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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

10 Tips for Indian Pilgrims


India is rightly known as the land of spirituality, which has been the birthplace of a number of religions. Some of these religions are existent even today all around the world. It is well-known that the people of India strongly follow their religious beliefs, rituals and age-old traditions.

India boasts of being home to a number pilgrimage destinations that can be considered as the symbols of people’s religious beliefs and their spiritual line of thought.  A number of these religious sites are visited by devotees not only from all across the country but all across the world.

Pilgrimage Destinations

Some of the most visited pilgrimage destinations in India include Vaishno Devi, Amarnath Yatra, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Golden temple, Chardham Yatra, Ajmer Sharif, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Kailash Mansarovar,  Jagannath Puri, Sabarimala, Pushkar, and more. 

If you are a first-time visitor to any of this places to visit in India, then here is a complication of 10 tips:

1. Ensure You Are Medically Fit :
Some of the popular religious sites are either placed on high altitudes or are located in places that have a dry climate. Your religious tour can become a slightly bad idea, if you are not fit physically. It is extremely important you should be medically fit, if you embark on a journey to any pilgrimage destination in India. Good physical fitness is necessary. However, now helicopter tours are being provided for those who are not physically fit and are not in a state to embark on long journeys on-foot.

2. Modest Dressing is Advised :
It is advisable that you follow modest dressing. Wearing shorts or a spaghetti or a halter-neck top is a complete no-no. It is important that one should keep his/her legs and arms covered. This way you respect the religious sentiments of the place that you are visiting.

3. Stay Vigil :
Most of the religious sites in India are quite crowded, like any other popular tourist destination. There are pilgrims, porters, vendors, horses, locals and so on. Therefore, it is important that you should stay vigil. Take care of your luggage and other belongings. If you have handed-over your luggage to a porter or have loaded it on a pony or a horse, keep track of them. You can need anything from your luggage any time. Things will be comfortable for you like this.

4. Choose The Right Kind of Footwear :
Keep your slippers and flip-flops at your home. Some trails comprise of sharp high and lows or you might have a walk a lot. This can be done only by wearing proper trekking shoes. You do not wish to wish to fall or to get tired anytime during the journey because of wrong choice of footwear. It is necessary that you choose the right kind of footwear.

5. Carry The Right Peripherals :
It is recommended that the pilgrims should carry the right peripherals but make sure that you pack light. You will not want to feel burdened during the journey. You can pack your medicines, a hat/cap, sun shades, may a small umbrella, a water bottle, energy bars, any necessary document that may be required during the journey, a few munchies or any other item that you feel is of use to you.

8. Be Friends With Your Guide :
If you are taking the services of a guide during your religious journey, then it is quite important that you should be friends with them. They are those people who are helping you in knowing your destination better. You will not want your religious journey to be an unsuccessful one by behaving rudely to a local.  It is advisable that you should be friendly with your guide. Nevertheless, try not be over-friendly.

9. Respect Local Religious Sentiments :
As said earlier, Indians are extremely touchy about their religious beliefs and practices and thus, a tourist should respect local religious sentiments. Take care of things as trivial as not wearing footwear inside the temple premises or covering your head when inside the temple. It is like giving respect to the Gods and Goddesses of India, besides the sentiments of the locals.

10. Look Out For Crooks And Touts :
Like any other tourist destination, pilgrimage destinations have crooks and touts, who only wish to make money from tourists. Be careful of such kind of people. Just stay away for those locals who are trying to be too friendly with you.

You may also check-out here about the Pilgrimage destinations in World.


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Friday, 30 August 2013

Destinations Traveled While Muktinath Pashupatinath Darshan Yatra

Muktinath-Pashupatinath Darshan Yatra is probably the best pilgrim tour that attracts tourists and devotees from India and abroad to pay a spiritual visit. This religious tour includes visits to various temples and shrines. Along with this, the pilgrims and travelers are also provided with the opportunity to visit the valley with seven heritage sites that is further identified as the Cultural World Heritage Site. A visit to Pashupatinath, Manakamana and Muktinath temples is included in the Yatra package. 

