Friday, 20 January 2017

Kanya Ashram Kanyakumari Temple

Kanyashram of Balaambika or kanya ashram kanyakumari is one of the Shakti peeth located in cape Kanya Kumari, Tamil Nadu. Goddess is popularly known with the name “Bhagavathy”. In other regions goddess is also called with the names Kanya Devi, Kanya Kumari, Badrakali etc.

Significance:


    According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where "Back part” fell down.
Devotees believe goddess removes rigidity of mind and many devotees say that they feel tears from eyes after praying to goddesss.



History:


Worshipping Kanya Kumari dates from vedic period. It has been mentioned in many puranas including Ramayana and Mahabharatha.

Legend:


As per the vedic books, their lived a demon named “Bana”, he ruled this place and was named as a great king. In greed to acquire whole universe, he did penance and obtained a boon from lord Brahma not to be killed by any source. lord Brahma said “this boon cannot be given, every creature on this universe who has birth will have death” then Bana asked for a boon that he should be killed only by a Kanya (adolescent virgin girl).

With the proud of the boon, he started creating havoc in all universes. He captured the throne of lord Indra and other gods. He imbalanced nature, as Bhagavathy is the form of nature, she manifested from “Aryavartha” to kill Bana.

Goddess had immense devotion towards lord Shiva from her childhood, to her devotion lord Shiva decided to marry her. Marriage muhurth was at Brahma Muhurtha (early morning) and all arrangements were made for marriage occasion. Sage Narada arrives in the form of Cock and gives a sound and misguides lord Shiva who is in the way to marriage ceremony. He says “you are late and sun is about to rise”, by listening to his words lord returns back.

Goddess Kanya Kuamri, who is waiting for the ceremony waited for whole day, disappointed with the incidence she plegeds a wow to remain Kanya till end. After days passed, Bana under proud couldn’t recognize goddess as almighty starts luring goddess. In anger, goddess sloughs Bana, moments before death Bana urges goddess to remove all his sins and remain here forever with her divine presence.

Festivals:


Chaitra purnima (full moon day usually occurs in the month of may), Navaratri, Vaisakha and Kalabham festivals are famous here. All the rites and rituals performed in Keralite way.   

How to reach kanya kumari


Road: As this is one of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu, you can find regular buses for every now and then.
Rail: Kanyakumari has its own railway station, it is well connected with all parts of India, Kanyakumari Express is well known train
Air: Trivandrum International Airport is the nearest airport and is 67 kilometers from temple.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple

Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple is one of the ancient and historic temples in Srilanka. It is located on the island of Nainativu, Srilanka. During the period of 9th Century, there lived a Hindu philosopher named Adi Shankaracharya who identified this temple is one of the 64 Shakti Peethas around the globe. 

Significance:


    According to the Hindu mythology, Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, and as per the texts of Brahmanda Purana, it is the holy place where " Silambu (Anklets)” fell down. Local people call the deity with the name Nagapooshani or Bhuvaneswari and her concert, Bhairava form of lord Shiva is worshiped with the name Nayinaar.

Legend:


According to epic Mahabharata, Lord Indra couldn’t overcome his sexual desire over Ahalya, wife of Gautama maharshi. In order to accomplish his sexual desire, Indra took the disguised form of a saint and started seducing Ahalya. When Gautama maharshi got to know the Indra’s attempt he cursed him to have thousand marks which resemble to yoni (female reproductive organ). Indra was humiliated with the name sa-yoni, unable be bear such humiliation, he started to know what mistake he has done. Seeking for mercy, he started praying Goddess Bhuvaneshwari, queen of whole universe. Pleased with Indra’s penance and prayer goddess transformed all yoni’s into eyes.



The Temple comprises of four gopurams (gateway towers) with each tower touching to 20-25 feets, among which eastern Raja Raja Gopuram has 108 feet height. We find such huge towers in Tamil nadu. When Portuguese invaded Srilanka (1620) they destroyed original temple the present structure is built during the period 1720-1790. 

As per the temple structure, its build with Dravidian Hindu Architecture. The structure consists of beautiful sculpture with oil painting. Approximately it has 10,000 sculpture in this temple. As mentioned above it has four gopurams, Raja raja gopuram, east, west and south gopurams.

