WORLD is a book and those who do not travel have read only one page. Explore uncertain roads, unknown destinations and diverse cultures with Travel Diaries.

Showing posts with label Pilgrimage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pilgrimage. Show all posts

Rameshwaram - Tracing the footsteps of Lord Ram

It all seemed like a fantasy at first. It was an auspicious full moon night. Goddess Parvati, dressed up in all the fineries, was taking the round of the Rameshwaram temple in a golden palanquin. The accompanying chants, smoke and drum beats added to the rare spectacle. The following round by Lord Shiva from his sanctum to the goddess’ almost seemed like a royal routine. And, why not, for, he is the Lord of the Lord here in Rameshwaram – literally meaning Ram’s god.

When Lord Ram returned to these shores after slaying Ravan in Lanka, despite being on the right side, he wanted to repent for the killings. He washed his hair at the spot now called Jada Teertham before worshipping Shiv. Where Laxman, Ram’s younger brother, took bath Laxman Teertham. It so happened that Hanuman was getting late in bringing a lingam from the Himalayas for the worship, so Sita built one from sand. The lingam in the sanctum of the Ramanathaswamy temple or the Rameshwaram temple is believed to be the same. And, the 22 tanks and wells in the temple’s periphery, called teerthams, are said to absolve the sins of human beings today.
Share:

G for Gokarna

Thankfully we were able to get food last night on our arrival from Udupi. However breakfast of fresh and well prepared Idli, sambhar and chutney convinced my big heart to forgive the hotel for last night shocker. Now we had a full day reserved for this small town of Gokarna known for its beaches and temples. Gokarna meaning cow’s ear is a sacred pilgrimage town noted for Mahabaleshwar Shiva temple. But we were there for some offbeat experiences as well.
With pristine beaches and acclaimed temples, Gokarna is quickly coming as an alternate to Goa for beach lovers and those seeking salvation or relaxation. One can hire a bike/ scooter to go around Gokarna. (But please check the condition of vehicle, as rental agencies do not focus on servicing and the rented vehicle may end up spoiling your plans).
We opted for a scooter and started to Vibhuti waterfalls (42 km. from Gokarna). Once you have come out of Gokarna town, though the road though is good condition, but is quite deserted and only a few travelers will come your way. But in between you will get lot of spots for taking pictures as the road is blessed with amazing natural beauty.
It took us around 50 minutes to reach the entry spot, from where a 30 minutes trek was in the way to take us to the Vibhuti waterfalls. That is how I started the trek, with my kid! 
Share:

Temple Hopping - Day out in Udupi

Situated in the state of Karnataka, Udupi is a city renowned for its fabulous temples and pristine beaches. Visiting Udupi is full of joy that is ever fresh and full of fragrance. Millions of people from all around the world come here to experience the divine serenity of these beautiful temples.


Sri Krishna Mutt is the most prominent temple in Udupi. This holy temple is the seat of Lord Krishna and is considered to be one of the holiest places in southern India.  

Share:

Varanasi - Divine blessings in the land of temples

........................ is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.....By Mark Twain

This is a city renowned for its religious and artistic activities since times immemorial. This city has been a cultural centre of India since several thousands of years and as per the available historical details this city is older than most of the religions in the World.


Its none other than one of the most colourful, spiritual, and charismatic places in India, welcome to "VARANASI", also known as KASHI or BENARAS. Place where temples outdo the number of people, Varanasi is one of the most spectacular and visited cities on this earth. Considered to be auspicious by the presence of "Lord Shiva" this sacred place is believed to have the power of washing away all the sins; those who die and gets cremated here is liberated from the cycle of life and death and attains " मोक्ष (Moksha)".   


Varanasi is one place where you can venture out without any schedule or fixed program and take my words you will not be disappointed while coming back. There is a glorious history associated with every part of this city. No surprise you can also find people from many nationalities getting familiar with diverse Indian traditions in the city.   

Share:

On the Road --> Religiously to Kaila Devi

Beauty is in the eyes of the viewer…Experiences of scorching sunlight makes the joy of a pleasant evening unparallel…Many people find beauty everywhere while some keep on complaining and searching for it.

 

One fine day I realized that of late I have been meandering only in the hills, lush green valleys to take pleasure in heavenly breeze and holy river waters. India is a land of diversities: Lush green valleys to barren landsSnow-capped mountains to scorching desertssparkling rivers to oceans…there is everything to everyone.

 

Better late than never, As I always say good travelers never plan in advance. As soon as I decided for the sandy and colorful Rajasthan…my car was ready to explore the colorful Rajasthan all the way to the holy temple of Kaila Devi.

 

Route is simple: Delhi - Mathura (150 km.) - Bharatpur (190 km.) – Mahua (255 km.) - Hindaun (290 km.) -Karauli (322 Km.) – Kaila Devi (345 Km.). Road is in fairly good condition and exquisite charm of Rajasthan will keep you in lively sprits.

The Kaila Devi Temple was constructed in the year 1100 AD and is situated at a distance of 23 km from Karauli town. Thousands of devotees from all over the country and from all communities visit this temple, as this place is considered to be one of the 9 Shakti peeths of Hindu religion.






Beyond Mathura, you have to travel in the company of the real India. India that lives in villages, no swanky apartments, but houses made of mud...






Barren fields, sandy lands to mountains and lush green fields…all in one drive. At times landscapes are simple breathtaking. I captured this panorama with my driving hand and while I was driving. I am an adventurer, but please do not imitate this...
At times you will get the feel of being on a Road Safari. I mean the places where this is no proper road. Check out this road; there in proper surface, however driving is as smooth as any well surfaced road. The red  sand in this region though is very rough in appearance but it gets hardened like a perfect road surface by even a small downpour of water.

