Sunday, November 5, 2017

Bheemana Kindi


Name : Bheemana Kindi

Location :

Driving down from Bengaluru on Kanakapura road will take approximately 2 to 3 hours depending on the time of travel. Reach Kanakapura (50 Kms) then go straight on the main road it will take to place called Sathanur (a further 21 Kms). From Sathanur, a diversion to the right goes to Kabbala village(another 6 Kms). Near Kabbala durga base take right diversion and move another 3 Kms. to Kanchana Halli which will take you to base of Bhimana Kindi.

Description :

Bhimana Kindi near Kanchana Halli in Halgur (Malavalli) – Channapattana Road. This Hill has a Natural Rock Arch and is a good trekking place for beginners. Some believe that this arch was formed due to hitting of a huge rock by the Mace of the Bhima (Pandava, Mahabharatha). Geologists say that it is a natural phenomenon.

One has to go through the coconut farm and through the muddy road to reach the bottom of the hill. There is a Small temple at base of Bhimana Kindi which can be considered as Landmark point to start the trek. From this temple, one can find stair case type of steps which will take us to the top. one has to climb about more than 500 stone steps in order to reach the top of hill. The 35 light poles is a source of guidance to the top of the hill. It takes approximately 3hours to reach the top.

Animals like Bear, Elephant are found here, hence its advisable to travel in groups and avoid late nigh trekking or camping here.

Websites :

http://www.bgbaligatraveldiary.com/moon-light-night-trek-to-bhimana-kindi-with-bat/

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Durga Temple on Rayiranellur Hill

Name : Rayiranellur Durga Remple

Location :
Hills of Rayiranellur a Village in Pattambi Taluk in Palakkad District of Kerala State

Legend :

Rayiranellur is a historically and culturally important place in Kerala. Centuries ago a mystic named Naranathu Bhranthan lived here. He was one of the 12 children born to sage Vararuchi and his Pariah wife.

 Naranathu was born at the Chethallur village on the banks of Thutha River. Later he went to Thiruvegappura to learn Vedas and the scriptures. One of his favorite pastimes during this period was rolling a huge boulder up the Rayiranellur Hill. He would take the whole day to climb up the hill with the boulder. Once he reached the hilltop with the boulder, we would just drop the boulder. Clapping his hands Naranathu would burst into laughter as the piece of rock took its downward journey. He would repeat this act every single day and people thought he was a lunatic. Naranathu, however, was a mystic who knew the worthlessness of worldly possessions and material gains. By rolling the rock up the hill and pushing it downwards, he was just showing that rise will eventually lead to fall and fall will lead to rise. Legend has it that Goddess Durga appeared before Naranathu on a Thulam 1 as he was rolling the boulder up. They had a debate about the cause and purpose of existence. The Goddess was pleased with the knowledge of Naranathu and blessed him.

 Later a Durga temple was built on the hilltop. On Thulam 1 (mid-October/usually October 17 or 18), thousands trek to the top of the hill and visit the temple. Special poojas and offerings are performed at the temple in the three days prior to Thulam 1.

A huge statue of Naranathu has been installed on the hill. After praying at the temple, devotees circumambulate the statue before leaving. Pilgrims arrive even from Tamil Nadu. Police and district administration are well aware of this and they make elaborate arrangements to ensure the safety of pilgrims during the 500 meter trek.

Websites :
http://discoveringindia.net/annual-pilgrimage-to-rayiranellur-hill-on-thulam-1/
 

Bettadapura Sidilu Mallikarjunaswamy & Veerabhadra temple

Name :  Sidilu Mallikarjunaswamy temple


Location :

The Sidilu Mallikarjunaswamy temple on the top of Bettadapura hill is one of the hidden marvels of Karnataka.
How to reach:  Bus: There is a direct bus which goes to Bettadapura from Bangalore. Alternately, board a bus to Mysore, from there, there are buses bound towards Hassan via Bettadapura.
Car/Bike: Head on SH17 towards Mysore, after Srirangapatna, turn towards Elvaala to join Mysore-Madikeri road. Continue on the road till Periyapatna. At Periyapatna, turn right towards Bettadapura on State highway 21.
Description :

Bettadapura or "Land of Hills" is known for the famous Sidilu Mallikarjuna Swamy temple which was built by the Cholas more than 1000 years ago and has not been damaged much as the visitors have to climb a hillock to reach there through a flight of 4000 steps. Bettadapura is home to the Sankethi community which migrated from Shankottai in Tamil Nadu around 600 years ago. From Bettadapura they migrated to several other villages along the banks of Cauvery.
One significance of the temple is the fact that the temple is believed to be hit by lightning at least once a year around Deepavali time. Hence derives the name "Sidilu" meaning lightning in Kannada. Also a jaatre or procession is held once a year during Deepavali in which many people from the surrounding villages take part by carrying the idols of Lord Ganesha, Shiva and Parvati to the top of the hill and bring it back by evening.

It becomes difficult to climb as the day sets in. There are mantaps at regular intervals for a quick power break. At around half way mark one can see the ruins of the ancient Veerabhadra temple which has a Shiva Linga guarded by the Nandi bull. The temple is too dark from inside and is not at all maintained. This place is completely in a neglected state and is used by the climbers to relax for a while.

It takes about two hours to reach the temple. The temple premises looks wonderful and the view of the village from the top is breathtaking and its worth the effort spent in climbing around 4000 steps. The temple is built on a plateau and is a simple stone structure with a Gopuram. The inner sanctum of the temple has a Shiva Linga or Mallikarjuna which is believed to be struck by lightning every year.  There are huge copper vessels of antiquity here to indicate large scale feeding of pilgrims and the enshrined deity is also called Annadani (donor of cooked rice) Mallikarjuna.

Websites :

http://www.thelightbaggage.com/2013/06/bettadapura-village-with-rich-history.html 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Parshuram Temple, Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan


Name : Parshuram Temple, Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

Location :

Parshuram Mahadev Temple is a Shiva temple in Desuri tehsil in Pali district of Rajasthan state in India. The Cave or Parshuram Temple is located just 9 kilometres away from the famous Kumbhalgarh Fort. The place is 14 km from Sadri town.

Legend :

It is said that Parshuram, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu, made the cave with his axe and used to worship the lord Shiva at this serene place in the foothills of the Aravalis mountain range.

Description :

This is a prominent cave temple dedicated to Lord Parshuram in Rajasthan. It is nestled within a cave and devotees have to climb a flight of 500 stairs to reach this temple. The temple has a lot of religious significance amongst its ardent devotees. Parshuram (the 6th Avatar of Lord Vishnu), was known for his temper.

The cave, 3,995 feet above sea-level, has naturally made figures of Lord Ganesh and Lord Shiva and also has nine Kunds which never go dry.


The highlight of this temple is its scenic and picturesque location. Devotees feel an instant connection with the Almighty when they reach this temple after an arduous climb.

Festivals :

Fairs are organised here twice a year. On the Shravan Shukla Sastami and Saptami (6th and 7th) usually falling in August/September a large fair held. Some social organisations, notably Amar Ganga Charitable Trust, have been arranging food and lodging facilities for the past many years. The trust also organises 'Sangeet Sandhya' (musical nights) during fairs where local artists sing devotional songs. According to an estimate, around 900,000 people visit the holy place every year.

