Pushkar – Sri Renganath Venugopal Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Renganath Venugopal Temple

Period of origin

Before 1800 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Sri Renganath Venugopal

Thayar: Bama and Rukumani

Sthalapuranam:

Sri ranganath venugopal Mandir, Pushkar, more popularly known as Purana Rangi mandir is one of the oldest temple complex in puskar town built on the inspiration of sri P.B.Anantachari maharaj of kancheepuram by seth puranmalji ganeriwal in 1844 A.D. and is located in the center of the town and on the north of the pushkar lake after the main brahma road.

Old Rangji temple complex is an outstanding combination of Dravidian (South Indian) temple Architecture and Rajasthan architecture. This complex is spread out over an area of about 90000 sq.feet.

After you enter the massive Rajathani style gates, you come across an outer prakar with lime and mortar road and painted walls of the inner temple. This area i.e. Outer prakaram has been open to foreign tourists since 1864 A.D. As inscribed on a marble plate before the entry into the main temple.

The Main entrance of the temple is incarnated by intricately carved Gopuram a distinct feature of the south Indian temple architecture and inside this Nijmandir stands the Golden Garuda, Dhwaja Stambha, representing the Garuda the vahan of Lord Vishnu, on the earliest mention of Garud, Dhawaja is to be found in the Besanagar inscriptions of the second century B.C., which says that a Garuda Dhawedaja was erected by halliodorus, a greek convert to vaishnavaism.

The Nij Mandir complex has three shrines on the main platform west of the garud dhwaja devoted to lord Krishna (known as lord venugopal in south india); Lord Rangnath of Srirangam; Sri Ramanujachariya and other alwars. On the two sides of this main Platform idols of goddess laxmiji and goddess godammaji and shri P.B. Anantachariji Maharaj are installed.

All the five shrines are surrounded by shikhars and the mandap in front of the platform is decorated by typical hindu style columns.

The entire Nij Mandir complex is enclosed by a fortified wall, decently decorated by cenotaph and jhrokas with frescoes paintings of rajputana style. This temple complex has been primarily decorated with extensive use of Frescoes painting which have been done on Aaraish plaster with natural vegetable pigment.

The Major Themes of the Painting and carving in the outer prakaram are religious and mythological stories. Such as Krishna leela. The romantic dance of life by lord Krishna and his gopis stories from Ramayana; the various vishnu avtars; sagar manthan etc.

Old rangji temple is the first temple of Ramanuja sampradaya of the shri vaisnav sect of Hindus from this temple the Ramanuja sampradaya spread into entire Rajasthan. Ramanuja Sampradaya was founded by Ramanujachariya who was born in 1016 A.D. in Bhotpuri,Tamil Nadu state and he preached his philosophy of “vishistadwait” in Srirangam.

The pooja and Rituals and Utsavas are performed as per the Pancharatra Vidhi of Vaishnav Sampradaya.

The Priests are all Dravida Brahmins from south india scince 1844 A.D. The Prasad is distributed twice a day in the morning and evening to all who are present without any distinction of cast or creed.

Route:

Pushkar is a sacred temple town situated at a distance of 12KM from Ajmer City, Rajasthan.
By Road: Ajmer city is well connected to important places of India. By Rail: The Ajmer city is well connected to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chennai and other important places.
By Air: The nearest airport is Jaipur -138km

Temple Timings:

6.30 am to 8.30 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0145-2772050

Temple Address:

Sri Renganath Venugopal Temple

Pushkar-305002,

Ajmer District,

Rajasthan

 

Pushkar – Sri Brahma Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Brahma Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Brahma

Ambal: Saraswathi, Gayatri

Sthala Theertham: Jyeshta Pushkar, Madya Pushkar, Kanishta Pushkar

Sthalapuranam:

According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake.

When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower (“pushpa”) fell from Brahma’s hand (“kar”) as “Pushkar”. Brahma then decided to perform a yajna (fire-sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake. In order to perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar – Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, while performing the yajna, his wife Saraswathi could not be present at the designated time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani.

