India and India's incident, spiritual and godliness, Krishna consciousness, social consciousness, travel tourist spots of India

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Saturday, 18 January 2020

20 Shrine Places of India

New ISKCON Chandradoy Temple of Mayapur (under construction)
1. Nabadwip-Mayapur, W.B., India
Nabadwip Samaj Bari
       Nabadwip is also called or known as 'Gupta (Secret) Vrindaban' as it is the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Mayapur-Nabadwip holy cities and Krishnanagar historic town are fun weekend getaways from Kolkata's hectic city life. Located in West Bengal's Nadia district, they are a great green pill for the eyes and fresh air for the lungs, together with flavors of tradition, spirituality, and holiness according to one's taste. Mayapur is famous to the world as the headquarters of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), but it is the birthplace of their lord to the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Blanked away in the commotion of West Bengal, Nabadwip-Mayapur is a cluster of nine islands on the banks of the Ganges. This place is one of those few religious shrines which have a tangible sense of devotion.  The scattered trees, orchids and winding paths that lead to small villages give you a great sense of peace. With nearly 200 temples clustered in this small rural area, Navadwipa is, in every sense of the term, God's own property. Economy, trade and pointless operation do not affect it. The spot is untouched by the waves of time and your aesthetic sense and dedication is a great treat. This land of Lord Chaitanya (reincarnation) doesn't matter what religion you believe in, will enthrall you like nothing else.
Transport & Hotels-Guesthouse
Nearest Station : Either Krishnagar or Nabadwip
Bus services available from Kolkata and Krishnagar and boat service also available at the Ganges Ghat, Ferry Ghat, Hulor Ghat
      So many hotels are available both at Nabadwip and Mayapur. Better take ISKCON Guesthouse, as widely spaced within the campus.
2. Kalighat Maa Kali Temple, Kolkata, India
Kalighat Temple, 1887
      Kalighat Mandir (temple) is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, one of 51 Shakti Peethas, in Kalighat, Kolkata, W.B., India. Kalighat was a sacred landing stage (Ghat) to Kali on the bank of the Hooghly River [the old way named Adi Ganga (Bhāgirathi)] in the town of Kolkata. It's said the name Calcutta was derived from the word Kalighat. The river has moved away from the temple over a period of time. The temple now stands on the banks of a small canal called Adi Ganga connecting to the Hooghly. The Hooghly River's initial course was the Adi Ganga.
Kalighat Temple Now
      The Kalighat temple in its present form is only around 200 years old, although it was mentioned in the 15th century composed by Mansar Bhasan and the 17th century Kavi Kankan Chandi. 
      The temple receives a huge number of devotees, especially on auspicious occasions such as Kali Puja, Poila Boishakh, Durga Puja and New Year's Day Bengali. The temple located in South Kolkata.
Transport & Opening Time
      Busses and trams from all parts of Kolkata to Kalighat are within easy reach.
Nearest metro stations: Jatin Das Park (exit north) and Kalighat (exit south).
Temple Opening Hours: 5.00 a.m. -- 14:00 p.m. And at 5 p.m. -- 22.30 p.m.
It is better to visit the temple on Wednesday or Thursday to avoid the crowd. 
3. Dakhhineswar Temple & Belur Math, W.B., India
           A temple that resides in the heart of every Bengali and is highly revered for being the sanctum sanctorum of the goddess Kali along with the resting place of one of the greatest mystics and yogis of all time, Ramkrishna Paramhansa and his consort and spiritual partner, Maa Sarada Devi. The Dakshineshwar Kali Temple was the culmination of a vision the Rani had seen before undertaking a pilgrimage to Benaras (now Varanasi), with the untiring efforts of Rani Rashmoni.
The total temple complex consists of a series of twelve mandirs dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Radha-Krishna Temple, a bathing ghat, the shrine of Rani Rashmoni, Nahavat-Khana, a chamber on the northwestern part of the complex where Ramkrishna resided along with the central Kali Temple.
the construction of the temple was initiated in the year 1847 and completed in 1855.
the total area of the Mandir complex measures about 55 bighas.
the idols were installed on the auspicious 'Snan-Yatra' day, 31st May 1855.
Visiting hours: Oct to Mar- 06:00am -- 12:30pm and 03:00pm -- 08:30pm & April to September- 06:00am -- 12:30pm and 03:00pm -- 09:00pm.
Belur Math

