Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Biswakarma Puja Gujarat

Biswakarma Puja Gujarat


Biswakarma Puja Gujarat

Biswakarma Puja Gujarat, is the worship of Lord Biswakarma or Vishkarma, who was the architect of Dwarka, the city that was built for Lord Krishna. Lord Biswakarma is worshipped all over India, and particularly in the industrial cities, by those who work with tools and factory machinery.

Gujarat is the most industrialized state in the country, being home to 20% of the country’s industry. Biswakarma Puja Celebration in Gujarat therefore sees considerable public enthusiasm and is, one of the most popular fairs and festivals in Gujarat. Gujarat is in fact one of those states that see one of the most elaborate celebration of Biswakarma Puja, in the country in general.

Biswakarma Puja in Gujarat India is characterized by the worship by people, mostly workers, of the implements with which they earn their daily bread. Artisans clean their tools and repaint old machines; shop and factory floors are decorated for the occasion; loud speakers blare out music and the earthen idol of Biswakarma riding his vehicle, elephant can be seen being worshipped everywhere.

Biswakarma- the architect god is in fact the divine architect of the whole universe, regarded as the supreme worker and the personification of the creative power that holds heaven and earth together. The idol depicts him with four hands, carrying a water-pot, a book, a noose and craftsman's tools. All the divine weapons such as chariots that are traditionally possessed by the gods are his creation.

Biswakarma puja is also known in some parts of India as a day for flying kites. Whole families gather on rooftops throughout the day and local clubs arrange competitions. Another occasion that sees the Indian skies flooded with kites is, Poush Sanranti: the last day of the month of Poush (December-January).

Christmas Gujarat

Christmas Gujarat


Christmas Gujarat

A coastal state that ranks as the most industrialized state in the country, Gujarat is located on the west coast of India. A vibrant land that abounds in enchanting tourist spots, Gujarat attracts tourists from worldwide. The state boasts of a rich cultural heritage which is reflected in the indigenous fairs and festivals in Gujarat. Indianholiday offers online information on Christmas Gujarat.

Gujarat is a land of Festivals and Fairs, and the state celebrates almost 3,500 festivals pertaining to different religions all through the year. The diverse ethnic groups constituting the Gujarati population has resulted in numerous festivals being celebrated in the state. Although not being a Christian state essentially, Gujarat celebrates Christmas Festival with great fervor and gaiety as does the rest of India.

Celebrated every year on 25th December to commemorate the birth of Lord Jesus, Christmas in Gujarat is celebrated with great pomp and fervor, with both Christians as well as non-Christians participating in the fun and merrymaking wholeheartedly. Christmas Celebrations in Gujarat India is marked by people from all over the state as well as from outside indulging in fun and frolic and being part of the exotic fiesta that pulsates with the excitement of Christmas and Santa Claus.

For the Christians in Gujarat, the celebrations for Christmas Gujarat begin on Christmas Eve, with ‘Carols’ being sung in Churches. Dance and Music form the most important part of celebrating Christmas Gujarat. All the natives and tourists participate in wholeheartedly in such merrymakings.

During Christmas in Gujarat, the Churches get adorned with colorful papers, poinsettias and illuminated aromatic candles, all these adding an altogether divine essence to the festive ambience. The market places are decorated with tinsel and buntings and at places, you might even chance upon people posing as Santa Clause and stalking customers, especially children with gifts and endowments. Glittering Christmas trees are seen adorning numerous houses. Many houses are decorated with glowing stars and little Christmas trees adorned with sparkling stars, cotton or snow flakes, lights, candy and cakes. After the morning prayers are over, Christians assemble in their homes to indulge in some merry-making with the family and friends.

