Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Deepavali - The Festival of Lights Gujarat
Good Friday Gujarat
Monday, February 27, 2012
Kutch Utsav Gujarat
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat
Mahavir Jayanti Gujarat
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Republic Day Gujarat
Friday, February 24, 2012
Vautha No Melo Gujarat
|Temple at Arnej|
Maa But Bhavani's most important and most visited temple historically is situated at Arnej, District Dhodka near Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, INDIA. Although the exact date of establishment of this temple is not available in any historical database, it is believed and confirmed by many devotees that the present temple has been in existance for atleast a couple of centuries.
The temple is thronged by many devotees from all over Gujarat, India and offlate even from all parts of the world. The devotees come to this temple with great devotion to seek blessings and reliefs from their troubles from the Divine Mother Maa But Bhavani and also pay homage and visits after having successfully realised their various quests. The temple bears a festive look and hosts maximum number of devotees during the Navratri Festivals and the township during these festivals wear a carnival like mood.
The temple has stood the times with regular maintenance and is still in the magnificient condition as you can view from the photograph herein below. Devotees who wish to visit the temple can find their way by browsing the following links of this website and plan their travel accordingly. Please click here for more details
The temple at this moment is going through a remodelling phase and we have put up a photograph of the scale model of the temple's new look. With Maa But Bhavani's blessings and guidance and the immense devotion of her innumerous devotees, the temple at Arnej will very soon wear this new look with the best of facilities to accomodate the ever growing and increasing pilgrims visiting the Divine Mother at this pious location of Arnej.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The auspicious Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is situated 5 kms beyond the famous temple of Ambaji, 64 kms from Palanpur.
The Aravalli Mountains, the origin of the River Saraswati, and this temple combine to create an aura of holiness and beauty. Situated 64 kms from Palanpur, the Koteshwar Mahadev temple is about 600 years old. The Bhargava Rishi's Ashram and Valmiki Gufa (cave) lend it a historical feel. There is one kund (pond with steps leading to the water) wherein the River Saraswati flows from a Gaumukh (mouth of a cow carved in stone). Pilgrims take a ceremonial bath here.
Nana Fadanvis Maharaja had stayed in hiding here after the fall of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi during the mutiny of 1857.
This temple was restored a few years ago. There is a Vishnu temple nearby where idols of Sapatamatrukas and Vishnu are preserved.
This Koteshwar Mahadev Temple is an ideal place for devotees to spend time at length due to its peace and serenity.
Nearby is another temple named 'Valmikashram'.
Situated 1 km from Ambaji, this temple is a superb example of artistic carving and sculptures which are even comparable with the Dilwara temples at Mt. Abu. This temple was built by Vimalshah, who was the Dandnayak of Chandravati before Bhimdeva. It is also known as Arasan Kumbhariaji.
Kumbharia town was established by Kumbhasana of Chittod, and is named after him. It is believed that during the reign of Bhimdev Solanki, the Dandnayak Jain Vanik of Chandravati, Vimal Shah, had thought of building the Kumbharia Jain Derasars to commemorate his victories.
There are five ancient Jain temples in this pilgrim center. Even older than the Dilwara Temple, these derasars have the idols of Shri Parshwanath Bhagwan, Shri Neminath Bhagwan, Shri Shantinath Bhagwan, Shri Sambhavnath Bhagwan and Shri Mahavir Swami Bhagwan.
There are a total of 94 pillars in the Derasar, out of which 22 have exquisite and intricate carvings, and beautiful idols of Gods, Goddesses and Vidhyadharis installed in them. There are Jharokhas (artistic balconies) in the 'rangmandap'. The artistically carved and highly beautiful terraces and beautiful 'torans' give a clear idea of the grandness of this temple.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
One of the most popular pilgrim centres in India is Ambaji, situated in the Aravalli mountain range. It is about 60 kms from Palanpur. Over 30 lakh people visit this temple every year.
According to a story in the Bhagwata Puran, there was a time when Prajapati Daksh organized a yagna called
'Bruhaspatisak'. He invited all the gods but did not invite Lord Shankar, who was his son-in-law. Lord Shankar's wife Parvati went to the yagna at her father's home inspite of Shankar's protest. However, when she heard her father criticizing Shankar, she jumped into the flaming yagna kunda and gave her life. Lord Shankar carried her body on his shoulder and started wandering in the three Loks. On seeing this, Lord Vishnu cut her body into pieces with his Chakra. It is said that parts of Maa Parvati's heart fell at Arasur and that is why this Shaktipith is of special importance. Ma Ambaji is also believed to have rescued the Gods from the torture of the demon Mahisasura.
