Saturday, December 6, 2014

Umananda Temple, Guwahati

Name :  Umananda Temple

Location :

Umananda Devaloi is a Shiva temple located at the Peacock Island in the middle of river Brahmaputra just opposite the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup or the Kachari Ghat in Guwahati.

Legend :

Siva is said to have resided here in the form of Bhayananda. According to the Kalika Purana, in the beginning of the creation Siva sprinkled ashes (bhasma) at this place and imparted knowledge to Parvati (his consort). It is said that, when Siva was in meditation on this hillock, Kamadeva interrupted his yoga and was therefore burnt to ashes by the fire of Siva’s anger and hence the hillock got the name Bhasmacala.

This mountain is also called Bhasmakuta. The Kalika Purana states that Urvasikunda is situated here and here resides the goddess Urvasi who brings Amrit (nectar) for the enjoyment of Kamakhya and hence the island got the name Urvasi Island.

History :

The temple of Umananda was built in 1694 A.D. by the Bar Phukan Garhganya Handique by the order of King Gadadhar Singh (1681–1696), one of the ablest and strongest rulers of the Ahom dynasty,  who was a devout Shaivaite. The original temple was however immensely damaged by a devastating earthquake of 1897. Later, it was reconstructed by a rich local merchant who chose to inscribe the interior part of a Siva temple with Vaisnavite slogans.

Description :

The presiding deity of the temple is Umananda (Tatrasti bhagavan sambhu- ruma- nandakarah Prabhu). It is believed that, worship here on the Amavasya day when it falls on Monday brings the highest bliss. The Siva Chaturdasi is the most colourful festival that is held here annually. Many devotees come to the temple on this occasion for the worship of the deity.

The temple has inherited some rock-cut figures, which speak passionately of the masterly skill of the Assamese craftsmen. The sculptures here show that the worshippers there followed all the principal Hindu gods. Representations of Surya, Ganesha, Shiva and Devi (with a scorpion as emblem) in addition to those of Visnu and his ten incarnations (avatar) are found here. The main shrine is reached by a flight of steep steps.

Access :

The Peacock Island is known as smallest inhabited riverine island in the world. Country boats that are available on the bank of Brahmaputra take the visitors to the island.

It can also be accessed from Guwahati and North Guwahati by ferries and steamers. One can hire a ferry from Sukleshwar ghat or Fancy Bazar Ghat. This is expensive but one can get the feel of the river and its surroundings without any interventions. This is most ideal for couples and family trips. However, a much convenient and cheaper transport has been provided by Inland Water Transport, which connects the Peacock island to Guwahati from Uzanbazar Ferry Ghat.

Umananda island is home to few golden langur also. This one of the rarest species of monkeys found in Assam. A visit to Umananda will give you glimpse of this langur too.

Festivals :

Maha Shivaratri is the most celebrated hindu festival celebrated in Umananda. Monday is considered to be the holiest day in the temple and new moon brings bliss to the pilgrims.

Websites :

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sri Thanthondri Malai Kalyana Venkataramar Temple

Name : Sri Thanthondri Malai - Kalyana Venkataramar Temple

Location :

The Temple is on the top of a hill in Thanthondri malai situated around 5km from Karur, Tamilnadu.

Legend :

A devotee Susharma by name was proceeding to Tirupathi with his wife seeking child boon and stayed on the banks of Cauvery for a break.  Sage Naradha appeared in his dream and directed him to go to a place called Tirumakudalur where some would receive him.  When Susharma reached the place, some sculptors received him and took him to this place.  There appeared a bright light on a rock.  The rock split.  Perumal appeared from the gap and granted the boon sought by the devotee and chose to stay for every here for the benefit of devotees.  It is also said that this is the place where a bit of Tiruvengada hill fell during a contest between Vayu and Adhisesha. Antiquity of the temple : 300 years.

