Moti Dungri, Rajasthan, IN

Deities: Lord Ganesha
Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Best time to visit: October to March
STD Code: 0141

Jaipur is quite famous for the tourists for its mind blowing location and excellent beauty. It is situated almost in the centre of the pink city. In the middle of Jaipur rises a small hill Moti Dungri meaning pearl hill, because it looks hilla drop of pearl.

An exotic palace is parched which is a replica of Scottish castle once occupied by Maharaja Madho Singh’s son. From There on remained as a private property of the ruling family. In the recent past it served as a home for Rajmata Gaytri Devi and her estranged son Jagat Singh. The mere view of this castle is exotic enough. The highlight of this place is the famous and auspicious temple of Lord Ganesh, which is frequently visited by almost whole of Jaipur and people from outside.

This ancient temple serves as a tourist attraction for the scenic view it offers. Moti Dungri Temple is significant from the religious point of view. People from far and near often come to this sacred temple to pay their homage to Lord Ganesha.It is a large, modern marble edifice. Stained glass widows depict the scenes from Hindu scriptures. Ganesh the protector of households, is above the lintel, and the fine quality of marble is evident when you enter the temple and look back at the entrance way – Ganesh can be made out through the marble, which is almost transparent. The images of Lakshmi and Narayan were carved from one piece of marble. Many of the deities of the Hindu pantheon are depicted inside the temple, and on the outside walls great historical personages and figures from all religions are shown, including Socrates, Zarathustra, Christ, Buddha, and Confucius.

Keeping in mind the secular nature of the country, the temple has three domes, which represent different approaches to religion. It is a beautiful white marble temple, which seems to glow at night. The architectural style in which the temple is built is a pleasing amalgamation of Western, Hindu and Muslim architectural traits.

Close to the Temple, there a beautiful Palace on the hill, this is known as Moti Dungri Palace. The Palace is an imitation of a Scottish Castle. In the ancient times, it was occupied by Maharaja Madho Singh’s son. Still, the enchanting Palace belongs to the royal family. Today, it makes home for Rajmata Gayatri Devi and her son, Jagat Singh. However, the palace is not open for public.

How to reach:
by Air: Jaipur Airport is located near Sanganer at a distance of 13 kms from the city of Jaipur. Many domestic airlines connect the city to all the major cities of India including Udaipur and Jodhpur as well.
by Rail: Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station of the state of Rajasthan. The vast rail track of Indian Railways connects Jaipur station with all other cities of India. There are numerous trains which run on a regular basis to and from Jaipur.
by Road: Jaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Excellent road network serves people to enjoy a comfortable journey to and from Jaipur. This mode of travelling is quite easy and comparatively cheap. Regular bus services from nearby cities connect Jaipur to the other cities.

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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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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Srinathji, Nathdwara, Rajasthan, India

Deities: Lord Krishna
Location: Nathdwara, Udaipur
Built in: 17th century
Significance: One of the pilgrimages of the Hindus/ Vaishnavites
Best time to visit: September to March
STD Code: 02953

Jay Shree Krishna

Nathdwara is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. This is one of the most celebrated pilgrimage shrines of India, enshrining Krishna as Govardhana Giridhari. Nathdwara is situated 48 km north east of Udaipur in Rajasthan, on the banks of the Banas River.

Nathdwara enshrines Shrinathji – an image of Krishna, which was originally, enshrined at the Vraja Bhoomi at Mount Govardhana near Mathura.The name Nathdwara means Gate of the Lord. The image was brought to Mewar, for the sake of protection during the period of Aurangazeb, the Moghul monarch.

It is the most renowned pilgrim of India.Nathdwara is also famous for the Pichhwai paintings – the most famous Rajasthani art. This art portrays the Lord Shrinathji & their activities.

This temple is the only major attraction Nathdwara. This 17th century temple houses the original statue of Shrinathji or Lord Krishna. According to history, the statue was brought to Mewar kingdom for the sake of safety in the period of Aurangazeb the Moghul monarch. The chariot shipping the statue was jammed here, and consequently a shrine was established with the permission of the then Rana of Mewar at Nathdwara.

