Navagraha Temple, Guwahati, Assam, India

Deities: Surya, Chandra, Mangal, Budha, Guru, Shukra, Shani, Rahu, Ketu
Known As: Navagraha (Nine Planets)
Location: Citracala, Guwahati, Kamrup District, Assam
Best time to Visit: Best to check with Kamrup District office, Assam

Introduction:
The temple of Navagrahas is situated in the south-eastern part of the Guwahati town on the crest’ of a hill known as Citracala. The temple contains nine phallic emblems of Shiva covered with cloths of different colours sacred to the nine planetary gods, namely, Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangal (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Guru or Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), Rahu (Dragon’s head) and Ketu (Dragon’s tail).

The Navagrahas or the nine planets are thus represented in the Shastras:-

Surya’s great chariot has one wheel and is drawn by seven horses; he has a lotus in each hand, wears armour and has a shield over his breast, has beautiful straight hair, and is surrounded by a halo of light.”

Chandra is represented in white colour, clothed in white garment, surrounded by a halo and adorned with ornaments and garland of all sorts of flowers.”

Mangal is represented in fire-like red colour, clothed in red garments, seated upon Simhasana, with three arms bearing Gada, Shula, Shakti weapons and as one in an Abhaya or Varada pose.”

Budha is represented in yellow colour, clothed in yellow garment, with three arms bearing Khadga, Khetaka, Gada and one in Varada pose.”

Brihaspati is represented in yellow colour, clothed in golden yellow garments with three arms bearing Kamandalam, Aksamala, Danda and one in Varada pose. Sometimes this planet is represented with two arms having a Pustaka and an Aksamala.”

Shukra is represented in white colour, clothed in white garments, having four arms and bearing the same weapons as Brihaspati. Just like him it is sometimes represented with two hands bearing Nidhi (treasure) and Pustaka.”

Shani is represented in black colour, clothed in black garments, small in stature and somewhat lame in one leg. He has two arms bearing a Danda and an Aksamala and sometimes one in Varada pose.”

Rahu is represented on a Simhasana or a silver chariot drawn by eight horses. According to some it possesses four arms, three of which bear Khadga, Khetaka, Shula and one in Varada pose and sometimes he possesses two arms carrying a book, a woollen.”

Ketu is represented in dark colour having two arms in Abhaya pose and a Gada, and sometimes on a chariot drawn by ten horses.”

Visit www.Kundlee.com for more information on Vedic indian astrology and Moon signs.

The present temple of Navagrahas was built during the time of King Rajesvar Singh in 1752 A.D. The upper part (Sikharam) of the temple was destroyed by the great earthquake and was rebuilt with corrugated iron-sheet. The Garbhagriha, built of brick, however, exists. Regular worship is carried on by the votaries even at present.

In 1753 A.D. King Rajesvar Singh also excavated a tank at little distance from the temple of Navagrahas so that the temple goers might have an easy and perennial supply of water. The tank, known as Silpukhuri, continues to be as full of water as it doing was when it was first excavated and sup plies water daily to the needy.

A stone inscription fixed on the walls of the temple records the construction of the same by Tarun Duarah, under the orders of King Rajesvar Singh. The temple was consecrated to the Navagrahas in 1674 Saka Era (1752 A.D.). K. L. Barua thinks that this temple is the origin of the name Pragjyotisa Pura or the City of Eastern Astrology as Assam was called in the early period.

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.
Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Hanamkonda Thousand Pillar, Warangal, Andhra Pradesh, IN


Deity: Shiva, Vishnu, Surya, Nandi
Location: Warangal, Andhra Pradesh
Known As: Thousand Pillar
Best time to Visit: All year around

Warangal, the ancient capital of the Kakatiyas is at a distance of 142 km from Hyderabad by rail. It is home to the Hanumakonda thousand pillared temple. Palampet near Warangal in Andhra Pradesh is home to brilliant Kakatiya art as seen in the Ramappa temple, that is near the ancient engineering marvel that is the 13th century Ramappa tank.