Nearest railway station to Kaila Devi is Hindaun. One can take State roadways buses or taxis, which ply at regular timings and fares are pretty reasonable. If you are a driving enthusiast, only 320 Km. separates you from Delhi.

Kaila Devi is located in the Aravalli ranges. Looks like Goddess already knew about my love for hills, check out if you can differentiate between Rishikesh and Kaila Devi:


If you are looking for 5 STAR comforts here, you will be disappointed. The best accommodation you can get here in “Narsi Guest House”. Narsi Guest house is the biggest one here and is reasonably well maintained and to my joys parking too. Well I was very happy for my car...However there is no option of prior advance booking, but do try your luck whenever you go. We were fortunate to get accommodation in the Narsi Guest House.


All the streets lead to the temple of Kaila Devi, however we chose this way. This place dates back to 1100 AD, so you will find a lot of ancient architecture. This structure has not crumpled even an inch for centuries, a benchmark for present day architecture and construction.











Apart from Narsi Guest house, there are also a number of privately owned guest houses which provide bare minimum accommodation. Since this place a limited accommodation, so at times of huge rush of devotees a large number of people sleep in the beautiful courtyard of this temple. This might look a bit odd to us, but no one is complaining…

One of the most venerated fairs of Rajasthan, Kaila devi fair is held here in the month of Chaitra (according to the Hindu calendar), for fifteen days in March or April. It is held in the honor of the deity Kaila Devi (a form of Mahalakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Chamunda, the goddess of death).

 

I was amazed to see some of the devotees covering the distance to the temple in a very peculiar way. They were lying prostrate and marking lines with their hands at that position, then getting up and moving up to the drawn line and again repeating the procedure. Locales told me that this ritual is called 'Kanak-Dandoti' and is observed by staunch devotees. This is the power of faith and devotion by virtue of which these devotees endure hunger, thirst and exhaustion for even 15- 20 kilometers till they reach temple.

 

You can see a large number of saints and pilgrims from all the beliefs and traditions at all times here. One can also observe tribal people performing dances of happiness and singing songs in the praise of the deities lending the gaiety to the environment.

 

Mass prayer to the Goddess is also organized by the temple twice in day at 7:00 AM and 6:30 PM. You have to be the part of these prayers to experience the electrifying atmosphere. Let your soul immerse in the divine spirituality of this place.


Power of faith here is immense; even I went there twice in 2 days to seek blessings of the Goddess. Day or night, rains or scorching sun nothing can dampen the spirits of the devotees. Irrespective of their status everyone is lined up to seek the blessings. During the evening prayer the ambience of the temple is amazingly exuberant with the holy chants, can not be missed.





Don’t forget to visit the temple of Bhairon, located in the courtyard. Also there is a “Lord Hanuman” temple, facing the Kaila Devi shrine. Lord 'Hanuman', is also called 'Languriya' in the local talks.

Trips can not be completed without shopping; this place has a small market. There are a large number of shops selling variety of articles where one can buy souvenirs and memorabilia for this trip. Its advisable to check the prices from 2-3 shops before actually buying. I saw a camel too in this market, where else you can find a camel in the markets…Check out


Since Kaila Devi is located along the banks of Kalisil River, you can also enjoy a quite walk along the river side. Why only walking, sitting one can also take a bath in the black waters of the river and join these devotees..

Black waters...? “Kalisil” stands for “Black layer of Stones”, river bad is made of black stones, due to which the water appears stark black in colour. The view from the riverside is panorama par excellence. Photographers will definitely enjoy this.

Thanks to Goddess Kaila Devi, for the first time in my life I came so close to the peacocks, our National Bird. These birds are much more beautiful than our imagination. You will find a lot of peacocks here, preserved due to local people worshiping Peacocks as sign of good luck. "Life is made of moments, beautiful moments"
Peacock is an endangered bird and is facing severe perils of getting extinct. It was utmost heart breaking to see these birds trying to adjust to the new environment full of garbage, which is the outcome of human activities. We should stop encroaching in its natural habitats, without the vibrant colors of the Peacocks our earth will appear too dull.





Sorry folks, I forgot about the food....but such is this place that you would not feel hungry too often. This I realized when it was the time to have dinner. There are number of local eateries run by the locales. However take care about the hygiene factor. If you can afford walking till “Narsi Guest House”, you can get very reasonably priced and delicious food. Enjoy the charm of having the food served in the plates made out of leaves. And and and...Do not miss the appetizing “LASSI” in the earthen pots called “Kulhad” in local dialect. One earthen pot was almost equal to the dinner. Vow…I had a hefty dinner.

After dinner we set out for a quite walk around the place. Umbrella of the clear blue skies with distinctly visible stars had mesmerized us. In Delhi we hardly get to see more than 5-10 stars.
I got up early in the morning, to have a marvellous view of the Aravali ranges from the terrace of Narsi Guest House.

After one more round of praying and seeking blessings from the Goddess Kaila Devi, we decided to return back to Delhi. The place is magnetic as we found it very difficult to start the return journey.

Return journey was as eventful as we were able to enjoy a few missed out charming landscapes. This was the trip that took me closer to the real India. Despite being the economic powerhouse, there is an India where people has to walk miles to fetch drinking water. Though our highways are getting better day by day and the speed of the cars is increasing rapidly, but we still have to go a long way before we call ourselves a developed India.

Without any doubts, I will come again...Hopefully the next time I will see the much developed India.
To summarize this exciting trip: May the Goddess "Kaila Devi" be benevolent on me to let me continue travelling, exploring different places and living my life the way I want...

Share:

Translate...

Badge for Top 10 Indian Travel Bloggers – 2018

Popular Posts

Search by Categories...