In Shrinathji temple, worship (puja) is replaced by servitude (seva). The temple priests change the vestments and ornaments of Shrinathji daily with love and reverence. It is believed that he appears to his devotees in many forms: the divine child inspiring parental love, the flute playing good in the forests of Vrindavan luring maidens with the melody of his flute.

Darshans or glimpses of Srinathji can be sought 8 times in the day. Individually known as Ashtaya, the 8 darshans are as below:

Mangala
Shrungar
Gwal
Rajbhog
Uthhapan
Bhog
Sandhaya Aarti
and
Shayan

In each of them the leelas (divine manifestations) of the Lord are described and harmonized with His daily routine. Millions of devotees come here every year, to make there wish and pray to the almighty Lord Krishna.

In the temple, enshrined is a unique image of Lord Krishna, which has been sculptured from a single piece of black marble. One of the arms of the life size image is raised in a manner so as to give an impression of holding the Govardhan Mountain. The other arm rests at the waist which seems not only a dance posture but also as if God is blessing the devotees.

Shrinathji Temple is one amongst the richest temples of India. It receives millions of rupees as offering to the Lord. The temple authorities possess approximately 500 cows and the milk of these cows, is used for the preparation of sweets and milk products. Among these cows, there is one cow that is considered as Shrinathji’s cow.

Life in the town revolves around the “Haveli” term used for all the temples of the “Pushti Marga“. This is one of the most colourful sects within the devotional side of Hinduism.The Havali is the centre of attraction in the Town. Temple servants still wear the clothes and costumes of the bygone era, serving the Lord of Nathadwara as the beloved prince and darling of Nanadaraj and Yashodaji.

Festival:
Various religious festivals are celebrated at the temple like Janmashtmi, Phooldol and Diwali. The Annakutta is famous worldwide where cooked rice is hurled at the devotees after the ceremony and is ‘looted’ by them. Non-Hindus are allowed to visit this temple, however with the exception of foreigners. Undoubtedly, Shrinathji Temple is a place worth-visiting and feeling the spiritual delight.

Other important temples in Udaipur:
Eklingji Temple
Jagat Temple
Jagdish Temple
Kankroli Temple
Nathdwara Temple
Ranakpur Temple
Rishabdeo Temple

How to reach:
by Air: Air-Indian Airlines and Jet Air are having flights up to Udaipur, from where it is one hour drive in Taxi or Bus.
by Road: Nathdwara is well connected by Mumbai/ Surat/ Baroda/ Ahmedabad with good motorable roads.
by Rail: Mavli rail junction is the closest to Nathdwara. Road: Well connected by road with 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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Govind Devji, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Deities: Govind Devji (Lord Krishna)
Location: In City Palace Complex, Jaipur
Built by: 18th Century by Raja Sawai Jai Singh
Built In: 1890 by Raja Man Singh
STD Code: 0141
Best time to visit: October to March

Many temples are well known for their artistic beauty in Jaipur – the pink city, but Govind Devji Temple is the best attraction of pink city. It enshrines an idol which has been worshiped by the royal family of Jaipur ever since it was brought from Vinadavan to Jaipur in the 18th century. A vital part of the city Palace complex, this Krishna temple has been highly preserved by the erstwhile royal family.

Sawai Jai Singh installed the image of GOVIND DEV JI (an incarnation of lord Krishna) after it was brought from Vrindavan. In the real, this deity was established by Srila Rupa Goswami who was ordered by Lord Chaitanya to excavate all the lost holy places of Vrindavan. Five thousand years earlier, Lord Krishna’s grandson, Vajranaba, installed a number of important deities in Vrindavan; Govind devji is one of them. Today, the temple attracts devotees, from all over the country.

The image brought from Vrindavan, is housed within the sanctum of this spireless temple. The image is unveiled seven times daily for AARTIES and BHOGS offered in the silver wares, consisting of sweets mostly. The idols of RADHA KRISHNA are dressed in different styles each time for the ‘AARTI’ procession where thousands of followers or ‘Bhakt’ gather around the courtyard for the Darshan.