Christmas in Gujarat India is also witness exchange of gifts between friends and family, and some mouth-watering goodies being prepared to add on to the gay festivities. But the real essence of Christmas in Gujarat cannot be summed up in mere words. Travel to Gujarat during the Christmas to experience the excitement and fun.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deepavali

Deepavali - The Festival of Lights Gujarat


Deepavali - The Festival of Lights Introduction to Deepavali - The Festival of Lights:
A major Indian festival that is of immense significance in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism, Deepavali or Diwali is popularly hailed as the “Festival of Lights” and celebrated with great gusto and aplomb all over India. The legendary epic Ramayana has it that after defeating Ravana and rescuing Sita, Lord Rama returned triumphant to his capital Ayodhya where he was crowned. To commemorate the joyous occasion, people decorated their houses with lamps. Since then, this day is celebrated as Deepavali – The Festival of Lights.

As in other parts of India, Deepavali in Gujarat is celebrated with great fervor and gaiety. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and is marked by lamps being lit as a sign of celebration and hope for mankind. Deepavali Festival in Gujarat honors Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth.

Time of Celebration of Deepavali - The Festival of Lights:
Deepavali – the festival of lights is usually celebrated in October/November, eaxctly 20 days after Dussehra – another important festival is celebrated.

Description of Deepavali - The Festival of Lights:
A land of Festivals and Fairs, Gujarat state in India celebrates almost 3,500 festivals in different parts of the state every year. Deepavali is one of the most celebrated festivals in Gujarat. Diwali festival in Gujarat is celebrated with the lighting of tiny earthen oil lamps in every house, decorating the floors with beautiful rangoli and bursting of fire crackers. The dark backdrop of the night accentuates the divine beauty of the earthen oil lamps adorning the houses.

The festival spreads for four days, with Dhanteras (Dhanatrayodashi) being the first day, or rather the eve of the day on which the festival commences. Narkachaturdashi or Kalichoudas is the second day, followed by Lakshmi Puja and New Year simultaneously occurring on the third day. Bhaiya-duj is the last day of Diwali celebration. During Deepavali in Gujarat people worship Lakshmi – the Goddess of Wealth. The following day after Deepavali is celebrated as a New Year’s in Gujarat.

For traditional Hindu businessmen in Gujarat, Deepavali marks the end of the fiancial year. This is considered the most auspicious time to start new ventures. Symbolic favorable business deals are done to mark the prosperity in business for the following year.

Good Friday Gujarat

Good Friday Gujarat


Good Friday Gujarat Introduction
The Friday before Easter is celebrated throughout the world as Good Friday. One of the important Christian festivals it commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This is a holy day for the Christians where they attend the prayer services and listen to the readings from Gospel. Indianholiday.com offers online information on Good Friday, Gujarat and other Fairs and Festivals in Gujarat and other parts India. On your tour to Gujarat in India you can be a part of this colorful festival.

Time of Celebration
Christians from all over the world observe Good Friday as the day when Jesus Christ laid down his life for the good of humanity. It is celebrated on a Friday before Easter. This is the day when Jesus Christ was crucified. Christians from all over the world as well people from different religions attend the prayer service in the Church. Good Friday, Gujarat is observed religiously and Christians in Gujarat attend the prayers in the Churches in Gujarat.

Description
One of the most sacred festivals of the Christians, Good Friday is celebrated all over India as well. Good Friday, Gujarat is one of the important occasions which brings all the Christians in Gujarat to attend the prayer service. People from other religions even attend the Good Friday, Gujarat during this time.

Good Friday also called Holy Friday is one of the sacred dates for the Christians. The day is a day of mourning where Christians follow the rituals to commemorate the event of Crucifixion of Jesus on this day.

The date of Good Friday marks the end of a 40 day period of fasting during Lent which tries to remember the agonies and pain which Jesus Christ went through while he spent his penance in the desert.

The popularity of Jesus scared the kings and with the help of one Jesus’ close associate, Judas, Jesus was arrested for treason and crucified. This happened on a Thursday just before Good Friday when he was finally arrested and crucified. The celebration of Good Friday spreads the message that non violence is far more powerful than hatred and violence.

