Ananta Vasudeva Temple, Orissa, IN

Deities: Lord Vishnu
Location: Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Built In: 1278 A.D.
Built by: Chandrikadevi
Significance: The only Vaishnava Temple present at Bhubaneswar
Best time to visit: October to April
STD Code: 0674

Bhubaneswar (‘The Lord of the Universe’), the capital city of the state of Orissa. Bhubaneswar is one of the most rich cities in India, here lord Shiva is known as Tribuhuvaneswara or “Lord of the Three Worlds”, from which the city derives its name. Bhubaneswar is known as Temple Town and Cathedral City on account of its many temples in the extravagant Orissan style.

This is one of the few Vaishnavite temples in Bhubaneswar. It dates back to the 13th century and it enshrines images of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. It is located on the eastern bank of the Bindu Sarovar Lake. It is located in a walled compound along with numerous structures. Balarama stands under a seven hooded serpent, while Krishna holds a mace and a conch.
Architecturally, it is almost a reduced copy of the Lingaraja temple, but the grouping of the four component parts, with their roofs presenting the appearance of ascending peaks culminating in the highest ‘Mastaka’ of the ‘Deul’ at a height of 18.29m, is more effective.

The plan of the Anata-Vasudeva temple differs considerably from that of the other temples. The main temple stands on an uniform platform, a peculiarity which is the first of its kind in a dated temple, and has a three- chambered frontal adjunct consisting of Jagamohana, the Natamandira and the Bhogamandapa. It is stated in the epigraph that a temple was built for Sri Krishna & Valaram on the bank of Vindu Sarovar tank by Chandrikadevi, daughter of Ananga-Bhimadev III, in the Saka era of 1200 (1278 A.D.).

It is further distinguished by an ornamental platform, relieved with ‘Khakhara-Mundis’, carved pilasters, ‘Nagas’, ‘Nagis’ and ‘Vidalas’ between two sets of three mouldings each. Though the ‘Deul’ is ‘Pancha-Ratha’ on plan, a new feature is introduced in the division of the corner ‘Ratha’ of the ‘Bada’ in two equal parts, both on the same plane; the inner one is crowned by a miniature ‘Rekha’ above the mouldings of the ‘veranda’.The facets of the ‘Rathas’ are richly imprinted with fine scrollwork, ‘Jali’, creepers and flower-shaped motifs, the central facets of the corner ‘Ratha’ having female figures. The ‘Khakhara-Mundis’ on the intermediary ‘Rathas’ of the lower ‘Jangha’ contain the eight ‘Dikpalas’, seated on their respective mounts, while the corresponding spaces on the upper ‘Jangha’ have their female counterparts.

The carvings on the central projections containing a banister window are neatly done. The banisters of the north window have the figures of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Hanuman and a monkey-attendant.

Other Temples:
Lingaraja Temple
Mukteswara Temple
Parasurameswara Temple
Bramheswara Temple
Rajarani Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Bhubaneswar is connected to the cities of Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad, and Raipur through regular flights. Biju Patnaik Airport in Bhubaneswar is the only major airport in the state.
by Rail: Bhubaneswar is directly connected by rail with Calcutta, Puri, Madras, Delhi, Bombay, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Tirupati, and Trivandrum.
by Road: Roads are linked with Bhubaneswar and Berhampur, Chilka, Cuttack, Konark, Paradip, Puri, Rourkela, Sambalpur and other places. Interstate bus services operate daily between Calcutta and Puri via Bhubaneswar and Tatanagar (Jamshedpur).

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Naguesh Temple, Goa, IN

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Bandode, Goa, INDIA
Best time to visit: October to February
STD Code: 0832

One of the ancient Hindu temples in Goa, the Naguesh temple is dedicated to Lord Naguesh, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Courtesy a stone plaque found near the temple, the origins of Sri Naguesh temple can be traced back to 1413, when the region was under the rule of Veer Pratap Devraya of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, is situated in the village of Bandode, about 4 kms to the east of Ponda, Goa.

Unlike most of the Hindu temples in Goa, the Naguesh Temple was spared the threat of persecution by the Portuguese and the temple has been in existence in its original location for centuries. The present structure of temple is the culmination of an extensive renovation process undertaken in 1880.

