Thirubuvanam – Sri Kambahareswara Swamy Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Kambahareswara Swamy Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Kambahareswarar

Ambal: Sri Dharmasamvardhani

Sthala Theertham: Sarabar Theertham

Sthala Virksham: Vilvam

Sthalapuranam:

Kambaharesvarar Temple was built by the king Kulothunga III (1179 AD – 1216 AD) and is a good example of the Chola style of architecture. Hiranyan, the Demon (asura) who had obtained boon from Brahma, tormented the devas continuously. The devas who were perturbed appealed to Lord Maha Vishnu. Lord Vishnu told to devas that he will make a Narashimma Avatar and kill Hiranyan. However Hiranyan’s son Pragalathan is an avid devotee of Lord Vishnu. So Hiranyan tried killing Pragalathan in many ways despite the fact that he is his son, but he was not successful. Every time he attempted to kill Pragalathan Lord Vishnu saved Pragalathan. Pragalathan kept on preaching to his father and his fellow demons that Lord Vishnu is supreme of all gods. One day Hiranyan asked Pragalathan where is Vishnu? Show me and I will kill him and prove that I am superior to Vishnu. Pragalathan replied saying that he is there everywhere in this universe. He continue saying, Lord Vishnu is there in every small object in this world and he is there even in this pillar while he was standing next to one of the pillars in the palace. Hiranyan got angry on his son’s words and he kicked the pillar to check whether Lord Vishnu is there. Lord Vishnu came out of it in the form of Narashimma Avatar (Narashimma avatar means, he has a lions face and human body). Narashimma avatar is the most ferocious forms of Vishnu avatars. Vishnu killed the demon king and he drank the Hiranyan’s blood. Hiranyan’s blood was so evil even Narashimma Murthy (lord Vishnu) got disturbed and he started destroying the world due to uncontrollable anger. All Rishis and Devas got frightened on the situation and pleaded to Lord Shiva to save the world from Narashimma Murthies anger. Lord Shiva took a Sarabeswarar form and started chasing the Narashimma Avatar of Vishnu. Sarabeswarar is a form of as half animal and half bird with 8 legs, 4 hands, 2 feathers and sharp tooth, nails that was looking ferocious. Narashimma got frightened by looking at Sarabeswarar and started running away. At one point of time, Sarabeswarar touched Narashimma then Narashimma’s anger went away and he got calm. In this temple the Urchavar (Urchavar is small idol of god which is taken to procession around the temple during festivals)is the “Sarabeswarar”. The main deity is called as Kambahareswarar as he helped overcoming the fear of all.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple enshrines Kambasarbeswarar as the presiding deity, worshipped in the form of a Shiva linga. The Utsava Murti of the temple is Sarabamoorthy –in the form of a half animal – half bird.The 160 ft high tower(Gopuram) of the sanctum sanctorum boasts several exquisitely carved sculptures. There are two gopurams and two praharas; the karpagraha, artha mandapam, maha mandapam and muha mandapam and Somaskandar mandapam.The Karpagraha is square-shaped. The Vimana has six bases and sculptures of the scenes of Puranas on its walla. Some of other shrines in the temple are – Murugan, Dharmasamvardhini amman, Sarabar and many more shrinesAn exclusive Sarabeswarar shrine is very special here unlike in other temples where he will be seen only on pillars.

Route:

8 km from Kumbakonam on Thiruvidimarathur road.

Temple Timings:

6.00 am to 12.30 noon – 4.00 pm to 8.50 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0435-2460760

Temple Address:

Sri Kambahareswara Swamy Temple,

Thirubuvanam (Po.),

Thiruvidaimarudur(Tk.),

Thanjavur (Dt). PIN : 612 103.

 

Tiruverkadu – Sri Devi Karumariamman temple

Sri Devi Karumariamman temple

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Devi Karumariamman

Sthala Theertham: Velayudha theertham

Sthala Virksham:Karuvela tree

Sthalapuranam:

As per legends, One day Devikarumari took the image of old nomadic lady and went to Sun to forecast his future. Without realising her as Devikarumari, He simply neglected her. Devikarumari immediately vanished. Sun has lost it’s brightness and its glory started declining. Realising his mistake He begged Devikarumari to forgive and excuse him. Sun also requested Devikarumari to celebrate Sunday as the day of Devikarumari. Devikarumari also accepted it.He also got permission from Her to pour on her sun rays twice in a year in the month of Panguni and Purattasi. So Sunday is celebrated as the day of Karumari . We can happily witness the scene of sun rays falling on the head of Devikarumari twice in a year. Devikarumari made Narayanan Seat there.Once upon a time Lord Thirumal came to Thiruverkadu to witness the grace rule of Umadevi. When Thirumal personally met his sister Karumari, she requested him “to seat there as Srinivasan of Thirumurai and assist Her and bless the devotees who worship Navagraham and stand towards southern direction”. He was happy and promised Her, that He would sit by her side and protect the position of Nine planets. Veda Viyasar was extremely happy to see Annai Parasakthi and Lord Venkatesan together.

An another legends goes this way,There was an ant-hill in this place long ago.  People were worshipping this as Mother Ambica.  Mother appeared in the dream of a devotee and asked him to build a temple for Her in that spot.  When people demolished the ant-hill, they found Ambica as a swayambu and built the temple here.  As She was not in the womb of a Mother, she is praised as one not from the womb (Karuvil Illadha Karumari).  There is also an Ambica idol behind the presiding deity as Mahakali with fire, sword, skull, trident and a drum called Damarukam.  Kumkum archana is performed to Ambica in the evening between 4.30 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. called Pradosha time.