The entire day people in Gujarat fast and then they offer their prayers to the Lord. In some churches in Gujarat, during Good Friday, Gujarat, a number of charitable deeds are carried out to spread the message of God. Besides this the prayer service also includes readings from the Bible. In many churches in Gujarat in India, a piece of wood in the shape of a cross is kept. The service lasts for three hours after twelve as it is believed this was the time when he was crucified.

In Gujarat you can find in many of the churches people don black robes to enact the Passion of Christ. In some churches during Good Friday in Gujarat, candles are not lit. On your to Gujarat you can get a glimpse of the Good Friday celebrated in the churches in Gujarat which by now is one of the important fairs and festivals in Gujarat. On your tour to Gujarat in India you can be a part of this important festival.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Holi Gujarat

Holi Gujarat


Holi

Festival of colours, Holi is celebrated with great fanfare in the Gujarat state of India. Falling on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna, Holi is a major Hindu festival and marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop. Indian Holiday offers to give you online information on Holi festival in Gujarat, India.

Festival of Holi is celebrated with much gaiety and fanfare in the Gujarat district of India. The festival is marked by sprinkling of colored water and applying gulal on each other. Bonfire is also lit in the main squares of the villages, localities and colonies. People collect at the time of bonfire and celebrate the event, which is symbolic of the victory of good over evil by singing and dancing.

There are many stories associated with the origin of Holi. For some Holi marks the day when devotees of lord Vishnu, Bhakt Prahlad who was seated on the lap of demoness Holika was saved from the effect of the fire by God and instead the demoness got burnt. For others the festivals relate to the death of demon Putana at the hands of lord Krishna while some associate the festival with the worship of Karma, God of pleasure and destiny.

Holi is basically a harvest celebration, marking the end of winter and bonfires are lit marking the ending of evil. Dhuleti, which is celebrated on the next day, involves fasting, feasting and throwing of colour and water on each other.

Holi is celebrated in great style and enthusiasm in Gujarat. Besides, it is also an important festivals for the tribals of Gujarat.

Kutch Utsav Gujarat

Kutch Utsav Gujarat


Kutch Utsav

Known as the land of fairs and festivals, Gujarat is a vibrant and an exotic land and visited by large number of tourists every year. Kutch Utsav or Kutch Mahotsav is an important festival of Gujarat organized by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. (TCGL). Indian Holiday offers to give you online information on Kutch Mahotsav in Gujarat, India.

Kutch Utsav or Kutch Mahotsav is celebrated every year in the month of February and March and involves an exotic tour of the Kutch region. The itinerary of this fair consists of guided tour of the important places like temples, beaches, historical monuments etc.

The Kutch Utsav tour includes travel, cultural exposure, entertainment etc.

The Kutch Utsav or the Kutch Mahotsav is celebrated near the days when Shivratri is celebrated. During the celebrations of Kutch Desert festival, colorfully attired dancers and music concerts are something to look forward to.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat

Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat


Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat

Maharishi Valmiki is a sage poet and is popularly accredited to the writing of the oldest epic- the Ramayana. The Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat is celebrated at some places in Gujarat and is one of those fairs and festivals in Gujarat that revert back to the Indian cultural roots, that was at one point of time inseparably intertwined with religion.

Indianholiday offers detailed information on Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Gujarat.

However, the Ramayana like most other Indian scriptures was also originally part of the orature tradition that passed down stories, verses and hymns from one generation to another, from the guru to the disciple. And therefore, Ramayana is actually the result of a collective effort on the part of number of poets and sages, though it is only Valmiki’s name that has survived the clutches of time, to reach us.

Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday in Gujarat India is celebrated in the month of October. His birthday is a holy day for the sect who prays and make offerings in his temples around India. Maharshi Valmiki was originally a ruthless and cruel robber who did not hesitate to kill people to rob them. However, under the influence of God Narada, the great follower of Lord Vishnu, he renounced his worldly unfair ways to spend time praying and preaching the name of the Lord.

Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday Celebration in Gujarat includes reading out verses from Ramayana and worshiping the poet along with and also Rama. It is said, Valmiki gave shelter to Rama’s wife Sita in his ashram. She gave birth to twins Lav and Kush in the ashram and brought them up there. Lav and Kush at one point of time went to their father’s court and sang the Ramayana. Lord Rama himself was very pleased with the epic; though he did not know these boys were his own sons. Later however, he accompanied them to the ashram to meet Sita.

Mahavir Jayanti Gujarat

Mahavir Jayanti Gujarat


Mahavir Jayanti Gujarat

Introduction
One of the important Fairs and Festivals in Gujarat is the Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat. Celebrated throughout Gujarat it is to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahavir who founded Jainism. One of the religious events of the Jains it is celebrated throughout Gujarat with all the proper rituals. Indianholiday.com offers online information on Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat and other tourist attractions of Gujarat and other parts of India.

Time of Celebration
On the 13th day of the bright half month of Chaitra according to the Hindu solar Calendar, the Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat is celebrated all over. It generally falls on the month of March and April. Jains during this time visit the sacred destinations and worship the Tirthankaras. The event is important in Gujarat as most of the Jain shrines are established here.

Description
For the Jains the celebration is all about quiet prayers and there is no revelry associated with it. The austere nature of the Jain religion is also maintained while celebrating the ritual. For the tourists, the Mahavir Jayanti,Gujarat in India is an interesting attraction as they get to worship Mahavir and follow the rituals as well as get a glimpse of the Jain shrines in India.

Mahavir was regarded as a religious reformer who went against rituals of Hinduism that existed in the later Vedic Times. He taught his followers to practice penance and abstinence and that according to him was the true path of salvation. Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat celebrates the teachings and values which Mahavir had taught.

There are many sects in Jainism now like the Digambars and Svetambaras, Deravasis and Sthanakvasis. It is the Deravasis who visit temples and worship Mahavir. The Sthanakvasis on the other hand emphasize the internalization of the faith.

The Jain ascetics are totally against idol worship and they follow certain principles like they walk bare feet so that they do not crush insects under their shoes, wear muslin patches around the nose and mouth so as not to kill insects. In Gujarat the Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat is marked with celebrations in Palitana which is a hill in Gujarat dotted with the most number of Jain shrines. During the Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat, Jain pilgrims assemble here to offer their worship to the Mahavir.

As Mahavir was quite against idol worship and so the Jain rituals during Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat in Gujarat are quite simple. The Jain pilgrims offer milk, rice, fruit, incense, lamps, and water to the idol of tirthankara. The grand processions are also arranged during this festival in Gujarat. Palitana is one of the important destinations for the followers during Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat in Gujarat.

On this day the Jains worship Mahavir and all his followers. From worshipping Mahavir to taking out procession, Mahavir Jayanti, Gujarat, is an important festival in Gujarat and attracts tourists from all over. On your tour to Gujarat you can enjoy the Mahavir Jayanti festival.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rath Yatra Gujarat

Rath Yatra Gujarat


Rath Yatra, Gujarat

Introduction To Rath Yatra:
The theme of the Rath Yatra in Gujarat is different from that of Orissa. While the Rath Yatra in Puri, Orissa occurs on the day that Sri Jagannath is believed to have left for his summer vacation to a palace in the countryside, the Rath Yatra of Gujarat is celebrated with a completely different event in mind.

This festival crosses all barriers of caste and creed. All the devotees irrespective of religious differences take part and give this festival a secular tinge.

Description of Rath Yatra:
Rath Yatra of Gujarat is associated with Lord Krishna. He was brought up by Nandalal of Gokul. Lord Krishna was invited by Kansha, the king of Mathura. Kansha was the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna and he was destined to be killed by Krishna. When Kansha threw an open challenge to Krishna, the latter went to Mathura. The journey that Krishna undertook by a chariot is now celebrated in the 'chariot festival' or the Rath Yatra in Gujarat. When Sri Krishna left his village, the beautifully decorated chariot was followed by playmates and Gopis of Gokul. In this journey towards the battle against evil, Krishna was accompanied by Balaram, his elder brother.