Description :

Lord Perumal of the temple is a swayambumurthi on a big rock in a standing posture. Devotees offer sandals as contribution to the temple. This is a cave temple.  The temple celebrates a strange event.  Lord Perumal will appear in the dream of some elders belong to cobblers making chappals.  He will tell one of them to get a chappal of his size either for the right or for the left foot or for both.  These people will prepare the chappal to Lord’s foot size and carry it as jesters and submit it to Perumal.  This is called Chemmali Samarpanam.
The temple is 300 years old.  Presiding deity is formless.  Mother Mahalakshmi is on the chest of Lord.  The place is praised as Dakshina tirupathi-Tirupathi of South.  As in Tirupati, there is no shrine for Mother-Thayar.

Devotees pray to Perumal for cure from pimples and scars in the body by placing salt, pepper and jaggery in the temple. They also pray for wedding and child boons.  Lord responds without fail to prayers of the devotees regarding their health problems.

Festivals :

22 day Purattasi utsav in September-October drawing huge devotee crowd; 17 day Masi Magam car festival in February-March; Krishna Jayanthi in August-September; Vaikunda Ekadasi in December and Tamil and English New Year days are the important festivals celebrated in the temple.

Websites :

Tel : +91-4324 2355531, 2365309

Naina Malai Varadarajar Temple

Name : Sri Nainamalai varadharaja swamy

Location :

Around 20 kms South of Rasipuram and 15 kms North of Namakkal

Legend :

The Boodha Ganas (an army like division of Lord Shiva's empire) approached Lord Vishnu for relief from a curse spelt on them by Lord Shiva. Lord Vishnu created a spring here through a serpent named Ananha (Anantha Saras Theertham), gave darshan to the Bhoodas from its bank and relieved them of the curse.

As a token of their gratitude, the Bhoodha Ganas erected this temple for Lord Vishnu. Hence, the place is called Bhoodhapuri. The Lord is named Adikesava Perumal.

It has been there for many yugas and rishis had done topas there. The temple is called Nainachalam, because Naina rishi, the guru of Thirumalai Naicker, did penance here. Every 12 years, Lord Indira come and worship the Swamy in the form of thunder. There’s even a sculpture of his in one of the elaborately carved pillars.

The temple is considered to be present in all the 4 yugas in various names like Indhra Jalam, Padma jalam, Yadhava jalam and Naina jalam.

Description :

Nainamali varadharaja swamy is one of the most ancient temples in tamil nadu. This temple is called as "Thirupathi of Salem". Main deitials Sri Varadharaja Swamy and Kuvalayavali Thayar.

During the month of Puratasi lakhs of devotees come to the temple on saturdays. The temple is situated at a hill top. The hill top can be reached by climbing 3500 steps which would hardly take 3 hours trek up the hill. Thala vrucham is nali tree which is said to be there for four yugams in the temple.

In the maha mandapam, the sculptures of Ramar, Seetha, Lakshmanan, Krishnan with butter pot, Narasimhar, Veera Anjaneyar, Manmadhan, Rathi, Ayyappan and Dasavatharams are present.,
From the 1st of Tamil month Aani to the 30th of Aadi, Sun rays fall on the Lord. There are 3 water streams.

Here Thirumanjana deepam is very famous and is visible to the near by surrounding villages and town.

In the foot the nainmalai hills is the Sendamanagalam town. Here there is a big temple built during Nayakar kings time. The main deties are Sri Perundevi samathe Lakshmi Narayana swamy

Festivals :

Brahmotsavam (feb in the tamil month of Masi (feb7thfeb19th-2013)
and Puratasi viratham on saturdays 5weeks in month of september & October

Websites :

Address for contact and communication
Soundaraja Battachariar
No 3, perumal Kovil Street,
Namakkal District
Tamil nadu
Cell     :   9443499854 & 9442397876
email : 
email :

Thathagiri Murugan Temple

Name : Thathagiri Murugan Temple

Location :

Kongu region is dotted with Murugan temples in top of the hills. This is yet another famous temple located in a small hill near Sendamangalam of Namakkal district.

Description :

This temple is located 10 kilometers from Namakkal towards Sendamangalam. Kripananda Variyar visited this temple frequently.