       Those people who are not interested in religion also come to Belur Math to experience and appreciate the peace it spreads into the environment, and ultimately into the inner soul. Belur Math founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. It is located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India and is one of Kolkata's most important institutions. This temple is the heart of Movement Ramakrishna. The temple is noteworthy for its architecture that fuses the motifs of Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist art as a sign of all religions ' unity. Belur Math railway station, which is dedicated to the name of Belurmath temple was also inaugurated in 2003. Another root is crossing the Ganges by boat from Dakhhineswar Temple Ghat.
April to September: 6:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM.
Oct to Mar: 6:30 AM - 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM. The time for the Sandhya Aarti is 5:30 PM. 
4. Mathura-Vrindaban, U.P., India
Chandradoy Temple
       Vrindavan is a city in Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. God Almighty Sri Krishna here reveals his lovely amusement childhood. The city is situated on the Agra-Delhi Road (2 No. National Highway), 11 km from the district of Mathura, the land of God Almighty. There are many temples of Radha and Krishna in the city of Vrindavan. It is a sacred shrine to the Vaishnava community of Hinduism. In Sanskrit, the word 'Vrindavan' comes from the words 'Vrinda' (Tulsi) and 'Ban' (forest). There are two numbers of Tulsi Ban still at 'Nidhuban' and 'Sebakunja'. 
5. Rajarppa Waterfalls & Chinnamasta Temple, Jharkhand, India     

Rajrappa Temple
        Rajrappa Waterfalls is a mesmerizing waterfall about 70 km from Jharkhand's Ranchi. The river Bhairavi or Bhera descends from a height and joins the river Damodar. The height-filled silver cascading water is a popular attraction in the area and is visited by both tourists and locals. 
         Goddess Chinnamasta Temple is a Hindu Holy place located in Rajrappa, Jharkhand district of Ramgarh. The platform draws devotees from every corner of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. The main attraction of the Goddess Chhinnamasta temple is Devi Chinnamasta's headless deity, stands on Kamdeb's body and Rati's lotus bed. The Chhinnamasta temple is famous for the architectural design of its Tantrik style. Besides the main temple, there are ten temples of various gods and goddesses including Surya (Sun God), Hanuman and Lord Shiva.
Headless Devi, Rajrappa Temple
6. Simachalam Temple, Vizag, India

     Situated in the town of Vishakhapatnam, the Simhachalam temple is an ornate shrine which is considered to be one of the famous temple in the region. The edifice is perched atop a hill 800 meters above sea level and is dedicated to Lord Narasimha, who is an incarnation of Vishnu himself. Simhachalam Temple is embellished with extremely detailed stone carvings and designs and can be spotted from a distance.
        Ironically, on Akshaya Tritiya's day, the deity's statue appears in its true form only for 12 hours per year. The idol is coated with a sandalwood paste on any other occasion. Because of its rich history and strong traditional values, Simhachalam Temple has been a source of inspiration for many poets such as Kuchimanchi Timma Kavi, Adidam Sura Kavi and the like.
Visit Time: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Transport
     Regular buses travel to and from the temple of Simhachalam and are easy and inexpensive ways to reach this destination. From Vizag (Waltair) Railway Station, can visit Simhachalam by bus number 6A, or take bus number 55 and 40, respectively, from Gajuwaka and Dwarka Bus Stand. You can also rent a taxi to drop you off at the temple.

