Home
Contact Me
Site Map
Help
 
  The culture of India refers to the way of life of the people of India. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to place within the country.
  

History of Taj Mahal

The origin of the name "Taj Mahal" is not clear. Court histories from Shah Jehan's reign only call it the rauza (tomb) of Mumtaz Mahal. It is generally believed that "Taj Mahal" (usually translated as either "Crown Palace" or "Crown of the Palace") is an abbreviated version of her name, Mumtaz Mahal.

The construction of this marble masterpiece is credited to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who erected this mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in AH 1040 (AD 1630). Her last wish to her husband was "to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before". Thus emperor Shah Jahan set about building this fairytale like marvel.

The construction of Taj Mahal was started in AD 1631 and completed at the end of 1648 AD. For seventeen years, twenty thousand workmen are said to be employed on it daily, for their accommodation a small town, named after the deceased empress-'Mumtazabad, now known as Taj Ganj, was built adjacent to it. Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher of Taj Mahal, his name occurs at the end of an inscription on one of the gates of the Taj. Poet Ghyasuddin had designed the verses on the tombstone, while Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey was the dome maker. Muhammad Hanif was the superintendent of Masons. The designer of Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. The central dome is 187 feet high at the centre. Red sandstone was brought from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and diamonds from Panna. In all 28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for inlay work in the Taj Mahal. The chief building material, the white marble was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in distt. Nagaur, Rajasthan.

  • It is estimated to have taken more than 22,000 people to build this impressive building including labourers, painters, stonecutters, embroidery artists, and many others.
  • According to legend it is believed that Emperor Shah Jahan had planned to construct another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side of the river but the war with his sons interrupted his plans.
  • The Taj Mahal takes on different colouring at different times of the day, from a pinkish hue in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night when lit by the moon. They say the changing colour resembles the changing mood of females - in particular the Emperor's queen.
  • Built in memory of the Emperors third and most favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal took 17 years to be completed.
  • It is said that the death so crushed the Emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white within just a few months.
  • The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating an astonishingly mirrored image on each side. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
  • The Taj Mahal is surrounded by significant gardens and a number of other buildings including a mosque and guest houses which make up the 17 hectares of land within the complex walls.
  • The full height of the Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet).
  • More than 1,000 elephants were employed to transport the construction materials used to build the Taj.
  • Many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857.

Harmandir Sahib - Golden Temple Amritsar

Amritsar is one of Punjab´s principal cities, dating back in history over 400 years. It is known more for the world famous Golden Temple, the seat of Sikh religion.Situated on the north-western border of India, the city is also gateway for the travelers on the overland route through Pakistan. The Wagah border, which is the check-post is about 29 kms away. Amritsar literally means "the pool of nectar", the name derived from a pool constructed at the sacred site in the 16th century, gifted by the Mughal Emperor Akbar to Guru Ramdas, the fourth preceptor of the Sikh faith.

Under instructions from Guru Amar Das Sahib, this city was founded by Guru Ram Das Sahib in 1574, on the land bought by him for an amount of rupees 700 from the owners of the village Tung. (Earlier Guru Ram Das Sahib had begun building Santokhsar Sarovar, near erstwhile village of Sultanwind in 1564 {according to one source in 1570}. It could not be completed before 1588). In 1574, Guru Ram Das Sahib built his residence and moved to this place. At that time, it was known as Guru-Da-Chakk. (Later, it came to be known as Chakk Ram Das). Guru Ram Das Sahib began excavation of the Amritsar Sarovar (tank) in 1577. It was ready by 1581. This tank was renovated by Guru Arjun Sahib in 1586. Since then this city is known as Amritsar (after the name of the Sarovar). The foundation of the Darbar Sahib had been laid by Guru Arjan Sahib on January 3, 1588. (Later, it was propagated that the foundation stone of Darbar Sahib was laid by Sain Mian Mir, a Muslim holy man. Sain Mian Mir was very friendly with Guru Sahib but the foundation of Darbar Sahib was laid by Guru Sahib himself). In 1590, Guru Arjan Sahib moved to village Wadali where Guru Hargobind Sahib was born on June 19, 1590. By 1601, the Darbar Sahib was fully ready. In 1603-04, the first volume of Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scriptures, was prepared in this city and was installed at Darbar Sahib on August 16, 1604.