There are also peacock, serpent, and lion vehicles of the Gods.  This lamp is ever burning.  It is believed that worshipping Ambica and this lamp would keep their families wealthy.  The flag post-kodimaram is in front of Ambica shrine.  Festivals begin in Ambica temples with Kappu Kattu (announcing the beginning of festival) ceremony.  Here, festivals begin by hoisting the flag.  Ash of cow dung is offered as Prasad in the temple.  We have seen Lord Vinayaka in temple with His tusk in the right hand and Modhaga-the sweet pudding ball- in the left.  Here, He blesses the devotees with the right hand and keeps the left assuring them – Abhaya hastha.  This is a different style.  It is said those worshipping Mother Devi Karumariamman should worship in this shrine too.

The sage had to come to south to balance the earth as went down due to the heavy weight of a huge gathering of Sages when the wedding of Shiva-Parvathi took place there.  Lord Shiva granted the wedding darshan to the Sage here.  Also, the shrine of Mother Verkanni who granted darshan to the sage is here.

Procession Ambica graces from the corridor-prakara sitting on a moving plank called Unjal.  In front of the temple, Lord Vinayaka graces sitting under the Peepal tree called Arasamaram in Tamil.  Mother Ambica looks young on Her Lion vehicle.  On the new moon day, a yaga is performed with red chillies.  There are shrines for Navagrahas the nine planets, Lord Muruga with His consorts Valli and Deivanai, Srinivasa-Padmavathi and Sri Anjaneya.  On Vaikasi Visakam festival in May-June, Lord Srinivasa graces darshan on Garuda with Mother Padmavathi.  There are also shrines of Lord Dakshinamurthy, Angala Parameswari, Uchishta Ganapathi, Gayatri, Mahalakshmi, Rajarajeswari, Savithri, and Mother Durga.

Aipasi Annabishek is performed to Mother Devi Karumariamman in October-November. Aadi Festival in July-August is very famous. Maximum duration of festivals goes up to 15 days. Rarely in some Shakti temples, festivals run upto 48 days also. In this temple, the festival that begins in the month of Aadi (July-August) continues for 12 weeks ending with Purattasi month-September-October. On Sundays, abishek is performed with 108 pots of milk followed by procession. On the 9th Sunday, Mother Devi Karumariamman is taken in procession in a palanquin decorated with flowers. On Masi Magam day in February-March, Amman is taken to Bay of Bengal for sea bath. Other festivals include Thai Brahmmotsavam in January-February, Chitra Poornima in April-May, Vaikasi Visakam in May-June, big festivals in Aadi (July-August) Navarathri in September-October, Skanda Sashti in October-November and Panguni Uthiram in March-April.

Route:

Tiruverkadu is 12 km from Chennai Koyambedu on the Poonamallee Road. Bus facilities are available from all points in the city.

Temple Timings:

05.30 am To 12.00 pm   04.30 pm To 09.00 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

+91-44-2680 0430, 2680 0487, 2680 1686.

Temple Address:

Sri Devi Karumariamman Temple,

Tiruverkadu,

Tiruvallur Dist.

 

Aakkur – Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar:   Sri Thanthondreeswarar, Sri Swayambhu Nathar

Ambal:  Sri Vaalnedungkannammai, Sri Katka Nethri Ambal

Sthala Theertham:  Kumudha Theertham

Sthala Virksham:  Sarakondrai, Vilva and Paakku trees

Devaram:  Thirugnanasambanthar, Thirunavukarasar

Sthalapuranam:

There are six stone inscriptions in this temple dating back to the periods of Chola kings Rajathirajan and Rajarajan, Pandiya king Kopperunsingan, and Vijayanagara king Veera Krishna Devar.

The historical name of this place is Shankharanyam.

There are two temples called “Maadam” in the Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams. “Maadam” refers to the fact that the temples are situated on top of a man-made hill. These are “Thoonganai Maadam” at Pennakadam and the “Thanthontri Maadam” at Aakkur (this temple).

According to legend, it is believed that during the construction of this temple, King Kochengat Cholan had developed some ailments. He prayed to Lord Shiva for a cure. It is believed that at this point the lord’s divine voice was heard saying that the king should feed 1000 people for 48 days (“Annadhanam”). Following the lord’s instructions, the king started feeding 1000 people every day. However, for 47 days, he noticed that only 999 people were participated in the banquet. He once again prayed to Lord Shiva to tell him about the shortfall of one person. To satisfy the king, it is believed that on the last day, the lord himself came in the form of an old man holding a stick in his hand to complete the count of one thousand people. For this reason, the lord here is known as “Aayirathil Oruvar” (one among one thousand in Tamil).

Since the king had never seen the old man before in his life, he enquired about his whereabouts. Instead of giving a direct answer to the king, the old man countered with a question “Place? Whose place?” (“Yarukku Oor?” in Tamil) and disappeared in an anthill. The king realised that the man is none other than Lord Shiva himself.

When they removed the anthill, they found a Shivalingam there. During its extraction, a cut was formed on top of the lingam which can still be seen.  A beautiful sculpture depicting this event can also be seen in the temple.

This temple is also believed to be one of the places where Lord Shiva gave his wedding dharisanam to Sage Agasthiyar. For this reason, Goddess Parvathy’s shrine is located on the right side of Lord Shiva’s shrine (similar to their wedding posture).

Other than the shrines of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy, shrines and idols of lords Vinayakar, Murugan, Saraswathi, Viswanathar with Visalakshi, Sirappuli Nayanar, Moovar, Sundarar with his wives Sangili Nachiyar and Paravai Nachiyar, Mahalingam, Balamurugan, Arunagirinathar, Gajalakshmi, Kailayanathar, Parvathavarthini, Vayu Lingam, Theyu Lingam, Kochengat Cholan, Appu Lingam, Navagraham, Chandikeswarar, Kalabairavar, Bairavar and Suryan can be seen in the corridors.

