicaranakarta for nearly a century until the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) was established in 1932 which was passed by Madras Legislature.
TTD committee was controlled by the commissioner appointed by Government of Madras and was invested with powers of administration. After Independence, Tirupati was integrated to newly formed Andhra state by the Government of India.TTD is now operated by the Board of Trustees which are fifteen in size, they not only oversees the financial aspect of the temple but also involved in various social, religious and educational activities all over India.

Features of the Temple

The Vimanam houses the main deity, Lord Venkateshwara. It is a monumental tower with a golden roof. The diety stands directly below a dome called Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana. The magnificent deity, known as the Mulaberam, is said to be self-manifested and there is no evidence of any human being known to have installed it in the shrine. Lord’s black idol wears a gold crown with an emerald embedded on it and on special occasions, he is bestowed with diamond crown. He bears Goddess Lakshmi on his right chest and Goddess Padmavati on his left chest. He has Yajnopavita flowing down from his left shoulder. The idol is fully decorated with gold ornaments only. Pilgrims are not allowed to enter Vimanam or Garbha Gruham beyond the Kulasekhara Path.The main stone deity which is about 8 feet from toes to top of crown of Lord Venkateshwara known as Dhruva Beram is considered as the main source of energy in the temple. Other deities in the temples are namely BhogaSrininvasa, Ugra Srinivasa, Utsava Beram and Koluvu Beram.
The temple is the second richest pilgrimage centre after Shree Padmanabha swamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It is the most visited place of worship in the world. The temple is visited by lakhs of pilgrims daily and on special occasions like Brahmotsavam; number of pilgrims shoots up to 5 lakhs on a single day. This temple is a fine example of Dravidian style of art and architecture. It is also an important center for wood carving. The world famous TirupatiLaddu is given at temple as prasadam. Many devotees have their head go baldas an offering to God. Hundi collection is the most important temple activitiy among all. Everyday thousands of devotees offer gold to God as a token of love. It is the highest income generating activity in temple which goes as high as 23 million per day.

Best Time to Visit:

September to March

Official Website

For more details about the temple, visit www.tirumala.org

Transportation

By Foot

There are two paths to travel on foot from Tirupati to Tirumala. One is Alipiri Muttu which is situated at the foothills of Tirumala, passes through Tirumala deer park and is 11km long. Other one is Srivari Muttu, originating at Srinivasa Mangapuram about 15km from Tirupati and is 2.1 km long. Srivari Muttu is the most preferred by pilgrims among the two.

By Air

Tirupati Airport is located at Renigunta, 40km away from Tirumala. Regular flights are available from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Nearest International Airport is Chennai (140km), which is connected to all major cities of India and abroad.

By Train

Nearest Railway Station is at Tirupati, 25 km away, which connected with all the major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Madurai. Renigunta is also a major rail head nearby, as it is located on Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram route, which is connected to all cities in India by rail.

By Road

TTD arranges buses between Tirumala and Tirupati with a frequency of every 2 minutes. Taxis are also available from Tirupati to Tirumala. APSRTC and KSRTC buses connect all towns in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with Tirupati. Many tourist service providers arrange package tours to Tirupati from Bangalore (Rs 350), Chennai (Rs 250) and Hyderabad (Rs 600). The charge is about Rs 4-5 per km per person.

Kolleru Lake Bird Sanctuary, West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh India

Kolleru Lake Bird Sanctuary

  • Destination: West Godavari

Location

Kolleru Lake Bird Sanctuary is undoubtedly one of the best fresh water lake sanctuaries in India. It is located on the Kolleru Lake in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated on the delta region between Krishna and Godavari rivers in Andhra Pradesh. It is a beautiful paradise for many migratory birds coming from Australia, Philippines, Egypt and Siberia during the winter season of India. This sanctuary is also known as Atapaka Bird Sanctuary and occupies an area of 308 square kilometres.