The temple Sabhamandap has a gallery on both sides that contains intricate wood carvings depicting the events of Ramayana on one side and wooden images of Astadikpal and Gandharva on the other. . In the inner shrine is a “Lingam” a symbol of Lord Siva. In front of the shrine is an image of Nandi bull, in black stone. There are stone idols of Shiv-Paravati and Ganesh inside the temple which actually date back to the seventh and eighth century which has led to the conjecture of the temple being in existence since that time. Worth noting at the temple, are the colorful images of gods and goddesses around the base of the deepstambha (lamp tower). The temple also has a centuries old water tank. Shri Naguesh Temple is a “Swayambhu” shrine of Lord Shankar known for its miraculous myths.

The history is not available at present, except a reference in the folk songs. As the legend goes a cow-boy noticed that a cow from his herd used to visit the place regularly and showered milk. This led to the discovery of Shivlinga.

The temple has a magnificent ancient tali (water reservoir) surrounded by palms. The reservoir is built in such a way that standing at a certain location around the tali; a person can view the reflection of the idol of Lord Naguesh and the lighted lamps in the inner sanctum.

The most important festival that is commemorated here during the month of November is the Anguish Satrap. The Mahajans of the temple are of Kaushiks, Vatsa and Bharadwaja Gotras.

Other Pilgrimage in Goa:
Shri Damodar Temple
Shri Datta Mandir
Shri Devkikrishna-Ravalnath
Shri Kalikadevi Temple
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple
Shri Mallikarjun Temple
Shri Navdurga Temple
Shri Ramnath Temple
Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple
Shri Vitthal Mandir.

How to reach:
by Air: The Dabolim airport is the nearest airport to Ponda.
by Rail: The Margao (17 km) railway station is the nearest railhead to Ponda.
by Road: Ponda is connected to state capital Panaji (28 km) by the National Highway 4A. The NH 4A also connects Ponda to the neighboring state of Karnataka.

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Mallikarjun Temple, Goa, IN

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Shristhal village, Goa
Built in: 16th century
Built by: Kshatriya Samaj
Significance: Dedicated to Lord Mallikarjun, an incarnation of Lord Shiva
Best time to visit: October & February

The ancient temple of Shri Mallikarjun is located near the small village of Sristhal, in the southernmost taluka of Canacona. Sristhal is about 5 km drive away from the taluka headquarters of Chaudi which is about 75 kms from Panaji.

The temple lies in an enchanting location in a valley, completely surrounded by blue mountains and greenery. The temple itself is at least 200 years old, as per the writing on a plaque near the temple dome. The temple is believed to have been constructed during the Middle of the 16th century by ancestors of the Kshatriya Samaj. It was renovated in the year 1778.

There are some extremely beautiful carved wooden pillars inside the temple building the likes of which are not found in any other temple in Goa. The carving has been done by skilled craftsmen who were brought here from the southern Indian states.

The six pillars in the mandap (hall) have scenes from the Puranas and Mahabharat carved on them. There are beautifully carved profiles of dwarpal (doorkeeper) on either side of the door leading to the inner sanctum.

The temple is dedicated to Shri Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga, who is yet another incarnation of Lord Shiva and he is also known as Adavat Sinhasanadhishwar Mahapati Canacona among the locals.

As the legend goes, Vrishabha, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva performed penance here. Shiva and Parvati apeared in the form of Mallikharjuna and Bhramaramba. A massive fort, with six meter high walls encloses the temple. A cluster of minor shrines within the temple compound include the Sahasra Linga, Panchapandava temples and Vatavriksha.

Hiranyakashipu of Kretayuga is believed to have conducted pujas here. It is said that Srirama and Sita visited the shrine and installed Sahasra Lingas (thousand lingas). The place is also associated with Pandavas who installed idols of Shiva. Several devotees have attained salvation by performing pujas here while several saints have sanctified the place by doing penance. The greatness of the place has been described in “Srisaila Kandam” of Skanda Puranam.

Annual Jatra, Veeramel festival held during the month of April. The annual festival or Jatra held at the temple is quite unique among the temple festivals of Goa. Early morning on the day of the festival, the idol of the deity is taken out in a procession which travels for almost 2-3 hours to reach the nearby Kindle bag beach. A number of rituals including a special bath for the deity are held at the beach, after which the deity returns to the temple. Hundreds of devotees have a holy bath at the same time on the seashore.

Besides the annual Jatra, the temple is also famous for some unique occasions on which some special rituals are held.

How to reach:
The Mallikarjun Temple is located 5 km from Chaudi, the headquarters of Canacona taluka. You can hire taxis or autos to reach the temple.

