Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Name : The Chaturshringi Temple
This Hindu temple is located in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India. The temple is located on the slope of a hill on Senapati Bapat Road.
The legend associated with the temple is that, once there was a rich and prosperous merchant who was an ardent believer of Goddess Chaturshringi and visited all Her temples everywhere. It is said that the idol of Goddess Chatshrungee, now enshrined in the temple, was discovered by a trader. The goddess appeared in his dream and instructed him to unearth the idol.
It is said to have been built during the reign of the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosle. The temple is looked after by Chaturshringi Devasthan (Temple) trustees, with full dedication.
Chaturshringi (Chatur means four) is a mountain with four peaks. The Chaturshringi temple is 90 feet high and 125 feet wide and is a symbol of power and faith. One has to climb more than 100 steps to reach the shrine of Goddess Chaturshringi. In the temple premises there are also temples of Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesh. This includes eight miniature idols of Ashtavinayaka. These small temples are located on the four separate hillocks.
The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Chaturshringi, also known as Goddess Ambareshwari. She is also considered as the presiding deity of the city of Pune. The temple is maintained by the Chaturshringi Devasthan Trust.
One of the major attractions of the Chaturshringi temple of Pune is the Navratri Festival, organized every year in the month of October-November. Devotees visit the temple in large numbers to attend this festival.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Name : Palitana Jain Temples
Palitana is a religious Jain city, Bhavnagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located 50 km South-West of Bhavnagar city and is a major pilgrimage centre for Jains.
Some people call the following encounters myths some give facts and some believes them which lives in the heart of every follower of Jainism.
* 1. The moolnayak murti-Lord Adinath's idol breathed 7 times, when it was first placed over there.
* 2. A layer of silver gets accumalated on idol every night and that serve as the priest's fees rather gift from god.
* 3. A small idol of Lord Suparshvanath Swami around 10" used to fly everynight from one of near by temple to Lord Adinath`s Palm.
* 4. There is only and only one tree in the entire Temple Campus below which it is believed to hide the jewels, pearls, relics and other ornaments of time before humans.
The town is considered by many Jains to be more important than the temple covered hills of Jharkhand, Mt Abu and Girnar. Palitana was the capital of a princely state of the Gohil Rajput clan. It is also one of the greatest tourist attractions in Gujarat for foreign tourists. Every year millions of people come to visit these temples. Palitana is the place where millions and millions of Jain sadhu and muni got salvation. For the Svetambar Jains Shetrunjay is the earliest and, next to Sammet Shikhar in Bihar, the most sacred mountain.
There are hundreds of other temples (besides those on the Shatrunjaya hills). Guest houses (dharmashalas) are found in Palitana city. It is believed that every Jain should visit Palitana at least once in his lifetime to get "Bhavya" status (fit to attain nirvan or salvation).
The Palitana temples are considered the most sacred pilgrimage place (tirtha) by the Jain community. There are more than 1250 temples located on the Shatrunjaya hills.
The main temple on top of the hill, is dedicated to 1st tirthankar lord Adinath (Rishabdeva). On the top the Shatrunjai Hill is a cluster of Jain temples ( 873temples ), built by generations of Jains over a period of 900 years, from the 11th century onwards. However, destroyed by the Muslim invasions in 14th and 15th centuries, the temples were built anew in 1500. The temples are managed by the Anandji Kalyanji Trust of the Kasturbai Lalbhai group. From the foot of the hill to the top there are 3,800 and odd stone steps cut to facilitate climbing.
No one is allowed to sleep overnight including the priest, because the temple city has been built as an abode for the Gods. A recently concluded count reveals that there are a total of more than 27,000 idols of jain god on this mountain alone.
Not only temples, Shatrunjay Hill also offers a beautiful view of the surrounding scenery. From here you can also see the biggest irrigation project in Saurashtra. The waters of the flowing Shatrunjay river are said to confer merit in the bather as well as cure various diseases.
For pilgrims visiting of foot there are three circumambulatory routes. The shortest leads round the temples along the outer wall; the other follows the foot of the mountain. The third, about forty kilometres long, frequents en route five temple sites where pilgrims may stay overnight before continuing their holy walk. The major event of the year takes place on the day of the full moon in the month of Phalgun (Feb./March) when some ten thousands of pilgrims go round the Shetrunjay hill, the 'Lord of Peaks'.
