Kanchipuram : The heritage city of Temples

Kanchipuram is a very old town and is well known for its temples. The town is believed to be one of the holiest places and is one of the Sapta Puris of Hinduism. Kanchipuram was ruled by the Pallava rulers followed by the Cholas, the Pandyas and the Vijayanagara empire. The town has some major shrines dedicated to the three sects of Hinduism. While the Kamakshi Amman temple is one of the 51 shakti peeths, out of 108 major shrines of Lord Vishnu, 14 are situated in Kanchipuram itself. Continue reading “Kanchipuram : The heritage city of Temples”

Pilgrimage to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine #2: Adhkwari to Bhawan

Trek to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine is an arduous pilgrimage and often tests the endurance of the devotees to its limit. Yet year after year millions of devotees undertake the trek with unflinching devotion for the divine mother. Most devotees divide their journey (at least psychologically) into 2 parts – Ban Ganga to Adhkwari and then Adhkwari to Bhawan. Continue reading “Pilgrimage to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine #2: Adhkwari to Bhawan”

Mata Vaishnodevi shrine at Katra #1: Ban Ganga to Adhkwari

A shivering cold night, mantras played on speakers are wafting in the air accompanied with zealous chants of “ZORR SE BOLO… JAI MATA DI…“, there are horses and mules rushing up and down the tortuous paths and there are enervated people climbing with their walking sticks, panting, struggling to catch a breath yet unwilling to stop. Continue reading “Mata Vaishnodevi shrine at Katra #1: Ban Ganga to Adhkwari”

Mystic dham of Lord Jagannath at Puri

The moon was in the sky casting its effulgence on the billowing ocean. A roaring sea piercing the silence of the night. There is no better place to see the moon; no better time. The only other things visible were tiny glitters of the lamps of the fishermen who have sailed to the horizon with their drifters in lieu of livelihood. Nothing deters them, neither the dark ocean nor its infinite depth and stretch. Continue reading “Mystic dham of Lord Jagannath at Puri”

A guide to the Jagannath Temple at Puri

The Jagannath temple at Puri is one of the Char Dhams. It is also known as the Purushottama kshetra, Martya Vaikuntha, Sri Khetra, Nilachala Dham etc. Owing to its reverence, there is a huge influx of devotees throughout the year. There are many legends and miracles surrounding this mystic temple. However, there isn’t much information about these legends that the devotees must know/see apart from the main temple when they visit. Continue reading “A guide to the Jagannath Temple at Puri”

11th century Lingaraj temple in the city of Temples

Best time to visit: Nothing in particular, but try to visit early morning or in the evening.

Photography: Not allowed

How to reach: The temple is easily accessible through city bus or auto rickshaws from the Kalpana chowk of Bhubaneswar.

Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar is one of the oldest known Shiva temples in India. The word Lingaraj translates to King of Lingas. Here Lord Shiva is worshiped as Harihara and Tribhuvaneshwara. Although primarily a Shiva shrine, many vaishnavite traditions are also followed in this temple along with the shaivite traditions. For example, the Shivalinga here is offered Bilvapatra as well as Tulsi leaves (Tulsi leaves is customarily offered to Lord Vishnu). Continue reading “11th century Lingaraj temple in the city of Temples”