In the “koshtam” (place surrounding the sanctum sanctorum), idols of Agasthiyar, Narthana Vinayakar, Dakshinamurthy, Lingothbavar, Brahma and Durgai can be seen.

There is a separate shrine for the procession idol of “Sri Aayirathil oruvar”. This lord is very famous but, due to security reasons, this idol has been transferred to some other place for safekeeping. A photograph of the lord is kept in its place.

In this temple, the shrines of both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathy are facing east.

It is believed that King Kochengat Chola built about 70 “Madakkoils”. The distinguishing feature of a Madakkoil is that it is not easily approachable by an elephant. He built these temples at an elevation and there are a few steps that need to be climbed before seeing the lord. Also, the sanctum sanctorum’s (Karpagragam) entrance is narrow such that no elephant can enter it.

There is a separate shrine for Goddess Saraswathy here.

The shrine of Lord Murugan is in the form of a chariot and it looks very beautiful.

In his hymn of this temple, Saint Thirugnanasambanthar praised the learned brahmins and the devout devotees of Aakkur village.

This is the birth place of Sirappuli Nayanar, one of the revered 63 Nayanmars. It is believed that he always served food to devotees without saying “no” to anyone and at any time. It is believed that he attained salvation here.

Saint Arunagirinadhar has sang songs in praise of Lord Murugan of this temple in his revered Thirupugazh.

It is believed that those seeking “santhana prapthi” (child boon) can pray to the lord here.

Devotees also believe that by worshiping the lord here,  obstacles from their marriage proposals will be removed.

Some of the important festivals celebrated in the temple are –

Vinayakar Chaturthi in the Tamil month of Aavani (Aug-Sept),

Thiru Karthikai in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov-Dec),

Thiruvadhirai in the Tamil month of Markazhi (Dec-Jan),

Makara Sankranthi in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan-Feb) and

Shivrathri in the Tamil month of Masi (Feb-Mar).

108-conchs abhishekam is performed to the lord in the Tamil month of Karthikai on all Mondays (Somavaaram).

Sirappuli Nayanar’s “guru poojai” on the Pooradam star day in the Tamil month of Karthikai (Nov-Dec) is also celebrated in a grand manner.

Pradosham and Pournami are also observed regularly.

This is one of the 276 Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams and 46th Shiva Sthalam on the Southern bank of the river Cauveri in Chozha Nadu (Thenkarai).

Lord Shiva in this temple is a Swayambumurthi (self-manifested).

This is the birth place of Sirappuli Nayanar, one of the revered 63 Nayanmars.

This temple is counted as one of the 70 Maadak Koils built by King Kochengat Cholan.

This east facing temple has two corridors and its main tower (Rajagopuram) has 3-tiers.

There is no flag post (“Dhwajasthambam”) in this temple.

The last consecration ceremony (Maha Kumbabishekam) took place on 10.05.2010 and prior to that on 06.04.2001 and 15.09.1960.

Other Devara Paadal Petra Shiva Sthalams near this temple are –Thalaichangadu, Valampuram, Thiruppallavaneecharam (Poompuhar), Chayavanam, Thiruvenkadu, Kezhai Thirukkattuppalli, Thirukkalikkamur (Annappan Pettai), Pariyal Veerattam, Thiruchempon Palli, Nani Palli, Thirukkadaiyur and Thirukkadaiyur Mayanam.

Route:

Aakkur is situated at a distance of about 17 kms from Mayiladuthurai on the Mayiladuthurai to Tharangambadi route. The temple is behind the Aakkur bus stand.  It is about 5 kms from Semponar Koil.

Temple Timings:

From 08.00 AM to 11.00 AM and 05.00 PM to 08.00 PM.

Temple Telephone Number:

098658 09768 and 097877 09742. 075022 22850.

Temple Address:

Sri Thanthondreeswarar Temple,
Akkur Post,
Tharangambadi Taluk,
Nagapattinam District,
Tamil Nadu – 609301.

Shani Shingnapur

Shani Shingnapur

Shani Shingnapur is one of the most important places for Shani worship in India. In Hindu astrology, Shani means the planet Saturn, one of the 9 heavenly objects. Shani is considered as some one who takes offence easily and brings bad luck to people who defy him. So, Shani is one of the most feared navagrahas. Devotees believe that Lord Shani is looking after this sacred place and thus it is devoid of theft or robbery. Hence it is one of the top religious places in Maharashtra. People across the country come here to seek blessings from Lord Shani.

A devotee story:

Smt. Chandrabhaga Devi, who was extolling the grace of God Shani told us that her in those days, her newly married daughter Sakardevi Karale, from Shingve village of Pathardi Taluka, which was her in-laws place had come to their home at Shingnapur. Because she was newly married, she was wearing a lot of jewelry. “On the same day, as four unknown persons, seeming to be beggars entered our house. Along with the alms, they also saw our jewelry and became happy. There was no fear in our minds and we gave the alms and we came into our home.

But on the same night, at around 1.30, the same four persons came into our home to rob our jewelry. I felt that they had come with the intention of robbing the jewelry. And it was proved right in a little while. They started fighting with us to take away the jewelry. To escape from them, my daughter and I escaped from them and went towards the house of Anna Saheb Kushinath Darandale who lived just 100 metres away.

