What Happens When Goddess Durga is in Bangalore?

Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world.

The word “Durga” in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun.

Another meaning of “Durga” is “Durgatinashini,” which literally translates into “the one who eliminates sufferings.” Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

In this part of the world we believe Durga Ma is pure Sakti (Power) and she saved this world from demons by killing buffalo demon Mahisasura who was more powerful than God.

That’s why we celebrate the nine-day festival of Navratri in Hindu religion is dedicated to the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga.

Durga Puja in Bangalore

Bangalore has recently developed as a city were Durga Puja is celebrated with all warmth and colors. Why I am saying this because Durga Puja is associated with North India festival mainly in Bengal and Bihar.

Increase in migration from North Indian states to Bangalore in recent time has seen the new festival introduced like Diwali and Holi which were again festival associated with North India.

But with the introduction of these festivals in cities like Bangalore, It has given Bangalore a status of cosmopolitan were people from all part live in harmony and enjoy all kinds of festival together.

Undoubtedly I miss the Durga Puja festival of Bihar were I use to roam around from one Pandal to other on cycle with my friends as they were very close to each other and enjoy the loud music, color and food. It was food feast for us.

In Bangalore things are different there are few Pandals and at a distance, in which few are very commercialized due to which they lose the essence of festivity like Sarathi – Koramangala Durga Puja.

But undoubtedly there are a few good one like the one in palace ground, celebrating their 37th Durga Puja managed by Sidarth Samiti part of Bihar Bhavan, another good one is in Malleshwaram managed by Prabaasee Association where you feel you are really near goddess.

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I know in coming time there will be more of them and it should be because these are representative of our culture, but I hope these Pujas should not be commercialized as they lose the essence of culture.

Happy Travelling…

A Drive to Hogenakkal Fall…

Hogenakkal fall is one the must visit place in India. A beautiful waterfall is on Cauvery river. Its 180 km drive Bangalore and 46 km from Dharmapuri. Very nice road till you reach Dharmapuri once you reach Dharmapuri and take diversion ( You can’t miss sign)  the road is not so great still its fair enough. Drive to Hogenakkal from Dharmapuri is like picture perfect with lush mulberry fields and giant terracotta guardian deities as you approach Hogenakkal, the roar of the Cauvery river catches your attention.

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Hogenakkal is also described as the ‘Niagara’ of India, offer an exciting holiday destination for Indians and foreigners alike. Hogenakkal is located about 750 feet above sea level amidst the Melagiri Hills. Hogenakkal is considered as one of the most beautiful places in the state.

The river near the falls is a good place to try your swimming skills as the water has some current here. he hills near the falls have many trails where adventure seekers can go trekking in the Melagiri Hills. You can relax while getting a massage from the Hogenakkal masseurs who have an array of oils and powders to rejuvenate your body.

Taking a bath in the waterfalls of Hogenakkal is considered as extremely beneficial for the health. It is so because of the widely grown herbal plants in the nearby areas. The place is widely known for the curative power of its water.

A visit to the Hogenakkal waterfalls is incomplete without taking a ride in the waterproof basket boats covered in buffalo hide or plastic stretched over light-weight wicker frames. These boats are locally known as Teppa. These are among the oldest water crafts in the world.

During monsoon, the canyon is half full with water and watching water falling in from all directions is a magnificent sight to behold. The only problem was that, since the water level is too high, the coracles will not be able to go inside the canyon. But this time, it was just right. We took the steps down and a couple of coracles were waiting for their rides in to the canyon. We chose to take the whole coracle for the four of us – which can normally accommodate 6 people.

Where to eat: It is advisable to carry food and water when visiting the falls. Hogenakkal bus stand is nearest point from the falls where you can get snacks and refreshments.

Be Safe….

