Witnessing the spectacular Ganga aarti at the Dashaswamedha Ghat, Varanasi

Dashaswamedha Ghat, Varanasi

Banaras me toh Ganga bhi ulti behti hai‘, a colloquial adage meaning here in Banaras, even the mighty Ganges flows in reverse. In Banaras or Varanasi, as it is presently called, river Ganga takes a crescent-shaped turn towards the north, an aberration in the southward flow of the river which originates in the laps of the mighty Himalayas and traverses the Gangetic plain before flowing into Bangladesh and eventually into the Bay of Bengal. Long ago, on the banks of this turn, a legendary city was established; a city that epitomized spirituality and survived long enough to be regarded as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Read more

Manikarnika & Harishchandra: My experience of the cremation ghats in Varanasi

Manikarnika Ghat

Manikarnika Ghat is among the oldest and most revered ghats of Varanasi. This is one of the two cremation ghats in Varanasi and is believed to be the most auspicious place for a Hindu to be cremated which leads to attainment moksha. Legends mention that Lord Vishnu meditated at this ghat and also established a kunda where Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati is believed to have taken bath. Daily, over 300 bodies are cremated here round the clock and the fire of Manikarnika has never extinguished in thousands of years. So those who are cremated here are essentially cremated from the same fire that cremated their ancestors through generations. Read more

Prayagraj #2 – History lessons and a spiritual dip at the Sangam

Khusru Bagh, Prayagraj

Prayagraj, earlier known as Allahabad is a town in north India situated at the confluence of there revered rivers of Hinduism – the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati. This is also one of the four sites where Kumbh Mela, the largest religious congregation is organized once in every 12 years which witnesses millions of Hindu devotees and ascetics visit the town and take a dip at the holy confluence called the Sangam. The strategic location of the town between two gigantic rivers prompted Mughal emperor Akbar to build his fort here in the banks of river Yamuna close to the Sangam. Read more

VLOG: Day trip to the Isha Foundation and the Adiyogi statue at Coimbatore

VLOG: Day trip to the Isha Foundation and the Adiyogi statue at Coimbatore

Isha Foundation is a non-profit, spiritual organization founded in 1992 near Coimbatore, India, by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudevji. The organization under the leadership of Sadhguru consecrated a mammoth bust statue of Lord Shiva in his customary meditation posture which holds the Guinness Book of World record for being the largest bust statue. I visited the Isha foundation and attempted to create my first video blog. Please watch the video and share your feedback in the comments section below.

Walking on Krishna’s trail: Mathura and Vrindavan

Prem Mandir

Krishna, the supreme lord is seen, understood and experienced in different ways and emotions by different people. He is an irrepressible child, a terrible prankster, an enchanting flute player, a graceful dancer, an irresistible lover, a truly valiant warrior, a ruthless vanquisher of his foes, an astute statesman and kingmaker, a yogi of the highest order and the most colourful incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Read more

An evening at the Golden Temple in Amritsar

Golden Temple Amritsar

Serene, Serving and Scintillating – three adjectives that capture the essence of an evening at Harmandir Sahib, more popularly known as the Golden Temple of Amritsar. Its hard to imagine anything more beautiful than the coruscating Harmandir Sahib under the night sky; a view that can rival the iconic Taj Mahal in visual delight. Read more

Mahabodhi Temple : Tracing the roots of Buddhism

Bodh Gaya

Buddhism, one of the prominent religions of Asia traces its origins to Bodh Gaya. The place where Prince Siddhartha became Lord Buddha. The place that preached the world about virtues of peace and nonviolence; about benevolence and the subtle art of dharma. Situated in Bihar, a state much despised for being unruly and rowdy, Bodh Gaya seems like an oasis in the desert. Bodh Gaya dotted with numerous monasteries has a tranquil, spiritual environment much in contrast to some other places in the state. Read more

Mukhteshwara & Raja Rani temple at Bhubaneswar

Mukhteshwara Temple

Mukhteshwara (Lord of Freedom) temple, often called the “Gem of Odisha culture” is a 10th century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Mukhteshwar temple has a typical Kalinga architecture featuring a Mukhasala, a Jagamohana and the Vimana. Mukhteshwara temple, though a dwarf, when compared in size to other temples built during that golden epoch of 300 years like the humongous Lingaraj temple or the Jagannath temple at Puri, is no short in sculptural magnificence.  Read more

Baba Mandir: A saga of duty beyond death

Baba Harbhajan Singh temple

Indian Army stands as an epitome of adherence to duties. The story affiliates to a Major of Indian Army who has not been delinquent in his duty to safeguard the Indian border even after his death. As bizarre as it sounds, it is a tale testified and recognized by none less than the Indian army itself. In Sikkim, along the Indo-China border, there is a temple dedicated to a dead soldier who is believed to be patrolling the border even after his death. Read more

Bullet Baba temple: Legend of Om Banna and the bike deity

Bullet Baba temple

India is a land of plurality – diverse views, opinions and beliefs. However, sometimes these beliefs transcend the precinct of rationality and infiltrate into space where it becomes superstition. For those who believe, he is God and the place a temple; for the rest, everything is a fantasy. Read more