Websites :

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parshuram_Mahadev_Temple

Monday, October 23, 2017

Thalamalai Sanjeevi Perumal Temple


Name : Thalamalai Sanjeevi Perumal Temple aka.,Nallendra Perumal Temple

Location :

At a distance of 5 km from Sevinthipatti, 39 km from Gunaseelam, 34 km from Namakkal, 95 km from Erode, 65 km from Trichy & 354 km from Chennai, the ancient and famous Thalamalai Perumal Temple is situated on a unique rock on the peak of Thalaimalai Hill. It is a renowned Vaishnava temple.

Legend :

1. In Ramayana, great of the two great epics of Hindu mythology, Lord Rama on his way back to Ayodhya with Sita after rescuing her from Ravana in Lankan lands, he had to stay at this Sthala, a spring by name Ramar Sunai was made and there is water flow always. When a person goes close this spring, he can breathe the pleasurable smell of turmeric.

2. In Ramayana, the Yuddha Kanda, Indrajit, son of Ravana and the primary of army of demons showered deadly weapons (the Brahmastra.) to kill his enemies - Rama, Lakhmana and vanaras and they were unconscious. Jambavan sent Hanuman to fetch the Sanjivi, a powerful life-restoring herb to revive the unconscious. Unable to find the specific herb before nightfall, Hanuman brought the entire mountain Dronagiri which was full of medicinal plants, to the fight field, thus helping find the herb and even with the approach of the Sanjivi hill, (fragrance of the herbs) Rama and Lakshmana and the Vanaras felt the darts slip off their bodies. Their wounds healed. Jambavan told Hanuman to replace the Sanjivi Hill but Hanuman was tired to go back to the spot and he tied the hill in his tail and threw it with full vigour. The top portion of the hill fell and that place came to be known as Thalaimalai.

Description :

 The temple is open only in the Tamil month of “Puratasi” (Mid of September to Mid of October). During this period, people from surrounding areas would come to this temple and worship. The temple is  atop nearly 2300 Feet above sea level.

This hill gets its name because it resembles the head of a person. This hill is also known as Siragiri.


The presiding deity of the temple is Nallendra Perumal, a form of Lord Vishnu. One can find shrines of Venkatachalapathy, Alamelu Mangai Thayaar, Goddess Mahalaxmi, Sri Devi, Bhudevi, Lord Anjaneya, Garudazhvar, and Karupanna Swami. If one takes a holy dip in the Kannimar Sunai and pray to Lord Nallendra Perumal, they would be void of the bad effects of Lord Shaneeswar. This temple was built by Madurai Nayaks.

There is a spring called Ramar Sunai with water flowing all the time.

Visitors need to trek for about 4 kms through rocky path running through steep stretches at times. It usually takes about 2 hours to trek upwards. The trekking starts from Thalamalai foothill, which is about 10 kms from Appananallur. From Trichy, the route goes through Guanseelam, Musiri, Manamedu and Appananallur.

Devotees walk around on a narrow path around the temple for pradakshinas. People strongly believe that going round this rock temple would give them successful marriage, wealth and child birth. Doing this ritual is now banned after an accident.


One can find Sanjivi herb spread in this hill and the pilgrims who workshopped this temple would be guarded against the sting of poisonous insects and snakes. There is no threatening to their lives.

Festivals :

Annual festival is celebrated in Tamil month of Puratasi (September / October), once in three years poojas for Edi Bhagavan (Thunder) are performed here.

Timings: 6 AM to 9 PM on Monday to Saturday and 6 AM to 2 PM on Sunday

Websites :
http://www.gconnect.in/guestarticles/thalaimalai-hills-unseen-serene-beauty-of-nature.html

http://amudhasurabi.com/tour/Trichy/ThalamalaiTemple

https://www.trawell.in/tamilnadu/tiruchirappalli/thalamalai-perumal-temple

Friday, October 20, 2017

Dharmalingeshwarar temple, Madukkarai






Name :  Dharmalingeshwarar temple

Location :

Darmalingeswarar temple is situated on the Palghat Main road 10 km from Coimbatore near Marappalam on the western side.  

Legend :

During their exile, Pandavas visited this place and worshipped the Swayambulinga on the hill.  During Darma’s worship at the hill,  Bheema was at the foot hill as a security to his brother, according to the sthalapurana.  There is a statue of Bheema here worshipped as the custodian deity of the villagers.

Description :

Lord Shiva in the temple is a swayambumurthi. The height of the hill is about 300 metres.  Steps are provided to reach the temple.  Lord Vinayaka and the Navagraha shrines are at the foot of the hill.

There is a mango tree near the Navagraha-9 planets shrine that yields fruits with three different tastes.  Sacred tree of the temple is Vilwa.  There is mandap and an anthill behind the Vinayaka shrine.  It is said that an aged serpent is still living in the anthill.  There is also a well nearby that is perennial even during severe drought times.  Water is taken to the hill through pipes from this well.  The devotee can reach the hill temple in 30 minutes through the steps.

With Nandhi just opposite the presiding deity, Lords Vinayaka and Muruga are on both sides of the sanctum.  The tribal people worship Lord Darmalingeswara s their family deity.

The temple is open from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and from 4.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Phone :  + 91 98422 22529

Temple's Speciality :

Those seeking justice and success in court cases worship here, as Dharma the eldest of Pandavas worshipped Lord here.

Festivals :

During the Karthikai month (November-December) the villagers light lamps on the hills from each family in turn for three days.  Thousands undertake Girivalam on full moon days as in Tiruvannamalai. 

Bajans are sung in the temple during the whole night of Maha Shivrathri in March-April. Pradosha, Kruthika, new moon days are observed with special pujas and aradhanas. Annabishekam is performed on Aipasi Poornima day and on Thaipoosam in October-November and January-February respectively.

Websites :
http://temple.dinamalar.com/en/new_en.php?id=607

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Keesaragutta Shiva Temple, Rangareddy Telangana

Name : Keesaragutta Temple

Location :

Keesaragutta Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Siva and his consorts Bhavani and Sivadurga at Keesaragutta in Rangareddy district. It is about 40 km from Hyderabad and 10 km from ECIL. It is located on a small hillock.

Legend :


The temple draws thousands of devotees on Shivaratri Legend has it that Sri Rama installed the Siva lingam here to atone for the sin of killing Ravana, a Brahman. He selected this beautiful valley surrounded by hills and verdant greenery for the purpose and ordered Hanuman to bring a Sivlingam from Varanasi. Hanuman was late in arriving with the Siva lingam and as the auspicious hour was nearing, Lord Siva himself appeared before Sri Rama and presented a Sivilingam for installation. Hence the lingam in the temple is called Swayambhu Linga. It is also called Ramalingeswara as lord Sri Rama had installed the lingam.

Hanuman returned with 101 lingams for selection from Varanasi and felt aggrieved at not having his lingam installed. Hence he threw them all over the area. Even to this day several lingams are found scattered all over the place outside the temple. To mollify Hanuman, Sri Rama ordained that precedence would be given to him for worship at the temple. He also said that the hillock where the lingam was installed would bear his name kesarigiri i.e., Hanuman, the son of Kesari. Over a period of time, it has colloquially transformed and is now known as Keesara and the hill as Keesaragutta. Ever since, the rituals follow the command of Sri Rama.



