Monday, October 31, 2016

Sri Prasanna Anjaneyaswamy Temple, Ragigudda, Bengaluru

Name : Sri Prasanna Anjaneyaswamy Temple, Ragigudda, Bengaluru

Location :

Jayanagar, Bangalore - 560 069
Phone : 26580500, 26594255
email :

Legend :

Sudharma was a peasant and kind woman who always helped the needy and in distress. She was a dharma chintamai and use to feed who ever comes to her house and had the practice of eating only after offering food to the visitor. She was given on marriage to the son of a palayakar in the outskirts of present Bengaluru. The daughter-in-law of a Palayakar was not liked by her mother in law. While Sudharma is generous and ever ready to help one and all, her mother-in-law was just oppose to all these. Sudharma was liked by all and the people use to bless her for her good nature and tell her that she will definitely be blessed by God.

One fine day just after the harvest, they had three visitors who were extremely bright and ‘tejasvi’, asking for biksha standing on the doorway of the house. Sudharma was too pleased to give some newly harvested ragi to these maha purush. [There is popular belief that the Ragi grain is blessed by Sri Raghava [Sri Rama] and Sri Kapila maharishi and hence the grain is also known as ‘Raghava Dhanya’.] At the sight of this, her mother-in-law became furious and said that the new grains cannot be offered as biksha to strangers. When Sudharma insisted to part with the ragi grains which she had already offered to them as biksha, her mother-in-law became more furious. The three ‘tejasvi’ purush stood there watching this. Sudharma told her mother-in-law that once the ragi grains had been offered as biksha it cannot be taken back, and it is an adharmic act. Mother-in-law stood her ground and refused the biksha to three maha purush. Sudharma felt that if the ragi grains could not be offered to these maha purush for food, the grains are of no use to her either. The moment she thought so, the heap of newly harvested ragi grains turned to stone and looked like a small hillock. Three maha purushas gave dharshan to Sudharma as Sri Brahma, Sri Vishnu, and Sri Mahadev and blessed her. And as per Sudharma’s wish stood there to bless one and all who come there seeking their blessings.

The heap of ragi grains turned into hillock use to be called as Raghava dhanya guddi then in the course of time it became Rahava guddi and now Ragigudda. The ‘trimurti’ who came there and is part of the incident is present to bless us all as per the wishes of Sudharma.

Description :

The huge temple complex is a feast to the eyes from the distance and enhances the devotee’s purity of mind. The complex could be seen built on ground level, at a smaller peak on the right of the main peak and at the main peak of the hillock.

At the ground level there is an office building on the left, a Prasad hall, a huge open air auditorium right in the front. Behind one can see goshala and through the passage that leads the devotee to have dharshan of ‘trimurthi’. On to the right side in the middle of the hillock one could see a temple complex with three vimana and devotees can have dharshan of Sri Ganapati, Sri Rajarajeshwari and Navagraha. The uniqueness of the Navagraha in this temple is that all the navagrahas are seen with their consort and mounted on their respective vahanas. The Sun is seen with his consorts Usha and Chaya in the higher pedestal on the chariot driven by seven horses.

Trimurthi Sannadhi :

Beautifully carved out Trimurties on single platform of 32 ft. tall monolithic blocks are seen in this Ragigudda temple complex. The devotees have the dharshan of Trimurties and seek the blessings in this kshetra Ragigudda.

The Ragigudda

The sannadhi of Sri Prasanna Anjaneyaswamy is on the top of Ragigudda. The temple at the top of the hillock if seen from one angle it will be seen as if the temple is on the back of an ‘annapakshi’ [a celestial bird] and floating in the air.
There is a separate step on the left that leads the devotee to the top of the hillock where Sri Hanuman’s sannadhi is present. After claiming around one hundred and fifty steps we land in a fairly big porch. In the centre we see big round pillar with lotus petal. One can see the main prakara on the left side. A huge wooden engraved arch way with Lord Hanuman in the centre and Sri Rama parivar on the right and Sri Siva parivar on the left is feast to the eyes of the devotee. In the sides of the arch way ‘dasavathara’ of Lord Vishnu is engraved.

Once entered in the hall, devotee could see the sannadhi of Lord in the center, sannadhi of Lord Rama parivar on the right and sannadhi that of Lord Siva on the left.

Devotee could see Lord Hanuman from the entrance itself. Lord Hanuman is seen with Sanjeevi Mountain on His left hand and in the right hand He holds a ‘gadha’ [mace] which is resting on His right shoulder. Lords’ tail is seen raised above His head and resting on the Sanjeevi parvath. He has put forward his left leg indicating that He will stamp down evil doers. Lord is seen wearing ornaments on His ankle, leg, hip, wrist, hands, chest, and neck. Lord’s head is covered with an ornamental crown. His ears has rathna kuntalam, on His forehead is urdha pundarikam. Lords eyes are seen glowing with karuna.

Festivals :

The annual function of this temple is Sri Hanumath Jayanthi which is celebrated on a grand scale. The twelve days mahotsava attracts huge devotees. There will be special poojas, abhishekams and homas during these days. Large numbers of devotees are served mahaprasada during this annual function.

Pooja Timings :

The temple will be open from 08:00-11:30 am and 05:00-08:30 pm, but on Saturdays and Sundays will be open till 12:30 and 09:00 respectively.

Mahamangalarthi : Morning around 11:00 am, on sat around 11:30 am and Evening around 08:00-08:30pm.

Websites :  - All credit goes to Ms. Bawani Karthik, Coimbatore

Kalo Dungar, Kutch Gujarat

Name :
Kalo Dungar or Black Hill

Location :

Kalo Dungar is the highest point in Kutch, Gujarat, India, at 462 m. It is located at 97 km from District headquarters of Bhuj and 25 km from nearest town Khavda. It is best to visit Kala Dungar before sun down to avoid getting lost on the secluded roads leading to these hills. A day trip from Bhuj to Kala Dungar is more than sufficient to explore around the hills. Two ranges are available in the Black Hill: Kala Hill and Gora Hill (White Hill). Kala Hill is the northern hill and Gora hill is the southern hill.

Legend :

As per the legend and local beliefs when Dattatreya walked on the earth, he stopped at the Black Hills and found a band of starving jackals. Being a god, he offered them his body to eat and as they ate, his body continually regenerated itself. To mark this phenomenon a temple was built honouring the sacrifice of Lord Dattatreya.

In order to continue this practice, the temple priests over the last four centuries have been feeding the jackals every day at noon. To mark the start of the feeding session the priest intimates the jackals by banging on a plate with a huge spoon.

To this date there has never been a single recorded incident of these wild jackals harming any human near the temple area. Plenty of travellers visit the Kala Dungar every noon to witness this unnatural event. Because of this, for the last four centuries, the priest at the temple has prepared a batch of prasad, cooked rice, that is fed to the jackals after the evening aarti.

Another legend is that, Kala Hill was named after a saint whose face was blackened by the cruelty of a woman’s wicked eye.

Description :

This is probably the only place in Kutch from where a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch is possible. Since it is located very near to the Pakistan border, there is an Army post at the top; beyond here, only military personnel are allowed.

The Kalo Dungar is also famous for a 400-year-old Dattatreya temple where the main deity is that of Lord Datatreya who is considered to be an incarnation of the Hindu holy trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

There is one dharamshala as an accommodation option for people who wish to spend a night where only basic food such as rice, roti, dal and vegetable are available.

Another attraction on the way to Kala Dungar is the magnetic field where one can stop their vehicle at a specified spot and witness the vehicle moving against the gravitational force, up the slope at a speed of 20 km per hour. The team of experts from the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), and Institute of Seismological Research, Gandhinagar and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur studied the phenomenon. It is concluded that the vehicle hurtle down fast due to the more gradient of the slope.

