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Ladakh Diaries Part 9: Lamayuru

Lamayuru is one of the most ancient monasteries in Ladakh, the oldest surviving structure dating to the 11 th century CE. What makes this monastery particularly fascinating, is its location, amidst what is today called the “moonscape”, for the spectacular natural rock formations, which truly are “out of the world”! As per legend , there once existed a huge lake in this area, populated only by the Nagas (serpents). It was prophesized that there would be a great monastery built here. This prophecy came true when the great acharya Naropa (756-1041 CE) arrived. He emptied the lake, meditated for many years inside a cave, and built the first monastery here. The present structure is a new one, built around the cave where Acharya Naropa is said to have meditated. This legend seems to fit well with the geological formations seen in the area, which suggest this was a paleo-lake, which disappeared around 1000 years ago. Lamayuru is about 130 km from Leh , and the Indus River flows along th

Gokarna Part II – The Five Lingams

We continued our Gokarna trip by visiting four other Shiva temples in the vicinity, all connected to the same story of Gokarna. The story of Gokarna mentions the Mahabaleshwara Lingam as the one brought from Kailas by Ravana, and kept at this place on the ground by Ganesha. (See my earlier post- Gokarna – Pilgrimage and Pleasure). However, the story does not end here. It is believed that, in his anger, Ravana flung aside the materials which covered the lingam- the casket, its lid, the string around the lingam, and the cloth covering it. All these items became lingams as soon as they touched the ground. These four lingams, along with the main Mahabaleshwara lingam are collectively called the ‘ Panchalingams’ . These are: Mahabaleshwara – the main lingam Sajjeshwar – the casket carrying the lingam. This temple is about 35 Kms from Karwar, and is a 2 hour drive from Gokarna. Dhareshwar – the string covering the lingam. This temple is on NH17, about 45 Kms south of Gokarna. Gunavantesh

GOKARNA – Pilgrimage and Pleasure

Gokarna - This little place on the Konkan coast is famous for two things- to the religious; it is the great temple of Lord Mahabaleshwara that beckons, while for the hard core tourist, it is the fascinating Om Beach. Whether you are a tourist in search of the perfect beachside holiday, or a pilgrim looking for spiritual bliss, Gokarna is a great place to visit. The nearest railway station is Gokarna Road , on the Konkan Railway. However, if, like us, you are unable to get tickets, the best option is to get on one of the many buses to Mangalore from Bombay, and alight at Kumta. Our bus left Mumbai around 4:00PM, and we reached Kumta at the unearthly hour of 3:45 AM. There was not a vehicle in sight, and we had to wait till we got a car to take us to Gokarna, about an hour away. There are a number of lodges and hotels in Gokarna , and it is not difficult to get rooms at reasonable rates. We stayed at the Hotel Shri Sai Ram near the bus stand, which is run by a chap who lives in Bombay. A

Coastal Karnataka Temple Tour

Hello everyone, I back from another vacation, this time to Karnataka. My son, Samhith’s birthday falls on 6th May, and we wanted to spend it at some temple. So, this time, we visited many temples in coastal Karnataka. Look out for many interesting posts on all the places we visited. To give you all an idea of the places you can all soon read about, here’s the tour programme we followed: Day1 : 3:00PM departure by Bombay- Mangalore bus. Day2 : 3:45 AM Arrival at Kumta. Car to Gokarna. Visit to Gokarna Mahabaleshwara Temple Performing the sacred rites for our ancestors. Evening- Trip to Sajjeshwara Linga Temple near Karwar Night halt at Gokarna Day3 : Dhareshwar Gunavanteshwar Idagunji Ganapathy Murudeshwar Kollur Mookambika Temple Annegudde Ganapathy Temple Udupi – Sri Krishna Temple Night Halt at Udupi Day4 : Viswaroopa Darshan and KsheerAbhishekam to Lord Krishna at Udupi Kundapura – Kundeshwara Temple Darshan and Pada Puja to Sringeri Ac

Check out my Squidoo Lens on Kumbhalgarh.....

Here's something new I have been doing..... I have joined Squidoo, and have started making my own lenses... For those who aren't in the know, Squidoo is a place on tne net where one builds a lens.... A lens is a single page, about just one thing, but in great detail....one can make hundreds and and hundreds of lenses, about anything we care to tell the world..... Here's my lens, the most recent one, about Kumbhalgarh. Check it out, and while you are at it, check out my other lenses too............. click here to see my lens