Still today the occasion is celebrated with beautifully decorated chariots with idols of Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra. In the present time the procession consists of devotees, music bands and bhajan mandalis. Devotees drawing the chariot are gripped with a devotional fever as they remember that auspicious day when Lord Krishna journeyed to Mathura on his chariot to destroy evil in the form of Kansha.

The procession is headed by the Mahant of Jaganath temple. The main themes and the significance of the day are the separation of Krishna from his friends and the commencement of a new journey of his life.

Time For Celebration of Rath Yatra:
The celebration takes place in the month of either July or August. On the very day devotees from different corners of the state come and visit the place. Gujarat, with her unique tradition, celebrates the festival grandly.


Rath Yatra, Gujarat

Introduction To Rath Yatra:
The theme of the Rath Yatra in Gujarat is different from that of Orissa. While the Rath Yatra in Puri, Orissa occurs on the day that Sri Jagannath is believed to have left for his summer vacation to a palace in the countryside, the Rath Yatra of Gujarat is celebrated with a completely different event in mind.

This festival crosses all barriers of caste and creed. All the devotees irrespective of religious differences take part and give this festival a secular tinge.

Description of Rath Yatra:
Rath Yatra of Gujarat is associated with Lord Krishna. He was brought up by Nandalal of Gokul. Lord Krishna was invited by Kansha, the king of Mathura. Kansha was the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna and he was destined to be killed by Krishna. When Kansha threw an open challenge to Krishna, the latter went to Mathura. The journey that Krishna undertook by a chariot is now celebrated in the 'chariot festival' or the Rath Yatra in Gujarat. When Sri Krishna left his village, the beautifully decorated chariot was followed by playmates and Gopis of Gokul. In this journey towards the battle against evil, Krishna was accompanied by Balaram, his elder brother.

Still today the occasion is celebrated with beautifully decorated chariots with idols of Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra. In the present time the procession consists of devotees, music bands and bhajan mandalis. Devotees drawing the chariot are gripped with a devotional fever as they remember that auspicious day when Lord Krishna journeyed to Mathura on his chariot to destroy evil in the form of Kansha.

The procession is headed by the Mahant of Jaganath temple. The main themes and the significance of the day are the separation of Krishna from his friends and the commencement of a new journey of his life.

Time For Celebration of Rath Yatra:
The celebration takes place in the month of either July or August. On the very day devotees from different corners of the state come and visit the place. Gujarat, with her unique tradition, celebrates the festival grandly.

Republic Day Gujarat

Republic Day Gujarat


Republic Day Gujarat Introduction
One of the most important events in Indian history is the day when the constitution of India came into force and that day in India is regarded as the Republic Day. It was on this day the doctrines of the Indian Constitution came into force and India became a Sovereign, Democratic and Republic state.

After years of struggle finally the Indian government was formed and India enjoyed its first taste of freedom from the colonial shackles. The Republic Day, Gujarat is regarded as a national holiday. This is one of the important fairs and festivals in Gujarat where the people of Gujarat celebrate their patriotic fervor along with other countrymen. Indianholiday.com offers online information on Republic Day, Gujarat and other tourist attractions of Gujarat and other parts of India.

Time of Celebration
Every year on 26th January, India celebrates its Republic Day through parades, rallies and colorful cultural programmes. On 26th January, 1950, Indian Constitution finally came into effect. To mark that day and to celebrate the democratic Republican status of India, Republic Day is celebrated on this date. 26th January is a national holiday all over India. Republic Day, Gujarat is also celebrated with much revelry and enthusiasm.

Description
On 26th January in India, Republic Day is celebrated all over. Every where including the major administrative units like the capital cities, district headquarters, sub divisions, Taluka and Panchayat celebrates the Republic Day, Gujarat with much revelry and fervor.

