Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

Suchindram is an important pilgrimage for Hindus all over India and abroad. It is located at a distance of 13 km from Kanyakumari. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman this temple is also called “Suchindram Lord Anjaneyar Temple “. The word Suchindram comes from Sanskrit meaning ‘purify’. Suchindram Thanumalayan temple is also known as ‘Sthanumalayan’ temple which indicates to the trinity, worship of three Gods – Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. “Sthanu” means Siva; “Mal” means Vishnu; and the “Aya” means Brahma.

Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

History of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

Built during the 17th century the temple boasts an interesting history. It was previously controlled by the Namboodiris, one of the main Namboodiri families called the Thekkumon Madam. It’s a belief that Lord Shiva stayed at Suchindram Temple when Devi came for self-punishment at Kanyakumari. Lord Indra, the king of Devas was believed to be got rid of His curse by worshiping the sacred Lingam at this Thanumalayan Temple. And hence it is said that Lord Indra visit this temple everyday to worship Lord Shiva. The temple has a huge appeal to Vaishnavites and Saivites all over India.

Significance of Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

  • The statue of Lord Hanuman stands majestically at a height of 22 feet, which is carved of a single block of granite, the temple is revered as one of the tallest statues in India.
  • Hanuman was said to be concealed underground at this temple in 1740 to protect it from the attack by Tipu Sultan, a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore.
  • There are four musical pillars carved out of a single stone, and which stand at 18 feet (5.5 m) in height; these are an architectural and design highlight of the temple grounds.
  • The representation of the three central gods of Hinduism in one linga makes it unique in India.
  • The gopuram has been carved with Ramayana and Mahabharatha stories by using herbal ink.
  • Goddess Aram Valartha Nayaki, Indra Vinayaka, Kala Bhairava and Saakahi Ganapathy are also enshrined here. Inscriptions believed to date from the 9th century are found in this temple making it more ethnic in its core.
  • The dancing hall of this temple contains an additional 1035 pillars filled with wonderful carvings.

Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple Timings

  • The Abhiseka for moola lingam takes place at 4:15 a.m.
  • Abhiseka for Thanumalayan shrine takes place at 4:15 a.m also.
  • The daily pooja takes place at 5:30 a.m.
  • Tharai Abhiseka pooja takes place at 6:30 a,m,
  • Mistanga pooja takes place 7:15 a.m.
  • Ucchikala pooja takes place at 11:00 a.m.
  • At 6:30 p.m takes place the Deepa aradhanai, Ahala and Arthama pooja.

Festivals at Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

  • The Avani festival takes place at August.
  • The Masi festival takes place at March.
  • Marghazi festival being an important one takes place for two months at December and January.
  • Chiththirai festival takes place at April.

How to reach Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

  • By air: Thiruvanathapuram International airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 70 km from the temple. Regular flights ply in.
  • By rail: Nagercoil junction located at a distance of 3 km from the temple is the nearest station where regular trains are available.
  • By road: About 11 km from Kanyakumari and 7 km from Nagarkoil Suchindram lies between these two towns. Busses ply from Thirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Trivandram.

Hotels near Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

  • Pioneer Grand Palace is roughly 7 km from Parakkai Lake and 1 km from Vadasery Bus Stand. The property in Nagercoil is a budget accommodation offering free buffet breakfast and great atmosphere.
  • Hotel Reech at 57 Court Road, Nagercoil is another suitable place to check in. It is reviwed to be an excellent clean place.

Places nearby Suchindram Thanumalayan Temple

  • The world famous Arulmigu Bhagavathyamman Temple is located nearby.It is an important temple situated near to Nagercoil – colachel State highway in Mandaikadu. During the month of Masi, people from all over India come here to celebrate the famous Kodai vizha festival. Arulmigu Bhagavathyamman Temple is located at the confluence of three seas of India’s South Corner. This temple was constructed before 3000 years by Parasuram and then renovated by one of the kings of Pandya Dynasty. It is believed that Goddess Bhagavathy stood here as a spinster and she killed the demon Banasuran on Vijayadasami, the last day of Navarathiri festival.
Govindaraja Swamy Temple

Govindaraja Swamy Temple – Tirupati

Govindaraja Swamy Temple – Tirupati

Govindaraja Swamy Temple Video

Associated with Sri Venkateswara Swamy Tirupati, The Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is one of the earliest proofs’s of the everlasting bliss of Sri Venkateswara. It is an ancient Hindhu-vaishnavite temple situated at the heart of the Tirupati city in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh state in India. The temple is one of the earliest structures in Tirupati and also one of the biggest temple complexes in Chittoor district. The Tirupati (down hill) city is built around this temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is referred to as Govindarajaswamy. Govindarajaswamy is believed to be the elder brother of Lord Venkateswara.

History of Govindaraja Swamy Temple

A large number of inscriptions found in this temple and in the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala help to locate its history. The earliest of the records belong to the year 1235 A.D when the Chola King, Raja Raja III was ruling the place. In the year 1239 A.D the queen of Viranarasinga of Yadavaraya made a gift for decoration of the chariot and carrying necessary repairs. The temple came in for greater importance in 1506 A.D. during the rule of Saluva dynasty of Vijayanagar and from then onwards different rulers in a different way developed the temple. It is built by the Nayakas, the successors to the Vijayanagar Empire.

Before consecrating Govindarajaswamy as presiding deity, Sri Parthasarathy Swamy was the presiding deity of the temple. Kotturu, a village at the foot of Tirumala hills was shifted to the vicinity of Sri Govindarajaswamy Temple which was later emerged into city of Tirupati.

Significance of Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • It’s outer Gopuram which is visible from a quite a distance.
  • Govindaraja Swami Temple has two main shrines dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna. The shrine to the north is Sri Govindaraja and The shrine to the south is Sri Parthasarathi (Lord Sri Krishna as the charioteer of Arjuna).
  • The idols of Rukmini and Satyabhama (Krishna’s wives) are also found here. The original temple had Sri Parthasarathi on the main altar. ‘Sri Ramanuja’ added the Sri Govindaraja deity around 1130 AD.
  • Nearby shrine is dedicated to Sri Ramanuja and on the left of the second entrance is a ‘Kurma’ Deity, Lord Vishnu as a tortoise. There are carvings depicting the pastimes of the Ramayana and Lord Krishna’s pastimes on the second gopuram.
  • Sri Govindarajaswamy temple is a huge complex with many other sub shrines in it. Parthasarathy temples, Kalyana Venkateswara Temple are of more importance among the sub-shrines. There are also shrines dedicated to Pundarikavalli, Andal, Chakratalwar, Alwars, Lakshmi Narayana Swamy, Anjaneya, Tirumala Nambi, Bhashyakars.

Timings of Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • Govindaraja Swamy Temple is open for darshan from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm.
  • 5:30 am to 6:30 am takes place the Viswarupa sarva darshan.
  • 8:00 to 8:45 a.m takes place the Archanantharam darshanam.
  • From 1:15 p.m to 4:45 p.m takes place the Sarvadarshanam.
  • From 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m Sarvadarshanam again takes place.

Festivals at Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • The Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple is home to many festivals of great perchance and importance. On every Saturday festival there is an onrush of visitors seeking blessings to gain health and immediate wealth.
  • All the festivals of this temple are held here with great aplomb. These involve Bramhostavam, Float festival, Rathasapthami and other utsavam’s that are held at Tirupati or surrounding temples.

How to reach Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • By air: The nearest airport to Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple is Chennai international airport, Chennai which is 108 km away from Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple.
  • By rail: The nearest railway station to sri Govindaraja Swamy temple is renigunta train station which is 10 km away from Sri Govindaraja Swamy Temple.
  • By road: bus and car services are available on a fair amount basis. This makes the journey to the temple easier.

Hotels nearby Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • Hotel Bhimas Deluxe at G Car Street, Tirupati is Easily reachable from Tirupati RailwayStation (0.25 km). This hotel in Tirupati provides comfortable accommodation.
  • Hotel Fortune Select Grand Ridge is one of Tirupati’s five star hotels located at the intersection of Chennai-Bangalore highway, on the Tiruchanoor road. This hotel is located just beside Shilparamam Theme Park .

Places nearby Govindaraja Swamy Temple

  • Sri Kodandaramaswami Temple- This temple dedicated to Sri Rama is situated within a distance of about a kilometer from Tirupati Railway station. The Temple was built to commemorate the visit of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita to tirupati, while returning from Lanka.
  • Alamelumangapuram(Tiruchanur) Tiruchanur, also known as Alamelumangapuram, located about 5 kms from tirupati is also an ancient sacred place. The Temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi, the consort of Lord Venkateswara is situated in this place. It is said that the visit to tirumala is fruitful only after a visit to sri Padmavathi devi temple at tiruchanur.
  • Sri Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy temple is situated at an easily commutable distance of 12 KM to the west Tiruapti. It’s regarded as the lord-prescribed alternative for Tirumala Devastana, and has been bestowed with great divine power.
  • An important Lord Krishna temple renowned as the Sri Venugopala Swamy Temple. This is the only Krishna temple located in the vicinity of Tirupati, depicting the Childhood of Lord Krishna. It is located at the town Karvetinagaram, located at a distance of 42KM from the Tiruapti.
ranganathaswamy temple

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangam

The Ranganathaswamy Temple located in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Ranganatha who is an avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is a common belief that people who get darshan here during the Vaikunta Ekadasi and Dwadasi days signifies the entering in Vaikuntam (Heaven) and attaining Moksha.


It is one of the most enchanting temples of Vaishnavite essence in South India known for its rich legend and history.  It is said that due to its location, on an island in Cauvery river, it has rendered itself vulnerable to natural disasters as well as the rampaging of invading armies – Muslim and European. And this has repeatedly been the site for military invasions.

History of Ranganathaswamy Temple

Srirangam is known for the eight self-manifested shrines (Swayam Vyakta Kshetras) of Lord Vishnu that it contains. It is also considered the first of the 108 main Vishnu temples (Divyadesams). This temple is also known as Thiruvaranga Tirupati, Periyakoil, Bhoologa Vaikundam, Bhogamandabam.

In the epic of Silapadikaram composed during the Sangam era, this temple has found its place in the pages. The archaeological inscriptions on the temple are available from the 10th century AD. The inscriptions in the temple belong to the Chola, Pandya, Hoysala and Vijayanagar dynasties who had swayed the destinies of the Tiruchirapalli district. They range in date between the 9th and 16th centuries that are registered epigraphically.

