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Showing posts with label roadtrip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roadtrip. Show all posts

Temples of Dwarahat

Dwarahat in local language means “Way to Heaven”. You will have no doubt on it, once you reach here. Nestled amidst hills of Kumaon, this ravishing town of Dwarahat boasts of ancient holy temples built by the Katyuri Kings. Temples of Dwarahat are the main attraction here.

It took us around 75 minutes of driving from Ranikhet to reach Dwarahat. Temples are spread all around this town, so better ask the locales about which temple to see first.

Mrityunjay Temple and Badrinath group of temples is on the main road. However we were guided by locales to see the Ratan Dev, Kachahari group and Golu Devta temple at first.

A small walk from the main road took us to Ratan Dev group of Temples. 


There are 6 temples present at this site, 2 temples can be seen in broken state and one more temple must have existed to make 3 temples opposite to 3 temples of right hand side to take the total to 9 original temples. There are a few broken pieces of the temples lying around in the premises define the grandeur of the past times.

Timeline of construction these temples goes back to around 11th century and stark resemblance with Jageshwar temples further reinforces the timeline.

Now this was the way ahead in front of us for 10 minutes’ walk to Golu Devta Temple. Perfect harmony with the hills -

Golu Devta is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, in form of Gaur Bhairav and is one of most worshipped God in the hills. Being the highest point in vicinity, enjoy 360 deg. view of the nearby areas.  

Few minutes’ walk from Golu Devta took us to Kachari/ Kachahari group of temples. Kachari group of temples has 12 temples. 9 temples are at one site and 3 temples are located opposite and at elevated platform. 

Check out the stark symmetry of the Kachari Temples. Temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Presence of a well inside the premises ascertain this fact as water inside the temple premises is used for offerings to the Gods. Design is quite similar to Ratan Dev group of temples. Temple has been well taken care of the government and the locales as well. Kids will enjoy every minute spend here.

Getting down from the Kachari group of Temples, we came to Badrinath group of Temples. Out of 3 temples in the premises, main temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and dates back to 11th Century.

Out of other 2 smaller temples, one is dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and other one dedicated to Banasur has no deity.
 
Last and the final stop was the most prominent, most sacred temple in Dwarahat, Mrityunjay Temple. Meaning of Mrityunjay is Vanquisher of Death and so temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Temple has been constructed in Nagara style of architecture and consists of Garbhgriha, Antarala and a huge Mandapa. There is also a small temple dedicated to Bhairava, however which is not in very good condition. Timeline of this temple goes back to 11th century.

Now the drive from Ranikhet –

Follow the road signs and confirm with the locales because at times network is not there to support google maps and you will come across more than one turn going in similar direction. Do not take chance, ask the locales.

Road is in fairly good condition and in the way you will come across splendid natural settings to reinforce the fact that Nature is the best artist. Just before Dwarahat we stopped at this temple decorating the skyline of nearby hills.


From this spot we anticipated little that the place is indeed Gate to Heaven. Keep exploring Guys...
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Mandore Gardens, Jodhpur

- Time has stood still since 1459 CE in Mandore -
A suburb of Jodhpur, 5 km. from Jodhpur is the small town of Mandore which was once a seat of power of prominent Rathore clan Rajputs. Not only Rathore Rajputs, Mandore had been the capital city of many Rajput kings and has played a major role in safeguarding Northern India from the attacks of western invaders and Muslim kings from Gujarat. During 6th century, a princess of Pratiharas dynasty was married into Rathore dynasty and Mandore was the Wedding Gift to the Rathore prince.

Around 1450, the capital seat was shifted to Mehrangarh Fort in order to protect the city and the residents from further attacks and invasions. However Mandore Gardens still stand high in pride to tell the glorious tales of the bygone eras seen by the Mandore. Though Mandore lost the prominence in 1459 CE as the capital seat shifted to Mehrangarh, but word abandoned cannot be used with the town. Mandore gardens have been well preserved to let visitors visualize/ imagine the glorious past of this ancient town.

Ancient temples, Cenotaphs of erstwhile Jodhpur rulers and an ancient tunnel makes an enriching trip to Mandore Gardens. Brilliant temples carved out of Sandstone are the first to get attention. 

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Exploring divine Almora...Day 3 & 4

After a wonderful exploration of Almora and Pithoragarh district, Day 3 was reserved for counting the numerous temples in Jageshwar Dham and visiting nearby temples and spots.

First in the list was the Jhanker Sam temple, located 6 km. from Jageshwar. Lord Jhanker Sam is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The legend associated with this place is that Lord Shiva was meditating when lot of demons gathered to spoil his prayers. Furious Lord Shiva then opened his third eye and Lord Jhanker Sam was born out of it. He created an army of his Ganas (followers) to kill those demons. It is believed that Lord Jhanker Sam will return again to Jageshwar Dham to save humanity.