A Drive to Historic City of Madurai

403207_2587821854221_1893461808_n My Journey to Madurai started from Bangalore at 6 AM and I reached Madurai by 2 PM. It was a well planned Journey. Road from Bangalore to Madurai  is  great and you can drive all the way at high speed. Hosur ,Krishnagiri, Dhramapuri, Salem,Dindigul are few major cities in between Bangalore and Madhurai. Suggestion : You can have your Lunch or Breakfast in these cities but I will suggest have it either in Hosur or Salem as they are big city and you can find good restaurant in these places. Total distance between Bangalore and Madurai is 450km, so I would suggest to plan it well if you are single driver in group. About Madurai: Madurai is one of the oldest city of south India also called as temple city.  It has old history which starts from 3rd century,ruled by many dynasty and empire but it only grew & grew and its culture became more strong and strong. Some say its Athens of India other say Its Mathura of South. Whatever you say Its Must see place in India particularly Minakshi Temple where after one point only Hindu’s are allowed to proceed. But still seeing it from outside only will leave you speech less. Its architecture is unique and beautiful. Madurai is built around the Meenakshi Amman Temple, which acted as the geographic and ritual center of the ancient city of Madurai About Meenakshi Amman Temple 424694_2587830614440_1844628967_n426447_2587832894497_324496489_n The original temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya, but the entire credit for making the temple as splendid as it is today goes to the Nayaks. The Nayaks ruled Madurai from the 16th to the 18th century and left a majestic imprint of their rule in the Meenakshi – Sundareswarar Temple. The temple complex is within a high-walled enclosure, at the core of which are the two sanctums for meenakshi and Sundareshwara, surrounded by a number of smaller shrines and grand pillared halls. Especially impressive are the 12 gopuras. Their soaring towers rise from solid granite bases, and are covered with stucco figures of dieties, mythical animals and monsters painted in vivid colors.   Mythology Legend has it that the reigning deity Meenakshi was born out of holy fire as an answer to the prayers of King Malayadwaja and his wife Kanchanamalai. She married Lord Shiva and both ruled the city of Madurai as Lord Sundareshwar and Goddess Meenakshi. It is also believed that Lord Indra founded the temple along with a suyambu lingam. There is mention about the temple in ancient Tamil literature through It is said that Lord Vishnu, Meenakshi’s brother travelled all the way from Srivaikuntam- his abode to witness the marriage. But he couldn’t make it on time and the marriage was solemnized without his presence. Angered by this insult, he vowed never to enter Madurai and settled in nearby Azaghar Kovil. He was later convinced and to this day, his pacification is celebrated as Azhaghar Thiruvila. Modern Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple History It is said that the temple was plundered in the 14th century by the Muslim raider Malik Kafur who looted the temple for its valuables. Restoration was undertaken by the Nayak ruler Vishwanatha Nayakar around the 16th century. It was Vishwanatha Nayak who rebuilt the temple in accordance to shilpa shastra. Food and Stay Food in Madurai is very authentic south Indian food with lots of curry flavor. I liked non veg especially chettinad chicken . Stay in Madurai is affordable you can find many hotel around temple. The below link can help you to find other places to explore other than Meenakshi Amman Temple which remains center of attraction. http://www.mustseeindia.com/Madurai/attractions Points to Remember

  1. Plan your trip well if you are going by road.
  2. Have food in between at some city when you are driving from Bangalore.
  3. Get your vehicle checked properly
  4. Fuel up your tank on regular basis were ever you find Gas Store.
  5. Must Visit Place is Meenakshi Amman Temple.
  6. Try chettinad chicken.

Happy Journey…

Connecting Airlines

9:22:2014 I was travelling down to Mumbai due to some personal work. But you never know how many times you travel you find new things or meet new people or meet some familiar faces.download

This time I meet some people whom I didn’t know personally, but were familiar to me and this was not one way. India is a country with 1.40 billion people, many of them use train, flight and bus for communicating. It is very rare that you see or meet someone whom you know on these platform when you are not in touch &  when this incidence happens not once, but twice in a day it make that day special.

I woke up in the morning to catch my 5.30 flight from Bangalore airport to Mumbai airport on Sunday. I reached late on airport and missed my flight. Go Airline people were quite helpful so they arranged next flight for me at 7.30. I had lots of time, so I went in to waiting area and was sleeping. At 7 there was announcement to gather on Gate 7 to catch the flight. I was in the queue and then I saw a pretty lady walking towards the queue. she saw me I saw her. She went and took a corner seat on in the waiting area. She didn’t recognize me, but I did. Well, who forgets a pretty girl from your college days. I went to her and asked are you XXXX she said yeah, I then formally introduced myself to her, I am sure she would not have recognized me. We never had words when we were in college, but seeing someone after 11 years who is familiar to you brings joy in your heart.

Well, that was first and not sure maybe the last time we spoke. When I came back I googled about her and found that today this pretty girl is one of the successful model and actor.

It was now time to catch my return flight from Mumbai airport at 2.30 PM from same airlines “Go”. I got my window seat 6A and was sitting calmly and thinking about my meeting, while at the rear of my seat a Punjabi couple or should I say just friend were sitting. Girl was crying and saying to guy that she took many wrong decisions and she was murmuring about her ex. It was torture.

Well, I was looking around and then I saw a face staring at me like I am a small monkey at the zoo. “Ha Ha Ha”.

He was no other then my super junior. I remember he use to come in my flat to ask for notes or small issues which he felt I can guide him to and today it was like we are on the same floor. We chatted for long throughout the journey. I enquired about him. He said he is working for software firm, happy with his Job and satisfied. He said he is getting married soon.

