Sunday, June 20, 2010

Martand Sun Temple

Name : Martand Sun Temple

Location : The Martand Sun temple is situated on top of a plateau, near the town of Anantnag. Anantnag is situated at an elevation of 5400 feet above sea level, at a distance of 33 miles from the main state-headquarters Srinagar in Jammu Kashmir.

Description :

It is a medieval temple dedicated to Bhaskar, the Sun God. King Lalitaditya, a Kshatriya of Surya (Solar) dynasty, got the Martand Sun temple constructed to commemorate Surya in the middle of the eighth century A.D. This beautiful Martand temple has a colonnaded courtyard, with the shrine in its center, which is 220 feet long and 142 feet broad. Built with 84 columns, the temple offers a magnificent view of the Kashmir valley. Martand temple of Kashmir counts amongst the best and most memorable works of King Lalitaditya.

The architecture and style of the Martand Sun temple counts amongst the rare ones in the world. Built up of hard and square limestone, the Martand temple serves as a living proof of the skill and talent of the Hindu Kashmiris of the bygone era. The pillars of the temple are of Greek pattern. Apart from the exquisite architecture, another attraction of the Martand temple is its picturesque surroundings. The temple, standing in a square field with the beautiful snow covered mountains serving as its backdrop, presents an awe-inspiring sight.

Website :

Sudhmahadev Hill temple of Jammu

Name : Sudhmahadev Hill temple

Location :

The town of CHANHANI, located in the western part of the Jammu holds special significance as it houses a great piece of art - the Sacred Temple of Sudhmahadev. This holy spot near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 mtrs., about 120 kms. from Jammu. It is situated at a distance of 8 kms. from Khud.

Legend :

A popular legend is associated with the Shrine. It is believed that Lord Shiva who was in his samadhi shot his big trishul to protect his consort Uma whose loud cry shook Shiva out of his meditation. Infact Shiva's devotee, Sudheet approached Uma to pay his respectful obeisance. Since he was a demon in his previous birth according to the legend, his demonaic looks frightened her and she made a loud shriek. The trident which Lord Shiva had flung hit Sudheet. Shiva realised his mistake and he offered to resuscitate him. But Sudheet felt that there could be no better life than death given by Lord Shiva Himself. Lord Shiva then gave his command that Sudheet's name will be prefixed to his name at that place. Since then it is called Sudh Mahadev. The broken trident in three pieces, is installed in the temple.

The trident housed within the temple,belonged to Shiva who killed demon there. The temple has a black marble self made 'lingam' and Goddess parvati mounted on Nandi. It has a 'Dhooni'(sacred fire) to commemmorate the spiritual attainments of Baba Roop Nath who is said to have attained Jeeva Samadhi there. It is said that the Dhooni has been kept burning constantly ever since Baba Roop Nath is said to be residing in the temple.

Description :

Chaudhari Ramdas of Chanhani and his son Chaudhari Parag Mahajan constructed the temple about 80 years ago. Shri Masu Shahane of Sudhmahadev did the construction of the entrance door of the temple of Sudhmahadev. The shrine is visited pilgrims on the full moon night of 'Sawan' (July-August) to worship the "Trishul' (trident) and a mace which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappears among the rocks a few kilometres down strean. Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple especially during 3-day fair held on the occasion of Jestha Purnima during july-August.

Sudhmahadev Pilgrimage :

As per the ancient religious faith, this pilgrimage is known to be the most sacred when undertaken between the ‘Punya jayeshth purnima and vayas purnima’.In the month of June, the time between the ‘Full moon and Chaudash’ is considered to be the most auspicious for this pilgrimage.

Gauri Kund, also 5-km distant, is a small cave associated with Goddess Parvati. Sculptures from Hindu Mythology can be seen at the Pap Nashni Bauli springs. Shiv Garh is the highest mountains in the area. During Chaudash, the pilgrimage to Gauri Kund, situated 2.5 kms from Sudhmahadev on the banks of Dewak Nadi, is considered to be most sacred. Here in the lap of the mountains, lies the Temple of Uma & Shankar. After taking a bath in the Dewak Nadi, the pilgrims worship Lord Shiva and Parvati in the Temple. After worshipping Gauri Kund, the pilgrims go to Gaukaran, about 0.5Kms from Sudhmahadev. Then they climb up another 2 Kms of mountaineous area to reach another sacred place ‘Nada’. In Sudhmahadev, there is a small stream called ‘Mitra vavli’ or ‘Papnashi Vavli’. It is believed that taking bath in it relieves a devotee of all sins.