Name : Nagamalai Alayam
This pre-existing natural temple is unique, as the shrine has been sanctified in a lush tropical hill forest in Muar (Johor) of Malaysia
In 1972, Gopala Menon, the founder of the temple had a vision of Sri Chakra, instructing him to build a shrine for Naga Amman, in a nearby hill forest. After receiving the vision, he immediately set out to the hill. After clearing up a path, he found several natural formed snake mounds and also an earthen bee hive. The natural formed earth mounds were seated below an arched limestone, that resembled a ‘pancha mukam’ (five faced) snake hood. Gopala Menon started meditating at that area, and experienced peace and serenity. He was told that he was from a lineage of Naga Amman devotees, and was entrusted to take care of this temple.
He then was given another spiritual instruction, to dig up a well at the bottom of the hill. At the precise location was an underground spring, and was to be used to wash and cleanse the devotees before proceeding to the shrine.
Naga Amman had blessed Gopala Menon with inner vision, and therefore was given spiritual instructions easily. The snake mounds were the private abode of Naga Amman and her seven virgin maidens. Also present, was a ‘siddhar’ (holy person possessing supernatural powers), who lived in the bee hive. After which, Gopala Menon came daily, lighted up camphor for the shrine and performed prayers. Soon, many devotees started attending the prayers and word got around about this hill forest temple.
Many ardent devotees witnessed the movement of ‘nagas’ (divine serpents) around the vicinity of the temple. Some have witnessed a golden hued ‘naga’ coming out from the mound, slithering away into the forest. Other devotees have heard ‘Naga Kanni Oli’, whereby is a powerful sound indicating the movement of ‘nagas’. One particular day, Gopala Menon found a coconut with a trunk shaped shoot. He was then instructed by Naga Amman to build a shrine for Lord Ganesha at the bottom of the hill. This was to allow devotees to obtain blessing from Lord Ganesha prior to ascending the hill forest temple.
Certain rules were established by Naga Amman, and conveyed to Gopala Menon. Those were to restrict devotees ascending the temple hill after 7pm, as the ‘nagas’ would come out in human form during this period. Naga Amman also advised to restrict menstruating women praying at the shrine, prohibit meat and alcohol, and to disallow footwear on the sacred hill. Devotees wishing to perform prayers for Naga Amman are advised to bring fresh cow’s milk, jasmine flowers, ‘payasam’ (sweet dessert) or ‘sakkara pongal’ (rice pudding).
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Name : Charchika Temple
This temple is situated on Ruchika Parbat on the bed of the Renuka river. In the small town of Banki in Cuttack district
Legend of Renuka river :
The Renuka river was created by the flood of 1982. It's believed that one devotee who worshiped Maa Charchika after pleasing her took away all ornaments of Maa Charchika and build a house where River Renuka is currently flowing now. As Maa Charchika was not happy so she created this River Renuka to punish him and to make him home less.
This temple is situated in the heart of Banki. This is one of the oldest Shakti place in Orissa. The presiding deity is an eight-armed goddess Chamunda, locally known as Maa Charchika devi. She is seated on a human body and wearing a garland of human skulls. She displays khadga, shula, katari and varadamudra in her four right hands whereas the four left hands represent severed head, blood-cup, ‘’damru’’ and leaving a finger of the remaining hand soaked in blood. This temple is situated on the top a small hillock Ruchika Parbat on the bed of the Renuka river in the small town of Banki in Cuttack district of Orissa.
The present temple was built in the 19th century. But the remarkable point is the enshrining deity Maa Charchika on iconographical point of view can be assigned to the 9th – 10th centuries A.D. i.e. Bhaumakara rule in Orissa.It is believed that the Charchika idol was created by Parashurama. The temple has a pidha vimana, jagamohana and a wooden mandapa known as "sunyavahini mandapa" of impoverished Kalingan order. Stone is used for the construction of the temple and the entire surface is thickly lime plastered and white washed.