Websites :

Arapaleeswarar Temple

Name : Sri Arappaleeswarar temple

Location :

Shri Arappaleeswarar Temple, Kollimalai, Salem district, Tamilnadu

Legend :

In olden days, the temple area was an agricultural land. Once, when a farmer ploughed the land, he found blood oozing out. Surprisingly, he found a Shivalinga. Pujas began to the Lord. The scar caused by the plough injury is still visible on the head part of the Shivalinga. This is a significant feature in the head part of the Shivalinga.

Lord Shiva is a swayambumurthi. A scar on the head of the Shivalinga is visible caused by a hit of a plough. The construction of the shrine is such that a devotee could enjoy the darshan of Lord Arappaleeswarar, Mother Thayammai, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga standing from a single spot

Temple :

There are shrines in the inner corridor of the temple for Lord Muruga with his consorts Valli and Deivanai, Lord Vinayaka, Lord Kasi Viswanathar, Visalakshi, Lakshmi, Saraswathi, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswara, Durga, Kalabhairava, Sun and Moon.

Devotees seeking child boon, removal of obstacles in marriage talks and brilliance in education pray to the Lord in the temple.

Description :

The beauty of Kollimalai is the sum total beauty of nature clothed by hills spanning a distance of fourteen miles far and wide with a proud history dating back to 2,500 years. It is "Kollipavai" that has crowned the fame of the region. Kollipavai is a most beautiful feminine form created by a divine sculptor to create lust in the minds of the demons who came down to Kollimalai with evil designs.

Kollimalai has the reputation of being ruled by the Chera kings. One of them, Valvil Ori was known for his charitable and compassionate traits. He was also a great warrior capable of defeating an elephant, deer, wild pig and such other animals with a single arrow. A part of the region ruled by him was known as Arappalli.

As Lord Shiva graces this place as a Swayambumurthy, Arappaleeswarar temple came into being here. There is a statue for Valvil Ori here. The temple is praised in the Thevaram hymns of Saint Ganasambandar and Saint Thirunavukkarasar as Araipalli.

Devotees use to feed the fishes in the Panchanadhi river and use to do nose-boring to them. Due to ignorance, a devotee caught the fishes and began to cook them for food. When the curry began to boil, live fishes began to jump and run. Symbolizing this incident, the Lord is praised as Arapaleeswarar who joined the fishes cut by the devotee.

Arapaleeswarar Temple is situated in an area called Valapur Nadu. The Lord graces the devotees along with Mother Thayammai, Lord Vinayaka and Lord Muruga. The devotee can have the darshan of the Gods standing at one place in the temple.

The carvings around the temple bear the history of the visit of Madevi, the great grandmother of Rajaraja Chola and wife of Sivagnana Kanadarathitya Chola and her gift of invaluable jewels to the Lord.

Enjoying a pleasure bath in the falls and the darshan of the Lord in the temple devotees become healthier both physically and spiritually.

There are five ever permanent rivers on the northern side of the temple, the falls of which look like flower showers from a height of 150 feet. They bring rare medicinal properties from the plants around the hills. There are plenty of fishes in the rivers. Devotees believe that Arapaleeswarar is in the form of a fish. Therefore, they offer food to the fishes in the people before entering the temple.

Rivers are flowing here even when there would be no rain. They are never dry.

Festivals :

Adi Perukku (July-August), Maha Shivarathri in Vaikasi (May-June), Navarathri in Purattasi (September-October), Karthikai Deepam in November-December, Annabishekam and Tirvadhirai in Margazhi (December-January).

websites :

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sri Madhuvaneswarar temple

Name : Sri Madhuvaneswarar temple

Location :

Nannilam city, Tiruvarur District of Tamilnadu

Legend :

Vayu the God of wind and divine serpent Adisesha claimed supremacy of their prowess in the court of the Devas.  Adisesha covered the peaks of Mount Meru with his thousand heads.  Vayu could not shake the mount.  This created panic in the world and yielding to the appeal of Devas Adisesha gave in one peak.  Vayu shook the peak and took it to south when one small piece fell in this place, according to sthala purana.
The piece of the peak that fell here became a small mount which was earlier a plain.  The temple is believed to have been built on this mount.  Lord Shiva appeared here as a Tejolinga as the result of the penance of King Bruhadrajan in Krutha Yuga.  During the Dwapara Yuga Lord changed all Devas into bees to protect them from the harassment of demon Vruddhasura.  Lord also advised the Devas to make bee-hives in the sanctum and worship Him.  As bees worshipped here the Lord is named Madhuvaneswarar (Madhu in Sanskrit means honey), Mother as Madhuvana Nayaki and the place as Madhuvanam.  There are bees around the place even now but they do not harm anybody.