The huge Shiv Temple houses the three faced idol of God Shulpaneshwar Mahadev, Uma and Ganesh riding ‘Nandi’- their Bull. The idol also has the sacred Swayambhu Shivalinga. It is said that Ma Parvati in order to attain Lord Shiva use to worship this Swayambhu Shivalinga after bathing in the Gauri Kund. Lot of water originating from an unknown source fall on this sacred Swayambhu Shivalinga.

Festivals :
Though one can undertake this pilgrimage to Sudhmahadev all the year round, but as per religious traditions, the days that are considered most auspicious are Maghar Chaudash, Chaitra Chaudash, Rath Yatra, Baisakhi and Shivaratri.

Mantalai :

Another 8 kms from Sudhmahadev is an enchanting hill resort of Mantalai. Located at the top of a hill and surrounded by tall Deodar trees giving fresh and cool air. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married there. There is a Shiva temple with a pond by its side.


Harshidhi Temple

Name : Harshidhi Temple. Harsidhi Matatji is also known as Ambica Mataji and Kalki Mataji. The local people call this deity "Harshad Mata".


Mataji (Deity) temple is situated on the top and bottom of Koyla Hill near Dwarika.
One can visit the temple on the way back from Dwarka. It is about 70 KMS from Dwarka while coming towards Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Legend :

Before about 2000 years, the capital of the Chavda Kingdom was Minalpur, there the king was Prabhat sen Chavda. This minalpur was a main port and trading used to be done with foreign shores.

Once during the holy festival of Navratri, the 7 wives of Prabhatsen were playing garba. So Jagdamba Mataji from the Koyal hill, also doned ornaments and fine clothes and took the appearance of a beutiful lady, came down to play the Raas.

King Prabhatsen who was watching the festivities from the palace got attracted to this fine lady and the flames of evil passion got ignited in him, so in the late night, when Mataji started going back to the hill, he started to follow her. Looking at this she got angry and cursed him and told him to come every night to the temple to be eaten alive.

So every night, the King had to go to the temple to be roasted alive in the fire pit and to be eaten. The next day she would make him alive and send him back to his palace. This daily curse had taken its toll on King Prabhatsens health and he became very weak and thin.

During that time, the maternal cousin of prabhatsen, the Great King, Vir Vikramaditya came on the pilgrimage of Dwarka and became his guest. On seeing the condition of his cousin, King Vir Vikramaditya asked for the reason and he was told this tale of tourture. So the great king vikram decided and took the appearance of Prabhatsen and went for fullfilling the curse of his cousin. Seeing show of love and courage pleased Mataji, so she granted a wish to him. King Vikram asked for 2 wishes. 1. to relieve his cousin of the curse and 2. to become his guest at the capital city Ujjain of his kingdom of Malvan. She granted his wishes.

But about accepting his wish about her visit to Ujjain, she kept the condition that she would follow the his caravan on foot and she forbade him to look back and check whether she was coming or not which he agreed and he looked then Mataji will stop at that point only. On reaching the outskirts of his capital city of ujjain on the banks of river Shipra, King Vir Vikramaditya out of curosity looked back and thus Harshidhi Mataji stopped there itself.

Even today the Temple of Harshidhi Mataji is still there and It is said that since then, Mataji goes daily there for night stay and comes back to Koyla hill during the day. On the northern side of the temple is the fire pit, where Harshad Mata used to roast and eat the King of Minalpur Prabhatsen.

Its a very special place for Jamnagari people, Even today many people walk from city to this temple ( this temple is 120 KM from city )

This is different from The Harsiddhi temple in Ujjain which is one of the fifty Shakti peethas where the Kurpara(Elbow) of Devi fell.