Because of its scenic and historic presence, this temple is always crowded. In normal days we find minimum 1000 people and during festivals it crosses 1,00,000 mark.  Especially during the month of June/July (Aani month) there happens 16 day Mahotsav (Thiruvizha) which is celebrated with devotion.

Transport:


As Srilanka is an island, one need to reach Colombo and then reach to Jaffna and then to Nagapooshani Amman Kovil.

Route 1: Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia – Jaffna – Temple
Route 2: Puttlam – Anuradhapura – Vavunia - Jaffna – Temple

Both above route is around 432 Kms. among which Colombo to Jaffna is around 400 Kms. and then around 32 kms.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Virat Shakti Peeth Temple - Ambica Temple Bharatpur

Virat Shakti Peeth Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas located at Bharatput, Rajasthan, India. Local people call Goddess with the name Ambica. As per research from ancient texts, location (peethasthan) where goddess Sati Devi’s body parts fell shows three places on earth. But we cannot find any temple or evidence in two of the places (West Bengal and Bangladesh). As per current information, Bharatpur is the only place where you can find a shrine and goddess. Also local people believe this is the only place of goddess and maa Ambica is being worshipped from many years. Lord Shiva is being worshipped as lord “Amriteshwar”.

Significance:


According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where Sati Devi’s “left toes” fell down.

Temple timings: 5.30 A.M. to 8.00 P.M.




Major Events:

 

Makar Sankranti, Nav ratri and Deepavali are the major events. Ram navami, Sharad Purnima and Somvati Amavasya are other special events when devotees throng to the shrine to get blessings of goddess Ambica.

As per Hindu calendar Navratri (9 day festival) is being performed two times a year. One is during the months of March and April and second one is during September and October. This is the festival where devotees believe very auspicious and do fasting whole day.

Apart from all events Maha Shivratri is being considered as one of the auspicious day to worship lord Shiva (Amriteshwar). One can find lord is being offered abhisheka with milk and Bail (bilva patra) leaf.

How to reach temple:


Road: There are number of buses plying from Bharatpur to this temple.
Rail: There is a good connectivity from major cities of India to Bharatpur railway station. Especially from Delhi, Mumbai, Patna etc.
Air: Jaipur is the known International airport near to the location.

Places of Interest:


Lohagharh, Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur, City Palace,Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, amber fort etc.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Manibandh Shakti Peeth Chamunda temple


Manibandh Shakti Peeth or Chamunda temple, at Gayatri hills in Pushkar (near ajmir) is one of the 51 shakti peethas in Rajasthan. This temple is considered as one of the ancient temples belonging to Treta Yuga (based on the idols available). We find two statues of lord Ganesh and goddess Kali towards extreme corners (left and right), these idols are said to belong to the age of Treta Yuga.

Significance:



    According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where "Wrists” fell down. Bhairava form of lord Shiva is worshiped with the name Sarvanand.



          Devotees believe this temple is the ideal place to do Gayatri Mantra sadana and goddess is believe to relieve devotees from domestic issues and fulfill their wishes.

Pushkar is a place near the lake Pushkar which is associated with Brahma puran which says this place is linked with creation of universe. We find many Hindu temples nearby, it is said that many temples were destroyed during Muslim invasion.  

One of the famous temples nearby is Brahma temple and is believed to be build during 14th century. According to Ancient texts there are no temples to lord Brahma, so this temple belongs to one among rare temples of lord Brahma.

Places to visit near Pushkar:


Brahma temple, Papamochini temple, Pushkar lake, Rangji temple, Savitri temple and Panchkund Shiva temple.

Transport:


Road: Pushkar is well connected, it is about 5-6 kms. from Pushkar Brahma temple. One can easily travel to the temple by catching local auto or taxi.

Rail: Nearest railway station is at Ajmer which is about 15-16 kms.

Air: Although it is not near to the temple but one can drop at Pushkar, Jaipur which is about 135 kms. away from temple.

Note: It is preferred to visit during day time as its out of the city.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Shri Devi Talab Mandir Jalandhar Shakti Peeth Punjab India | 51 Shakti Peethas

Jalandhar Shakti Peeth is one of the 51 shakti peethas situated in Jalandhar, Punjab, India.

