Aihole Fort- History, Legend, Architecture and Popular Attractions!

The Aihole Fort is an ancient fort in North Karnataka with significant historical, religious, and archaeological significance. Located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, it is home to several Hindu temples that date back to the 5th century AD.

It is believed that Aihole was once the capital city of the Chalukya Empire and served as a testing ground for Chalukyan architects, who experimented with various architectural styles before creating the famous temples in Badami, Pattadakal, and Mahakuta.

This blog post will explore everything you need to know about the Aihole Fort—its history, importance, architecture, and more!


Aihole Fort- History


Aihole is an ancient city in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was once the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty and had a rich and illustrious history with great cultural significance as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. The historical value of Aihole is so immense that it attracts thousands of tourists every year who come to enjoy its serene spiritual ambience.

King Pulakeshi I built the Aihole Fort during his reign from 543 AD–566 AD. Excavations at this site have revealed several layers in its archaeological remains, which show it to have seen numerous rule changes over time. Many inscriptions dating back to the 3rd century BC have been found here, indicating a continuous presence until today; some even suggest trade relations between Rome, Egypt, and China!

There are more than 125 temples in Aihole. Some of them are the Meguti Temple, the Lad Khan Temple, and the Durga Temple. Each has its own style and design, showing how different dynasties ruled this area for hundreds of years. It’s a place you don’t want to miss!


The Intriguing Legend behind the Name “Aihole”!


Have you ever wondered why an ancient temple in Karnataka is called Aihole? It’s a fascinating story about Lord Parasuram and his bloody battle that gave this place its peculiar name.

According to a legend, Lord Parasuram came down to the banks of the river Malaprabha with his blood-soaked hands and axe after a fierce battle. As he washed off the stains of war from his weapons, the red colour of the blood spread across the waters of the river Malaprabha.

A woman nearby screamed in terror, “Ayyo Hole,” which translates to “Oh No Blood!” in Kannada. This incident is believed to have given Aihole its name! It was initially known as Ayyavolegudda or Ellu Suttina Gudi (Temple at Elusutthinahalli). Over time, locals who had trouble pronouncing it correctly eventually simplified it into “Aihole.”

Aihole is celebrated for its historical significance and architectural marvels, such as the Chalukyan-era Durga Temple and Ladsa Temple. The legends around this beautiful heritage site make it all the more interesting for visitors who seek unique stories behind places they visit!


Aihole Fort- Architecture

Source: Google

Aihole Fort dates back to the 6th century and is known for its unique architectural style. The fort has two entrance gates, one on the north-western side and another on the southern side. The fort walls are made of sandstone blocks that were carefully fitted together without mortar.

Inside are several structures like a temple, gateways, reservoirs and pillared pavilions with intricate carvings that make it look even more beautiful. One of the most impressive features of Aihole Fort is its design which includes three main wings connected by circular passages giving it an almost labyrinthine appearance.

These corridors also contain sculptures depicting mythological scenes from Hindu scriptures and ancient inscriptions written in the Sanskrit language. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, this structure served many purposes, such as providing protection against enemies and allowing storage space for goods and weapons within its walls.

It is believed that this fort was used by Chalukyan kings who ruled over much of South India during the 7th – 8th centuries AD when they fought various wars with neighbouring kingdoms like the Pallavas and Rashtrakutas. In conclusion, the Aihole Fort stands out not just because it has been standing for centuries but also due to its remarkable architecture, bold designs and interesting historical significance!

Popular Sightseeing Options in and around Aihole Fort!

1. Ladh Khan Temple

Located near the Durga temple at Aihole Fort, Ladh Khan Temple is one of the area’s oldest and most popular sightseeing options.

Built-in 578 CE, the unique architecture of this shrine makes it an impressive attraction for visitors. The temple has a star-shaped structure with four turrets with intricate carvings depicting stories from Hindu mythology.

2. The Meguti Temple

Another important site to visit while exploring Aihole Fort is the Meguti Temple. Situated atop a low hillock surrounded by other temples, this small but intricately designed shrine was built in the 6th century AD and dedicated to Lord Shiva.

It features two mandapas, a three-tiered shikhara, and intricate stone carvings depicting various Hindu gods and goddesses on its walls.

3. Ravanphadi Cave

Ravanphadi Cave is a must-visit spot near Aihole Fort for those interested in exploring ancient caves.

This cave consists of five chambers filled with reliefs featuring scenes from epics like the Ramayana and sculptures related to Shaivism, Buddhism, and Jainism, making it quite interesting for history buffs!

Inside these chambers, you can also find some inscriptions dating back to the 7th century AD, which makes for an exciting read.

4. Hucchimalli Temple

The Huchimalli Temple, located within the premises of Aihole Fort, offers stunning views over the wetlands surrounding it, making it ideal for photography enthusiasts visiting this area!