The ceiling of the mandapa is made of wood whereas the pillars are in stone. The ceiling of the mandapa is profusely carved and painted.The wooden ceiling of the mandpa is relieved with episodes from Bhagabata Purana with intervening decoration of animals and birds like - elephant, duck, parrot, peacock, etc; floral motifs, lotus medallions, scroll and jali works, animal hunting, horse rider, gaja-vidalas, makaramukha,mithuna and maithuna images. Besides, the parsvadevata niches enshrine four-armed Chamunda, four-armed Mahisasuramardini Durga and an eight-armed Chamunda on the north, west and southern side respectively.
It's good to visit the temple at the time of Dasara, a Hindu festival in the month of October thousands of divotee used to come to get the blessing. Kumarpurnima a Hindu festival celebrated 5 days after Dusshera is very famous here.
One more Temple of Maa Charchika is at Mathura Near River Yamuna.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Name : Binsar Mahadev Temple
Binsar Hill or Jhandi Dhar is at a distance of 104 km from Ranikhet at an altitude of 2,412 m. Ranikhet is at Almora district of Uttarakhand, India. The temple is surrounded by thick deodar forests and lies at an altitude of 2480 metres.
Binsar Hill has a temple dedicated to Shiv called Bineswar Temple or Binsar Mahadev Temple. Binsar Mahadev was built around 9-10 century A.D. It is Believed that this temple was built in a single day. Ladies comes here on Vaikunth chaturdashi and light a lamp on their palm to fulfill the desire of child.
With idols of Ganesh, Har Gauri and Maheshmardini in its sanctum the temple is known for its architectural finesse. The idol of Maheshmardini is engraved with texts in 'Nagarilipi' which dates back to as early as the 9th century. Built by King Pithu in memory of his father Bindu, the place is also known as Bindeshwar temple.
It sees a large gathering of devotees on the occasion of Baikunth Chaturdashi in the month of June. It is said that devotees, especially women, pray all night with lamps in their hands on this day for the Lord’s blessings. It is beleived that desire of a child is fulfill here.
There is no facility of hotel and market, nearest tourist place is Ranikhet where hotels and other facility are available.
Name : Lord Mahadev Shingnapur temple
Atop the hill there is The temple of Lord Mahadev is located atop a Hill in Shingnapur. Shingnapur is located on the niche of the Shikhar Shingnapur hills, 40 miles away from Satara and is a famous pilgrimage center in Maharashtra.
The devotee called Somaya requested Lord to come his village, Harani, Taluka Purandar, District Pune which nearly 30 kilometers from Karanje. Lord Mahadev Mahadev (Shiva) accepted the request. The Lord told the devotee to build his temple at such a place that he can see his temple of Shikhar Shinganapur located in Satara district nearly 90 kilometers from Harani.
But there was already ancient open temple of Mahadev in village Harani which is now called as Old Mahadev where already goddess Haranai was staying.
She annoyed and tried to leave the hill but Lord Mahadev tried to stop her but she disappeared in the earth immediately. There are footprints of godess Haranai on the rock of the hill. Her small temple is also established on the top of the hill. The hill is called hill of Mahadev (Mahadevacha Dongar)
There are about 10 decendent families of the devotee, they are called as Bhagat. Every year one family Bhagat has right to do service of god. The bhagat or his any family member washes the Pind and ling of Lord Mahadev every day. There are two lingas in the pind, one of god Mahadev and other of goddess Parvati. There are also small other temples on the hill. There are two temples of Lord Bali at the foot of the hill.
The annual fair called Yatra in local language is held every year from Chaitra Shuddha Ekadashi to Chaitra Shuddha Pornimaa. The period is somehow closer to month of April. There are five prestigious Kawadees ( manachya kawadee) and other about 20 small kawadees of every big family called kul or wada. Ordinarily one person of every family is server of kawad called kawadya.
