Sunday, October 24, 2010
Name : Mata Chintpurni Devi is also known as Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi.
Chintpurni is situated at the altitude of 940 metres and is part, Una district, Himachal Pradesh. The temple is situated on one of the highest peaks of the Sola Singhi range of hills. It is about 3 km west of Bharwain which is located on the Hoshiarpur - Dharmashala road. This road is part of the State Highway network and is normally kept in good shape throughout the year.
Private vehicles are usually not allowed beyond the Chintpurni bus stand which is about 1.5 km from the Temple. You would have to walk this distance.
1. Chhin-Mastika : It is said that a devotee named Mayidass, who was an ardent devotee of Goddess Durga, disco- vered this spot. As per the old myth, Mayidas was born in village Athar (District Patiala of Punjab). His father had three sons and Mayidass happened to be the youngest one. Like his father, Mayidas used to spend much of his time in the worship of mother goddess. Due to this he was not able to help in the family business. Owing to this aversion to business, his brothers separated from him.
One day, while going to his inlaws house, he sat to rest, under a banyan tree, Mayidass fell asleep. While sleeping he dreamt a divine giri full of radiance and blazing. The divine girl ordered Mayidass to built a temple at the same spot and she said she is staying under the tree in "Pindi- Rupa.' and known as Chhin-Mastika.
2. Chhinnamastika Name: Why and How?
As per Markandeya Purana it is believed that after the victory of Mother 'CHANDI' over all demons, the two disciple companions Ajay and Vijay begged of mother, to quench their blood thirst. On hearing this goddess 'Chandi' cut her own head and quenched the thirst of her disciple companions. That is how goddess was named as Chhinnamastika.
As per legends and Puranas the abode of 'chhinnamastika Devi should be surrounded on all sides by 'Rudra Mahadeva.' That means that the temple of goddess should be surrounded by four Shiva temples. The holy temple of Chinta Purni bears testimony to this fact.
Devotees have been visiting this Shaktipeeth for centuries to pray at the lotus feet of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi. Some parts of the holy feet of Sati are said to have fallen here, while Lord Vishnu shot arrows to cut the corpse into pieces.
The Chintpurni Temple besides having the idols of Mata Shri Chhinnamastika Devi and Mata Shri Chintpurni Devi also has the idol of Chhina Mastaka, the killer of the demon Nishumbha. This temple is revered by the Hindus in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and it is believed that the Goddess Chintpurni is the remover of all troubles. They bring with them their worldly concerns and seek blessings from the Devi.
It is believed that if you ask something from the Devi with a true heart, your wish will be granted.
Apart from the holy shrine, according to Manav Bhardwaj, the place is full of picturesque surroundings. Some very nice places for sight seeing, indoor and out door activities are situated in and around Chintpurni.
The Navaratra fairs in Shravan (August), Kartik (October) and Chaitra (March-April) are very popular with devotees when accommodation is very tight. Other popular days are Sankranti, Purnima and Ashtami.
Name : Jakhu Temple
This temple of lord Hanumanji is situated at the height of about 8500 ft. in the east of historical ridge ground in Shimla city. This temple is very easily approachable and is one of the most sought after site to be visited not only by the devotees and pilgrims but also by the tourists of all age groups visiting Shimla, the Hill capital of Himachal Pradesh.
According to mythology, during the battle between lord Rama and Ravana at Lanka, Lakshmana the younger brother of lord Rama was injured from an arrow from Meghnad and turned senseless. In order to save his life, when lord Hanuman was moving towards Himalaya to get sanjeewani herb, all of a sudden he saw Yaaku sage on Jakhu mountain in penance. This place was named Jakhu, after the same sage. In order to gather more details about sanjeewani, lord Hanuman landed here. As a result of which Jakhu mountain which earlier was much higher, half sunk into earth.
After getting all the clarifications about the herb, lord Hanuman started his journey towards mount Dron. However, his friends accompanying him felt asleep here due to long distant tiring journey. When they woke up, all of them were sad on not finding lord Hanuman with them. All of them decided to stay here. Their successors can be seen roaming in this area even today.
Lord Hanuman had even promised the sage Yaaku to meet him during his back journey. However due to shortage of time as a result of wickedness of Kaalnemi, he had to return back to Lanka via shorter route. So Yaaku sage got very sad. At the same time lord Hanuman appeared before the sage and told him the reason for not keeping his promise. When lord Hanuman disappeared, an idol of lord Hanuman appeared by itself and is present in the temple till date. This temple of lord Hanuman was constructed by the Yaaku sage in remembrance of lord Hanuman.