It is here that Akal Takht Sahib (Throne of the Almighty) was revealed by Guru Hargobind Sahib in 1609. Two flags representing temporal and spiritual authority (Sikh sovereignty) have been set up in front of Akal Takht Sahib. Here Guru Hargobind Sahib wore two swords of Miri and Piri (temporal and transcendental authority). The building of Akal Takht Sahib was twice demolished by Afghan armies and was very badly damaged by the Indian regime (in June 1984). The Indian government repaired in in September 1984. The Sikhs began demolishing it on January 26, 1986. The present structure has been constructed by five service-groups headed by Baba Thakar Singh of Bhindran-Mehta Jatha.

On April 13, 1634, the Mogul army attacked Guru Hargobind Sahib here. From 1635 to 1698, Amritsar remained in the control of the Mina family (descendants of Pirthi Chand). During this period, on November 23, 1664, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib visited the town. In April 1698, Bhai Mani Singh was appointed as the caretaker of the shrines of Amritsar.

The Mogul chief of Patti tried to occupy Amritsar several times. One such attempt was made in April 1709. The Sikhs, under the command of Bhai Mani Singh and Bhai Tara Singh of Dall-Wan, repelled this attack. When Baba Banda Singh Bahadur occupied several areas in the Punjab, Bhai Mani Singh chose to leave Amritsar in order to avoid the Mogul attacks.

On December 30, 1711, the Mogul emperor, Bahadur Shah, granted Ajit Singh Palit the charge of Amritsar in order to use him against Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. After the death of Bahadur Shah, Ajit Singh Palit returned to Delhi. In 1721, Bhai Mani Singh returned to Amritsar and re-started regular worship. His first act was to solve a dispute between so-called Tat Khalsa and so-called Bandai Khalsa for the right to the management of the shrines at Amritsar.

On March 29, 1733, a major gathering of the Sikhs was held here in front of Akal Takht Sahib. During the same time a Sarbat Khalsa gathering was also held. It discussed the Mogul offer of Nawab-hood. In April 1734, Bhai Mani Singh was arrested and was martyred at Lahore on June 24, 1734.

In 1740, Massa Ranghar, a debauched official, desecrated Darbar Sahib. He was punished by Bhai Sukkha Singh and Bhai Mahtab Singh, on August 11, 1740. In 1757 Afghan army demolished Darbar Sahib and Akal Takht Sahib. Baba Dip Singh led several thousand Sikhs against the Afghan. A major battle was fought on November 11, 1757. Baba Dip Singh and several thousand Sikhs embraced martyrdom. Again, in 1762, the Darbar Sahib complex was demolished by Afghan army. On December 1, 1764, the Afghan army made another attack. 30 Sikhs, led by Jathedar Gurbakhsh Singh, fought against mammoth Afghan army and embraced martyrdom. In 1765, the Sikhs began re-construction of the shrines. The central part was ready by 1776. Around 1830, Ranjit Singh gold-plated some part of the inner section of the Darbar Sahib. (It harmed this Sikh institution as some ignorant people began unjustly calling it Golden Temple).

In 1846, the British established themselves in the Lahore Darbar, with a Resident in the Court; and, Amritsar became a place of frequent visits by the British. In order to keep sanctity of the city, H. M. Lawrence, the British Resident, issued an order, dated March 24, 1847, asking the English people to follow the Sikh protocol while visiting the Sikh centres. In 1858, a Municipal Committee was set up here. In 1862, train services between Lahore and Amritsar were started. Khalsa College, the first Sikh college was established here in 1892. [In 1969 Guru Nanak University was established here]. In 1913, the city was electrified. In September 1915, the British declared Amritsar a "Holy City". (This order was undeclaredly annulled after August 15, 1947 by the Indian regime). On April 13, 1919, General Dyer opened fire on the gathering, at Jallianwala Bagh, near Darbar Sahib, killed 379 people and wounded another 1200. The the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (S.G.P.C.) and the Shiromani Akali Dal were established here in 1920.