Muktinath PashupatinathDarshan Yatra is also considered of huge significance according to the Hindu religion. Attractions like Ashokan Pillar, Eternal Peace Flame, Pillar Edict of Aśoka, Bodhi tree and pond, Burmese Lokamani in Lumbini and Lumbini Garden, are visited, making the Yatra a wholesome experience for the devotees and travelers.

Muktinath Temple


Here is a brief description of the destinations and attractions covered under the Muktinath Pashupatinath Darshan Yatra:


Gorakhpur:
The trip details begin with visit to the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur. This temple sprawls over an area of 52 acres. The Garbh Griha is the attracting feature of the temple. Here, sage Gorakhnath is pictured in deep meditation posture as an incarnation of Lord Shiva. At the meditation site, the holy Charan Paduka is also placed. Mansarovar is also a holy pond located in the east of the Gorakhnath Temple. The managing authorities of the temple have converted it into a boating site. 

Gorakhnath Temple

There is a huge crowd of devotees visiting the temple every day. On Tuesday and Saturday, the number of devotees gets increased to a great extent. Khichari Mela is also one of the attracting features that gather devotees from all round the globe. This festival usually falls in the January month.


Pokhara:
As the devotees and travelers move ahead to reach Pokhara, on the way, they could enjoy sightseeing tour at Sunouli. Thereafter, Lumbini, Lord Buddha’s Birth Place, is also covered on the way, excursion to this World Heritage Site includes a visit to attractions like Ashokan Pillar, Eternal Peace Flame, Chinese Maitreya Temple, Bodhi Tree and Pond, Lumbini Garden, and Burmese Lokamani Cula Pagoda. On arrival at Pokhara, a visit to The Lake City could deliver the most tranquil experience. 

Pokhara

Pokhara is very popular for attractions like Peace Temple, International Mountain Museum, Barahi temple, Poon Hill, Phewa Tal- Nepal’s 2nd Largest Lake, Begnas Lake, etc. Adventure lovers could also take pleasure in sunrise Paragliding.


Jomson:
Jomson is one of the destinations covered in this India pilgrim tour. From here, devotees and travelers have to get on the jeep to drive to Muktinath. This is one of the most sacred destinations and devoted to Lord Vishnu. The location, Muktinath valley, also offers a panoramic view to the visitors. 

Jomson

The devotees offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and enjoy the spirituality infused in the aura. Jomson is actually a connecting destination to reach Muktinath.


Kathmandu:
Kathmandu is one of the sought-after destinations for Indian and foreign travelers. The popular Manakamana Temple and Pashupatinath Temple have also attracted devotees from all across the globe to attain salvation. 

Manakamana Temple and Pashupatinath Temple

The Pashupatinath Temple is identified as a World heritage site by UNESCO. The location, on the River Bagmati Banks, has also made this temple look more beautiful and pleasing. Apart from this, attractions like Swayambhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath Stupa and Guhewari Temple are also worth visiting.


Contributed by:- Neelam Talreja

Monday, 19 August 2013

Agra Tourist Attractions - Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, which is regarded as a symbol of love and faith, was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1653.

The Taj Mahal is the main attraction of Agra India and India travel is known for its Taj Mahal Agra. Taj Mahal is the great architecture and a beautiful monument of Agra city.   It is a dream of love stand with its remarkable strength. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world.


Agra Fort:

Agra Fort
Agra Fort was originally a brick fort, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs. It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it.Agra fort is a must visit place and a visit to taj is incomplete without knowing how the taj was built.always remember to take a English speaking guide with you.this is one of the fort where you see mix of both RED stone and WHITE marble used in one building. Again view of taj from fort top is amazing and fort itself have lot to offer..


Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra:

Akbar's Tomb
The Tomb of Akbar the Great is an important Mughal architectural masterpiece, built 1605-1613, set in 48 Ha of grounds in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, Akbar’s Tomb is located a short distance from Agra, on the Delhi-Agra road. Akbar (the Great) was the 3rd of the Mughal Emperors – he ruled for some 50 years in the mid/late 1500s, and within the perspectives of the day would seem to have been a fairly balanced ruler.