Kala Dungar gives a panoramic view of the Great Rann of Kutch which adds to the beauty of these magnificent hills. It is a must visit destination for anyone visiting Kutch. Sunsets are most cheering of all, as the temperature drops and the crying of the winds take over, once the sun dips into the land.

Websites :

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Dronagiri Madhya Pradesh

Name :
Shri Digamber Jain Siddha Kshetra Drongiri.
Is an Siddha Kshetra (Place of Salvation).

Address :
Dig. Jain Siddha Kshetra Drongiri
Drongiri (Sendapa), Taluka – Bara Malhara,
District – Chhatarpur (M.P.) Pin 471311
Phone 07689 – 280972, 9425144006, 9754355296
Website – WWW.Drongiri.Com

Nearby City :
Bara Malhara 5 km, Ghuvara 20 km, Chhatarpur 51 km, Teekamgarh 92 km, Khajuraho 98 km

Management committee :
Shri Drongiri Trust Management Committee
Drongiri (Sendapa), Taluka – Bara Malhara,
District – Chhatarpur (M.P.) Pin 471311
Phone 07689 – 280972, 07683-224712, 9425880545, 9826390688, 9826393692, 9424345025

About DronGiri :

Siddha Kshetra Drongiri is an ancient Nirvan Kshetra (Place of Salvation) which is proved by ancient literature, ancient cave, ancient Jain temples & art of sculpture. Drongiri is described as Nirvan Kshetra of Shri Gurudatta & others so many ascetic saints, by Shri Pujyapad Swamy in Nirvan Bhakti, by Acharya Harishen in Brihat Katha Kosh and in Nirvan Kand. Pujya Shri Ganesh Prasadji Varni has called this place as “Laghu Sammed Shikhar” due to its peaceful natural beauty, clean & healthy environment appropriate for practice of austerity & for self development to achieve supernatural qualities and salvation.

The large ancient cave, from which Shri Gurudatta & others achieved Moksha (Salvation), was opted for meditation and penance by Charitra Chakravarti Acharya Shri Shanti Sagarji Maharaj in the year V. S. 1929 when he came here. In that night the lion came to his residence (the cave), while he saw the ascetic saint in meditation, he stayed there calmly without harming the Acharya and went to the jungle in the next morning. The event is described in the book “Charitra Chakravarti.
In the story of Gurudatta & other saints, the cave is said to be residence of lions. (Aradhana Katha Kosh)

On the hill, third temple is Shri Parsvanath temple with principal deity Lord Parsvanath, this idol in cross legged seating posture made of Black Stone very attractive and miraculous. Various desires of pilgrims come true here.

Main Temple & Idol :

The ancient cave on this Siddha Kshetra is big in size, so that a large group of saints may also stay here. A pair of foot image of Shri Gurudatta is installed in this cave. On this semi circular hill 28 beautiful temples with attractive spires are divided in three groups –
1. Suparsvanath Tonk (Tonk – Top of hill where a temple exists): – While we start pilgrimage of hill from left, first Tonk is Shri Suparsvanath Swami’s tonk, here are 7 beautiful temples are viewable.
2. Chandraprabhu Tonk: – This is front side of hill includes 10 temples, here’s first is Chandraprabhu Tonk.
3. Adinath Tonk: – Here are 11 temples, first of them is Adinath Temple. The famous ancient cave also lies in this area known as Nirvan Bhumi.

Other Temple :

There is Ganesh Prasad Varni Swadhyaya Mandir in the valley. Pilgrimage of hill starts from the left of it in the east and in the right side near this.
In temple No.24, there is a Manastambh (Column of Dignity) built in the period of Chandels is very important for archaeological point of viewers, it is 10 feet high & 4 feet in diameter, a circular construction having 96 idols on the top, each 3 inch in height and below them 3 sitting and 1 standing idol are also carved on it.
At this place, an ancient idol of Lord Adinath made of local stone is very artful & must be viewer on the plane rock of idol so many beautiful images and designs are carved, that makes it vary attractive.
So many temples are looking more than 1000 years old.
In temple No. 28 a collection is made of idols found any where in the nearby area under 30 Km.
In village Shri Adinath Jinalaya & Shri Shantinath Jinalaya & Choubeesee (24) Jinalaya (Temple) are viewable. The Choubeesee Jinalaya is very beautiful and vast in size which was completed in year 1977.
Shri Siddhayatan (a temple) & 20 Teerthankar Jinalaya built and managed by Shri Kund kund Kahan Dig. Jain Swadhyaya Mandir Trust are also here. Mobile No. 9425614224, 9753456868, 9424760859, 9754156849, 9630422899.

Natural Scenario :
This place lies in between the two ever flowing rivers named Chandrabhaga & Shyamaly, a very beautiful place with natural environment definitely pleasant to eyes.

Festivals :

Annual Festival & Mela in the month of March with so many religious & cultural programs is organized every year.
Facilities :
Shri Dig. Jain Dharmshala contains 65 Normal Rooms, 19 Rooms with attached let-bath,  7 Luxury Rooms, Mess (Bhojanashala) and all required items like utensils, bed, tent etc. are available.

Acharya Shri Deonandi contains Hall of size 28’ X 110’
Shri Virag Sagar Dharmshala contains 1 Hall, 3 Rooms, Meeting Halls 2, and Rooms 7 are also there.
Shri Siddhayatan Jinalaya Dharmshala by Shri Kund kund Kahan Dig. Jain Swadhyaya Mandir Trust. Mobile No. 9425614224, 9753456868, 9424760859, 9754156849, 9630422899.

Means of approach :
Road – Busses are available for Drongiri from Bara Malhara, Ghuvara & Teekamgarh any time.
Train – Nearby Railway stations are Lalitpur, Sagar, Satna, Jhansi, Damoh, From these stations busses are available.
Airport – Khajuraho 103 km

Nearby Places :
Jain Pilgrimage Centers are,
Siddha Kshetra Nainagiri 80 km
Siddha Kshetra Aharji 56 km
Siddha Kshetra Kundalpur 144 km
Atishaya Kshetra Papouraji 60 km
Atishaya Kshetra Khajuraho 103 km

Websites :

Nainagiri (Reshandigiri)

Name :
Shri 1008 Digamber Jain Siddha Kshetra Nainagiri (Reshandigiri).

Location :

Shri 1008 Dig. Jain Siddha Kshetra Nainagiri (Reshandigiri)
Nainagiri, Taluka – Bijaver, Dist. – Chhatarpur (M.P.)
Phone 07583-280095,203930, 9893802446, 9407533102, 9407533103

Description :

Is an Siddha Kshetra (Place of Salvation). Nainagiri (Reshandigiri) is an ancient sacred place full of natural beauty described in Nirvankand. This is the place where Samavsharan of Lord Parsvanath arrived once and Shri Vardatt and other five ascetic saints went to Moksha (achieved full & final freedom from world).
This Kshetra is situated on a hill, not so high, consists 36 Jain Temples on hill and 15 in valley. All the temples are build with spires, among them one temple lies in the midst of a pond, looks very attractive. All the temples on hill are surrounded by a wall.

Main Temple & Idol :

Bara Mandir the Eleventh temple of this Kshetra is ancient enough supposed to come out from the earth about 100 Years ago. According to an inscription of the temple, the year of completion was V.S. 1109. Principal deity of this temple is Lord Parsvanath, the standing idol 4 feet 7 inch in height. This was installed in V.S. 2015. 13 ancient idols are also installed here, 9 of them are placed on shrine and another 4 are place on 4 separate plat forms, these also belong to 11th – 12th century. Here is an idol of Yaksha – Yakshini, very beautiful & artistic,Yakshini is with a child in her lap.