Festival:
On the Krishna Janmashtmi (Birth of Lord Krishna), various religious programmes are held here.At midnight, the deity of the infant Krishna is bathed, placed in a cradle and worshipped. In the early morning, ladies draw patterns of little children’s feet outside the house with rice-flour paste, walking towards the house. This symbolizes the entry of the infant Krishna into his foster-home. After ablutions, morning prayers and worship, the devout break their fast with Prasadam, food that has first been offered to God. During the fore-noon hours, the Dahi-Handi custom is celebrated. This is followed by sumptuous mid-day feasts, where extended families customarily get together. Sweets made of milk and other dairy products, especially butter, are traditionally prepared on this occasion.

How to reach:
By Air:
Jaipur Airport is located near Sanganer at a distance of 13 kms from the city of Jaipur. The airport has been granted the status of an international airport and connects to the foreign cities.
By Rail: Jaipur Railway Station is a central main station of the state of Rajasthan. There are numerous trains which run on a regular basis to and from Jaipur.
By Road: Jaipur is well connected by road to major cities in India. Regular bus services from nearby cities connect Jaipur to the other cities.

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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Brahma Temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan, India


Deities: Lord Brahma
Location: Near Pushkar Lake in Pushkar, Rajasthan
Built in: 14th century
Attraction: Sole temple in the world where Lord Brahma is worshipped

Brahma Temple is Located near the Lake at Pushkar in Rajasthan, Brahma Temple receives many pilgrims to its doorsteps every year.

Pushkar is best known for its Brahma Temple built in the 14th century standing on a high platform near Pushkar Lake. This is the only temple in the world where Lord Brahma – Creator of the Universe, is worshipped. Pushkar means a pond created by flower was formed when Brahma dropped a lotus flower on the earth to determine a place for his yagna, a holy sacrifice.

The main shrine houses the life-size image of Lord Brahma with four hands and four faces, facing the four basic directions. An image of Goddess Gayatri, who is known as the milk Goddess, can be seen near the idol of Lord Brahma. The walls of the temple are adorned by beautiful images of Peacock and Goddess Saraswati. From the temple, there is a silver door that leads down to a small cave. This small cave comprises a temple of Lord Shiva.

The Brahma temple is an important pilgrim centre for the Hindus. It is nestled in the Pushkar valley which lies beyond Nagaparvat and the Anasagar lake. This place, full of natural beauty, holds a special place in the hearts of Indian for it is believed that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses, performed a Yagya here. Legends also have it that the ancient lake Sarovar had appeared miraculously, when a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma and dropped into this valley. Brahma Temple The most famous temple in Pushkar, this is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology) in the entire country. You can identify it by its red spire and by the image of a hans (the goose considered sacred to Lord Brahma).This temple built with marble is decorated with silver coins and there is a silver turtle on the floor of the temple.

Marble steps lead up to the temple where a silver turtle lies embossed in the floor facing the sanctorum. The marble floor around the turtle is littered with hundreds of silver coins embedded in the floor, and so are the walls of the temple. Images of the peacock, the vehicle of Brahma’s consort Saraswati, adorn the temple walls. Brahma here is shown in a life-size form with four hands and four faces, facing four different directions. A hans (goose, the official carrier of Brahma) spans the gateway to the temple which is crowned with a red spire. A small statue of the milk goddess Gayatri (whom Brahma married) near Brahma’s idol is called Chaumurti. A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the sanctorum or Garbha Griha. The marble floor around the silver turtle is embedded with hundreds of silver coins, with donors name engraved on them.

Festival:
Although Brahmā is prayed to in almost all Hindu religious rites, there are very few temples dedicated to him in India, the more prominent of which is at Pushkar, close to Ajmer. Once a year, on the full moon night of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika (October – November), a religious festival is held in Brahmā’s honour. Thousands of pilgrims come to bathe in the holy lake adjacent to the temple.

During the time of Pushkar Fair, this temple is thronged by people in large numbers. At this point of time, Rajasthan Tourism arranges tents for the convenience of pilgrims and tourists. Brahma Temple gets a major attraction as it is the only temple in the world where Lord Brahma is worshipped. Pilgrims come to pay their homage and get blessings from the Lord.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Brahma Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Rajasthan.