Fatepur Sikri:

Fatepur Sikri
Fatepur sikri is a tourist spot on the way to agra from bharatpur. It was once a capital of Akbar the great king of mughal empire Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years.Fatehpur Sikri complex comprises Panch Mahal, Mahals of the 3 wives of Akbar, Diwan-e-Khaas, Diwan-e-aam, Buland darwaza, Salim Chisti's mosque etc.


Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb:

Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb
Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb is the first mausoleum constructed entirely of marble. Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a jewel box, sometimes called the "Baby Tāj, the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Tāj Mahal.This monument houses a former Lord of the Treasury and father of Shah Jahan's wife, Nur Jahan. The story behind the tomb may not be as romantic as that of its larger cousin, but the inlays, gilding, mosaics, and extreme symmetry are no less impressive.


Jama Masjid:

Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid is constructed just opposite to Agra Fort's Delhi Gate overlooking the Agra Fort Railway Station. It was a huge masjid. The open courtyard with lots of pigeons provided lots of gorgeous photo ops with my son as the main model, lol. The masjid interior itself was beautiful, and oh so peaceful.It is constructed of red sandstone with little white marble decoration and blue colour paint wall and ceilings.


Agra Travel Tips:
  • Always travel with your proper identification while traveling in a train or flight.
  • Always carry a hat or shades for protection from the harsh Sun.
  • When hiring a taxi from airports or railway stations get a prepaid taxi.
  • In summers Agra is hot, plain cottons are the most practical and coolest.
  • Women travelers are expected to be modestly dressed
  • In monsoons, an umbrella comes in handy
  • In winters, woolens or warm clothing is essential at nighttime.
  • To enter a holy shrine, women should wear a long skirt, dress or trousers.
  • Avoid tight fitting or revealing clothes especially when traveling alone
  • Beware of touts and tricksters cheating tourists.
  • Do not accept any type of food from strangers while traveling on trains and busses.
  • Eating at roadside cafes can be risky because of unhygienic cooking environments.
  • Drinking tap water can be a health hazard. It is best to carry mineral water bottles bought from a reliable store. In summer, extreme heat can cause heat strokes and dehydration, take enough fluids.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mathura - City of Historic And Ancient Temples

Mathura or Brajbhoomi is very famous as the birthplace of Lord Krishna, It is animportant pilgrim place of the Hindus and one of the seven sacred cities in India.In Mathura is the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. It is also an important craft center.



LOCATION : Mathura is popularly known as the "Brajbhoomi", the sacred land of Lord Krishna. It is located in the western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh, in the northern region of India. The climate of Mathura is extreme and tropical. Summers are extremely hot and winters are cold and foggy.Every nook and corner of the city reverberates with the music of flute that was played by Lord Krishna in his youth.


TOURIST ATTRACTION : Mathura is a very famous tourist destination Here are  Some of the important places of tourist interests are:

1. Gita Mandir : This temple represents the creativity of Mathura School of Art. and it the very famous
2 . Janma Bhoomi of Shri Krishana - This sacred place is thronged by tourists from all religions all through the year.
3. Dwarkadheesh Temple- Dwarkadheesh Temple is the main center of attraction
4. Vishram Ghat- This is the place where Lord Krishna took rest after killing his maternal uncle, Kansa
5. Government Museum- The museum has the rare collection of artifacts of the Gupta and the Kushan period


TRAVEL TO MATHURA:

  • Dwarikadheesh Temple
  • Krishnajanmabhoomi
  • Jai Gurudev Ashram
  • Vishram Ghat (Mathura's main ghat)
  • Durvasa Rishi Ashram
  • Kans Tila
  • Rangeshwar Mahadev Mandir
  • Bhooteshwar Mahadev Mandir


VISITING TIME 
The best time to visit Mathura is during winter, between the months of October to March.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Top 5 Magnificent Temples in South India

Temples in South India - As soon as you hear this phrase, Tamil Nadu is the destination that fits in perfectly. The temples are the true specimen of Dravidian architecture and thus make the visitors stunned with the magnificent beauty and elegance. The temples in Tamil Nadu also form an important part of Tamil culture and heritage. Here is the list of 5 magnificent temples that are not only popular in India but also abroad.


