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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Jagdish Temple, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India



Deities: Lord Laxmi Narayan
Location: Udaipur, Rajasthan
Built by: Maharana Jagat Singh
Built in: 1651 A.D
Highlights: Intricate carvings on pillars
Best time to visit: September to March
STD Code: 0294

If you are looking for some unique vacation destination then you may simply go for Udaipur. It is considered as one of the most colourful and beautiful holiday destinations of Rajasthan. A major tourist attraction of Udaipur is Jagdish Temple.

The Jagdish Temple is located at a distance of 150 meters from the City Palace Complex in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Maharana Jagat Singhji constructed this religious shrine in 1651. It took more than 1.5 million rupees to construct this stunning temple that dominates the Udaipur skyline.

The temple, 80 feet high, is on a 25 feet high platform accessible by a flight of 32 steps. The bold structure of the temple, representing the variety of scenes relating to the life on this Earth as well as the World beyond, is a delight to an architect who should minutely examine these figures engraved with all well-thought details. The ornamental decorum and the architectural beauty of the temple defies any description.

It is one of the largest Vishnu temples in the northern region of India. This elevated temple is easy to view from City Palace. The foothold of the Jagdish temple steps has two spotless white elephants on both the sides to greet you to the temple. The exterior wall of the holy temple is made up of local stone. The principal god in this pilgrimage center is lord Vishnu or Jagannath which is an idol of black stone.

A three-storied structure, the Jagdish Temple has three shrines. Spread across three storeys, Jagdish Temple has 50 pillars in both the first and second storeys. The main shrine dominates the center flanked by two smaller shrines. An excellent example of Indo-Aryan building styles, the Spire that is beautifully decorated with architectural ornaments of musicians, dancers, elephants and horses.

A huge brass image of Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu stands guard in front of the main shrine. It houses a bronze figure of the mythological half-man, half-eagle creature that transported Lord Vishnu. This huge brass icon is said to be the largest and heaviest in India.

Jagdish Temple also has a mandap and porch. The interiors look stunning with intricate carvings and friezes-adorned walls. A Sanskrit inscription in the porch written by Krishna Bhatt in the year 1651gives a detailed history of the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh.

Four smaller temples stand around the boundary of the main shrine and are dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, Surya the Sun god, Amba (Ambika) the Mother Goddess, and Lord Shiva. A smaller temple dedicated to Krishna and his consort Radha is nearby.

Udaipur Temples:
Eklingji Temple
Jagat Temple
Jagdish Temple
Kankroli Temple
Nathdwara Temple
Ranakpur Temple
Rishabdeo Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Udaipur Airport namely Maharana Pratap Airport is located near Dabok at a distance of 22 kms from the city of Udaipur.
by Rail: Udaipur Railway Station is located at a comfortable distance from the city of Udaipur. Rajasthan Railways connects Udaipur station with all the other cities of Rajasthan as well as India.
by Road: Udaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Brilliant road network ensure people to enjoy a relaxed journey to and from Udaipur.

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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Tirupati Balaji, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India


Location: Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
Familiarly Known As: Hande Anantapuram
Best time of Visit: September To February
Nearby Attractions: Puttaparthi, Veerabhadraswami Temple at Lepakshi, Raydurg Fort, Hemavati, Penukonda Fort.
STD Code: 08574

Tirupati City is located in the southeastern part of Andhra Pradesh State. It lies about 152-km northwest of Chennai in the Palkonda Hills. Tirupati is known as the abode of the Hindu god Venkateshvara (also spelt as ‘Venkateswara’), “Lord of Seven Hills”. About 10-km northwest of Tirupati, at an elevation of 750m, is the sacred hill of Tirumala, which was considered so holy that before 1870 non-Hindus were not permitted to ascend it.

BACK TO HISTORY – THE RULING DYNASTIES:
Tirupati was developed mainly by the contributions made by kings during their rule. Almost all the kings from great dynasties of the southern peninsula have paid homage to Lord Sri Venkateswara in this ancient shrine of Tirupati. The Pallavas of Kancheepuram (9th century AD), the Cholas of Thanjavur (a century later), the Pandyas of Madurai, and the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar (14th – 15th century AD) were devotees of the Lord and they competed with one another in endowing the temple with rich offerings and contributions.