But, what a strange occurrence! We saw them and were going away from them were seeing them, right in front of them but they could not see us! God Shani was protecting us and our jewelry from them! And though they were not blind, they could not see us. They had lost their sight suddenly. It was because of the grace of God Shani that our jewelry and we were protected. After this incident, I and my husband Shri Dhondiram Tukaram Darandale pray and serve God Shani day and night. After this true story which I have seen with my eyes, I have totally surrendered to Mahatma (Great God) God Shani.”

Shani Shingnapur or Shani Shinganapur is around 114 km from Nashik and 40 km from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra. This village is known for the Shani Temple, who is the presiding deity of the place.

Sthala Purana

Lord Shani is said to be a self-manifested deity in Shani Shingnapur. The deity is not a statue but is in the form of a black stone slab One of the popular legend is about a shepherd who found this big stone. The story is that once the shepherd accidentally hit the stone. Surprisingly, blood started oozing out of that stone. It is said that Lord Shani himself appeared and told him to build a temple around that stone. Lord Shani also said that “the sky itself is a roof for him and the shepherd need not build a roof for the temple.” Further, the Lord asked him to perform daily poojas.. Lord Shani also promised that he will protect the village from any theft or robbery. The main sanctum of Lord Shani doesn’t have a roof and it is an open temple. Shani Shingnapur Temple has a modern architecture with large premises.

For many years, women were not allowed inside the main sanctum. Recently, a group of women activists entered the main sanctum and protested against this tradition. This issue also went to the court and it gave a statement that women can also enter the sanctum. Now women are also allowed to enter the inner sanctum in Shani Shingnapur.

Not a single case of theft, riot, murder or rape has been recorded in the entire history of Shani Shingnapur village.

The people of Shani Shingnapur village are from the ancestry of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

There are no election panels or parties in this village. Only one vote is considered as final and the decision is accepted by all people.

It is told that once you have seen the idol and moved ahead i.e. you have shown your back to the idol then you should not see the idol again.

You cannot get Liquor, gambling or non-vegetarian food in this village.

The Peepal trees in the village have hanging roots (like Banyan tree), which is unusual.

People offer oil (like flowers to other gods) to the shrine of Shani Shingnapur temple. Some people offer 101 oil boxes or 1 quintal oil and few people even offer an entire tanker of oil to God Shani.

More than 10 lakh people visit this temple on the occasions of Shani Amavasya and Shani Jayanti.

People get their lost thing such as money wallet, watch, gold things or other precious items immediately.

Route

By Road: Shani Shingnapur temple is  35 kms away from Ahmadnagar, 160 kms away from Pune, 84 kms from Aurangabad and 295 kms from Mumbai. It’s a 7 hours drive from Mumbai.

Nearest Railway Station: Ahmednagar Railway Station is the convenient railway station to reach Shani Shingnapur town. The station is 35 kms away from the town.

Nearest Airport: Aurangabad (90 kms) & Pune (160 kms) are the closest airports to Shani Shingnapur. Taxi’s & other vehicles on hired are available outside the airport.

Temple Timings:

Devotees can visit Shani Shingnapur temple 24 x 7; all days of the week 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Entry Fees:

Entry for the darshan of God Shani is free to everyone. However, they take prasad packet charge as Rs.10/Packet.

Hotels :

There are some small hotels & eateries around the temple to have food.

Stay:

It’s a very small village & does not offer much accommodation options. So it is better to stay in Shirdi. There is a wide range of hotels in Shirdi.

Temple Telephone Number

Telephone: 02427 238110 , 02427 238108

Temple Address:

Shani Shingnapur Temple

Shanishingnapur,

Post: Sonai,

Taluka: Nevasa,

Dist.: Ahamadnagar Pin. 414 105.

Maharashtra, India.

 

Srinagar – Kheer Bhawani Temple

Kheer Bhawani

Kheer Bhawani Temple lies near the village of Tul Mul and is a place of belief and faith for the Hindu followers. The temple derives its name from the Kheer which is a rice and milk pudding. The people offer this pudding as a symbol of their worship and faith. The Kheer Bhawani temple was built over a scared spring. A marvellous marble temple with splendid architecture has been built in the premises of the main temple. An annual festival is organised on the eighth day of the full moon in the month of May or June. The people believe that the colour of the water of the lake changes according to the avatars of Goddess Kheer Bhawani. A number of historical relics are related to the origin of the temple. It is believed that Maharagya was happy with the true love and devotion of Ravana. Ravana placed a statue of the Goddess in the temple. But later, she became upset by the atrocities of Ravana. She instructed Hanuman ji to place her idol in the village of Tul Mull. Pilgrims from all parts of the country come to visit this holy shrine and seek the blessings of Goddess.

The temple is dedicated to the Goddess Rajnya Devi, popularly known as Kheer Bhawani. The name ‘Kheer Bhawani’ is derived from the fact that thousands of devotees offer milk and ‘Kheer’ (pudding) to the sacred spring, as they believe the pudding turns black to warn of impending disaster. Be it Hindus or Muslims, devotees from all across India throng the temple during the Kheer Bhawani festival.

Kheer Bhawani temple is nestled in the small village of Tula Mula which is located at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar. The temple is associated with goddess Ragyna Devi who is also worshipped as Ragini or Kheer Bhawani. She is an incarnation of Durga Bhagvati. Kheer Bhawani temple is located in the middle of a spring, which is surrounded by a huge area which has been decorated with smooth and beautiful stones. The spring is known as Mata Ragini Kund. The colour of the spring keeps changing. While other colours do not have any particular importance, black colour is considered as an indication of inauspicious times for Kashmir.