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Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Deities: Lord Dharmaraja
Location: Nagarath Pet, Bengalore
Best time to visit: September to March.
STD Code: 080

The Garden City of Bangalore which is presently more famous for its development in the IT sector is a favorite tourist destination. There are many places to be visited in Bangalore, but the Temples are its main attractions. For all tourists visiting Bangalore, the Dharmaraja Temple must be included in the list of places to be visited.

Sri Yama is known by various names: Dharmaraja, Yamaraja, Kaalan, Kaala Déva and so on.
The Dharmaraja Temple in Bangalore is located in Nagarath Pet. The Temple has two outstanding images, Sri Dharmaraja Swami, one of the main characters of the Hindu mythology Mahabharata, and the other of Lord Krishna. People to worship Lord Krishna celebrate Kangra festival here. The Karaga that is a symbol of Draupadi (wife of Dharamraja) is kept inside this temple.

A fascinating thing about the procession of Dharmaraja Temple is that, it is compulsory to visit the dargha of the Sufi saint Hazarat Tawakkal Mastan. It is because of this reason that people of sect and religions participate in this procession. It’s a wonderful example of the brotherhood of Hindus and Muslims.

This temple is symbol of the Hindu religion. The temple is known for its colorful sculptures that adorn the walls and roofs of this huge structure on the outside. Inside the temple premise also one can find a large number of stone sculptures and carvings that are true examples of Indian culture. The temple is neat and clean. The images of the deities to whom this temple is dedicated are extremely beautiful.

You can come to the Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore and offer prayers to the God’s. The priests are helpful and will perform the rituals properly, by chanting sacred hymns. You can also conduct a large number of religious ceremonies inside the temple premises. Thus, you can come to the Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore with your family and experience spirituality and divinity.

early 7th century), among the earliest examples of their type in southern India, there are here several monolithic temples carved out of the rock, the largest of which is the massive three-storied Dharmaraja-ratha (c. 650). The finest temple at this site and of this period is an elegant complex of three shrines called the Shore Temple (c. 700), not cut out of rock.

The Five Rathas:
The five Rathas include The Dharmaraja, The Bhima, The Arjuna, The Draupadi and The Sahadeva. The Five Rathas, about 200m south of the main hill, were fashioned out of a smaller hill sloping down from the south. From the largest part was made the biggest of the five rathas, the Dharmaraja. Then followed onwards north, in the descending order of height, the Bhima, the Arjuna and the Draupadi.

A little to the west of Draupadi there was a comparatively large rock and out of it the Sahadeva Ratha was made. Immediately in front of the Draupadi again two smaller rocks were sculptured into an elephant and a lion. Behind the Draupadi and the Arjuna, which stand on a common base, there is a Nandi.

Gigantic with respect to all the other rathas found here, the dharmaraja ratha is a chariot of the Lord Shiva. A larger version of the Arjuna ratha, it displays all the aspects of true dravida style. A pyramidal structure with 3 tiers before the shikhara appears, here also called the stupi.

A large number of festivals are held in Dharmaraja Temple, Bangalore. The most famous of them is the Karaga Festival. Karaga is the symbol of Draupadi, wife of Dharmaraja in the epic Mahabharata. This festival is celebrated in March and April. Huge processions are held that start from the temple grounds and returns over here. It starts at 2 in the morning and ends at 6 in the morning. The procession of the festival covers a distance of 20-25 kms, People of all religions participate inn the procession. The idol of the deities is taken out in the procession. However, the idols can be carried by the members of the Thegala community only. The music played in the procession is extremely enchanting and mesmerizing.

Other important Attraction in Bangalore:
The Bangalore Palace
Cubbon Park
Government Museum
The Bull Temple
The Shri Gavi Gangadhareswara Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Bangalore is well connected by air with other cities. There are daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Goa and Thiruvananthapuram and other cities.
by Rail: Bangalore is well connected to the rest of the country both by meter gauge and broad gauge rail services. It is an important railway station on the southern railway network. There are two major railway stations in Bangalore-The Bangalore city railway station and Bangalore cantonment railway station.
by Road: Bangalore is located at the junction of National. Highway 4, 7 and 48 that connects it to all parts of the country with good roads.

D.K. Street
H.K.P. Road
Bangalore 560 051
Landmark: Near Kamakshi Marriage Hall

Visit for more information on Temples, Ashrams, Gurus, Festival and Daily Panchangam (Hindu ephemeris).

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