On Ekadasi ,the first day fair, there is bath of kawad. The kawad is lifted by 6 kawadyas, 3 to front side and 3 to back side. Music of Halagi and daff is played by a person who is primarily held from Matang community, there may be other halagiwala daffwala. The kawad climbs the hill by fastening the strong rope to the kawad, other peoples help to pull the rope. Five rounds (pradakshinas) are done by the kawad,then water from the vertical bronze pot (gadava having capacity about 30 to 50 liters)is spred on the pind of Mahadev from outside of the temple or some devotee prefer to go inside the temple. The kawad halts there for a night and in the morning, all the 5 and other samll kawadees come down in the village. There dance in the front of temple Lord Vitthal Ruhkmini for about half to one hour,then the kawad is kept for during day in the house of the owner of the kawad.
On the second day of Dwadashi, same programme is performed but there meal to kawadyas given by the owners of the kawad. On the third day also same program is performed but on that day, there is tamashaa for entertainment of the villagers. On fourth day , the all kawadees go the river Nira to bath and bring the water to bath the god Mahadev.On the route of river, there Laptalwadi where peoples of Laptalwadi offer the tea or sarbat to all the devotes. All kawadyas do bath in the river, bath is also done by the kawad except her shid which is covered by clothes called patakaas. There is aarti of Lord Ganesh after bath. Then kawad is lifted to go to Mahadev. There is music of halagi and daff. During the return journey, the meal of Zunka and Bhakri (roti) of jowar or bajra is given to all the devotee from the respective kawad owners. The kawadees come in the village about 3 to 4 pm.in Harani.
The water is thrown to the godess Kalubai, god Bhairavnath, godess Tukai ,Kanhabai, god Hanuman during the Pradakshina. Then all small and big prestigiuos kawadees perform the dance below the large tree of banyan for about two to three hours. During dance, there is also race to pull or to push the kawad between front three kawadees and rear three kawadees for fun. After tiring, the race is stopped. Again the same or other kawadyas lift the kawad and starts dancing in a manner to and fro for about 3- 4 feets. Almost all ladies, gents, children and guests come to see the dance.
During going to Mahadev, there is system to touch the body by kawadya other person along with kawad. Some persons may prefer sleep on the earth, then body touched by leg of all six kawadyaa in faith to avoid accidents and long life. In the evening, all kawadees go the Mahadev to offer water of river Nira. Kawadees halt there on the hill. Then after midnight of the fourth day i.e. early in the morning of fifth day about 2-3 am , all the kawadees come down in the village. There is ceremony called varat with Dhol Lezim sound and dance.
On this fifth day, there is programme of tamashaa till afternoon. After tamashaa, at the evening, there is programme of wrestling. The wrestlers from nearby villages come to play. This ends upto 7 pm. There is prize to winners. Sometimes there is draw of competition, then prize is distributed equally. In such a way fair is finished.
After fair 5 days , there is programme of fulfillment of navas starts. Navas is a method to offer god certain thing after fulfillment of the demand from god. In village Harani, the devotee may offer the god that, if his particular demand is fulfilled he will give meal of Puran Poli to all the villagers. The navas may be of one kawad or two or five kawadees. Water of river Nira or from Mahabaleshwar or river Krishna Dhom is offered. After fulfillment of demand from Lord Mahadev, the particular person who prayed for his demand does all the expenditure of kawad alongwith devotees to go river, meal,etc. The kawad / kawadees climb/s throgh Mungi Ghat which is very diffcult to climb with help of rope during evening. The Tirth offered to god. There are usual pradakshinas. Kawad Stops there for sometime, then come down where the programme of meal is kept. The navas is fulfilled except Monday and Amavashya.
The above details taken from article Written by Mr. Prakash Jagdevrao Yadav - Harani.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Name : Chitai Temple
This is the sacred temple of Golu Devta, 6 Kilometres from Almora perched on a hilltop. Golu Devta was deified general of Chand dynasty that once ruled Almora.
The Chitai temple is called the temple of a million bells and situated through a thick forest of chir pines dotted with clumps of mimosa. Its heady scent pervades the air.
Chitai Temple has the presiding deity Lord Shiva, who is referred here by the name Lord Gollu (Golu devta,a legendary lord of justice). Local folks have much faith in this hilltop temple, they often visit here with offerings. He is a much loved deity of Kumaon and his mediation called for, in matters legal. He is believed to be an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav (Shiva); his devotees, the Chand rulers built the temple on annexing this region.
The temple is characterized by the large number of bells hanging in the premises.