Her original abode is believed to be 4 kms beyond Ambaji, on the Gabbar Mountain. A fair is organized there every year on Chaitri Purnima and Bhadarvi Purnima. Hundreds of devotees come on foot to pay their respects to the Goddess. Poshi Punam, considered to be the Goddess' birthday, is celebrated with Navratri Garbas. This day sees the highest attendance of devotees.
At Ambaji, it is not an idol, but a Visayantra that is worshipped. It is made of pure gold and consists of 51 letters. It is placed in a Gokh (small hollow). The jewellery of the Visayantra is decorated with the crown and sari in such a manner that it appears as if the Goddess is sitting on her 'Savari'.
The Mahashakti rides a tiger on Sunday, Nandi, the holy cow, on Monday, a lion on Tuesday, an elephant (Airavat) on Wednesday, an eagle (Garud) on Thursday, a swan (Hans) on Friday and an elephant on Saturday.
Looking directly at the yantra is banned. So, the priest performs the pooja blind-folded. This yantra is also considered equivalent to the Kalpavruksha.
Ambaji has many guest houses, holiday homes and good Dharamshalas and hotels
18 kms down the road from Palanpur to Ambaji, there is a small village called Jalotra. Near this village is a very auspicious place known as Guruno Bhankhro. As it is situated in the midst of the Aravalli mountain range, one has to make one's way through raw rough roads and ditches and climb difficult rocks to reach it. Many devotees, however, make their way through the arduous journey to reach this auspicious place.
An image of Guru Dhudhlinath has been installed in this holy place. It weighs 640 kilograms. It is believed that this idol of Guruji reached the Guru's Gufa (cave) situated at Guruno Bhakhro in seven hours. According to legend, Guru Dhudhlinath had successfully performed this task by taking the form of Guru Motiram. People also believe that ages ago Guru Dhudhlinath had stayed on this Bhakhra, done deep penance and acquired miraculous powers.
The villagers from villages surrounding this Bhakhra often come to pay homage to this Guru. They also take an oath before him for fulfillment of their wishes. There is a practice of doing "Guru's Lot" on the birth of first son.
The snake has always been worshipped as a Hindu deity. In Sembhar village of Vadgam, 45 kms from Palanpur, there is a temple of a snake (called Gog Maharaj), which is about 2000 years old.
A long time ago, on the basis of a miraculous Rajasthani folk-tale, a temple was constructed near a stream.
As legend goes, a Patel traveling in a bullock cart found a snake idol flowing down the River Saraswati. He had a vision and was asked to consecrate the idol at the place where he found it. Devotees came from far and wide for darshan of the snake deity. There was also a small Dharmashala (caravanserai) set up. But it was difficult for devotees to visit the temple during the monsoon, and gradually the number of visitors started declining. In the course of time, the temple lost its glory.
In these circumstances, for the benefit of the devotees, a new temple was constructed on a spot a little above the stream. Devotees again started coming in large numbers and regularly offered coconuts to the deity. Many devotees got together to upgrade and beautify the temple - the people from Chansol village in Mehsana district even formed a trust and collected a sizable amount of funds towards this noble cause. In a short span of time, a majestic new temple was constructed beside the old Gog Maharaj temple, and today, it is widely recognized as an extraordinary specimen of art and architecture.
One is awestruck by the new temple, as the pillars, the dome and all other parts of the temple have figures of the Snake God set artistically in layers. There are lakhs of stone carvings of the god. One has to see the temple to experience the impact of its beauty.
The huge number of coconuts tied to a tree near the temple bear proof to the popularity of this temple and the faith of its devotees. Many take vows before the Snake God and have claimed to have witnessed miracles.
On the occasion of Pancham, hundreds of pilgrims come to this temple
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Mokeshwar is situated in Vadgam taluka, on the banks of River Saraswati. It is 45 kms from Palanpur.
There is a temple of Mokeshwar Mahadev there, which is visited by a large number of people to make offerings to their forefathers for the peace of the departed souls. There is also an ancient cave known as Pandava Gupha (cave) here.
It is said that after losing all their belongings and property in a game of 'shatranj', the Pandavas had to go to the jungle for twelve years, after which they had to spend one year in total disguise.