Situated in the thick forests of Jakhu hills, there are hundreds of monkeys in and around the temple, who have made this temple and the area around it their habitat. You can easily offer them eatable with care, from a distance, without any danger of their harming you.
Visitors must remove shoes (and leave them in the "shoe house") before entering the temple. There are several eateries at the temple site. Local visitors ring the bell for good luck before making the descent back into Shimla.
Name : Ma Tara Devi Temple
Situated at the Tara Devi hill this temple is located at a distance of 10 Km from Shimla. "Ma Bhagwati Tara Devi" temple is located on Tarav Parvat in the western side of shimla Town about 15 Km from Shimla situated by the side of Kalka- Shimla National Highway near Shoghi.
The history of this temple dates back to about 250 years when this temple was built here. There is a belief that the goddess Tara was brought to Himachal Pradesh all the way from the eastern state of Bengal . Hundreds of years ago a king from the Sen Dynasty visited this area. This king had brought his family deity in the form of a small gold Idol encased in a locket which he always wore around his upper arm.
For many years the idol remained encased but in the 96th generation of sen dynasty, Raja Bhupendra Sen one day had an unusual experience while hunting in the dense forest of Juggar , near by the present temple, where he had a vision of his holy family deity goddess :"Ma Tara" along with her Dwarpal Bhairav and Hanuman Ji, who expressed her keen desire to be unveiled before the people. The Raja immediately donated 50 bighas of land on the name of Ma Tara and got constructed a temple there, in which a wooden idol of the Goddess was installed in accordance with Vaishnav traditions.
Later on Raja Balbir Sen of the same dynasty had a dream in which the Goddess expressed her desire to be installed on the hill top of Tarav Parvat. The Raja on the advise of one of his pandits named Bhawani Dutt got a beautiful Idol prepared out of ‘Ashtadhatu’ from one Gusanwu artisan at his capital Junga and carried it over an Elephant named ‘Shankar’ and had it installed in the Vikrami era, 1825 on the Hill Top of Tarav Parvat, where it stands in all majesty and grandeur even today. The Sen dynasty of the erstwhile Keonthal State till date is carrying on with the age old tradition of worshipping their family deity Ma Tara on Ashtami during Shardiya Navratras.
This temple is dedicated to goddess Tara.The temple besides normal visiting days is thronged by devotees from all parts of the country in large number during the Navratras. The road meandering uphill through the sweet smelling pine forests and lush green meadows with the cool gentle breeze touching one softly infusing a freshness and vigor in the devotees, pilgrims and tourists visiting this holy shrine.
The location of the temple on the Hill top makes it appear that the goddess Ma Tara Devi seems to keep everyone under the protective gaze, showering innumerable blessings on her worshippers.
Each year a fair is also held during Ashtami of Shardiya Navratras in the temple complex. The wrestling is an age old tradition of this fair every year.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Name : Hinglaj Matajee Temple
Hingula is 90 miles away from Karachi. The road from Karachi to Hingula is alongside the Arabian sea. The area actually is a part of Bilochistan province of Pakistan. Hingol river falls on its way in Makran hills. Usual Transport is Camel or Camel driven cart. A beam of light can be seen within the dark cave, where the temple is located. The temple of Hinglaj is situated on the right bank of Hingol river. It is a low mud edifice, built at the extremity of a natural cave of small dimension, and only contains a tomb shaped stone, which is called the Mata or Maha Maya (Goddess).
1. During the Treata Yuga, in the days of PARUSHURAM AVATAR, Rishi Dadechi narrated this story. In the TATARI MONGOL CLAN there lived a king named VICHATAR. He had two sons HINGOL and SUNDER. They belonged to Suria Dynasty of Kshtrya class.They were brave but cruel and lived luxurious lives. Their empire was adjacent to China. The people who lived in these countries belonged to Chandra Dynasty of Kshtrya Class and were followers of LORD SHIVA.
Prince sunder attacked the neighbouring countries and killed thousands of people and looted gold ornaments and demanded royalties from them. The people then prayed to Lord SHIVA to save them from the cruel prince by fulfilling their prayers and request , Lord SHIVA granted a boon where GANESH DEVA killed the demon prince Sunder in three days. After the death of Prince Sunder, his brother Hingola became furious and swore to take avenge his brother's death. He underwent penance and by his austerity for years he received the boon that no living being in the three worlds could kill him with any sort of weapon and his death will only occur at a place where Sunlight does not penetrate.