During the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty contributions made to the temple increased enormously. Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the Tirupati temple, and these statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple at Tirupati.

The decline of the Vijayanagar dynasty did not affect the contributions to this place as many nobles and chieftains from all parts of the country continued to pay their homage and offer gifts to the temple. Raghoji Bhonsle, the Maratha general, visited the temple and set up a permanent endowment for the conduct of worship in the temple. He presented valuable jewels to the Lord, including a large emerald, which is still preserved in a box named after the General. Among the later rulers who have endowed large amounts are the rulers of Mysore and Gadwal.

After the fall of Hindu kingdoms, came the Muslim rulers of Karnataka and after their downfall the British took over, and many of the temples came under their supervisory and protective control.

In 1843 AD, the East India Company divested itself of the direct management of non-Christian places of worship and native religious institutions.

PRIME ATTRACTIONS:
Lord Venkateswara Temple At Tirumala
Tirumala has the historic shrine of Sri Venkateswara (also known as Balaji), “the Lord of Seven Hills”, who is famous all over the country.

Padmavati Temple
In Tiruchanur, 5-km from Tirupati is this large temple dedicated to goddess Padmavati, the consort of Lord Venkateswara (Balaji). It also known as “Alamelumangapuram” and it is said that a visit to Tirumala is fruitful only after visiting the Sri Padmavati Devi temple.

Govindaraja Swami Temple
One of the most important temples in Tirupati is Sri Govindarajaswami Temple, which was consecrated by Saint Ramanujacharya in 1130 AD. It is located in the heart of the Tirupati.

Kodandaramaswami Temple
Located in the centre of the Tirupati town, the presiding deities over here are Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. Chola king built it during the 10th century AD. The temple of Anjaneyaswami, which is directly opposite, is a sub-shrine of this temple.

Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple
Situated about 3-km to the north of Tirupati, at the foot of the Tirumala Hills, is the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, in Tirupati. Annual Brahmotsavams and festivals like Vinayaka Chavithi, Maha Shivaratri, Skhanda Shasthi and Annabhishekam are performed in a grand manner. The sacred waterfall called “Kapila Tirth” (also known as “Alwar Tirth”) is located here.

Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami Temple
12-km to the west of Tirupati at Srinivasa Mangapuram one can find Sri Kalyana Venkateswaraswami temple, where it is believed that Lord Venkateswara stayed here after his marriage with Sri Padmavati Devi, before proceeding to Tirumala.

TRAVELLERS INFORMATION
Where to Stay in Tirupati
Accommodation is available at the Cottages, Choultries or Guesthouses in Tirumala. One can stay at the Hotels in Tirupati, which offer excellent accommodation facilities at reasonable prices. Free accommodation is also provided for pilgrims.

Conducted Tours of Tirupati
The Regional Tourist Information Bureau runs conducted tours subject to sufficient bookings.

Local Temples:
10.00 am to 17.30 pm (Daily)
Bangalore-Tirupati- Bangalore: Daily
Madras-Tirupati- Madras: Daily
South India: Twice a month -(Departure Hyderabad) 12-Day tour
Tirupati-Tiruttani-Kanchipuram: Every Week (1 day tour)
Tirupati-Talakona-Horsley Hills: Every Week (2 days tour)
Bangalore-Mantralayam-Bangalore: Twice in a week (3 days tour)

General Information:
Climate: Tropical
Temperature Range:
Summer: Max 43°C and Min 22°C
Winter: Max 32°C and Min 14°C
Rainfall: Seasonal
Clothing: Light Cottons

Nearby Cities
Renigunta: 10-km
Chandragiri Fort: 12-km
Thalakona: 30-km
Gudur: 100-km
Horsely Hills: 151-km

How to reach TIRUPATI BALAJI:
By Air: Direct flights to Tirupati are available from Hyderabad and Chennai only.
By Rail: Tirupati is the nearest railway station. There are trains that travel via Renigunta or Gudur, but do not touch Tirupati. In such cases, Renigunta or Gudur, are convenient points to alight. From Renigunta / Gudur one can reach Tirupati by train, bus, or taxi.
By Bus: APSRTC buses run from all the important places in the state and between Tirupati and Tirumala. TTD also runs buses between Tirupati and Tirumala, free of cost.