Annoyed, Brahma requested god Indra- the king of heaven – to find a suitable girl for him to wed to complete the yajna. Indra could find only a Gujar’s daughter (in some legends, a milkmaid) who was sanctified by passing her through the body of a cow. Gods Vishnu, Shiva and the priests certified her purity as she had passed through a cow, it was her second birth and she was named Gayatri. Brahma then married Gayatri and completed the yajna with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita (elixir of life) on her head and giving ahuti (offering to the sacrificial fire). But when Savitri finally arrived at the venue she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma which was her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be never worshipped, but then reduced the curse permitting his worship in Pushkar. Savitri also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the fire-god Agni who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests officiating the yajna to be poor.

Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri diluted Savitri’s curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Thus, the Pushkar temple is regarded the only temple dedicated to Brahma. Savitri, thereafter, moved into the Ratnagiri hill and became a part of it by emerging as a spring known as the Savitri Jharna (stream); a temple in her honour exists here.

Histo brahma mandir in kuruksherta are small); of these many are old that were destroyed or desecrated by Muslim depredations during Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s rule (1658–1707) but were re-built subsequently; of these the most important is the Brahma temple. Though the current structure dates to the 14th century, the original temple is believed to be 2000 years old. The temple is described to have been built by sage Vishwamitra after Brahma’s yagna.

It is also believed that Brahma himself chose the location for his temple. The 8th century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara renovated this temple, while the current medieval structure dates to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam, who made additions and repairs, though the original temple design is retained. Pushkar is often described in the scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world, owing to the curse of Savitri, but also as the “King of the sacred places of the Hindus”. Although now the Pushkar temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Brahma. International Business Times has identified Pushkar Lake and the Brahma temple as one of the ten most religious places in the world and one of the five sacred pilgrimage places for the Hindus, in India.

The priests at the Brahma temple refer to a strictly followed religious practice. House-holders (married men) are not allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum to worship the deity. Only ascetics (sanyasis) can perform the puja to the deity. Hence, all offerings by pilgrims are given, from the outer hall of the temple, through a priest who is a sanyasi. The priests of the temple, in general in Puskkar, belong to the Parashar gotra (lineage).

Once a year, on Kartik Poornima, the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik (October – November), a religious festival is held in Brahma’s honour. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy Pushkar Lake adjacent to the temple. Various rites are also held at the temple during the fair. The day also marks the famous Pushkar Camel Fair, held nearby. Special rites are performed on all poornimas (full moon days) and amavasyas (new moon days) brahma mandir.

Route:

Pushkar is a sacred temple town situated at a distance of 12KM from Ajmer City, Rajasthan.
By Road: Ajmer city is well connected to important places of India. Distance from major cities of India is..1)Jaipur-138KM, 2)Delhi-392KM, 3)Ahmedabad-526KM, 4)Chennai-1955KM, 5)Mumbai-1040KM,6)Kolkata-1642KM.
By Rail: The Ajmer city is well connected to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chennai and other important places.
By Air: The nearest airport is Jaipur -138km

Temple Timings:

The temple is open for worship between 6:30 am and 8:30 pm during winter and 6:00 am to 9:00 pm during summer, with an interval in afternoon between 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm when the temple is closed. Three aratis are held in the temple: Sandhya arati in the evening about 40 minutes after sunset, Ratri Shayan arati (night-sleep arati) about 5 hours past sunset and Mangala arati in the morning, about 2 hours before sunrise.

Temple Telephone Number:

0145-2772050,09869854249,09820418398

Temple Address:

Sri Brahma Temple

Pushkar-305002,

Ajmer District,

Rajasthan

 

Gujarat – Sri Somanth Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Somanth Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Somanath

Ambal: Parvathi

Sthalapuranam:

According to Prabhaskhand of Skanda Purana, the legend goes like this Chandra married the twenty seven daughters (stars) of Daksha, but was very partial and showed lot more love and affection to rohini. The remaining twenty six wives not only felt neglected but also insulted. They were disappointed with their husband and went and complained to their father. Daksha was upset to see his daughters suffer thus, and tried twice to convince his son-in-law to change himself, but in vain. He put a curse on him that Chandra would be “decreasing” in size.