History Of  Kheer Bhawani Temple:-

Maharagya was pleased with the devotion of Ravana and appeared before him and Ravana got an image of the goddess installed in Sri Lanka. But the goddess became displeased with the vicious and licentious life of Ravana and so didn’t want to stay in Sri Lanka. Therefore, under the command of the goddess, Hanuman got the image from Sri Lanka and installed it at the holy spot of Tula Mulla. The mention of Kheer Bhawani is found in Kalhana’s Rajtarangini. Kalhana writes that the sacred spring ofTula Mula is situated in a marshy ground. The name of the spring is Mata Ragini Kund. Maharagini is the form of Durga Bhagvati. The Brahmins of Kashmir worship this spring and pilgrims from every comer of the country visit to have the darshan of the place. In Rajtarangini Tula Mula is considered very sacred and the Brahmins of Tula Mula were very great and powerful. The spring of Maharagya was very sacred. Thousands of years ago many floods occurred in Kashmir and the sacred spring of Tula Mula also was inundated under its sway and the holy place could nowhere be traced. All around was water. At last Kashmir’s Yogi Krishna Pandit had a dream in which the goddess appeared to him and ordered that she would swim in the form of a snake at the proper place and that he should stick large poles and when the water subsided there the holy spot was discovered. This event happened during the Samvat 4041. The mention of this temple is also found in Abul-Fazal’s book Aini-Akbari in which is written that the area of Tula Mula extended over the area of hundred bighas of land, which got sunk in the summer season and formed into a marsh. Swami Rama Tirtha and Swami Vivekananda also visited here to have the darshan of the place. With the pouring of milk and throwing of sugar candy in the spring by the pilgrims, a thick and solid layer was formed at its bottom. When it was cleared, the ruins of an old temple and shrine slabs engraved with figures were discovered. Here many images were also found but nobody rebuilt the temple till the Samvat 1969 when Maharaja Pratap Singh who was the disciple and worshiped this goddess, got a marvelous temple of marble made in the midst of the spring which shines like a pearl in a shell. The marble temple was completed in 1920s. Some people are of the opinion that there was a mulberry tree near holy spot of Kheer Bhawani which, in Kashmiri, is called Tul Mul. But Tul Mul is also derived from the Sanskrit phrase-Tul Muli-that is of great value. This means that all other pilgrim centres are of lesser value than this one. It is said that after Ravana finished the worship of the goddess he offered the kheer (rice pudding) to the goddess which she accepted and since then it is called Kheer Bhawani.

Significance Of Kheer Bhawani Temple :-

The presiding deity of this Khir Bhawani temple is Goddess Bhawani who is also called by the names Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Ragnya Bhagwati, and so on. It is believed that Goddess Maharagya is one of the form of Goddess Durga. For the Kashmiri Brahmins, the Historical Vedic Religion followers, Kheer Bhawani Temple is the most important pilgrimage. The temple is surrounded with Chinar trees (Platanus orientalis), which offers a wonderful panorama. The sacred spring at the holy place Tul Mul is called as Mata Ragini Pond. This pond is worshipped by the Kashmiris.
Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk and Swami Rama Tirtha, an Indian teacher of the Hindu philosophy of Vedanta are said to have visited this temple and worshiped the Goddess. The special feature of this temple is that the sacred septagonal spring floes from west (which is considered as its head section) to the east (which is considered as its feet), changes its color with various shades of red, pink, orange, green, blue, white, etc. and the black shade of the spring is believed to be unpromising.

Poojas And Festivals:-

Mela Kheer Bhawani- The Annual Festival:-
The Goddess presides over her believers as they gather, upholding their fast on the 8th day following the full moon in May. Kashmir also observes a state wide holiday on that day. The day is celebrated as people believe that it was this day that the presiding Goddess indulges in changing the spring water’s colour. With colors having some significance, The water getting darker is a signal for the worse time to come. People assert that in 1990 when the Kashmiri Pundits had to go through te exodus, A black shape had taken over the water. People believe in the story that a total of 360 springs flowed near the holdy spring but they soon vanished as the marshy land increased.
In the last half century the pilgrimage has become the most important for Kashmiri Brahmans who come here from all over the State and even from outside. Kheer Bhawani is considered to be the Presiding Deity of most of the Kashmiri Brahmans.

1.     The Sanastha shall manage daily morning and evening Poojas and provide the required Pooja Samgri for this purpose.

2.    The Sanastha shall make all necessary arrangements for enabling devotees of Mata Khir Bhawani to offer their Pooja at the Amrit Kund on all Suklapaksh Ashtamis.

3.    The Sanastha shall arrange to perform Namavali of Maha-Regeneya in early hours of each Ashtami and provide the materials required for it.

4.    The Sanastha shall arrange the traditional Pooja to be performed during the night of Ashtami-Novmi and make necessary arrangement for stay of the devotees for the Pooja during night.

5.    The Sanastha shall arrange Pooja to be performed during night of second Saturday after Ashtami for Mata Shri Bhawnishori.

6.    The Sanastha shall manage traditional Poojas on all the days of Navratras and make suitable arrangements for Jal-Pravah of the Nav-Durga Bhagwati.

7.    The Sanastha shall manage the Poojas on all the days of Ram-Navmi Pooja days and make suitable arrangements for Jal-Pravah of the Nav-Durga Bhagwati on the final day.

8.    The Sanastha shall make arrangement for performing a Hawan on Vyeth-Truvah (Bhadoon Shuklapaksh Triyodashi) and serve a meal as Naveed to the devotees who participate in the Hawan but invitations for participation shall not be extended formally to anyone except by notifying in the Annual Programme (Calender etc.).