This 11th-century structure stands out due to its substantial dome-shaped tower, which rises above all other systems around here, including a few smaller shrines nearby known as the Pandava group of temples, which are worth a look too!

5. The Konti Group of Temples

At just 3 km away from Aihole lies the Konti group of temples, which features several small shrines dedicated to various deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, etc., each having a distinct architectural style ranging from Shikharas and Vimanas to even rounded structures made out of brick stones called “Kalamukhas!”

On your trip here, don’t forget to take pictures of the beautiful mud-walled art gallery behind these shrines, showcasing paintings done by local artists since the 16th century AD—truly mesmerizing sights!

How to reach Aihole Fort?

Aihole Fort is well connected by air, rail, and road to major cities, making it easy for tourists to reach this magnificent historical site. The nearest airport to Aihole Fort is Belgaum, 189 kilometres away. There are frequent flights from all major Indian cities connecting Belgaum to the rest of the country.

The nearest railway station to Aihole Fort is Bagalkot, which is 34 km away, and there are direct trains that run from most major cities in India, stopping at this railway station. In addition, a good network of buses connects neighbouring towns and villages near Aihole Fort, enabling tourists travelling via other modes of transport an easy way to reach the fort without much difficulty.

During the tourist season, people who prefer to travel in groups can also take package tours from Bangalore. Those looking for sightseeing opportunities as part of their trip can look forward to visiting Badami (44 km) and Pattadakal (17 km), which can be easily reached by road via Bagalkot from Belgaum.

All these options make it a convenient and hassle-free journey to Aihole Fort from all major cities in India!

Bhai Dooj (Day 5 of Diwali)- Significance, History, and Everything you need to know!

Bhai Dooj (The 5th Day of Diwali)- Significance, History and Everything you need to know!


Bhai Dooj, also known as Bhau-beej and Bhaubij, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the second day of Diwali, the five-day long Hindu festival of lights. On this day, sisters perform a special puja for their brothers to ensure their well-being and prosperity.

The puja includes applying tilak (a mark made with sandalwood paste or vermilion) on the brother’s forehead, offering him sweets and flowers, lighting diyas (lamps), and praying for his health and happiness. Brothers reciprocate by gifting clothes or money to their sisters and vowing to protect them always.


The Story Behind Bhai Dooj


Bhai Dooj is a Hindu festival that celebrates the brother-sister bond. It is also known as Bhau-Beej and Bhratri Dwitya. The festival falls on the second day of Diwali, the five-day long Festival of Lights. The story behind Bhai Dooj dates back to the time when Lord Krishna defeated demon king Narakasura. After emerging victorious, he visited his sister Subhadra who welcomed him with open arms and performed an aarti ceremony.

Pleased with her devotion, Krishna blessed her saying that any woman who performs similar rituals on this auspicious day would be protected from all evil forces throughout her life. From then on, it has been customary for Indian women to perform puja or worship ceremonies along with special meals prepared in honour of their brothers on Bhai Dooj every year. This festival also signifies the end of the harvest season and is thus a time for thanksgiving. It is believed that on this day, Yama Raja, the god of death, visits his sister Yamuna Devi.

Pleased with her affection towards him, he grants her a boon that anyone who dies within her waters will attain moksha or salvation. As such, people take dips in holy rivers like Ganga and Yamuna on Bhai Dooj to cleanse themselves of their sins and achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death. This festival, like all other Hindu festivals, is steeped in mythology and tradition. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate the bonds of love and affection!


Significance of Bhai Dooj


The word ‘Bhai’ means brother in Hindi, while ‘Dooj’ refers to the two days after the new moon when brothers visit their married sisters. On this day, sisters pray for their brothers’ long life and well-being, and prepare special meals for them. Brothers in turn give clothes and other presents to their sisters. The festival highlights the importance of sibling love and strengthens familial bonds across India. 

It has been mentioned in Vedic texts like Yamaka Bharata as Agrani Jayanti, which was celebrated by Yama (god of death) visiting his sister Yamuna on this auspicious occasion every year. This gave rise to another name, Narka Chaturdashi (Narakasura Chaturdashi). According to some versions, Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura on this very day; hence it became widely known as Vishnu Dwadashi too, since Vishnu slew many demons, including Narakasura.

In Maharashtra it is called Tulapurusha Jayanthi, where Tula Purush (Lord Shiva) visited his wife Parvati just like any other bhratri visits her bhabhi(sister-in-law/brother’s wife). There are different customs followed all over India, but one thing remains common among almost all Hindus that they celebrate sibling love, especially the fraternal bond between brother and sister, with great gusto.


How is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?


On this day, sisters perform a puja for their brothers by lighting a diya (lamp) and applying tilak (a mark made with sandalwood paste or vermilion powder) to their foreheads. The brothers then offer prayers and gifts to their sisters in return. This beautiful festival not only strengthens familial bonds but also helps promote gender equality within society.