Significance:
  • According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where “Left Breast” fell down.
  • Local people call goddess with the name “Maa Turatpurni”(one who listens and responds immediately), devotees believe that maa listens devotees wishes when prayed with devotion and fulfills them immediately.
Goddess Sati is called with the name Tripurmalini and lord Shiva in the form of Bhairava is called with Bheeshan. It is said that lord Shiva himself came to the place where goddess Sati body part fell and established (installed) pindi form of idol and he took bhairav form to protect the temple. In later period when Adiguru Shankara Charyulu visited the temple, he realized the body part and covered the part and installed another idol which was found in the pond on top of the original idol.




Art and architecture of the temple is magnificent and there is a beautiful pond built with fresh water. One can see pointed dome type of the roof with golden colour. Flooring is finished with white and black marble with huge courtyard.

When it comes to accommodation, you can avail accommodation starting from Rs. 500. There are hotels which are even expensive with best facilities. If you come out for shopping, Jalandhar is famous for sports equipments, clothes and textiles and jewellery.

Tip: One need to bargain goods to get at lower price or else you will be looted.

Transport:

Road: There are many buses and auto rikshaw floating to the temple.
Rail: Jalandhar railway station is the nearest railway station.
Air: Amritsar is the nearest airport, from there you need to come to Jalandhar.

Note: During summer season, temperature shoots 40+ degrees.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Hinglaj Devi Temple Nani Mandir Balochistan Pakistan | 51 Shakti Peethas

Hinglaj Devi temple or Nani mandir is one of the Shakti peeth located in a remote hilly area of Lyari Tehsil, Balochistan, Pakistan. Hinglaj temple is on the mountain named Hinglaj on river bank of Hinghol.

Significance:

    According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where "Bramharandra (part of the head)” fell down.

From our ancient scripts and local people we get to know that Hinglaj Mata is a powerful deity form of Durga who blesses her devotees and fulfill their wishes. Presence of Goddess Hinglaj is been stated in many ancient scripts like Kularnava Tantra, Kubjika Tantra, Tantrachudamani, Shivasharitha. Locally devi is called with different names like Kottari, Kottarisha Kottavi etc. and the Bhairava from of lord Shiva associated with goddess is called with the name Bhimalochan.

We find Hinglaj Devi is made with shapeless stone smeared with Sindhoor. Local Muslims provide security to the temple and call deity with the name Nani Mandir.


Every year during the month of April we find four day annual ceremony. Among four day ceremony, third day is celebrated with great devotion, on this day temple priest chant mantras and invoke gods to accept the offering (3 coconuts) bought by their devotees. Devotees from local and neighbor countries come here to worship. Devotees take all kind of transport systems like buses, private vehicles and even bicycle. Few devotees say that the more austerities we face, the more is the grace of goddess.

Other places of worship: 

Apart from main deity we have lord Ganesh temple, Brahma kundh, Gurugorak Nath Dooni, Chandra Goop, Ramjarokha Bethak, Tir kundh, Aghore pooja etc.

Transport:

 It is about 250 Kms from Karachi city

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Biraja Temple Jaipur Oddisha | 51 Shakti Peethas

Biraja Temple or Girija kshetra is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas located in Jaipur, Oddisha, India. It is considered as one of the ancient temples, present temple is built in 13th century. Unlike other shakti forms principal idol is seen as dwibhuja murhty (with two hands) with 6 inch height idol. We can see trishul in one hand and tail of mahishashura in other hand.

Significance:

  • According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where “Bamonbonsham(Navel)” fell down. It is mentioned even in Tantra Chudamani
  • According to Skanda purana, one who visits this temple get cleansed.

Biraja Temple is not only abode of goddess Parvathi but also you find lord Vishnu in the form of Barahanath and Ghaneshwar. According to locals, lord Brahma performed yagna (present it is called with the name “Brahmakunda” which is located towards North-West side of the Biraja Temple), lord Ishneshwar who is the other form of lord Vishnu emerged out of yagna. You also find small temples of lord Ganesh, Hanuman, Bhusandeshwar, Goddess Bagalamukhi etc. in the premises of the temple complex.


