Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Walkeshwar Temple

Name : Walkeshwar Temple also known as the Baan Ganga Temple

Location :

It is situated on on Malabar Hill next to the Banganga Tank, in South Mumbai precinct of the city of Mumbai, India. It is situated at the highest point of the city, and close to the temple, lies the Banganga Tank.

Legend :

Legend has it that Hindu god, Ram paused at that spot on his way from Ayodhya to Lanka in pursuit of the demon king, Ravana who had kidnapped his wife, Sita. Then Lord Rama was advised to worship Shiv lingham and he is said to have constructed the original lingam of sand, after getting tired of waiting for his brother, Lakshman to bring an idol. The name is etymologically derived from the Sanskrit word for an idol made of sand - Valuka Iswar, an avatar of Shiva.

As the story progresses, later when Ram was thirsty, as there was no fresh water readily available (except sea water), he shot an arrow and brought Ganga over here. Hence Bana (arrow in Sanskrit) Ganga. The water that feeds the tank stems from an underground spring at that spot, despite the proximity to the sea.

History :

The temple and the attached fresh water Banganga Tank were built in 1127 AD by Lakshman Prabhu, a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin minister in the court of Silhara dynasty Kings who ruled Thane, and the islands of Mumbai during 810 to 1240 AD. The temple was destroyed by the Portuguese during their reign over Mumbai (Portuguese Bom Bahia) in the 16th century.

It was rebuilt due to the generosity of Mumbai businessman and philanthropist, Rama Kamath, another Gaud Saraswat Brahmin (known in British records as 'Kamati') in 1715. The main temple has been substantially reconstructed and many smaller temples have come up around the Banganga Tank. By 1860, the temple started attracting greater crowds and 10 to 20 other temples had come up around it and 50 dharamshalas.

Festivals :

The temple is generally busy every month only during the full moon, and at Amavasya (new moon). In the past it was a favorite of the Malabar pirates who used to frequent the islands during the 16th and 17th centuries.

It is currently the site of an annual Hindustani classical music festival, which in 2005 featured musicians like classical singers Rajan and Sajan Mishra, and Santoor maestro Shivkumar Sharma.

Website :

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maa Bagheshwari Devi Temple, Kudargarh

Name : Maa Bagheshwari Devi Temple

Location :

Kudargarh is a famous Hindu pilgrim centre situated in Surguja District of the state of Chhattisgarh in India. It is 98 km from district headquarters of Ambikapur connected by an all weather road.

Description :

The Maa Bagheshwari Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Kudargarhi is perched on top of a hill and is the major attraction in Kudargarh.

The history of the temple is obscure. According to Dalton, the temple was built by Baland Kings. Balands were the original rulers of Korea state in 17th century.

Also Devotees throng this temple to appease the goddess for the fulfillment of their desires. On fulfillment of their wish, the Goddess is offered with the blood of a goat which is poured in to a small hole (kund) of 6 inch in diameter. It is said that the kund would not get filled up even if thousands of goat's blood is poured into it, in which blood goat in honour of devi is given, a fact is that it never overflows.

The best time to visit is during Chaitra Navaratra (in the month of April).

Website :

Kisnai and Annapurna Devi temples

Name : Kisnai and Annapurna Devi temples

Location :

The temple is located in Ramgarh hill of Baran district in Rajasthan.

Description :

On the top of the Ramgarh hill, Kisnai and Annapurna Devi temples are situated in the natural cave. About 750 stairs were constructed by Jhala Jalim Singh for reaching the temple on the hill top. The main speciality of this temple is that one Devi is worshiped with Meva and another is with Mas-Madira. At the time of Parshad, curtain is raised between the two Devis. Fair is also organised during Kartik Purnima.

Other attractions is Bhand Devra Temple Ramgarh-Bhand Devra temples are situated about 40 Km. from Baran. The Shiv Mandir of Ramgarh was built in 10th century and are based on the Khajuraho style. Due to the Maithun Statues, the place is named as Bhand Devra. This temple is situated on the bank of pond and now under the Archaeological department. This temple is known as Rajasthan's mini Khajuraho.