In India, where Bhai Dooj is traditionally celebrated, women are often seen as subordinate to men; however, this festival provides an opportunity for them to be worshiped and honoured. This equal treatment of genders reinforces the message that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their sex. Not only does Bhai Dooj celebrate sister-brother relationships, but it also highlights the importance of family bonds overall.

In today’s world where people are often too busy to spend time with loved ones, festivals like Bhai Dooj serve as a reminder of how crucial it is to nurture these ties. It’s a time for families to come together, catch up with one another, and create cherished memories. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to show your siblings some extra love, make sure to mark Bhai Dooj in your calendar!


When is Bhai Dooj Celebrated?


Bhai Dooj is usually celebrated on the second day of Diwali, which falls on the dark moon night in October or November. On this day, sisters perform a puja for their brothers with special prayers and offerings.

The brother then applies tilak (a mark of auspiciousness) to his sister’s forehead and gives her gifts. This lovely occasion strengthens the sibling bond and reminds us of our duties towards our siblings. This year, Bhai Dooj will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 26th!




Bhai Dooj (the fifth day of Diwali) is a very special day for brothers and sisters. It is the day when they are revered by their siblings and given gifts. The festival signifies the bonds that tie a brother and sister together.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated in India with great fervour. This festival is marked by festive gatherings at home with family and friends, visits to temples, fireworks, exchange of gifts and sweets. The festival ends with the Bhai Dooj which falls on the 5th day after Diwali.

The significance of Bhai Dooj can be traced back to ancient times when brothers were considered equal in status to parents. The holiday was also meant to strengthen ties between siblings and promote good relationships among them. Also, don’t miss Bhai Dooj this year; it falls on Wednesday October 25th!

Govardhan Puja (Day 4 of Diwali)- Significance, History, and Everything you need to know!

Govardhan Puja (The 4th Day of Diwali)- Significance, History, and Everything you need to know!


Govardhan Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated in the month of October or November. The puja commemorates the lifting of Govardhana Hill by Lord Krishna to save the people of Vrindavan from Indra’s wrath.

People celebrate this event by making small replicas of Govardhana Hill out of cow dung, and then decorating them with flowers and other items. They also offer prayers to Lord Krishna and make special food offerings to him.

This puja is especially important to the Vaishnavas, who believe that Govardhana Hill is a manifestation of Krishna himself. It is also believed that by performing this puja, one can please Lord Krishna and obtain his blessings.


The Story Behind Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja, also known as Annakut or Padayani, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the victory of Lord Krishna over Indra, the king of gods. The story goes that once upon a time, there was severe drought in Braj (the land where Krishna grew up). All the farmers and animals were suffering from hunger and thirst. To save them, Krishna lifted Mount Govardhana on his little finger and held it aloft for seven days straight!

This enabled all the people and animals to take shelter under the mountain and get relief from the harsh weather conditions. When Indra saw what had happened, he realised his mistake of trying to harm Krishna’s devotees and asked for forgiveness. Since then, every year on this day Hindus offer their thanksgiving to Govardhana by decorating it with flowers & fruits along with preparing special meals which are shared among family & friends.

This festival also holds great significance in the Vaishnav tradition. Govardhana is believed to be a representation of Krishna himself, and by worshipping it devotees are actually paying homage to the Lord. In some temples, special pujas are performed on this day where small replicas of Govardhana hill made out of cow dung & hay are worshipped.


Significance of Govardhan Puja

Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the day after Diwali and marks the end of the four-day long festivities. Govardhan Puja commemorates Lord Krishna’s victory over Indra, the god of rain and thunder.

In order to put an end to Indra’s tyrannical rule, Krishna lifted up a mountain on his little finger for seven days and nights. This act saved the people of Vrindavan from being drenched in incessant rains and floods brought about by Indra’s anger. Govardhan Puja celebrates this event and thanking Lord Krishna for his protection. Govardhan Puja is an important festival not just for the Hindus but also for the Jains.

This is because it marks the beginning of their new year. For them, this day holds a lot of significance as it is believed that on this day, Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana or salvation. The Jain community celebrates this event by decorating their temples and houses with lights and flowers. They also prepare special food items to offer to Lord Mahavira during puja ceremonies.


How do Devotees Celebrate Govardhan Puja?

Govardhan Puja falls on the day after Diwali and commemorates Lord Krishna’s victory over Indra, the king of gods.

Devotees celebrate this day by making small mountains out of cow dung and decorating them with flowers and fruits. They then offer prayers to Lord Krishna and seek his blessings. Afterward, they feast on a sumptuous meal consisting of various traditional dishes prepared using milk and butter.