First temple on hill is known as Bade Baba Ka Mandir or Choubeesee Jinalaya, a big temple with the principal deity Lord Parsvanath, an 11 feet high standing colossus without serpent hoods, with an attractive halo in the back and three tier umbrella over the head. On a shrine of this temple idols of 5 ascetic saints (Gurudatt & others) in standing posture made of White Stone are installed.

Second is Lord Mahaveer’s temple, very beautiful, situated in the midst of a pond and looks very attractive. Principal deity of this temple is Lord Mahaveer idol is 2 feet high in cross legged seating posture.
Other temples are also visitable. 2 km ahead from the Kshetra, there a shrine in forest seems to be very old.

Natural Scenario :

Scene looks very attractive on looking towards pond from the top of hill. Series of temples with spire on hill & on the plane with pond in the middle looks pleasant to eyes.

Festivals :
Annual Festival – From Agahan Shukla 11 to 15
Lord Parshwanath Salvation Anniversary – on Shrawan Shukla 7

Facilities :
3 Dharmshalas are available on Kshetra, one at the Bus Stand of Dalpatpur. Mess & Bed facilities are available.

Means of approach :

Road – Busses of routs Sagar-Bijawar & Sagar-Bakaswaha pass through Dalpatpur. Kshetra is at the side of Dalpatpur-Bakaswaha Road at a distance of 12 km from Dalpatpur. Dalpatpur is on Sagar-Kanpur National Highway No. 86. Road is under construction from Jabalpur, Chattarpur, Tikamgarh via Bakaswaha (25 K.M.).
Railway – Sagar-Damoh

Nearby Places :
Banda, Nemgiri
In Sagar – Bhagyodaya Teerth, Mangalgiri & Kakaganj

Websites :

Monday, September 12, 2016

Huayna Picchu, Peru

Name :  Huayna Picchu

Location :

It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District. It rises over Machu Picchu, the so-called lost city of the Incas, and divides it into sections. The Incas built a trail up the side of the Huayna Picchu and built temples and terraces on its top. The peak of Huayna Picchu is about 2,720 metres (8,920 ft) above sea level, or about 360 metres (1,180 ft) higher than Machu Picchu.

Description :

Huayna Picchu, Wayna Picchu (Hispanicized spellings) or Wayna Pikchu (Quechua wayna young, young man, pikchu pyramid, mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks, "young peak") is a mountain in Peru around which the Urubamba River bends.

According to local guides, the top of the mountain was the residence for the high priest and the local virgins. Every morning before sunrise, the high priest with a small group would walk to Machu Picchu to signal the coming of the new day. The Temple of the Moon, one of the three major temples in the Machu Picchu area, is nestled on the side of the mountain and is situated at an elevation lower than Machu Picchu. Adjacent to the Temple of the Moon is the Great Cavern, another sacred temple with fine masonry. The other major local temples in Machu Picchu are the Temple of the Condor, Temple of Three Windows, Principal Temple, "Unfinished Temple", and the Temple of the Sun, also called the Torreon

Tourism :

The number of daily visitors allowed to enter Huayna Picchu is restricted to 400. Advance purchase of tickets online will guarantee admission. A steep and at times exposed climb leads to the summit. Some portions are slippery and steel cables (a via ferrata) provide some support during the one-hour climb. At times during the rainy season, the tours are closed. The climb is not recommended for visitors in poor physical condition because it features the World's scariest staircase.

From the summit, a second trail leads down to the Gran Caverna and the Temple of the Moon (a misnomer). These natural caves, on the north face of the mountain, are lower than the starting point of the trail. The return path from the caves completes a loop around the mountain as it rejoins the main trail.

Websites :

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Renukambe [Yellamma] Chandragutti, Soraba Taluk in Shimoga

Name :  Renukambe [Yellamma] Temple in Shimoga

Location :

Chandragutti is situated at a distance of 16 kms from Soraba (main bus stand). Soraba is one of the beautiful villages in Sahyadri ranges.

Description :

Renukamba Temple at Chandragutti in Karnataka is dedicated to Goddess Renuka. The temple is around 17km from Soraba. It is a cave temple and is in the form of half moon. The main deity worshipped in the temple is Goddess Renuka and she is also known as Guthiyamma. The hill on which the temple is located is known as Chandragutti.

Chandragutti is a religious center for goddess Renukamba wife of Jamadagni and mother Parusharam. The temple is situated on top of a hill which is completely covered with greenery. In short it’s very scenic. As soon as we reached the entrance of the temple we were welcomed by a small pond which is known as “Tottila baavi” and also there is small rock on which foot prints of main deity is carved. Once we crossed few steps, on to the right hand side there is a small temple of “Kalabairaveshwara”. In this temple lord is in both human and in “lingam” form. Few steps from this temple towards hill top will lead to Renukamba Temple.

By the time we had reached this place temple was closed. We got to know by a villager that this temple will be open for full day only on Tuesday and Friday and rest of the week temple is opened for few hours in morning. Since the temple was closed we could not see main deity, we could see “Matangi” seated along with her company in between two huge rocks. The main deity is inside a cave with golden coverings or golden statue as people say.

Along with this goddess there are 2 more temple, one of sacred seven headed “Nagaraja” (snake god) and “Parusharam” right in front of the Goddess Renukamba and the other one is of “Shoolada Beerappa”, there is a stair way which leads towards down the hill here is the temple of Shoolada Beerappa. This Shoolada Beerappa has hundreds of tridents (thrisuhla in Kannada) emerged from earth. Behind this is a small pond known as “Ammanavara Honda”. In south India “Ammnavaru” means goddess. Water for this pond comes from a bigger pond from top of the hill known as “tavarakere” (tavare means lotus in Kannada). The same water continues further ahead and reaches Tottila baavi

How to reach – We took a bus from Sagara (our main point) to Soraba and then from there another bus to Chandragutti, it was the same for return also. There are many (private) buses to Chandragutti from Soraba, Shimoga and very less direct bus from Sagara. Chandragutti is 106 kms from Shimoga. It can be reached from Soraba (approx 16kms), Siddapur (approx 18kms) and from Sirsi (approx 40kms) Sagara(approx 45 kms). Nearest Railway Station is Shimoga (106 Km).

See also 
As Chandragutti and Gudavi Bird Sanctuary or on the same road, one can visit these two together. They both a have difference of approx 10-12 kms from each other. From Soraba first comes Gudavi, at one point we need to take a right turn and continue approx of 6 kms from this Turing point.
I thank articles on net, my friends and villagers for helping me with the info.

Every year, there is a gathering of as many as 200,000 of her devotees at the Yellamma Gudda temple in Saundatti. This temple is an example of ancient architecture and dates back to the Kadamba period. Another temple is in Mahur, Maharashtra, the supposed birth place of the goddess, which finds mention in Devi Gita, the final chapter of Devi Bhagawatam as, "Matripura in the Sahyadri mountain; here the Devi Renuka dwells...". ( Renuka devi Temple, Mahur )

Legend :

Legend has it that Renukamba, a king of the Chandragutti region, was married to Rishi Jamadagni. The king had got Renukamba as daughter after he offered prayers to Goddess Mookambika.

Renukamba was such a devout wife that she could carry water in pots made of sand and she is used to carry the water pot on her head with snakes as pads for the pot. Not a single drop of water fell from her pot.

But once Sage Jamadagni doubted her character and asked his son Parashurama to kill her. Parashurama took his mother to the cave at Chandragutti and cut her head leaving the torso in the cave. He took the head to his father. Sage Jamadagni offers a boon to Parasurama who in turn asks the life of his mother. The sage immediately gives the boon and Renukamba is brought back to life.

This divine incident is believed to have taken place at at Chandragutti in Karnataka.

The popular festival in the temple is held in the month of March.

