Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Prambanan Temple in Java, Indonesia

The name 'Prambanan' comes from the word 'Para Brahman' which in Javanese stands for the 'supreme brahmin'. The temple is dedicated to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Prambanan is a collection of massive Hindu temples built by the Mataram Kingdom, rulers of central Java and defeaters of the Sailendra Dynasty. A temple was first built at the site around 850 CE by Rakai Pikatan and expanded extensively by King Lokapala and Balitung Maha Sambu the Sanjaya king of the Mataram Kingdom. According to the Shivagrha inscription of 856 CE, the temple was built to honor Lord Shiva and its original name was Shiva-grha (the House of Shiva) or Shiva-laya (the Realm of Shiva). The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located in the innermost section of the compound and is the largest structure.

This temple,is one of the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia.

Prambanan Temple Images

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Why We Celebrate Holi?

Mythological Significance Of Holi

Hiranyakashipu was a king in ancient India who was like a demon. He wanted to take revenge for the death of his younger brother who was killed by Lord Vishnu. So to gain power, the king prayed for years. He was finally granted a boon. But with this Hiranyakashipu started considering himself God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad, who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was so hard hearted and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. After this, Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakashipu. But it is actually the death of Holika that is associated with Holi. Because of this, in some states of India like Bihar , a pyre in the form of bonfire is lit on the day before Holi day to remember the death of evil.

But how did colors become part of Holi? This dates back to the period of Lord Krishna (reincarnation of Lord Vishnu ). It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate holi with colors and hence popularized the same. He used to play holi with his friends at Vrindavan and Gokul. They used to play pranks all across the village and thus made this a community event. That is why till date Holi celebrations at Vrindavan are unmatched.

Holi is a spring festival to say goodbye to winters. In some parts the celebrations are also associated with spring harvest. Farmers after seeing their stores being refilled with new crops celebrate Holi as a part of their happiness. Because of this, Holi is also known as ‘Vasant Mahotsava’ and ‘Kama Mahotsava’.

Social Significance Of Holi

Holi helps to bring the society together and strengthen the secular fabric of our country. For, the festival is celebrated by non-Hindus also as everybody like to be a part of such a colouful and joyous festival.

Also, the tradition of the Holi is that even the enemies turn friends on Holi and forget any feeling of hardship that may be present. Besides, on this day people do not differentiate between the rich and poor and everybody celebrate the festival together with a spirit of bonhomie and brotherhood.

In the evening people visit friends and relatives and exchange gifts, sweets and greetings. This helps in revatalising relationships and strengthening emotional bonds between people.

Radha Krishna Images Of Holi

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Lord Shiva Temples In Maharashtra

Babulnath Temple

Perhaps the most famous Shiv temple in Mumbai, Babulnath temple is located near Marine Lines. It’s on a small hill which seems almost negligible now, considering the height of towers surrounding the temple. This was originally built in 12th century by Raja Bhimdev but then it was buried and lost over the time. The idols were found again and temple was rebuilt in the year 1780.

Ambarnath Temple

Ambarnath literally means Lord of Sky. This temple is said to be carved by Pandavas overnight out of a single rock! Though there are no records supporting this, other records say it was built by King Chittaraja of Shilahara dynasty. The style of this temple is Hemadpanthi,(named after a minister in Devgiri regime who was patron of temple architecture) which is common in most of the ancient temples in Maharashtra. We have to climb down 20 steps to reach garbhariha (Sanctum sanctorum) where shivaling is placed.

Kankeshwar Temple

If you wish to seek divinity amidst nature, you should definitely visit Kankeshwar temple in Alibaug, Konkan. This temple is located up the hill in the serene atmosphere. The best (or worst) part is you can take your vehicles only till the foothill, then you need to climb around 750 steps to reach the intricately carved stone temple, which is supposed to be built by Pandavas (again!). There are many small temples around the main Shiv temple. Accommodation is available at a very low cost near the temple.

Walkeshwar Temples

Located in an upmarket Malabar Hill vicinity, this temple is seeped in tranquility and surrounded by centuries old Banganga tank and some new high-rises. As the legend goes, Ram and Laxman took shelter here on their way to Lanka and Ram created a Shivaling using sand (called Waalu in Marathi) for worship. Thus, it got the name Walkeshwar. Later when Ram was thirsty and there was no fresh water around, Laxman shot an arrow (baan) in the ground and from their a stream of fresh water erupted. Hence, the tank was named Banganga. This temple was originally built in 1127 AD but destroyed by Portuguese in 16th century; only to be rebuilt by Rama Kamath in the year 1715.

Bhuleshwar Temple Bhuleshwar is a neighbourhood in Mumbai. situated in South Mumbai north of the Fort area. It is known for being home to over 100 temples including Mumba Devi Temple of Mumbai, the patron goddess of the city of Mumbai, and Swaminarayan Mandir. Kopeshwar Temple Khidrapur, Kolhapur district, Maharashtra

There is a mythological story behind this temple. Daksha did not like his youngest daughter Sati marrying Lord Shiva. When Dakhsa conducted a Yagna, he did not invite Shiva and Sati. She came to her parental house on Shiva’s Nandi and confronted her father. Dakhsa insulted her in front of the guests. Unable to bear any further insults, Sati jumped in the fire of Yagna and immolated herself. When Lord Shiva came to know about it, he became very furious (Kop). He punished Daksha by severing his head. Later Lord Vishnu specified Shiva upon which he restored Daksha’s head but with a goat. The furious Shiva was brought to Khidrapur temple by Lord Vishnu to calm him down. Hence the temple got the name as Kopeshwar (Furious Ishwar). This explains as to why Lord Vishnu is in the temple in the form of a ling along with Shivling. Nandi is not in this temple as Sati took a ride over the Nandi while visiting her parental house. Marleshwar Temple

Marleshwar,Lord Siva Temple located in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, is Shivas's temple located on a hill, accessible by a 50km diversion from NH17 and a 20min hike thereafter. The shrine is most famous for the cobras snakes which are believed to live here with the shivling. Legend says that the cobras are very friendly to all pilgrims and one can even touch them. It seems no one has yet suffered a bite by them. So I decided to try my luck with the snakes at Marleshwar and see if the legend is actually true!

Vaidhyanath Shiva Temple

Grishneshwar Lord Shiva Temple

Lord Amruteshwara Temple,Nagar

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