The Devas (Celestial gods) were very sad at Chandra’s plight and went to Brahma. The Creator, in order to find out a remedy for this condition of Chandra and get a solution for redressing the curse. Brahma told them that the only way out was to worship Vrishabhdhwaj Shankar at Prabhas Kshetra Mahamrityunjay. Chandra went on a penance for six months and prayed to Lord Shiva, at the end of which Shankara appeared before him. He gave Chandra the boon that in a month, he would grow for fifteen days in one half and in the other half he would keep losing one Kala (shade) per day and decrease in size. He was pleased with the Devas and in order to increase the prestige of the place, Lord Shiva Himself came to be known as Someshwar, meaning famous moon (Soma). The Devas established a Someshwar Kund there. By taking a holy dip in this pond or Kund, it is believed that one would obtain release from all the sins. Chandra or moon is also called Som. That is why this JyotirLinga has become famous as Somanath. Chandra or moon looks very bright here. Therefore, this place is also known as “Prabhasapattana”. Moon had built a golden temple, followed by a silver temple by Ravana, Bhagvan Shree Krishna is believed to have built Somnath temple with Sandalwood.

The research based on ancient Indian classical texts show that first Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratistha was done on the auspicious third day of brighter half of Shravan month during the tenth Treta yug of Vaivswat Manvantar. Swami Shri Gajananand Saraswatiji, Chairman of Shrimad Aadhya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vedic Shodh Sansthan, Varanasi suggested that the said first temple was built 7,99,25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran. Thus, this temple is a perennial source of inspiration for millions of Hindus since time immemorial.

The later sources of history account for several desecrations by Muslims invaders during eleventh to eighteen century A.D. The temple was rebuilt every time with the reconstructive spirit of the people. The modern temple was reconstructed with the resolve of Sardar Patel who visited the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13 1947. Then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, did the Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple on 11 May 1951.

Other spots in the temple are Shri Kapardi Vinayak and Shri Hanuman Temple in addition to Vallabhghat. Vallabhghat is a beautiful sunset point. The temple is illuminated every evening. Similarly, the Sound and  Light Show “Jay Somnath” is also displayed every night during 8.00 to 9.00, which allows the pilgrims an ethereal experience in the backdrop of grand Somnath temple and the holy wave sounds of the Ocean.

Somnath Temple is well-visited by religious travellers throughout the year but weather wise the best time to visit Somnath is between October to March. These months are pleasant and cooler and are perfect for sightseeing and temple visits.

Route:

The nearest airport to Somnath is Diu that is 90 kms away. From Diu Airport you can hire a taxi, which will cost you around Rs 2000, The nearest railhead is in Veraval in Konkan that is only 5 kms away. Taxi charges minimum fare of Rs 150 to reach Somnath from the railway station, connected by a good road network to the other nearby places like Veraval 7 km, Mumbai 889 km, Ahmedabad 400 km, Bhavnagar 266 km, Junagarh 85 km, and Porbandar 122 km.

Temple Timings:

6:00 am to 9:00 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

94282 14909, +91-2876-659093

Temple Address:

Sri Somanth Temple

Prabhas Patan -362 268,

Ta. Veraval

Girsomnath, Dist

Gujarat.

 

Ujjain – Sri Bhatrihari cave

Name of the Temple

Sri Bhartrihari cave

Period of origin

11th century AD

Sthalapuranam:

Historically Bhartrihari was the elder step brother of legendary Vikramadithya. But some say he is the younger brother but no definite proof is available about this truth. Even Bhartrihari has never written his auto biography, or anyone his biography. It is true with great people of the past who never bothered to glorify themselves. They considered knowledge as the glory of Saraswati and they are only dissipating it.

It is believed that Bhartrihari was extremely attached to his wife Pingala. It so happened, once a Brahmin gave him a fruit, when consumed would make a person live longer. Bhartrihari gave it to his wife, whom he loved more than his life, but she gave it to the horse keeper with whom she had an illicit relationship. He in turn gave it to a prostitute, to whom he was a frequent visitor. But the prostitute felt that the king was the ideal person to eat the fruit. So she went to court and gave it to king. Bhartrihari came to know the whole episode and his eyes opened by the infidelity present in the world. Hence he handed over his kingdom to Vikramaditya and turned into an ascetic. He joined the Natha cult and spent rest of his life in meditation on the outskirts of Ujjain in the company of his nephew Gopichand who had also renounced the world and was also in the Natha cult.