9.    The Sanastha shall make arrangements for and perform annual Hawan on Ashad Shuklapaksh Ashtami. The announcement of the Hawan shall be made by the Management through Press and other available media. All devotees of the Mother shall be invited to participate and have Naveed (meals) at the conclusion of the Hawan. Elaborate arrangements shall be made by the Sanastha for convenience of the devotees as far as possible. Invitations to sister organizations and VIP’s as shall be decided by the Managing Committee from time to time shall be extended in writing. The Naveed shall comprise of a simple rice meal with Daal and one Vegetable (Potato) unless decided otherwise by the Managing Committee. Decision of the Managing Committee in this regard shall be final.

10. In order to make the celebrations of Jeshth Ashtami popularly known as “Mela Khir Bhawani and Ashadh Ashtami the Annual Hawan at the Peeth a success, the Pradhan shall call and hold meetings of the Managing Committee of the Sanastha first at least one month before the festival wherein arrangements shall be proposed/finalized. Necessary sub-committees for specific works shall be framed and announced. The sub-committees thus formed shall remain responsible for their allotted work. Each Sewak, Sahayak, Sadasya involved in the management of the festivals shall be informed by easiest direct or indirect means about his assignment and responsibilities at least fifteen days before the function. Final meeting of all the involved members shall be called and held by the Pradhan at least three days before the function and situation about preparations reviewed and suitable action wherever required taken.

11.  No outsider agency other than Govt. Public Utility Deptts. like Municipality, Public Health Engg., Health Services, Law & Order Agency (Security) shall be allowed to render any voluntary/organized/individual service within the premises. All rights with regard to managing affairs, providing services and holding of Samuhik (organized) Pooja within the premises of the Peeth rest with the Sanastha only.

12. All Samohik Pujas/Artis shall be lead by a Sewak only nominated by the Pradhan and in all Hawans performed on behalf of the Sanastha. Aahoti shall be offered by a Sewak of the Sanastha only under all circumstances, even if the entire Hawan is performed on costs contributed by general public or any individual.

13. The Sanastha shall make arrangements for and bear the cost of any   Pooja/Hawan/Sampat which shall be suggested by a 2/3 verdict of the Managing Committee and approved by the Pradhan.

Code Of Conduct Inside The Shrine Premises:-

1.     The Shrine is open to all castes of people for meditation provided the meditator abides by rules and regulations of the Sanastha. Management of the Sanastha reserves the right to deal with violator of the code of conduct in suitable way including fishing him out of the premises and/or handing him over to the law enforcing agencies.

2.    Meat, Eggs, Fish, Tomato, Onion or any kind of non-vegetarian eatables can neither be cooked nor consumed within the Shrine Complex.

3.    No toxic drinks hot or cold, drugs can be used within the premises.

4.    Devi-Angan is purely meant for Puja and Meditation and nothing can either be cooked or consumed (eaten) in Devi-Angan.

5.    The Shrine complex shall be open for following functions of the public to be celebrated within the Hindu Codes :

1.     Hawan.
2.    Kirtan.
3.    Mundan.
4.    Yagneopavit.
5.    Sampath.
6.    Get-together with regard to marriages.

For all the above functions, the party shall have to apply for booking in advance and pay a refundable Security Deposit. Facilities whatever available shall be extended to the party and decision of the Sewak Incharge shall be final. No party can book it when it is to be used by the Sanastha itself on important festivals.

Pooja Timings:-

The temple remains open from morning 6.00 am to night 8.00 pm.

Route:

Kheer Bhawani temple is nestled in the small village of Tula Mula which is located at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar.

Amritsar – Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple)

Golden Temple

Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.

Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the Third Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the Sarovar (the tank) and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D.

The land for the site was bought by the Guru Ram Das Sahib on payment from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. Guru Arjan Sahib got its foundation laid by a muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st of Magh, 1645 Bikrmi Samvat (December, 1588). The construction work was directly supervised by Guru Arjan Sahib himself and he was assisted by the prominent Sikh personalities like Baba Budha ji, Bhai Gurdas ji, Bhai Sahlo ji and many other devoted Sikhs. Unlike erecting the structure on the higher level (a tradition in Hindu Temple architecture), Guru Arjan Sahib got it built on the lower level and unlike Hindu Temples having only one gate for the entrance and exit, Guru Sahib got it open from four sides. Thus he created a symbol of new faith, Sikhism. Guru Sahib made it accessible to every person without any distinction of Caste, creed, sex and religion.

The building work completed in 1601 A.D. on Bhadoon Sudi 1st, 1661 Bikrmi Samvat (August/September,1604). Guru Arjan Sahib installed newly created Guru Granth Sahib, in Sri Harmandir Sahib and appointed Baba Budha ji as its first Granthi i.e. the reader of Guru Granth Sahib. After this event it attained the status of ‘Ath Sath Tirath’. Now the Sikh Nation had their own Tirath, a pilgrimage center

Sri Harmandir Sahib, is built on a 67ft. square platform in the centre of the Sarovar(tank). The temple itself is 40.5ft. square. It has a door each on the East, West, North and South. The Darshani Deori (an arch) stands at the shore end of the causeway. The door frame of the arch is about 10ft in height and 8ft 6inches in breath. The door panels are decorated with artistic style. It opens on to the causeway or bridge that leads to the main building of Sri Harmandir Sahib. It is 202 feet in length and 21 feet in width.

The bridge is connected with the 13 feet wide ‘Pardakshna’ (circumambulatory path). It runs round the main shrine and it leads to the ‘Har ki Paure’ (steps of God). On the first floor of “Har Ki Pauri”, there is continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib. The main structure of Sri Harmandir Sahib, functionally as well as technically is a three-storied one. The front, which faces the bridge, is decorated with repeated cusped arches and the roof of the first floor is at the height of the 26 feet and 9 inches. At the top of the first floor 4 feet high parapet rises on all the sides which has also four ‘Mamtees’ on the four corners and exactly on the top of the central hall of the main sanctuary rises the third story. It is a small square room and have three gates. A regular recitation of Guru Granth Sahib is also held there.