Story of Lord Venkateswara (Balaji)

Venkateshwara is another form of Lord Vishnu who is the most popular deity among GSBs in Kerala. He is also known as Venkatachalapathi or Venkataramana or Tirumal devar or Varadaraja or Srinivasa or Balaji or Bithala. He has a dark complexion and four hands. In his two upper hands he holds a discus (a symbol of power) and a conchs hell (a symbol of existence). With his lower hands extended downward he asks devotees to have faith and surrender to him for protection. The supreme temple of Venkateswara is at Tirupati and every GSB wants to visit this temple at least once in life.

The temple town of Tirupati is situated at the foot of Tirumala hills in the Chandragiri Taluka of the Chittor district in Andhra Pradesh. The sacred spot on the hill about 2,800 feet above sea level is known as Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara. The hill forms part of the Eastern Ghats and is also known as Venkatachala and Seshachala. It is said that the Eastern Ghats on this side along with their curves, heights and falls resemble the serpent Adisesha and that the seven hills of Tirupati are its seven heads and Ahobalam where Lord Narasimha murthy is worshipped, representing the centre of Adisesha, and Srisailam representing the tail end of Adisesha. That is why Tirumala is called Seshachala. According to the legends, this has been a sacred place in all the four yugas, and was known as Vrishabhachala in the Krithayuga, Anjanachala in the Tretayuga, Seshachala in the Dwaparayuga and Venkatachala in the present Kaliyuga.

In this temple, unlike other Vishnu temples, we find no minor shrines or idols of Vaishnava saints. Apart from the Lord Venkateswara temple, the other important places at Tirumala and Swami pushkarini, Papavinasam and Akasaganga waterfalls, Varahaswamy temple, and Shila Toranam a very ancient rock formation supposed to be over 10,000 years old.

Once some rishis headed by Kasyapa began to perform a sacrifice on the banks of the Ganges. Sage Narada visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrigu. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma. At Satyaloka, he found Lord Brahma, reciting the four Vedas in praise of Lord Narayana, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by Saraswati. Lord Brahma did not take notice of Bhrigu offering obeisance. Concluding that Lord Brahma was unfit for worship, Bhrigu left Satyaloka for Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. At Kailasa, Bhrigu found Lord Siva spending his time pleasantly with Parvati and not noticing his presence. Parvati drew the attention of Siva to the presence of the sage. Lord Siva was furious at Bhrigu's intrusion and tried to destroy him. The sage cursed Lord Siva and left for Vaikuntam.

At Vaikuntam, Lord Vishnu was reposing on Adisesha with Sri Mahalakshmi in service at His feet. Finding that Lord Vishnu also did not notice him, the sage was infuriated and kicked the Lord on His chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides. At once, Lord Vishnu hastened to apologise to the angry sage and pressed his feet to allay the pain caused to Bhrigu's leg. In doing so the Lord removed the eye in the foot of the sage, stripping of his special powers.Thereupon, the sage concluded that Lord Vishnu was the most supreme of the trimurthis and told the rishis the same.

Sri Mahalakshmi was angered by the action of her Lord in apologising to Bhrigu who committed an offence. Out of anger and anguish she left Vaikuntha and resided in Karavirapur now known as Kolhapur. After the departure of Mahalakshmi, a forlorn Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill, meditating for the return of Lakshmi, without food or sleep. This was the place where Lord took the form of Varaha to rescue Mother Earth form the deep ocean.

Making pity on Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara decided to assume the forms of a cow and its calf to serve Him. Surya, the Sun God informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested her to assume the form of a cowherdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord. Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely. To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Incensed over the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock.

The cow returned, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body, to the Chola King. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident.

The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an Asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that he will be reborn as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when the Lord will be adorned with a crown presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Padmavati. With these words Lord turned into stone form.

Thereafter, Lord Vishnu in the name of Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra, and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami, and that puja and naivedyam should be offered to Sri Varaha swami first. Vishnu built a hermitage and lived there, attended to by Vakuladevi who looked after him like a mother.

Yasoda Reborn : Yesoda brought up Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, in his early years. However, Yasoda was not blessed to witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini and she felt very sad. Sri Krishna promised to fulfil her desire in her next birth as Vakuladevi in his next incarnation as Srinivasa. In Rukmini's next birth as Vakuladevi, she was serving Lord Varahaswami when He sent her to serve Srinivasa.