Description :

Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambulingamurthy. All festivals mentioned above are organized by Sri Madhuvaneswara Swami Vazhipattu Kazhagam, a body devoted to celebrating all festive events.

Devas in the celestial world including their king Indira, Bruhadrajan had worshipped the Lord in this temple.  It is built on a land covering an area of 270 feet in length and 135 feet in width.  The 30 feet tall 2 tier Rajagopuram is facing east with five Kalasas.  Lord Shiva in sanctum sanctorum is facing east and Mother the south.

In a small hill within the temple are shrines for Lords Nardana Ganapathy, Somaskanda, Dakshinamurthy, Annamalayar, Brahmma and Mother Durga.  In the prakara down the hill are Lords Siddhi Vinayaka, Subramanya, Chandikeswara, Agastheeswarar, Brahmmapureeswarar, Bhairava and Saturn (Sani Baghwan), Sun God and Navagrahas the nine planets and Mother Mahalakshmi.  Lord Nataraja graces from a separate shrine near the sanctum.

Moolavar : Madhuvaneswarar
Amman / Thayar : Madhuvaneswari
Thala Virutcham : Vilwa
Theertham : Brahmma theertham, Soola theertham
Agamam / Pooja : Shivagama
Year : 1000-2000 years old

Importance of this Temple :

It is believed that those bathing in the sacred spring in Masi Month-February-March and worship the Lord will gain all benefits in life and those worshipping on Ekadasi days-11th day of full moon or new moon days and pradosha days-13th day in both fortnights will reach Moksha-salvation.

This is one of the Mada Temples built by Chola king Kochenganan.  Yama the Lord Death in the south, Varuna the God of rains in the west, Indira in east and Kubera in the north installed Shivalingas in the place and worshipped the Lord.

Festivals :

Vaikasi Visakam in May June, Tirukarthikai in November-December and Margazhi Tiruvadhirai festivals are celebrated with procession of Lord. Other festivals are Guru Puja for Saint Sundarar in Aadi Swati star day in July-August; monthly pradoshams and Shivrathri and all Shiva related auspicious days.

Websites :

Thirukoilur kabilar kundru

Name : Kabilar Kundru

Location :

Kabilar Kundru or Kabilar rock is a hill rock in the middle of the Ponnaiyar River near Tirukoilur in Viluppuram district, Tamil Nadu, India.

Description :

East of the Tirukoilur has the Sivan Temple situated on the banks of River Pennar. Near to the temple on the banks of the river, there exists Kabilar(Saint) Kundru (tiny mountain).

Tirukoilur is one of the "Ashta Veeratanams" [Ashta - eight Veeratanam - Place of Bravery].
Lord Shiva took various forms(incarnations) to destroy evil and establish justice, of which eight Avatars(forms) are very famous and Tirukoilur is one of them.

Kapilar (Tamil: கபிலர்) was refliterature Sangam poet. He was a contemporary of Karikala Chola, Irunkōvēl and Vēl Pāri. He was the close friend and confidant of Vēl Pāri, one of the Vēlir kings. He was born in Thiruvadhavur in the Pandyan Kingdom. Initially a poet at the Pandyan court, he would leave at an early age and show his talent at various places before finally ending up at the court of Vel Pari.Kapilar would hear about the generosity and virtue of Vēl Pāri, a powerful Vēlir King who ruled over Parambu nādu, a heavily fortified kingdom that comprised about 300 villages, and pay him a visit. They would go on to become the thickest of friends. He would be his confidant and stay with Vēl Pāri until the latter's last breath.
During this period the three crowned Tamil kings were in the process of expanding their empires and turned the independenet Velir chiefs into sub-ordinates or eliminated them. When the three crowned Kings besiege the kingdom of Parambu, Vēl Pāri a warrior like no other will refuse to bow and face them head on. Kapilar would sing some of the most notable poems in praise of his patron during this time. In the end, Vēl Pāri would finally be killed by treachery after defying them for years.