The entire festivities last for five days and nights, culminating in a grand procession called Dahi Handi held on the fifth night where people form human pyramids to reach an earthen pot filled with curdled milk suspended high up in air!


What Rituals do Devotees Follow on Goverdhan Puja?

The rituals followed during Goverdhan Puja are very simple yet extremely significant. The first step is the purification of mind and body through baths or ablutions in holy water bodies like rivers, lakes, or ponds. After this, one must dress up in clean clothes and offer food as naivedya (food offering) to Govardhana Hill.

This act represents our reverence and gratitude to nature, which provides us with everything we need for survival, including air, water, and food. It also reminds us that we should care for Mother Earth as she cares for us humans. The next ritual entails circumambulating Govardhana hill seven times while chanting Lord Krishna mantras such as “om namo bhagavate vasudevaya.”

Finally, we pray to Lord Krishna by saying, “Swamiye saranam ayyanirum,” meaning “Oh god! “Please protect me.” By doing all these things mentioned above, we please Govardhaneshwar (Lord Krishna), who protects his devotees from all troubles throughout their life!


When is Goverdhan Puja Usually Celebrated?

Goverdhan Puja is a festival that is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It usually falls on the month of October or November and commemorates the day when Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhana to save his village from Indra’s wrath.

This year, Goverdhan Puja will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 25th. On this day, Hindus will offer puja (worship) to Lord Krishna and perform special prayers and rituals. They will also decorate their homes with flowers and lights in honour of him.

In some parts of India, people make large effigies of Lord Krishna which they carry around town in procession before burning them at nightfall. So, if you want to join in the festivities this year, mark your calendar for October 25th!



As you can see, Govardhan Puja is an important festival in India. It’s a day to worship Lord Krishna and celebrate his victory over Lord Indra.

You can celebrate the festival with your family and friends by making a small hill of clay or sand and decorating it with flowers. You can also make food offerings to Lord Krishna. The most popular food offering is called “dahi-bada”. This consists of curd rice which is made by adding curd to steamed rice.

You can also invite your friends over for a delicious meal on this day. It’s an opportunity to get together with your loved ones and share some good food while being grateful for everything you have in life!

Deepawali -Significance of Shri Lakshmi Puja – Day 3

Significance of Mata Lakshmi Puja – Deepawali

Lakshmi Puja is one of the most popular festivals in India, celebrated by Hindus all over the country. It’s celebrated to pray for prosperity and good fortune, so that people may have a prosperous life. But what exactly is Lakshmi Puja? How is it celebrated? Find all answers in this blog post!

What exactly is Goddess Lakshmi Puja?

Lakshmi Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated on the 15th day of Kartik. This year, it falls on October 24th. Lakshmi is the goddess of riches, auspiciousness, prosperity, and good fortune. During this puja, Hindus also honor Ganesha, Kubera, and Saraswati.

This festival marks a new beginning for Goddess followers. On Lakshmi Puja’s eve, the goddess roams the land. Devotees burn earthen lamps and leave doors and windows open for her. The next morning, they perform puja to welcome her into their homes. After the puja ceremony, people offer food to Lakshmi and then share it with others as prasadam.

This festival is a time of joy and giving thanks for all that we have been blessed with. It is also an opportunity to ask for Lakshmi’s blessings in our lives.

Bhog, which can also be translated as food, is what Goddess Lakshmi is usually given on this day. In addition to Khichuri, Bhaja, which is a bunch of different kinds of fried vegetables, is given to the Goddess as an offering. “Bhog” is also referred to as dishes made with peas and cauliflower. Laddoos made with til and laddoos made with coconut are essential. All of the food that the women make for the Lakshmi Pooja is served on banana leaves, clay pots, or metal plates and bowls.

The legend behind Shri Lakshmi Puja

The story of Lakshmi puja begins with the sage Durvasa and Lord Indra. Durvasa was a great sage who had the power to curse anyone who displeased him. One day, he decided to honor Indra, the king of the gods, with a garland. However, when Indra received the garland, he disrespectfully put it on Airavat, his elephant. Airavat got irritated and tossed the garland in anger. When Durvasa saw what happened, he cursed Indra for this deed. He said that as Indra had mistreated the garland, his entire empire would be destroyed.

Sure enough, evil demons soon invaded Amravati, the city of the gods. The deities’ qualities turned against them, and they were unable to fight back effectively. Finally, Lord Vishnu appeared and healed Indra. He told Indra that the only way to defeat the demons was to churn the ocean.

So, the gods and demons churned the ocean until finally, Goddess Lakshmi appeared seated on a lotus flower. She chose Lord Vishnu as her master and joined forces with the gods against their common enemies –the demons. With Goddess Lakshmi’s help, they were able to defeat them easily and restored Amravati to its former glory.

By making friends with the gods, goddess Lakshmi made it possible for them to do good things, act in a kind and helpful way, get their strength back, and made them feel calm. Because of this, the Goddess Lakshmi is in charge of both material and mental wealth.

