Sunday, August 26, 2018

Amaragiri Malekal Tirupathi, Hassan

Name : Malekal Tirupathi aka., Mavinakere Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy

Location :

The Sri Lakshmi Venkataramanaswamy Temple is situated in the Holenarasipura Taluk, of the Hassan District in Karnataka. It is 20 kilometers away from Hassan, and about 165 kilometers from Bangalore. It is well connected by road and rail, hence getting there is easy.

When driving on the Holenarasipura highway, the Sri Lakshmi Venkatarmanaswamy temple is about 1.5 kilometers after Hassan. It offers a pleasant break from the city for those who want to get away from the concrete jungles of Bangalore for a weekend, amidst the lush greenery of the surrounding countryside and the hills.

Legend :

The name Malekal and the installation of Lord Venkataramanaswamy here has got a legendary story. Devaguru Shri Vashishta lived here and went to penance worshiping Lord Venkataramanswamy for over 800 years, who in turn gave his darshan on the day of Ashada Shuddha Dwadashi. To mark this event Maharathothsava is being held every year even now. After getting Tapasiddhi with the darshan of Lord Venkateshwara left the place. As a result there was nobody to perform pooja to Lord Venkataramanaswamy installed by Devaguru Vashishta. As the days passed the ashrama built by him has perished and the statue (Vigraha) of Lord Venkataramana Swamy installed by him submerged in the earth. After lapse of thousands of year the palegar of Chithradurga who were ruling the area 800 years back. They were the devotees of Thirupathi Thimmappa i.e. Venkataramana Swamy. On one occasion Shri Thimmappa Nayaka one of the Palegar of Chithradurga had a dream of getting the darshan of Lord Venkataramana and had a direction of the lord to construct a temple for him and can have his darshan instead of Thirupathi. Thimmappa Nayaka was in fix to know the geneusness of his dream. Then lord Venkateshwara again appeared in his dream and told that he can be found on top of the hill. If the palegar follow the route along with Tulasi (Basil) male which can be found at the bottom of the hill.

Accordingly Thimmappa Nayaka found the Venkateshwara statue (Vigraha) on the top of the hill following The Thulasi male. As such the place has named after male as Malekallu and with a result the Palegaras can have the Darshan of Lord Venkataramana instead of at Thirupathi. Hence that has been named as Malekallu Thirupathi. The temple is on the top of the hill and it has got over 1200 steps.
Description :

Malekallu Malekal Tirupathi hill has 1300 steps and its beleived that lord Rama had visited this place. Its the only place you can see a standing Venkateshwara idol other than famous Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh. Its the only place you can see a standing Venkateshwara idol other than famous Tirupati of Andhra Pradesh.

At the down hill of the temple Lord Govindarajaswamy live. The utsava murthy's (festival deities) of main deity (Lord Vekataramana Swamy) is housed at Govindarajaswamy temple itself. In view of inconvenience on top of the hill for performing Rathothsava and other similar type of Uthsavas.The Govindaraja Swamy temple was built by Palegar Thimmappanayaka as he has found the Govindaraja Swamy statue (Vigraha) while constructing a lake to solve the drought problem.

As such the temple on top of the hill was called as Amaragiri Tirupathi and the temple at the down hill has been called as Govindaraja Pattana (town).

Another important aspect of the place is that while at Thirupathi Lord Venkataramana is installed ALONE on the hill top and the Govindaraja Swamy at the down hill, At Malekallu Lord venkataramana and goddess Padmavathi are installed TOGETHER on top of the hill. Newly wedded couples visit the temple to seek the blessing from Lord Venkatramana and Goddess Padmavathi.  Kalyanotsava is a major performance of ritual happening here witnessed by thousands of devotees. There will be pooja performance in the temple every day from morning 7 AM to night 8 PM.

The temple serves as a family deity for surrounding villages and enjoys the patronage of the locals. The two festivals celebrated with great pomp and splendor is Hanuman Jayanthi and Vaikunta Yekadashi. No one knows when and how this deity was formed though it is rumored to have been consecrated by the great Vasishta. This temple can be visited throughout the year, and an ideal time to go would be during September to March, as the weather will be pleasant.

Festivals :

Ugadi festival, Shriramanavami, Dodda Garudotsava, Asahada Shuddha Dwadasi, Ashada Shuddha Triyodasi and many more festivals are conducted here with great grandeur. The annual Brahmotsavam is held every year and it is celebrated with great pomp and splendour.

Websites :

Chandi mata Kashmir / Machel mata

Name : Chandi Mata Temple / Machel yatra

Location :

Machel Mata is a Goddess Durga shrine popularly known as Machail Mata being located in the village Machel, from where it derives its name, in Kishtwar District of Jammu region in India. It may be noted that Goddess Durga is also known by the name Kaali or Chandi.