Strung too are petitions on scraps of paper. An answered prayer means the gift of a bell. The temple bears strong faith among the locals here and goats are sacrificed here in front of the deity.
Name : Kasar Devi Temple
Situated 5Kms from Almora, Uttar Pradesh
Kalimath is a place 4kms from Almora. It is a beautiful picnic spot. From here one gets a full view of the town and the Hawabagh Valley. it gets its name from the black (kali) soil (math) of the area.
There is temple dedicated to Kasar devi. This temple dates back to second century. One can go on foot from Kalimath to Kasardevi which is hardly 1 km from there.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Name : Maa Tara Tarini Temple
It is situated on Taratirini hill near Purushottampur which is at a distance of 40 km. from Berhampur in Orissa. The Tara-Tarini Hill ,a part of the Kumari Hills on the blanks of Rushikulya river.
According to the Mythological Puranas the origin of Maa Taratarini is directly attributed to Daksha Prajapati’s Jagna in Satya Yuga. The famous Shakta Peethas of Bimala, Tara-Tarini, Dakshina Kalika and Kamakshi originated from the limbs of the divine Corpse of Devi Sati. Mythological sacred texts like the Shiva Purana, the Kalika Purana, the Devi Bhagabat (a contemporary text of the Mahabharata written by Shri Vyasa Dev around 6000 years ago) attest this fact.
It is known from the Mahabharata that before the commencement of the Mahabharata war Lord Srikrishna had advised Arjuna to offer prayer for victory at Shridevi kupa or Bhadrakali. Bhadrakali originated from the limbs of Sati like the other four major Shakti Peethas, which existed during the time of the Mahabharata or around 6000 years ago. This is the oldest data/information we get till date, regarding the existence of the Shrines originated from the limbs of the divine Corpse of Devi Sati.
Buddhist Legend :
According to the texts of Mahayana Buddhists, in the initial days, the Buddhists didn’t believe in the worship of Goddesses or in Pratimapuja (Idol Worship). But, the ecclesiastical texts of Mahayana’s reveal that from 1st century AD after the fall of Kalinga, for the first time the Mahayana Buddhists accepted the worship of Mother Goddess ‘Tara’. So there is seldom any doubt that the Buddhists have learned the ‘Tara’ Puja concept from this Shrine. The Bouddha Tantrik texts, texts of Vajrajani sect and Hindu Tantrik texts also attest these facts. Scholars believe that in the primary days the Buddhists worshiped Taratarini, the principal seat of Tantrik sect in Hinduism at that time, as Bouddha Tara, and later on included ‘Tara’ as the Tantrik deity or spouse of bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in their belief system. Gradually this ‘Tara’ worship spread to different parts of the world.
the primordial deity of the Mahayana Buddhist sect at Tara-Tarini Hill and Tara-Tarini as a famous Buddhist Tantra Pitha.
According to folk lore, it is around 8th Century AD when Jagadguru Sankaracharya toured the whole country, that he discovered this Shrine. But, it did not exist in its present form. After long try he came to know that this ancient Shakti centre was under the control of Buddhist tantrikas. Then he released this Peetha from the control of Bouddha tantrikas and handed it over to Hindus.
The History of Tara Tarini Hill Shrine (Kalyan Dham) :
It is known from the available sources that till 17th century this place was out of the sight of the common man. But, according to a folk story once Maa Taratarini appeared as two sisters in the house of Shri Basu Praharaj. He was a learned Brahmin of Kharida Vira Jagannathpur village in Ganjam District and one of the great devotees of the Mother Goddess but child less. After staying for some years one day both the sisters disappeared suddenly from the house of Basu Praharaj and according to the account of the villagers both the sisters traveled up to the Tarini Parvat/ Ratnagiri and disappeared there.
On that night he saw a dream where the Goddesses Tara and Tarini informed Basu Praharaj that actually they were not his daughters; but they are the Adi Shakti, Goddesses Tara and Tarini. The Goddesses ordered Basu to come out of the grief and said that the time has arrived and with full devotion renovate the temple on the Hill Top of Tarini Parvat and establish the deities according to the Vedic tradition.