Why do you need to celebrate Mata Lakshmi Puja?

Hindus around the world celebrate Lakshmi Puja during the five-day festival of Deepawali. It is one of the year’s most important Hindu events. On this day, worshippers pray to Goddess Lakshmi for the forgiveness of past misdeeds and for blessings in the future. Families gather together to chant to the goddess and to bless their new ledgers and accountancy books.

For Hindus, Deepawali and Lakshmi Puja reset them spiritually. It is a profound experience that pulls people onward toward righteousness. The puja renews Hindu hope and faith in the divine. As worshipers adore Goddess Lakshmi, they are filled with a sense of purpose and direction.

The five-day festival of Deepawali is celebrated with much pomp and ceremony across India. Long-distance relatives visit home for the occasion, and neighbors and communities share sweets/gifts with each other. For Hindus, Deepawali is an opportunity to come together as a community and to strengthen social bonds.

How to celebrate Lakshmi Puja?

1. Prepare sweets at home

To celebrate Lakshmi Puja, you can start by making some traditional Indian sweets. The Internet has several easy Indian sweets recipes that you can follow. For example, kheer is a traditional Indian dessert made with milk, rice, sugar, and almonds. You can also recreate a typical Indian kitchen for Shri Lakshmi Puja. This involves setting up an altar with a picture or statue of Goddess Lakshmi and lighting candles and incense.

2. Perform a deep cleaning of your home

One of the most important parts of Lakshmi Puja is the deep cleaning that is done beforehand. Every nook and cranny must be cleaned so that Lakshmi will be pleased and bestow her blessings upon the household. This means taking everything apart – removing carpets, taking down chandeliers, unplugging electronics, and even defrosting the fridge! – and giving it a good scrub. Make sure to use clean cloths or disposable wipes, and don’t forget to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.

3. Light a diya

The lamp made of earth, called a “Diya,” is more than just a decoration. It shows that a place is good and clean and that evil has been removed from it. Since Lakshmi Puja takes place on the day of the new moon, which is also called “Amavasya,” the diya light is used to compensate for the absence of star light. By kindling a lamp with its flame, this Lakshmi Puja will dispel the gloom that has settled over your life.


In conclusion, Lakshmi Puja is an important festival that celebrates the goddess of wealth and prosperity. It has been celebrated for centuries, and will likely continue to be celebrated for many more.

This holiday gives us a chance to reflect on our values as well as our desires for the future. As you go through the day, take a moment to think about what you would like to see happen in your life over the next year, and set aside a time at night during which you can express those desires to Lakshmi with a candlelit puja ceremony.

Significance of Naraka Chaturdashi


Story Mythology behind Naraka Chaturdashi

Significance of Naraka Chaturdashi

The ancient stories of Indian history contain the key to comprehending the significance of the Naraka Chaturdashi festival. A celebration commemorating Mahakali is conducted on the day known as Naraka Chaturdashi. This event is observed on the 14th day of the Ashwin month in the Indian calendar. Every year, this ceremony is held in an effort to purge people’s lives of wickedness and sloth. It is presently practiced in order to purify oneself of all misdeeds and to save one’s soul from being doomed to hell.

Let us know more about this festival.

The story behind Naraka Chaturdashi

The mythology behind Naraka Chaturdashi has its roots in Hinduism. According to the legend, Narakasura was born when Vishnu incarnated as Varaha (boar). At that time, Goddess Bhudevi had a demon called Bhaumasura who was created from a drop of her sweat. Vishnu then gifted Bhudevi’s demon with a weapon called Vaishnavastra which caused Naraka to start tormenting both gods and humans alike with it.

Not only did he take away Indra’s white umbrella and Manishikhara but he also stole Aditi’s earrings. As a result of this, Indra felt powerless and ashamed. He went to Lord Krishna for help. Lord Krishna decided to wage a war against Murasura. However, upon Murasura‘s death, his seven sons with Peethasura  as their general fought against Krishna. All of them lost the war and were killed.

In the end, Narakasura came to battle Krishna, which eventually got killed as well. After his death, Bhudevi came back to her original form and she promptly gave all the valuables and kingdoms that rightfully belonged to their owners back; just like how Indra got his umbrella and Manishikhara back while Aditi got her earrings returned   Consequently, with Naraka gone along with all of his familiars including devils, demons and evil spirits; everyone became pleased.

This can be seen in how people react even today whenever an evildoer is destroyed or killed; there is always a sense of relief among good people.

Before his death, Narakasura repented for his actions and asked that people commemorate him once a year on Chaturdashi Day.

On that day, Hindus burst crackers and light lamps in honor of Narakasura. It is said that he enjoys watching the fireworks from the underworld and is pleased when people remember him with kindness. This wish was granted and from there comes the tradition of bursting crackers.