Archaeological Excavations :Exploration and Excavations were conducted by the archaeological department in the surroundings of Keesaragutta Temple. Many Remnants of Brick structures and Shiva Lingas were found on the Hill north of the temple and a hillock near the water resource. The remnants belonged to Chalukyan Empire reign. Fortification walls, Yaga shala and Prayer hall's were excavated here. Some Vestige remnants and rock cut cisterns were found on the hills as an indication of Jainism and Buddhism Flourished contemporarily. On October 18, 2014, twelve idols of Jain Tirthankara dating back to the 4th-5th century were found near the temple steps at a depth of one foot which proves that Jainism co-existed along with Hinduism at Keesaragutta during the time of Vishnukundins in 4-5th century. But since 60 to 70 years thatakam family is working hard to develop the temple, and they are the founder trustees of the temple now.

Temple Timings :

6 AM TO 7 PM

How to Reach :

The temple is a near 1.5 Hr to 2 Hr drive from the city. When we were traveling, it was raining and the drive was very pleasant. How to reach Keesar
The village is in Rangareddy district of Andhra Pradesh and is located about 18 km from ECIL X roads on the out skirts of Hyderabad (and about 45 km from Begumpet airport).
Keesara is a Town in Keesara Mandal in Rangareddy District in Andhra Pradesh State in India. Keesara is Main Town for the Keesara Mandal. Keesara is 75.9 km distance from its District Main City Rangareddy. And 35 km distance from its State Main City Hyderabad. Keesara is about 35 kms from Hyderabad. It has proper roads and driving direction is pretty easier. Andhra Pradesh state run APSRTS offers bus services from Jubilee Bus Station, Secunderabad and Imliban bus station and Koti.

Sevas/Utasavams :

Shiva kalyanam
Maha Shivaratri
Karthika Masam

Websites  :
http://manatemples.net/Pages/TE_Hyd_Keesaraguttta.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keesaragutta_Temple 

Bhramarambhika Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple

Name : Bhramarambhika Mallikharjuna Swamy Temple

Location :

It is located on a small hill nearby called Beeramguda Gutta in town located in Sangareddy district in Telangana.

Description :

The people are of the belief that the temple was established due to the effort of two sages named Bhoga Maharshi and Brugu Maharshi. Devotees find a Shiva Linga when they travel through an inner route of the temple. Known as second Sree Sailam, people believe that the temple here existed since the 13th century. The people believe that the inner route leads to Sree Sailam. There was a four feet statue of Lord Veera Bhadra earlier as a result of which the temple was called as Veerappa or Beerappa. Nowadays, the place came to be known as Beeramguda. The temple attained great significance during the reign of Kakatiyas and developed much in 1980's.
 

Websites :

http://www.templesofindia.net/temples/bhramarambha-mallikarjuna-swamy-temple-beeramguda

Manyamkonda Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Temple aka. Palamoor Tirupathi

Name : Manyamkonda Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara Temple aka. Palamoor Tirupathi

Location :

Manyamkonda is a place which has so much spiritual and tourist importance in Mahabubnagar District. This place is located exactly at a distance of 6 Km from Devarkadra Railway Station on the Secunderabad Dronachellam section of the South Central Railway. Due to its presence on a hill surrounded by beautiful scenic and ancient importance, this place has got lot of importance as a major tourist attraction of Mahabubnagar District and Telangana state.

Manyamkonda Venkateshwara Temple is around 13 Kms from Mahabubnagar town on the state highway to Raichur.

On the heart of the forest and on the hill top, Lord Venkateshwara Swamy could be found majestically. The shrine is located on a hill which is 915 m high and at a distance of 2 Km from the village.

Legend :

Very rarely we can find Lord Venkateshwara as a “Swayambhumurthi” which means self manifested. Seeing Lord Venkateshwara in the thick forest, with lush greens is truly a blissful experience.

When moving around the temple, devotees here believes and has found against the back wall, Lord Venkateshwara Swamy is’Self Manifested’ resembling the idol of Tirupathi. And it is also believed by the pilgrims that ancient saints have practiced penance in the caves which adds more positive energy to the shrine.

Naming Reason for the destination ‘Manyamkonda’:

During the past, it is said that ancient saints like Narasimha Yogi, Kasirayalu, Ettepu Ramayogi, Veerappaiah, Yanumaddhasu have meditated here and hence this place was called as Munulakonda (Munulu means Saints and Konda means hill) and later as days passed by it has been referred as Mannemkonda or Manyamkonda.

Description :

Manyamkonda or Mannemkonda (or Manikonda) is the hill were the Lord Venkateshwara Swamy Temple is located.This place is very calm ,mesmerizing, beautiful and of course a perfect destination for devotees and tourists. It is believed that this ancient temple is more than is five hundred years old. It is also called as "Palamoor Tirupathi".


Architecture of the Temple:
The temple is located in a cave here which is inclined and settled on top of three hills. Main Deity here is Lord Venkateshwara Swamy and this place is also known as Harihara Kshetra.

Festival time to visit the Temple:
It is ideal to visit the temple during the time of ‘Jathara’ which is celebrated every year during the months of January and February. Usually the festival is held on the day of ‘Maha Purnima’. This place is also well called as ‘Palamoor Tirupathi’.

Manyamkonda Temple Timings: 5am to 8pm daily

How to Reach the Temple:
By Road :

– Pilgrims could find the temple around 13 Kms from Mahabubnagar on the state highway to Raichur.
– Telangana State Road Transport Corporation buses ply frequently yo Manyamkonda Temple. One can also find many private vehicles from Mahabubnagar town to the temple.

By Train:
– After crossing to Mahabubnagar Railway Station, one can find ‘Devakadra’ Railway Station. The temple is just 6 Kms from this station.

By Air:
– Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad is the nearest airport for Mahabubnagar district.

Food Facilities:
– Very little options are available when it comes to food. It’s better to have food at Mahabubnagar town or pack your food from Mahabubnagar town.

Where to Stay:
– A guesthouse is present on the top of the hill. I can reach the temple and book the rooms.
– Other options is to stay at Mahabubnagar Town.

Nearby Places:
– Wanaparthy Town
– Koilsagar Dam Project
– Sangameshwara Temple
– Kollapur – Land of Temples
– Jurala Dam

Websites :
http://www.exploretelangana.com/manyamkonda-venkateshwara-temple-mahabubnagar/

Sanghi Temple

Name : Sanghi Temple

Location :

Sanghi Temple Hyderabad is Situated in Sanghi Nagar which is 25 km away from Hyderabad city, Sanghi temple stands beautifully on the hillock ‘Paramanand Giri’.

Description :

Built in the Chola-Chalukya style of architecture, the temple is a place worth visiting. This temple was built in the year of 1991 which was completed in a just 18 months! And since then it has been attracting tourists from everywhere. As the name suggests, it was developed by a leading industrial group of Southern India - Sanghi Group. They primarily operate their business from the city of Hyderabad.