The Twin Goddesses Tara and Tarini are worshiped as manifestations of Adi Shakti. The Taratarini Hill Shrine is one of the oldest pilgrimage centers of Mother Goddess and is one amongst the four major ancient Shakti Peethas in India.
The height of the hill is approximately 708ft. The picturesque scenery of the temple, from the hilltop down to the bank of river Rushikulya provides immense pleasure and a thrilling experience of nature and divinity to each pilgrim and often captivates the heart and soul. There are 999 steps on the front side of the hill leading to the temple and also a pucca road for vehicles behind the hill facilitating devotees to reach the Pitha. Provisions of electricity, drinking water and a small market complex at the site with articles of puja /archana are additional features of this Pitha.
The mythological texts recognize four major Shakti Peethas,i.e. Tara Tarini (Stana Khanda)near Berhampur, Bimala (Pada Khanda) inside the [[Jagannath Temple (Puri),Kamakshi (Yoni khanda) near Guwahati and Dakhina Kalika (Mukha khanda) in Kolkata among the 4 Adi Shakti Peeths. Apart from these, there are other 52 other sacred Shakti Peethas, which originated from the limbs of the corpse of Mata Sati in the Satya Yuga.
Four Adi Shakti Peethas
The great religious texts like the Shiva Purana, the Kalika Purana, the Devi Bhagabat and the AstaShakti recognize four major Shakti Peethas (centers), like Bimala (Pada Khanda), Tara Tarini (Stana Khanda,Breasts)(Near Berhampur, Orissa), Kamakshi (Yoni khanda)(Near Gowhati, Assam) and Dakhina Kalika (Mukha khanda) (Kolkata, West Bengal) originated from the limbs of the Corpse of Mata Sati. The Astashakti and Kalika Purana clearly says (IN SANSKRIT)
So, there is absolutely no dispute regarding these four famous Adi Peethas. Apart from these four there are 52 other famous Peethas recognised by religious Texts. According to the Pithanirnaya Tantra the 52 peethas are scattered all over India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet and Pakistan. The Shivacharita besides listing 52 maha-peethas, speaks about 26 more upa-peethas. The Bengali almanac, Vishuddha Siddhanta Panjika too describes the 52 peethas.
1. The Sankranti Mela: Every month on Sankranti day. This festival is observed on each Sankranti day of the Hindu month. This day is considered to be very auspicious for Tantra Sadhakas. The important features of the festival are as follows:
(a) The temple opens for Darshan of the deities from 5.30 AM till 10.00 PM without Pahada during the day.
(b) Baja Pratima (Chalnti Pratima) of the deities are put on the Bije Pithastal located near the temple gate.
(c) Puja and offerings to the deities are offered to the Bije Pratima as no offerings are allowed within the Garbha Griha during this occasion. However the devotes can contain the darshan of the deties in the Garbha Griha.
(d) Megha Snana, Chandipatha and Homa are the special activities conducted in the Grabha Griha and the side pedestal of the Garbha Griha by the temple Purohit.
(e) Special Khechudi Bhoga is supplied to the devotees on receipt per packet. This Bhoga is prepared and sold by the Temple Trust.
2. Dola Purnima (Phalguna Purnima) during February / March.
3. Chaitra Parba: One each Tuesday on the month of chaitra i.e.during March/April as per Calendar.
This festival is the most significant amongst all, celebrated at the Tara Tarini Pitha. It is observed during each Tuesday of the month of Chaitra. Significant features of the festival are as follows;
(a) The temple remains open for the Darshan of the deities from 5 AM till 11 PM. Pahada of the deities is confined to night time only.
(b) Devotees in large numbers congregate at the up-hill and downhill temple complex from Monday night.
(c) 2nd & 3rd Tuesday of the Chaitra is considered to be most auspicious days. Therefore large numbers of devotees congregate during these days.
(d) Puja and offering by the devotees are offered to the Chalanti Pratima of deities placed at the Bije Pitha for the Bije Pratima. However Darshan of the deities in Garbha Griha is allowed.
(e) Special arrangements for hair offering are made. 250 barbers at the top hill and 500 barbers at the down hill at the barber shed are engaged to help their hair offering of their children and other devotees. Hair offering continues from mid-night on Monday till 6 PM of Tuesday.
