Saturday, October 24, 2009

Perak Tong temple



Name : Perak Tong temple

Location : Within the huge limestone caves of Gunung Tasek, 6 km to the north of Ipoh, nestles the Perak Tong temple.

Description :

Ipoh has many limestone caves due to the surrounding karst formations. The famous of them are three namely, The Sam Po Tong, Perak Tong and Kek Lok Tong

Perak Tong temple was built in 1962 by a Buddhist priest from China. This temple houses over 40 Buddha statues, the centre piece being a 12.8m high sitting Buddha. The statue of Buddha in Perak Tong was the tallest and largest of its kind in Malaysia when first commissioned.



Beyond the main altar, a passage leads into the cave's interior. On the walls of the cave, a visitor will find himself fascinated by mystical mural paintings.

It has a steep, tall staircase in the interior of the cave rising up steep climb of 385 steps. Afterall this is a limestone cave, so you may find water dripping from the ceiling at certain points. The cave opens again to reveal a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside. Even there is a wonderfull garden up there.
Website : http://mynicegarden.blogspot.com/2009/10/hike-up-perak-cave-temple-part-3-of-3.html

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maa Sharda Temple - Maihar



Name : Maa Sharda Temple

Location : Maihar city lies in Satna District of State of Madhya Pradesh. Sharda Devi (goddess) is situated in Trikuta hill around 5 km from the heart of the town. Maihar is about: 42 km. away from Satna, 65 km. away from Katni,

Description :

Maihar is a holy town of Madhya Pradesh State. Devotees from all over India visits ‘Maa Sharda Temple’ throughout the year. Temple is located in top of the mountain and can be reached through 1060 steps, road. It is quite obvious that visit is not easy task specially for aged or physically unfit devotees. Considering the problem of devotees, management had started the service of ropeway service for devotees to reach Mother goddess Sharda Temple conveniently and in short time. Many peoples visit the temple in Navratri or Ram Navmi.

There is one ancient inscription near the feet of stone sculpture of Sharda Devi situated in Sharda Devi temple. There is another statue of Lord Narsingh along with Sharda Devi. These statues were installed by Nupula Deva on Shake 424 chaitra krishna paksha 14 Tuesday, vikram samvat 559 i.e. 502 AD. This stone inscription Sharda Devi in four lines is of size 15" by 3.5" in Devanagari script. Another stone inscription at the temple is of size 34" by 31" inscribed by a shaiva saint Shamba who had knowledge of Buddhism and Jainism also. This inscription bears a scene of Nagadeva and reveals that it was about Damodara, son of Saraswati, was considered the Vyasa of Kaliyuga. And that there prevailed system of goat sacrifice at that time during worship.

Legends :

1. It is a common belief that first fall Adiguru Shankracharya offered his prayer and worship in this temple.

2. Traditional sacred stories says that when Lord Shiva was in state of deep sorrow and anguish, due to the death of Sati (Wife of Lord Shiva) and was roaming in earth with her dead body on his back. Lord Vishnu, came forward to save mankind and cuts the body of Sati in to 52 pieces. In Maihar necklace of Sati fell down and hence temple was established here. Its name “Maihar” can be broken to two parts “Mai” means mother and “har” means necklace.

3. Local tradition reveals that the warriors Alha and Udal, who had war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, are associated with this place. Both the brothers were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that Alha penanced for 12 years and got the amaratva with the blessings of Sharda Devi. Alha and Udal are said to be the first to visit the goddess in this remote forest. Alha used to call the mother goddess by the name 'Sharda Mai' and henceforth she became popular as 'Mata Sharda Mai'. One can see down hill behind the temple, the pond known as 'Alha Pond'. At a distance of 2 km from this pond is situated the akhara of Alha and Udal where they did practice of kusti.