 As you further proceed, the stone elephant is seen at the stairway. There are three Gopurams seen at the foot of the hillock which are so tall and seen as if entering into the heavens. On the top of the temple complex one can see the shrine of Lord Anjaneya, the son of Anjana devi, and the son of wind God, who is believed to shower his blessings to his devotees and the red faced Lord Anjaneya is the embodiment of death to the demons and his very name drives away all evils.

In famous Sanghi Temple Presiding Deity Lord Venkateshwara inside the sanctum sanctorum is 9-% ft tall and is same as the one at Tirumala. Alankaram every day to the Lord at the Balaji temple. To the right is the abode of Goddess Padmavathi, the consort of Lord Venkateswara. Described as the epitome of love, mercy and compassion, the deity here is seated on a lotus and is also holding lotuses in her hand. The Ashtalakshmi temple is between the Balaji and Padmavathi temples. Bedecked with jewellery and garlands, Goddess Aadilakshmi in eight facets is seated holding a lotus and Abhaya mudra in her two hands and a lotus and Vara mudra (offering boons) in her other two hands. Close to the shrine of Lord Venkateshwara, is the temple of Lord SriRama, the symbol of man's conquest over evil. Accompanying the Lord are his faithful consort Sita, devoted brother Lakshmana and fervent devotee Hanuman, who is seated at the feet of the Lord with folded hands.

The temple of Lord Vijayganapathi is next to the SriRama temple. Known as the remover of all obstacles, his blessings are invoked prior to commencing any activity. Residing on the left of the Balaji temple is Lord Siva or the destroyer among the trinity. This all powerful Lord is seated on a lotus with a crescent moon decorating his hair and a trident in his right hand. Standing next to the Lord is Shakti Swaroopini Kamalambika. Further away is the temple of Goddess Durga. The dark moon faced deity clad in a saffron robe has three eyes. Decorated with omaments and hibiscus flower garlands, the Goddess holds a lotus in her right hand and the left hand reposes downward. The temple of Kartikeya is on the left of the Ganesh temple, fulfilling the tradition of his being on a hill top. The abode of Holding a staff in his right hand and resting his left hand on his waist, the loin clothed Kartikeya is like a Kalpavriksha fulfilling the desires of his devotees.

The Navagraha deities are the only ones that are in an open temple. Surya, the Sun God stands in the center and other Grahas surround him, each facing a direction over which he rules.

There is also a Pavitra Vanam or a Holy Garden in the temple complex where special leaves and flowers are grown for performing poojas. The complex also consist a Kalyana Mandapam for kalyanosthavam .The Mandapam is a raised platform with a decorated canopy over it. It is built in a style similar to the temples in the complex and blends perfectly into its surroundings. A well tended lawn in front provides plenty of open space for seating the spectators.

Timings & Pooja :


The Sanghi temple timings are from 8.30 am to 10.30 am and 4 pm to 6 pm. If you are keen on attending the pooja, plan your Sanghi temple visit around 6pm and 8pm. This temple is perfect getaway for a weekend. Either with family or alone, you can visit anytime with anyone! For those who are planning to visit over the weekends, there is no cause to worry as the Sanghi temple timings on Sunday is same as its timings on other days of the week.

If you are visiting Sanghi Temple, do try to catch the glimpse of the temple in night. When lighted, the view is spectacular.

Festivals :

Visiting during festivals such as Shivaratri, Sri Rama Navami, Krishnashtami, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Dussera, Hanuman Jayanthi and Brahmotsavams can be a good idea as these festivals are celebrated with much enthusiasm and devotion.

Tourist Attractions :

Tourists can also plan a trip to various other sightseeing places such as Ramoji Film City which is less than 1 km away from Sanghi temple, Birla Mandir, Golconda Fort, , Salar Jung Museum, etc. too. A slight planning of the day taking Sanghi temple timings is required so that you can visit the other places nearby within the same day itself.

Websites :
http://www.hyderabadtourism.travel/sanghi-temple-hyderabad

http://www.sanghitemple.in/

Guru Shikhar Dattatreya Swami Cave Temple Mount Abu Rajasthan


Name : Guru Shikhar Dattatreya Swami Cave Temple

Location :

Gurushikhar holds the honor of being not only the highest peak of Mount Abu but the whole of Aravali mountain range, Situated at a height of 1722 meters from the sea-level, Gurushikar provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Mount Abu town and green aravali range.

Description :

You will hardly find a place in Mount Abu which does not have a temple or hermitage nearby. Gurushikhar is no exception.

Before you reach the peak, you will find the temple dedicated to Dattatreya. The literal meaning of the name can be explained thus: Atreya means son of Atri, the sage from Hindu mythology. Datta in Sanskrit means given. Dattatreya, according to Hindu belief is the son given to the sage Atri and his wife Anasuya by the trinity, Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. The peak is dedicated to Guru Dattatreya and hence the name of the peak, Guru Shikhar.

The temple is believed to house the foot prints of Dattatreya and devotees feel blessed by darshan (sighting) of these footprints.

Within the temple you can also see footprints of Swami Ramnath, the seer who enshrined the statue in the Raghunathji temple in Mount Abu. This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is an important pilgrimage place for the Vaishnavites, that is, devotees of Lord Vishnu.

After reaching the peak, at a little distance to the northwest, you will also find a temple dedicated to Ahilya, who was Dattatreya’s mother.

On the peak, there is a huge bell with inscription 1411 A.D. The original bell has had to be replaced with a new bell in recent times because of disintegration of the old one. The sound of the bell is carried to a long distance and is very captivating.

Historically speaking, King Prithviraj Chowhan is believed to have travelled along this peak to meet his bride and consummate his marriage with her. The bride was the princess of Prahladanpur, now known as Palanpur.

Places Near by :

– Mount Abu observatory is located nearby and can be sighted from the peak of Guru Shikhar. The observatory belongs to the physical research laboratory and houses a 1.2 m infra-red telescope which enables people manning it to keep an eye on the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries. Astronomical research is also carried out in this place.
– Achalgarh fort is about 7 km away.
– Peace park is also about the same distance.
– Delwara jain temple is about 10km from here.
Things to do

– Shop for souvenirs.
– Pilgrimage to Dattatreya temple
– Picnic at the top of the peak
– Capture the beauty of the surroundings in photographs.
Additional information

Duration : 1 hour for reaching the top and coming back, all vehicles are reachable.
Parking : Plenty of free parking space available.
Location : It is at a distance of about 15 km from the town centre.
How to reach : Rent a taxi or take a two-wheeler and travel along the Delwara-Achalgadh road to reach the base of the mountain. From here, you need to climb about 300 steps to reach the peak.
Good for : The adventurous as well as the spiritually inclined. Although it is a steep climb, the steps are in good condition throughout and can be negotiated with relative ease unless you have a medical condition. The shops alongside, with their display of a variety of wares, help to distract the mind from the tedium
and rigor of climbing the hill.

Websites :
http://www.abutimes.com/guru-shikhar-mount-abu/ 

Sundha mata Temple, Rajasthan


Name : Sundha Mata Temple

Location :

Sundha Mata temple is a nearly 900-year-old temple of Mother goddess situated on a hilltop called Sundha, located in Jalore District of Rajasthan. It is 64 km from Mount Abu and 20 km from the town of Bhinmal.

