Kailash Temple, Ellora, Maharashtra, IN

Deities: Lord Shiva
Location: Ellora, Maharashtra
Built in: 8th century
Built by: Rashtrakuta king Krishna
Also known as: Kailasanatha Temple
Best time to visit: October to February
STD Code: 02432

Kailash Temple , also Kailasanatha Temple is one of the 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 km, that were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff in the complex located at Ellora, Maharashtra Ellora that lies just 30 kms from Aurangabad. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna.

At Ellora, 34 cave temples were carved out of the hillside with hand tools. Only 12 of these 34 caves in the centre are the most impressive. The massive Kailash Temple (cave 16) is nearly one a half time taller than the Parthnon and occupies almost twice its area. It is believed that it was constructed by excavating approx. 200,000 tones of rock and is possible the world’s largest monolithic structure. Representing Shiva’s Himalayan home, the temple is exquisitely sculpted with scenes from Hindus mythology, each pulsing with drama, energy and passion.

Kailash Temple at cave 16, were a big Shiva-linga (form of Lord Shiva) is worshiped. It is the biggest building carved in a stone in the whole world. Is a part of Ellora Cave Complex. Beautiful sculptures from Ramayana and Mahabharata are carved on the walls of this cave temple.

History:
The depiction of the demon Ravana shaking Mount Kailash is a masterpiece contain the scenes of semi-mythological history, the royal court and popular life of the ancient times, as told in romances and plays. Some pictures recall the Greek and Roman compositions and proportions, few late resemble to Chinese manners to some extent. But majority belongs to a phase which is purely Indian as they are found no where else. These monuments were constructed during two different periods of time separated by a long interval of four centuries. The older ones were the product of last to centuries before Christ and belong to Himalaya period of Buddhism in later part of 2nd century AD when Buddhism was divided into two sections, after the conduct of the fourth general council under another great king, Kanishka.

Architecture:
The scheme of the Kailash temple is basically divided into four main parts: the body of the temple itself, the entrance gateway, an intermediate nandi shrine and the cloisters surrounding the courtyard. One cannot help but be aware of the spiritual energy that went into its creation – a jewel hewn out of the rock itself. One of the India’s greatest architectural treasures was hewn out of the solid rock of the hillside to form a free-standing temple consisting of a gateway, two-storied halls and the main shrine within. The most majestic creation is the Kailash Temple, a full-sized freestanding temple flanked by huge elephants all carved from solid rock, pillars and podiums, as the workers dug away some 200,000 tons of rock. The result is an awe-inspiring representation of Shiva’s Himalayan abode. Nearby caves are alive with stone murals depicting divine struggles and victories. With these caves before us, it is clear that India far surpasses the rest of the world in the glory of its rock-cut architecture.

Festival:
Every December, the Ellora festival of music and dance at the Kailasha Temple, which is attended by large number of people.

How to reach:
by Air: Aurangabad airport is situated the closest to the magnificent caves of Ellora. Approximately 15 km away, the airport is connected with the Delhi and Mumbai international airport, by public as well as private airlines.
by Rail: The rail head that lies nearest to the Ellora Caves comprises of the Aurangabad railway station. It falls on the South Central Railway Line and is situated about 30 km from Ellora. There are direct trains linking this station with most of the key cities in India.
by Road: Aurangabad city is located closest to Ellora Caves and is well connected with them by road. One can easily find taxis as well as buses plying between the two destinations. From Aurangabad, one can also find buses and taxis to Mumbai,

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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).

Visit www.Mandirs.com for more information on Mandirs (Temples), Festivals, and News.

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.com for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.DivineTravellers.com and e-mail at divinetravellers@gmail.com.
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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.

Festival:
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.

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

If you love to read visit www.kathavarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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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.

Legend:
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.

Festival:
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.

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

If you love to read visit www.kathavarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.yatrakhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Hayagriva Mahadeva Temple, Hajo, Assam, India

Deities: Lord Shiva, Vishnu
Location: Hajo, Assam
Built in: 1583
Built by: King Raghu Deva
Best time to visit: October to April
STD Code: 0361

Hayagriva Mahadeva temple of Hajo is about 30 miles to the west of Guwahati. It is situated on the Monikut hill near Hajo of Kamrup district.It is known that the temple was constructed by the King Raghu deva Narayan in 1583. According to some other historians. King of Pala dynasty constructed it in 6th century. It is a stone temple and it enshrines an image of Hayagriva Mahadeva.The rows of elephants are seen on the body of the temple and they are fine specimens of Assamese art.

This temple is important for both the Hindu and the Buddhist community. Within the temple is an image of Vishnu which quiet closely resembles the one at Jagannath Temple in Puri in Orissa. For the Buddhist of the region, the temple is important because they believe that it was here that the Buddha attained Nirvana. The temple suffered destruction at the hands of Kalapahar who was also responsible for destroying a number of other temples in India.

Quiet nearby is a small temple which was constructed by Ahom king Pramatta Singh The Hayagriva Mahadeva temple can be reached by ascending long stone stairway at the foot of which there is a pond. In this pond resides a huge turtle.

Festival:
Doul, Bihu and Janmashtami festivals are celebrated every year in the temple. Moreover this temple preaches both Hinduism and Buddhism, which attract Buddhist Monks from far flung places.