Bhartrihari and Gopichand are believed to have meditated in these caves. Bhartrihari has written the great works- Neethi shathakam, Vairagya shathakam and Shringara shatakam having 100 verses of immense philosophical values. Shringara shatakam deals with Kama or desire, Neeti shatakam deals with values or Dharma, where as Vairagya shatakam deals with Gnana and Moksha. It is well known that Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha are four Purusharthas (goals) of every human being. Obviously these works of Bhartrihari would lead to Moksha for a person who reads and understands his vedantic approach.

There are some exit points in the cave and one of them is believed to lead to Chardham at Himalayas. But these exits are closed with barricades to prevent people entering it as it could be dangerous, since it is never used from past couple of centuries.

Route:

Bhartrihari caves are located about 10 kms from Ujjain town

Temple Timings:

6 am to 7 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Bhartrihari Caves

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

 

Ujjain – Sri Sandipani Muni ashram

Name of the Temple

Sri Sandipani Muni ashram

Period of origin

Before 1500 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Krishna, Balarama, Mahadev

Sthalapuranam:

The area near The Sandipani Muni ashram known as Ankapata, is popularly believed to have been the place used by Lord Krishna for washing his writing tablets. The numerals 1 to 100 found inscribed on a stone are believed to have been engraved by Guru Sandipani. Near the ashram is the Gomti Kund, a staircased water tank where Krishna supposedly summoned all the holy waters from various centres so that his old Guru, Sandipani Muni would not have to travel other holy places.

The two brothers- Sri Krishna, Balarama and Sudama, while staying as students at Guru Sandipani’s residence, learnt everything in a single lesson. Upon completion of their studies, they persuaded the teacher to ask for the preceptor’s dakshina (fees) of his liking. Sandipani asked for, as his dakshina, the restoration of his child lost in the ocean at Prabhaas. The two brothers went to Prabhaasa and found that the son was taken by the demon “Shankhasur”, who had a HOLY conch named “Paanchajanya”, lived under the waters in the shape of a conch. Not finding the son within the conch, Sri Krishna and Balarama took the conch and went to Yama, and blew the conch. Yama worshipped both of them saying, ‘O Vishnu (the all-pervading Lord), disguised as a human being by way of leela (sport), what can we do for you both?’ The glorious Lord said: ‘Impelled by My command, O great ruler, fetch My preceptor’s son, who was brought here as a result of his own Karma.’ Being brought back to life, they handed over to their preceptor his son. Shri Krishna obtained the HOLY conch “Panchajanya” from “Shankhasur”. Shri Krishna blew conch Panchajanya along with Arjun’s conch devdatta signalling the start of the Mahabharata.

The main shrine in the ashram is of course, dedicated to the founder of the ashram, the sage who was fortunate to tutor Krishna himself – Guru Sandipani. This shrine houses his Samadhi at the place where he taught his disciples, who too have their place within the shrine – right opposite their teacher, in the pose of obedient students

There are two temples on the ashram premises – The Kundeshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is an interesting one, with an image of Lord Vishnu on one wall representing Krishna, Sudama, Balaram and the other students on another wall, and also an image of Kubera on one wall! It is believed that when Shiva heard that Lord Vishnu in theas so impressed by the meeting of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva) that he stood up in amazement. The image of Na form of Krishna had arrived in his city, he went to visit him at the ashram. Nandi the bull, the vehicle of Shiva wndi at this temple is believed to be the only one in standing posture! It is also believed that this place being special to both Shiva and Vishnu brings prosperity to this place, and hence the presence of Kubera

The second temple is also dedicated to Shiva, this time as Sarveshwar Mahadev, the patron deity of Sage Sandipani. It is believed that Sandipani imparted his special knowledge of the time – in fact, our guide hinted that this was the essence of the Gita – to Krishna, the reason for Krishna’s choice of Sandipani as his tutor!

Route:

The Sandipani Muni ashram is located 2 km outside Ujjain.