The temple of Sri Ranganathaswami bespeaks of a historic past of great kingdom and a civilization thousands of years old. The reign of the Pallavas was known to be a creation of solid religious foundation. The role played by the dynasty appears to have contributed largely to the growth of Aryan institutions in Southern India more particularly in the Carnatic region. Dynasties that ruled the South—Cholas, Pandiyas, Hoysalas, Nayaks, assisted with the renovation and preservation of the traditional customs. Even during times of internal conflicts amongst these dynasties, notable importance was given to the safety and maintenance of these temples.

A Chola king, once chasing a parrot, accidentally found the idol. He then established the Ranganathaswamy temple as one of the largest temple complexes in the world. There is a lot of hisotry involved behind the enshrining of the deity in the temple. It is said that during the invasion of Malik Kafur the idol was taken to Delhi. The devotees of Srirangams sought to take the idol back. They went to Delhi and enchanted him by their histrionics. The emperor now pleased with them gave the presiding deity of Srirangam back to them. Surathani, the emperor’s daughter, fell in love with the deity and followed him to Srirangam. She declared herself to the God in front of the sanctum sanctorum and is believed to have attained the heavenly abode immediately. Even today, a painting of “Surathani” (known as Thulukha Nachiyar in Tamil) can be seen in her shrine near the Arjuna Mandap adjacent to the sanctum sanctorum for whom, chapathis (wheat bread) are made daily.

Assuming that his daughter has died due to the supernatural powers of the deity Mali Kafur led another invasion to take it back but before him a group led by the vaishnavite acharya (Guru), Pillai Lokacharyar, who died en route to Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu reached there and took the idol. The Goddess Ranganayaki was taken in another separate procession. 13,000 Sri Vaishnavas, the people of Srirangam, laid down their lives in the fierce battle to ensure that the institution was protected. In the end, devdasis, seduced the army chief, to save the temple.

Significance of Ranganathaswamy Temple

  • The temple complex is 156 acres in extent. It has seven prakaras or enclosures. There are 21 magnificent towers in all prakaras providing a unique sight to any visitor.
  • The Orlov diamond of 189.62 carats is a large diamond and is a part of the collection of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin. This diamond and a similar gem served as the eyes of the deity in the temple. Later it is said to have been stolen during the 2nd Carnatic war fought in Srirangam.
  • The temple complex consists shrines of dozens of forms of Vishnu including Chakkarathazhwar, Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna.
  • Images of Vibhishana, Brahma, Hanuman, Garuda, the symbols of Vishnu – conch  are seen inside the sanctum-sanctorum or the garbbha griha. The Ranganayaki shrine is in the second precinct of the temple. The common reference to the goddess is padi thaanda pathni, meaning lady who doesn’t cross the boundaries of ethics.
  • There are 21 gopurams (tower gateways), among which the towering 236-feet Rajagopuram which is the shrine of the main gateway, was the tallest temple tower in Asia until the Rajagopuram of temple Murudeshwara was built by R. N. Shetty .
  • The temple also has the Hall of 1000 pillars is a great example of a planned theatre-like structure and opposite to it is the “Sesha Mandap”.
  • The Sesha Mandap on the east side of the fourth enclosure of the temple complex is popular. This hall is celebrated for the images of leaping animals carved on to the piers at its northern end.
  • One of the most important vows taken for Lord Ranganathaswamy is to perform “Thulabharam” i.e. donating various items such as turmeric, rice, dhal, coins, sugar, rice, jaggery, sugar candy, etc to the equivalent weight of the devotee.

Srirangam Temple Timings

Open for darshan from 9am to 9pm with breaks in between for poojas.

  • Viswaroopa Seva takes place from 6 a.m to 7:15 a.m.
  • Then comes the pooja time from 7:15 a.m to 9:00 a.m. no darshan is allowed during this time.
  • Darshan timing is from 9:00 to 12:00 in the afternoon.
  • Pooja time again is from 12 to 13:15 p.m.
  • Darshan again is from 13:15 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Pooja again takes place from 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
  • Darshan then again takes place from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Festivals celebrated at Ranganathaswamy Temple

  • Jestabishekam: this is celebrated in the Tamil month, Aani (June-July) in order to rid the accumulated impurities.
  • Pavithrothsavam: this is celebrated in the Tamil month, Aani (August –September). It is dedicated to the sacred thread worn by the Lord and for removing blemishes in daily rituals.
  • Oonjal: this is Held in Tamil Month Aipasi (October-December) to remove possible blemishes in the Swing. This festival is known as Dolothsavam.
  • Ekadesi: this is the most important festival celebrated for full twenty one days during Tamil month Margazhi (December-January). It is divided to two ten days as pagal pathu and ra pathu, with all pomp and glory. On Ekadesi day, the Lord Ranganatha, adorned in splendid garment, proceeds in a grand procession through Paramapada Vasal and arrives at Thirumamani Mandapam in the 1000 pillared hall to the thrill and joy of the devotees gathered from all over India and abroad.

How to Reach Ranganathaswamy Temple

  • By air: the Temple is located 15 km from Tiruchirappalli Airport. International and domestic flights are available here.
  • By rail: if you are taking the trains then there are trains connecting to the main centers of the area. The temple is about 10 km from the Tiruchirapalli railway junction.
  • By road: “Rent a car” facility is available from all rail, road and airport areas. 24 hours Bus Services are available from Tiruchirapalli Railways Station and the Central Bus Stop and Chatiram Bus Stop.

Hotels to stay near Ranganathaswamy Temple

  • Hotel Deepam located at W.B.Road, Tiruchirapalli is well known for its appropriate accommodation and good services. It has access to restaurants nearby and good transportation.
  • Hotel Mathura located at Rockins Road, Cantonment at Tiruchirapalli is known for its decent services and nice atmosphere.
  • Breezy residency at Mcdonalds Road, Tiruchirapalli, is popular for its good location from the Central Bus stop and railway station. The rooms are reviewed to be spacious and well suited.

Places to visit nearby Ranganathaswamy Temple

  • The Rockfort Temple is an ancient fort and the temple is situated in the fort’s highest reaches. Rockfort played a major part in the Carnatic wars .
  • The Jambukeshwara Temple is one of the 5 major temples in Tamil Nadu which are dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva.
  • The Erumbeeswarar Temple which is dedicated to Shiva, was built by the Chola on an 18 meters tall hill. The temple is built in a Dravidian style.
  • Akilandeshwari Temple is located in Thiruvanaikaval and is believed to have been built by Kochenga Chola who was one of the Early Chola kings. There are inscriptions on the walls of the temple that can be traced back to the time of the Cholas.

Thirunelli Temple

Worship at the Abode of Natural Bliss- Thirunelli Temple, Wayanad Valley

The Thirunelli Temple, Wayanad Valley brings out prayers from the deep core of the hearts. The temple is encircled with Udayagiri, Brahmagiri, Karimala and Narinirangimala range while the Papanasini mountain spring flows by it. The temple is at an altitude of 900 meters, facing east. Therefore, the first rays of the sun fall on the temple, creating a celestial atmosphere. The Thirunelli Temple worships Lord Vishnu.


History and Legend of Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli Temple opens up another golden page of South Indian religious life and beliefs.

• It is one of the oldest temples of Kerala. As per folklore, Lord Brahma built the temple. The temple also has other names, like, Sahyamala Kshetram and Kashi of the South.
• There is an old artificial water channel that brings water to the temple. It helps people to understand the age of the temple. The wife of Chirackal Raja once visited the temple. When she asked for some water to dissolve the sandal, the priest was not able to provide water. The lady understood the scarcity of water at the temple and ordered her attendants to discover a water source. They found a water source, varaham, within the forest. Water was brought from the place using bamboo halves. She built the stone water channel to ensure uninterrupted water service to the shrine. This water channel has mural decoration and come with pillars.
• Thirunelli comes from the Malayalam/ Tamil word, nelli. It means gooseberry in English and amla in Hindi. As per myth, Lord Brahma was moving around the world one day. He saw an idol of Lord Vishnu resting on an amla tree. The tree was at the Wayanad Valley. Lord Brahma installed this deity. The place was Vishnuloka, the heaven of peace. Therefore, the Thirunelli Temple was built. For this reason, people also know the temple as Amalaka Temple and Sidha Temple.
• It is also a belief that the Lord Vishnu blessed the place with sacred waters which can wash away the sins both of mortal life and life after death.
• As per myth, Lord Brahma visits the place every day. The temple performs five worships in a day. But they arrange items for a sixth worship before leaving the temple at night. Every morning it is found that the puja items have been used at night. People believe that Lord Brahma has used the items for worshipping Lord Vishnu. The priests swear thrice before entering the shrine in the morning that they will not disclose what they saw inside.
• Veda Vyasa has also mentioned the temple in his book, Padma Purana.
• Another myth states that Chera king Kulasekharan made the temple. The king was in power from 767 AD to 834 AD. Then he became a saint and practiced Vaishnava order. He is also the writer of Mukundamaala. The book is written in Sanskrit.
• The temple has incomplete walkway. It is said that the Coorg king once started the renovation work at the temple. The Vellattiri king owned the temple that time. He objected to the work and hence the walkway is incomplete.
• Locals also believe that Lord Shiva lives at the temple premises. He started his journey to Kottiyur from here to kill Dhakshan. Dhakshan was the father of Devi Sati. She was the wife of Lord Shiva.
• There is a holy rock at the temple where devotees perform the funeral rites of their ancestors. People believe the rock is actually the bone of a demon. His name was Pazhana-bhedi and he was killed by Lord Vishnu. He prayed during his death to Lord Vishnu to divide his body into three parts so that devotees could use it for offerings to the departed souls. The head is at Gaya, middle part at Godavari and feet at Thirunelli. Lord Rama and his brother Laxmana performed funeral rites of their father, King Dasaratha at this rock.

Significance of the Thirunelli Temple

The Thirunelli Temple is unique with its different rituals and as a treasure of historic relics.

• Only at this temple a devotee can perform rituals from life to death and for life after death.
• The temple has three deities, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma. People call them trinity. There is a separate cave temple at the western side of the main temple. Lord Shiva is the presiding deity here. This is Gunnika temple. It represents Kongu-Chera style of handiworks.
• The temple showcases Kerala architectural style. The inner sanctorum has a tilted roof and an open courtyard. Another feature of the temple is the granite lamp post. You can also see the hole of a flag post but the flag post is missing.
• The outer wall also has granite pillars. The pillars are cubical in shape. This part is different from the standard Kerala architecture.
• As per recent excavations, Thirunelli was an important business hub. The copper plates describe the history of the Thirunelli temple. From land allotment for the temple to details of expenses, everything is there in these plates.
• As per the inscriptions, the Kunhikutta Varman VeeraKurumpurai was the first donor for the temple construction, while the Sankaran Godavarman is the second donor.
• An elaborate description of the Thirunelli temple is also mentioned in the Unniyachi Charitham. This is a popular poetical work. The writer is Thevan Chirikumaran.
• The lord Vishnu is Chaturbhuja at the Thirunelli Temple. The Panchatheertham water tank has the marks of Lord Vishnu feet. This is known as Vishnupad.