He thereafter defeated other kings, extended his reign with terror and cruelty. He referred to himself as HINGOL DEVA.People became very sick and tired in his reign and they performed great Yagna Hawan in their Devi Mata Temple in order to get rid of HIngol, the King. Devi Mata appeared and promised to kill Hingol. Hingol came in SATA DEEP, presently located in Balochistan and went inside a dark cave where Devi Mata with her wooden weapon TRISHUL killed him. In his last moments of life hingol prayed to Devi Mata that in future this place may be called after his name as HINGAL TEERATH and so the place came to be known.
2. According to another story in the PURAN , once SATI the consort of LORD SHIVA and the daughter of King Daksha was annoyed with her father for not inviting LORD SHIVA in the ceremony of Yagna. She jumped to in Agni Havan Kunda and burnt herself. LORD SHIVA then became furious and came and took the dead body of SATI and started roaming in all the dishas and there was danger created all over the world. Hence LORD VISHNU cut the body of SATI in pieces with his Sudarshan Chakra in order to cool down LORD SHIVA's anger. The pieces of SATI'S body fell at differant places; the head with its Hingul (Sindhoor, Vermillion) fell at this place on the Kunraj hills and it was named as Hingul Parvat and the Peeth was known as Shri Hinglaj Mata Asthan. This Peeth is considered supreme because Sati’s head had fallen here.
It is considered one of the famous and largest TEERATHS Pilgrimage of Subcontinent.
It is held in great veneration by both Hindus and Muslims. It is dedicated to Hinglaj Devi, the Goddess of Fate, Muslims call it Bibi Nani or simply Nani. In "Nani" there is a survival of ancient Goddess "Nanaia", whose Semitic name is "Anhita". Hinglaj Devi alongwith another Devi called "Kurukullh" was once upon a time, universally worshipped. Hingula means "cinnabar", largely used as materia medica in ancient India. Since "Hingula" cures snake bites and eliminates all types of poisoning, it came to be identified with healing of all sorts of diseases.
It is about 170 miles 250 KM from Karachi. One has to go by road on main Karachi-Quetta Highway (RCD) up to zero point for about 75 miles. Then by road towards west through Lyari town and then to Signal fauji camp stop,crosssing Aghore River. Then through Goongi River and last stop to "Asha Pura" sarai (INN). There are worship places of GANESH DEVA,MATA KALI,GURU GORAKH NATH DOONI,BRAHAM KUNDH,TIR KUNDH,MAHA KALI KUNDA,GURU NANAK KHARAO,RAM JAROKHA BETHAK,ANEEL KUNDH ON CHORASI MOUNTAIN and on the way CHANDRA GOOP , KHARI RIVER and AGHORI PUJA.
Pictures of this yatra can be seen at http://www.hinduofuniverse.com/hou/hinglaj-yatra-history.html. Thanks for the Hindu of Universe team for providing the world with these photos of this Religious yatra.
Hinglaj is situated about a day's journey from the sea coast, at the extremity of the range of mountains dividing Lasbella from Mekran. These is a large circular tank near it, which is said to be of great depth. They relate that one of the priests employed himself for a whole year in twisting a rope for the purpose, but it was not long enough. Those who can swim, jump into the tank from an overhanging rock, and proceed through a subterranean passage to another part of the mountain, which is believed to purify them from their sins. There is also a practice of throwing a coconut forcefully into the water, and as the bubbles arise in a large or small quantity, the individual accordingly will be happy or miserable.
It is believed that Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshman visited this peeth during Banvas.
There is no doubt that HINGLAJ TEERATH is very old and remained famous even during Mahabharat period when King Jaidrath of Sindh constructed Devi temples. When King Sikander of Yoonan, Europe when invaded India, he fought with King Balram at Bali Kot Fort and stayed at Hingol River. At that time, yatri devotees were performing HInglaj Yatra and they were safe. Samrat Vikramjeet, the king of India also visited Hinglaj as yatra after conquering all of India. Raja Todarmal of Mughal regime also visited this teerath. Other Rajput rajas like Bihari Mal, Raja Bhij Singh, Raja Madhoo Singh, Raja Jagat Singh of Jaipur, Ram Devji Pir of Rajasthan with his Army chief Agva Laloo Jakhraj also came to Hinglaj for yatra, Dada Mekhan the great saint of Gujarat also came to Hinglaj Teerath and he was called first KAPRI of Mata and after this all the Yatris are called KAPRIS. Kapris wear mala of Thumra in their neck.