Website :
http://www.prlog.org/10293618-ropeway-facility-for-maihar-temple-tour-indus-excursion.html
http://www.indianetzone.com/16/maihar_mother_goddess_sharda_temple.htm

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Big Buddha of Phuket



Name : The Phuket Big Buddha. It aka "Phraputthamingmongkol Eaknakakeeree"

Location : Khao Nakkerd, Karon, Phuket, Thailand

Description:

The Phuket Big Buddha is 45 meters (150 feet) high and reachers 25 meters diameter at its base. The Buddha is sitting on a huge podium designed as a lotus flower. From Nakkerd Hill (Khao Nakkerd) he is looking to the east towards Chalong Bay. The construction is going on and is now in finishing stage.

And we can have a chance to walk inside the atatue to pay respect the Big Buddha. Inside the Big Buddha, there is stairway up to the top of its, but we have to wait till work is complete.

The view is enormous and a ride up to the summit of Nakkerd Hill is always worth the trip. The road up to Big Buddha is between Chalong Circle (Ha Yeak Chalong) and Wat (Temple) Chalong. You can't miss the turn as you see huge signs with "Big Buddha". This road to the peak is 5.5 km, mixed partially paved and dirt. If you drive up with a motorbike you should keep an eye on the many pot-holes.

Website : http://platial.com/post/4577334

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Panchapandava Cave Temple, Palavaram




Name : Panchapandava Cave Temple, Palavaram

Location : Pallavaram, Chennai

Lord Brahma at Pallavaram :
This is an left over ruins of ancient rock-cut temple where Lord Brahma and his Trimurti associates were worshipped. The Panchapandava Cave Temple was built in the early 7th century by Mahendravarman I, king of the Pallava dynasty. The holy site was eventually taken over by Muslims, and has now fallen to ruin.

The Panchapandava Cave Temple is located in Pallavaram (Pallavapuram). Today it is a suburban town within the city limits of Chennai, in Kanchipuram district. The temple site is ancient, as evidenced by artifacts found there from the Old Stone and Iron Age.

Valmiki, author of the Ramayana, is said to have lived in this area. The Pallavaram Temple has long been known as 'Panchapandava' Temple because of its association with the five Pandava brothers, although there is no extant evidence of that connection.

The site is one of a series of amazing rock-cut temples constructed by King Mahendravarman throughout his kingdom, others of which are found at Dalavanur, Tiruchirapalli, Mandagapattu, Kilmavilangai, Mamandur and Tiru-kazhukunram.

Architecture :
The Panchapandava Temple was constructed in typical Pallava style, with six huge pillars in front. Cut into the mother rock was a sanctum sanctorum featuring five cells, one for each member of the Trimurti, the presiding deities. The two cells on the outer sides were for subsidiary deities, whose identity is unknown. All five shrines face south. The sanctum as a whole projects outward, carved from a protruding section of the main rock. In the picture below, we see that at one point, a roof covered the sanctum and a narrow porch area. As was typically the case with Mahendra rock-cut temples, the number of shrines correspond to the number of pillars, so that each niche would be approached by stepping between a pair of pillars.

To the Vaisnavas and Saivites, the hill at Panchapandava Cave Temple is known as Panchapandava Malai. To the Muslims who have taken it over, it is known as Maula Ka Pahad. Muslims believe that Pallavaram Hill is home to a relic of Prophet Mohammad. In the evening during Ramadan (called Ramzan in India), Muslim pilgrims walk to the top of the hill where the cave temple ruins are found.



In fact, it was originally the Sufi Muslims who invaded this area, taking over the Panchapandava caves and turning them into a masjid for worshipping the panj√£ (palm). While now being used as a Muslim dargah, the temple ruins have unfortunately been painted and renovated beyond recognition.