Thirunelli Temple Timings

Pilgrims can visit the temple both at morning and evening.
• It is open from 5.30 am to 12.00 pm in the morning.
• The aarti is magical. It takes places at 11.30 am.
• At evening the temple is open from 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm.

Thirunelli Temple Food Timings

Prasadam is served after the evening prayers. You can also have meals at the temple. Visitors can also have free coffee and upma, both in morning and evening.

Dress Code at Thirunelli Temple

Devotees generally come in traditional wear. Men need to enter the temple without shirts. Leather apparels and items cannot be brought into the temple complex. Worshippers need to wear dhoti which is available at the priest office.

Festivals celebrated at Thirunelli Temple

Puthari, Chuttuvilakku, Navarathri, Shivarathri and Sreekrishnajayanthi are the major festivals of the temple.

Poojas and Rituals at Thirunelli Temple

• Ritual at the Papanasini River: Pilgrims from all over the world gather at the Thirunelli Temple to perform the ancestral rites. The rituals rake place at the banks of the river. Locals believe that the holy waters can wash away all the sins of the mortals.
• Pithrukarma: Also, there is a holy rock at the temple complex where worshippers pray for their forefathers.

• The temple also practices various customs related to the complete life cycle. Bali Tharpana, Oraalpindam are the other funeral rites that people do here.

• Another unique custom of the Thirunelli Temple is Brahmanas play musical instruments during food offerings to Lord Vishnu.

How to Reach: Road, Rail and Air

A trip to Thirunelli Temple is just not a pilgrimage but an immemorial journey through the Wayanad Valley. The place is easily accessible as it is a tourist hotspot. If you are coming from outside Wayanad, you can come from Calicut. The route from Calicut passes three cities, which are, Thamarasserry, Kalpetta and Mananthavady.

By Air: The Calicut International Airport is the nearest airport to the Thirunelli Temple. Another name for the airport is Karipur airport. This airport is at 161 kms from the Thirunelli Temple. Tourists can book cars directly to the temple. You can also use the Bangalore route to reach Thirunelli Temple. After reaching the Bangalore International Airport, tourists need to come Mysore. From here proceed to Thirunelli via Hunsur and Nagarhole. The temple lies at 280 kms from Bangalore airport and 121 kms from Mysore.

By Rail: The nearest rail head to the temple is also at Calicut. From the railway station tourists first need to reach Mananthavady and then to Thirunelli. There are many taxi and bus available from the station. The distance from Calicut to Mananthavady is 137 km if you are coming through the Koyileri – Mananthavady road. You can also take the 4th mile – Mananthavady road to reach the temple, but the distance is more; 141 kms.
The next nearest railway station to the temple is Mysore railway station. This is at 121 kms from the shrine.

By Road: You can enjoy the most if you are travelling to Thirunelli Temple via road. There is various way in which you can reach the Thirunelli Temple via roadways.
From Calicut: After an hour journey from Calicut through the National Highway 212, you start climbing the hair pin slopes. There are 9 hair pin bends and the last bend gives a breathtaking view of all the Calicut valleys. You pass through the Vythiri and Chundale towns and then comes Kalpetta. This is the headquarters of the Wayanad district. From here you turn 2 kms left to the Mananthavady town.
From Kannur: The temple is 121 kms from Kannur. You can get a glimpse of simple lifestyle of the locals as you pass the small towns of Koothuparamba, Nedumpoyil, Periya, Thalappuzha and Mananthavady to reach the temple. Moreover, there is a shorter through from Kannur. This route takes you through Kelakam, Kottiyur, Boy’s Town and Manathavady.
From Mananthavady: From this medium town tourists head towards the Mysore Road, which is just at 10 kms. Then from Kattikulam tourists ride through a dense forest area till Thettu Road junction. This is an 8 kms ride to the junction and again a 13 kms ride to the temple. This path is idle for wildlife lovers, as bisons, jumbo monkeys, peacocks and dear more round freely in the jungle.
From Kerala- Karnataka Border: From this place you need to ride till the Mananthavady road. After driving for almost 7.4 kms you will reach the Thetturoad Junction. Take a U turn to reach the temple, which is 13 kms from the junction.

Hotels in Wayanad Valley: Where to stay

The temple has its own tourist accommodation. Panchatheertham Vishrama Mandiram is the name of the accommodation. Besides this, pilgrims can also stay at Himagiri Homes and Agraharam Resorts.

Where to eat

Besides having meal, you can try out the food at Century Restaurant. The eat out is at 13.9 kms from the temple.

Nearby Temples

The Thirunelli Temple is closely related to the other nearby temples.
Trisillery temple: As per mythology, Pinnappara continues from Thirunelli to Trisillery. Hence devotees who perform ancestral rites at Thirunelli first visit Thrissilery. They also make a Vilakkumaala offering at Thrissilery.
Kottiyur Temple: This temple is at the dense forests of the Brahmagiri Valley. Earlier rice was brought from Thirunelli Temple to the Kottiyur Temple to meet the puja expenses. After the festival rice was returned to the Thirunelli Temple.
Kalpetta: This region in Wayanad is a Jain pilgrimage. The place has various Jain temples and institutes.

Thirunelli Temple is also renowned for its Ayurveda treatments. You can also get organic honey and bamboo toys here. There is a shop just adjacent to the temple which sell these stuff. Besides visiting the Thirunelli Temple, tourists can also go for trekking at the Pakshipathalam. This trekking site is just 10 kms from the shrine.

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple is also known as Sri Muthappan temple which is a one of the famous Hindu temple. It is situated on the banks of the Valapattanam river about 10 km away from Taliparamba town in Kannur District of Kerala State. The main deity of worship in the temple is Sree Muthappan that is an indication of 2 mythical characters named Thiruvappana and Vellattam. It is a holy river as it is an ornament for various shrines including Kottiyoor hills. It is the tributary of the sacred Bavali river . Parassini Madappura Sree Muthappan Temple is not a Kshethram but it is a madappura. Sree Muthappan is always accompanied by a dog.

The ritual performers of Muthappan Theyyam belong to the tribal community of Kerala. It is unique because in Kerala both the upper-caste Brahmins, and the lower-caste tribals have a significant contribution to the major forms of worship. The devotees can interact with the God as they pour out their grievances in a chat with the tastefully decorated Muthappan Theyyam.

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

History and Legend of Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

  • The Naduvazhi (landlord) Ayyankara Illath Vazhunnavar was unhappy as he had no child. His wife Padikutty Antharjanam was a devotee of Lord Shiva. She offered several things as sacrifice to the God Shiva. One day in her dream she saw the Lord. The very next day while she was returning after a bath from a nearby river saw a pretty child lying in a flower bed. She took the child home and brought him up as her own son.
  • The boy would take food with the poor and with the backward communities. As these acts were against the Namboothiri way of life, his parents earnestly requested him to stop this practice.
  • One day the boy went to his parents and shown his parents his divine form (visvaroopam) with bow and arrow and fiery eyes. His parents understood that the boy was not an ordinary child but God.
  • After revealing himself he left his house and on the way he got associated with toddy. Once a toddy tapper saw him stealing toddy and he tried to attack with his bow and arrow but fell unconscious. Toddy tapper’s wife begged by him to spare his life by calling him Muthappa with respect and since then he came to be known a Muthappan. He made his abode near valapattanam river in Parassinikadavu.
  • The deity here is an embodiment of the divine powers of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The deity is also known as Thiruvappana and Vellattam. The ritual conducted in this temple is totally different and does not follow the satvik Brahminical form of worship as in other Hindu temples. The customary offerings to appease the deity of this temple are fish, meat and toddy.

Significance of Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

  • Here dogs are considered sacred and can be seen in large numbers around the temple. Two carved bronze dogs at the entrance of the temple symbolize the bodyguards of the God. The temple is dedicated to Lord Muthappan, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva.
  • Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple is the only one temple in Kerala where the Folk art form of North Kerala ‘Theyyam’ is presented daily. This centre of worship and faith has in store many unique practices and rituals, and the temple architecture itself stands testimony to this aspect.
  • Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple is also a popular destination for travellers and pilgrims to savour the charm of Theyyam. A ritual that is performed here on a daily basis. Men adorning masks and costumes with a riot of colours perform this temple art form. It represents conflict between good and evil, with good ultimately emerging victorious.

Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple Timings

  • Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple starts function from early morning to late night with few breaks in between for rituals to be performed.
  • Vellattam and Thiruvappana are performed every morning from 5.45 AM to 8 AM. Vellattam is also performed at evening by around 6.30 PM.
  • Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple remains open from 5 AM to in the morning to 8:00 PM in the evening.

Festivals celebrated at the Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

Puthari Thiruvappana festival

Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple Festival or Utsavam is the main festival celebrated at Parassini Madappura Sree Muthappan Temple. It falls during the Malayalam month of Vrischikam (November end – December half) every year. The Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple Festival starts as per customary rituals at the Madamana Illam in the morning. Also known as Puthari Thiruvappana festival (Parassinikadavu Ulsavam), the Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple festival is related to the harvest celebration of local people. Every year the festival begins on 16th Vrischikam in the traditional Malayalam Calendar. During this harvest festival, people celebrate “puthari”. A grand ceremonial feast will be conducted at the temple for devotees.

It is associated with the harvesting season of the region. The last Thiruvappana of the temple year is on 30 Kanni every year.

Thiruvappana is not performed on the following days:

  1. Thulam 1st to Vrischikam 15th every year.
  2. Amaavasi (new moon) day of Karkkitakam and Thulam.
  3. “Nira” day of the temple.
  4. When there is a death in the Madappura family.