History :

In the temple premises there are three historically significant inscriptions that highlight the history of the region. First inscription is from AD 1262, which describes victory of Chauhans and downfall of Parmaras. The second inscription is from 1326, and the third one is from 1727.

The Sundha inscriptions are of peculiar importance in historical sense—like the Harishen inscription or Delhi’s Mehrulli pillar inscription. Sundha inscriptions throw light on the history of India.

In ancient days worship in this temple was done by "Nath Yogi's". Emperor of the Sirohi district gave land of the "Sonani" , "Dedol" and "Sundha ki dhani" villages to one of the Nath Yogi Rabad Nath Ji, who worshiped in Sundha Mata Temple at that time. After the death of one of the Nath yogi Ajay Nath ji, no one was there to do the worship so Ram Nath ji (Aayas of Mengalwa that time) was taken there to take the responsibility. The land of Mengalwa and Chitrodi villages were given to these Nath Yogi's in ancient days by king of Jodhpur Maharaja Jaswant Singh. So Nath yogi of Mengalwa were called as "Aayas". After the death of Ram Nath ji, Badri Nath ji, pupil of Ram nath Ji became Aayas at Sundha Mata temple and took the responsibility of worship. He also looked after land of "Sonani" , "Dedol" ,"Mengalwa" and "Chitrodi". As the time passed, no one was there to do all the management, so a trust (Sundha Mata Trust) was created to look after temple and manage tourism.
 
Description :

At 1220 m height in the Aravalli ranges there on Sundha mountain is temple of goddesses Chamunda Devi, a very sacred place for devotees. It is 105 km from district headquarters and 35 km. from sub divisional Bhinmal. This place lies in Raniwara Teshil in the mid-east of Malwara to Jaswantpura Road near Dantlawas village.

Many tourists from Gujarat and Rajasthan visit it. The environment here is fresh and attractive. The waterfalls flows year-round and the hotel at the valley made of yellow sandstone of Jaisalmer attracts everyone.
Sundha temple is made up of white marble, the pillars reminds of the art of Abus’s Dilwara temple pillars. A very beautiful idol of goddess Chamunda stands under the huge stone. Here Chamunda’s head is worshipped. It is said that the trunk of mother Chamunda are established in Korta and legs in Sundarla Pal (Jalore). In front of mother Chamunda a BhurBhuva Swaweshwar Shivling is established. In the main temple a duo idol of Shiva and Parvati Ganesh’s idol are considered very old and extinct.

Recently, a ropeway service has been started to climb Sundha Mountain, to make the journey easier for pilgrims, making it a memorable experience. Ropeway (Udan Khatola) to the temple—first in Rajasthan—is ready, Rs 124 for both ways.
Festivals :

During Navratri tourists from Gujarat and nearby areas come in a large numbers. Regular buses are run by Gujarat roadways from Palanpur, Deesa and elsewhere during that time.

Websites :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundha_Mata_Temple

Shakumbhri Devi, Jasmour

Name : Shakumbhri Devi Shakti Peeth

Location :

Shakumbhri, meaning the abode of Shakti Goddess Shakambhari or Shakumbhri, is situated in the Jasmour village area, at a distance of 40 km to the north of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh state of Northern India.

Legend :

It is said that, at this place, Mother Goddess Shakumbhri killed the mighty demon king (Maha Daitya) Mahishasura. It is also believed that, here she performed worship and meditation (Tapas) for 100 years, having a vegetarian meal (shaka-ahar) only once at the end of every month. During this time, the saints and seers (Rishis/Munis) who came for her worship (Darshan) were welcomed and honoured with vegetarian meals. Because of this the temple was named the Shakumbhri Devi temple and she also got very strongly connected with the cult of vegetarianism among Hindus.

Description :

The temple is on the site of the ruins of a more ancient temple and was constructed by the Pundir Rajputs under Rana Bahadur Singh Pundir who was the representative of the Pundir chief Rana Pitambar Singh Pundir of Jasmour. It has two important temples of Hindu deities: one of the Goddess (Devi) Shakumbhri herself and another one, Bhura-Dev temple, located one kilometer away from it to the east, of the deity Bhairava, considered to be her guard. Because of this all the devotees to Shakambari Devi first visit Bhura-Dev (Bhairavar temple) temple and then proceed to the temple of the goddess.

Though it is not an ancient temple, its devotees consider it to be a Shakti Peetha, a powerful seat of Shakti, the divine feminine. The devotees have a strong faith in the Goddess and the temple attracts a large number of devotees from India as also from outside the country particularly during the Navratree days. The temple is well maintained and is well laid out to have full darshan of the idols in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. It is found from the plaque displayed near the staircase that it was during the early 1960s that a properly covered corridor, connecting the main entrance gate and outer varandah of the temple, was constructed for the convenience and comfort of the devotees. This work was done, with the permission of the Ranas of Jasmour who own the temple, by one Shri Radha Kishan,then Treasurer of the erstwhile Kalsia State (Chhachhrauli)(presently in Yamunanagar District of Haryana)from his personal contribution and also by collecting donations from several devotees.It is indeed an experience of life to visit the main temple as also the nearby Bhuradev Temple seeking their blessings and benedictions.It is rightly said that a visit to these temples with faith and devotion always brings great satisfaction, rewards and contentment in life and family.These temples are easily approachable by road or train from different parts of the country and their location is surrounded by hills and serene environment.  Another temple dedicated to this goddess and quite famous is near the Sambhar Lake, in Rajasthan.Another big temple of Shakumbari devi is located in Badami, of Bagalkot District of Karnataka.

Festivals :

Twice a year, in the Ashwin and Chaitra months of the Hindu calendar (during the days of Navratra),as also at the time of Holi festival, the famous Shakumbhri melas are organised.It is during these melas, in particular, that the roads from Saharanpur(U.P.) to the Temple are properly maintained so as to facilitate to and fro smooth journey for the devotees. The devotees to Shakumbhri first visit Bhura-Dev temple which is about one kilometer before the Temple and then proceed to the Temple of the Goddess.

The popularity of this temple has been increasing day by day and many devotees from far and near visit this temple for "Darshan" these days. During this famous melas lakhs of Hindu devotees visit this temple for darshan. It is indeed considered to be a rewarding experience to visit the Temple with devotion and faith in the munificence of the Goddess.

Websites :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakumbhri_Devi

Kalka Mata Temple Amarsar Jaipur


Name : Kalka Mata

Location :

Kalka Mata Mandir is located in the hills of a smal village near Amarsar in Jaipur , Rajasthan. Amarsar is a smalltown located about 75 KMS away from the city of Jaipur. With a vibrant scenere Around of green hills and fresh air. 5 Kms small 2 lane road from Amarsar leads you to a small mountain where the Kalka Mata Mandir is located.

Description :

Kalkaji mata is the goddess worshipped by a vast community of Rajasthani People.Kalaka Mata is Kull Devi (Family Deity) for many. The mandir is built on mid hill. You have to clim 451 steps to reach the temple. Kalka Mata is consideredthe Kul-devi of the people residing in Amarsar and adjoining Villages. She is worshipped with lot of faith by the Devotees, Families cme to make wishes and Kalka mataji fulfills all your wishes.