Legend :

The temple history is entwined with the conquests of Zorawar Singh Kahluria, who in 1834 sought blessings of Machelmata, before crossing the mountains and Suru River (Indus), with 5000 men for vanquishing an army of local Botis of Ladakh. He became a faithful devotee after the successful mission.

Description :

Machelmata Sthan as the shrine is popularly known, has a landscape of unblemished beauty with hills, glaciers and tributaries of the Chenab River (Chadrabhaga). Paddar valley, nearby is famous for its world-famous sapphire mines, and is a cool place for hiking, cannoning and holy hot springs. The area is home to bhot community and the Thakur community who are serpent worshipers, and was merged with Kishtwar tehsil, by Maharaja Ranbir Singh. Thousands of people visit the shrine every year mainly from Jammu region.

The Pilgrimage / Machel Yatra :

The pilgrimage happens in the month of August only every year. The shrine was visited in 1981 by Thakur Kulveer Singh of Bhaderwah, Jammu region. From 1987 onwards, Thakur Kulveer SIngh started 'Chandi Yatra' that happens every year and thousands of people visit the shrine every year during 'Chandi Yatra', which starts from Chinote in Bhaderwah to Machail in Paddar. There are lot of supernatural happenings that the pilgrims experience and report.

To reach the shrine, lot of travel agents arrange buses from Jammu, Udhampur, Ramnagar, Bhaderwah. One can also hire a cab as well. It takes approximately 10 hours by road from Jammu to Gulabgarh, as the distance is 290 km.

The Gulabgarh is the base camp.
From Gulabgarh, the foot journey starts, that is 32 km.
People take 2 days to reach the shrine by foot.
On the way there are many villages, where one can stay in the night.
The chaddi takes three days to reach Machel.
Many people organizes roadside 'langers' (free food points) on the way to the Gulabgarh.
Devotees are welcomed at various villages with them offering free Langars at Gulabgarh, Massu, Kundhail, Chishoti, Hamori and Machail.
Government of Jammu & Kashmir also arranges basic amenities for the pilgrims. The shrine is inaccessible during the winter months of December, January and February.
Other mean of reaching the shrine is by helicopter from Jammu and Gulabgarh.

The helipad is only 100 meters from the shrine. But if someone goes by helicopter, he will be missing many scenic beauties of the nature. Helicopter takes at least 7-8min to reach the Mata's darwar.

Websites :

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Arittapatti Caves - rockcut Shiva Temple

Name :  Arittapatti Rockcut Shiva Temple

Location : 

Arittapatti is a small village located in Melur taluk of Madurai district. It is 25Kms from Madurai Town.

Description :
The hillock which looks like a pack of rocks is steeped in 2300 years old history. On one side of the hill are natural Jain caves called Pandava Padukkai and on the other side, a rock -cut Siva temple. Pandava Padukkai has got nothing to do with the Pandavas of Mahabharatham. Yet people assume the stone beds might have been used by Pandavas during their exile. These are actually the beds used by Jain saints.

The Siva temple is a fine example of the early Pandya rock-cut temple architecture. This simple but beautiful edifice, which belongs to the 7th-8th century CE, has a garbhagriha and a front mandapaNow the local people call this temple as Idaichchi mandapam.  The Siva linga of this temple has been chiseled in the centre of the same rock. The bas-relief sculptures of the Vinayaka and Siva as Lagulisa adorn the two niches of the exterior wall of the front Mandapa. This is one among the rare Lagulisa sculptures found in Tamil Nadu. 

Websites : 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dantakali Temple, Nepal

Name : Dantakali Temple

Location : Vijapur Hill in Nepal. From Bhanu Chowk walk eastward for 15 minutes and you will enter the lowest point of Vijayapur Hill and you will see the first temple here, Pindeshwor Temple. From there walk uphill for about 10 minutes on the main road to reach Datankali Temple.

Legend :
This holy temple is famous to Hindus as Teeth fallen place of Satidevi (wife of Lord Shiva).According to Hindu myth Lord Shiva carries the body of death wife (Satidevi) on his back and walked to different places.As he walked on the Teeth fell in the place where the temple is situated now.

Description :

Surrounded by the beautiful hills in Bijaypur the temple of Dantakali or the the tooth goddess is situated. It is one of the major Shakti Peeths in Nepal and holds a great religious significance. The area of the temple is also very attractive with green hills and a panoramic view of Terai and Dharan bazaar.