Temple Timings:

6 am to 8 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0734 2580694

Temple Address:

Sri Sandipani Muni ashram

Ujjain

MadhyaPradesh

Ujjain – Sri Harasiddhi Matha Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Harasiddhi Matha Temple

Period of origin

Before 1800 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Harsiddhi matha

Sthalapuranam:

One of the 52 Shakti Peeths situated all over India. According to legend, Shiva married Sati, the daughter of Daksha, a Prajapati who was proud of his position and disliked his ascetic son-in-law. In an effort to put his son-in-law in his place, Daksha organized a yagna and deliberately did not invite Shiva. Hearing of the grand yagna, sati visited it by herself, ignoring her husband’s advice, and, furious with her father for thus deliberately ignoring her husband, cast herself into the flames lit for the yagna. Her act led to Shiva’s ganas going berserk with rage, and Shiva himself arriving at the scene and dancing the Tandava (the angry dance) with sati’s body in his arms. While Shiva was later calmed down and amends made, it is believed that parts of Sati’s body fell on earth as He danced, and each of these (totaling 52 in number) are revered as Shakti Peeths.

Harsiddhi Temple is devoted to maa shakti. It is believed that the Harsiddhi temple is the place where mata Sati’s elbow fell. Harsiddhi Temple is small, but beautiful one, and the idol of the goddess is enshrined between those of Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Harsiddhi Temple was built during the reign of the Marathas. Two huge Deepasthambs (pillars for lighting lamps) stand proud, welcoming us to the temple, and one can’t help imagine how beautiful they would look, all lit up, as they are during Navaratri !!

Another legends goes in this way Once upon a time there were two demons named Chanda and Prachanda. They conquered the entire gods and they attącked Kailasa too. At that time Shiva and Parvathi are playing dice. Chanda and Prachanda defeated Nandi. They are destroying Kailasa. Shiva meditated on Shakti. She appeared in the form of Hara siddhi and kílled the demons. Hara siddhi is described as the Shakti of Tripurantaka. She is Mangala chandi, who gave courage to Lord Shiva to kíll Tripurasuras

Every year in the month of October Navaratri festival will be conducted in Harsiddhi temple.

Route:

Near Mahakaleshwar temple, Beside Rudra sagar we can reach Harsiddhi mata temple

Temple Timings:

6 am to 8 pm

Temple Address:

Sri Harasiddhi Matha Temple

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

Ujjain – Sri KalaBhairav Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri KalaBhairav Temple

Period of origin

Before 1800 yeras

Name of deity

Moolavar: Kaal Bhairav

Sthalapuranam:

Kaal Bhairav Temple said to have been built by king Bhadrasen on the banks of Shipra River. This ancient temple is dedicated to Kaal Bhairav, the chief among the eight Bhairavas. The worship of Kaal Bhairav is a part of Shaivite tradition, mainly by the Kapalika and Aghora sects. The striking feature of the Kaal Bhairav Temple is its exquisite paintings in Malwa style, only traces of which are noticeable. Lord Kaal Bhairav is the manifestation of Lord Shiva who is said to oversee the time ahead. It is also said that the “Time lost is lost forever”, so one should make a good use of time in Life.

Kaal Bhairav is also known as Khetrapala and he is regarded as the guardian of the temple that is why the keys of the Kaal Bhairav temple is to be kept at the temple premise at night and no one should carry it elsewhere. Since Kaal Bhairav is also the protector of the travelers, one should make a garland of Cashew nuts and give it to the God along with lighting a lamp so that he is pleased and save the traveler from any danger. This is to be done especially if the journey is at night. Since dog is the vehicle of the Lord, it is very auspicious to feed dogs which show our respect to Kaal Bhairav. All the offerings to the Kal Bhirava Lord are to be done at the day of Kaal Bhairav Ashthami, when the lord is being worshipped with care and dedication. The vehicle of Kaal Bhairav is a dog, and the life-like statue of the one outside the sanctum

“Kal Bhairav is worshiped in three ways sattvic, rajasic and tamasic. In the sattvic (pure) worship, flowers and fruits are offered. In the rajasic (passionate), ornaments of gold are offered to him and in the tamasic (dark or dense), Bhairava is offered liquor. On normal days around two-hundred-fifty bottles are offered. During the Mela, the number goes as high as one thousand bottles per day, as up to 400,000 pilgrims may come in a day. When the liquor is offered to the ancient stone idol of Bhairava, a tantrik mantra is chanted by us. The liquor disappears, and no one knows where the liquor goes. Pawan said researchers are amazed at the consumption of thousands of bottles of liquor by the Kal Bhairav. It is only Bhairav Ji who is worshipped in all the three ways, most days the worship is done in sattvic and rajasic ways only.”