Website :

Chamunda Mataji Temple at Chotila in Gujarat

Name : Chamunda Mataji Temple

Location :

Chotila is a small town having population of around 20,000 people and is a taluka head quarter of Rajkot district, Gujarat. The Mataji temple is situated at the top of the Chotila Mountain. Chotila Mountain is around 1250 feet high and is located around 40 miles away from Rajkot, and around 50 miles away from Ahmedabad.

Description :

The story is when Demons Chand and Mund came to conquer Devi Mahakali and in the fight that ensues, the Devi cut their heads and presented these to Maa Ambika, who in turn told Mahakali that will be worshipped as Chamunda Devi.

Mataji temples are always located at the top of the hills in India and the reason for this is that if you want darshnas of Mataji, you will have to undergo some physical strain.

Chamunda Mataji is the Kuldevi (family Goddess) of most of the Hindus staying in Saurashtra region of Gujarat State

There about 700 stoned steps up to the top of the hill. These steps were not covered by the shade before about 5 years. However, a good shade and railings now cover the entire walkway thus providing comfort to all the pilgrims. Famous industrialists, Ambani brothers of Reliance industries have donated this covering and the shades on the hill.

Festivals :

During the navaratri festival, a big havan is taking place on top of the Chotila hill. It is said that after the aarti at chotila hill in the evening everybody comes down the hill and that no one stays there that's what Chamunda Mataji has said. Also people have encountered that there is a lion on the hill or dungar of chotila.

Website :

Kuber Bhandari, Narmadha

Name : Kuber Bhandari

Location :

This temple is situated at the village of Karnali, near the famous town of Chanod. Chanod is located near Dabhoi in the Vadodara district in Gujarat State in India. It is around 36 miles away from city of Vadodara. There are regular buses plying from Vadodara for this Kubereshwar temple.

Legend :

There is a mythological story about this temple. Lord Shiva was passing once through the thick forest around the shore of river Narmada with goddess Parvati. Goddess Parvati felt hungry and thirsty due to long walk in the hot sun. She requested Lord Shiva for some food and water. As the food and water was nowhere available nearby, Lord Shiva thought that it would be proper if he himself stays there in the form of food and water so that all the pilgrims can have food and holy water of river Narmada in this thick and remote place. Lord Shiva stayed there adopting the name of Kuber Bhandari who is considered to be the god of food and water.

Description :

Kuber Bhandari temple it means "Temple of Lord Kuber (Kubera, Lord of wealth and Fame)". This temple is situated at a height of around 800 feet above at the coast of river Narmada. There are around 680 steps to get down reaching to the river Narmada. River Narmada flows in all its glory here very quietly.

Narmada is one of the holiest rivers in India that flows through the Central and Western parts of the country. There are many famous places of pilgrimage all through the river shore of Narmada. One of the most popular
and the holy place at the shore of river Narmada is the temple of Kuber Bhandari, which is one form of Lord Shiva. This temple is very ancient and is said to be around 2500 years old.

There is a lot of importance of taking a bath here at this spot in the river prior to going for the darshanas of Lord Kuber Bhandari. However, you must be very careful while taking a bath here in the river as the water is quiet deep here with lot of crocodiles moving in the river. The atmosphere of the temple is so peaceful that you can really experience the divine peace here. Most of the visitors perform dhyan and pranayama activities here at the temple.

Rahu-Dan :

This is a only an ancient place where " worshiping and shloka of "Rahu" is being undertaken in Gujarat while Rahu changes his sthan in another Rasi in Kundali.Rahu Mantra is " ARDHKAYAM MAHAVIRAYAM CHANDRATYAVIMARDANAM ! SINHIKAGARBHSAMBHUT TAM RAHU PRANYAMAMYAHAM" For security and safety of bad effects on the persons worshiping of Nag-Murti{made of silver} is carried out by Abhishek of Milk for getting peace in the life and for protection from Rahu-Dasha. Amongst all Rivers - NARMADA' is also having power as per mythologylical history that merely by "Darshan of Naramada Maiya" all the sins becomes nullified. Normally no-where Rahu-Dan is accepted by anybody. But here in the premises of Temple Kubereshwar this arrangment is being made.