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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Karni Mata, Rajasthan, India


Location: At a distance of 30kms south of Bikaner
Built in: 15th century
Dedicated to: Karni Mata
Also known as: Temple of Rats
Attraction: Thousands of Rats are worshipped

Karni Mata temple is a 600-year-old Hindu temple at Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India. Karni Mata is believed to be the incarnation of Hindu goddess Durga. The peculiarity of this temple is that thousands of rats are worshipped here. The temple in its present form was completed in the early 20th century in late Mughal style by Maharaja Ganga Singh.

This temple is dedicated to Karni Mata. There is a legend that she prophesied the victory of Rao Bika. The rats are seen as holy, owing to the belief that the souls of the followers of Karni Mata are in these rats and thus they must be looked after. The huge silver gates to the temple, and the marble carvings were a donation of Maharaja Ganga Singh. Karni Mata Temple is a popular and unusual holy shrine of India. This Temple is in a small town of Deshnok, which is located at a distance of 30 kms in south of Bikaner in Rajasthan.

Throughout the year pilgrims from anywhere come to pay religious tribute to Karni Mata. People from far and wide come to pay religious tribute to shri karni mata. Throughout the year there’s an influx of pilgrims. Outside rajasthan, places like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana are areas where mata is greatly respected and loved. During the time of navratri thousands flock to mata’s temple on foot. Mata’s enigma attracts pilgrims from all over. It is becoming one of the holiest and most faithful places in India.

The temple has huge silver gates and a marble door both donated by the Maharaja Ganga Singh. The temple has a beautiful silver door and a wire mesh over the courtyard to protect the rats from birds. An image of Karni Mata holding a trishul (trident), surrounded by rats can be seen in the temple. The rats are called kabas and if you injure a rat in the temple, you are expected to present a gold or silver replica to the temple or suffer misfortune. The rats eat from huge metal bowls filled with milk, sweets, and grains donated by devotees. It is considered auspicious to see a white kaba near the image of Karni Mata. Inside the shrine, a 75 cms. Image of Karni Mata adorned with a mukut (tiara) and a garland is installed. Her image is accompanied by the images of her sisters and the sisters of Avad Mata.

History:
The story of the temple is that a woman brought the body of her recently dead son to Karni Mata and asked her to restore the boy to life. Karni fell into a deep trance and encountered Yamaraja, the lord of death. But He told her that the boy had already accepted another body and could not be recalled. Karni refused to accept this and said that Yamaraja would no longer govern her tribe of Charans. At death they would enter the bodies of kabas, or sacred rats, and when the rats died they would be reborn as Charans. Karni Mata was an ascetic who led a righteous life dedicated to the service and upliftment of the poor and downtrodden of all communities. It is believed that she possessed supernatural powers. She laid the foundation of Deshnoke and her principal followers, Charans, as well as the rulers of Bikaner have worshiped her as a goddess.

Karni Mata & Rats:
T
he beginning of the rat worship date to the 15th century. The rats are believed to be reincarnation of holly woman and goddess Karni Mata, an ascetic believed to be the reincarnation of goddess Durga. When a child of a famous storyteller died, Karni Mata tried to bring it back to life, but failed. Yama, a Hindu death god, has already accepted the boy’s body and reincarnated him in a human form. Known for her short temper, Karni Mata was extremely disappointed by her failure and announced that all the Charan cast would consistently be reborn as rats and then again as people. Thus kabas, or “little children” in the local dialect, are considered different than the rats outside the temple and only those rats are said to be the reincarnations of the Charan caste.

There are over 20,000 rats that are said to live here, with their own holes and tunnels built into the construction to allow them to move freely from area to area within. A rat running over your bare feet, or the honour of eating after one, is said to be good luck, spotting a white one even better. The white are said to be a manifestation of Karni Mata, there are very few of them, and seeing one is rare.

Festival:
During the Karni Mata Fair in Chaitra (March- April) special buses and trains carry the pilgrims to Deshnoke.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Rat Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Rajasthan. It is connected by rail and road with Bikaner, Nagaur, Jodhpur and Jaipur and regular buses on these routes.

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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