Kapilar, a true friend, would then take the two daughters (Angavai & Sangavai) of Vēl Pāri and go in search of appropriate grooms. He would knock on the doors of the other Vēlir kings and unsuccessfully plead with each before finally giving up. He would be let down each time as the other Vēls would fear retribution from the 3 crowned kings. The most notable of these encounters is when he sings to Irunkōvēl and the latter would throw an insult and shut the door on the great poet. He would finally leave the two princesses in the care of Brahmins.

The death of his friend will affect him so greatly that he would perform vadakirrutal, one of the Tamil acts of committing suicide. He would sit facing north and starve himself to death. The place where kabilar committed suicide by starving is now called as Kabilar Kundru.

It is one of the protected monuments in Tamil Nadu by the Archeological Survey of India.

Websites :

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ibudhou Pakhangba

Name :   Ibudhou Pakhangba Temple
Location : 
Uyal Hill, Thoubal, Manipur, India
Description :
The Newly constructed temple of Ibudhou Pakhangba was inaugurated by MLA Landhoni Devi on 09, July 2014. The temple was constructed by Ibudhou Pakhangba Seba Committee and Wangbal Gram Panchayat Pradhan H Dijen.
Legend :
Paphal: the mythical assumptions of Lord Pakhangba, ruling deity of Manipur
This article explores the science of Meitei belief system culminating with traditional pre-vaishnavite form of religion. Worship of Pakhangba and beliefs and practices associated with Paphal cult are instrumental in the cultural and social integration of the people of Manipur. The abode of Paphal in sacred places, groves, lakes, mountains, river, caves and forests are merely not a matter of its cultural existence but also prove its biological concern by taking a decisive role in conserving nature.

Paphal representing Ningthouja (royal) clan

Religion plays an important role in the growth of human civilization and every society are religious in expressing culturally laid resolution of social and psychological problems. Every society, be it ancient or modern, passes through naturalism and animism. The animistic and naturalistic faiths, those of which are deeply rooted in the beliefs and practices of a society, remain to exist in some forms even if it has undergone changes.

Before the advent of Hinduism in Manipur, the traditional religion or the pre-Hindu religion existed in a polytheistic, animistic and naturalistic form loaded with belief and practices associated with spirits, animistic and naturalistic faiths, ancestral worship, totemic cult, fetishism and so on. Apart from this, curiously shaped stones and objects, possessing some life-like forces, are often venerated and worshiped by them. Existence of malevolent spirits in the surrounding environment, forests and jungle, lakes, rivers and swamps constitute traditional belief of the Meitei people of Manipur. Free and liberated souls like Timu-Laimu,Sharoi-Ngaroi(deomons and evil spirits), Heloi (nymph), Hingchabis (witch), etc. according to the Meitei belief, roam in their surroundings, the influence of which may result a person to suffer from diseases, unconsciousness and sometimes meet sudden death. These are warded off with different levels of magical, ritual and ceremonial conducts by the concerned spiritual specialists, commonly referred to as the Maiba and Maibis (priests and priestess). Scholars have viewed the religion of Manipur in its historical perspective into two broad categories viz. (a) traditional religion or pre-Hindu religion and (b) the advent and rise of Hinduism in Manipur.
The chronicles and ancient literary texts reveal that the ancient people of the land worshiped a number of gods and goddesses. They included natural phenomena such as Sun, Moon, Sky, Stars, Darkness, Wind, Water, Fire, Lighting, Earthquake, etc. and also many mythical and legendary figures, cultural and political heroes, tribal and clan progenitors, and the like. Concept of High God emerges with the Meitei Trinity Atiya Guru Sidaba or Soralel (immortal Guru of Heaven/ Sky God), Pakhangba (Moon God) and Sanamahi (Sun God) and they are considered to be the manifestations of the Universal lord Taibang Panba Mapu.