7. Chardham: Kedarnath-Badrinath-Gangotri-Yamunotri

8. Venkateswara Temple (Tirupati Balaji), A.P., India

             That is known to be the world's richest lord. Located in Andhra Pradesh, this temple is dedicated to an avatar of Lord Vishnu form. Temples are always filled with locals and tourists. This place is visited every year by many pilgrims from different parts of the world during the Brahmotsavam festival. Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala (Tirupati) is one of India's most celebrated temples. It is one of the most-visited holy places and also one of the richest temples in the world, with more than 40 million pilgrims visiting the temple each year. Located on Venkata Hill, a part of the famous Seshachalam Hills, Tirupati Temple is considered by the Hindus to be one of the holiest shrines. Lord Vishnu, according to a legend, took on the form of Sri Venkateswara to save mankind from Kali Yuga's adversities.
Starting from 300 AD, the Tirupati Temple was built over a period of time. 
Visit Time :
Weekends, National Holidays and Festivals       8:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Weekdays         :   8:30 AM - 12:30 PM & 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Nitya Aaradhna :   9:30 AM - 10:00 AM & 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
9. Sabarimala Temple, Kerala, India
      This is the golden roofed mandir. This temple is situated in Kerala and is said to have the largest number of visitors per year. It is situated in Sabari Hills and not everybody can visit the temple. Those who take up a 48-day ritual can enter this temple only, and this temple can not be visited by a female older than 10 years. The Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple, situated in  Pathanamthitta's forest, is a shrine on the hill. The temple stands at an altitude of 470 m (1540 ft) above sea level on a hilltop and is surrounded by mountains and dense forests. Vehicles to Sabarimala are only allowed up to Pamba at a distance of 5 kilometers from the temple. Visitors have to move on foot from here.
Best Time to Visit :
     During the months of November to February and April to September Sabarimala witnessed a maximum number of visitors, hopefully making it the best time to visit the holy shrine.
10. Harmandir Sahib (Golden) Temple, Amritsar
      It is called also Golden Temple, as well. It is one of the country's significant historical monuments. It is a Sikh religious place. Here in this temple, more than a thousand people are fed without regard to which religion they follow. In India, this is a must-watch spot. The temple is located in the middle of a beautiful lake. This golden temple is situated in Amritsar, and during Vaisakhi, an important Punjabis festival is the best time to visit the temple.
         One of India's most holy places, Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, is Sikhism's holiest shrines and is alive with religious fervor and sacredness. Their divinity is something that can only be felt and not defined. It was restored solely with marble and gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1830 after passing through a tumultuous period of demolitions. It is the vision of the glittering temple, gleaming in the middle of the pool, offering endless calmness. It is situated right in the heart of Amritsar and is easily accessible from any part of town.
11. Moinuddin Chishti, Ajmer Sharif, Rajasthan
     Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti is a Sufi, in Ajmer. Visited by people of all religions, this dargah is considered one of many tourist attractions reflecting Muslim culture. There are not only Dargarh but many reasons to visit Ajmer.
     Surrounded by the ranges of Aravali, the town of Ajmer is best known for its Dargah Sharif of St. Muin-ud-din Chishti. Located 135 km from Jaipur and 15 kms from Rajasthan's Pushkar, Ajmer is strongly bound by its traditions and culture. Ajmer has a unique charm in the ethos and craftsmanship that has been studied for centuries. Visit Ajmer to see the exquisite architecture of Mughal set within an atmosphere of spirituality.
12. Pushkar Brahma Temple, Rajasthan
      Pushkar, a small temple town, is located in Rajasthan at about 17 km from Ajmer. Pushkar is hosting the Pushkar Mela, one of the country's largest camel fairs, every November. The perfect option for a weekend getaway from Jaipur, Pushkar is situated between the ranges of Aravali. Known for the only Brahma temple dedicated to the world, Pushkar is mainly a Hindus pilgrimage site.
    The Mela Pushkar draws millions of visitors from around the world. The entire city is filled with folk dances, rides, stalls, and even magic shows, music blares from every house and everyone is in a festive mood. Pushkar grew gradually from a religious destination to a multi-cultural hotspot for worldwide travelers.
13. Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Maharashtra 
        Great Saint Sai Baba's home, Shirdi is a religious site near Nasik with different temples apart from the famous temple of Sai Baba and a few historical sites.

          Located in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, Shirdi has a wide significance as a holy and pilgrim place for devotees of Sai Baba. The small town is full of religious spots and activities that will soothe your visiting soul and calm it down. The air here holds residual chants of spirituality and all the grandness about the same will leave you spellbound too. There are many places of religion to see in Shirdi such as Chavadi, Samadhi Mandir, Dwarkamai Masjid, Shani Shignapur, to name a few.
14. Puri, Odisha
       Puri in Odisha is one of Hindus' four must-visit pilgrimage sites owing to Jagannath Temple, which forms part of Char Dham in India. Puri is a beach town on the Bay of Bengal coast which is one of West Bengal's favorites for a short trip.
Jagannath Temple
     Because of the legalization of Bhang, having gained popularity among hippies back in the 1970s, Puri is still a popular destination among backpackers, but bhang availability is now minimal. With plenty of hotels and homes, local tourists like staying close to the New Marine Drive and backpackers prefer staying close to Chakra Tirtha.
        If you plan to visit during this time, you should not skip the Rath Yatra (chariot festival) that takes place during the month of June-July. Close Puri there are many places to visit, such as Chilika Lake, Puri Beach, Gundicha Ghar, and very famous Konark's Sun Temple. Puri soon became an industrial hub with major manufacturing companies coming here.
Puri Sea Beach
15. KanyaKumari, Tamil Nadu
         Kanyakumari is a coastal town in the state of Tamil Nadu situated at the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. Renowned for being the only place in India where you can see the sunrise and sunset at the same beach, Kanyakumari is a very popular tourist destination, not only because of this unusual geographical phenomenon but also because of its pristine beaches and temples and churches that draw a large number of tourists to this city throughout the year.
      One of the city's most iconic monuments, the Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a gigantic structure surrounded by the Laccadive Sea on all sides, so the only way to get to the monument is by taking a boat/ferry ride. The Vivekananda Rock Memorial was built by the Ramakrishna Mission and is dedicated to the great philosopher Swami Vivekananda who used to meditate here.
16. Marutirtha Hinglaj Mata Mandir, Baluchistan
         It is one of the Maa Sati's 51 Peethas. Hingol Located along the banks of the river Hingol, in the town of Hinglaj, in the province of Balochistan, Pakistan, is Hinglaj Mata Mandir. Sometimes named Hinglaj Devi or Nani mandir or Hingula Devi. The steep trek to the rim of Chandergup is the first ritual of the Mata Hinglaj Yatra, the world's holiest Hindu pilgrimage. After descending from the volcano, the pilgrims will proceed to the main Hinglaj temple in the foothills of the Kirthar mountains about 35 km away, with their faces plastered by their holy mud.
        The annual pilgrimage takes place in Hingol every April about 250 km west of Karachi, where the majority of people come from. But in fact, most of them started out at Tharparkar.