How to reach:
by Air: The airport at Guwahati is the closest one from Hajo.
by Rail: Guwahati also happens to be nearest railhead to reach Hajo. Trains from here link to New Delhi and Kolkata directly and provide connectivity to destinations.
by Road: Buses also connect Guwahati to various destinations one can be easily reached by road from here. Also, Hajo, itself is connected by road to various parts of Assam.

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

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Dattatreya Temple, Ganganapur, Maharashtra, India

Deities: Lord Dattatreya
Location: Ganganapur, Maharashtra
Best time to visit: October to February
STD Code: 02433

Dattatreya Temple is located at Ganganapur, Maharashtra. The presiding deity is Dattatreya, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Dattatreya. The shrine at Ganganapur is in the process of assuming the form of a temple.

It is currently more like an ‘Ashram’. The main gate faces towards the west and is built in the Maratha model of ‘Nagarkhana’. A spacious mandap (hall) is provided for the gathering.

There is a raised platform – the ‘holy of holies’ in the southern side of the hall. Dattatreya Temple has a very small room divided into two by a wall. There are two doors, and in the inner portion, there are the images of Dattatreya and the ‘Nirguna padukas’– a pair of sandals. . It is these Padukas that are the object of worship at this place. It is a symbol of the constant and eternal presence of Dattatreya in his form as Nrisimha Sarasvati.There is a very small opening in the wall in the form a silver-plate framework, which allows pilgrims to have a glimpse of the image.

Dattatreya is considered to be the incarnation of either Vishnu or the all-powerful Trinity of Hindu mythology viz. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Dattatreya is the son of the sage Atri and his wife Anasuya. Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Shiva) greatly pleased at his tapa made their appearance before him and asked him as to what he desired. On his replying that he wanted nothing more than a son of divine powers, having the qualities or ‘gunas’ of all the three of them, they promised him that in the second part or yuga of the Vaivaswat manvantar, children would be born to him who would be incarnations of themselves. Accordingly, in due course Anasuya gave birth to a number of children, the number being variously stated to be either ten or three. Any way, three of her children were the amshas or parts or part. Incarnations of the three gods. The first son, Soma, was an avatar of Brahma, the second Datta that of Vishnu and the third Durvasa that of Shiva. The three gods of the Trinity. It is Dattatreya.

Festival:
During the month of Magba is the most popular, the purpose of the utsava being the -punya-smarana’ of the Guru, Shri Nrisimha Sarasvati. It was on the first day of the month that Shai Guru brought to an end his existence in this world, and it is his death anniversary that is celebrated during the four days. The other important festivals are Shripad Shrivallabha, Datta-jayanti and Nrisimha-jayanti.

How to reach:
Mumbai to Ganagapur Rail Distance – 526 Kms .From ‘Ganagapur Road’ to Ganagapur City (town), where Datta Mandir is situated is around 30 minutes journey by road.

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

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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Jhakhu Temple, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Deities: Lord Hanuman
Location: Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Best time to visit: September to November
STD Code: 0177

No visit to the state capital Shimla is complete without visiting Jakhu Hill. At the centre of the town in Shimla is the ancient Temple for Lord Hanuman.

This hill looms over Shimla town and is the geographical nucleus. This temple is dedicated to the monkey God Hanuman. Jakhu Temple is east of the town centre near the highest point of the Shimla ridge at 2455 m. A steep 45 minute walk from Scandal Point, it offers fine views over the surrounding valleys out to the snow-capped peaks, and over Shimla itself. Jakhu is also a beautiful spot to see the morning sun rise and sun set. Appropriately, there are many monkeys around the temple.

It is said to be existing from the times of Ramayana and is said to be formed when lord Hanuman visited Jakhu hill. As per legends, Hanuman visited this place during the famous Rama – Ravana fight. Lakshman, the younger brother of Rama, was critically injured during the fight and the only medicinal herb “Sanjivani” which could have saved his life was available in the Himalayan range.

Hanuman came to Himalayas, but got confused, so as to which was the particular herb. Out of desperation, he dug out the whole mountain, which contained the herbs and flew to Lanka, where injured Lakshman waiting for him. On his way back, Hanuman rested on the Jakhu hills, and the top of the mountain got flat by his and mountain’s weight.

The temple of Jakhu has since been highly revered by the locals. The shrine of the temple is the foot prints of Hanuman. In most of the Hanuman temples in India. There are hundreds of monkeys in and around the temple. Though mostly very peaceful, they can attack a person, if provocated. Pilgrims offer them eatables, which they readily accept.

Ravana, the king of Lanka. The faithful nature of Hanuman is often illustrated by his representations being found guarding forts and palace entrances. The British never placed hanuman on top of Jakhu hill to guard the township. The temple site predates the British Raj.

How to reach:
by Air: Shimla Airport is at Jubbarhatti, 23 kms from city and is connected to Chandigarh, Kullu, and Delhi.
by Rail: Shimla is connected to Kalka (96 kms) on Meter Gauge and it takes around 6 Hrs from Kalka to reach Shimla.
by Road: Shimla is connected by road to all the major towns.

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

If you love to read visit www.KathaVarta.org for Religious stories.

Last but not least, if you want to visit above Holy Pilgrimage, please contact and visit our associate partner www.YatraKhoj.com and e-mail at yatrakhoj@yahoo.com.
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