Sunday, January 13, 2019

#Traveldiaries : Our Visit to 10th Jothirlingam- Trimbakeshwar temple near Nashik

Trimbakeshwar Temple, Nasik

·        Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the holiest and sacred place for Hindu pilgrims and is revered as a one of the 12 jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva - Within a distance of around 32 kms from Nashik is Trimbakeshwar Temple at the foothills of mountain called Brahmagiri



·        The Trimbakeshwar Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (Self manifested lingams of Shiva popularly known as the Dwadasa (10th Jyotirlinga) of Shiva. There are accounts of Lord Rama having made the Yatra at Trimbakeshwar.




·        The porch of the temple is decorated with beautifully carved and decorated pillars and arches. The temple walls are intricately sculpted with floral designs and figures of various Gods and Goddesses.

·        The temple is unique in various aspects which makes it one of its kind in the country. There are 2 idols of Nandi in the temple, one in the courtyard and  the other inside the temple room in front of the sanctum. The sanctum has three “Lings”, of the size of a thumb, identified as Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh - the creator, the organizer and the destroyer. They are placed in a square space positioned at the three corners of a triangle. 


·        It is also the only Jyotirlinga where the Lingas are in a hollow space beneath the floor. There is a huge mirror placed strategically such that the devotees can get a clear view of the lingas. Since there are three lingas, the place is known as Trimbakeshwar. 

·        One more amazing aspect is that they are always submerged in the water of the Ganges naturally.

·        This temple is built by Shri Nana Saheb Peshawa in 1755-1786 AD took almost 36 years to complete it. It is built with black stone and the Shivlingam is said to be emerged naturally. The temple is bordered with around 20-25 stone feet wall in height. There is a big hall whose roof is in dome shape from inside. The sanctum is not big and houses the main Shivlingam and three lings residing in hollow structure. We were able to see all three miniature lingam only through the mirror which I mentioned earlier.

·        On the left side of this temple along the outer bordered wall, there are series of compartment built in continuation each having a miniature Shivlingam. There are around 32 such compartments out of which only four had Shivlinga. In all of them the Nandi Idol is damaged and none of the 32 structure is in the complete shape. Though the whole temple is built out of black stone but the roof top of sanctum sanatorium is made out of white marble 

·        While approaching Trimbakeshwar, 20 km from Nashik on the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar road, we spotted the Anjaneri Mountain, it is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman.  From the Nashik-Trimbakeshwar road, one has to take a diversion from the Anjaneri Phata towards the Anjaneri village, from where it takes around 2 hours to reach the Anjaneri plateau on foot. Here you can visit the Anjaneri fort and the Temple of Anjani Mata, the mother of Lord Hanuman.



Kushavartha




·         Just a 5 min walk away is a sacred pond called "Kushavarta" which is from where river Ganga takes here route to the rest of India. 

·        As per Hindu mythology one gets rid off of all its sin's if they takes bath here. Story has that, Sage Gautam forced river Ganga to stall within the enchanted grass area he made and puts a vow on her. This he done so to take a holy bath in this water and to get rid of his sin for killing a cow. 

·        Sheemant Rao Sahib Parnekar built the temple around the stalled water at this place which we are seeing today. The walls inside all along the hall is inscribed by various Idols, and in all corners are some small temple. The most important fact of this pond is that it is the starting point of Kumb Mela which happens once in a 12 yea. Saints all over the world come to this place on the occasion of mela to take a holy bath.

·        Since Godavari (Ganga) flows from here and reaches at Ram Kund so both are considered pious. 

·        Another attraction of this place is the Bhramagiri Hill, which is the origin of the river Ganga and is named here as Godavari. To reach the top of the hill one needs to go through some 700 steps and usually needs 4-5 hours to cover. 

















Saturday, January 12, 2019

#Traveldiaries Visit to Nashik - - Panchavati - Sneak peak into the historical times of Ramayana

Nashik was known as Panchavati before Ramayana period. Nashik has mythological, historical, social and cultural importance. ... At the same place Lord Laxman, by the wish of Lord Rama, cut the nose of "Shurpnakha" and thus this city was named as "Nashik".

Nasik is an ancient holy city located in Maharashtra at the foothills of Western Ghasts along the banks of River Godavari. It’s famous for its pure, spiritual feel and historical references to the Ramayana. Lord Rama is believed to have actually bathed at a water tank in the city called the Ramkund. Due to its religious significance, it attracts a multitude of devotees year on year. 

Lord Rama spent a few years of his 14-year-long vanvasa (exile) at Panchvati, a place known in the Ramayana for ‘Sita’s haran’ and many events leading up to it. Located on the banks of the Godavari, India’s second longest river, Panchvati is associated with rich mythology and history.

The entire Aranya Kanda of Ramayana is set in Panchavati.   Panchvati is famous for its five huge banyan trees, which in the local language (Marathi) are called Vat Vriksha. That’s how Panchvati got its name – The Land of 5 Banyan Trees.

Someshwar Temple:

Among all the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in Nasik, this one is of special significance. The temple is situated on the banks of the River Godavari and is considered to be one of the holiest worship spots in Nasik. It is also among the oldest Shiva temples of Nashik. It is also dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The entire setting is in the lap of greenery making it even more serene to pray.

The Legend of Panchvati

The city of Nasik has great significance in Hindu religion, and Panchvati has its own share of legends associated with it. It is believed that when Lord Ram along with Sita and Lakshman went into exile for 14 years, they made Panchavati their home. The word literally means 'Garden of Five Banyan Trees'. The trees can still be seen in the temple premises near Sita Guhaa and are believed to have existed even during the times of Ramayana.