Local Transport:
For local transportation Taxis, Unmetered Taxis, Rickshaws, City bus services, Transport and buses on hire are available.

From Tirupati to Tirumala
One can travel from Tirupati to Tirumala by road, or climb the hills on foot.

By Road:
There are two well-laid, all-weather, asphalt Ghat roads between Tirupati and Tirumala. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) runs a regular bus service between Tirupati and Tirumala. One can also save time by buying one’s Tirumala-Tirupati return tickets in advance at Tirupati. These tickets are valid for three days and ticket-holders can board any of the APSRTC buses returning to Tirupati. During Brahmotsavam and on important occasions like New Year’s Day, buses ply round the clock.

For Pilgrims: For the convenience of pilgrims arriving in groups, APSRTC provides contract carriages. The bus can either be booked then and there, or reserved in advance. At Tirupati there are 4 bus-stations located at different corners of the town.

Sri Venkateswara Bus Station (SVBS): The pilgrims coming by train can use the SVBS, which is located just opposite the Railway Station. Whenever trains arrive, buses are stationed right in front of the main gate of the railway station.

Balaji Link Bus Station (BLBS): For the pilgrims coming from Bangalore, BLBS is situated at Alipiri, at the foot of the hills. Here, there is ample space for parking tourist buses and vans.

Sapthagiri Link Bus Station (SLBS): SLBS serves pilgrims who arrive from Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada sectors and is located in the central Bus Station Complex.

Sri Padmavati Bus Station (SPBS): SPBS is located at the rear of the railway station, and caters mainly to the needs of pilgrims arriving in tourist buses.

Note: For a safe journey to Tirumala, it is recommended that one should travel by APSRTC buses only. If one is using one’s own vehicle, do negotiate the hairpin bends on the Ghat roads carefully.

Walk:
For those of you who would like to climb the hills to Tirumala to fulfil a vow, there are two well-laid stone footpaths leading to Tirumala. These paths are called “Sopanamargas” (stairways).

The more ancient of the two Sopanamargas starts from Alipiri at the foot of the hills, is about 11-km in length, and is the commonly used route. The other Sopanamargas is from Chandragiri, though only about 6-km in length, it’s a difficult route and is mainly used by the local people and traders. TTD also provides several facilities for the pilgrims who walk up the hills to Tirumala.

FACILITIES FOR PILGRIMS
TTD or Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam manages the affairs of the temple, the well-being of the pilgrims, the upkeep of the environs in and around the Tirumala hills and sponsors several undertakings that are religious, charitable, social and educational in nature.

The TTD provides ample conveyance and halting facilities to thousands of pilgrims. Many pilgrims climb the hill by walk to fulfil the vow they have taken. Facilities like shelters, drinking waters, toilets, canteens, medical facilities etc are provided for a quick and relaxing walk uphill.

The number of pilgrims visiting Tirumala-Tirupati is increasing every year. To avoid stampedes, TTD has constructed the Vaikuntam Queue Complex, which is a series of inter-connected halls that lead to the main temple. Wide range of facilities ranging from canteen services, toilets, Television etc are provided within the queue complex.

Darshan:
Different Darshans are arranged for the convenience of the pilgrims, The ‘Sarvadarshan’ (meaning darshan for all, free of cost), special darshan (paid darshan), ‘Sudarshanam’ (free and paid darshan minimizing the waiting time) and special darshan for the physically disabled and the aged.

Commutation & Food:
The buses run by the Tirumala- Tirupati Devasthanam, starting from Tirupati, carry pilgrims and visitors up the hills through the Ghat road which is over 22 Km in length. There are also buses that take you to the different places of sight seeing within Tirumala. All these bus services are free of cost.

Vegetarian meals are provided free of cost to devotees, in the Sri Venkateswara Canteen Complex, from 10.00 am to 11.00 pm, everyday. One can avail this facility on production of the free meal coupon, which is distributed inside the temple after worshipping the Lord. About 20,000 pilgrims avail this facility every day.

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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