Temple of Lord Pakhangba in the heart of the holy palace Kangla
Photo: L. Ibomcha Meitei, Secy. CYCA, Manipur
Nungjeng Pukhri: the Sacred Pond inside the Holy Kangla
Photograph: L. Ibomcha Meitei, Secy. CYCA, Manipur
According to a popular Meitei myth of creation, the newly created earth was to be ruled by the sons of the Atiya Guru Sidaba (immortal Guru of Heaven). In order to choose the most able son to ascend the thorne of Kangla, Atiya Guru Sidaba decided to examine the ability of Pakhangba and Sanamahi by hiding himself from their sight. Sanamahi, the eldest son took 7 rounds of the earth to find his father, while the youngest son Pakhangba took the help of Mother Ima Leimarel Sidabi (Immortal Mother goddess) and took 7 rounds of his father's throne to find. Pakhangba was successful in finding out his father . Being found cheated, Sanamahi started quarreling with his brother Pakhangba. The conflict between the two brothers become so dreadful that it raised to the level of destroying the newly created earth. Finally, Atiya Guru Sidaba intervened and resolved the matter. Pakhangba was crowned as the ruler of the earth and Sanamahi as the ruler of every household. In this way, Pakhangba became the most important public deity while Sanamahi is regarded as a household deity.

Horn like projection and front gable of the Kangla gate
bears elements of Paphal. Coiled and twisted appearance of
projection with thorny structure of the gable represents
the mythical assumption of Pakhangba. The thorn signifies
the dorsal spine of Pakhangba Paphal.

Pakhangba, other than its human existence is also believed to have appeared in a divine form called Paphal. At the time of creation, the thousand crested form of his assumption laid on to fill soil for creating earth. According to Meitei belief, earlier there was a vast expanse of water with no patches of soil. This mythical assumption called Paphal exists more than 364 different forms and the illustration of which are given in the ancient manuscript called Paphal Lambuba. These forms are associated with divine power to control and protect places. Many forms of Pakhangba are revered as the presiding deity of River, Lakes, Hills, Ponds, Caves and Islands while Taoroinai forms of Pakhangba represent the divine existence in the human body to control the nervous systems. There are as many as 108 Taoroinai Pakhangba Paphals live in the human body as its divine assumptions.

Pakhangba and its forms in are regarded as the creator of seven salais (clans) of Meitei. The Paphal illustrations in the manuscripts appeared with codified colours of these seven clans. Reflections of these divine assumptions also appear in the Meitei numerals and scripts. These assumptions were used as icons and symbolic representations of the Meitei social and political organisations called Panas. Paphals were also the symbol of royal flags. Some of these sacred assumptions are means of healing with proper writings of mantras on the intricate postures, and the Pandits (royal scholars), and Maibas (traditional healers) use it in their healing practices. Some of these intricate postures are guidelines of Thengourol & Khousarol (steps) to the traditional Meitei Martial form called Thang-Ta.

The impressive royal dressess and dance costumes of Manipur, be it folk or classical, are derrived from the assumption of Pakhangba. It is also said that, some elements of Pakhangba Paphal were taken up in the Sringara of Lord Krishna, and the beauty of Lord Krishna represented in the classical Rasa Dance and temple idols of Manipur are well accomplished with the blending of Manipuri art and aesthetics.

Moreover, many religious preachers of all hues also passed through this land or settled here. These immigrants and religious preachers brought new cultural and religious ideas into Manipur, which affected the cultural and religious life of the the people. In course of evolution, the traditional culture and religion of the Meitei have been further enriched with the absorption and assimilation of elements from other alien cultures.
Displaying the image of Pakhangba (Paphal) in front of
the house is believed to be auspicious
A painting on creation myth associated with Pakhangba displayed
front wall of Meitei house
Paphal is synonymous with Lord Pakhangba. People of Manipur know Pakhangba as their ancestor, their King and as their Lord and his symbolic representation called Paphal is also referred by them as Ibudhou Pakhangba (the great ancestor Pakhangba). These assumptions are not only sacred to them but also a part of their life and culture. Attraction of Pakhangba assumptions is not isolated from the contemporary Manipuri society and other sects of people. Many of the social organisations, clubs, market and shops, display Pakhangba forms, 'Paphal', as their icon, symbol and souvenirs to welcome you to the land of Pakhangba.