Website :

Neelkanth Temple

Name : Neelkanth Temple

Location :

Neelkanth Temple is one of the most revered holy shrines of the Hindus. Located on a hill above Swarg Ashram in Haridwar, Neelkanth Temple is easily accessible from here. The temple lies at a comfortable distance of 12 kms and can also be reached from Rishikesh. The way to this temple is surrounded by lush green hills and rivers, providing some of the most beautiful sights, one has ever seen. Many pilgrims come to this temple by trekking, which takes around 4 hours from Rishikesh.

Legend :

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is believed to be the most complex Gods of the Hindu pantheon. The establishment of this temple has a legend behind it. According to the mythological stories, Lord Shiva drank the poison that appeared from the 'Sagar Manthan' (churning of ocean). This place is said to have been the same place, where Lord Shiva drank the poison. On drinking the poison, his throat turned blue and from that time onwards, Lord Shiva came to be known as 'Neelkantha' (One having blue throat).

Description :

Encircled by the hills of Manikoot, Vishnukoot and Brahmakoot, Neelkantha Temple is to be found at a height of 1330 meters. The way to this shrine is quite a thrilling one. The steep and narrow roads, taking above the hill, where river is flowing on one side, send chills down to the spine. Positioned at the union of Madhumati and Pankaja rivers, Neelkantha Temple is placed between the picturesque hills of Uttaranchal.

The temple complex has also got one natural spring where devotees usually take a holy bath. The main shrine of the temple comprises a Shiva lingam (phallic form of Lord Shiva). The spiritual aura of the temple creates a devotional feeling in the hearts of people. People make an offering of coconut, flowers, milk, honey, fruits and water to the Lord. Subsequently, devotees get 'Parshad' of vibhuti, chandan and other things from the shrine.

Festivals :

The temple observes two fairs that held annually on the occasion of Shivratri (Feb-Mar) and Shivratri of Shravan (July-Aug). At that time, the temple is thronged by thousands of pilgrims. This place is also loved by tourists for its picturesque beauty. Neelkanth Temple is a holy place that provides a celestial affection to the people, who visit the shrine with a devoted heart.

Website :

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Da Ming Temple - Yangzhou Province China

Name : Da Ming Temple

Location :

Da Ming Temple is located on a hillslope in the northwestern suburb of Yangzhou on Shugang Hill in China.

Description :

Daming Temple is one of tbe oldest temples in the City, having a history of over 1,500 years. The original temple was built by a monk called Jian Zhen about 1,500 years ago. The temple was seriously damaged during the Taiping Rebellion at the beginning of the 20th century. The present structure is a reconstruction dating from the 1930s. Da Ming Temple sits on a hill and features various precious cultural relics, memorial archways and a nine-storey pagoda.

Once Emperor Qianlong of the Qing dynasty toured Yangzhou and was unhappy to see the name of the temple "Daming", which means "great Ming" (Ming dynasty was ruled by the Manchus,a minority Qing succeeded Ming) For fear that it might remind people of the Ming dynasty he renamed the temple “Fajing Temple” and put it down in his own handwriting.(Emperor Qianlong was a good calligrapher). In the spring Of 1980 in reparation for the exhibition of the statue of MonkJian Zhen the Yangzhou Municipal Government hanged it back to "Daming Temple" Thus, Qian long's inscription“Fajing Temple” became a mere historical relic.

The Temple :

In the main hall (Mahavira Hall) sit three Buddhist images. In the centre is yamuni,to his east Master of the Medicine to his west is Amitabha. On each side Of Sakyamuni stands one Of his ten disciples. The 0lder one on his 1eft represents experience and prestige, the younger one on his right represents wisdom and knowledge. On the eastern and western sides are 18 Arhats.

On the northern side six Buddhist images represent six founders Of the Chan Sect Of Buddhism., At the back is an island on sea with Guanyin(God or Goddess of Mercy)Standing on the head Of a huge turtle. According to Buddhist Sutra he can deliver all living creatures from any suffering. Those in misery need only call him and he will come to their rescue. He is sometimes portraited as a man and some time as a woman. Actually he has a man's body but a woman's appearance,representing kindness.

In front Of Daming Temple there is an ancient decorated archway in the midst Of ancient trees. It bears the inscription “Ruins of Xiling”. In AD 601(Sui dynasty)a nine-storey, Xiling(Soul Living) Tower was built in the compound of Daming Temple. Many famous poets of the Tang dynasty visited and mounted the tower and wrote moving poems. Later Xiling Tower was burnt down leaving only its ruins. In the latter years of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279), a nine-story pagoda, the Qiling, was built on the temple grounds.