17. Ram Mandir, Ayodhya, U.P.
Details: Ram Mandir

18. Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, Assam                                     Kamakhya Temple is one of the most revered shrines of Goddess Shakti in India, situated on the Nilanchal Hill in the western part of Guwahati in Assam. According to the Hindu scriptures, there are four important Shakti Peethas (Temples with the highest divinity powers) in the country and one of them is the Kamakhya Temple. Kamakhya Temple celebrates the woman's power to give birth and is considered by Hinduism's Tantrik sect followers to be particularly auspicious. It was designed and restored numerous times between the 8th and 17th centuries and is in itself a spectacle.       The main entrance to the Kamakhya Temple is beautifully designed with simple yet elegant carvings adorned with colorful flowers. The temple has a wide dome in the backdrop that overlooks the quaint Nilanchal Hills. During the Ambubachi Festival and fare, held for 3-4 days in the month of June, it is particularly decked up.
Time to Visit: 5:30 a.m.-Pithasthana Snan, 6:00 a.m. — Pujapath, 8:00 a.m. — Temple door open to devotees, 1:00 p.m. — Temple door closed to the goddess for food offerings.
Transport: Kamakhya Temple lies on the Nilachal Hills. You can rent a car from any part of Guwahati to rickshaw or taxi. Assam Tourism Department regular buses also ply to and from the temple from different parts of the city.
19. Dwaraka, Gujrat
        Located on the western tip of the Saurashtra peninsula in Gujarat, Dwarka is popularly known as "the birthplace of Lord Krishna". Literally, the name Dwarka translates into dwar meaning ' door' and ka meaning 'moksha' i.e., the path to salvation.' And so the holy town's aura reverberates with the devotees seeking moksha's divine holiness and chants. Dwarka boasts of being the only town mentioned in the Hindu religion to be part of both Char Dham (four main holy places) and Sapta Puris (seven holy towns).

      History has it that the settlement was once swallowed up by the sea and recent excavations show that a town once existed here. Dwarka can offer you Gujarat's holiest and most spiritual bit. The temples here have a rich culture and meaning as the legends, mythology, and beliefs that surround them. They are also architectural marvels and gems since they are of Hindu mythology. Your serene temple experience and the town's spiritual spirit will be complemented only by the beaches that the city has to offer.
Time to Visit:
         The best time to visit Dwarka is when the city experiences cold winters from November to the last of February. Nonetheless, if you explicitly want to participate in the festivities of the grandly celebrated Janmashtami Festival of Dwarka, it will be eventful to visit the town during August and September.
20. Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai
      The Siddhivinayak Temple in the Prabhadevi district is a revered shrine dedicated to Lord Ganesha, and one of Mumbai's most famous and frequented temples. Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil founded the temple in the year 1801. The couple had no children of their own and decided to build the temple of Siddhivinayak to satisfy the desires of other infertile women. Interestingly, it is believed that Lord Ganesha's statue here is self-manifested and bestows wishes.

       The Temple has a small sanctum that houses Shri Ganesha's idol, which is about two and a half feet wide and is made of a single piece of black stone. The temple has acquired a legendary status not only because the Ganesha is believed to be highly revered in the temple, but also because of its popularity with Film stars and industry bigwigs. It is also Mumbai's richest temple, as it begets INR 100 million in donations from devotees worldwide each year.
Time to Visit :
Morning Prayer — 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Shree Darshan — 6:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Naivedhya — 12:15 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Shree Darshan — 12:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. Sandhya Aarti — 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Shree Darshan — 8:00 p.m. to 9:50 p.m. Aarti before the closing of the temple — 9:50 p.m.
Bus service available from Dadar, Central, Western

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