Amarnath Temple

Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine located in Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is dedicated to Shiva. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,756 ft),[1] about 141 km (88 mi) from Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir and reached through Pahalgam town. The shrine forms an important part of Hinduism,[2] and is considered to be one of the holiest shrines in Hinduism.[3] The cave is surrounded by snowy mountains. The cave itself is covered with snow most time of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims. An annual pilgrimage is made to the Amarnath cave by lakhs of Hindu devotees on challenging mountainous terrain to see an ice stalagmite formed inside the cave.

Inside the 40 m (130 ft) high Amarnath cave, the stalagmite is formed due to freezing of water drops that fall from the roof of the cave on to the floor and grows up vertically from the cave floor. It is considered to be a Shiva Linga by Hindus.The Cave waxes during May to August, as snow melts in the Himalayas above the cave and the resultant water seeps into the rocks that form the cave and gradually wanes thereafter. As per the religious beliefs, it has been claimed that the lingam grows and shrinks with the phases of the moon reaching its height during the summer festival, although there is no scientific evidence for this belief.

It is believed that after the Middle Ages, this cave was forgotten by people before it was discovered by a shepherd in the 15th century once again. Another story relates to Bhrigu Muni. Long time ago it is believed that The Vale of Kashmir was submerged under water and Kashyapa Muni drained it through a series of rivers and rivulets. Therefore when the waters drained, Bhrigu Muni was the first to have Darshan of Lord Amarnath. Thereafter, when people heard of the Lingam, it became an abode of Lord Bholenath for all believers and a pilgrimage which is done by lacs of people each year.

The temple is a popular yatra destination for only Hindus. In 2011 it received about 634,000 persons, the highest recorded number for the site. The number was 622,000 in 2012. Pilgrims visit the holy site during the 45-day season around the festival of Shravani Mela in July–August, coinciding with the Hindu holy month of Shraavana.

En route the cave, various non-profit organizations set up food supply and resting tents called pandals which are available for free to the pilgrims. Near the shrine, hundreds of tents which are erected by locals can be hired for a night's stay. Helicopter services from base camp to Panjtarni (6 km from the cave) are also available from various private operators.

Every year, thousands of central police and state police personnel are deployed to provide security to pilgrims from potential terror threats. The forces position at various halts and also in the perimeter of the shrine.

Officially, the Yatra is organised by the State Government in collaboration with the Shree Amarnath Yatra trust. The Government agencies provide necessary facilities all along the route during the Yatra period, which includes provision of ponies, supply of power, telecommunication facilities, firewood and setting up of fair price shops.

Environmentalists have expressed concern that the number of people participating in the Amarnath Yatra is having a negative impact on the area's ecology and some have expressed support for government regulated limits on the number of pilgrims permitted to make the trek.

History of Dwarka

On your Tour to Dwarka, you would be mesmerized by its temples and legends. However, it would be prudent to know a few things about the History of Dwarka in order to enjoy the real essence of this place.

Dwarka is a significant pilgrimage center in India. This place is steeped in legends. The life of Lord Krishna is associated with Dwarka. In Puranic times, Dwarka was called by the name of Dwaravati or Kushasthali. It basked in the glory of being the most important location on the Saurashtra coast. It is believed that after slaying Kansa, Lord Krishna left his residence at Mathura. He traveled with his entire Yadava community, reached the coast of Saurashtra and founded a town called Swarnadwarika.

Operation Dwarka

Operation Dwarka, also known as "Operation Somnath",[citation needed] was a naval operation commenced by the Pakistan Navy to attack the Indian coastal town of Dwarka on 7 September 1965. This was the first use of Pakistan Navy in any of the Indo-Pakistan Wars.[citation needed] It was one of the significant naval events of the 1965 Indo-Pak war, and Pakistan celebrates 8 September as "Victory Day" for Pakistan Navy.[citation needed]
As the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 broke out between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, armies and air forces of both nations were involved in intense fighting in the Punjab region and in Kashmir. To relieve pressure on the southern front, Pakistan decided to use its navy in the war by launching a quick strike on Indian coast. The primary objective of the attack ostensibly was to destroy the radar station at Dwarka which Pakistani Naval intelligence believed had a Huff/Duff beacon to guide Indian bombers.[2] Pakistani high command also hoped to divert the operations of the Indian Air Force away from the north.