1. Madurai
Madurai (Tamil Nadu) is the address to most of the impressive and major temples in South India. If it comes to see one temple of South India, The Meenakshi Temple is the one to be visited. As the existence of the Madurai city dates back to more than 4000 years, there are numerous attractions that make a major part of Tamil culture and learning. Various temples and buildings with excellent architectural brilliance were constructed during the rule of Nayak Dynasty. Along with tourists, the place also attracts pilgrims from every nook and corner of the world.

Madurai Temple
Madurai
#Attraction: 12 day Chithirai Festival during April each year features a re-enacted celestial wedding of God & Goddess.


2. Thanjavur
In the 11th century, Thanjavur (Tanjore) came forth as the throttlehold of Tamil culture. At this time, Chola King Raja Raja I had his ruling power over Thanjavur. During this period, the Cholas constructed about 70 temples, each with outstanding architecture. Brihadeswara Temple is one of the acknowledged temples and recognized as one of a UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the year 2010, the temple also turned 1,000 years old, representing the might of the Cholas. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and constructed with granite stone according to the precise and imposing Dravidian architectural style.

Thanjavur Temple

#Attraction: 60 meters high dome, Chola frescoes showcased in the passage.


3. Tiruchirappalli (Trichy)
The strategic location on the Kaveri River is one of the major reasons that made Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) the most desirous for all the Dravidian rulers. To win over this place, Pallavas, Cholas, and Pandyas fought for control. Rock Fort Temple, constructed by the Nayaks of Madurai, is one of the major attractions as being constructed on a rocky outcrop, about 237 feet (83 meters) above the city. On the way, you may also halt to visit Thayumanaswamy Temple and Vinayaka Temple that are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha respectively.

Tiruchirappalli Temple
Tiruchirappalli
#Attraction: 437 rock-cut steps to reach the Rock Fort Temple


4. Rameshwaram
Rameshwaram, a small island off the Tamil Nadu coast, is connected to the mainland by the longest bridge in India. Now there is a separate bridge for trains and cars. This is one of the most important temples in India that holds great significance as per the Hindu mythology. Additionally, the lost land of Dhanushkodi is also worth visiting.
Longest hallway in India
Rameshwaram
#Attraction: Longest hallway in India, detailed carvings on hundreds of pillars.


5. Tirupati
The temple of Lord Venkateshwar, at Tirupati, is one amongst the masterpieces of Dravidian architectural style. Thus, the beauty and magnificence of the temple attract devotees as well as tourists from all across the globe to visit Tirupati. This is one of the wealthiest temples in India as you can see the gold plated dome. In the year 2007, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai also visited Tirupati to seek blessings after their marriage.

Tirupati Temple


#Attraction: Gold plated dome, located on the seventh peak of Tirumala Hill.

For South India pilgrimage tour booking, Click Here

Contributed By:- Neelam Talreja

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Amritsar and Golden Temple Travel Guide Tips

The Golden Temple is one of the most revered religious sites in the country. Traditionally known as the Harmandir Sahib or the temple of Hari, the Supreme God, the temple gets its name from its gold plated structure. Most people take up Amritsar Tours just to visit this holy place. 

Golden Temple
Golden Temple Tour
The shrine is magnificent and exudes an air of spirituality. The holy Guru Granth Sahib is housed here. The pond inside the temple complex is also sacred. A dip in the pond is necessary before entering the temple. Golden Temple Tour is a must in a lifetime for everyone. Amritsar tours take you around other famous places in Amritsar too. Visit the historical Jallianwala Bagh and the beautiful Durgiana Temple in Amritsar too.


When to Visit Amritsar:
Amritsar has quite an extreme climate, with very hot summers and very cold winters. The best months to visit are Septmber October and November, and February and March. If you don't mind feeling a little chilly, December and January are also good times to visit. The temperature starts climbing from April, and the monsoon rains arrive in July.


Amritsar Festivals:
Most of the festivals that take place in Amritsar are religious in nature. Diwali, Holi, Lohri (bonfire harvest festival), and Vaisakhi (Punjab new year in April) are all celebrated there on a grand scale. Vaisakhi is particularly boisterous, with lots of bhangra dancing, folk music, and fairs. Major celebrations are organized at the Golden Temple on this occasion, and it becomes carnival like outside. There's also a street procession. Other festivals in Amritsar include Guru Nanak Jayanti in November, and the Ram Tirath Fair, also in November a fortnight after Diwali.