Interesting thing about the offering is that, when people offer Liquor to the God, he accepts the offer of Liquor lively. What happens is that the Temple Priest keeps the Dish Plate filled with liquor near the mouth of the Deity and the stone image of Deity starts sucking slowly the Liquor from the plate & slowly Liquor starts decreasing in the Plate and the Temple Priest takes back the plate only when all the Liquor is finished. It may sound unbelievable, but its true. It is seen with your own eyes and it does not happen once or twice, this happens everyday & many times in a day. The Deity sucks in hundreds of bottles in a day on festive seasons. No one knows where does this hundreds of bottles of liquor goes but it has been happening since ages, as this temple is hundreds of years old.

Route:

The distance between Kaal Bhairav Temple through the railway station and Dewas Gate Bus stand is about 6km.So from station you can hire the taxi or take the city bus which takes charges 15Rs/-per head.

Temple Timings:

7 am to 7 pm

Temple Address:

Sri KalaBhairav Temple

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

 

Ujjain – Sri Mangalnath Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Mangalnath Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Mangalnath

Ambal: Parvathi

Sthalapuranam:

Lord Mangal (Mars) is one of the nine planets or navagrahas. He is also known by the names Angaraka and Kuja. According to Vedic mythology, Lord Mangal is born of Sarva and Vikesi (Earth goddess). He is associated with strength, valor, and courage. Lord Mangal is the protector of dharma (righteousness), and the purpose of life.

A marvelous shrine located far away from the flurry of the city life, offers an unimaginable sense of tranquility to the tourists. The temple is situated at the place where the first meridian is said to pass the earth and so this place was a renowned spot for a clear view of the planet and consequently it turned to be an apt place for astronomical studies. Mangalnath Temple is a highly revered shrine situated in Ujjain District, Madhya Pradesh. According to Matsya Purana, Mangalnath is considered to be the birth place of Mars. The presiding deity is Lord Shiva. Mangalnath Temple which looks upon a vast expanses of the Shipra River, offers an indescribable sense of peace to the tourists. It is situated at the place where the first meridian is said to pass the earth. In ancient times, the place Mangalnath was famous for a clear view of the planet and hence is a suitable place for astronomical studies.

According to Astrology Mars or Mangal is the planet of power, strength, courage and aggression. Astrologically Mars is seen as a cruel planet. As a God, Mars is often described with a red body exemplifying the natural color of the astronomical body in the sky. Mangal is also a Kshatriya and sits on a ram. He is a handsome youth having a short stature and four arms, two of which carry a trident and a mace. His build is slender and appearance youthful and his blood-red eyes burn fiercely. In terms of Marriage the position of Mars is of supreme importance as it signifies passion, husband, marital knot, sex etc. Mangal is known for positively or negatively affecting the chances of Marriage. As per astrology, the placement of Mars in the 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th or 12th house from ascendant, Moon and Venus results in the Mangalik Dosha. Mangal Dosha leads to delay in marriage, dissatisfactions in married life, incompatible sexual preference, inadequate longevity of spouse, low adjustment potential, lack of satisfaction with own spouse and hence leading to extra marital affairs.

Mangal Puja is performed to appease the planet Mars. Mangal Puja is very useful & beneficial, since it strengthens and increases the positive influence and neutralizes the negative effects of Mangal. Mangal Puja is recommended for those having malefic Mars or wrongly placed Mars as per the horoscope. Chanting of the following mantra on Tuesdays facing south helps to get the blessings of Mangal.

Route:

Mangalnath Temple is situated near Ujjain and can be reached through a road. Ujjain Junction railway station is the nearest railhead.