Things To Do In Panchvati

Kala Ram Mandir: It is said that you’ll feel happiness even if you just walk by the Kala Ram Temple. The temple is built right where Rama is believed to have set up his hut with Sita and Lakshman. The story behind the name of the temple is that the sages of Panchvati pleaded with Rama to get rid of the Rakshasas or demons who occupied the region. Rama then took on his ‘Kala Roop’, or invoked his dark side, to slay and defeat them.  The gold plated copper dome and other sculptures of this magnificent shrine displays a brilliant structural design. The 70 feet high temple happens to be the busiest temples in the locality.
Kalaram Temple is one of the most revered temples in Maharashtra. It is devoted to Lord Rama and gets its name for the black idol of the god in the premises. It is also dedicated to god Laxman and goddess Sita. The temple is also famous for that fact that outside this temple a massive protest was held by the famous Dr Ambedkar. The temple structure is 70 feet and done up beautifully in black stone consisting of gold-plated peaks. Around 2000 workers, 12 years and 23 lakhs were invested in building up the complete temple. The stones are said to be brought in from the Ramshej mines 200 years ago.



Sita Gufa (The Cave of Sita): It is said that Sita was a Shiva devotee and used to pray to him inside a cave, now known as the Sita Guha or Sita Gupha. The cave also has a make-up room or shringara greha, where she is said to have spent some of her time. Sita Gufa is also believed to be the place from where Sita was hidden from Ravana and team during the war
At the Oldest and Holiest Panchavati are five (Pancham) Banyan trees (Vat Vriksha) and hence the area is called Pancha-vati.



Sita Gumpha is the place where Sita saved herself from Ravana. Gumpha means Cave, at this place one would enjoy actual meaning of cave, temple of Lord Shiva. One should surely visit here as the narrowness of cave gives an amazing experience. 

Kapaleshwar Mandir:   On the way to Ramkund in Panchvati, lies a Shiva temple called Kapaleshwar temple. This is the only temple in India of Shivalinga without Nandi. The story of Brahma Hatya will make things clear. Shiva is said to have gotten annoyed with Brahma who had said something inauspicious. In retaliation, Shiva cut off one of the heads of Brahma thereby committing the sin of Brahma Hatya. Shiva realized his mistake and tried to do all that he could to rid himself of this sin but to no avail. Nandi then suggested to Shiva to take a dip in the Godavari. Shiva was indeed absolved of all his sins after this. At this temple, Shiva accepted Nandi as his guru and hence, Nandi now having a stature higher than Shiva, couldn’t be placed alongside his linga.



Ram Kund The popular belief is that Lord Ram had his bath here after immersing the ashes of his father King Dasarath.  To commemorate that, the devotees frequents here to have a holy dip. A dip in this sacred kunda is considered very pious. Mortal remains (Asthi) immersed in this kunda, are immediately absorbed in the water.



Sita Abduction Temple/Place

In Hindu theology and epic Ramayana, Panchavati was the place in the forest of Dandakaranya (Danda Kingdom), where Rama built his home along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman during their exile period.

Sita, in her youth, marries Lord Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. After marriage, she goes to exile with her husband and brother-in-law Lakshmana. While in exile, the trio settle in the Dandaka forest from where she is abducted by Ravana, the Rakshasa king of Lanka.

River Godavari

The Kumbh Mela takes place on the river banks of Godavari, and has a surplus of pilgrims from every corner of world during the occasion.

Ganga Godavari Temple:

This temple is located in Ramkunda near Nasik and is one of the most historically important temples in the city. This temple or mandir is located on the banks of River Godavari. People visit the temple after taking a short bath in the holy waters of River Godavari. This temple opens its gates completely once in 12 years to coincide with the Kumbh Mela cycle of Nashik. When its shut devotees pray from outside and is still quite revered.



 Seyshasai Temple (The Only temple for Lord Lakshman in India)

This place is said to be where Lord Lakshman has done his penance under the Banyan tree and also has the only temple in the form of Seshasai (The snake with 5 heads) for Lord Lakshmanan.  The temple also has a statue of Laxman cutting off the nose and ears of Surpanaka, sister of King Ravan here.   The place of the penance is called as Tapovan




Navshya Ganpati Temple:

This is one of the most famous Ganesha temples in Nasik located at Anandvalli. The temple is located on the banks of River Godavari which allows the visitors and regular worshipers to experience the unique picturesque surrounding of this temple. With a legacy of almost 400 years and built during the Peshvas rule, this temple has immense historical significance too. The idol of Ganesh here is known as ‘Navashya’ – meaning he grants wishes of all seeking him and his blessings at the temple. It is said that lots of devotees have vouched for experiencing their ‘navas’ or offerings being answered by the Ganpati himself.



Naroshankar Temple:


This 18th-century temple located in Nasik is dedicated to Lord Sankara. It’s on the banks of the river Godavari. This temple is so important that it is called The Ganga of South India. Its architectural style is unique and intricate called ‘Maya’ style. The temple has carvings of animals such as monkeys and elephants so as to denote that Hinduism is applicable for the entire universe including the forces of nature, flora and fauna. It is not only restricted to human beings. The Naroshankar Ghanta bell in the premises, which marks the victory of a Maratha ruler over the Portuguese and is said to be heard from as far as 5 Kms.