Poojas and Rituals at Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple

  • Avoid shirts, skirts, tank tops and so not expose legs. Footwear is not allowed inside the temple. Use of cellphones and photography is strictly prohibited.
  • The traditional offerings made to Sree Muthappan by devotees are Panamkutty, Vellattam and Thiruvappana. The offerings to the prime priest, Matayan, are Vecheringat (a boiled mixture of banana, pepper, turmeric powder and salt), Neerkari (a mixture of raw rice powder, salt, turmeric powder and pepper), boiled gram, or coconut slices. Toddy and burnt dry fish are also used as offerings.
  • The deity worshipped in this temple is Sree Muthappan. All the main poojas are performed by the Thiyyas of Parassini Muthappan family. In special cases Brahmins and Madayans together perform poojas in Sreekovil.
  • Before entering the main temple one needs to climb down the steps to reach the river and clean the body. After cleaning, enter the inner premises of the temple. Pray before Muthappan and put some money into the box provided.
  • After having your food, you can go to the office and pay if you have anything to offer. One can pay cash for the same and get a receipt from the counter.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode is the nearest airport. It is about 93 km from Kannur town. Mangalore Airport is about 120 km away.

By Train: Kannur Railway Station is an important railhead in Konkan Railway. It is the nearest railway station about 16 km from the temple.

By Road: Located at a distance of around 20 kilometers from Kannur, the Parassinikadavu Sri Muthappan Temple is a very popular pilgrim site and is visited by many devotees on a daily basis. Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple is just 20 km from Kannur town.

Hotels in Sree Parassinikadavu Muthappan Temple : Where to stay

Thapasya Heritage

Thapasya Heritage is a classic best hotel in Parassinikadavu. One can experience perfect relaxation and luxury accommodation in comfortable surroundings with the sun streaming through large windows into modern bed rooms. It features crisp, white linen, high ceilings and space. Thus it outstands in a unique calm and quiet homely atmosphere with a beautiful ambience and spectacular scenic view to the river.

Contact: Opp. AKG Mandiram,Temple Road,Parassinikadavu,Kannur- 670563

Thai Resort

Thai Resort who is devoted to offer you a clean, comfortable and peaceful accommodation facility. It provides with feel at home experience without having to go through the usual quagmires of hotel accommodation.

Contact: Nr.Sri Muthappan Temple, Parassinikadavu, Kannur, Kerala 670563

Das Residency

It has the reputation for excellence and are acknowledged for offering quality and value. Das residency open the door to the world of entertainment, relaxation and enjoyment. It features about the best hotel rooms in Malabar regions, located near the world famous Parassini Sree Muthappan temple in Parassinikadaa.

Contact: Parassinikadavu, Kannur, Kerala – 670563

Hotel Well View

Hotel Well View is a comfortable hotel, ideally located in Parassinikkadavu. Guest rooms has a private bathroom, television and a direct dial telephone. Hotel Well View has dining options also for vegetarian and Non- vegetarian air-conditioned restaurants.

Contact: Near Muthappan Temple, Parassinikkadavu, Kannur-670 563, Kerala

Hotel Polariz

Hotel Polariz provide with resting amid tranquil surroundings, far from the hustle bustles of city life.  Hotel Parassini Polariz is an ideal retreat for business as well as leisure travelers.

Contact: Hotel Polariz,PO Kalliassery, Mangad, Near Snake Park, Kannur -670 562

Where to eat

  • The lane leading to the temple is full of tea shops offering a  variety of delicious dishes. Breakfast consists of rice which is light and wholesome; Puttu, a steamed rice flour dish is eaten with coconut scrapings, banana and sugar. Appem is another rice and coconut preparation fermented with toddy and made into a spongy pancake with crispy lacy frills eaten with coconut milk and sugar or Idiyappam. Rice flour pressed through a mould to resemble fine strings and then steamed are some of the dishes offered.
  • Another popular breakfast item is a rice and dal combination like idli and dosa accompanied by coconut chutney and sambar. Lunch and supper are unpolished rice, fish curry and vegetables. Evening tea is accompanied by boiled green gram with coconut pieces topped with a plantain. A non-vegetarian delicacy is stewed clams, a shellfish with hinged shell, from Valapattanam river. Food is served on banana leaf, the tip of the leaf placed to the left of the diner.
  • Devotes of all castes and beliefs come in hundreds and throng the courtyard. They are given generous quantities of Prasadam or sacred ashes as Muthappan bestows his blessings upon all his devotees.
  • Parassini Madappura provides free lunch to students from the temple oottuPura, irrespective of caste and religion. Almost all students from Parassinikadavu LP and UP school have their lunch from the Parassini Madappura Oottupura.

Nearby Temples

Sri Rajarajeswara Temple: Rajarajeswara Temple is situated 20 km from Kannur of Kerala state, south India. It is near Taliparamba town, famous for its spices trade. The temple is believed to have got the name from Thiru Shambara or the holy shambara in reverence to Maharishi Shambara. The Shiva Lingam here is believed to be several thousands of years old. The Rajarajeswara temple in Thaliparamba in Kannur district is one of the famous Shiva Temples in Kerala in general and in North Malabar in particular.

Trichambaram Sree Krishna Temple: Trichambaram Krishna Temple is a 11th century shrine situated at Trichambaram, just 2 km south of Taliparamba in Kannur District. It is 20 km from Kannur on National Highway 17. The temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is one of the best known Krishna temples in Kerala. The temple is of great archeological importance. The sanctum sanctorum is double storied and has a pyramid shaped copper roof with a golden stupa (pinnacle) at the top. The sanctum has beautiful carvings and murals which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Kalarivathukkal Temple: Kalarivathukkal Bhagavathy Temple, Bhadrakali Shrine located near Valapattanam river. It is the family shrine of Chirakkal Royal Family. The deity of the shrine is the fierce form of Bhadrakali. Kalarivathukkal Bhagavathy is considered as the mother of the ancient martial art Kalarippayattu and hence the name. The shrine is administered by Malabar Devaswom Board and classified as Category A Temple of the board. Kalarivathukkal has came from the word Kalari Vaatilkal.

Thiruvalla Temple

Thiruvalla Temple, Thiruvalla

Sree Vallabha Temple is located at Thiruvalla in Pathanmthitta district of Kerala. It is a 400-year-old temple on the banks of the River Manimala. The temple has a beautiful 8 ft idol of Sree Vallabha within the sanctum sanctorum. The legendary architect Perunthachan, constructed the unique Garuda Sthambha. 54 ft flag mast is made of a single block of granite. It is considered as most important temple for Vaishnavites all over India due to the presiding deity is Lord Maha Vishnu.  As offerings by devotees Kadhakali is performed almost on all days in Thiruvalla Temple.  It is believed that its bottom touches the water table. Thiruvalla Temple has a Garudathara , which is unique and appeared magnificent. This also has a Garuda’s image atop.

There are sub shrines around the temple for Ayyapa , Karuppaya swamy etc. The idol on the pillar is depicted as like a human form with beaks, and  wings stretched and hands bowing. There is a legend that when the Garuda’s idol was erected on that pillar centuries back. It was about to fly off and so placed it in position by chains. It was erected after two years of consecration of Sree Vallabha’s idol.The idol of Maha Vishnu or Sree Vallabha was sculpted by Viswakarma at the behest of Lord Krishna and was given to Satyaki at the end of Dwapara Yuga.

Towards the end of Dwapara Yuga, Lord asked Garuda to keep the idol in safe custody. Keeping this in mind Garuda kept it in Netravati river which flows from Karnataka to Kerala. Later, the royal consort of Cheraman Perumal – the emperor of Kerala had a dream that the idol of Krishna was lying on the bed of Netravati river. All efforts were taken to search the idol.

Thiruvalla Temple

History and Legend of Thiruvalla Temple

  • In a place called Sankaramangalam nearby there was a very devout old lady. She was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and was referred to by people as Sankaramangalathu amma. She was very particular about observing Ekadasi. An ogre called Thugala (tholaga) used to trouble her a lot. One Dwadasi day she could not find any Brahmin to partake of her food. Lord Vishnu himself took the form of a Brahmachari and came there as her guest.
  • Sankaramangalathamma requested him to take bath in the nearby well and come in. Lord Vishnu asked her whether there are any rivers nearby. She then told him that an Asura was living near the river and was not allowing anyone to take bath there. Lord Vishnu went to the river and killed the Tholagasura with his Sudarshana Chakra and washed the Chakra in the river.
  • This place is presently referred to as Chakrasala ghat. When the lord returned, there were four more Brahmins. Sankakamangalathamma served food to all the five of them in areca nut sheath. Even today this feeding is done in areca nut sheath and is referred to as Paala Bhojanam.
  • Once some Brahmins came to her house and requested for food. She told them that it was Ekadasi, they laughed at her and informed her that the day was Dasami. To prove the same, one of them who was an astrologer, did a Prasna to find out the exact Thithi. The Prasna showed that it was Ekadasi but when they stepped out of the house, it showed it was Dasami.
  • It is believed that when Lord Vishnu came as a Brahmachari to the house of Sankaramangalathamma he consecrated His Sudarshana Chakra there. This Chakra has eight corners denoting Conch, wheel, mace, lotus flower, rope, goad, bow and stick.
  • Sacred ash called Vibhuthi is given as Prasada in this temple of Chakra. The main deity of this temple is Sri Vallabha. This is an eight foot tall idol in the standing pose which faces east. Here sandalwood paste is given instead of sacred ash. There is a story about Sri Vallabha.
  • When Cheraman Perumal was ruling Kerala, God appeared in his dreams and pointed out the exact location of the idol and asked him to consecrate it in a temple. The king found the idol and since there was an empty temple in Thiruvalla which was waiting for a suitable idol, the king consecrated the divine idol there. When the original idol ordered for that temple came, it was consecrated in a place called Malayin Keezh.
  • Malayin Keezh call their God as Thiruvalla Appan even today. There is an stone inscription on the temple indicating that it was constructed in the year 59 AD. Padathi Banana was used as an offering by Sage Durvasa when he visited the temple. Even today Padathi Pazham is offered to the God. If one is looking at the face of the idol, one will not be able to see his feet and vice versa. The temple is built in such a way.

Significance of Thiruvalla Temple

  • Performing Kathakali is one of the main forms of worship to this Lord. It seems when Vilwamangalathu Swamiyar visited this temple, he found the Lord watching Kathakali along with the audience. Thereafter, whenever Kathakali is performed at this temple, they keep a seat covered with silk. And a lamp lit near this divine seat.
  • Thiruvalla Temple was once a place famous for Vedic schools. There were more than 1000 students and 100 teachers in this vedic school and was famous as Thiruvalla Sala. It was as famous as Thirumoozhikkulam Sala (vedic school in Thirumoozhikkulam Temple) and was bigger than Niranam Sala and Kaviyoor sala.