Executive Officer,
Shree Renukamba Temple,
Chandragutti Post,
Soraba Taluk,
Shimoga District
Pin – 577429

Websites :

Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple), Ko samui Thailand

Name : Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Temple)

Location :

The temple can be reached via a causeway from the main island of Koh Samui. From the airport, head north on route 4171. Take the second right and the first left, then follow until the road ends.

Description :

A dazzling temple featuring a towering 12-meter golden Buddha. Though by no means an ancient temple (it was built as recently as 1972), Thailand's Wat Phra Yai or "Big Buddha Temple" is still a cultural and artistic gem that's well worth a visit.

The temple complex is majestic, dazzling, serene, and perhaps a bit amusing all at once. Here, every available surface is drenched in gold and bedecked with ornate mirrored tiles the color of precious jewels. A wide skirt of steps flanked by two sinuous emerald dragons leads straight to the towering central figure: a 12-meter-tall golden Buddha. It sits atop a hill overlooking the stunning aquamarine waters surrounding the tiny islet of Koh Faan.

Sitting in Mara pose, this Buddha represents a state of enlightenment, purity and calm. Reflecting these principles, a ring of large bronze prayer bells encircles the Buddha, gently swaying in the cool ocean breeze. Use one of the provided wooden strikers to lightly ring each bell for good luck as you take in the glorious views.

In the early mornings, one can observe monks chanting their morning prayers as well as locals who bring offerings of food, incense and flowers. Be sure to pop into a few of the stalls surrounding the base of the temple during your visit. Local street food, fruit, flowers and fun souvenirs can be found aplenty. Neaby Chaweng Beach, Wat Plai Lem and Ang Thong National Marine Park are popular stops to check out during your visit as well.

Know Before You Go :

It is requested that visitors respect the sanctity of the space by wearing modest clothing (trousers or long shorts and tops that cover the shoulders), removing shoes before entering the complex and being courteous of local devotees.

Websites :

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mount Popa Shrine

Name :  Mount Popa Taung Kalat Monastry. The name Popa is believed to come from the Pali/Sanskrit word puppa meaning flower

Location :

Mount Popa is a volcano 1518 metres (4981 feet) above sea level, and located in central Burma (Myanmar) about 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bagan (Pagan) in the Pegu Range. It can be seen from the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River as far away as 60 km (37 mi) in clear weather. Mount Popa is perhaps best known as a pilgrimage site, with numerous Nat temples and relic sites atop the mountain.

Description :

Southwest of Mount Popa is Taung Kalat (pedestal hill), sheer-sided volcanic plug, which rises 657 metres (2,156 ft) above the sea level. A Buddhist monastery is located at the summit of Taung Kalat. At one time, the Buddhist hermit U Khandi maintained the stairway of 777 steps to the summit of Taung Kalat. The Taung Kalat pedestal hill is sometimes itself called Mount Popa and given that Mount Popa is the name of the actual volcano that caused the creation of the volcanic plug, to avoid confusion, the volcano (with its crater blown open on one side) is generally called Taung Ma-gyi (mother hill). The volcanic crater itself is a mile in diameter.

From the top of Taung Kalat one can enjoy a panoramic view. One can see the ancient city of Bagan; behind it to the north, the massive solitary conical peak of Taung Ma-gyi rises like Mount Fuji in Japan. There is a big caldera, 610 metres (2,000 ft) wide and 914 metres (3,000 ft) in depth so that from different directions the mountain takes different forms with more than one peak. The surrounding areas are arid, but the Mt Popa area has over 200 springs and streams. It is therefore likened to an oasis in the desert-like dry central zone of Burma. This means the surrounding landscape is characterized by prickly bushes and stunted trees as opposed to the lush forests and rivers Burma is famous for. Plenty of trees, flowering plants and herbs grow due to the fertile soil from the volcanic ash. Prominent among the fauna are macaque monkeys that have become a tourist attraction on Taung Kalat.

It is now a designated nature reserve and national park. Nearby lies Kyetmauk Taung Reservoir that provides sufficient water for gardens and orchards producing jackfruit, banana, mango and papaya as well as flowering trees such as saga (Champac) and gant gaw (Mesua ferrea Linn). A pozzolan mill to supply material for the construction of Yeywa Dam on Myitnge River near Mandalay is in operation.

Legends :

NAT Legends : 

Who are NATs ? : In Buddhist traditions of Myanmar, Nats are spirits of humans that met tragic ends and are portrayed accordingly in shrines across the country. One of the most well-known of the 37 spirits in the shrine of Mount Popa is Ko Gyi Kyaw, who died from his wild lifestyle and alcohol abuse. As the patron saint of tramps and alcoholics, his shrine is often covered in bottles of whiskey.

Many legends are associated with this mountain including its dubious creation from a great earthquake and the mountain erupted out of the ground in 442 BC. It is possible that the legends about Nats represent a heritage of earlier animist religions in Burmese countryside, which were syncreticised with Buddhist religion in the 11th century. There are legends that before the reign of Bagan king Anawrahta (1044 - 1077) hundreds of animals were sacrificed here as a part of nat worship rituals.

Mount Popa is considered the abode of Burma's most powerful Nats and as such is the most important nat worship center. It has therefore been called Burma's Mount Olympus due to the Nat activity and the shrine .

1) One legend tells about brother and sister Mahagiri (Great Mountain) nats, from the kingdom of Tagaung at the upper reaches of the Irrawaddy, who sought refuge from King Thinligyaung of Bagan (344-387). Their wish was granted and they were enshrined on Mt Popa.

2) Another legend tells about Popa Medaw (Royal Mother of Popa), who according to legend was a flower-eating ogress called Me Wunna, she lived at Popa. She fell in love with Byatta, whose royal duty was to gather flowers from Popa for King Anawrahta of Bagan (1044–1077). Byatta was executed for disobeying the king who disapproved of the liaison, and their sons were later taken away to the palace. Me Wunna died of a broken heart and, like Byatta, became a nat. Their sons also became heroes in the king's service but were later executed for neglecting their duty during the construction of a pagoda at Taungbyone near Mandalay. They too became powerful nats but they remained in Taungbyone where a major festival is held annually in the month of Wagaung (August).

Although all 37 Nats of the official pantheon are represented at the shrine on Mt Popa, in fact only four of them - the Mahagiri nats, Byatta and Me Wunna - have their abode here. Burmese superstition says that on Mt Popa, one should not wear red or black or green or bring meat, especially pork, as it could offend the resident nats, although Byatta and his brother Byatwi were the only Muslims who had shipwrecked and landed in Burma.

Burmese Myth :

There are many Burmese myths about the mountain, especially the one that said victory for any man who collected their army on the slopes of the mountain was guaranteed. The belief that victory can be guaranteed by visiting Mount Popa is interesting because it shows the cultural identification of life and prosperity with the mountain. The still current popularity of Mount Popa exemplifies the fact that Burmese people still rely heavily on ancient traditions in daily life. It is these ancient traditions that characterize the culture of the surrounding area and beyond. People travel great distances to assure their good luck into the coming years to Mount Popa, host to an immense annual festival which actually takes place in the temple atop the mountain.

Festivals :

Many Burmese pilgrims visit Mt Popa every year, especially at festival season on the full moon of Nayon (May/June) and the full moon of Nadaw (November/December). Local people from the foot of Mt Popa, at Kyaukpadaung (10-miles), go mass-hiking to the peak during December and also in April when the Myanmar new year called Thingyan festival is celebrated. Before King Anawrahta's time, hundreds of animals were sacrificed to the nats during festivals.

The festival involves a transgender medium being possessed by a nat spirit which give him the ability to communicate between the nats and the people. It is these types of festivals, the type that are unique to the region but also incredibly important to the participants, that attracts tourists to Burma.

Websites :

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Kondarangi Hills - Malligarjuna Swamy Temple

Name : Kondarangi Hills - Malligarjuna Swamy Temple

Location :

It is situated in Tamilnadu on the way to Tharapuram from Oddanchatram (via) Moolanur. It is 15kms from moolanur and the village is called Kondarangi Keeranur.