In the thirteenth year, the Pandavas, after traveling through dense jungles and across high mountains, reached a place in the Banaskantha district. Looking at the soothing riverbank surrounded by mountains and the enchanting sunset, a tired Yudhishthira told Bhima that he thought the place was suitable. All the four brothers agreed because the place was suitable to live in considering various aspects.
As Yudhishthira did not eat anything in the morning without praying to Lord Shiva, Bhima set out to search for a Shiva temple. After searching for a long time, he did not find one, and was worried that his brother would have to remain hungry due to his oath. He then thought about Lord Shri Krishna and started digging the mountain. He dug a big hollow, installed a Shivling in it, brought his brother to the spot and made him pray in front of the Shivling. Yudhishthira was very pleased to see a beautiful Shivling at such a magnificent place. The Pandavas spent a long period of their Agyatwas (disguised stay) at this place.
During this period Trikalgyani (omniscient) Lord Shri Krishna, using his super powers, discovered the whereabouts of the Pandavas and came to meet them. In the auspicious presence of Lord Shri Krishna, the Pandavas performed the Shradh of their father and his soul was liberated. This is why the place is also known as Mukteshwar.
Hundreds of pilgrims visit this Mandir during the period of Shradh.
Majadar is a village in the Vadgam taluka of Banaskantha.
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the King of Ranuja (in Rajasthan), Raja Ajmalji had no children. He and his Queen Minaldevi were very depressed and worried about this. One day, while praying to God they pleaded with him to bless them with a child. It is believed that they then heard a divine utterance which said that they would be blessed with a child who would be an incarnation of God himself. Nine months after this divine utterance, Queen Minaldevi gave birth to Ramdev Peer.
As a child, Ramdev started growing and it is believed that people started noticing divine traits in him. He was extremely benevolent. He would always be ready to help others, irrespective of their caste and status. The villagers apparently even began experiencing strange miracles through his benevolent deeds. For example, it is said that on one instance, a merchant was traveling on a ship. Some thieves looted him and killed him. Ramdevji came to the rescue of the merchant's wife, miraculously restored the life of the merchant, ensured that the thieves caught a grave disease, and that the merchant got back his goods. Many such instances were apparently noted because of which people began addressing Ramdevji as Ramdev Peer and recognised him as an incarnation of God.
After leading a glorious life, full of divine deeds of benevolence, Ramdevji decided to give up his mortal body. In the year 1515 VS, on the day of Ajwali Beej of the Badharva month, the Patotsav began in the Darbargadh. After seven days of celebration, on the auspicious day of Bhadarva Sud Naum, in the presence of thousands of people who had gathered from far and wide, and also in the presence of family members who had all gathered to witness the divine, auspicious and miraculous occasion, Ramdevji took Samadhi, left this mortal world and attained enlightenment. Along with him his ardent devotee Dalibai also took Samadhi. In the Majadar village there are temples of both these great men.
Monday, February 20, 2012
In the Rupal village of the Vadgam taluka, a large fair is organized on the auspicious occasion of Sitada Satam. This fair is attended by about 25,000 devotees. The main attraction for most devotees is a visit to the 800-year old temple of Shitalamata. People have immense faith in this temple and it's devi.
Shitalamata is the 'Lokmata' of the Hindus, yet people of other Religions also believe in her. They take vows in her name and do not fail to pay homage to her when their problems are solved. (Besides Gujarat, West Bengal is another place where Shitalamata is worshipped by people on a large scale.)
Shitalamata is also largely worshipped by women because it is believed that she blesses them to remain Akhand Saubhagyawati (i.e. she protects her husband's life). The meaning of Shitala is 'the devi who gives coolness'. That is why Neem leaves are used in various forms for people who are suffering from Shitala (a type of boils). This is because it is believed that when one suffers from these boils, the devi has come out in the open. Neem leaves are spread on the bed of the patient to provide a cooling effect.
Besides the temple of Shitalamata there are two smaller temples of Hanumanji.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Balaram, 16 kms from the town of Palanpur is the site of a beautiful Shivmandir. Today, it has also become famous as a picnic spot, frequented by devotees and tourists alike.
It is the site of the temple of Balaram Mahadev. This ancient Shivling temple lies amidst a dense forest. The Balaram river flows alongside and finally forms a natural lake called Gangasar. Many natural springs, which originate in the Aravalli mountains, are also seen alongside. The Dhara Mata and Hanuman temples are also located nearby.