Thiruvalla Temple Timings

  • Thiruvalla Temple is open from 4:30 AM  to 11:30 AM in the morning and 5:00 PM  8:00 PM  in the evening.
  • The Palli Unarthal and Abhishekam is carried out in the temple from 4:00 AM to 5:00 AM. It is  followed by the first pooja at 7:00 AM.
  • Thiruvalla Temple closes in the afternoon after Ucha Shiveli at 11:30 AM. It opens in the evening at 5:00 PM.
  • The Deeparadhana is performed from 6:30 PM  to 7:.00 PM. It is followed by the Naalaam Pooja and Ancham Pooja.
  • Thiruvalla Temple closes at 8:PM after the Athazha Shiveli.

Festivals celebrated at the Thiruvalla Temple

Uthra Sree Bali

 Vadakkenada remains closed throughout the year except on the day of ‘Uthra Sree Bali’.  All the three Goddesses assemble together in the ‘North Nada’. The doors of the north gate tower is opened only at this auspicious time and the Goddesses are received with all spiritual austerity. Thousands of devotees assemble to see the majestic scene and also to offer their worship to the great Lord Vishnu along with the three goddesses. They are supposed to be the part of the almighty himself. All the three goddesses are taken to the ensign where the goddess Padappadu and Karunattukavu. Alumthuruthy goes inside the temple to invite Sreevallabha and Sudarsanamurthy.

Ekadasi Festival

One of the most important festivals of the town, Ekadasi Festival is celebrated on the eleventh day of every lunar fortnight. The Vrishchika Ekadasi has a special importance in the town. A highlight of this festival is the commemorative plaque for Gajarajan Kesavan.

Utsavam or Annual Festival

This festival is celebrated on the day of Pushya in the month of February-March and is meant for the purification and revitalizing the powers of the deity.

Kathakali had become the greatest offering to Sreevallabha. The devotees of Sreevallabha used to offer Kathakali to him. This is the only temple in India where maximum number of Kathakali are being performed every year.

Poojas and Rituals at Thiruvalla Temple

  • In Thiruvalla Temple the deity is worshipped five times a day in different forms. In the early morning pooja, the deity is worshipped as Brahmachari. In the Pandeerati pooja he is worshipped as a sanyasi. And during the noon Pooja he is worshipped as Vaasudeva dressed in royal attire.
  • In the evening Pooja the deity is worshipped as Narayana. During night Pooja he is worshipped as Lakshmi Narayana. While the goddess is dressed in the usual manner, the God during this Pooja is dressed as a Sanyasi. There is a custom is to keep all material necessary for doing pooja inside the sanctum sanctorum before closing the door. As it is believed that sage Durvasa would come in the night and do Pooja to the Lord.
  • Poojas for Lord Sudarsana is according to Ahirbhudhnya Samhitha.  After athazha pooja Lord’s idol will be decorated with a Kavi Mundu and a long tulsi garland. For ucha pooja nivedyam, there must be truppuli, erisseri, parippu, upperi and uppu manga.  After athazha pooja there is a ritual called Pallikkuruppu for Lord Sree Vallabha and Lakshmi Devi. It is held at Palliyara and closes the doors of the temple. In the morning poojas begins after Palliyyunarthal at Palliyara.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: Trivandrum is the nearest airport.  One cam also reach the temple from Kochi airport.  There are no flights available between Thiruvananthapuram to Thiruvalla, but there are 20 direct trains from Thiruvananthapuram to Thiruvalla.

By Train: Thiruvalla Railway station is about 30kms South of Kottayam on the Ernakulam-Kottayam-Kayankulam rail route. The temple is roughly 3 kms from the railway station. It is also well connected to major cities like Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai via Kanyakumari Express, Trivandrum Express, and Kerala Express.

By Road: One can take State transport bus to Thiruvalla. There is Ers Patna Exp from Coimbatore to Srikalahasti if one is coming from Coimbatore.

Where to stay

Thiruvalla has some deluxe accommodation options. Bessota International Hotel (Thiruvalla), John’s Homestay (Thiruvalla) and Hotel Voyage (Thiruvalla) are popular deluxe accommodation options in the city. The hotels are homely and laced with the modern amenities.

Where to eat

There are numerous hotels and restaurants for the convenience of the hoards of tourists visiting the destination. The Restaurants are the perfect places to eat, drink and be merry. These are restaurants that offer a wide variety of delicacies and most of them are pretty affordable too. It is designed to suit everyones budget and taste. 

  • Hotel Aryaas Park Contact: Deepa Junction, Thiruvalla, India
  • The Food Village Contact: Kallisery P.O, Thiruvalla 689124
  • Arabian Restaurant Contact: Thiruvalla, India
  • Phosphorous Restaurant Contact: No 77, Club 7 Hotel | Scs Junction, Thiruvalla

Nearby Temples

Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple: Kaviyoor Mahadeva Temple is one of the most ancient and popular Hindu temples located at the village of Kaviyoor. It is at a distance of 6kms from Thiruvalla town in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. Aval Nadyam and Vada Mala is the main offering to the presiding deity at Kaviyoor Mahadevar Temple. This can be offered after making a receipt from the counter. There are number of rituals that are performed to please the presiding deity on the daily basis. Kaviyoor is the another noted shrine which stands on a small hillock. It is built in the gable style architecture peculiar to Kerala.

Devi Jagadambi Temple, Khajuraho

Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho

India is famous for its ancient civilization and of the diverse cultures and traditions that are practiced here. There are a number of religious groups that live throughout this sub-continent.  This is a land where one finds the oldest pilgrimage in the world. The norm of pilgrimage is so evident in the cultural psyche and the number of worship places is so huge that the entire nation can be considered as one grand religious destination. The ancient facts or information about these holy places can be traced from the famous epics like the Rig Veda and the Atharva Veda. This practice had become quite common with time and is quite evident from the various sections of the Mahabharata. It mentions there are over 300 holy places situated around the nook and corner of the country. Hindus call sacred places as tirthas and the action of visiting a pilgrimage is known as tirtha-yatra. Although, the word tirtha implies river ford, steps to a stream, or place of the journey. In Vedic times the word may have concerned just those holy spots connected with water, however during the time of the Mahabharata, tirtha had come to mean any sacred spot, be it a lake, mountain, woods, or hole. Tirthas are more than physical areas, however according to the pious Hindus; these locations are considered to be the meeting point of the heaven and the earth. And one such holy place of worship consists of the Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho. It is a group of 25 shrines which is located at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.

Devi Jagadambi Temple, Khajuraho

Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho History

  • Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its temples are said to be built by the great rulers of the Chandela dynasty between the 10th and the 12th centuries.
  • This third sanctuary on the common stage is somewhat older than the Kandariya Mahadev and of an easier, three-section plan. This temple was most likely committed to Lord Vishnu, yet later it was dedicated to Maa Parvati and afterward Kali. A few students also believe that it might still be a Parvati shrine and that the Kali image (or Jagadambi) is really a picture of Parvati, painted dark. The sculptures around the sanctuary are again divided into three groups. A significant number of the two lower band images are dedicated to Lord Vishnu with sardulas in the inward parts. In any case, on the third and the highest band, the mithuna again come in front.
  • The Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho stands as an epitome of motherly love. The worship of the Devi was evident in the northern part of India and there are many literary resources that depict the same of that period.
  • The sacred town of Khajuraho is entirely different from any other holy city of India. It is not about religion and worshiping the deities. The sanctuaries of Khajuraho are rather acclaimed for the sensuality carved on its walls as figures.

Significance of the Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho

  • This shrine being situated towards the north direction is the home to one of the finest decorated temples of Khajuraho.
  • It is one of the oldest temples of Khajuraho and there is a huge image of the Devi in the inner sanctum or Garbha Griha.
  • This temple has a cross plan with only one set of balconies, only one Mandap, and no inner pradakshina path.
  • Belonging to the Western Group of Temples, it is beautifully carved on a smaller platform and is delicately proportioned as compared with the Kandariya Mahadev Temple.
  • The images of the deities have been constructed at prominent places in the temple’s exterior and it seems that they were functioning as more than mere decoration.
  • One can find the presence of a big sculpture of a warrior fighting with a lion bare handed just at the entrance of the temple. This is considered to be the symbol of the Chandela Dynasty.
  • The square roof of its Maha-mandapa hall is much more effortless than the octagonal roof of the Chitragupta sanctuary, which accordingly seems to be generally more lavish and developed and therefore considerably later in date than this auspicious shrine.
  • Pets are not allowed inside the temple premises.
  • A visitor needs to pay an entry fee in order to pay a visit to the temple.

The Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho Timings

  • Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho remains open for its devotees from 7 A.M. and closes at 6 P.M.
  • It remains open for all days in a week.
  • Even on public holidays, one can offer pooja at this temple.

The Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho Food Timings

  • Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho provides food to the pilgrims from 12 Noon to 2 P.M.
  • Pilgrims can offer dry fruits and sweets to the Devi while offering their prayers.

Festivals celebrated at the Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho

  • The Khajuraho dance festival is worldwide famous and also recognized by the international dancers. A large number of tourists come to participate in this event from all over the world. This special occasion in Madhya Pradesh celebrates human emotions along with the religious philosophy of the Hindu religion. It is held in the month of March for 7 days.
  • Navaratri is another event which is observed with great pomp by the pilgrims around the world. There happens to be a long queue during this festival and special poojas are performed during this day.
  • Durga Puja, Ram Navami, and Dussehra are some other important festivals that celebrate the power of good over evil. There are a large number of people who throng the temple premises during these days in order to offer pooja and seek blessings from the Devi Maa.

Poojas and Rituals at Devi Jagadambi Temple Khajuraho

  • During special occasions, the Devi is bathed using milk, water, honey, sandal, and flowers. The Lord is then offered food and incense sticks are burnt along with lamps that are lit. Special mantras are chanted and devotees visit the temple from all around the nation.
  • Devotees too wake up early in the morning and wear new and clean clothes to offer pooja at this shrine. They also fast and seek blessings of the Almighty with utter devotion.

How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Air– Khajuraho has direct transportation from Delhi and Varanasi with a minimum of one flight each day. Amid the peak visitor season, which is generally from the month of October to March, there are more flights that ply to and fro from Khajuraho. The airplane terminal is not extremely distant from the town and one can discover many local auto and taxi services to achieve one’s destination.
  • By Train– A visitor can also opt for railways as a means of transportation. Khajuraho is well connected to the rail network and it connects major stations as well. There are overnight trains available from Delhi and Varanasi to reach Khajuraho. However, getting a ticket during the festive season is quite difficult. Hence, one needs to book their reservations in advance to make way for a planned and hassle free travel.
  • By Road– Khajuraho can also be reached by road as well. All national and state highways are linked with this place. For example, there are many visitors who travel from Jhansi and Satna in order to reach this auspicious temple. There are many public and private cab services available from the railway station to reach the Devi Jagadambi shrine.