Around the Golden Temple:
  • The Akal Takht
  • Har Ki Pauri
  • Dukh Bhanjani Ber (Jujube Tree)
  • Thara Sahib
  • Ber Baba Budha Ji
  • Gurudwara Ilachi Ber
  • Ath Sath Tirath
  • Bunga Baba Deep Singh
golden temple evening reflection
golden temple evening reflection
Amritsar is divided into old and new parts of the city. The Golden Temple is located in the old part, which is full of bazaars, only 15 minutes from the railway station. A free bus runs regularly (every 45 minutes) from the station to the Golden Temple. When you visit the Golden Temple, you can join the pilgrims for a free feed of common food from the kitchen, called "Guru Ka Langar".

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Friday, 2 August 2013

Whats are the tourist Attractions in Shirdi

SABKA MAALIK EK!! Meaning there is only one God. So, true na!, Really there is only one god and that’s within you. Shirdi is a small village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The small village is 100 km from Nashik. It is today a hustling pilgrimage center of India.


The holy town is visited by innumerable people every year for viewing the Samadhi Temple of Sri Sai Baba. At every nook and corner of Shirdi it is Sai Baba who is present here either in spiritual form or in physical form by leaving behind several physical structures where he once lived or graced the place by his presence. When in Shirdi there are several places to see which are associated with this holy saint in some or the other way.


Sakuri Kanyakumari Ashram:

Sakuri Kanyakumari Ashram

Located just 3 Kms. from Shirdi. This is a very peaceful place – clean, decent & disciplined. It is a sublime & inspiring location, ideal for those who wish to meditate and secure peace to their mind. Saint Upasani Maharaj & Sati Godawarimata, the great disciples of Sai Baba have enlivened this Ashram with their ‘sadhana’ and auspicious stay.


Khandoba Temple: 

Khandoba Temple

At the Ahmednagar-Kopergaon road is situated the Khandoba temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the oldest temple of Shirdi it was here that Pujari Mhalsapati called Baba with the name Ya, Sai! This temple is one of the earliest places in Shirdi where Baba laid his feet.


Renukamata Temple:

Renukamata Temple


Extending our journey for a little while from Shani Shinganapur we can reach Renukamata temple within few minutes. The temple walls are embedded with mirrors.



Mahadev, Ganesh and Shani Temples:

Mahadev, Ganesh and Shani Temples


Situated in a row adjacent to each other are these three temples which happen to be few of the oldest temples of Shirdi. These three temples of Shirdi are greatly revered and hence visited by a number of devout Hindus on their visit to Shirdi.




Gurusthan:


Gurusthan


Gurusthan is the place under the Neem tree where Sai Baba was first spotted in Shirdi. The neem leaves left their bitterness due to the presence of Sri Sai Baba in its shade. The place is revered for also being the site where Sai Baba's Guru took Samadhi. Here a huge portrait of Baba is placed in front of which are a shivling, Nandi cow and Sai Baba's padukas. At Gurusthan incense keeps on burning throughout the day and night.



Dwarkamayee Masjid:

Dwarkamayee Masjid


Situated to the right of Samadhi Mandir is the place where Sai Baba spent a major chunk of his lifetime. It is at this Mosque that Baba lit up lamps every evening. In fact the name Dwarkamayee was given by Sai Baba to the Masjid. It was here that Baba spent his days sitting on a huge stone which is preserved till date. Even the sacred dhuni (fire) which was kindled by Baba is lit to till this date.


The miraculous udhi (ash) from this fire is used by pilgrims and is considered to be immensely divine. The Masjid has a life-size portrait of Sai Baba which he himself received and said that after me the portrait would continue to live here. The Dwarkamayee Masjid in fact holds more importance for many devotees of Sai for being the place where this pure soul spent his life.

Today Shirdi being one of the most famous pilgrimage spots of the world may be for any reason. Crores of devotees from all over the world gather in Shirdi to ask for blessing and with strong hope that their wishes will be fulfilled and they are never disappointed. Shirdi is one of the places where people from all over the world seek bliss from Baba.