Websites :

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sri Khand Mahadev peak

Name : Srikhand Kailash or Sri Khand Mahadev peak

Location :

Sri Khand Kailash is situated at 18500 feet above sea level in Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh, India.
The best two routes are
Shimla – Narkanda – Rampur Bushahr – Arsu – Bagipul.
and From Kullu side: Bathad - Bashleu Pass – Kullu Sarahan.

The Srikhand Kailash Yatra :

The very fact of the thought of proceeding to Sri Khand Kailash is a call from within. It is the SWAYAMBU Linga – the self-created one. This point is considered as the point of spiritual renaissance. The entire area echoes with spiritual vibrations. The common belief is that those who are ordained only could be there.

Jaon is the starting point of this trek, where temple of goddess Shakti is situated. It is a 70-km two-way track passing through dense forests, water streams, sprawling meadows and lofty mountains. The climb is difficult and offers a panoramic view. 2 Km. from Jaon there is village called Singh gad, which was named after a brave man who dared to live there and established a village. Singh gad is the last habitat of civilisation on this route and Sri Khand Kailash is a three full days trek from this place.

The detailed yatra with pictures are found in the travelogue posted by Pawan Thakur at

Description :

It is believed there are total seven Kailash mountains. The well known Mansarovar Kailash in Tibet, Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district of Uttrakhand, Amarnath Kailash in J&K, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Mani Mahesh Kailash in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh,Sri Khand Kailash in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Seventh one is believed to be Boorha Kailash and is yet to be located.

Shrikhand Mountain or the Srikhand Mahadev peak in Himachal Pradesh resembles the Shivling. Numerous Lord Shiva devotees undertake the difficult trek to the mountain during the main pilgrimage season (July – August). Atop the mountain there is a small shrine of Lord Shiva. This pilgrimage is surely not for the weak because at times a trekker needs all the skills of an expert mountaineer.

It is usually undertaken to coincide with the Ashada Poornima (full moon day in June or July) as per the Hindu Vikram calendar. It continues till the Purnima of Ashwani month (full moon day of September or October).

Srikhand Mahadev peak is located at an altitude of 5,155 meters and is believed that Lord Shiva mediated here. It is also believed that the Pandavas used to visit the peak.

The initial phase of the journey passes through beautiful mist-laden forests filled with beautiful flowers and huge trees. Then the journey enters the difficult Himalayan terrain. A few glaciers also have to be crossed before reaching the majestic peak of Shrikhand, where pilgrims perform puja. The view from 5425 metres is simply splendid — one literally feels on the top of the world. The surrounding snow-covered peaks and mountains add to the grandeur. Scores of Lord Shiva devotees also accompany the Chhadi yatra – the journey carrying the holy mace – to the temple. One cannot stay on the top for a long time as the winds there are very strong and bone-chilling.

There is a miracle known about the Shivalinga here. Round the year the snow falls here, but it does not stay at the Shivalinga and melts down soon thereafter.

Himachal Pradesh state government organizes a pilgrimage tour during the month of July and August. The journey takes around three to seven days and depends on the devotee’s stamina and climate conditions. It is advisable to undertake this journey when the Shrikhand Management Committee puts up camps at different places in July where they provide food, tea and water besides night shelter. Local people also pitch tents and offer food and stay for the night on payment basis.

Websites :
Himalayan Camping

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bhimakali Temple - Sarahan

Name : Bhimakali Temple

Location :

Shri Bhima Kali Temple is a temple at Sarahan in Himachal Pradesh in India. The temple is situated about 180 km from Shimla. The town Sarahan is known as the gate way of Kinnaur. From Jeori the link road goes up gaining altitude to 2185 M to Sarahan (17 KM) via Gharat. Sarahan is situated on the mountain slope of southern side of river Sutlej and facing the Srikhand Mahadev peak on the north. The distance from Shimla is 160 KM. Sarahan is identified with the then Sonitpur mentioned in Puranas.