Legend :

1. It is believed that when we do meditation on Pournami or Amavasya days on the top of this hill, we can get connection with our ancestors and their blessings.

2. It is said that there is a shusma vibrations between palani Temple and this temple. Kondrangi Shiva is seeing his Son from here. Also we can see this hill when we climb Palani hills.

3. Pandavas of mahabharata are said to have done meditation in the cave here. It is said that Arjuna attained powers during his vana vasa here. They say when we meditate in this hill we can travel to a diffreent Astral World.

Description :

This Hill has a steep Conical shape and it is about 748meters high. There is a very wonderful Rock cut Temple on the top where Lord Shiva showers his blessings in the name of Malligarjuneswarar. It is a Swayambhu Lingam ( Formed on its owns ). The hill itself looks like a Huge Linga.

The steps are rock cut and it seems very difficult to climb the hill. But with Lord shiva's blessings it is very easy to reach the top. It takes two hours to reach the top. If there is Rain or high winds it will be difficult to ascend or descend. There is a perennial spring on the top.

There is a Cave where Sidhhars and Thavasis have done meditation. There is also a Temple located at the foothills known as Ketti Malleswarar Sri Bhramaramba Temple.

Festivals :

Chitra Pournami and maha Shiva Ratri is celebrated in grand manner when lot of devotees throng to get blessings of Malligarjuna swamy

Websites :

I sincerely thank Mr.Dhanasekar who maintains a facebook page on Kondarangi malai for providing all the above details. Link to his page is as below. Devotees who wish to visit kondarangi malai can contact him for further details.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ratnagiri Murugan Temple, Saravanampatti

Name : Ratnagiri Murugan Temple

Location :

Sri Ratnagiri Murugan Temple, Saravanampatti, Coimbatore district.
+91 - 422- 553 5727

Legend :

Many years back, a woman devotee was praying to Lord Ratnagiri Muruga for long years seeking child boon.  She was undergoing severe fasting for the boon.  One day, she came to the temple alone when no one was present in the surroundings.  She was in deep meditation for a long time shedding tears and was going round the temple.  A cow boy enquired her of her sorrow.  The woman told him of her want.  The boy gave her a little sacred ash and advised her to go round the prakara with her prayer.  After finishing the first round, when the woman wanted to see the boy, he was not there.

The woman conceived within a few days then and understood that the boy was no less a person than Lord Muruga Himself.  The temple has the reputation of blessing a woman devotee in person  gifting her wish.

Lord Sri Muruga graces with four hands on His peacock facing the left side.  Lord Vinayaka – Swayambu Vinayaka from a rock – is by the side.

Poo parithal – picking flowers:

It was customary in days of yore, that boys and girls related to each other qualifying a marriage liberty (Murai Mappillai and Murai Penn) visit the temple together on Mattu Pongal day (almost on January 15 according to the Gregorian calendar).  The bridegroom-boy will offer the flowers to his fiancée.  They will then offer garlands to the Lord with the prayer to unite them in wedlock.  The custom has vanished in the modern days.  Yet, lovers aware of the custom visit here to pray to Lord Muruga to succeed in their love affair.

The belief still remains that any one bringing flowers, making a garland himself/herself and offer it to the Lord will have the life partner of his/her choice.  After marriage, they come again to offer their grateful prayer to the Lord to have wise children.

Also, school friends, though placed in different places due to their occupations, use to come to this place, pray to Lord Muruga and share their old experiences.  The tradition is still followed, on the Mattu Pongal day.

Description :

Temple Speciality is Lord Swayambu Vinayaka appearing from a rock graces in the temple.
A demon performed penance for centuries on Lord Shiva and got the boon to rule all the worlds. Intoxicated by the power of the boon and his prowess, he began to harass the devas very cruelly forcing them to live in oblivion.  Once the demon saw Indira, the king of devas in his hideout.  Indira began to run but the demon chased him.  Indira reached this Ratnagiri mount where Lord Muruga changed him as a peacock, his vehicle.  The demon returned disappointed.  The wonder took place here, according to scriptures.

Festivals :

Thaipoosam in January-February, Mattu Pongal falling almost on January 15, New moon days, Kruthika days, Vaikasi visakam in May-June are the festive days observed in the temple with special pujas. The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.

Websites :

Jnana Malai Murugan Temple, Kaverippakkam

Name : Jnana Malai Murugan Temple

Location :

Until recently the celebrated Jñāna Malai (Mount of Wisdom) could not be identified. Lord Jñāna Murugan only recently disclosed His presence at Jñānamalai situated near Kaverippakkam in Vellore district at a small village called Govindacheri 14 kilometres from Kaverippakkam. Though it a small hillock, yet there is no easy way to reach the top of the hill.

Description :

Lord Muruga is the embodiment of jñāna (spiritual insight). He is Jñāna Panditan, Jñānaswaroopan, etc. By worshipping the Lord as Jñāna Panditan, one obtains jñāna.

There is a small Murugan temple on this hill. In 1998 some local people along with Archeological Department officials discovered a worn stone inscription which translated affirms:

" the 18th year of King Sambuvarayar's rule, his son Prince Kaligarayan established steps to reach Jnānamalai of this village..."
The period is established as AD 1322-1340. On seeing this news item in the newspaper Dinamani our tiruppugazh thondar Ra. Krishnan, the author of several books including Arunagirinathar Adicchuvattil (In the Footsteps of Arunagirinathar), visited the site, conducted research and established conclusively that this sthalam is indeed Jñāna Malai celebrated in the songs of Saint Arunagirinathar.

Hectic activity followed, and last year some abishekams were performed by our Siruvapuri Murugan Abishega Committee and on 15 September 2000 kumbhabhishekam was performed after moderate renovation by the villagers.

There is a small temple in typical Pallava style on the hill with a small sanctum and a mandapam. The Lord is in the form Brahmasastā having rosary and kamandala in two hands. The other two hands are in abhaya mudra and resting upon the hip. Generally in Thondai Mandalam (north Tamil Nadu) Pallava and early Chola images conform to this Brahmasastā form. About three feet high with Valli and Devasena as consorts, these are beautiful moolasthana vigrahas. He is called Bālasubramanyar by local people.

Near the temple there is a small natural water source from which water is brought for temple abulations. On to the west there is a small Siva temple and behind we can see footsteps in the rock. They appear as footprints on molten lava. Incidentally this is a volcanic mountain from all appearances.

Foot steps of Lord Muruga
These footsteps are considered by the local folks as those of Lord Muruga Himself. There is also a belief that Murugan visited this place after marrying Valli Amman in Vallimalai on way to Tiruttani. Tiruttani and Vallimalai form form a triangle with Jñāna Malai and both can be seen from this hill. Around the hill there is a lake and in rainy season will look like an island.

Arunagirinathar came to Jnanamalai and recalled "his experience of being hated by his wife, own family members and local folks, decides to end his life and at that time Murugan shows His lotus feet and bless him. He wants the same blessing again." This internal evidence of the saint's life is found only in the Tiruppugazh of Jñāna Malai.

This tiruppugazh starts with "Maniaval nagaikka ooril anaivarum nagaikka loka..." There is also another Tiruppugazh for Jnanamalai starting "Soodukolai..."

Help make Jñāna Malai accessible to Murugan devotees

In order to facilitate worship this important Murugan temple we need to provide steps and other basic amenities.

Siruvapuri Murugan Abishega Committee members have decided to construct the steps as well as other facilities. As a first step on 19 August 2001 in the presence of Mr. T.R. Srinivasan (I.A.S.), Special Commissioner for Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments of the Government of Tamil Nadu, a foundation stone was laid and the formal inauguration of this great task was undertaken with the blessings of Lord Jnanamalai Murugan. For about five hours Thiruppugazh Anbargal sang tiruppukazh followed by abhishekam and annadanam. Hundreds of people attended this great event.