Photographs of  Pakhangba in Temples and Meitei Architectures in various temples

Pakhangba in the form of Meitei Numerals
displayed on the wall of Pakhangba Temple, Sagolband, Imphal

The belief system associated with Pakhangba and ancestral worship is deeply rooted among the Meiteis of Manipur. Even in the changing scenario, the cultural elements loaded with incredible form of art and aesthetics maintained from the mythical assumptions of God Pakhangba still exists into the psyche of Meitei people. Pakhangba cult in other sense is truly the baseline of Meitei culture.

Websites :

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Moola Mookambika Temple Kodachadri

Name :  Kodachadri Moola Mookambika Temple

Location :

Kodachadre Hill forms a background to the famed temple of Mookambika in Kollur. It’s placed at a distance of 21 kilometre from Kollur and 15 kilometre from Nagodi village in Hosanagara taluk. From Bangalore, one has to go to Shimoga (285 km) and from there, one can take public transport to reach Nagodi village (Hosanagara Taluk). From Udupi, it is three hours journey to Nagodi village, from where trekking starts.

Kodachadri peak is connected with an all rough jeep road (partially metalled) on which only jeeps can travel. As this hilly road is not maintained properly, only expert local jeep drivers can take the jeep to the top. Jeeps are available for hire at Kollur and at Kattinahole village near Kodachadri base. Motorcycle riding on this highly uneven, steep, mud track with sharp hairpin curves with gradients, may be challenging and risky.

Legend :

The temple is a popular destination for Hindu pilgrims and it’s said to place where thousands of years ago Goddess Mookambika fought and killed the demon Mookasura. In Historic times, individuals used to trek from Nagara state.

Description :

Sage Adi Shankara is claimed to have visited this place, meditated here. A small temple called Sarvajnapeetha, designed with stone is dedicated to Adi Shankara at the highest of Kodachadri. A temple dedicated to the traditional Mother god Mookambika is located near travelers cottage and is believed to be the moola sthana (the origin) of Sri Mookambika Devi. From this spot, it’s a 2 kilometer trek to the top. Just from there, a vertical path ends up in a little cave known as Chitramoola, from where the Mookambika temple of Kollur is visible.

A number of the pilgrims from South Indian states who visit Kollur take a trek to Kodachadri also. Dr. K. Shivarama Karantha, noted author of Udupi District trekked to Kodachadri in 1940s and appreciated the natural beauty of this place by placing Kodachadri as most lovely of 3 mountain peaks of coastal Karnataka (the alternative 2 being Kuduremukh and Kumara Parvata). Kodachadre is visited by locals and Keralites in large numbers since long term.


Sarvajna peetha:

Sarvajna Peeth is a little temple like structure near the height where Adi Shankara meditated. This little structure bears a name that is similar to Sarvajanapetha, additionally known as Sharada Peeth of Jammu and Kashmir (that was visited by Adi Shankara during his long religious journey, where he defeated different students in philosophical debate and opened the southern door of the temple).

Ganesha Guha is near the journey way to Sarvajna peetha.

Iron Pillar :

One iron pillar of concerning 5km 40 feet length is planted erect in front of Moola Mookambika Temple near peak of Kodachadre and its compared with large similar historic iron pillars placed at Dhar, Mount Abu etc. Devotees believe that this is the trishula utilized by god Mookambika to kill a demon known as Mookasura as per native tradition. Indian scientists from IGCAR Kalpakkam and KREC (Now NITK), Suratkal conducted a check on the Iron pillar and found that it had been made of traditional Indian metallurgic skills and not from fashionable casting ways. It’s found made from pure iron. It’s additionally found to be less affected by corrosion, despite of wet conditions prevailing there because of heavy rains. This iron pillar is considered as testimony of ancient Indian iron craftmanship.

Websites :

Friday, May 9, 2014

Parasnath Hills - Shikharji

Name : Shikharji - Parasnath Temple

Location :

Parasnath Hills are a range of hills located in Giridih district of Jharkhand. The highest peak is 1350 metres.