How is Naraka Chaturdashi celebrated in different parts of India?


The most important part of Narak Chaturdashi celebrations in Goa is the burning of effigies made of paper and straw. These effigies represent Narkasura and his followers, and their destruction signifies the triumph of good over evil. Every year, elaborate effigies are designed and built by artists across Goa.

An interesting tradition associated with Narak Chaturdashi is that of crushing bitter kareet fruits under one’s feet. This act is symbolic of stomping out all negativity from one’s life and welcoming positivity and goodness. Candles are also lit on this occasion as a sign of hope and prosperity.

Narak Chaturdashi would not be complete without its traditional feast or “sopari”. This meal typically consists of items like pumpkin curry, beans curry, sweet potato pudding, coconut rice cake etc., which are all prepared using seasonal produce specific to this time of year. The feast is followed by a tasty breakfast which might include items like nevri (sweet dumplings), puran poli (flatbread stuffed with sweetened chana dal) or halwa (semolina pudding).

West Bengal

On the eve of Naraka Chaturdashi, also known as Bhoot Chaturdashi, families in West Bengal celebrate by lighting 14 diyas (lamps) around their house. It is believed that on this night, the dead visit their loved ones on Earth. The diyas are meant to guide a family’s 14 predecessors’ home and ward off any bad spirits.

To further create a festive atmosphere and ward off any evil spirits, people often spend the evening singing bhajans (religious songs) and sharing stories. homes and temples are decorated with lights and flowers, and everyone is dressed in their best clothes. The day is spent in remembrance of those who have passed away and in prayer for their souls.

How to celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi?

1. Exchange gifts or sweets

Naraka Chaturdashi is a festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It is also about spreading joy and happiness. People give gifts or make sweets to celebrate this special day.

One of the most popular sweet dishes during Naraka Chaturdashi is Patishapta. It is a Bengali dessert made with rice flour, milk, and sugar. The dish is usually filled with caramelized coconut filling. Pancakes are also a common treat during this festive season.

2. Wear new or fresh clothes

On Naraka Chaturdashi, Hindus rise early and rub scented oil before bath. The oil is scented with fresh flowers, and the bath is meant to purify the body and soul. After the bath, males put on clean or new clothes. Then, the group shares a big breakfast.

Throughout the day, family and friends will visit each other’s homes to exchange gifts and sweets. At night, everyone comes together for a special puja, or prayer ceremony. The puja includes lighting candles and incense, singing devotional songs, and reading from religious texts.

You may assist your Indian friends rejoice by doing tiny, heartfelt things. For example, you could offer to help prepare food for the feast or decorate one of the puja altars.

3. Wish peace and happiness!

On this day, people remember that good won over evil. This is a feeling that a lot of people share. Even if you are not Hindu or Indian, wishing others happiness and prosperity on this day will be noticed and appreciated by your friends and acquaintances who celebrate this holiday in a spiritual way.


In conclusion, Naraka Chaturdashi is a very special day for the people of India. It is celebrated with great pomp and show. The festival of Naraka Chaturdashi signifies the victory of good over evil. The victory of Lord Krishna over evil forces. This day is also known as Dussehra, Vijayadashami, Dussera or Dashain in different parts of India.

Deepawali Day 1: Dhanteras – Significance,

Everything you need to know about Dhanteras

Dhanteras is one of the most important festivals in India, and it’s celebrated on the thirteenth day of the month of Kartik. It’s a day when people buy new things for their homes and businesses. Dhanteras is also about giving thanks for all that we have and expressing our sincere gratitude to god.

Let us know about this festival in detail.

The story behind Dhanteras

The story of Dhanteras is a popular one in the Hindu context. It is said that once there was a great king named Hima. He was a just and kind ruler who was loved by his people. However, tragedy struck when the king’s son was born.

An astrologer prophesied that the prince would be killed by a snake bite on his 16th birthday. The king was devastated but he did not give up hope. He consulted with a brilliant astrologer who recommended that the prince marry a wealthy girl in order to save his life.

As the prince’s 16th birthday approached, the king began to feel anxious. However, his wife was witty and crafty, and she saved him. She heaped her riches in front of the door to prevent the snake’s entry and urged the prince to stay awake with her.

Lord Yam, the god of death, came disguised as a snake and tried to enter the castle on that night, but he could not pass through because of the dazzle of the ornaments, and he also paused to listen to the queen’s melodious singing. Eventually, Lord Yam had to give up trying to claim the prince’s life and he left empty-handed. The young prince lived because of his smart wife who used her wit and resources to save him from certain death.

Significance of Dhanteras

Dhanteras is one of the most popular festivals in India. It is celebrated on the 13th day of the Hindu month of Ashvin, which falls in October or November. The word ‘Dhan’ means wealth and ‘teras’ refers to the 13th day.

Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day Diwali festival. On this day, Hindus worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. It is believed that worshipping Lakshmi on Dhanteras brings good luck and prosperity.

People clean their homes and offices and decorate them with lights and diyas (oil lamps) on Dhanteras. Families buy new clothes, gold and silver jewelry, kitchen utensils, and other items to mark the occasion.

The festival of Dhanteras holds great significance for businesses as it is considered an auspicious day to start new ventures. Many people buy cars, bikes, or other expensive items on this day.

In recent years, Dhanteras has also become a major shopping festival with many retailers offering heavy discounts on their products. This has made it one of the busiest shopping days in India.

3 Things to buy on Dhanteras

1. Gold and silver

On this day, it is considered auspicious to buy gold and silver.

There are many reasons why one should purchase these precious metals on Dhanteras. First and foremost, they are a popular choice among those looking to invest their money.

Gold and silver have always been valuable commodities, and their worth is only expected to increase in the years to come. Not only will investing in them bring you financial security, but it may also bring you good luck and fortune.

Another reason to buy gold and silver on Dhanteras is for the purpose of gift-giving. These precious metals make for beautiful gifts that can be passed down from generation to generation. They are also a symbol of wealth and status, making them an impressive present for any occasion.

2. Utensils

Dhanteras is an auspicious day for Hindus, and it is considered to be the best day to buy utensils. On this day, you can buy silver, copper, and brass kitchenware. It is believed that these metals are auspicious and bring good luck. Avoid steel and iron cookware on this day as they are considered inauspicious. Hindus don’t bring empty utensils on Dhanteras as it is believed that they will bring bad luck.

3. Broom

Are you looking for a way to improve your financial luck? If so, you may want to consider buying a broom on Dhanteras.

According to Hindu tradition, you should buy brooms during Dhanteras. Buying a broom on this day is supposed to relieve home-related financial troubles.

There are several reasons why buying a broom on Dhanteras can be beneficial. For one thing, it is considered lucky to purchase a broom on this day.

Additionally, sweeping away dirt and debris is seen as metaphorically clearing away negative energy. This can create positive vibes in your home and attract good luck.

What is the significance of 13 diyas that should be lit on Dhanteras?

On Dhanteras, 13 old or used earthen diyas should be lit and placed facing south near trash outside the home to keep loved ones from dying. This must be done with everyone being present at the time of lighting the diyas.

  1. The first diya protects the family from deaths that come too soon.
  2. On the evening of Diwali, you must light a second diya with ghee and place it in front of your puja mandir or another place set aside for worship. If you do this, good things will happen to you.
  3. The third diya is supposed to be lit in front of Lakshmi to ask for her blessings of good luck, wealth, and plenty.
  4. The fourth diya is put up in front of the tulsi plant. Its goal is to bring peace and happiness into the home.
  5. You should put up a fifth diya in front of the main entrance to your home. It means that you want happiness, love, good luck, and pleasure to come into your home.
  6. The sixth diya, which should be lit with mustard oil, is meant to be put under a peepal tree, which is thought to be a lucky place.
  7. The seventh diya must be lit in any temple that is a reasonable distance from your home.
  8. Next to the trash can, the eighth diya needs to be lit.
  9. Place the ninth diya outside the bathroom to make sure that positive energy keeps flowing freely through the house.
  10. It’s important to light the tenth diya at the edge of the roof, which stands for safety.
  11. Putting the eleventh diya in the window as a decoration is a good way to spread holiday cheer.
  12. Set up the twelveth diya on the roof or on the patio to get into the holiday spirit.
  13. By lighting the thirteenth diya, you can make the corner of your house look nicer.


Mysterious Group of Temples at Bateshwar

Temples at Bateshwar

An interesting thing about Madhya Pradesh is that you will discover a number of mysterious spots with fascinating history here. One such spot is the Morena district which is located at a distance of about 34 km from Gwalior. This place is home to a huge collection of very old temples that are collectively known as Temples of Bateshwar. 

A strange fact about these temples is that they were discovered just a few years ago while the construction of these temples dates to the ancient years. 

Temples at Bateshwar
Temples at Bateshwar
Vikramjit.rooprai, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Discovery of the Temples of Bateshwar

To understand the discovery of these temples, we have to time travel to the year 2005. It was in this year when the Archaeological Survey of India started its expedition in this area and found a group of ancient temples. These temples were in damaged condition and required extreme restoration work. 

It was under the archeologist KK Mohammad that the great restoration work of the temples started. The temples were made up of sandstone and the team restored these temples stone by stone to create a miracle that stands in front of us. 

In total there are 200 sandstone-made temples and this whole group of temples collectively is known as the Temples of Bateshwar. 

So, how did this huge collection of temples vanish all of a sudden before 2005?