About the Sanctuary

The sanctuary was established in November 1999, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and was designated a wetland of international importance in November 2002 under the International Ramsar Convention. Birds like red-crested pochards, pintails, storks and teals are found in large numbers at this exotic bird sanctuary. The natural cool wind from the lakeside and the beautiful surroundings hold a magical appeal to the migratory birds. There is also a watch tower that helps the visiting tourists and explorers to observe the birds very closely.
The main attractions of Kolleru Bird sanctuary is its exquisite wildlife, rich natural greenery and rare bird species. During the monsoon season, the lake becomes a boon for fisherman due to the abundance of prawns and fishes found in it. The lake is visited by more than 1,50,000 birds every year, which include Open Bill Storks, Painted Storks, Blackwinged Stilts, Avocets, Common Redshanks, Glossy Ibises, Shovellers Wigeons, Gadwalls and Cormorants, among others. The flora of the sanctuary mainly include aquatic weeds like Ipomea Aquatics, Scripus, Water Hyacinth, Ottelia, Typha etc. and certain tree species like Babul, Rain tree, Palmyrah, Albezzia and Coconut trees.
The lake supports a rich biodiversity and produces high biomass of fish and plankton which are the source of food for birds. Pelicans arrive here during the Indian winter season to raise their young. The chaos of Pelicans can be heard a quarter of a mile away. 63 species of fish belonging to 29 families are found in the lake. Adventure travellers, nature lovers and environmentalists make it a point to visit this natural home of rare birds.

Best Time to Visit

October to March

Timings

It is open for tourists from 6AM to 5PM every day.

For more information please contact:

Andhra Pradesh Tourist Information Centre
Tourism Department’
Government of Andhra Pradesh
Phone: +91-40-23450444

Transportation

By Air

Vijayawada Airport is the nearest one, 70 km away from the sanctuary and is well connected to major cities of India like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is at Eluru, 28 km away and is well connected to major cities of India. It lies on Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam rail route.

By Road

APSRTC operate regular bus services to Vijayawada from major cities of the state. From there, you can hire taxi to reach Kolleru Lake Bird Sanctuary. One can also take buses from Vijayawada to Kaikaluru town or Nidamarru town which are in close vicinity to the sanctuary.

Adurru Buddhist Site, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh, India

Adurru Buddhist Site

  • Destination: East Godavari
Adurru is a village located in the Razole Taluk of East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. It is an ancient Buddhist religious centre which lies on the west banks of Vainetaya branch of Godavari River. It is situated in very close from Bay of Bengal. The district headquarters is at Kakinada, which is 77 km away from the village.
Adurru is popular abode for the followers of Buddhist religion. In 1953, The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed the century’s old heritage of Viharas, Chaityas, and Buddhist Stupas from this site. These excavations have also revealed ancient artefacts like shreds of red pottery, jars, and bowls of kaolin. The prime attraction of this religious site is a Maha Stupa which stands with a diameter of 17 feet and has been carved out as a wheel on a raised platform. There is also a pyramid shaped structure in Adurru village which is popularly referred to as “Dubaraju Gudi” by the locals.
The popular Buddhist Stupa present here is said to be built during the reign of Emperor Ashoka and it was called as “Mahakshetram”. The Maha Stupa has been also declared as a protected monument by Archaeological Department of India. The place also bears a foundation stone laid by Ashoka’s daughter, Sanghamithra while she was on her way to Sri Lanka. She was a famous Buddhist nun also. On the front side of the site, i.e. towards east, there are two Upa-Stupas on both sides with the same wheel based structure. You will also witness square shaped and round shaped structures towards the west side of the main Stupa. They are systematically well connected with each other from all the sides.
Some of the other enthralling findings at this Buddhist site are the presence of an underground passage to Godavari River and the diamonds-square shaped structures on the main Stupa. The whole excavation site stretches to an area of 2.04 acres and its scenic beauty makes this site a worth visit place.

Address

Adurru Buddhist Site
Boudha Sthupam Road, Adurru,
Dist. East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh

Details

Taluka: Razole Area: East Godavari

Fast Facts

State: Andhra Pradesh District: East Godavari
Languages: Telugu, English Weather: 25°C to 42°C (Max.)
Best Time to Visit: November-March
STD Code: 08862 Pin Code: 533247

How to Reach

By Air

Visakhapatnam Airport is the nearest one, 234 km away from the site and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.

By Rail

Nearest railway station is at Rajahmundry, 74 km away and is well linked with major cities of India. It lies on Howrah-Chennai rail route.

By Road

APSRTC operates regular buses to Amalapuram, 14 km away from the site and is well connected by road from all the major cities of the state. You can hire a taxi from Amalapuram to reach Adurru.