On the top of this room stands the low fluted ‘Gumbaz’(dome) having lotus petal motif in relief at the base inverted lotus at the top which supports the “Kalash” having a beautiful “Chhatri” at the end. Its architecture represents a unique harmony between the Muslims and the Hindus way of construction work and this is considered the best architectural specimens of the world. It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of architecture in the history of art in India.

There is a continuous singing of Gurbani Kirtan (hymns) at Sri Harimandir Sahib from the opening of its portals (doors) to their closing. Some minor changes are effected in the summer and winter months. After the departure of the Palki Sahib (palanquin) carrying Sri Guru Granth Sahib to The Akal Takhat Sahib, the devotees, accompanied by the Gurdwara staff, clean the Sri Harimandir Sahib for one hour. During this process these devotees sing the Gurbani Kirtan in melodious and devotional tones. After purifying the precincts, the rugs are spread, on which the Peera Sahib (a small cot) is placed to install the Sri Guru Granth Sahib in the early morning. At the completion of the Ardas (Sikh Prayer), Karah Prasad (holy offering) is distributed among the devotees.

At Sri Akal Takhat, after the Rehras (Evening Scripture) the weapons belonging to Guru Sahib (Sikh Masters) and Martyr Sikhs are displayed at about 8.00 p.m.

The gurdwara is constructed of white marble, overlaid with genuine gold leaf strands in the centre of a sarovar, or pool of fresh water, which is fed by the River Ravi, and said by some to originate from the Ganges river. Pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters of the tank which is known for its healing properties. Visitors gather inside the gurdwara to worship, listen to hymns, and hear the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib being read. The golden gurudwara has four entrances, one in each direction, to symbolically welcome everyone who enters, regardless of caste, class, colour, and creed. A bridge extends from the gurudwara to the Akal Takht, the governing body of religious authority for Sikhs. The Guru Granth is kept in the Akal Takhat after hours. Langar is a free sanctified meal which is prepared daily and served at the temple. It is available to the tens of thousands pilgrims who visit daily. All cooking of food and maintenance of the golden temple complex is carried out by worshippers, who volunteer their services. All cost is provided for by donations.

In 1574, Akbar, the Mughal emperor, gifted the site to Bibi Bhani, a daughter of the third Guru Amar Das, as a wedding gift, when she married Jetha, who later became the fourth guru, Guru Raam Das. In 1577, Guru Raam Das begins excavation of a fresh water tank, and begins construction of the temple site. In 1581, Guru Arjun Dev, the son of Guru Raam Das, becomes fifth guru of the Sikhs, and works to complete construction of the sarovar, getting the tank and stairways on all sides paved with bricks. During 1588, Guru Arjun Dev over-sees the laying of the temple’s foundation. In 1604, Guru Arjun Dev completes the temple’s construction. He compiles the sacred scripture Adi Granth over a five-year period, completing it on August 30 and installing the Granth in the temple on September 1. He appoints a Sikh named Baba Buddha to be caretaker of the Granth. On 15th June, 1606 (Har Vadi 5 1663 S.V.), Guru Har Govind sets the corner-stone of the foundation of Akal Takht, the throne of spiritual authority, with the assistance of Bhai Gurdas and Baba Buddha. Together, the three of them build a platform 12 feet high, in defiance of a decree made by Mughal Emperor Jahangir that no one but his own royal personage be allowed to sit on a dais over three feet in height.

Temple inaugurated On 24th June (Har Sudi 10th day 1663 S.V.), the inauguration ceremonies commence and the first hukhamnama decree is issued. During 1699 to 1737, Bhai Mani Singh is appointed curator of Harmandir Sahib by Guru Gobind Singh. During 1757 to 1762, Jahan Khan, an Afghani general of the invader Ahmad Shah Abdali, attacks the temple. It is defended by illustrious martyr Baba Deep Singh. The damages sustained, result in tegh need for major renovations. The year 1984 was a dark phase in the temple’s history. But it’s too painful to recall here. From 2000- 2004, Amrik Singh works with Douglas G Whitetaker and a team of American engineers to set up a water purification plant to serve the sarovars of Amritsar, including those of the Golden Temple Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, Gurdwara Bibeksar, Gurdwara Mata Kaulan and Gurdwara Ramsar and Gurdwara Santokhsar. The water treatment faculty includes a sand filtration system.

Route

The railway station in Amritsar is centrally located; of hardly 15-minutes drive from theGolden Temple.

You can easily get regular buses to Amritsar from other major cities of the country. Bus Station(s): Amritsar

Temple phone number

0183 255 3957

Temple Timing

3AM–10PM

Temple Address

Golden Temple

Golden Temple Rd,

Atta Mandi,

Katra Ahluwalia,

Amritsar,

Punjab 143006

 

Bhagavadgita – English

bhagavadgitawith00londiala eng click here

The Gita is a doctrine of universal truth. Its message is uni­ver­sal, sublime, and non-sectarian although it is a part of the scrip­tural trinity of Sanaatana Dharma, commonly known as Hinduism. The Gita is very easy to understand in any language for a mature mind. A repeated reading with faith will reveal all the sublime ideas con­tained in it. A few abstruse statements are interspersed here and there but they have no direct bearing on practical issues or the central theme of Gita. The Gita deals with the most sacred metaphysi­cal science. It imparts the knowledge of the Self and answers two universal questions: Who am I, and how can I lead a happy and peaceful life in this world of dualities. It is a book of yoga, the moral and spiri­tual growth, for mankind based on the cardinal principles of the Hindu religion.