Woo, that was like soothing. You feel great when some of your friends are on right place and living their life full of colours.

This journey was one of the great experience for me where I meet two people from different aspect of life. Well, Thank you “Go” for making my journey memorable.

The Story of Ganesh going Public….

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You would  be thinking what is this, what could be story behind Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganapati since it is related to sentiments of Indian and their religious belief.

If you are thinking same, You are right but I want to tell you story when this religious sentiment was not a wave but it was only limited to house hold celebration.

This story took shape with my recent visit to Mumbai and evidencing the feast . It took me by wave by seeing so many people coming together to celebrate it without asking who are you or where are you from. It tinkled me and I decided to know more about it and put it on paper.

So here is summation of all what I got and understood. Hope you will like it and love to know about it.

History

Ganesh Chaturthi is said to have been celebrated since the days of Maratha rulers: Satavahana, Chalukya and Rashtrakuta. This festival was celebrated by Peshwas to worship Ganapati as their family deity as a private affair. Chhatrapati Shivaji brought this event to public to promote traditions and nationalism. Mainly celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh with a lot of zeal and splendor, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most popular festival of Maharashtra.

Going  Public

The festivities remained a family affair until the festival was revitalized by Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the late 19th Century, to take the message of freedom struggle to all Indians.

So why Bal Gangadhar Tilak want to take it to public? Before that let me tell you about Ganesh Chaturthi in zest.

It all started when Bal Gangadhar Tilak realized the actual power of this festival and understood how this festival helps to bring different class of people together. It was time of British Rule and Britisher never allowed any kind of public gathering. So he decided to bring Ganesh Chathurthi at Public forum so that he can bring all class of people on same platform and make them understand the actual power of unity which can be used to galvanize the mass against British Rule. Festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi that continued for ten days gave people of every religion the scope to interact and know each other. It was a unique move by this freedom fighter, which he achieved with the Ganpati Visarjana or immersion procession which is taken out on the final day of the ganesh festival.

Early Reason Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi is festival were Idol of lord Ganesh is kept in Pandal ( Temporary Shrine) which is then worshiped for ten days with different kind of herbal leaf which is then immersed  with Idol of lord Ganesh in water. it is believed that these herbs helps in keeping water clean and thus helps people to drink water from these water bodies.

Celebration

Ganesh Chaturthi preparations commence from almost a month before the festival. The celebrations last for around ten days (from Bhadrapad Shudh Chaturthi to Ananta Chaturdashi). First day clay idol of Lord Ganesha is installed in home decorated with flowers. Temples witness the visit of large number of devotees. Pooja is performed and bhajans are chanted. Often, families gather together to celebrate the festival. Localities organize and arrange for pandals and install large idols of Lord Ganesha to celebrate the festival with friends and family. Festivities goes on for next nine days. On the final day of the celebrations, the idol of Lord Ganesha is taken on the streets. People exhibit their enthusiasm and joy in the form of dancing and singing on the streets along with the idol. The idol is finally immersed in the river or sea. The day witnesses a large number of devotees expressing their happiness and offering their prayers.

Vision of Bal Gangadhar Tilak work he brought people from all class and group together but there are several other reasons. Ganpati is after all a popular god. His blessings are invoked at most religious ceremonies as he is the god who can remove all obstacles to success. He is the giver of fortune and can help to avoid natural calamities. He is also the god who brings prosperity.

So next time you want to visit Mumbai or Pune make your schedule around Ganesh Chaturthi so that you can see the beautiful color of festivity on the street of these city to enjoy and live the moment.

Happy Travelling….

 

The Land of world’s most Handsome Personality … “Lord Krishna”…

Dwarka is place were Lord Krishna, world’s most handsome personality lived and ruled.

Word Dwarka is has wonderful meaning ‘Dwar’, a door and in early times its thriving harbor was measured to be the doorway to the central region of India. As ‘Ka’ defines ‘Brahma’ denotation, opening to Moksha. 

Dwarka is one of the most pious places in hindu religion. LORD Krishna selected this area as his home and kingdom after leaving mathura. This is the place where krishna’s friend sudama came to meet him for help.

Bet Dwarka an island  is situated next to the shores of Okha which is about 29 km from Dwarka,  in the Gulf of Kutch , also known as Bet Shankhodhara and Ramandeep .

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History

The town of Dwarka in Gujarat has a history that dates back centuries, and mentioned in the Mahabharat epic as the Dwaraka Kingdom. Situated on the banks of river Gomti, the town is known of being the capital of Lord Krishna. Archaeological excavations have uncovered underwater stone structures which have been described as showing settlement during proto-historic times.