During the Republic Day, Gujarat a parade is held from the early morning when the Prabhat Pheris are organized. This is followed by homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Then in Delhi the parade is followed by sport events. The day is also celebrated by functions organized at the Raj Bhavan, at the District Magistrate’s House and also at the SDM’s house. The public buildings in the capital cities are illuminated as well as the administrative headquarters.

During the Republic Day, Gujarat the children from different schools participate. They present folk dances of different regions that show the colorful kaleidoscopic fabric of India. The parades in Delhi often showcase the newest advancements in technology and other sectors.

One of the most striking celebrations in the country is of Republic Day, Gujarat. You can get to see the parade of armed forces, folk dances of each state, streak of jet planes which leave behind the colored smoke. The President of India takes salute from the Armed Forces while in Gujarat and other states of India, the Governor takes the salute. A number of tourists come from all over the country to see the Republic Day, Gujarat celebrations.

After three days the Beating Retreat is held in Vijay Chowk in Delhi which marks an end to the colorful celebration of the Republic Day, Gujarat. On your tour to Gujarat in India you can be a part of this colorful festival.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vautha No Melo Gujarat

Vautha No Melo Gujarat


Introduction To Vautha No Melo:
Vautha No Melo is the largest fair in Gujarat. The fair brings various local villagers close and that creates a record number of visitors in the fair. The Vautha No Mela takes place near the confluence of seven rivers. The mela or fair is an important contributor to the rural economy of Gujarat. The fair is named after Vautha where the rivers Vatrak and Sabarmati meet.

http://www.indianholiday.com/images/fairs-festivals-india/gujarat/ambhaji-bhadra-purnima.jpg

Description of Vautha No Melo:
The fair holds mythological as well as economical importance to the state. The fair grounds spread across 3 square miles of land. It is believed by the locals that Lord Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva had visited the place. This incident gave rise to the festivities of the mela.

On the full moon night of November, that is the month of Kartik according to Hindu calendar, the grand fair of Gujarat starts. The site is famous as 'Saptasangam'; - a place of union of seven rivers. This place is the homeland of Saptarshi (Seven Sages). It is regarded as an auspicious spot with legendary significance.

Time For Celebration of Vautha No Melo:
Vautha No Mela takes place in the month of Kartik according to the local calendar, which coincides with the month of November. The fair lasts for two to three days. Thousands of tourists flock to the fair for an experience that is entirely rustic.

Temple at Arnej

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

KOTESHWAR MAHADEV MANDIR, AMBAJI

KOTESHWAR MAHADEV MANDIR, AMBAJI

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'.

DERASAR, KUMBHARIA

DERASAR, KUMBHARIA

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

MBAJIMATA MANDIR, AMBAJI

MBAJIMATA MANDIR, AMBAJI

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

GURUNO BHANKHRO, JALOTRA

GURUNO BHANKHRO, JALOTRA

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.

GOG MAHARAJ MANDIR, SEMBHAR

GOG MAHARAJ MANDIR, SEMBHAR

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

HIV MANDIR, MOKESHWAR

HIV MANDIR, MOKESHWAR

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.

RAMDEV PEER, MAJADAR

RAMDEV PEER, MAJADAR

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

SHITALAMATA MANDIR, RUPAL

SHITALAMATA MANDIR, RUPAL

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

SHIVMANDIR, BALARAM

SHIVMANDIR, BALARAM

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.

BAJOTHIA MAHADEV

BAJOTHIA MAHADEV

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

VISHVESHWAR MAHADEV MANDIR, IQBALGADH

VISHVESHWAR MAHADEV MANDIR, IQBALGADH

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.

ASHTABHUJA AMBAJI MANDIR, KHUNIA

ASHTABHUJA AMBAJI MANDIR, KHUNIA

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

KEDARNATH MAHADEV MANDIR, JASORE

KEDARNATH MAHADEV MANDIR, JASORE

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.