Next spot was the Vridh Jageshwar temple (Old Shiva Temple), 3km. uphill trek in the hills or 16 km. by road from Jageshwar Dham. It is older than Jageshwar temples and is considered to be an abode of Lord Shiva prior to coming down to present Jageshwar. 

As told by the locales once King Chand saw a cow milking itself on a stone while he was going for a battle. On further checking the place a ‘Shivling (holy symbol of Lord Shiva)’ was revealed. After returning victorious from the war, King Chand constructed this temple. Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, also houses a status of Lord Ganesha.





Try taking road to Vridh Jageshwar to cherish the vibrant natural beauty of the place.

Being situated on the topmost point in the Jageshwar valleys, the spot offers fascinating views of the nearby hills. If there are no clouds the snow-capped Nanda Devi peaks are clearly visible from this point.

Heavenly peace and beautiful landscapes; pilgrimage as well as adventures…Amazing Almora. Trekking enthusiasts can take a trek back to Jageshwar, this is the 3 km. trek from the back of Vridh Jageshwar temple…

And the last nearby spot was the Dandeshwar temple complex, dedicated to Lord Shiva. This is the biggest shrine of all the 500 temples in Jageshwar. Contrary to custom the Shivling here is a natural uncut rock. Flowing water steam and adjacent hills provide a fantasy tale setting to this temple.

Read more about DandeshwarTemple…

By late afternoon we were back at Jageshwar, the evening was totally reserved for exploring the Jageshwar temples and take part in the evening worship, AARTI at the temple.

There are around 500 temples spread across the hills surrounding the Jageshwar Dham. Keep on exploring the beautiful surroundings, keep on counting the temples. This is the most beautiful complex of temples in Almora or temples in India, I have come across.

Uttarakhand is called as देवभूमि, Land of the Gods. At Jageshwar there is no doubt Gods must have stayed or still are staying at this place.  There is also a museum, 50 m. from the Jageshwar Dham, which carries an intricate treasure of beautiful statues. Do take some time to visit this, you will be astonished by the art... 
Photography is strictly prohibited inside the museum...

The Aarti finishes by 6:30 PM and thereafter the Jageshwar town goes to sleep. That finished our Day 3 as well in Jageshwar. Perfect harmony with nature at Jageshwar. Read more about Jageshwar...

Day 4: After early morning worship at the temple, we set out for return journey to Kathgodam. We had night train from Kathgodam, so we had sufficient time to cover the Katarmal Sun temple and Bhimtal.

Katarmal is 16 km. from Almora town and hidden inside cluster of hills. Visit here is all joys and curiosity how such a gigantic construction took place at this spot. Once in year, the first ray of sun falling on temple enlightens statue of Sun God in the temple and many devotees from the nearby places visit this temple. Katarmal is one of the perfect offbeat attractions in Uttarakhand.

It will take around 1.5-2 hours to cover. Read more about Katarmal…

While cruising via Almora, do try the delicate sweets of this region. Bal Mithai (बाल मिठाई) is a brown chocolate-like fudge, made with roasted khoya (thickened/ dried milk by heating), coated with white sugar balls. Singori or Singauri is a sweet made with fresh Khoya and wrapped in maalu leaf.

In the way we came across a spot called “Frog Point”. Out of curiosity we stopped the car and went ahead on the suspension bridge to see this place. A huge rock resembling the shape of frog is lying at the river bed and most of the visiting vehicles stop at this point. Check out…

Finally, towards the end of our journey we arrived at Bhimtal. Prominent attraction here is the Bhimtal lake which is named after Bhim, the most powerful of the Pandavas. A huge lake with an island at the centre is a major attraction. One can enjoy boating in the lake, horse riding, mountain biking and hang gliding at Bhimtal.

Bhimtal is the place which connects Kathgodam to the Kumaun region and to Nepal and Tibet. It might have been the part of the famous ancient silk route. There is a big market nearby to lake and one can enjoy every cuisine in this market.
After Bhimtal, Kathgodam railway station was in sight and it was the time to cherish some amazing memories which we accumulated during 4 days of exploring undiscovered Almora and Pithoragarh districts of Kumaun region.

About Kumaun:
State of Uttarakhand consists of two regions Kumaun and Garhwal. Kumaun region is made up by districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh and Udham Singh Nagar. It is bounded on the north by Tibet, on the east by Nepal, on the south by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the west by the Garhwal region.
People of Kumaun are known for their bravery, valour and indomitable spirit. They carry the title of martial race and Kumaun regiment is one of the most decorated regiments in Indian army.

To reach Almora:
Nearest major centres and railway stations are Haldwani (88 km.) and Kathgodam (85 km.). Regular bus services are available from Haldwani to Almora. If you are coming by train get down at Haldwani station as most of the buses start from Haldwani.
By Train: Haldwani/ Kathgodam are connected to New Delhi with regular train services.
By Road: Almora is well connected by bus services from Delhi and other nearby cities.
By Air: Nearest airport is at Pantnagar, 149 km. However very few flights operate for Pantnagar.

Keep travelling Guys...



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