Located at a Height of 500 Ft above the sea level the temple is a major visiting spot. People from all over hailing originally from the town and now settled elsewhere still come to worship at the temple.

Websites :
http://www.kalkajimata.com/

Bheemakali Temple


Name : Bheemakali Temple

Location :

The temple is situated about 180 km from Shimla and is one of 51 Shakti Peethass. The town Sarahan is known as the gate way of Kinnaur. Down below at a distance of 7 km from Sarahan is the River Satluj. Sarahan is identified with the then Sonitpur mentioned in Puranas.

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


Description :

The Bheemakali Temple, reputed to be at least 800 years old, is dedicated to Goddess Durga or Bheemakali and is considered one of the significant Shakti Peeths of Shaivite Hindus. The temple is Tibetan in its architectural style, with Buddhist and Hindu influences and bronze statues of both religions in the shrines. It has slanted slate roofs, golden towers, pagodas and a carved silver door. Dussehra is celebrated in a grand way at both the BheemakaliTemple and in the village of Sarahan , with animal sacrifice playing a big role in the festivities.Bheemakali Temple regarded as one of the fifty one sacred Shaktipeeths. The temple complex has another three temples dedicated to Lord Raghunathji, Narsinghji and Patal Bhairva Ji (Lankra Veer) - the guardian deity.

A marvelous example of hill architecture, the temple complex at Sarahanis set against the incredibly beautiful backdrop of high ranges and forested slopes. Built in a mixture of the Hindu and Buddhists styles, it was the temple of Bushair rulers of Rampur (Shimla). The palaces of the royal family are adjacent to the temple. From Sarahan there is a view of the Srikhand Peak , revered as the home of goddess Lakshami.

Websites:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhimakali_Temple

Shoolini Temple, Solan


Name : Shoolini Temple

Location :

At a distance of 43 km from Shimla and 1.5 km from Solan Railway Station, Shoolini Devi Temple is one of the famous temples located in Solan.

Description :

The Shoolini temple is dedicated to Goddess Shoolini Mata an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The town of Solan was named after the Shoolini Devi. Shoolini Mata Temple is one of the prime attractions of Solan. The temple is said to be built on the remains of an older temple believed to precede the town of Solan. The shrine is surrounded by wide views of beautiful landscapes thus creating a magical environment for devotees. The temple looks beautiful in the night when it is completely illuminated and is crowded on holidays and festivals.

Shoolini Devi Temple is famous for the annual Shoolini Utsav celebrated on the last week of June every year. The festival and fair which lasts for 3 days attracts thousands of tourists and devotees from the state. Also known as Solan Fair, the highlight of Shoolini Devi Utsav at Solan are dancing, singing and wrestling. The idol of the Goddess is carried in a Palki and a huge procession is carried out around the town.

Websites :
https://www.trawell.in/himachal/shimla/shoolini-temple-solan 

Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple

Name :  Sankat Mochan Temple

Location :

At a distance of 5.5 km from Shimla Railway Station and 6.4 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Shri Sankat Mochan temple is situated at Taradevi on the Kalka- Shimla National Highway 22. It is situated at an altitude of 975 m.

Description :


Sankat Mochan Temple is mainly dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is located in a picturesque site and is visited by a large number of devotees throughout the year. This is a perfect place for meditation as it offers a calm and peaceful atmosphere to the devotees visiting this temple. The background of the temple consists of the imposing and lofty Himalayan ranges.

Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj came to this beautiful place in 1950 and discovered the perfect spot for meditation. After staying here for 10 days, he desired that a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman should be built here. Baba's faithful devotees included the governor of Himachal Pradesh, who along with Bhagvan Sahai took up the task of building the temple and fulfilling their Guru's wish.The temple was consecrated on the 21st of June 1966.

The temple is dedicated mainly to Lord Hanuman though one finds idols of Lord Rama, Shiva and Ganesha in separate complexes. There is a specially made temple for Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj also. The temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha has been built in the South Indian style of architecture. The complex also includes a three storey building, a portion of which is used for a Langer/ Prasad hall. The rest of the building is hired out as marriage halls for a nominal fee.

The most important festivals celebrated at the Sankat Mochan temple are Ramnavmi, Hanuman Jayanti and Dusshera.

Websites :
https://www.trawell.in/himachal/shimla/sankat-mochan-temple

Kali Bari

Name : Kali Bari temple, Shimla

Location :

At a distance of 1.5 km from Shimla Railway Station and 1 km from Shimla Old Bus Stand, Kali Bari Temple is one of the popular pilgrim centers and famous tourist places to visit in Shimla.

Description :

The Temple of Kali Bari was constructed in 1845 by Ram Charan Bhramachari, a Bengali Brahmin on Jakhu Hill. This is one of the oldest temples in Shimla and is held in high veneration by the town's Hindu community. Later the British rulers relocated the temple to the present site. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali who is locally known as 'Shyamala'. The name Shimla is said to have originated from the name 'Shyamala'. The original temple belonged to goddess Shyamla-which was converted into Kali Bari by some Bengali devotees.

A blue wooden idol of Goddess Shyamala at an original altar was installed by some Bengali devotees. Along with the rituals the Kali Bari provides accommodation to its tourists who visit the shrine along with the shrine at Kalka. The Goddess is worshipped in its various forms within the temple premises. The chief incarnations here are of Bhadrakali, Chinnamasta, Rudrarani, Tara, Chamunda, Durga, Himavati, Kumari Sati, Kamakshya, Meenakshi and Uma.

The travellers visiting Shimla never miss to offer their prayers at the Kali Bari temple as they believe it will bring happiness and prosperity to their lives. The temple is thronged by thousands of devotees during the Navratras and Pooja holidays. The temple is located close to The Mall.

Timings: 6 am to 7 pm.

Websites :
https://www.trawell.in/himachal/shimla/kali-bari-temple 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Positano


Name : Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Positano

Location :
Aalfi beach, Positano, Italy

Legend :

The Byzantine icon is surrounded by many popular traditions in Positano, including the miraculous arrival of the icon in town. In the 12th-century, the icon was aboard a cargo ship that was stuck off the coast of Positano when the winds died. According to the legend, the sailors heard a voice calling, “Posa, posa!” (“Put me down, put me down!”) When the captain of the ship understood that the icon wanted to go to Positano, the winds picked up again immediately. The sailors brought the icon to shore and the people of Positano chose the Virgin Mary as their new patron saint. Inside the church to the right of the altar is a painting depicting the blessing of the icon, which you can also see through the arch to the left.

Another legend tells of the panel being stolen by pirates. When they tried to leave Positano's shores, a terrible sea arose preventing their passage.  From sea, they could hear the cry of "posa, posa," translating to "put it here."  The fearful pirates set the panel back on shore and the storm ceased, allowing them to flee the area.  The villagers built a church on the spot where the panel was returned and the town grew around it taking on the name Positano.

Description :

It is nearly impossible to descend to Positano's beach without landing first in front of the Santa Maria Assunta church.  The famously green tile domed church is the town's most famous icon and eagerly sought after by painters and photographers, as well as couples from all over the world seeking the perfect wedding photo backdrop.

