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Showing posts from June, 2008

Kashi- Then And Now......What Does the Future Hold?

What’s Varanasi without the Ganga? The river is the lifeline of the city. The city revolves around the river with everyone coming there to have a dip. With its source in the Himalayas, the Ganges never dries up. Of course, with the kind of pollution that we are creating, and the kind of garbage that is put into the river, only the lord knows if this will last! Read More......

Saints of Varanasi

Sant Tulsidas and Kabir both have a close connection with Varanasi. While Tulsidas came to Kashi after visiting all the holy places, and breathed his last in this holy city, Kabir started his life and work here, and went on to other places later in his lifetime. Associated with both of them are a number of sacred spots in this city. The Sankat Mochan Mandir, where Hanuman blessed Tulsidas is one of the most important and crowded temples in the city; The TulsiManas Mandir has the entire Ram Charit Manas engraved on its walls; and the ghat where Tulsidas merged with his beloved Ram is known after him as the Tulsi Ghat. There are a number of places associated with Kabir's life here, the more important being the Kabir Mutt and the Laher Talav. Read More........

Other Ancient Temples in Kashi

Kashi is a place of pilgrimage and people come here to visit temples. It is therefore no wonder that wherever you turn, you come across a temple. Some are ancient, some recent, and the others fall somewhere in between. Some are architecturally beautiful; some have an interesting history, while the others attract you simply for their sanctity. It is practically impossible to make a complete list of the temples in Kashi, and I will not even try to make that attempt. I will, therefore stick to describing the temples I have visited, and the temples I have heard of, but could not visit. The Varahi Temple Varahi (Photo Courtesy:Internet) Varahi is considered to be one of the Saptha Matas or seven forms of the Divine Mother. She is the Shakti (Power) of Vishnu when He took the form of a Boar (Varaha) to kill the demon Hiranyaksha and save the Earth. The Varahi temple is on the Tripura Bhairavi Ghat, and is within walking distance from the Vishwanath Temple. I had never heard of this temple, a

The Varanasi Temple Circuit

The Vishwanath and Annapurna temples are the most popular and famous temples in Kashi, and the main reasons for a visit. However, our ancient texts mention a few more temples which are important and must be visited to complete the circuit of temples. Read the Full Article.....

Annapurna Temple

Food is one of the basic necessities of life, and it is no wonder that we say ‘Annam Brahma’, food is God. It is the mother who provides food for the child, and it is again no wonder that we pray to the goddess Parvati as Annapurna, the one who gives us food. It is believed that Parvati gave Alms to Shiva, and she is depicted with a bowl in one hand and ladle in the other, serving food to Shiva, standing in front of her, with his begging bowl in His hand. The most popular temple of Annapurna is at Kashi followed by the one at Horanadu, in Karnataka. There are two other temples of Annapurna, one in Kerala, and one in Gujarat. I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting these last two temples. When I do, I shall surely write about them. Meanwhile, read about my visit to the Annapoorna Temple at Kashi here .

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Kashi is known as the land of Shiva . Everything in Kashi not only revolves around the main temple of Vishwanath, as Shiva is known here, but He is also believed to be in control of everything that happens in this holy city. Normally, in Hindu mythology, the nine planets, or Navagrahas, who govern our actions, are independent, and perform their duty without interference from the Gods (a case of not even God interfering with nature and her rules). However, Kashi is a special city, an exception to this rule, where Shiva even governs the Navagrahas. It is believed that Lord Shaneeshwara (Saturn) once came to catch Shiva for the period of 7 ½ years (what is commonly called Saade-saati), and found himself unable to enter the temple. He is believed to have stayed outside the temple, and hence the temple of Shaneeshwara outside the Vishwanath temple is much frequented by pilgrims who light oil lamps here, hoping to escape the clutch of Shani. More....

The Annapoorneshwari Temples of Horanadu and Hosanadu (Kodyadka) and Kalaseshwara temple at Kalasa.

The Annapoorneshwari temple at Horanadu is a famous one, and is on the itinerary of most people who visit Mangalore or Sringeri. Horanadu is about 2 hours away from Sringeri, and is an extremely beautiful temple. The idol of Annapoorneshwari is life size, and covered with gold from head to toe. This is quite an ancient temple, and is regarded as the kula devathai, or the household deity of many people residing in Chickmanglur district. The entrance to the Horanadu Temple Just half an hour away from Horanadu is the temple of Kalasa . This is a temple on a hill, on the foothills of which flows the Bhadra River. This place seems to be a picnic spot, as it was filled with people even in may when there wasn’t that much water in the river. One has to climb a few steps to get to the temple. At the entrance of the temple are the statues of two elephants, regarded to be Ganesha and a she-elephant, his wife. It is believed that there was an Asura here, to kill whom, Ganesha descended on earth

A pilgrimage to Kashi

Kashi Yatra - A pilgrimage to the holy city of Kashi, or Varanasi, as it is known today, is the dream of every devout Hindu. There are many interpretations of the term ‘Kashi Yatra’. To some, it simply means a visit to the holy city to bathe in the holy Ganges, have darshan of Lord Vishwanath, and perform the sacred rites to one’s ancestors to satisfy them. To most South Indians, the Kashi Yatra starts with a trip to Rameswaram, where one collects the sand at either Rameswaram, or more particularly, Dhanushkodi. This sand is then carried all the way to Kashi, or, if possible, the Triveni Sangam at Allahabad, and immersed at the confluence of the 3 holiest rivers- Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati. From here, water is collected, and after performing all the rites and pujas at Kashi, carried back to Rameswaram, and used to perform Abhishekam to the Lord there. For north Indians, the trip, for obvious geographical reasons, is the opposite. They start the Yatra at Kashi, and bring the holy

The Six Ganesha Temples along the Karnataka Coast

Coastal Karnataka abounds in legends, and hence there are numerous temples connected to them. The story of Gokarna and Ganesha stopping Ravana from taking the lingam to Lanka seems to the most popular one of them all, and apart from the Panchalingam temples, there are six temples devoted to Ganesha. In all these temples, the idol of Ganesha is in the standing posture, and resembles the idol at Gokarna. These temples are the ones at Gokarna, Idagunji, Annegudde, Hattiangady, Sharavu at Mangalore, and Madhur near Kasargod. The credit for my visiting all these temples goes solely to one Mr. Raghuram, who has written an article about it in The Hindu. I came across this article when I was searching for places around Mangalore on the net, and found it extremely interesting. Please do check it out at http://www.hinduonnet.com/mp/2005/09/17/stories/2005091703680100.htm It is considered auspicious to visit all these temples in one day, and Mr. Raghuram suggests starting at Madhur, and finishi