Website :
http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/features/10-09/features1520.htm

Vedagirisevara Hill at Tirukkalukkunram



Name : Vedagirisevara Temple & Orukal Brahma Temple

Location : Tirukkalukkunram, Tamilnadu

Lord Brahma at Tirukkalukkunram :



From the time of King Mahendravarman I through the next century, there were quite a number of rock-cut temples constructed in South India. One of these, the Orukal Temple at Tirukkalukkunram, is the subject of today's segment. The Orukal mandapam is located on the east side of the Vedagirisevara Hill at Tirukkalukkunram, in Chingleput district of Tamil Nadu. Tirukkalukkunram is 16 km. from Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram). The area is surrounded by a cluster of four hills, believed to represent the four Vedas. The fourth of these holy hills, Atharvana, is best known for the prominent temple that sits atop it -- Vedagirisvara Temple. Further down the slope of that hill, King Mahendravaram excavated another temple from the hillside, and a standing deity of Lord Brahma resides there. On the rear wall, to the left of the sanctum are the bas-relief sculptures of Brahma and, to the right, Visnu.

Description :
Vedagirisevara Hill at Tirukkalukkunram draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists each year, who come to visit the various shrines on the hill. The total area on the hill is some 265 acres, and the top is 500 feet above ground level. Devotees clamber up 562 stone slab stairs as they ascend to Vedagirisevara Temple. Along with the Orukal rock-cut temple, there are several other small mandapams along the path.

Before ascending the steps, devotees offer their respects to Siddharti Vinayaka (Ganapati) and Ayyappa at the foot of the hill. In the main Vedagirisevara Temple at the top of the hill, the presiding deity is Vedagirishwarar, a swayambu Lingam enshrined in a niche carved from three large boulders. Descending a few steps down on the other side of the hill, a monolithic cave-temple is seen. This mandapam is full of rare sculptures belonging to the Mamalla period (A.D. 610-640).

There are two verandahs in the cave complex, each being supported by massive pillars. The upper verandah is the Orukal Temple, home to a large lingam with deities of Brahma and Vishnu on either side. On the lower verandah there are two more life-size statues, decorated with ornaments.

At the foot of the hill is a very large temple tank, Nandi Thirtham, with a huge Nandi facing Vedagirishwarar on the hilltop. There are 12 theerthams at different places on and around the hill.

Legend :
The Vedas are said to exist here, embodied as the four local hills. The great sage Bharadvaja, who had been continually chanting the Vedas over three lifetimes, was approached by Paramesvra, who granted him a boon for all his efforts in attempting to learn the Vedas. Paramesvra said to the sage, "The Vedas you have learned all these years are like this handful of earth. What you have yet to learn is vast, like these mountains." It is believed that Vedagiri Hill at Tirukkazhukkunram is the place where Paramesvra caused the Vedas to appear in the form of these mountains. Devotees believe that circumambulation of the Hill gives an effect equivalent to worshipping the Vedas, and many devotees are found chanting "Veda, Veda, Mahaveda" in this place.

Other Places :

16 km. away, at the nearby Mammalapuram (Mahabalipuram) complex, there are fourteen more cave temples, nine monolithic shrines, three stone temples, and four relief sculptured rock panels, which drawn throngs of tourists to the area. Some of them are fortunate enough to press on to Vedagirisevara Hill at Tirukkalukkunram, and get the darshan of Lord Brahma.

Website :
http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/features/10-09/features1522.htm

Arulmigu Maha Sapthakannika Devi Kovil, Seremban (Negeri Sembilan)



Name : Arulmigu Maha Sapthakannika Devi Kovil, Seremban (Negeri Sembilan)

Location : This temple is situated on Victoria Hill in Seremban (Negeri Sembilan), Malaysia

Description :

Built over 100 years ago and is one of the few Kaniamman temple in Malaysia. The scenic view of this temple is breathtaking, which is surrounded by flora and fauna. Although the temple does not have an easy access route, it is definitely worth the journey. The seven kanni devi’s are Biramme, Mageswary, Gaumaree, Varaagi, Vyshnavi, Magenthari and Chamundee.