An inscription near the temple dates it to the year 1163 to the period of King Rudra of the Kakatiyas.

The Hanumakonda temple consists of three separate shrines to Rudreshwara (Shiva), Vasudeva (Vishnu) and Surya, a narrow platform in the middle, and the thousand pillared hall in front. At the entrance to the temple is the Nandi Mandapam with a typical Kakatiya Nandi.

All of the three sancta are richly decorated with pilasters and bas reliefs. Although named the thousand pillared hall, the number of pillars here is about 300.

Other Kakatiya temples:
Enroute to Palampet from Warangal, there are the Katachpur and the Jakaram temples. At Ghanpur, further beyond Palampet, there is a temple resembling the Hanumakonda thousand pillared temple, surrounded by several shrines, all now in ruins.

How to reach:
by Road: APSTRC and Private buses connect Warangal with Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Khammam and some other districts.
by Rail: Warangal has a railway station and is well connected by rail to important cities of India. by Air: The nearest airport is at Hyderabad, 157-km away.

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.
Bookmark and Share

Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat, India

Deity: Lord Surya/Sun
Location: On the banks of Pushpavati river in Modhera, Gujarat
Built by: King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty
Attraction: Marvellous architectural work
Significance: One of the few Sun Temples across the country

Modhera or Modherapura also known as Mundera is said to have been the original settlement of modha Brahmans. The remains of an ancient Sun Temple at Modhera draw hundreds of tourists, to this village 30 km south of Patan, near Ahmedabad. The Sun Temple was built by Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki .Solankis were considered to be Suryavanshis, or descendants of Sun god. The temple was so designed that the first rays of the sun fell on the image of Surya, the Sun God, at the time equinoxes.

The Sun Temple at Modhera dates back to early 11th century CE and was built by King Bhimdev I in 1026 CE. It was during the same period that the Jain temples at Mount Abu were constructed by Vimal Shah. The Rudra Mahal temple at Siddhapur also dates back to this period.  Also re-constructed at the same time was the Somnath temple at Somnath Patan. Interestingly, the grand Brihadeeswarar temple at Thanjavur in South India was constructed during the same time.

Even in its ruined state, the sun temple at Modhera is magnificent. There is no worship offered here now. There is no shikhara either. The temple has a sanctum, a pradakshina patha and a sabha mandap in front. The exterior of the sanctum has many carved images of the Sun God, portrayed as wearing a belt and long shoes as in the Dakshinaarka temple at Gaya. The mandapa in front of the sanctum has beautifully carved pillars with exquisite toranas adorning the entrances. The exterior of this temple is intricately carved. In front of the temple is a colossal tank, which was once known as Surya Kund or Rama Kund. The tank has a series of carved steps leading to the bottom. Several miniature shrines adorn the steps of the tank – which is an art gallery in itself.

History:
According to the Skanda Purana and Brahma Purana, the areas near Modhera were known during ancient days as Dharmaranya (literally meaning the forest of righteousness). According to these Puranas, Lord Rama, after defeating Ravana, asked sage Vasistha to show him a place of pilgrimage where he could go and purify himself from the sin of Brahma-hatya (the sin of killing a Brahmin, because ravan was a Brahmin by birth). Sage Vasistha showed him Dharmaranya, which was near the modern town of Modhera. In the Dharmaranya, he settled at a village Modherak and performed a yagna there. Thereafter he established a village and named it Sitapur.This village is about 8 km from Becharaji Modherak village and it subsequently came to be known as Modhera.

Festival:
Modhera dance festival is the major festival that is observed by the Sun Temple. This dance festival is organized to keep the Indian traditions and culture alive. It is held in the third week of January every year. The classical dance forms in the premises of this temple revive the imperial ambiance during the period.

How to reach:
One can easily reach Modhera Sun Temple by taking regular Buses or by hiring taxis from anywhere in Gujarat.