Distance from Nearby Cities

Vijayawada—188 km
Visakhapatnam—230 km
Hyderabad—462 km
Tirupati—600 km

Bhavani Island Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh,India


Bhavani Island

  • Destination: Vijayawada

Location

It is a river island amidst the Krishna River located near Vijayawada in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. The island exhibits one of the biggest lagoons in the region. It encompasses an area of over 133 acres. It is situated in close vicinity from Prakasam Barrage.
Bhavani Island is full of references to the exotic and serene spots of the area. It is known as one of the most peaceful and impressing islands of the state. Various water sport activities like Snorkelling, Reef Walking, Canoeing, Sailing Yachts and Kayaking are being offered here. It is a place to rest, relax and enjoy oneself with its mangroves, well-manicured gardens, immaculate woodlands and sparkling water bodies. The island is a fabulous place to plan for a trip with your family especially on weekends and hundreds of visitors visit this place every year to enjoy the picturesque exquisiteness of the island. The popular drink available for tourists at the island is fresh coconut water. Fishing is another soothing activity that one can enjoy at this island. It is the piece of Nirvana on Earth with its goodwill from Mother Nature.
APTDC is trying to develop this island into a major tourist spot of the state in the near future. They are also developing a project named Shilparamam (Arts and Craft Village) which will encourage the local artisans and weavers to showcase their extraordinary work. They are also planning to include some more adventure sports activities, resorts and a ropeway.
APTDC also runs a resort named Haritha Resort at Bhavani Island where the visitors can stay in the unique treetop cottages that are elevated on stilts.
For more details about the accommodation, visit www.aptdc.gov.in .

Address

Bhavani Island
Bhavanipuram, Opposite Neelima Theatre, Vijayawada,
Dist. Krishna, Andhra Pradesh

Details

Area: West Vijayawada Phone: 0866-2418507

Fast Facts

State: Andhra Pradesh District: Krishna
Languages: Telugu, English Weather: 25°C to 48°C (Max.)
Best Time to Visit: October-March
STD Code: 0866 Pin Code: 520001

How to Reach

By Air

Vijayawada Airport is the nearest one, 25 km away and has direct flights to Bangalore and Hyderabad. Major International Airport is at Hyderabad (280 km), which is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is at Vijayawada, about 4 km away from the island and is superbly connected with major cities of India. It is a major junction of South India and lies on Howrah- Chennai as well as on New Delhi- Chennai rail route.

By Road

APSRTC and other private travels operate regular bus services to Vijayawada from major cities of the state. After reaching there, you can take a cruise boat from Haritha Berm Park Hotel located in Bhavanipuram area to Bhavani Island. For Day Trippers, the cruise fee is Rs. 40 per head for a 3 hour stay on island. Those who have accommodation at the resort located on the island do not have to pay this cruise fee.

Distance from Nearby Cities

Hyderabad – 264 km
Visakhapatnam – 360 km
Chennai– 463 km
Bangalore – 667 km

Thousand Pillars Temple Hanamakonda, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh


Thousand Pillars Temple

  • Destination: Hanamakonda, Warangal

The Thousand Pillars Temple

Thousand Pillars Temple is situated in Hanamakonda town, near Warangal, in Telangana region. It is a temple which hasa rich cultural heritage. It is believed that this temple was constructed in 1163 AD by King Rudradeva of the Kakatiya kingdom.The temple is built on the slopes of Hanamakonda hills on 1 meter high platform. Also known as Rudreshwara Temple, it is said that the builders took 72 years to construct this marvel.The star-shaped temple is built in Chalukya style of art and comprises of three shrines which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya. Because of this, the central complex of the temple came to be known as Trikutalayam.
This architecture marvel was designed by the Vishwakarma sculptors from Kakatiyan dynasty. As the name suggests, there are 1000 pillars which are intricately carved of wide ranges and different sizes. The walls of the temple too have an exquisite design, which makes one spellbound of the quality of artwork that existed during those days, when technology did not even exist. The temple also consists of brilliant stonework which will leave you enthralled. The dance platform “Natya Mandapam” which is viewed from any direction of the central complex is a phenomenon. Most interesting fact of the temple is that though there are thousand pillars but they are made in such a way that the view of one shrine is not blocked by the other one.
At the entrance of the temple, you will find a monolith statue of ‘Nandi Bull’ carved out from black basalt, which was used as raw material for excellent finishing. It measures 6 feet in height and has chiselled garlands and ornaments. Unlike most Nandis in the Indian temples facingwest, 1000 pillars Nandi faces east. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity of this temple whose idol is placed in Garib Graha or Sanctum Sanctorum as Kakatiyas were true worshipper of Lord Shiva. They wanted early morning rays of the sun to directly fall on the Shiva Lingam. So to make it happen, Shiva’s shrine was faced towards east and rest of the two shrines of Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya ware facing towards south and west respectively.
As you enter the main hall, you will find an idol of Lord Ganesha which is 5 feet tall, towards the left hand side and you will also see four magnificently carved pillars supporting the Natya Mandapam. These pillars have multiple designs about 2 to 30 centimeters long on the perimeter of circular pillar. The Kakatiyas symbol, ‘Kalisam’, can be seen one after another on each pillar. The sculpture of Lord Indra with his Airavata is remarkable piece of Kakatiya’s art and the Lord Narasimha’s sculpture at the entrance of the north shrine is also a masterpiece. The Elephant structure cut of the big rocks and perforated screens with holes, speak about the richness of Chalukyan’s architecture.
When the Tughlaq dynasty attacked South India, they destroyed this temple. Currently, there are no pillars in the temple. Archaeologists removed these pillars to renovate the Kalyana Mandapam that was crumbling. When the pillars were lifted, they encountered a huge mass of wet sand which was accumulated due to pipe connection from a nearby local water body called Bhadrakali Cheruvu. However, Nandi and other shrines are still intact. This temple, in local language, is also called as “Kakatiyula Veyi Stambhamula Devalayam”.