History :

The earliest reference to Shikharji as a tirth (place of pilgrimage) is found in the Jñātṛdharmakatha, one of the twelve core texts of Jainism: at Shikharji, Mallinatha, the nineteenth Jina practiced samadhi. Shikharji is also mentioned in the Parsvanathacarita, a twelfth century biography of Parsva.

Description :

Shikharji (Śikharji) means venerable peak. Parasnath is highest hill in Jharkhand, towering to an elevation of 4480 feet. The site is also called Sammed Śikhar or Sammet Shikhar, meaning the peak of concentration because it is a place where twenty of twenty-four Tirthankaras attained a state of mokṣa through meditative concentration. The word Parasnath is derived from Pārśva, the twenty-third Tirthankara to attain nirvana at the site.

It is one of the most important pilgrimage centre for Jains. They call it Sammet Sikhar. The hill is named after Parasnath, the 23rd Tirthankara. Twenty of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras attained salvation on this hill. According to some, nine Tirthakaras attained salvation on this hill. For each of them there is a shrine (gumti or tuk) on the hill. Some of the temples on the hill are believed to be more than 2,000 years old. However, although the place is habited from ancient times, the temples may be of more recent origin. The popularity of Shikharji as a site of pilgrimage followed that of Vulture Peak, Bihar, where it is believed Sariputra attained enlightenment.

Bihar state acquired Shikharji under the Bihar Land Reforms Act leaving the rights of Jains in doubt. Use of Shikharji as a tourist destination also impacts on the religious beliefs of the Jain. Sports such as paragliding and parasailing may take place at Shikharji.

The base of Sammed Shikharji is called Madhuvan because of the trees sprinkling with drops and crystals of Madhu (Honey) all around the bottom of the mountain.

Shikharji Pilgrimage :

The pilgrimage to Shikharji is a round trip of 27 metres (0.017 mi) through the Madhuban forest. After 2 miles from Madhuban there comes Gandharva nala and further up there is another stream Sita nala. The section from Gandharva Nala stream to the summit is the most sacred to Jains. It is easier to reach Parasnath from its northern side. 

The pilgrimage is made on foot or by a doli (palanquin, palkhi or litter) carried by a doli wallah along a concrete paved track. Along the track are shrines to each of the twenty revered Tirthankaras and vendors of tea, coffee, water, fruits and snacks.

In Sammed Shikhar pilgrimage the Tonk of Lord Parshwanath is the highest and the final destination in the tirth journey. The unique attraction quality of the pilgrimage is also  because no other Jain temple in the world is situated as high as Sammed Shikharji. It is considered to be the holy destination, not only of Lord Parshwananth but also of the entire Jainism.

Temples :

The temple at Shikharji is a new construction with some parts dating to the eighteenth century. However, the idol itself is very old. Sanskrit inscriptions at the foot of the image date to 1678 AD. At the base of Shikharji is a temple to Bhomiyaji (Taleti). On the walls of the Jain Temple at the village of Madhuban, there is a mural painting depicting all the temples on Parasnath Hill. Temples along the track include,

Ganadhara, Kunthunath, Rishbhanan, Chandranan, Naminatha, Aranath, Mallinath, Shreyansanath, Suvidhinath, Padmaprabha, Munisuvrata, Chandraprabha, Adinath, Anantnath, Sheetalnath, Sambhavanath, Vasupujya, Abhinandannath, Ganadhara, Jal Mandir, Dharmanath, Vardhman, Varishen, Sumatinath, Shantinath, Mahavira, Suparshvanath, Vimalnath, Ajitnath, Neminath, Parshvanatha

Festivals :

Parasnath is the "Marang Buru "or hill deity of the Santhal of Hazaribagh, Manbhum, Bankura and Santhal Parganas and each year they assemble at the period of the full noon in Baisakh (mid April) from these district and celebrate a religious hunt for three days.

On one hand the Hill is place of worship and adoration on the other hand it is worthseeing place in the sense of tourism. Tourists start to visit from the second fortnight of December to last week of January.

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