The church's roots date back to the 10th century when it began as a Benedictine Abbey dedicated to San Vito.  It was later rededicated to the Virgin Mary in the 12th century when a Byzantine panel of the Virgin arrived and is seen placed above the church's altar.


The Positano landscape is mostly recognisable by this great shiny dome of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta e Cripta Medievale, it looks picturesque and is the historic landmark in the heart of the Positano. The Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta e Cripta Medievale probably dates back to the 10th century, the church is a typical example of the architecture found in this beautiful area, its interior is classical, white and gold, with a 13th century 'Black Madonna' icon above its altar with crypts below. During restoration works of the square and the crypt, a Roman villa was discovered; still under excavation, it is closed to the public. From the beach you can go up some stairs to the church and the views from the church are great. If you are coming from the main road by Sita bus then you have to walk down the hill for about 10-15 minutes.

Given its lovely setting right in the center of Positano, the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the most popular locations for destination weddings on the Amalfi Coast. Couples travel from all over the world to marry in this beautiful church and have their wedding photos taken with Positano as a backdrop.



No visit to Amalfi can be considered complete without having enjoyed a stroll through the town's labyrinth of little lanes and alleyways or a trip to the Paper Museum, in Via delle Cartiere 24, in the historic Cartiera Milano.
The production of hand-crafted paper, known as bambagina, is one of the oldest of Amalfi's traditions and today remains part of the town's culture and identity.

Festivals :

During the festival for the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15th, the town of Positano celebrates their patron saint with processions recreating the arrival of the icon in town, special events in the church, celebrations for the Ferragosto holiday on the beach and a firework display after dark.

Websites :

http://www.charmingitaly.com/article/positano-santa-maria-assunta

https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g194863-d524955-r209711237-Chiesa_di_Santa_Maria_Assunta_e_Cripta_Medievale-Positano_Amalfi_Coast_Campania.html

Hill of Tara, Ireland

Name : Hill of Tara

Location :

The Hill of Tara (Irish: Cnoc na Teamhrach, Teamhair or Teamhair na Rí), located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Ireland. It contains a number of ancient monuments and, according to tradition, was the seat of the High King of Ireland.

Legends :

1. In ancient Irish religion and mythlogy, Tara was revered as a dwelling of the gods and an entrance place to the otherworld of eternal joy and plenty where no mortal ever grew old. In the legends of St Patrick’s mission to Ireland he is said to have first come to Tara to confront the ancient religion in its most powerful sight.

2.  Atop the hill stands a stone pillar that was the Irish Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) on which the High Kings of Ireland were crowned, the stone was required to roar three times if the chosen one was a true king.

3.  According to The Annals of the Four Masters, an ancient document written by Franciscan Monks between 1632-1636 AD, this stone was brought to Ireland by the Tuatha Dé Danann, a supernaturally gifted people. Some speculate it was they who brought the power to make bronze to Ireland. They were the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland.

4.   The Stone of Destiny looks similar to Shiva Lingam and is estimated to be atleast 5500 years old.  Irish used to worship Tara Goddess in ancient days.

In Ireland Irish people use to worship tara goddess from long many times and there is a tara hill in ireland where temple of tara is also exist.
The Druids called their mother goddess Tara; Edain Echraidhe is her Irish name. Her home is the high valley between the Hill of Tara and Skryne in the Royal City of Celtic Ireland.

Whats surprising is, that if you do a little bit of research, you find out she is also featured in ancient Scandinavia, ancient Polynesia, ancient Rome, with the ancient Druids, and in ancient native America. When comparing mythologies from around the globe you soon figure out that they all tell similar stories featuring similar characters with similar activities.

Hinduism : A Mahavidya of Mahadevi, Kali or Parvati
Buddhism : tantric meditation deity in Tibetan Buddhism
Polynesian Mythology: Tara is a beautiful sea goddess
Latin: Terra, Mother Earth
Druids: called their mother goddess Tara.
Finland: An ancient legend speaks of Tar, the Women of Wisdom.
South America: indigenous tribe in the jungle call to their goddess, Tarahumara.
Native American: Cheyenne people tell of a Star Woman who fell from the heavens to the Earth. She sent her people to mate with the more primitive inhabitants of Earth, thereby giving them the capacity for wisdom.

Description :
Liathdroim was an ancient name of Tara. The Hill of Tara has been in use by people from the Neolithic era, although it is not known whether Tara was continuously used as a sacred and/or a political centre from the Neolithic period to the 12th century.

The central part of the site could not have housed a large permanent retinue, implying that it was instead used for occasional meetings. There were no large defensive structures. Earliest extant written records show that high kings were inaugurated there, and the "Seanchas Mor" legal text (written some time after 600AD) specified that the king must drink ale and symbolically marry the goddess Maeve (Medb) in order to qualify for high kingship.
Tara is one of the largest complexes of Celtic monuments in all of Europe. In reading its landscape we are transported back in time to when the first settlers came here 6000 years ago. They and the Celts who followed them chose Tara as a very special site.
When you enter the Hill of Tara site through the entrance gate the first structure you will come to a statue of St Patrick followed by the church and churchyard.  The present church building and churchyard wall date from 1822. There were 2 previous churches on the hill – the first one was built in the 13th century. A much larger church succeeded it. Part of this second church’s outer wall can still be seen near the top of the steps in the churchyard.  The earliest grave stones here date from the 17th century. A memorial stone of the local Dillan family in the church itself is dated 1595.
To the right at top of the stairs in the churchyard there are two stones – remnants of a time when there were many stone monuments on Tara.  The taller of these two remaining stones is thought to feature a figure of the celtic fertility god Cernunnos.

During the rebellion of 1798, United Irishmen formed a camp on the hill but were attacked and defeated by British troops on 26 May 1798 and the Lia Fáil was moved to mark the graves of the 400 rebels who died on the hill that day. In 1843, the Irish Member of Parliament Daniel O'Connell hosted a peaceful political demonstration on Hill of Tara in favour of repeal of the Act of Union which drew over 750,000 people, which indicates the enduring importance of the Hill of Tara

Websites :

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Eremo di Santa Maria a Cetrella, Capri Italy

Name :  Eremo di Santa Maria a Cetrella

Location :

Eremo di Santa Maria a Cetrella ("Hermitage of the Holy Mother of Cetrella") is a church in Anacapri on the island of Capri, Italy. It is located on Mount Solaro's Cetrella region.

Legend :

1. " Cetrella ": We do not know exactly what this name comes from but two versions are credited. The first, probably the most well-founded, claims to come from a Caprese plant: cedronella. The second assumes that there was a Pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Cetera in the place where the church rises today. 

2. An image of St. Maria is conserved within the church. The icon was of particular importance to the sailors of Anacapri who used to climb up to the tiny church in pilgrimage to ask for the Madonna's protection before embarking on their, often perilous, voyages in search of coral.


Description :

The hermitage is located on a steep hill to the south. The whole complex lies in a small rocky cove. The hermitage of Cetrella is comprised of a small church, bell tower and sacristy with a low dome, which was added in the seventeenth century. The path to Cetrella is a track through the woods, so walkers will need to wear comfortable shoes and to carry a supply of water.


