Holy Places of India
The largest religious
gathering is to be witnessed during the triennial Kumbh Mela,
in the four holy places of Nasik (Maharashtra), Ujjain (Madhya
Pradesh), Prayag (Allahabad), and
Hardwar. A more serene festival takes place in the temple town
of the Madurai, in southern India, where temple deities are carried
around the a pool. A triple
deity celebration for the temple Lords Jagannath Puri, Balabhadra
and Subhadra becomes a spectacular and colourful Car Festival,
in which a Devotees pull
three decorated wooden carts through the streets of Puri in
Ganesh Chaturuthi - the worship of Lord Ganesh- is celebrated
by the immersion of giant-sized clay images in the Mumbai waters amid prayers.
Bodhgaya is a place of worship for the people of the Buddhist
Faith. It is this
place where the Lord Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under
the Bodhi Tree. Gaya has scared shrines of the Jains and Hindus scattered
around the city.
Mathura, situated on the west bank of river Yamuna is associated
with the most revered of Hindu gods- Lord Krishna. Virndavan, which is
famous for its
association with Lord Krishna, who spent his childhood days
here. Rameswaram is an island hallowed by the epic Ramayana.
A devotee who visits Varanasi
is also expected to visit this place in order to gain the full fruit of his
prayers. Thanjavur is another great Indian temple town. The center of Hinduism
and the religious capital of Hindus Varanasi is one to most important place of
RAMESHWARAM It is situated on
an island on the South-eastern tip of the Indian Peninsula. It is believed that
Lord Rama bathed at Dhanushkodi, where the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean
The Sri Ramanathaswami temple is curiously dedicated Lord Shiva.
The name indicated that Lord Shiva is all powerful god who was worshipped by
Lord Rama who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The important festivals are
Mahashivaratri celebrated for ten days during February-March, Bhramotsavam
(March-April) and Tirukalyanam (July-August).
The temple has a 3700 feet
corridor which is the longest in India. The sea at Agni Tirtham is a sacred
bathing ghat. Other temples in Other temples in Rameshwaram include
Gandhamadhana where Rama's footprints are found on a Chakra, the
Kothandaramaswami temple, Adi jaganath temple and Koti Tirtam which is a spring
supposed to be created by Lord Rama's arrow.
MAMALLAPURAM All that remains of the great city built
by the Pallava ruler Mahendra Varman in the 7th century, are some breathtaking
rock sculptures and monuments on a low, boulder-strewn hill by the sea, 60 km
south of Chennai. 'Mandapams' (cave temples), 'rathas'(temple
chariots), the world's largest bas-relief (called 'Arjuna's Penance' -
27 m long and 6 m high) and a solitary pagoda-shaped Shore Temple - all
hewn out of solid granite, lie scattered in the area.
beautiful Shore Temple, dedicated to both Lord Vishnu and Shiva, now
stands right near the sea and has been protected from the pounding waves by a
modern boundary wall.
MADURAI (CITY OF
NECTAR) -Tamil Nadu's second largest city is synonymous with the temple
built in honour of Lord Shiva's consort, the 'fish-eyed' goddess Meenakshi
Temple. Thousands of pilgrims from all over India visit the temple every
day. The enormous gopurams are lavishly covered with multi-coloured carvings of
gods, goddesses, mythical figures and animals - the biggest gopuram having more
than 1500 sculptures!
TIRUCHIRAPALLI (TRICHY) - A mammoth 83 m high outcrop of rock, rising unexpectedly out
of an otherwise flat landscape, and topped by a fort and then a temple - that
is the enduring image of Tiruchirapalli, better known as Trichy. Dedicated to
the elephant-headed God, Ganesha, the temple is reached by climbing 344 steps
carved out of the rock.
Trichy lies on the banks of the Kaveri river 320
kms south of Chennai. Being in the heart
of Tamil Nadu it is a convenient base for visiting destinations in the southern
part of the State. Five km to its North, at Srirangam, is the enormous
Ranganathaswamy Temple set on an island in the river. The temple complex
is spread over a staggering 250 hectares, and almost the whole of Srirangam
town lies within its 7 concentric walls! And this complex has no less than 22
gopurams, each depicting the architectural style of the times in which it was
built. The tallest gopuram is an amazing 73 m (241 ft) high!
(TANJORE) - The ancient capital of the Cholas, Thanjavur is 55 kms east
of Trichy. In addition to the paintings and bronze icons that are made here,
Thanjavur is also famous for the Brihadeeshwara Temple built by Raja
Raja Chola in the 10th century. An amazing feature of the temple is that the
66.5 m high 'vimana' (temple tower above the main shrine) is capped by a
massive cupola carved out of a single granite block estimated to weigh more
than 80 tonnes.