When it comes to accommodations, local government has arranged both A.C and non A.C rooms towards north side of the temple with the name “Panthasala”. Good news is that you find all basic necessities around these rooms.

Rituals and festivals:

Important rituals seen around the year are Sharadiya Durga Puja, Shodasha Dinatatmika Puja which lasts for 16 days, chariot festival called as Simhadhwaja is performed having lion symbol on the flag and Animal sacrifice locally called Balidhanam is performed during the period sukla ashtami to sukla navami. Biraja temple is also known for its oddyana peetha.

Transportation:

Road: You find regular buses floating from Jaipur city (bus stand) which is 3 kilometers.
Train: Keonjhar Railway station is the nearest railway station, from here you need to catch buses to Jaipur
Air: Bhubaneswar Airport is the nearest airport from there one needs to come to Jaipur City.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Guhyeshwari Temple Katmandu Nepal | 51 Shakti Peethas

Guhyeshwari Temple (guhya – Sanskrit meaning secret,  ishwari – goddess) is one of the ancient temples located in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is the most reversed temple among tantric worshippers and general Hindus. It is believed to the Shakti chair of  Pashupatinath Temple.

Significance:

According to the mythology of Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where “Both Knees” fell down. Maa Sati is worshiped with Guhyeshwari Devi and Bhairav form of lord Shiva as Kapali.

The name “Guhyarupini” is mentioned in Lalitha Sahasranamam which means the form of god which is secret and beyond human perception. Based on the information available Guhyeshwari temple is built during the reign of King Shankar Dev who is a preacher of Tantric art. It was later renovated by king Pratap Malla in 17th Century.

We find tantric rites followed in the temple premises and idols of deity is made of gold and silver. Devotees offer eggs and wine to the goddess to please and fulfil their desires. During the prayer we find several musical instruments are used which were presented to the goddess by king Rana Bhadur.

During the festive season of Navratri, Nepal king along with his family members have a holy bath in Bagmati river and worship goddess. Here Non-Hindus are prohibited from entering into the temple.

Beliefs: 

  • It is believed that one who marries at Guhyeshwari temple will be soul mates for next 6 births.
  • We find women worshipping goddess to attain full health to her husband.
  • One who worships goddess Guhyeshwari will attain victory over their enemies.



Transport:

Road: From Katmandu you find regular buses, it’s about 45 minutes of journey.
Rail: Gorakhpur Railway Station is the nearest railway station. You find few trains running from India to Nepal.
Air: Tribhuvan is the nearest International Airport which is about 6 kms from Katmandu.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Mithila Shakti Peeth Uma Devi Nepal | 51 Shakti Peethas

Mithila Shakti peeth of Uma devi is located at Mithila (near Janakpur station) which is on the border of India (Bihar) and Nepal. Locals worship goddess Sati with the names Uma devi or Mahadevi and lord Shiva (Bhairav form) as Mahodar.

Significance:

According to the mythology Daksha yagna and Sati self-immolation, it is the holy place where “Left Shoulder” fell down.

Janakpuri/ Mithila is famously known for the birth of goddess Sita (wife of lord Rama) as per Hindu  epic story Ramayana. We find huge temple structure which look like a fort with four towers (minar type structures) and a colour fountain in front of the temple entrance which looks magnificent during night when light falls on it. You also find huge door which is 30 meter in height almost similar to Taj Mahal. Temple premises is surrounded with greenery and looks magnificent when seen from distance.

Many have a misconception that Janaki mandir is Shakti peeth, locals believe that there idols of Uma devi and lord Mahodar in a temple which is located on the mountain rock.

Locals celebrate Ram Navami with great devotion in grand way. Also Navaratri, Karthika pournami, Holi, Durga puja are some of most famous festivals celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. Mithila Shakti peeth remains open from 6.00 A.M to 8.00 P.M. Other temples nearby which are famous are Sona Mai mandir and Mithilachal temple which is popularly known as Durgasthan as per Devi Bhagavathi.     


Transport:

Road: As Mithila Shakti peeth is located at India border, Darbanga, road connectivity to temple premises is good. We have many buses floating to temple.
Rail: Janakpur railway station is the nearest railway station with is just 1 km from station.
Air: Patna airport is the nearest airport.