Best Time to Visit:

October to March
Temple remains open for public between 6AM to 8PM every day.

Transportation

Hyderabad is the nearest airport which is around 160 km away from this temple and is well connected to all the major cities of India and other parts of the world.
Warangal is the nearest railway stationand is well connected by trains with all the other major cities of India.
APSRTC and various private travels operate regular buses which ply to Warangal from all the major neighbouring cities including Hyderabad, Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam.
In case of local transport, the easily available means of transport, to move around the city are taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.

Puttaparthi , Anantapur Andhra Pradesh,India


Puttaparthi

  • Destination: Anantapur

Overview

Puttaparthi is a small town located in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, 55 km away from the district headquarters. It is located on the banks of Chitravathi River and is surrounded by the scorched and rocky mountains. This town was the residence of the notable spiritual leader, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Eminent as the birthplace of this very legend, the town has become the divine pilgrimage for all the people from different parts of the world. Though this small town does not offer any beautiful vistas of nature, but it has been acclaimed as a tourist place of religious significance after the establishment of Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram in 1950 by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The most beautiful aspect of the town is the temple complex that houses a multitude of magnificent attractions. It makes every visitor awestruck. It has all the amenities of a metro city.
Puttaparthi was formerly known as Gollapalli. The history of Puttaparthi revolves around Sai Baba. For the outside world, Puttapathi means Sai Baba himself. It is because of this saintly man that the town is furnished with all modern amenities and infrastructures like Airport, Railway Station, Super Speciality Hospital and a chain of educational institutions. The common languages spoken in the town are Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, English and Hindi as it is the home of different people coming from different parts of the world.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Shri Sathya Sai Baba was born as Sathyanarayana Raju on November 23, 1926 to a couple named Meesaraganda Easwaramma and Peddavenkama Raju Ratnakaram in Puttaparthi. From childhood days, he was a brilliant child with extraordinary qualities. At the age of 14, he proclaimed himself as the incarnation of Sai Baba, the holy saint from Shirdi and had died eight years before Sathya was born. By the advent of time, this boy became a well known spiritual leader with staunch followers all across the world. He built a temple for his devotees in 1944. It is now referred as ‘Old Mandir’. In 1954, he also built a small free general hospital in Puttaparthi mainly for the poors. He was a man of unbelievable spiritual powers with restorative and magical abilities. He preached everyone the noble ideology of universal religion. He was the man of wisdom and was regarded as Living God by his followers. His teachings were mainly based on the principles of truth, peace, love and non-violence. He died on April 24, 2011 due to respiration-related problems. He once also said that he would be born again eight years after his death as Prema Sai Baba in Mandya district of Karnataka. His noteworthy followers are APJ Abdul Kalam, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Narendra Modi, Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Aishwarya Rai among others.

Tourism

The main attraction of the town is Sai Baba’s Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram. Apart from this, Puttaparthi has many places depicting historical importance as well as modern marvels. Major tourist attractions are:
Chaitanya Jyoti Museum
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Space Theatre
Spiritual Museum
Sri Sathya Sai Hill View Stadium
Sri Sathya Sai University
Sri Sathya Sai Mirpuri Music College
Anjaneya Swami Temple
Sathyabhama Temple
Shiva Temple
Wish Fulfilling Tree
Meditation Tree
Gopuram (Ganesh Gate)
Village Mosque

Best Time to Visit

September to February

Accommodation

Most of the hotels are located in the close vicinity to Sai Baba’s ashram. As compare to other towns, rooms here are cheaper and offer all the necessary amenities. Puttaparthi’s hotels are also known for their royal treatment towards their guests.

