Monday, October 8, 2007


Pillayaarpatti near Karaikkudi houses an ancient Temple with a rock cut shrine of Ganesh, Karpaka Vinyakar. Vatapi Ganapati is an image of Ganapati said to have been brought back by the pallava King during his conquest of Badami, formerly known as vatapi. The hill Temple dedicated to Taayumanavar Shiva is popularly referred to as the Ucchi Pillayar Temple (Rock Fort-Malaikkottai Temple Complex). The Tiruvalanchuzhil Shiva Temple near Kumbakonan is known more popularly for its shrine to sweta Vinayakar, said to be made of the foam of the milky ocean (Ksheera Sagaram).

Also of importance are the Gokarana Shivasthalam in Karnataka and the Baidyanath Dham )Jyotirlinga Temple at Deogarh in Bihar. Ganesha is said to have been the cause of the origin of these worship centers. The splendid Swaminaryan Temple (Akshardham) complex is at Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat is regarded as one of the Shakti Peetha shrinesof India. Also located here is the Koteshwar Mahadev shrine.

Somnath, at Prabhas Patan, near Veraval, is the foremost of the 12 Jyotirllinga Shrines of Shiva. The Temple is held in great reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, traditions and history. There are also the remains of an ancient Sun Temple at Somnath. To the east of the town is the Bank Theerth connected with the legend of Krishna’s Swargaarohanam.

Dwarka is one of the holiest sites of India. It is considered one of the Abodes of Lord Krishna. Legend has it that Lord Krishna built the city of Dwarka as his capital, after moving from Mathura.

The Darkadeesh Temple, also known as the Jagat Mandir, is believed to have been built by Sambha the grandson of Krishna. Visitors enter through the swarga Dwar and exit through the Moksha Dwar here. The Rukmini Temple here is believed to the 1600 years old. Nearby is the Gomi Sangmam where the River Gomi merges with the sea. A little north of Dwarka is the bet Dwarka Island where Krishna killed the demon Shankhasura. There are shrines of Rukmini, Trivikrama, Devaki, Jambavati, Lakshmi Narayan and other deities here.

Nageshwar, located on the route between Dwarka and the Bet Dwarka island is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrine of Shiva. He is worshipped here as Nageshwar.

Rajastan – The land of the Rajas conjures hundreds of beautiful images, camels making their way through deserts, magnificent palaces and forts, colourfully attired people and of course, some very splendid temples. About 95 km from Jaipur on the Ahmedabad Delhi railway line, is the ancient village of Abhaneri, The 10th century Harshat Mata Temple here is dedicated to goddess harshat Mata. This is a shakti peetham. Daily worship is offered to the deity in the Temple and an annual three day festival is also held in honour of the goddess. The chand Baori, a vast well with fights of steps on three sides is another 10th century monument here.

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