Legend has it that during a drought a long time ago, the adivasis unknowingly left a baby behind when they migrated from this place. A year later, when they returned, the baby was still alive and so, they named this place 'Balaram'.
Devotees of Shiva flock to Balaram in large numbers to pray and offer Billipatra to Mahadev. They are seen in large numbers, especially on Mondays and in the month of Shravan.
There are many buses, rickshaws and jeeps that ply from Palanpur to Balaram. It is also accessible by train - the nearest station being Chitrasani Railway Station, 2 kms from Balaram.
The Palanpur Hindu Samaj runs a Dharamshala and a kitchen there for the convenience of visitors. There is also a Gujarat State Guest house there.
The Nawab Saheb of Palanpur's palace at Balaram has been converted into a luxury hotel.
This Mahadev temple, located 17 kms from Palanpur via Malan, is very old.
It is said that when people were digging here, they unearthed a Shivling and the ruins of an ancient courtyard that resembled a 'bajot' hence the name Bajothia Mahadev.
Situated amidst trees and streams, one has to climb down 40 stone steps to reach this small, but ancient temple. It is considered holy by the adivasis and the villagers residing around it.
Monday is Shivji's day and on this day hundreds of devotees flock to worship Shiva and offer the Billipatra. The temple site is well connected to Palanpur by buses and rickshaws.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Three kms from Iqbalgadh village on the Palanpur-Abu road is the Vishveshwar Mahadev Temple.
This temple is said to have been established centuries ago, when there was a thick forest, and several wild animals circled the area. The river Banas also flowed here.
When this place was dug up, a Shivling was found, which had the shadow of a snake above it. A grand idol of Ambaji Mata and an idol of Lord Ganpatiji were also found.
There is a legend behind this centuries-old Visheshwar Mahadev temple. The grand, majestic city of Chandravati Nagri stood between Amirgadh and Aburoad. Chandravati was ruled by kings of the Parmar clan. Many artistic Jain and Hindu temples were found there. It was believed that in this and its neighboring cities 999 Jhalar (beans) kept ringing throughout the day. One of them was the Jhalar of Visheshwar Mahadev Mandir.
The temple is small, but the Shivling that originated from the ground with a sarpchaya is considered to be most auspicious and miraculous.
10 kms from Amirgadh is a small temple of Ambaji Mata. There is a beautiful statue of Ma Ashtabhuja Ambaji in this temple.
In ancient times, idols of Lord Shiva and Amba Mata were found in the thick jungle in this area. The devotees considered these statues to be miraculous and thus this area came to be known as Mai Nagar. This area being aboriginal, this temple is mainly visited by tribals.
This temple was built with the assistance of Palanpur Nawab in Khunia, 38 km from Palanpur and 3 km from the highway amidst the mountains. This temple is related to the history of ancient Chandravati.
On the days of Chaitri and Aso Navratri, Ma Amba is worshiped here with traditional Garba. In Khunia, near the Ambaji Mata Mandir there is a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva. Near this is an auspicious peepal tree where there is another grand idol of Hanumanji. Opposite to this is the idol of Kalbhairav. Thus, devotees visit several idols at the same time in this area.
A large fair is held on Chaitri Punam in the temple of Ambaji Mata in Khunia. Devotees and tribals come here in large numbers to enjoy the Bhatigad Sanskriti in colorful clothes.
Friday, February 17, 2012
A major attraction for environmentalists and nature-lovers, Jasore has been declared a Bear Sanctuary. The ancient temple of Kedarnath Mahadev is situated in this area, which falls within the Aravalli mountain range. It is 35 km from Palanpur and 8 km from Iqbalgadh Highway Road.
The Jasore peak stands at a height of 1067 metres. It is the highest peak in Gujarat after Girnar. It is also known as Saatpado. The temple, situated at 1500 feet is said to belong to the period of the Mahabharata. According to a report by Dr. B.M.Vishwanath, this temple is five to seven thousand years old.
This beautiful natural site is developing into a popular tourist spot.
On the border of Amirgadh, lie the ruins of the ancient and one time flourishing city of Chandravati. A Chhatri of two famous lovers, Sadevant-Savaligana can be found at a nearby village Sarotra, where there is also a famous Jain temple known as 'Bavan Dhaja'.
There is a 'Muniji ni kutir' and Shiv Temple at 2000 feet on Jasore. There is a temple of Vishweshwar Mahadev on the banks of the Banas river near Balundra, on the way to Jasore. A fair is held at this site every year at the occasion of Shivratri.