Transportation

By Air

Puttaparthi has a local domestic airport known as Sri Sathya Sai Airport, is just 4km away from main Ashram. It is a small airport with more facilities mainly for chartered flights. Nearest International Airport is at Bangalore (130 km) and is well connected to major cities of India and abroad.

By Train

Puttaparthi has its own railway station named as Sri Sathya Sai Prasanthi Nilayam, which is 8km from the ashram. It lies on Bangalore-Guntakal railway line and is well connected to major cities of India. It is easy to reach town from railway station through auto rickshaws, cabs and APSRTC buses.

By Road

APSRTC, KSRTC and state private travels operate regular buses to Puttaparthi from major cities of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. The best way to reach there is by your own means of transport like car or private taxis.

Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple

  • Destination: Chittoor

Location

Kanipakam Vinayaka Temple is located at Kanipakam village in Irala mandal in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is situated just 11 km away from the district headquarters. The temple is popularly known as “Sri Varasidhi Vinayaka Swamy Temple”. It is the holy residence of Lord Ganesha, also known as Lord Vinayaka in South India. The idol of Lord is self-manifested one. Kanipakam is very close to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu borders.

About the Temple

The temple was established in the early 11th century by Kulothunga Chola, the great Chola King and then developed further by the rulers of the Vijayanagara dynasty. There are many myths and legends associated to the temple.
According to one legend, there were three brothers who used to live in this village. Each one was born with physical deformities. They were deaf, blind and dumb by birth. As they were farmers, they used to earn their livelihood by cultivating their small piece of land. In ancient times, the water was drawn from the well by the Piccota system.
Therefore, one of those farmers used channels to irrigate their fields, while the other two used to draw water. One day, they came to know that the water in the well dried up. To see the actual cause of it, one of them got into the well and started digging it up. As he was doing his work, his shovel struck a stone like formation. He was shocked to see blood coming out from it. The clear water of the well soon turned into blood red colour. Thus, amazed by this divine experience, all the three brothers got rid of their deformities on the spot. As soon as the villagers came to know about this miracle, they flocked to the well and tried to dig the well further. But their attempt goes in vain as the “Swayambhu” idol of Lord Vinayaka emerged from the whirling waters. The villagers started to offer coconuts with prayers beneath the new idol and as a result, coconut’s water covered the entire area of 1.3 acres. Kani symbolises wetland and Parakam means flow of the water in Tamil. This lead to the name of the village as “Kaniparakam” and later was pronounced as “Kanipakam”. Even today, the original well exhibits the real idol. The springs of the well are considered as eternal. The holy water from the well overflows even today, during every rainy season. The most interesting and striking feature of the idol is that it is still growing in size. The knees and the abdomen of the idol can be seen at present. An avid devotee had offered a “Kavacham” to the Lord fifty years ago and now it doesn’t fit the idol and out of size. Theertham, the holy water from well is offered to every devotee who comes here.
One more legend associated to the temple is of Bahuda River. There were two brothers named Sankha and Likhita who was on pilgrimage to Kanipakam. As the journey was long and tiring, Likhita felt hungry and without his elder brother advice, plucked the mango from mango grove and ate it. Sankha felt bad and reported this incident to the ruler of the area and demanded punishment for this sin. Thus, Likhita was punished severely which resulted in loss of his both arms. Before entering the Kanipakam temple, they took bath in the river flowing near to the temple. As soon as Likhita took a dip in the sacred waters of the river, his chopped arms were restored. This miracle leads the ruler to rename the river as Bahuda River (bahu means human arm).
The Swayambhu idol of Lord Vinayaka is the upholder of the truth. The villagers of Kanipakam have a belief that, without the interference of the court, police and middlemen, the disputes are settled. It is all due to the purification and transformation of the hearts of the rivals under the Lord’s divine spell.

Best Time to Visit

August to March

Temple Timings

The temple remains open for public from 4AM to 9:30PM every day.
The annual Brahmotsavam commences from Ganesh Chaturthi which comes in the month of August or September. It goes on for 20 days with all traditional rituals and exuberance. The Utsavamurthi (Festive idol) is taken out in procession on all the days joyfully decked on different vahanams (carriages). The soulful participation of the devotees is mind boggling. This festival attracts pilgrims from all over the country.

Official website

For more details about the temple,visit www.kanipakamvinayaka.org .

Transportation

By Air

Tirupati Airport is the nearest one, situated 82 km away from the temple. Regular flights are available from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru to Tirupati. Nearest International Airport is at Chennai (160km), which is connected to all major cities of India and abroad.

By Rail

Chitoor railway station is the nearest one, 12 km away and is well connected to major cities of India.