Temple Timings:

6 am to 9 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0734-2584208, 094240-38108 ,098270-12781,098261-82248

Temple Address:

Sri Mangalnath Temple

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

 

Ujjaini – Sri Maa Gadkalika Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Maa Gadkalika Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Ambal:  Maha kali

Sthalapuranam:

Demon Andhakasura, the ruler of Ujjaini in olden days, has a special power. In the battle field if his blood touches the earth, from each drop of blood a new Andhakasura will develop. Lord Shiva opposed Andhakasura pleased by the prayers of gods. Maha vinayaka (Sthirman ganesh) controlled the demon. Shiva pierced the chest of the demon with his Trishula. The blood produced numerous new Andhakasuras. With her Matrikas Mahakali appeared. All of them drank the blood. Mahakali drank all the blood and ate all the new Andhakasuras developed. Shiva lifted the demon in to the sky and burned him with the fire from his Third eye. Andhakasura accepted the defeat. Prayed the Lord. Shiva transformed him in to Bhringi and blessed him. The whole world became free of demons.

The story of Kalidasa, one of the foremost poets of ancient India. It is believed that Kalidasa was a simple and stupid, but a handsome lad, who was devoted to Kali (hence his name, which literally means the servant of Kali). His looks attracted a princess who married him, only to be soon tired of him, and ashamed of his illiteracy. In his anguish, Kalidasa is said to have prayed to Kali who blessed him with immediate knowledge by herself writing the sacred ‘Om’ on his tongue. Eventually, Kalidasa wrote some of the best known plays, and became the greatest of the ‘nine gems’ in King Vikramaditya’s court. The Gadkalika Devi temple is believed to be the one where Kalidasa turned from ignorant to poet-laureate. The temple is a simple and unassuming one, having been re-built a number of times, but it is set in a peaceful and serene area, far removed from the bustle of the city.

This temple occupies a special place in the galaxy of ancient sacred spots of Ujjain. Seated between the idols of Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati, the idol of Annapurna is painted in dark vermilion colour. The Sri Yantra, the symbol of power or shakti, is also enshrined in the temple. According to the Shiva Purana, when Shiva carried away the burning body of Sati from the sacrificial fire, her elbow dropped at this place. There is an interesting legend in the Skanda Purana about the manner in which the Goddess Chandi acquired the epithet of Harsiddhi. Once when Shiva and Parvati were alone on Mount Kailash, two demons called Chand and Prachand tried to force their way in. Shiva called upon Chandi to destroy them which she did. Pleased, Shiva bestowed upon her the epithet of ‘one who vanquishes all. The temple was reconstructed during the Maratha period and the two pillars adorned with lamps are special features of Maratha art. These lamps lit during Navaratri, present a glorious spectacle. There is an ancient well on the premises, and an artistic pillar adorns the top of it.

There are some scholars who believe that, during 7th century this ancient temple Kalika was reconstructed by King Harshwardhan of Thaneshwar when he visited Ujjain. It is indeed the most ancient temple of Ujjain. The former Gwalior rulers rebuilt this holy shrine to its former glory. Digging which was held near the temple premises unearthed bricks, a part of the plinth and other sculptures that were affiliated to various periods. The area around the Garh Kalika had been the site of the ancient settlement from around the 8th century BCE right up to Paramara period. Even today people find ancient coins in this area.

Route:

It is well connected to all major railway stations in India. Direct train services are available to Bhopal, Indore, Pune, Malwa, Delhi and many other cities. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore is the nearest airport to Ujjain, which is situated 55 km away. Taxi services are available from Indore airport to Ujjain, costing about Rs 1000. International travelers can get connecting flights to Indore from Delhi (800 km) or Mumbai (655 km) airport.

Temple Timings:

6:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Temple Telephone Number:

0734-2550563

Temple Address:

Sri Maa Gadkalika Temple

Near Bhartrihari Caves,

Ujjain

Madhya Pradesh

Ujjain – Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple

Name of the Temple

Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple

Period of origin

Before 2000 years

Name of deity

Moolavar: Mahakaleshwar

Ambal: Parvathi

Sthalapuranam:

Shiva is worshipped as Mahakala in Ujjain and the MahakalaShiva Temple in Ujjain is counted third among the twelve Jyotirlingas. There is an interesting story which explains about the Mahakaleshwar form of Shiva – a fierce form which is beyond imagination and description. The story took place when Ujjain was known as Avanti and is mentioned in the Shiva Purana.