Murugan adiyars who wish to contrbute to this great cause are strongly encouraged to make material contributions. The hill needs about 225-250 stone steps to reach the summit. Each stone step costs about Rs. 2,000 (or US$ 42) to construct. In addition we intend to construct a small mandapam for the devotees in front of the sannidi and also other basic facilities (cooked food for annadanam is brought from Chennai currently). There will also be two small stone mandapams for pilgrims to rest on the way up and one at the foot of the hill as well.

Murugan adiyars and Kodaivallals are welcome to contribute liberally to the noble cause of steps. With each step, you will be drawn one step closer to Jñāna Malai Jñāna Panditan.


Ratnagiri Murugan Temple

Name : Rathinagiri Bala Murugan Temple

Location :

The Ratnagiri Balamurugan Temple is situated at Vellore in TamilNadu.This temple is around 13 kms away from Vellore adjacent to the vellore chennai national highway. Ratnagiri Bala Murugan temple is a small and cute temple. Lot of devotees visit Vellore Golden Temple, or travel to Vellore can visit this great shrine of Lord Murugan and get his blessings.

Greatness of the Shrine:

Rathinagiri Bala Murugan Temple was built around the 14th century. Over the passage of time an ordinary sand structure was converted into a stone shrine. Ancient Hindu scriptures say that wherever there is a hill, Lord Murugan resides as the all-powerful Deity. Of these Tirupparamkundram, Tiruchendur, Tiruvavinankudi, Tiruveragam and Palamuthircholai are famous shrines, collectively called 'Kundruthoradal'. The holy shrine at Rathinagiri also features in this category.

Literary Evidence:

The 14th Century poet Arunagirinathar has sung about this temple as Rathinakiri Vazh Murukane Ilaya Vaaramarar Perumaley', which means 'Murugan, the God of Devas resides in Rathinagiri'.

Divine Blessings

The Omnipotent Power manifests His Blessings to mankind in three forms:

In the form of idol in the shrine.
In the form of the guru.
In the form of the devotee.
Of these three, Lord Bālamurugan manifests himself at Rathinagiri in two forms. The first is in the form of the deity with his two consorts Valli and Teyvanai. The second is in the form of our Guru, Swami Bālamurugan Adimai.

The History of Swami Balamurugan Adimai through whom the Blessings of Lord Bālamurugan are channeled to us is praise worthy.

History of Swami Balamurugan Adimai

Born on the 24th of January 1941 (in the Vikrama year of the Tamil calendar on the 11th day of the month of Thai) in the small village of Kilminnal adjacent to Rathinagiri, he was the fourth child born to Śrī Kandaswami Mudaliar and Smt. Sinagarammal. He was named Dakshinamurthy and Sachidanandam, both being names of Lord Shiva.

On completion of his schooling he entered the services of the Electricity Department. Soon after, he entered into holy matrimony with Sivakami and was blessed with two daughters and a son.

One day in his 27th year, on his way to work, he climbed the hill to offer his prayers. There was neither camphor nor incense available at the temple. He walked around the shrine with a heavy heart and was suddenly overcome with divine awakening. He fell in a faint to the ground and on waking up was unable to remember his own self. He dressed himself in a loincloth. He took a sacred vow not to leave until the temple was restored to its former glory.

This memorable event of Swami's spiritual awakening took place on 20th March 1968. Ever since then Swami's spiritual well being of his devotees has continued unabated.

Cottages for visitors

Cottages for the devotees have been built and are available. Separate pathways were laid to ascend and descend the hill.

Temple hours

Temple is kept open between 6 am to 1 pm & 4 pm. to 8 pm.
Abhishekam timings: 6 am to 10:30 am & 5:30 pm.
Temple office working hours: 9 am to 1 pm & 3 pm to 6 pm.
Days of principal importance in the calendar year

Tamil New Year Day;
Ādi Krittikai celebrations (Lord Murugan's Birthday);
Ādi Velli (auspicious Friday in the month of August or September);
Kanda Shashti celebrations (Six Days);
Navaratri (Nine Nights of the Goddess Festival);
Panguni Uttiram;
January 1st;
The anniversary of Swamiji's enlightenment 20th March

Website :

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Yaganti Uma Maheswara Swamy Temple & Agastiya and Venkateswara swamy Cave Temples

Name : Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple

Location :
Yaganti is located in the Kurnool District in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, approximately 100 km from the city of Kurnool and 75 kms from Tadipatri in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is 14 km west of Banaganapalle (Mandal headquarters) on the Banaganapalle-Peapully road. This place is nestled in the middle of some hostile terrain like the the dry, rocky region of Erramala Hills.

Legend :
One story of the site's origin is as follows: The sage Agastya wanted to build a temple for Lord Venkateswara on this site. However, the statue that was made could not be installed as the toe nail of the idol got broken. The sage was upset over this and performed a penance for Lord Shiva. When Lord Shiva appeared, he said the place suits Shiva better as it resembles Kailash. Agastya then requested Lord Shiva to give the devotees a Parvathi Goddess as Lord Uma Maheswara in a single stone, which Lord Shiva obliged.

A second story is as follows: Chitteppa, a devotee of Lord Shiva, was worshiping Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva appeared to him as a tiger. Chitteppa understood that it was Lord Shiva in tiger form, and shouted Neganti Shivanu ne kanti (meaning: I saw Shiva I saw), and danced with joy. There is a cave called Chitteppa nearby.

Popular Beliefs :

Growing Nandi :
The devotees believe that the Nandi idol in front of the temple is continuously increasing its size. The locals say that the idol was initially much smaller than its present size. They say that certain experimentation was carried out on this idol and it was said that the type of rock out of which the idol is carved has a growing or enlarging nature associated with it. Archaeological Survey of India has confirmed that the idol increases by 1 inch in every 20 years. Experiment suggests that the rock used to make the idol exhibits a growing nature.

It is said that people used to do Pradakshinas (rounds) around it in the past. The temple staff has already removed one pillar as the size of the Nandi has increased.

According to Potuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy, the Basavanna (stone nandi) of Yaganti will come alive and shout when Kali Yuga ends.
Absence of crows

Legend has it that while the Sage Agastya was performing his penance, crows disturbed him and he cursed that the crows cannot enter the place. As the crow is the Vahana for Lord Shani, it is believed that Lord Shani cannot enter this place.

Description :

This temple was constructed by King Harihara Bukka Raya of the Sangama Dynasty of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th century. It was built according to Vaishnavaite traditions.

Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple is one of the few temples patronized by one of the great dynasties of India. Every year Maha Shivaratri is celebrated and a large number of devotees from all over Andhra Pradesh visit. Shiva, Parvati and Nandi are the main deities in this temple.This temple is 14 km away from Banaganipalli in kurnool dt. The saint lord Veerabrahmendra swami stayed here for some time and wrote Kalagnanam.

A feature of this temple is its Pushkarini, a small pond of water on the temple premises. Water flows into this Pushkarini from the bottom of hill through the mouth of a Nandi (bull). The water is fresh and sweet, as it comes from the hills. No one knows how the water reaches the pond all year round and this temple architecture in terms of its sculpture shows the skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis. Devotees find that a holy bath in Pushkarini is highly beneficial. After taking a bath in Pushkarini, they pay tributes to Lord Shiva.

The sage Agasthya bathed in Pushkarini and worshipped Lord Shiva.

Yaganti Caves :
Agastya Cave :
This is the cave where Agastya performed his penance for Lord Shiva. One can enter the cave by climbing 120 steep steps. An idol to Devi is installed and may be worshipped here.