Objectives

The mission objectives of Pakistan Navy are listed below:

•  To draw heavy enemy units out of Bombay for the submarine PNS Ghazi to attack.
•  To destroy the radar installation at Dwarka.
•  To lower Indian morale.
•  To divert Indian Air Force effort away from the north.

The Naval Attack

On the night of 7 September, the Pakistan Navy launched its assault on Western Indian shores. Dwarka was chosen for its proximity (200 km from Karachi Port), its lower defences and historical relevance. The plan called for a fleet of 7 naval vessels of Pakistan to bomb the tiny town of Dwarka. It was aimed at luring the heavy ships anchored in Bombay into attacking the Pakistani ships. The intention was that the submarine PNS Ghazi lurking in the Arabian Sea would then engage and sink the Indian ships. Accordingly, a fleet of seven ships comprising PNS Babur, PNS Khaibar, PNS Badr, PNS Jahangir, PNS Alamgir, PNS Shah Jahan and PNS Tipu Sultan set sail for Dwarka and bombarded the town.

The warships harbored in Bombay were under refit and were unable to sortie, nor did PNS Ghazi encounter the active combatants on the West coast. The objective to divert the Indian Air Force attacking Pakistan's southern front worked as the Indian Air Force raids on the city of Karachi ceased, presumed by Pakistani sources to be due to lack of availability of the radar guidance to the IAF fighter jets, which was damaged in the attack.

The Indian Navy's official version of events states that, at around 2355 hours, the Pakistani vessels fired on Dwarka for more than 20 minutes. The ships fired around 50 shells each, which included 5.25 inch rounds fired by the Pakistani cruiser PNS Babur. The report adds that most shells fell between the temple and the railway station, which lay 3 km from the lighthouse. Some buildings were hit, with only the Railway Guest House suffering some minor damages and a cement factory of Associated Cement Company was also hit. Smoke from the damage was visible to the Pakistani warships approximately 20 kilometers away.

The radar installation was shelled during the bombardment but neither the radar was damaged nor were any casualties reported by Indian sources.[citation needed] A frigate INS Talwar was in nearby Okha port undergoing repairs and did not intervene. Hiranandani's history of the Indian Navy states that:

Next morning she (INS Talwar) was directed to send a team to Dwarka to assess the damage. The team found that most of the shells had fallen on the soft soil between the temple and the radio station and failed to explode. The air attack damaged a railway engine and destroyed a portion of a railway guesthouse.

A total of 40 unexploded shells were also recovered intact. Interestingly, the shells bore the mark "INDIAN ORDNANCE"; these were dated from the 1940s before the Partition of India into India and Pakistan.

Radio Pakistan, however, transmitted that Dwarka was badly damaged.

Aftermath

Operation Dwarka was a significant naval operation of the 1965 war, considered by some as a nuisance raid or of little strategic value. The Ministry of Defence had issued written instructions which ordered the Indian Navy "not to proceed two hundred miles beyond Bombay nor North of the parallel of Porbander". The lack of response by the Indian Navy to the attack on Dwarka led to questions being asked in Indian parliament and was considered a humiliation by Indian citizens and Navy personnel and a challenge to be answered by others. The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral B.S. Soman was restrained from retaliation for the Dwarka raid by the Defence Minister. Of the Indian Navy's 23 ships, ten were under refit in Bombay, including the Vikrant, the cruiser Delhi, three destroyers and two frigates. An Indian source explained this by saying that the Indian Government did not want to get into a naval conflict with Pakistan, but wished to restrict the war to a land-based conflict. The failure of INS Talwar to retaliate, then undergoing repairs to her condensors in Okha, has been lamented by Indian Vice Admiral N. Krishnan who said that no Government would blame a warship going into action, if attacked. PNS Ghazi continued to patrol Kachhh and Bombay coasts spotting aircraft positions when snorkeling.