Legend :

According to a legend, the manifestation of the goddess is reported to the Daksha-Yajna incident when the ear of the Sati fell at this place and became a place of worship as a Pitha - Sthan. Presently in the form of a virgin the icon of this eternal goddess is consecrated at the top storey of the new building. Below that storey the goddess as Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya is enshrined as a divine consort of Lord Siva.

Description :

Bhimakali Temple, reputed to be at least 800 years old, dedicated to the mother goddess Bhimakali(an incarnation of Goddess Durga), presiding deity of the rulers of former Bushayr state and this is one of 51 Shakti Peethas.

The temple complex has another three temples dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, Narsinghji and Patal Bhairva Ji (Lankra Veer) - the guardian deity.

Architechture :

The temple is Tibetan in its architectural style. The beautiful wooden structure with spectacular carvings attracts a special attention of the tourists from all over the world. It has slanted slate roofs, golden towers, pagodas and a carved silver door. The golden image of the Goddess is 210 years old.

The original temple structure was damaged by earthquake and a replica has been constructed. Out of two temples one is opened to the devotees. The old dilapidated temple has been demolished recently and work is going on to erect the same again.

Festivals :

Navaratri and Dusserah are celebrated in the temple every year. A large festival is held during Dusserah at village Sarahan with animal sacrifice playing a big role in the festivities.

Other Tourist Attractions :

The museum at the temple complex has good collections of ancient utensils, arms, dresses, etc. The tourists can also visit the regal residence named as Padam Palace.

The Aviary of Himalayan birds: The aviary cum breeding centre of birds has been set up on the mountain at 1 KM away. The Himalayan birds like Monal, Khalij, etc can be seen from a close distance. The aviary remain closed during the breeding season.

The enthusiasts can visit another temple at Dharanghati beyond Sarahan. The road from Gharat goes to Dharanghati at higher altitude. The snow-capped mountain ranges on the north looks beautiful. From Sarahan there is a view of the Srikhand Peak , revered as the parental abode of goddess Lakshmi. The trekkers may visit the peak in summer.

Websites :

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Arulmigu Sri Baladhandayuthabani Temple, Chettikulam

Name : Arulmigu Sri Chettikulam Balathandabani Temple also known as Aandikola Murugan Temple

Location :
It is located at Chettikulam in Tamilnadu which is 6kms from Alandur. Alandur is about 44kms from Trichy, on Trichy-Perambalur highway.

Legend :

The Dhandayudapaani temple at Chettikkulam is closely associated with the Ekambareswarar temple located nearby, which is of ancient origin.

Legend has it that a weary traveler set out to spend a night on a Aswatha (arasa maram) tree in the jungle surrounding this area, and in the middle of the night, he saw a group of four saints offering worship to a pillar of Bright Light. The Traveler told this to the king of Thanjavur, Paraanthaga Cholan. At that time Kulasekara Pandian was also there as a guest. So both the kings upon hearing this instituted a search, and a Siddhar with sugarcane in his hand, pointed out the Shivalingam to them. Then the saint gave darshan as Lord Muruga with Sugarcane on the nearby hillock.

The original temple to Shiva is now referred to as Amarendreswarar dates back to the Chola period. Shiva is now known as Ekambreswarar here and his consort is Kamakshi.

Dhandayutapaani who appeared as a Siddhar here is enshrined in a hill temple in the vicinity. The Lord Muruga Idol has Uchhi Kudumi(Tuff of Hair on top of Head). Also his darsan is in the Aandikola form.

Description :
This ancient Muruga kshetra built on the top of a hill has 240 steps in total commanding two flights of well-built broad stairs-one for ascending and another for descending. Built in the Dravidian architectural style, it has vast courtyards and an imposing tower. The archamurti giving darsan in the Aandikola form is extremely generous in conferring boons on the devotees. Nityanaimithika worship is offered with great devotion.

Sugarcane cradle : Childless couples make their wish on Shashti day by doing Milk Abhishekam. When their wish gets fulfilled they bring their child in a sugarcane cradle and do circumambulation of the temple.

Festivals :
Thai Poosam, Panguni Utthiram are the annual festivals celebrated here.

Time :
Morning : 08:00-13:00
Evening : 16:00-19:00

Website :


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