Venkateswara Cave :
The damaged idol of Lord Venkateswara is present in this cave. Compared to Agastya cave it is easy to climb though the steps are steep. According to the story this idol was present in this cave before the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple was constructed. But as the idol is damaged near the foot, it could not be worshipped. Sri Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swami tells us in his Kala Gynanam that this place can stand as an alternative to Tirupati. This temple has very beautiful scenic locations nearby.

Veera Brahmam Cave :
This is the cave where saint Sree Potuluri Veera Brahmendra swamy wrote some of his Kala Gnaanam (prophecy). The height of the cave is less and one needs to bend half over to enter it.

Websites :

Friday, June 17, 2016

Panch Kedar Yatra (pilgrimage)

Panch Kedar (Sanskrit: पंचकेदार) refers to five Hindu temples or holy places of the Shaivite sect dedicated to god Shiva. They are located in the Garhwal Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India. They are the subject of many legends that directly link their creation to Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The five temples designated in the strict pecking order to be followed for pilgrimage for worship are the Kedarnath (Sanskrit: केदारनाथ) at an altitude of 3,583 m (11,755 ft), the Tungnath (तुंगनाथ)(3,680 m or 12,070 ft), Rudranath (रुद्रनाथ) (2,286 m or 7,500 ft), Madhyamaheshwar (मध्यमहेश्वर) or Madmaheshwar (3,490 m or 11,450 ft) and Kalpeshwar (कल्पेश्वर) (2,200 m or 7,200 ft). The Kedarnath is the main temple, which is part of the four famous Chota Char Dhams (literally 'the small four abodes/seats') or pilgrimage centers of the Garhwal Himalayas; the other three dhams are the Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri. Kedarnath is also one of the twelve Jyotirlingas


It is said that the Panch Kedar Yatra (pilgrimage) could be directly related to the Gorakhnath cult (recognized for their pilgrim traditions) of Nepal. As a proof, it is stated that the culmination of the pilgrimage was at Pashupatinath temple in Nepal, rightly where Lord Shiva’s head is worshipped and not at Kedarnath where the hump is venerated. A further supporting fact mentioned in this regard is that the emblem used in Kedarnath temple dome is the same as displayed in the Pashupathinath temple dome in Kathmandu.


Many folk legends related to the Garhwal region, god Shiva and the creation of the Panch Kedar temples are narrated.

The most famous folk legend about Panch Kedar relates to the Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas defeated and killed their cousins — the Kauravas in the epic Kurukshetra war. They wished to atone for the sins of committing fratricide (gotra hatya) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins — the priest class) during the war. Thus, they handed over the reigns of their kingdom to their kin and left in search of the god Shiva and to seek his blessings. First, they went to the holy city of Varanasi (Kashi), believed to Shiva's favourite city and famous for its Shiva temple. But, Shiva wanted to avoid them as he was deeply incensed by the death and dishonesty at the Kurukshetra war and was, therefore, insensitive to Pandavas' prayers. Therefore, he assumed the form of a bull (Nandi) and hid in the Garhwal region.

Not finding Shiva in Varanasi, the Pandavas went to Garhwal Himalayas. Bhima, the second of the five Pandava brothers, then standing astride two mountains started to look for Shiva. He saw a bull grazing near Guptakashi (“hidden Kashi” — the name derived from the hiding act of Shiva). Bhima immediately recognized the bull to be Shiva. Bhima caught hold of the bull by its tail and hind legs. But the bull-formed Shiva disappeared into the ground to later reappear in parts, with the hump raising in Kedarnath, the arms appearing in Tunganath, the nabhi (navel) and stomach surfacing in Madhyamaheshwar, the face showing up at Rudranath and the hair and the head appearing in Kalpeshwar. The Pandavas pleased with this reappearance in five different forms, built temples at the five places for venerating and worshipping Shiva. The Pandavas were thus freed from their sins. It is also believed that the fore portions of Shiva appeared at Pashupatinath, Kathmandu — the capital of Nepal.

A variant of the tale credits Bhima of not only catching the bull, but also stopping it from disappearing. Consequently, the bull was torn asunder into five parts and appeared at five locations in the Kedar Khand of Garhwal region of the Himalayas. After building the Panch Kedar temples, the Pandavas mediated at Kedarnath for salvation, performed yagna (fire sacrifice) and then through the heavenly path called the Mahapanth (also called Swargarohini), attained heaven or salvation.[citation needed]

After completing the pilgrimage of Lord Shiva's darshan at the Panch Kedar temples, it is an unwritten religious rite to visit Lord Vishnu at the Badrinath Temple, as a final affirmatory proof by the devotee that he has sought blessings of Lord Shiva

Worship rights

The priests and pundits who worship in the Panch Kedar temples are from South India, except in Tungnath. Namboodiri brahmins hailing from Malabar, in Kerala officiate as chief priests at Badrinath temple and they are known by the name Rawals. Jangamas who are pure Lingayatisms from Chitrakal in Mysore are the chief priests at the Madhyamaheswar temple. Dasnami Gosains founded by Adi Shankaracharya are the chief priests in Rudranath and Kalpeshwar temples. The Tunganath temple is served by the Khasi Brahmins. In the case of Tungnath, it is also said that the local brahmins from Mokumath officiate as priests.

Kedarnath Teerth Purohit all Kedarnath Teerth Purohit (Panda) are the ancient brahmin of this himalaya region of Kedarkhand, these are there from the end of treta yug and start of kaliyug, when pandava came to himalaya for finding moksh, and then went to mahapanth, after their journey to mahapanth, their grandson King Janmejay came to Kedarnth and gave the right of worshiping of Kedarnath temple to these brahmins


The total trek length to cover all the five temples of Panch Kedar is about 170 km (including road travel up to Gaurikund), involving 16 days of strenuous and rewarding effort. The trek starts from Gauri Kund, one of the picturesque spots, providing spectacular views of the Himalayan range of hills in the entire Garhwal region, comparable to the Alps. The trekking is undertaken during two seasons; three months during summer and two months after the monsoon season, as during the rest of the period, except Rudranath, the other four Panch Kedar temples are inaccessible due to snow cover.

The road from Rishikesh is the first entry point to Garhwal from the plains of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh is approachable from Delhi by road over a distance of 230 km. The road from Rishikesh leads to the Gaurikhund on the Rudraprayag–Kedarnath road from where the trekking would start to Kedarnath temple. The trek to Kedarnath is of 14 km, each way. After Kedarnath, road travel to Guptakashi and further to Jagasu covers a distance of 30 km. From Jagasu, the trek to Madhaymaheshwar temple via Gaundhar is over a distance of24 km (15 mi). This trek provides spectacular views of the Chaukhamba, the Kedarnath and the Neelkanth peaks. Returning from Madhyamaheshwar the road drive to Chopta via Jagasu is of 45 km. From Chopta, the trek is to the Tunganath temple over a distance of about 4 km. After the Tunganath trek, the drive along the road up to Mandal (known Cherrapunji of Garhwal due to heavy rainfall) is for a distance of8 km. From Mandal, the trek to Rudranath temple is of 20 km. After visiting Rudranath temple the return journey is to Mandal and the drive down by road to Helang. From Helang, the trek to Kalpeshwar temple is for 11 km via Urgam village and is considered strenuous due to the steepness of the route. After completing the pilgrimage trek of Kalpeswar temple, the last of the Panch Kedar temples, the return road drive from Helong to Riishikesh via Pipalkothi is a distance of 233 km.