Once there lived a pious man in Avanti who was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. He had four sons and the family worshipped Lord Shiva daily. Not far away from their home in a hill named Ratanmala there lived an Asura (demon) named Dooshana. Demon Dooshana hated all forms of Shiva and vedic worship. He went around killing people who worshipped Shiva. Soon Dooshana came to know about the family in Avanti that worshipped Shiva. Soon the demon arrived with his army and attacked the city. But the family continued to worship Shiva in the form of a Shivling.

Finally, the demon and soldiers reached the home of the pious man and started hurling weapons. The demon broke open the door and advanced towards the Shivling by raising a sword. Suddenly, there was a deafening sound and there appeared a dreadful form beyond explanation before the Shivling. A single glance by the Mahakala form of Shiva burned the demon and his army into ashes. Uncontrollable and unsatisfied, the form of Shiva gave a huge roar; the entire universe trembled in fear.

The family was but delighted to see Lord Shiva and continued chanting his glory and prayers. Before his true devotees, Shiva is always the Bholonath – one can be easily influenced. Hearing the prayers of his devotees, His anger subsided.

But the family who was aware of the dangers of the world realized that the form of Shiva as Mahakala was essential for peace and prosperity and asked him to reside in this form at Ujjain. Since then Shiva remains at Ujjain MahakalaTemple as Mahakala – the one with the power to annihilate all living and non-living.

As per another legend. The most popularly accepted legend is that of the demon Dushana who was killed by Shiva who appeared in the form of light and took the form of a linga in response to the prayers of the people of Ujjain. Apparently, Kalidasa’s epics give a detailed description of the temple as it was in those days. Of course, the temple was plundered by invaders and was later re-built by other kings. The present temple was built during the reign of Peshwa Bajirao I.

The temple is a three tiered one, with Mahakal at the lowest level, which is actually below the ground. At the middle (ground) level is a temple to Omkareshwar, and over it is a shrine to Nagachandreshwara. This is an interesting shrine which is opened only on Nagapanchami day every year

The temple is a huge one with a pond at the centre, from which water is drawn for performing abhishek to the lord. All the corridors around the pond, which once were part of the circumambulatory path, are now modified into queues for the pilgrims who arrive for a glimpse of the lord. And yes, it is only a glimpse that you get, and a moment to touch and bow, before you are whisked off by the multitude of pujaris whose sole concern seems to be the making of more and more money from the devout.

The temple opens in the morning at 4 am with a special aarti  the one of its kind Bhasma Aarti  where the aarti is performed with sacred ash (Bhasma). Since ancient times, this bhasma used to be the fresh and burning hot ash from a funeral pyre, since Lord Shiva is believed to live in and enjoy the atmosphere of a cremation ground. However, now, the temple has changed its ways in keeping with modern times and the aarti is now performed with bhasma made with cow dung, what we call Vibhooti. While those who have seen the original aarti (which was performed till about 15years ago) maintain that it was a different experience which cannot be recreated

There are many smaller shrines surrounding the main sanctum, which line the outer corridors of the temple. Some of them are quite ancient and have interesting stories attached to them. There are supposed to be 84 Mahadev (Shiva) shrines in Ujjain, many of which are within this temple. Of these, the most important are Swapneshwara Mahadev (the one who helps ridding one of nightmares), Chandradityeshwara Mahadev, Trvishtapateshwara Mahadev, Anadikalpeshwara Mahadev, and Vruddhakaleshwara Mahadev (which is considered by some to be the original Jyotirlingam). There are also shrines to other deities such as Ganesha, Hanuman and the navagrahas within the temple grounds

Route:

It is well connected to all major railway stations in India. Direct train services are available to Bhopal, Indore, Pune, Malwa, Delhi and many other cities. Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore is the nearest airport to Ujjain, which is situated 55 km away. Taxi services are available from Indore airport to Ujjain, costing about Rs 1000. International travelers can get connecting flights to Indore from Delhi (800 km) or Mumbai (655 km) airport.

Temple Timings:

4 am to 11 pm

Temple Telephone Number:

0734-2550563

Temple Address:

Sri Mahakaleshwar Temple

Ujjain,

Madhya Pradesh – 456006