The hermitage develops on two floors: on the ground floor is the church with the refectory, the kitchen with some small rooms that were used as cellars. On the first floor, along a corridor leading to a terrace with wisteria pergola, we have 4 small rooms that were the brothers' cells. From one of these cells you access a second terrace. From these there is a particularly impressive view of the island's caprese: M. Grande, Monte Tiberio, M. Piccola with the Faraglioni. Moreover, the Sorrento Coast and, on clear days, also the Gulf of Salerno and the Amalfi Coast. Having days with a special visibility you can come to see the Inner Mountains of Salernitan and all the coast to the south to the Punta Licosa Lighthouse.

The easiest way to get to Monte Solaro is by chairlift. The journey to the summit of Capri's mountain takes just 12 minutes. Take the chairlift from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri. The chairs on the chairlift are made for a single passenger. There is a safety bar, but it is easily lifted, so we do not recommend riding with very young or very active children on your lap.

  The church is made up of two aisles, both with an altar. The first, adjacent to the entrance, is the main one and is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This altar is marble and was made from the hermit. At the top there is a niche in which is housed the statue of the Virgin sitting with the Child in her arms. The work dates back to the '600 Neapolitan and is made up of mixed materials including paper, cork and plaster. Behind this altar lies the seventeenth-century burial sacristy with a picturesque window opening on the farways.

The second altar is in masonry surmounted by a representative painting of San Domenico, a testimony to this that here the Dominican Friars lived between 1600 and 1700. In this regard, it is not possible to clarify whether there have been before the Dominican brothers or those Franciscans.

According to the great archaeologist Maiuri, the church dates back to the first half of 1300. Later in 1500, thanks to a legacy, it was restored and expanded with what is today the refectory, the kitchen and the cells.

In 1983, the artist Domenico Gentile, known anacaprian ceramic, gave a gift to the majolica church overlooking the entrance of the church, depicting the vow of the Blessed Virgin with the Hymn's background.

Festivals & Celebrations :

The church is consecrated and during the year there are celebrations. There is a retreat for the children of first communion; There are the meetings of the various parish groups; A day of prayer with all the island groups in July; August 10th is celebrated the Mass SS for tourists. In September, then, the virgin's birthplace is celebrated: the eight of this month with celebrations in the morning and in the afternoon, and for all Sundays of the month there is an SS Mass in the early morning. This is a meeting that many faithful are always attending to fill the church and outer space. In mid-October, the SS Fishermen's Mass is celebrated on the island.

During the year, the church also offers hospitality to groups of Boy Scout, accompanied by a spiritual assistant. Of course this can be done by agreement with the Parish of Anacapri and the guardian of the Hermitage.

Punta Cannone View Point :

The Punta Cannone viewing point can be reached from Capri's Piazzetta. From Anacapri, rather than wait for the buses at the crowded Piazza Vittoria stop, it is a good idea to walk to the previous stop, near the cemetery, or even take a taxi.

Once in the Piazzetta, climb up the steps leading to the old Cathedral of Santo Stefano and, from the Piazzetta Cerio (home to one of the island's most fascinating museums) head to the right and the Via Madre Serafina. This ancient vaulted alleyway which runs beneath the houses, passes by the Convent of Santa Teresa and the historic Taverna O'Guarracino.

The cloisters of the Convent of Santa Teresa, dating back to the late 17th century and accessed by an old flight of steps, are open to the general public, although maximum quiet is requested. At the center of the cloisters there is a well, which provided a vital source of drinking water., and a small citrus grove, a reminder of the islanders' passion for growing fruit. Above the portone the remains of an ancient fresco can still be seen.

One of the wells where rainwater is collected. This, cleaned every year, is primarily used to collect water for cooking and drinking. Water is drawn through a manual pump. On the left you can see the sideboard. On the right is the door to the garden

Having visited the cloisters, continue along Via Castello, all the way to the Punta Cannone viewing point, which, in the 19th century, was armed with canon and used as a sentry post by the occupying British troops. From here, a splendid view over Marina Piccola, the Faraglioni and Via Krupp can be seen.


One of the most beautiful shows that can be seen from the Hermitage, given its location, is to see the sun rising up that illuminates the Faraglioni and the island.


How to get there :

From Capri: starting from the "Due Golfi" (so called because from here the two roads leading to the two 'gulfs' of the island: Marina Grande and Marina Piccola), there is a path that climbs to the wall of the Mount leads almost under the Hermit. A spectacular walk, but also not to do it yourself and if you are inexperienced. From this trail you can enjoy the panorama of Capri and Marina Piccola in particular, so also of the view on the Faraglioni.

From Anacapri: Via San Michele starts a dirt road that soon turns into a mountain trail , and in about twenty minutes leads to the Hermitage.

From Anacapri: from P.zza Vittoria takes the chairlift (15 minutes to a maximum of 8-9 meters from the ground) leading to Monte Solaro (the highest point of the island at almost 600 meters above sea level). Here, following the signs in a further 15 minutes on foot, crossing a pleasant pine and chestnut grove, you reach the hermitage.
 

On both routes departing from Anacapri you have a great view over Anacaprian old town.

Websites :

http://www.cetrella.it/

Monday, April 24, 2017

Yamai devi temple, Aundh


Name :  Yamai Devi , Aundh Maharashtra

Location :

The Yamai Devi Temple is situated in a hill complex in the town of Aundh, Satara district, Maharashtra, India. It is situated 44kms from Satara Bus station.

Legend :

The legend has it that the goddess Yamai got the name after Goddess Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur and Shri Rama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu addressed her as 'Ye Mai' in Marathi which literally translated into 'Come Mother' when said in English. Therefore, the goddess of Aundh became famous as Yamai Devi.

Description :

The Yamai Devi idol is made of black stone and is in a cross-legged seating position almost 2 meters high. It is the Devi Mahishasur Mardini Yamai goddess idol.

Interestingly, the Yamai Devi temple (aka. Sakhargadnivasini temple)  happens to be the family shrine (Kula daiwat (or) Kula deivam ) of several Marathi families, also known as Kula-Daiwat in the local language. There are several idols of Hindi gods and Goddesses at the top of the temple.  The town and the temple has been associated with the Pant family for many centuries. The present head of this former ruling family, Gayatreedevi Pantpratinidhi, has installed a 7 kilograms (15 lb) solid gold kalash or crown on the pinnacle of the Yamai temple on the hill.

You can reach the top of the hill either by using steps which start at the bottom of the hill or by car using a rather perilous road.

The temple complex also houses the Shri Bhavani Museum established from the private collection of the Maharajas of Aundh. The museum holds paintings by noted 19th and 20th century Indian artists such as M. V. Dhurandhar, Baburao Painter, Madhav Satwalekar and Raja Ravi Varma as well as the famous Mother and Child stone structure by the British artist Henry Moore.

No restaurant or hotel near temples so carry your own food

There is one more temple of Devi Yamai located in the town; apart from the one on the hill.

Festivals :

The annual Yatra to the Yamai Devi Temple attracts thousands of devotees. Yamai Devi Yatra is annually observed on Paush Purnima or full moon day in Paush month as per traditional Hindu lunar calendar followed in Maharashtra. This festival attracts large numbers of devotees.

Websites :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamai_Temple

http://trekbook.in/2014/07/yamai-devi-sakhargadnivasini-temple.html/ 

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