Hotels in Madhya Pradesh: Where to stay

Madhya Pradesh offers a wide range of accommodation facilities for the tourists who visit this state with their loved ones. From luxurious hotels to budget lodges, there are ample choices for people. One can find all the modern facilities that are coupled with a moderate price range. If needed, you can also book rooms with private balconies as well. The high-end hotels have their own spa sessions and massage corners. At a nominal price, clients can enjoy these benefits while relaxing their mind from the daily stress. For travelers who like visiting alone, there are many inns that offer rooms on a sharing basis. One can also decide to put up at dormitories as that would save up on expenses. In addition, it is vital that you book your rooms in advance in order to avoid any last minute delay.

Where to eat

Hotels in the contemporary time offer just more than providing food. It provides health club services, gym services etc to the clients. And for people who want moderations in their diet, the chef is there to serve and meet your needs just the way you want! Fine dining options are available for people who are looking for luxurious ambiance and internal cuisines. The cost will be on the higher side but is worth it considering the experience it provides. For people who want to taste the street food, there are local eating joints that provide food at a reasonable price range. The food is prepared following all the hygiene standards. From vegetarian to nonvegetarian, there are many choices for individuals who love experimenting on various delicacies. Some hotels also arrange live music performances to make your dining a fantastic experience.

Nearby Temples

  • Kandariya Mahadev TempleThis shrine lies to the west of the Lakshmana temple. It is the tallest and the most developed temple in Khajuraho with regard to its architecture and sculpture. It follows a five-shrine design and has been built by the King Vidhyadhara.
  • Chausath Yogini TempleBeing counted among one of the oldest temples at Khajuraho is set on a granite base which is southwest to the Shivsagar Tank. It is a small artificial lake and the shrine is dedicated to Maa Kali. It is these shrines that are devoted to the Yoginis. It is well accessible from all parts of the state by both private and public bus services.
  • Lakshmana TempleBeing one of the oldest and strikingly structured shrines of the Western Group of Temples, the lintel over the entrance displays the trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. It has a three-headed idol of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations, Narasimha, and Varaha. This marvelous architecture has been constructed by the emperor Lakshavarma. The deity is said to be originally from Tibet and was gifted to the emperor by the Pratihara ruler Devapala.
  • Bharatji Temple- This is the only shrine that is dedicated to Surya and it is located at about 91 m to the north of the Jagadambi Temple. There is a three storied stepped tank known as Chopra in the south eastern direction. The temple is richly decorated and stands distinct for its unique design and sculptures.
  • Javari Temple- This sacred place of worship is situated near the Brahma temple. One can locate this temple which is built towards the eastern side of Khajuraho. It belongs to the Eastern group of temples and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This temple is unique for its old architectural patterns that attract not only the pilgrims but every visitor who is interested in history.
  • Brahma TempleThis temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and it stands tall at a height of 11 feet platform. The Brahma Temple is situated on the east bank of the Ninora Tal which is the largest tank in Khajuraho. The shrine is indeed small which is built in a square shape structure that rests on twelve pilasters of granite. There are many people who visit this shrine all around the year.
  • Adinath Temple– The Adinath Temple has been built during the late 11th century. Being a small shrine, it is set in a small compound and located in the south-eastern direction of the Ghantai temple. The porch and the statue of the Tirthankara have been built later. Being built towards the beginning of the Chandelas’ decline, this temple is relatively small, but the spire and base are richly carved.

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur Video 

In India, divinity and spirituality are present in every child as the people have strong faith in the supreme power and hence we try to find places of worship. And if one visits Maharashtra, then a visit to the famous Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur is a must for all the travelers. It is a religious treat for devotees who wish to visit Tirupati Balaji but are unable to do so because of some reason.  This temple is situated at Ketkawale near Narayanpur. This is around 40-45 km from the city of Pune in Maharashtra.

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

History and Legend of Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

  • The Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur is a replica of the original Tirupati Temple located in the southern India.
  • From the idol to the wood work, Sanctorum, priests and even the laddu makers, everybody seems to pay respect to the actual abode of the Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.
  • Since this temple is built during the contemporary times, this sacred place of worship does not have any history of the Chikka Tirupati Temple near Bangalore. It is located just off the Pune-Bangalore highway near Kapurhol.

Significance of the Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

  • The Venkateshwara charitable trust had built the present shape of the temple from 1906 to 2003.
  • Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur is built on 10 acres of land and is enclosed by Sahyadri hills. This temple is well maintained and is very clean.
  • The famous shrine was created by the V H Group at a cost of Indian National Rupees 27 Crores.
  • The entrance of the shrine is huge and it is beautifully crafted with stones.
  • There are images of Lord and extraordinary work painted on the top surface of the main Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur.
  • A pilgrim needs to go barefoot in the Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur premises. Additionally, photography and videography are strictly prohibited inside this holy place.
  • The temple is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara and one can see a Hundi situated outside the shrine to contribute the money to different activities.
  • There are many smaller shrines located inside the temple area which is dedicated to various deities. These are very beautiful and are made out of either marble or black stones.
  • Vehicle parking is free and a token is provided to all the visitors who provide a token once you park your vehicle. And, due to strict security measures, people are not allowed to take any kind of luggage or bags inside the temple premises. However, for people carrying their luggage, there is a provision to store your bags as well.
  • Monsoon is the best time to visit this Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur as both the drive will be comfortable and the even standing in the queue for darshan is also convenient.
  • The dining hall is located towards the back of the Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur and one has to walk around 200 meters.  A typical Andhra meal is served to all the devotees. You take the plate and get the food served and sit on the carpets that are laid down. A meal of pachadi/chutney, kesari, kalanda sandam (Mixed Rice) like puliyotharai/vaangi bath, rice and gravy is served. One can also enjoy the meal with a second helping. The dining hall is also well maintained and is cleaned as when people move.

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur Timings

  • Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur remains open for all tourists from 5 AM to 8 PM
  • It remains accessible on all days in a week.

Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur Food Timings

  • Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur offers free Prasad and meal for all the devotees.
  • Maha Prasad coupon is also available within the temple premises between 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.
  • Laddu is offered to the pilgrims who visit this temple.
  • A pilgrim can also offer Annadanam, sweets and Pongal to the Lord for a nominal amount.

Festivals celebrated at the Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

  • Tamil New Year is observed with great decorations and pomp by the devotees. Pilgrims gather in the Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur to offer prayers and seek blessings of the Almighty on this auspicious day. The crowd starts thronging the holy place since early morning.
  • Ram Navami and Deepavali are some of the popular festivals that are celebrated in this temple with great fervor.
  • Chitra Pournami, Vijaya Dashami, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Kanu Pongal and Gudi Padva are also observed by people of all ages inside the temple.

Poojas and Rituals at Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur

  • There are different kinds of pooja that are offered in this Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur premises.
  • While Suprabhatam starts at 5 A.M, the morning pooja is performed between 6:30 A.M. to 8:15 P.M. The afternoon pooja starts at 10 A.M. and the evening rituals at 6 P.M. The Shuddhi or Ekantseva takes place at 8 P.M onwards.
  • On Fridays, there are special programs in the form of Abhishekam which takes place from 7:30 A.M. to 8 A.M. and Unjalseva that is organized from 5 P.M. to 5:45 P.M.
  • The daily Naivedyam is offered to the deity from 10:30 A.M. to 11:15 A.M.
  • The Saliampu – Netradarshan takes place on Thursdays between 9 A.M. to 9:30 A.M. And the Poolangi Seva is observed from 5 P.M. to 5:30 P.M.

How to Reach: Road, Rail, and Air

  • By Air- For visitors traveling by air, the Pune Airport is the nearest airport that is located near this Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur. From buses to taxis and private cabs, there are different modes of transportation available from the airport in order to reach this famous shrine.
  • By Train- This famous place of worship is located at a distance of 42 km from the Pune Railway Station. One can look for buses or private cabs to reach the Prati Balaji Temple.
  • By Road- To reach Balaji temple from Pune, you need to take Pune-Solapur highway route and drive towards Solapur. Try not to take flyover, take the left street and reach Hadapsar Bus stand. And from there, one needs to travel a long way to reach the Saswad village. After moving ahead of the village, one can witness the lush green environment. This street will also take you to your destination, Balaji sanctuary.

One can also opt for the Mumbai-Bangalore expressway. When you cross the tunnel, you will come across Shindewadi and Khed Shivapur. After some travel, you will reach the Bhor-Saswad intersection. The sanctuary is only 4 km from this place. You can recognize the sanctuary on the left side. You have to go through a little street to achieve the spiritual destination.

Hotels in Maharashtra: Where to stay

The Prati Balaji Temple Narayanpur provides accommodation facilities for all their devotees. Apart from that, there are various lodging options for all the tourists who reside to stay as well. For people who are traveling alone, sharing rooms or renting a dormitory serves as a great alternative option. However, individuals who love some pampering can put up at high-end hotels too. From the luxurious spa to private lounges and international cuisines, there are loads of services that are available for clients to enjoy. Some even provide complimentary breakfasts to the tourists along with pickup and drop services. So, whatever be your choice, there’s always an option for every kind of traveler when one plans for accommodation. But it is always advisable to book your rooms in advance in order to avoid any last minute delay. And as the place gets crowded during monsoons, people traveling during that time should plan their visit in advance.

Where to eat

Maharashtrian cuisine is famous for its spicy content. Wheat, rice, jowar, fruits, and vegetables comprise mainly of their staple diet. Generally, Maharashtrian have considered their food to be more severe than that of different locales in India. In spite of the fact that, in view of financial conditions and culture, meat has been less used. However, all major restaurants offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. And if one would love to taste the international cuisine, there are many eateries that provide customized options as well. The eating joints also arrange for music on special days and occasions. Apart from the food, the ambiance of the hotels is also very good.

The food is competitively priced and hygiene is greatly considered in the preparation of the dishes. While Misal Pav, Vada Pav, Poha, and Upma serve as awesome breakfast options, the Thali is a complete meal with respect to lunch. Generally, rice, roti, vegetables, pickles, salad, dahi and dal comprises in a Thali. Kokum and Buttermilk are great drinks that people love to have after their meals.