About The Temple

The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s great grandson, King Vajra. The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways – Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi andSatyabhama Devi.
There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple, which can be reached by boat. A similar deity of Lord Dwarakanath is also kept in Bet Dwaraka. The temple has many Shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Trivikrama, Jambavati Devi, Satyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi.

 

 

 

Dwarkadhish Temple

This is also called Jagat Mandir where you get darshan all the major deities . At entrance you have start with darshan of Kusheshwar Mahadev who is kuldevata of lord Krishna .It is said that unless you don’t take darshan of lord kusheshawar lord Dwarkadhish will not bless you.

While visiting this temple there are lot of intelligent pandas who wander around for money . They will say that we are funded by temple trust . And then they will give you the details of all the deities and while finishing they will ask for money in a very polite manner which you cannot or will not deny.

Place to Visit:

 

  • Somnath Temple
  • Dwarka Lighthouse
  • Dwarkadish Temple
  • Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple
  • Rukshamanee Mandir
  • Beyt Dwarka
  • Gomati Sangam Ghat
  • Gita Mandir

Ways to Travel Dwarka.

Dwarka is well connected By Road & By Train.

But If you love travelling take road…

The distance between Somnath and Dwarka is 231 km. It takes around five hours to reach Dwarka from Somnath, by car. The road is straight and simple. Start from Somnath temple and follow NH-8. Cross Chorwad after 31 km and drive 18 km more to reach Mangrol. 82 km from Mangrol, is Porbandar, where one needs to get onto NH -8E. Cross Navadra after 51 km and keep driving for another 49 km to reach Dwarka.

Transport options from Somnath to Dwarka

Somnath to Dwarka By Car: By Cab: Rent a car or hire a cab from Somnath to reach Dwarka, which takes around 5 hours.

Somnath to Dwarka By Bus: Take a bus from Somnath to Dwarka, a journey of around 7 hours. The bus stand near Dwarka is located at a distance of 21 km in Mithapur. Take a taxi from the Mithapur Bus Stand to reach the city center of Dwarka. Suitable option for backpackers and individual travelers.

 

Happy Travelling….

Journey of A Monk From Stanford University to Ashram, Rishikesh

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This Story is about Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati who came to India as traveller from United State of America.

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati was born & brought up in Los Angeles (America),  a place very close to Universal Studio in a Jewish family. She was only child of her parent .

This Story is about what brings her to India the land which she never visited before and never thought of visiting as she was not interested at all about India.

She accept that she came to India because she was strict vegetarian and she liked Indian food. She came to Rishikesh, India in year 1996 and took official Sanyas diksha (vows of renunciation) in June, 2000, from her guru His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, marking her pledge to a life of service, renunciation, purity and devotion.

She Says the first thing which she wanted to do after reaching Rishikesh, and dropping her luggage was to go at bank of river and put her feet in River (Ganga) not because of any tradition but she wanted to relax. As soon as She reached river bank and had Darshan of Mother Ganga she burst into tears and she made it clear to herself she is here to stay and nothing else matters. She knew she is Home.

So what was in Ganga that pulled her and she decided to live rest of her life in India at bank of river Ganga. She believes Ganga is  not only river but giver of life, it is the soul of India and its culture.

People from all walk of life from whole world come here to take dip into river with lots of hope on their Shoulders and to flush out their sins in this holy river. People of India are connected to each other on both side of bank from it point of origin. The mother Ganga cares her child without any expectation some do Arti on it while some throw thrash but she keeps flowing and carrying all till the end. It’s the mother who just know how to give and give without expectation or hesitation.  Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati realized  the motherhood of Ganga  and started worshipping her and stayed here.

Sadhviji when first reached the  Ashram her feet was glued to floor of Ashram and she can only move towards Ashram, there was no way to go back. That was time when she meet her Guru who said her “Welcome Home”.

Sadhviji teaches meditation to seekers from every corner of the globe who travel to the Himalayas to learn the divine practice. She also counsels people who come looking for answers and guidance. She leads discourses and question-answer sessions on topics ranging from Indian spirituality to the bridge between science and spirituality to the keys of true happiness and meaning in daily life. She travels across the world, in the seva of His Holiness Pujya Swamiji, giving lectures and question-answer sessions and teaching meditation. Her talks blend the knowledge and logic of the West with the insights, spirituality and wisdom of the East. 

Life give you clue what you are born to do, its only  you who has to realize and make your life worthy and fruitful. This was a short story on Traveler who found Spirituality and stayed here at bank of Mother Ganga.

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