(f) Special Khechudi Bhoga is supplied to the devotees from Monday mid-night till 6 PM of Tuesday evening.
4. Basantika Parba: During the month chaitra i.e. March / April.
5. Chitalagi Amabasya i.e. Srabana Amabasya during July / August.
6. Gamha Purnima (Shrabana Purnima ) during July /August.
7. Saptapuri Amabasya during the month of Bhadraba during August.
8. Saradiya Parba on the month of Ashwina Mulastami to Dushara during September / October .
9. Dipabali or Shyamakali Puja: on Kartika Amabasya during Sept /Nov.
Name : Then Sze Koon Temple or Centipede Temple
Perched on top of a hill in Ulu Temiang, Seremban, Negri Sembilan in Malaysia lies Then Sze Koon Temple or Centipede Temple. Spread over 2ha, the temple is run on donations and is a beautiful sanctuary.
There are temples around the world paying homage to monkeys, snakes, rats, tigers and other animals. But, hidden in our own backyard and relatively unknown is a holy place that is home to various species of centipedes.
the temple is believed to have been founded in the 19th century by a Taoist priest named Zhong San Koon.
One has to climb 176 steps to reach the top but with willpower, everyone can do it. Take one step at a time to enjoy the tranquil setting. A friendly frog sculpture awaits visitors halfway up.
However, the hill was retained. Centipedes roamed freely in and out of the temple grounds because the weather was cool.
In 1998, a reporter from a Chinese daily came to pray to the Then Sze deity and spotted a white centipede (probably an albino). He snapped its picture and decided to buy numbers from a gaming outlet. He struck first prize and, thrilled, wrote about it in the papers.
Since then every time someone spots a centipede, something good happens to them. Once an ice cream vendor was bitten by a centipede and he also struck lottery. He then came back to give free ice cream to the devotees. If you spot or get bitten by one, you can definitely expect some good fortune.
However, with global warming and the increase in temperatures, the centipede population has dwindled but they still “make their rounds” at the temple a few times a day. Soon guarantees that they come out in droves during Chap Goh Mei. Why do they appear only on this day? He is equally baffled.
Auspicious Time :
The most auspicious time at the temple is on the 26th day of the third lunar month, which marks the temple’s anniversary, and Chinese New Year. For these occasions when the devotees number 20,000, the temple brings in priests to conduct prayers.
Opening hours: 7am t o 7pm daily.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Name : Thicksey Monastery
Situated at an altitude of 3600 m above sea level, the monastery of Tiksey is situated about 20 km far from the town of Leh and ranks among the most important monasteries in Ladakh.
It is believed that in the early 15th century, Tsongkhapa, the founder of the reformed Gelug School, sent six of his disciples to remote regions of Tibet to spread the teachings of the new school. One of these six was known as Sherab Sangpo. He went to Ladakh and was the founder of a small monastery at the end of a valley in the village called Stagmo. Palden Sangpo, Sherab's disciple carried on with the work of his teacher and he was the one who founded the Thiksey monastery a few miles away from Stagmo near the River Indus on a sacred hill above a village of the same name.
It is the seat of Tiksey Rinpoche, the main leader of the Gelug School in Ladakh and is the main and leading monastery for more than ten other famous Ladakhi monasteries such as Diskit, Spituk, Likir, and Stok.
Housing one of the largest Buddhist statues, the 15 metre tall Champa, the Buddha of Future and located strategically, today, Thiksey is one of the most frequently visited and most photogenic monasteries in Ladakh. About a hundred monks live here. Ngawang Champa Tenzin, born in 1943, places a great emphasis on preservation of the traditional ways of running the monastery and continues to teach both monks and lay villagers. A former member of Indian Parliament, he has helped greatly towards establishing the village school called Lamsang, which is one of the prestigious Ladakhi Lamdon schools. Thiksey is one of the finest examples of Ladakhi architecture.
This Gompa is situated on the top of the hill and forms part of Gelukpa order. The 12-storey monastery complex contains numerous stupas, statues, thankas, wall paintings, swords and a large pillar engraved with the Buddha's teachings apart from the sacred shrines and other precious objects to be seen.