Legend :

Before the temple was built, Victoria hill was a primary source of silica stones, and was mined by a Chinese contractor. The contractor primarily used explosives to mine Victoria hill. On one occasion, he repeatedly tried to blast explosives but it failed. Immediately he saw a snake slithering past him. The stunned contractor took a gun and shot the snake. Soon after, the contractor and his workers fell ill. After consulting a spiritual medium, the contractor was informed that he had done injustice by mining on the hill. The sacred hill was the dwelling of Nagamma, who frequented the hill in the form of young snakes and maiden ladies.

To repent this injustice, the contractor was instructed by the medium to carry out prayers for Nagamma at Victoria hill. During the prayer, a man got into a trance and started moving like a snake. He slithered across the ground to a particular location. He then advised the contractor to build a temple for Nagamma at that location. Under that mystical command, the Nagamma temple was built.

Over the years, many devotees of this temple have witnessed the amazing sakthi of Nagamma.

Festivals & Pooja :

The most important date in this temple is May 1st, whereby a special pooja is conducted annually. Devotees of Nagamma, fast for three days and carry pots filled with milk from the foothill to the hill top. When the devotees arrive at the temple, the milk is poured onto the seven Kanni Devi’s. Nagamma gives her blessing during this festive occasion, and this has been witnessed by several devotees. Once during this annual festival, the priest of this temple witnessed a beautiful cobra resting beneath a tree near the temple. Astonishingly, the cobra was in seven different colours. As he was stunned by this miraculous incident, the priest called other devotees to witness this mystical event. After receiving the blessings of Nagamma, the priest returned to the temple. He was shocked to see that the seven shades of the cobra was the exact colour of each sari on the seven Kanni Devi’s.

Directions:

Take Seremban exit. Take flyover to Pusat Kualiti Alam untill tunnel. After tunnel, uturn. Take exit to seremban 2, and short distance away, turn left into mud road. Tel: 0196209259

Website :

http://mysticaltemplesofmalaysia.blogspot.com

Veerabhadreshwara Temple



Name : Veerabhadreshwara Temple

Location :

This is an ancient cave temple situated in the lovely picnic spot of Kalhatti falls. This temple is near Kalhattipura which is 20 km south of Tarikere in Chikmagalur District and about 10 km from Kemmannagundi. Tarikere Junction Railway Station is the nearest railhead.

Description :

This temple i am not sure if it is Hill temple, but it is constructed in a gap between rocks, this temple is said to have been built during the Vijaynagara period. The main deity is Lord Veerabhadreshwara, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The entrance of the temple is decorated with three stone carvings of three elephants. According to legends, this place has once hosted the hermitages of Sage Agastya.

The temple conducts its festival for three days every year. No animal sacrifice is made at this temple, but animal sacrifice occurs at the goddess temple a few yards before the Shiva temple.

Other Attractions :

Goddess Chowdeshwari Temple and the Kalhatti falls, situated amidst the natural surroundings, attract both tourists and pilgrims.

Website :

http://www.india9.com/i9show/Veerabhadreshwara-Temple-63045.htm

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Katarmal Sun Temple



Name : Katarmal Sun Temple

Location : Katarmal is about 25 kms from Ranikhet. Seven kms away from Almora, in Uttarakhand state.

Description :

Katarmal is a 800-year old Sun Temple and is the second in importance after the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa.

The deity of the sun temple in Katarmal is known as Burhadita or Vraddhaditya (the old Sun God). The temple, noted for its magnificent architecture, artistically made stone and metallic sculptures and beautifully carved pillars and wooden doors, has a cluster of 44 small, exquisitely carved temples surrounding it.



The present mandapa of the temple as well as many of the shrines within the enclosure have been constructed much later. The image of Surya in the temple dates back to 12th century. The idols of Shiva-Parvati and Lakshmi-Narayana are also found in the temple. However, the intricately carved doors and panels have been removed to the National Museum in Delhi after the 10th-century idol of the presiding deity was stolen.

A beautiful trek leads you to the Temple. If anyone don't feel like trekking they can also drive very close to the temple.

Website : http://www.dazzlingindia.com/whattoseeatAlmora_649.html

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