The message of the Gita came to humanity because of Arjuna’s unwill­ingness to do his duty as a warrior because fighting in­volved destr­uction and killing. Nonviolence or Ahimsa is one of the most fundamen­tal tenets of Hinduism. All lives, human or non-human, are sacred. This immortal discourse between the Supreme Lord, Krishna, and His devotee-friend, Arjuna, occurs not in a temple, a secluded forest, or on a mountain top but on a battlefield on the eve of a war and is recorded in the great epic, Mahaabhaarata. In the Gita Lord Krishna advises Arjuna to get up and fight. This may create a misunderstanding of the prin­ciples of Ahimsa if the background of the war of Mahaabhaarata is not kept in mind. Therefore, a brief historical description is in order.

In ancient times there was a king who had two sons, Dhritaraashtra and Paandu. The former was born blind, therefore, Paandu in­herited the kingdom. Paandu had five sons. They were called the Paandavs. Dhritaraashtra had one hundred sons. They were called the Kauravs. Duryodhana was the eldest of the Kauravs.

After the death of king Paandu, the eldest son of Paandu became the lawful King. Duryodhana was a very jealous person. He also wanted the king­dom. The kingdom was divided into two halves between the Paandavs and the Kauravs. Duryodhana was not satisfied with his share of the king­dom. He wanted the entire kingdom for himself. He unsuccessfully planned several foul plots to kill the Paandavs and take away their kingdom. He unlawfully took possession of the entire kingdom of the Paandavs and refused to give back even an acre of land without a war. All mediation by Lord Krishna and others failed. The big war of Mahaabhaarata was thus in­evitable. The Paandavs were unwilling par­ticipants. They had only two choices: Fight for their right as a matter of duty or run away from war and accept defeat in the name of peace and nonviolence. Arjuna, one of the five Paandava brothers, faced the dilemma in the battlefield whether to fight, or run away from war for the sake of peace.

Arjuna’s dilemma is, in reality, the universal dilemma. Every human being faces dilemmas, big and small, in their everyday life when performing their duties. Arjuna’s dilemma was a big one. He had to make a choice between fighting the war and killing his most revered guru who was on the other side, very dear friends, close relatives, and many innocent warriors; or run­ning away from the battlefield for the sake of preser­ving the peace and nonviolence. The entire seven hundred verses of the Gita is a discourse between Lord Krishna and the confused Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra near New Delhi, India, in about 3,100 years BCE. This discourse was narrated to the blind king, Dhritaraashtr, by his charioteer, Sanjaya, as an eyewitness war report.

The main objective of the Gita is to help people ¾ struggling in the darkness of ignorance ¾ cross the ocean of transmigration and reach the spiritual shore of liberation while living and working in the society. The central teaching of the Gita is the attainment of free­dom or happiness from the bondage of life by doing one’s duty. Always remember the glory and greatness of the creator and do your duty effi­ciently without being attached to or affected by the results even if that duty may at times demand unavoidable violence. Some people neglect or give up their duty in life for the sake of a spiritual life while others excuse them­selves from spiritual practices because they believe that they have no time. The Lord’s message is to sanctify the entire living process itself. Whatever a person does or thinks ought to be done for the glory and satisfaction of the Maker. No effort or cost is necessary for this process. Do your duty as a service to the Lord and humanity, and see God alone in everything in a spiritual frame of mind. In order to gain such a spiritual frame of mind, per­sonal discipline, austerity, penance, good conduct, selfless service, yogic practices, medita­tion, worship, prayer, rituals, and study of scriptures, as well as the company of holy persons, pilgrimage, chanting of the holy names of God, and Self-inquiry are needed to purify the body, mind, and intellect. One must learn to give up lust, anger, greed, and establish mastery over the mind and five senses (hearing, touch, sight, taste, smell) by the purified in­tellect. One should always remember that all works are done by the energy of nature and that he or she is not the doer but only an instrument. One must strive for excellence in all undertakings but maintain equanimity in success and failure, gain and loss, and pain and pleasure.

The ignorance of metaphysical knowledge is humanity’s greatest predicament. A scripture, being the voice of transcendence, cannot be translated. Language is incapable and translations are defective to clearly impart the knowledge of the Absolute. In this rendering, an attempt has been made to keep the style as close as possible to the original Sanskrit poetry and yet make it easy to read and understand. An attempt has been made to improve the clarity by adding words or phrases, within parenthesis, in the English translation of the verses. A glossary and index have been included. One hundred and thirty-three (133) key verses are printed in pink for the convenience of beginners. We suggest all our readers to ponder, contemplate, and act upon these verses. The beginners and the busy executives should first read and understand the meaning of these key verses before delving deep into the bottomless ocean of transcen­dental knowledge of the Gita.

According to the scriptures, no sin, however heinous, can affect one who reads, ponders, and practices the teachings of Gita any more than water affects the lotus leaf. The Lord Himself resides where Gita is kept, read, chanted, or taught. The Gita is the knowledge Supreme and the sound embodiment of the Absolute and the Eternal. One who reads, ponders, and practices the teachings of Gita with faith and devotion will attain Moksha (or Nirvana) by the grace of God.

This book is dedicated to all the gurus whose blessings, grace, and teachings have been invaluable. It is offered to the greatest Guru, Lord Krishna, with love and devotion. May the Lord accept it, and bless those who repeatedly read this with peace, happiness, and the true knowledge of the Self.