The Dwarka raid is considered by Pakistani sources as being a prime reason for the Indian Navy's subsequent post-war modernization and expansion, with an increase in budget from Rs. 35 crores to Rs. 115 crores. The Dwarka raid, as per an Indian historian G. M Hiranandani, led to the procurement of missile boats by the Indian Navy from the Soviet Union for the Defense of Kutch. These were subsequently used by India in Operation Trident in the 1971 war. However, he attributes the expansion of the Indian Navy in the period 1965 to 1975 to the post-1962 planned expansion of the Indian Navy with many ships being negotiated and purchased from the Soviet Union prior to the war.

Popular culture

In 1998, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) financed and produced the dramatization of the operation named, "Operation Dwarka, 1965", which was based on this incident. The film was directed by Pakistani film director Qasim Jalali and it was written by Hameed Kashmiri.

Salient features

•  The temple is a five-story structure built on seventy-two pillars.
•  The temple spire is 78.3m high.
•  The temple is constructed of limestone which is still in pristine condition.
•  The temple shows intricate sculptural detailing done by successions of dynasties that ruled the region. The structure was not expanded much by these works.
•  Lord Krishna's grandson, Vajranabha, is said to have built the original temple of Dwarkadhish over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna's residential place).
•  The sanctum of the temple is formed by the Jagat Mandir, or Nija Mandir, dating back at least 2500 years.
•  The Jagat Mandir has a tall tower and a hall of audience.
•  There are two entrances to the temple. The main entrance (north entrance) is called "Moksha Dwara" (Door to Salvation). This entrance takes one to the main market. The south entrance is called "Swarga Dwara" (Gate to Heaven).
•  Outside this doorway are 56 steps that leads to the Gomati River.

Temple specialties

•  The flag atop the temple shows the sun and moon.
•  The flag is changed from 5 times a day, but the symbol remains the same.
•  The pristine condition of the temple and an important discovery in its surroundings has led to the nomination of UNESCO World Heritage Site status to the temple.
•  There are two styles of building a temple: the Dwarkadhish temple is built in the Shaiva style whereas the Bet-Dwarka temple is built in Vaishnava style

Origin of Qutub Minar

According to the popular belief, the Qutb Minar (or Qutub Minar) was built by the first Islamic ruler of North India, Qutubud-din Aibak. However, I have found numerous proofs that he neither had funds, nor time (in his tiny 4 year regime), to build, or even commence such a majestic structure. It appears to me that associating it with Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak was a “historian’s mistake”. If you read historians & travellers, who came to India during the Sultanate period, you will find that they honour this Minar as ‘Sultan Altamash’s Minar’. Hasan Nizami dedicated his work Taj-ul-Maasir (the crown of exploits) to sultan Aibak but also mentioned major events from the period of his predecessor and successor. There is no reference to any such Minar in this important piece of work, which talks about period after 7 years of death of Aibak. If Qutubuddin Aibak even dreamed about (if not commissioned) this minar, then we must have found atleast some mention in this book. But Hasan Nizami do talk about the Jami Masjid of Delhi built by Aibak in following manner:

"Kutb-ud-Din built the Jami Masjid at Delhi, and adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions in Yoghra, containing the divine commands."

Char Dham

The temple is one of the holiest Hindu Char Dham (four divine sites) sites comprising Rameswaram, Badrinath, Puri and Dwarka. Though the origins are not clearly known, the Advaita school of Hinduism established by Sankaracharya, who created Hindu monastic institutions across India, attributes the origin of Char Dham to the seer. The four monasteries lie across the four corners of India and their attendant temples are Badrinath Temple at Badrinath in the North, Jagannath Temple at Puri in the East, Dwarakadheesh Temple at Dwarka in the West and Ramanathaswamy Temple at Rameswaram in the South. Though ideologically the temples are divided between the sects of Hinduism, namely Saivism and Vaishnavism, the Char Dham pilgrimage is an all Hindu affair. There are four abodes in Himalayas called Chota Char Dham (Chota meaning small): Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri - all of these lie at the foot hills of Himalayas. The name Chota was added during the mid of 20th century to differentiate the original Char Dhams.[citation needed] The journey across the four cardinal points in India is considered sacred by Hindus who aspire to visit these temples once in their lifetime. Traditionally the trip starts are the eastern end from Puri, proceeding in clockwise direction in a manner typically followed for circuambulation in Hindu temples.

 
About Me | My Village | My Orissa | My India | My Gallery | Contact Me
   
  Website Powered by - Shilabhadra.com