Worship during winter season

During the winter period when the temples are inaccessible due to snowfall, the sanctified symbolic Shiva idol of Kedarnath is worshipped at the Omkareshwar temple at Ukhimath, the representational idol of Tunganath is worshipped at Mokumath, the Rudranath symbolic image is brought to Gopeshwar, and the Madhyamaheshwar symbolic idol is venerated at Ukhimath

Websites :

1. Kalpeshwar
2. Rudranath
3. Madhyamaheshwar
4. Tungnath
5. Kedarnath 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tibidabo Spain

Name : Tibidabo - Mountain where Jesus was first tempted by the Devil

Location :

A mountain overlooking Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Tibidabo stands more than 500 meters tall. The highest peak anywhere in the Serra de Collserola range, Tibidabo is home to an amusement park, a telecommunications tower, and Sagrat Cor, a Catholic church.

Legend :

Sagrat Cor is perhaps the most fitting of Tibidabo's attractions as this is the site where local legend says the devil tempted Jesus. The name Tibidabo derives from the Latin Vulgate Bible verses, Matthew 4:9 and Luke 4:6. The phrase, tibi dabo, means I will give to you. It was supposedly said to Jesus by the devil as they looked down from a mountain on the kingdoms of the world. The name of Barcelona's hill, then, refers to how it is the tallest anywhere around.


Designed by Enric Sagnier, the church took about 60 years to build. At the top of the church, Sagrat Cor, is a sculpture of the Sacred Heart by Josep Miret Llopart.

Tibidabo can be reached by a funicular railway, by bus, and by car. The railway, built in 1901, was the first of its kind in Spain. The amusement park is also the oldest of its kind in the area. Constructed in 1899, the park offers more than thirty different rides, some of them dating back many decades. A few of the original attractions are also still operating, including the Museu d'Autòmates (Mechanical Museum).

Websites :

El Peñón de Guatapé

Name : El Penon de Guatape

Location :

La Piedra Del Peñol (Spanish for "The Rock of Guatapé"), also known as El Peñol Stone or simply La Piedra (Spanish for "The Stone"), is a monolithic formation located at the town and municipality of Guatapé, 1 km inside the city limits (86 km northeast of Medellín or 2 hours by bus) in Antioquia, Colombia.

History :

The wide Antioquian rock base, called "batlolito antioqueño", and the "Peñón" were formed millions of years ago.

The Tahamies Indians, former inhabitants of this region, worshiped the rock and called it in their language "mojarrá" or "mujará" (rock or stone).

Description :

This rock is located in the rural area called "La Piedra", just 5 minutes from the town of Guatapé, and can be reached by road.

On the northern face of the stone there are painted large white letters, "G", and an incomplete "U" (only the single vertical stroke was completed). Guatapé and El Peñol had long disputed ownership of the rock, and the residents of Guatapé decided to settle the matter by painting the town's name on the rock in huge white letters. It did not take long for the residents of El Peñol to notice the work, and a large mob was assembled to stop it. Only the "G" and part of the "U" were completed.

The rock was first climbed officially on July 1954. In 2006, Luis Villegas, Pedro Nel Ramírez and Ramón Díaz climbed the rock in a five-day endeavor, using sticks that were fixed against the rock's wall. (It is unknown whether the Tahamies had a way of ascending the stone.). Climbing the huge stone took five days, but the top of the rock revealed beautiful views and a new species of plant, Pitcairma heterophila. The rock soon became a modest tourist attraction.

A new species of plant was found on the top of the rock, subsequently named Pitcairma heterophila by a German scientist.

A viewing spot was built on top of the rock, where it is possible to acquire handicrafts, postcards, and other local goods. It is possible to see the 500 km shore-perimeter dam. There are 740 steps to the uppermost step atop the building at the summit, a fact reinforced by yellow numbers also seen in the climb up the stairs.

In the 1940s, the Colombian government declared it a "National Monument"

Composition :

The Stone of Peñol is composed of quartz, feldspar and mica. The rock, which is almost entirely smooth, has one long crack, the one that the climbers used in ascending it. In the crack was later wedged a 649-step masonry staircase, that appears like a giant stitch holding the split rock together, the only way to get to the top of the Piedra de Penol. In the 1970s, the area was dammed, and the view from the rock changed: It now overlooks a dramatic series of lakes and islands.

Today, you can ascend the rock (apparently owned by a local family, though also designated by Colombia as a "national monument") for 2 US dollars. There you'll find a few religious relics and a three-story lookout tower.

Websites :ñón_de_Guatapé

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Wat Phrathat Doi Saket

Name : Wat Phrathat Doi Saket

Wat Phrathat Doi Saket is located in the Doi Saket district, just outside the city of Chiang Mai. Travelling to the temple by motorbike or car will take approximately 30 minutes from the center of Chiang Mai. Doi Saket is located on the road north to Chiang Rai (Highway 118), just before the climb up the mountain on the right hand side. The Doi Saket district is predominantly a rural farming area, with plenty of rice fields in the valley as well as orchards and other farming on the mountainsides. Travelinasia have attached a map to this article showing how to get there from Chiang Mai.

The temple at Doi Saket is said to have been built in the year 1112. The legend is that the Lord Buddha had come to Doi Saket for a short time, and was visited by naka whom he offered his hair for the purpose of worship. Shortly after he is said to have dissapeared, and this is the reason for the location of the temple. Thai artist, "Khun Chaiwat Wannanon" began painting the interior of the temple walls with spiritual Buddhist murals in the early 1990s. It took over 4 years for the murals to be completed. This is something that is unique to the temple at Doi Saket. Normally modern art is not featured in Buddhist temples in Thailand, so this is somewhat unique to Doi Saket.

Modern Buddhist Paintings at Wat Phrathat Doi Saket : 
There are lot of beautiful modern paintings in this temple. Ryan Zander who resides in Chian mai describes the paintings in detail in his blog post

Description :

The temple at Doi Saket is similar to the Doi Suthep Temple, yet smaller in size. The temple’s chedi, or stupa, glistens in the sunlight with both gold and silver. It is actually composed of a building that you can enter with the dome mounted on top. Inside, you’ll find a passageway to circumambulate the sacred relics kept here.  The entrance to the temple (as is the case at Doi Suthep) has a steep set of stairs leading to the temple. The most prominent feature of the Doi Saket Temple is the giant golden sitting Buddha (Phra Buddha Pathimakorn), visible from the road leading to the temple. The interior walls of the temple are decorated with modern spiritual murals, painted by Khun Chaiwat Wannanon. There is also a monastic school located on the grounds of the temple. There is a Chinese-style pavilion containing a shrine to Guan-Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. As the East Asian version of Avalokiteshvara, Guan-Yin is technically part of the Mahayana pantheon and doesn’t play any official role in traditional Theravada Buddhist practice. Yet, the influence of China upon Southeast Asia is so strong that you’ll find Guan-Yin at many Thai temples, where she’s worshiped just as much for good luck as she is for striving to accumulate virtue. The Chedi features the relics of Buddha and a Golden Umbrella.

Aerial Photos

When you visit any temple, or government office in Thailand, you are expected to dress appropriately. Proper dress includes wearing long pants or trousers, with a sleeved shirt as apposed to shorts and sleeveless shirts. Women should dress conservative, without displaying skin, short skirts and tank tops are frowned upon. You will also be asked to take off your shoes before entering the temple, you will see hundreds of peoples shoes in a pile at the entrance. Once inside the temple, you should make sure not to offend anyone, keep your voice down and try to not to cause any disruption to other people. There’s a cute little coffee shop near the parking area if you need a refreshment.

All the photos and video of the temple that you see in this article are taken by "Heli-Asia", using their remote controlled helicopter with remote camera mount. The helicopter traveled to over 100 meters above the highest point of the temple and hovered there using a sophisticated flight control system that allows the helicopter to remain at the same altitude for a long period of time. The camera mount is controlled remotely from the ground, and there is a live video feed showing the viewer of the camera. It takes 2 experienced technicians to operate the helicopter and the camera. Using a series of still photos taken at various different angles, Heli-Asia also created a spherical image of the temple, the temple grounds and the Doi Saket district.

Websites :


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