Nearby Temples

  • Bhuleshwar- It is renowned for being a thirteenth-century sanctuary of Lord Shiva on top of a hill. The sanctuary is distinct with regard to its design. From outside it appears to more as a mosque than a sanctuary because of its similarity to Islamic design like circular tomb and minarets. Legend says that it was done like this so sanctuary is not destroyed by the invaders. Nonetheless, the carvings inside are marvelous and practically identical to one finds in Ajanta and Ellora yet many of them stands broken. There are portrayals of scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata on either side of the sanctuary like “Sita-Haran”, “Bharat-Milap” and so on.
  • Baneshwar- Baneshwar temple is arranged in a secured protected zone. It was very quiet and peaceful over there. The sanctuary complex has two tanks which have fish and turtles that are loved and fed by the visitors. There is a Shivling plunged in water where the devotees are said to dip coins. It is said that if the coin lands on the top of the Shivling, then it is a good sign. Beyond the sanctuary lies the recreation center with nursery, sitouts and so on where families can unwind and make merry. In addition, there is also a small bio diversity knowledge center that was well made.
  • Ek Mukhi Datta Mandir- This is a very famous temple for pilgrims visiting Pune. This temple is popular amongst the pilgrims and many people visit and pay a visit all around the year. A tree of “Audumbar” is present there and it is very old and consecutively worshiped by the devotees. There is also an old temple of Narayaneshwar. This temple has 3 sculptures which are very pretty and they are believed to have belonged to the ‘Yadav’ era. People throng to this temple to see the Padukas i.e. footwear of Lord Datta here. These were set in the sanctum by Lord Datta himself before he exited for Samadhi. Numerous devotees come to Narayanpur on the eve of Guruvar and Pournima occasions. The number increases rapidly in the event of Datta Jayanti which is celebrated with great pomp by the devotees who offer pooja to the Lord since early morning.
Vishnupad Mandir Gaya

Vishnupad Mandir Gaya

Vishnupad Mandir Gaya

Vishnupad Mandir Video 

While touring in Gaya the most attractive destination is Vishnupad Mandir Gaya. This temple is the one of most attractive parts of Bihar. Large number of devotees come here everyday to offer prayer and seek blessings. Vishnupad Mandir Gaya is located in Gaya which is 100 km away from Patna, the capital of Bihar. Gaya was historically a part of ancient Magadh Empire. Whole of the city is located along the river Phalgu. Gaya is considered to be the sacred cities according to Hindu Mythology. The shrine of Mangla Gauri, who is believed to be the first wife of Lord Shiva is worshiped here. The two rounded stones that symbolize the breasts of the mythological Sati have been considered sacred among Hindus. The most attractive destination in Gaya is Vishnupad Temple. Vishnupad Mandir Gaya is located on the bank of river Falgu River and has footprint of Vishnu incised into a block of basalt. People believe that Lord Vishnu killed Gayasur by placing his foot on Gayasur’s chest.

The old temple of Vishnupad was later renovated by the queen of Indore, Devi Ahilyabai in eighteenth century. While Hindus claim that footprints in Vishunpad temple are of Lord Vishnu, Buddhists consider them the footprints of Lord Buddha. The temple is nevertheless a major pilgrim destination. The name of Gaya is based on the myth of demon Gayasur who Lord Vishnu had killed in a dual. The place is so sacred for Hindus that even Lord Ram had performed Pindadanam here for his ancestors. Legend says that Lord Ram had come to Gaya to pay homage to his ancestors and Sita had accompanied him on his way. Gaya is equally important for Buddhists as this was the place where Lord Buddha preached the Fire Sermon i.e. Adittapariyaya Sutta to around 1000 agriculture workers who were fire-worshipers. The influence of Buddha’s discourse was so enormous that all of them converted to Buddhism.

Vishnupad Mandir History

  • Legends say that the date of construction of Vishnupad Mandir Gaya is unknown. It is believed that Lord Rama along with Sita Mata visited this place.
  • The present building of the temple was built by the ruler of Indore, Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar in 1787. The temple was built on the banks of the river Falgu.
  • On the southwest of the Vishnupad Temple there is a Brahmajuni Hills which is built above 1000 stone steps. There are many other small temples near.
  • It is believed that once a demon named Gayasur committed a penance. It was said that whoever see him would get salvation. And as it is known that salvation is attained if a person does something right in his life, everyone started attaining it easily.
  • To prevent bad people, Lord Vishnu asked Gayasur to go beneath the earth’s surface. Lord Vishnu himself sent Gayasur beneath the earth’s surface by keeping his right foot and pressing him under the earth surface.
  • While pushing Gayasur beneath the surface, Lord Vishnu’s footprint remained on the surface. This footprint is still visible and we can see it. This footprint has nine different signs symbols including Shankam, Chakram and Gadham. These symbols are believed to be Lord Vishnu’s weapons.
  • After being pushed beneath the earth’s surface, gayasur started pleading for food. That day Lord Vishnu said that everyday there will be someone who will feed him food and whoever will feed him will be sent to heaven. It is believed that if Gayasur does not get food, he comes out.
  • It is also said that Lord Buddha meditated here for 6 years.

Significance of Vishnupad Mandir

  • Vishnupad Mandir Gaya has the footprint of Lord Vishnu. It is believed that this footprint happened when Lord Vishnu kept his right food on the chest of the demon.
  • The footprint which we can see inside is around 40 cm long surrounded by silver plated basin.
  • The height of the temple is 30 meter and has 8 rows of beautifully carved pillars. These pillars supports the pavillion.
  • Vishnupad Mandir Gaya is built with large gray granite blocks which are joined with iron clamps.
  • The octagonal shrine of Vishnupad Temple faces east. The pyramidal tower of the shrine is 100 meters tall. There is a slope in the temple with alternately indented and plain sections. All these plain sections are set at an angle to create a series of peaks at the top, joined.
  • There is an immortal banyan tree where the final rituals for the dead are done. This banyan tree is named Akshayabat.
  • There is a gold flag and couple of kalash at the top of the Temple which always glitter. it is said that two thieves once tried to steal them, but one thief became stone at the temple and the other became stone and fell on the ground. These stones are not in the shape of humans, but a flat stone. These stones are kept for public view.

Vishnupad Mandir Timings

  • Vishnupad Mandir Gaya is open every day. The darshan timings are from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.
  • Vishnupad Mandir Gaya does not remains close on public holiday. Even on public holiday the timing for darshan is from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.

How to reach – Road, Rail and Air

  • By Rail– The Vishnupad Temple is located 3 km south of Railway Station.
  • By Air– It takes around 17 mins from cab or taxi to reach Vishnupad Temple. The nearest airport is 7 kms away from Vishnupad Temple. Patna airport is around 135 km away from Vishnupad Temple.
  • By Road– This temple is well connected by road to many places like Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Patna, Varanasi, Calcutta.

Hotels in Gaya

There are many places to stay in Gaya, Bihar. Gaya has large number of tourist attraction so there are plenty of places to stay while touring in Gaya. There are many hotels as well as private organization which takes good care of the people. There are 5 star hotels as well as hotels with nominal charges according to the traveller’s budget. The charges of the hotels are very nominal as they keep the needs and demands of the customers in their mind. These hotels provide wifi, hygienic food and clean environment.

Places to eat in Gaya

There are many restaurant in Gaya. Being a tourist attraction place, this city has large number of restaurants as well as cafes. Everyday there are large number of tourist and devotees come here so there are large number of places where one can eat. There are places like Multicuisine Restaurant, hari Om Cafe, Khushi Family Restaurant, Siam thai and many more.

 Nearby Temples

  • Sankata Maaka Mandir– Gaya is a great destination to visit with your dear ones. This temple is a greatest tourist attraction of Gaya. This place gives iner peace and relaxes one’s mind and body. This places helps in making many great memories. Gaya is place to visit after a busy weekday.
  • Mangala Gauri Temple– This temple is dedicated to Maa Mangala Gauri. Maa Mangala gauri is a benevolent incarnation of Shakti. This temple was built in 15th century. This temple has been mentioned in the Puranas and Tantric texts. It is said after Lord Shiva’s tandav and Sati’s self immolation, her breasts fell in this place after a temple was made named Maa Gauri Temple. It is located at the top f the Mangalagauri Hills. This temple has some ancient carving and architecture.
  • Pretshila Hills– Pretshila is a sacred place for Hindus. Pindas has been offered here for the ancestors here by many devotees. According to the Hindu mythology, God Yama resides on the summit of the hill. This hill also known as Rock of Ghosts, was earlier used for spirit worship but was later transformed into ancestral worship. After this two shrines were added, Pretabhairavi and Vishnu.
  • Gaya– This is the important city in Bihar. Gaya is the second largest city after Patna. This place is known for the land of Vishnu and Buddhism.
  • Phalgu River Ghats– The name Phalgu is derived from two words, Phala meaning merit and Gau meaning wishgiving cow. This place is used for performing ancestral rites. Two streams called Lilajan and Mohana, originates from Korambe Pahar which is a high hill about 75 km south of Gaya, meet about 5 km south of Gaya. Lilajan is also the old name of Niranjana, a river in which the Buddha bathed and finally released his begging bowl.

Places to visit in Gaya

  • Tibetan Refugee Market– Gaya is a city which is dominated by Buddhists. Tibetan Refugee Market is place where you can buy lots of junk jewellery, bags and clothes. This is a very good market and all the product has reasonable price. There are also books which helps in knowing the history and culture of the Buddhist community very well. This is a very colorful market and one can easily spend few hours shopping here. One can even buy Lord Buddha’s statue made of sandalwood or metal with various poses and moods. One can every buy handicraft items. This market has open-bazaar system.
  • Dhamma Bodhgaya International Vipassana Meditation Centre– If you really want to attain Nirvana, you should definitely visit Dhamma Bodhgaya International Vipassana Meditation Centre. One of the most popular Vipassana centres in Bodh Gaya is Dhamma Yoga which is a favourite centre all across India. You’ll find courses on their website which are offered at not only Bodh Gaya but in cities across the country. Courses here are usually of 10 days long, with some special one lasting for upto 20 days. All the courses begins in evening for the first day and ends on the morning of the next. There is a strict code of discipline which one must follow, so make sure you understand these rules before applying. You’ll need to take a form from their website and check for availability and course schedules to be a part of their Vipassana camps. Spread across 18 acres, the campus has basic accommodation options for those participating in the camp. Surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens, just being here will be your path to nirvana!
  • International Meditation Centre– If nirvana is what you’re seeking, there’s no better place than Buddha’s land here in Bodh Gaya. Head to the International Meditation Centre to learn and participate in Vipassana Meditation, one of the most sophisticated forms of Yoga. This centre trains people by trained professionals. This centre is a very good place where one can meet other yoga enthusiats. The camps help by this centre helps in throwing away stress. You can join and complete a course of any duration that you please, at any time of the year. Run mostly on donations since 1970, the prices here are pretty affordable.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

One of the oldest and largest temples at Chamba which stands proudly is in the form of Lakshmi Narayan Temple. It has six different temples in its complex. Lakshmi Narayan Temple was built in the 10th century. The entire temple in the complex is arranged from north to south dedicated to Lord Shiva or Vishnu. There are other temples housed in the complex including Radha Krishna Temple, Shiva Temple of Chandragupta and Gauri Shankar Temple.