Time to visit :
After creation of Pakistan, the govt. had declared it a prohibited area for residents of India but devotees residing in Pakistan and other foreign countries still take holy pilgrimage to the Peeth starting from Shri Swaminarayan Mandir complex in Karachi during Navratras in the month of April.
Shri Hinlaj seva Mandli every year makes arrangement of Yatra in the month of April in the form of JATHA JATHA , which is a large group of around 5000 people consisting of mem,women and children of different languages and cultures from all the states of Pakistan. These devotees are dressed in red caps and carry flags and banners of Hinglaj and past memories are renewed.
Like Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir, the Hinglaj Yatra is also considered difficult-one but those who perform it, are blessed heavily by the Mata.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Name : Mazhai Malai Madha Arulthalam
Mazhai Malai Madha Arulthalam is located on the National Highway about 95 kms from Chennai enroute Trichy. Geographically, it is situated near Melmaruvathur having Mathuranthagam as its Taluk and falls under the Jurisdiction of Kancheepuram District.
During the tenure of Founder Rev. Fr. A. Pushpam - Parish Priest ( 1962 - 1973), this parish was the part of the archdiocese of Pondy - Cuddalore. People experienced severe drought in Tamilnadu and particularly in this place. At this moment, Fr. A. Pushpam decided to organize a car procession for Our Lady specially interceding for good rain. When the car procession ended at a place called Nallayan Kundru
(the hill of Good Shepered) there was a heavy down pour with thunder and lightening slashing the place like never before. A beautiful shrine was constructed at this place and hence the name Mazhai Malai Madha ( Hill Goddess of Rain ) was inscripted to our Lady in view of this astounding miracle.
Ecclesiastically, it belongs to the Chingleput Diocese, a new born babe of the Archdiocese of Madras - Mylapore. The Shrine is located in the midst of a very serene and beautiful vast stretch of lush pasture hill slope.
In view of the Silver Jubilee in the year 1994, a well planned concrete pathway for the pilgrims to visit Mazhai Malai Madha on the top of the mountain.
A Church was inaugurated and blessed by Rt. Rev.Dr. Lawrence Pius, the Auxiliary Bishop of Madras - Mylapore at midnight of the beginning of the III millennium (01.01.2001)
Tower of Faith :
As a monument of faith they have planned to construct a Tower of Faith in the shrine campus. The foundation stone for the great project was laid on 06.09.2003 by His Eminence Simon Cardinal Lourdusamy, Rome. The construction work on 27th October 2004.
The mega monumental project is in the fray. The proposed Tower would consist of Seven floors cascading the pilgrims into a world of Divinity. It is very essential to cultivate the requisite spiritual arousal and strengthen the faith of Christians. One would be enthralled to find this Tower as an exclusive monument depicting the evolution of faith.
The concept of the Tower of Faith is to bring in the celestial world here and now and this place would become a place of penance, a place of meditation, a place tranquillizing turbulent mind a place of spiritual transformation and a place of magnified faith.
Mountain : A Symbol of God’s Presence
For ages past, Mountains have been articulated as a place where God’s mighty presence is conceptualized. India, in particular, which has this sublime uniqueness of nurturing different sects of communities, practices multifarious religions,linguistic, cultures and life styles deem Mountain as a sanctified, vibrant and vivacious God’s presence.
From the Biblical perspective , in 1 Kings 20 :30, it is predominantly mentioned as “God of Mountains”. Mount Horeb was called the Mountain of God (Exodus 3:1).
Even in the life history of Jesus, Mountains have been a place of prominence for his Psycho- Spiritual pursuits.
For Jesus , Mountains became
A place of Prayer, Lk- 20 : 39,
A place of Contemplation, Mt-14 : 23
A place of Temptation and Renunciation, Mt- 4 : 8,
A place of Transfiguration, Mt-17 : 1
Eventually it is conspicuous that Mountains and the presence of God are strongly interlinked. Therefore, Mountain experience is considered to be a manifestation of FAITH EXPERIENCE.