The temple, in its present form, was built by locals after 1978 AD and consists of a cement and brick structure with three roofs and a metal pinnacle on the top. Housed within the temple is the actual object of worship -- a silver-plated rock in the shape of teeth, which are said to Sati Devi's.

The hill of Vijaypur once formed the Eastern frontier of the medieval kingdom of Vijaypur, and, besides Dantakali, it consists of numerous other temples, namely Bhatabhange, Panchakanya, Budhasubba, Gadi Ganesh, and Pindeswor. Devotees of Kali visit Dantakali during the festival of Navaratra and also on Saturdays.

Festivals :

The temple observes the presence of maximum number of devotees in Navaratri (nine nights) during the festival of Dashain. Also, on the occasion of Maha Asthami, mass sacrifices of he-goats take place on the temple premises.

Websites : 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sivagiri Balasubramania Swamy Temple

Name : Balasubramania Swamy Temple

Location :

Siva giri is 108 km from Madurai on the Kuttralam route. The temple is 1 km from the bus stop. Auto facility is available.

Moolavar :  Balasubramaniar
Urchavar  :  Muthukumarar
Theertham : Saravana Poigai

Legends :

Lord Muruga, after destroying demon Soorapanma, was returning to Tiruparankundram to wed Mother Deivanai.  Sage Agasthya was performing penance in the place seeking the darshan of Muruga.  Lord, on His way granted darshan to the sage and stayed in this place as wished by the sage.  The temple was built later.  As the Lord appears here as a little child – Bala – He is praised as Balasubramania.

The Pada Mandapam of the temple is at the place where Lord granted Darshan to Sage Agasthya. The Shivalinga is nearby.

Description :

There are shrines for Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Mahavishnu, Mother Chandikeswari, Bhairava, Navagrahas the nine planets, Sani Bhagwan, Mother Ashtabuja Durga and Idumban.  There is also a separate shrine for Lingodhbava in the ghoshta wall with Brahmma and Chandikeswara nearby opposite to each other.  There is a shrine for Mother Kali in the middle of the hill.  The first puja is offered to Her at morning and evening Sayaraksha.  Special pujas are dedicated to Her on full moon days.  Lord Muruga in the temple is praised as Navagraha Muruga.  Vinayaka is known as Anugnai Vinayaka.

Those facing adverse planetary aspects, to children in particulars and those suffering from paralysis pray here for relief.

Speciality of the Temple :

1. Lord Muruga grants darshan with his turf mated up as a crown. 

2. A metal piece – thagadu – is placed at His feet with zodiac symbols as He assures relief to the devotees from planetary problems.  This is a rare form of Lord Muruga, The NavaGraha Muruga.  Those facing problems, pray to the Lord on the day attributed to the particular planet.  Pujas are performed in the temple as per Tiruchendur procedures. 

3. Skanda Sashti in Murugan temples are celebrated for 6 days or 7 days with the wedding festivals.  Here the festival is celebrated for 11 days.  Soorasamharam-killing demon Soora-is celebrated on the 6th day, Muruga on the horse vahan,  The wedding festivals takes place the next day.  The coronation festival to the Lord is celebrated on the 11th day placing the Lord on the throne with gold crown and the Sengole the stick representing the royal authority.  He comes then in procession in His royal robe known as Pattina Pravesam – entering the city.  This is a famous festival of the temple. 

4. Among the Saivite saints, Tirugnanasambandar was graced with the wisdom milk fed by Mother Parvathi.  He is considered as the incarnation of Lord Muruga.  This festival is celebrated in the temple on the 6th day of Panguni Brahmmotsavam when the Lord is fed with milk remembering this event.  During this festival, Lord Muruga appears with red in the morning puja (Sivappu Sathi) with Lord Shiva attribute, in white in the midday with Brahmma attribute (Vellai Sathi), in green dress as Vishnu (Pachai Sathi) on the third puja in the next morning.  He goes for the river bath (theerthavari) on Panguni Uthiram day.

5. Somaskanda:  The shrine is situated in an environment of scenic beauty surrounded by hills and water resources.  The temple is on Sakthi Malai, Sakthi-Mother.  Shiva hill is on the left.  The temple is in Somaskanda – Lord Muruga with Shiva and Shakti on both sides. On the right of Muruga shrine is Lord Sundareswarar and Mother Meenakshi on the left.  Procession deity here is Shanmugar used in Panguni Brahmmotsavam.  The procession darshan is available to the devotees only for three days during the festivals. Darshan during other days can be had only within the temple.

Festivals :

Panguni Brahammotsavam in March-April, Aipasi Skanda Sashti in October-November, Vaikasi Visakam in May-June and Masi Magam in February-March are the festivals observed in the temple.

Websites : 


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