Lakshmi Narayana Temple, which is the main temple of Chamba town was built by Sahil Varman in the 10th century AD. The temple has been built in the Shikhara style. The temple consists of Bimana i.e. Shikhara and GarbhGriha with a small antralya. Laxmi Narayana Temple has a mandapa like structure also. The wooden Chhattries, the shell roof, atop the temple were in response to the local climatic conditions as a protection against snowfall.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple

History of Lakshmi Narayan Temple

  • Legend states that the image of Lord Vishnu present in this temple was made of a rare marble imported from Vindhyachal Mountains. The erstwhile king of the region, Sahil Verma, who constructed this temple, sacrificed eight of his sons to get the marble. And finally, his eldest son, Yugkara succeeded to fetch the marble.
  • He was also attacked by the robbers, but with the help of a saint he managed to save himself. Thus with great effort, the idol of the Lord could be made which is the most revered one here.
  • The legend of the Lakshmi Narayan Temple has the history that Raja Sahil Verma, who constructed this temple, sent nine of his sons to the Vindhyas mountains to get marble which was suitable for the construction of the Vishnu Idol.
  • A variation of this origin of Chamba is that it originated as a hermitage which Champavati, a devout Hindu, used to frequent. The king, being suspicious of his daughter’s fidelity, one day investigated and followed her to the hermitage, but surprisingly he found neither his daughter nor the hermit there. Suddenly he was said to have heard a voice which informed him that his suspicions were ill founded, admonishing him and informing him that his daughter had been taken away from him permanently as a punishment of his lack of trust in her morals. The King, fully chastened, sought redemption for his sin by expanding the hermitage into a temple, named in his daughter’s honour and built a city around the temple. Today this temple, called the Champavati Temple, belongs to the Royal family and the King’s daughter is venerated as a goddess. Every year, since 935, the Minjar festival or fair has been held. It lasts for 21 days, coinciding with the first day of Baisakhi.
  • The remoteness and ruggedness of the Ravi River valley secured Chamba from successful invasions for around 1,000 years.
  • Since Raja Sahil Varman, the dynasty ruled without successful invasion for around a millennium, until the British gained power. The isolation of the town and its rugged hilly terrain is believed to have been a contributing factor to this unusual state of security. Later, Mughal emperors Akbar and Aurangzeb did attempt to annex Chamba but were unsuccessful in subjugating this territory into their kingdoms. Raja Prithvi Singh (1641-1664 AD), who was on amiable terms with Emperor Shahjahan was instrumental in introducing the court life styles of the Mughals.

Significance of Lakshmi Narayan Temple

  • Lakshmi Narayan Temple is the most famous temple of Chamba. It is both an architectural marvel as well as a place of great historical significance. Built by Raja Sahil Varman in the Shikhara style, it was first erected in the 10th Century.
  • Wooden Chhatris or umbrella-like structures are built to keep the snowfall off the roofs. There is also a wheel shaped roof that staves off the cold. Every following ruler of Chamba added to the temple. A Radha-Krishnan temple was built by Rani Sarda, the wife of Raja Jit Singh in 1825.
  • A Shiva Temple in the temple complex was built by Sahil Varman and the Gauri-Shankar Temple is said to have been made by his son Yugkar Varman. A Garuda (the mythical eagle) statue in metal watches over the main gate, placed there by Raja Balabhadra Verma.
  • The latest addition to the temple in historic times was in answer to Mughal threat. Apparently Aurangzeb the Emperor ordered that the temple be demolished and Raja Chhatra Singh, to prove that he wasnt afraid, added gilded pinnacles to the temple in 1678. There were also some shrines built in the temple complex. All of which you will see when you visit this most revered temple in what is known as Himachals Holy Valley.
  • The Lakshmi Narayan Temple complex is opened first between 6 am to 12.30 pm and then from 2.30 to 8.30 pm.
  • The ‘garbhagriha’ or the innermost shrine houses a mandapa (altar) that is prohibited to the public. It also has idols of several other deities.
  • The entire complex consists of six temples in a row from the north to south direction. They are mostly dedicated to Lord Shiva or Vishnu. The other important ones here are of the Gauri Shankar Temple, Shiva Temple of Chandergupta and temple of Radha and Lord Krishna. Divine symbols and images of deities adorn the outer walls of these temples.
  • The shell roofs or the umbrella like structures made of wood was built keeping in mind the climate of the place. Snowfall is inevitable in this part of the state.

How to Reach Laxmi Narayan Temple

Lakshmi Narayan temples is situated in the main market. You can reach this place by bus or taxi. So when you reached in the Chamba district then it is 200 meter from the bus stand. Its distance from various places is mainly in km are given which is approximated but not exact. From Kangra it is mainly 100 km, from Hamirpur it is 210 km, from Shimla it is nearly 350 km and from Mandi it is about 295 km.

Time to visit Laxmi Narayan Temple

The Lakshmi Narayan Temple opens up twice a day for the devotees in two halves. The Lakshmi Narayan Temple Complex is opened first between 6am to 12:30pm and then from 2:30pm to 8:30pm.

In between these periods the deities are supposed to be taking rest and at night they retire to the interiors of the temple for rest. The best season to visit Chamba for  the temple would be from between April and October.

Places to stay 

There are various dharamshala facility provided fo the devotees. The Temple Trust has themselves made dharamshalas for the devotees as well as tourists. Apart from dharamashalas, there are many hotels as well as private organizations that provide dwelling facilities to the people. The hotels have nominal charge keeping the need and budget of the devotees and the tourists. The hotels provide clean and hygiene environment to the tourists as well has good and hygienic food. Many hotels provide wifi facilities to the tourists so that they keep themselves connected to the whole world.

Places to eat

Laxmi Narayan Temple provides food to its devotees. They are free of cost and all the expenses incurred are borne by the Trustees. Once the daily Puja is over, devotees are allowed to move for food. These food are made in a very hygienic condition maintaining the dignity of the Temple. The food includes three main course and are given in plenty. All the expenses incurred are borne by the temple trust. Apart from the prasad provided in the temple, one can also have food from hotels outside the campus. These hotels provide clean and hygienic food. There are various other places to eat food. There are many hotels and cafe which provide food keeping the taste and needs of the devotees. They cost very nominal keeping the needs and budget of the tourists.

There are a lot of dishes which are given to the devotees. There are one-time free prasads served to the devotees. There are many other dishes that are served to the devotees for which they need to spend money. The food is prepared in a very hygienic conditions. All the eatables are taken good care while preparing food. Foods are prepared in a very hygienic atmosphere.

Apart from the food we get in the temple, there are many other hotels and places where one can have food. In Chamba, we can find food stalls everywhere. There are hotels and cafes like Cafe Coffee Day, Pind Balluchi, The First Floor Restaurant and many more. There are many other hotels which have nominal charges keeping the taste of the consumer in mind. They prepare food in a very clean and hygienic environment.

Festivals celebrated in Lakshmi Narayan Temple

Chamba is one of those places where Basohli effect actually reached. Two melas or fairs, also known as Jatras, are of particular note in Chamba; “Suhi Mata Mela” and “Minjar Mela”. A notable event of such fairs is when the ‘chela’. a subordinate of the deity who is being worshipped goes into a trance and answers the queries and prayers of the devotees.

An important festival held in Chamba is known as the “Suhi Mata Mela”. It is held annually in March–April for four days to commemorate the sacrifice made by the queen of Chamba with her life, to bring water to the town. The legend associated with this festival and the Sui Mata temple, built in memory of the queen (wife of Raja Sahil Varman), relates to the sacrifice she made to fulfill a prophecy in a dream, which said that water from the Sarota stream could only be accessed through an aqueduct if the queen or her son was sacrificed. Rather than kill her own son she sacrificed her own life for the town. To commemorate this event, women and children take a lead role in the festival. An image of Champavati, with banners of the Rajput solar emblem, are taken by them in a procession, dancing and singing, through the Chaugan to the Suhi Mata temple.

Another popular festival held in Chamba is the “Minjar Mela”, held on the second Sunday of the Shravana month, corresponding to the month of August in the Gregorian calendar. It marks the triumph of the Raja of Chamba over the ruler of Trigarta (now called as Kangra), in 935 AD and also celebrates the paddy and maize crops grown at this time of the year. The festival commences with offerings of ‘minjar’, consisting of a bunch of paddy plant and golden silk wrapped in red fabric. The offerings also include a rupee, a seasonal fruit, and a coconut. This occasion is also celebrated with a flag hoisting ceremony at the Chaugan that initiates a week of cultural and social programmes. The image of the deity, Lord Raghuvira, and more than 200 other deities, are taken in a procession, in a chariot pulled by ropes. Folk dances and music performances known as ‘Kunjari Malhar’ are part of the festivities. On the last day of the festival, a parade is held from the Akhand Chandi Palace to Ravi River, where offerings are made to the river. This commemorates an event in which Raja Sahil Verman changed the course of the river, to make the Hari Rai temple accessible to all devotees.

Chamba and the surrounding district have many local customs in dancing, illustrating the differences in geographical, anthropological and social cultures and religious beliefs in the area. A solo dance or a dance of two people such as the Pharati or Khad-dumbi is commonly performed during the Nuwala ceremony and other important occasions, such as marriages etc. and the Dangri and Sikri are said to be of note. Notable male dances include the Gaddi and Gujjar dances, Dandaras, Nat, Ghorda, Nachan, Dharumsde, the Khad-dumbi and the Chhinjhati. Notable female dances include the Ghurei, Dangi and Kikli, whilst dances such as the Shain, Dhamal, Sohal, Sal Kukdi Nachan, Ratege and Til-Chauti are performed by both sexes. Several forms of masked dance are also performed in Chamba, such as the Chhatradhi Jatar.