Five big Chinese characters are inscribed on the eastern wall Of the Temple" the First in "Huaidong" which mean that the scenery of Daming Temple was the best and most worth visiting in Yangzhou. These are the words of praise taken from a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty Qin Shaoyou,who once toured this place and was fascinated by its beautiful scenery a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty Qin Shaoyou, who once toured this place and was fascinated by its beautiful scenery.

A recent addition to the temple complex is the Jian Zhen Memorial Hall, built according to Tang Dynasty methods and financed with contributions raised by Buddhist groups in Japan.

Festivals :

Before the New Year's Day each year, a lot of people come here to burn joss sticks and worship Buddha; also some Japanese tourists come here to ring the bell for the purpose of praying for happiness and safety.

Websites :

Wikipedia about Da Ming Temple

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thoth Hill

Name : Thoth Hill

Location :

Thoth Hill (Berg Thoth) is located high on the southern spur of the great plateau which forms the backdrop to western Thebes in Egypt.

Description :

It was named Thoth Hill because of a large number of limestone fragments of three baboon statues found in the vicinity during Flinders Petrie's 1909 investigation of the ruins. The hill is also sometimes referred to as the "Crown of Thebes".

Thoth Hill is the site of two temples, an archaic temple that may date to around 3,000 BC and would be the oldest temple built on the West Bank at Luxor, and built upon it, a later temple built by an 11th Dynasty pharaoh known as Sankhkare Mentuhotep.

The Archaic Temple

Beneath the Middle Kingdom structure of Sankhkare Mentuhotep, the oldest known temple in the Theban region was only recently discovered. Made of stone, it was very small and had a similar plant to the later temple built upon it, though it probably only had a single chambered sanctuary. Interestingly, the older temple appears to have had a pylon entrance, just as the newer temple. However, considering the age of this temple, this would be most unusual. Also like the later temple the earlier site was surrounded by an enclosure wall, and had a free standing inner sanctuary, though the older temple has only a single room within the sanctuary while the newer temple had three.

This older temple was slightly offset in its axial alignment (by about 2 degrees towards the south). It was built upon an artificial terrace, as was the newer temple. Egyptologists believe that the older temple was oriented towards the helical rising of Sirus, and have determined that the older temple's orientation would have been correct in about 3000 BC, at the very beginning of Egypt's dynastic period. The star Sirius was worshipped as the god Horus, and apparently because the later temple was probably dedicated to Horus, Egyptologists believe the older structure was as well.

The Horus Temple of Sankhkare Mentuhotep

The newer temple, first investigated by Petrie, was thought by him to be a Sed-festival chapel. There is a Sed-festival building within the area to the west but he was wrong about Sankhkare Mentuhotep's temple. Investigation by the Hungarians revealed that it was instead a small temple of Horus. However, they also apparently investigated the Sed-festival temple as well, which revealed roofing beams and columns made of imported tropical sycamore wood.

The 11th Dynasty temple is made of mudbrick and consisted of an entry pylon and walls surrounding a free standing inner sanctuary with three rooms at the rear (northwest). The floors of the newer temple were covered in plaster. This temple was more closely aligned with the modern helical rising of Sirus. Found among the ruins were foundation deposits and fragments of the foundation text and dedicatory inscriptions form the fine limestone door jambs.

This site became known to modern explorers relatively late. The ruins were only discovered in 1904 by George Sweinfurth. It was later examined by Petrie in 1909, but not very thoroughly and only for a few days. Not until a Hungarian expedition led by Gyozo Voros for Eotvos Lorand University between 1995 and 1998 was the site systematically investigated. The older temple was unknown until this expedition's work. The newer temple was investigated first, during the seasons 1995-1996 and the older temple during the season of 1996-1997.

The area is somewhat difficult to reach. The hill is surrounded by desert ravines and the ancient route leading up to the temple is difficult to ascend.


Restoration work has also apparently been completed on the artifacts found at Thoth Hill, including ceramics recovered form the new temple and pottery from the older stone temple. Items from the older temple included cylindrical jars and rectangular basins also thought to be of archaic date. The fragmentary baboons that provided the site with its name were also restored and are believed to date from the 11th Dynasty.

Website :


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