During the expedition and research, archeologists found out that these temples are quite ancient and it was during the 14th Century when due to an earthquake, these temples not just got destroyed but also a major part of it went underground. 

The dacoits of Chambal found this area to be a serene place and a perfect spot for their hiding due to the devastating condition. Hence, it was only after the escape of the dacoits from this spot that the archaeologists started working on these temples in 2005. 

Temples at Bateshwar
Temples at Bateshwar Varun Shiv Kapur from New Delhi, India , CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

History of the Temples of Bateshwar

The actual construction date of these temples is still not confirmed but as per the researchers, it should be somewhere between the 9th and the 11th Century when these temples may have got constructed during the reign of the Gujar Pratihara Dynasty. 

Among almost 200 temples or more, the largest one is devoted to Lord Shiva and the locals call this temple by the name of Bhuteshwar Temple. Apart from Lord Shiva, there are also many other temples that are devoted to the other two eminent deities of the Hindu culture and these are Lord Vishnu and Devi Shakti. 

The temples are known to have different elements in them that denote different themes or religious meanings. Researchers are able to decode only a few of them till now. According to such research, there are some temples representing the Navagraha while there are some other temples that showcase the Dashavatar or the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Apart from these, there are also some temples that showcase Saptamatrikas, a symbol of Shakti in the Hindu religion. 

The diversity of themes shown in different temples found here also offered a hint to the researchers that maybe this area was a spot for religious art and architecture during the 10th century or so. 


The View at the Temples of Bateshwar

This area is not just a spot for architectural excavations and beauty. Also, this place has become a tourist attraction in Madhya Pradesh. Surrounded by forests, it is a serene spot that is perfect for picnics and even having a look at the ancient temples of India. If you are planning to visit the Temples of Bateshwar, make sure to have ample time in hand because you will not even realize how you have spent a good chunk of your time while witnessing the temples and the surroundings here. 


How to Reach the Temples of Bateshwar? 

Though this area is quite serene in nature, it is connected with different parts of Madhya Pradesh and India through different modes of transport. 


Airways: The nearest airport to Morena, where these temples are located, is Gwalior. You have to travel just 30 km by road from Gwalior airport to reach Morena to visit these temples. 


Railways: You will find a railway station in Morena that connects to different other parts of Madhya Pradesh such as Gwalior and Bhind.


Roadways: Today, there are regular bus services to Morena from other districts of Madhya Pradesh. Also, you can travel to this place easily using your own car. 

Parsvanath Temple, Khajuraho

Parsvanath Temple, Khajuraho


Khajuraho is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Madhya Pradesh that is known for its beautiful temples. These temples were constructed during the Chandela Dynasty and all these temples are divided into Eastern, Western, and Southern temples. 

When you explore the Eastern temples, you will come across some of the most attractive monuments and Parsvanath Temple is also one of them. 

Parsvanath Temple, Khajuraho
Parsvanath Temple, Khajuraho. Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

The history behind Parsvanath Temple

Parsvanath Temple is not just the oldest but also the largest temple among all the Eastern Temples in Khajuraho. It is said that the temple is dedicated to Lord Parsvanath who was the 23rd Tirthankara of Jains. 

There have been several inscriptions that were found in the temple through which the archaeologists found some details and history of the temple. According to one such inscription, this temple was constructed during the reign of King Dhanga in the 10th Century. 

There are also many inscriptions found that mention how the Jain family contributed towards the construction of the temple while a court man of the king bestowed gifts towards the temple.  Also, it was found that it was in the 19th Century, that a Jain family took the responsibility for the repair work of the temple. 

Parshwanath Temple Eastern Group of Temples Khajuraho India
Hiroki Ogawa, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Similarly, archeologists found another important fact about the temple that initially the temple was getting constructed for Lord Adinath who is the first Tirthankara in Jainism. But again due to unknown reasons, finally Lord Parsvanath became the main deity of the temple and it got its name, Parsvanath Temple. But you will still find the shrine of Lord Adinath which is located near the main temple. 


The architecture of Parsvanath Temple

Similar to other temples of Khajuraho, one can notice beautiful carvings on the Parsvanath Temple also. You can notice carvings of motifs as well as several religious symbols on the interior walls of the temple. On the other hand, the outer walls of the temple hold carvings of animals as well as human figures. 

Though it is a Hindu temple with the Shikhara style as the dominant one, the architecture of the temple also consists of Buddhist and Islamic styles. 

Talking about the floorplan, the temple has a big porch at the entrance after which you will see the hall or the mandapa that is followed by Sanctorum. If you have visited the Lakshmana Temple, you will find the floorplan of Parsvanath Temple a bit similar. 

Talking about the sculptures found on the walls of the temple, all of them showcase different themes. You can notice the sculptures of different Hindu deities such as Lord Vishnu, Devi Lakshmi, and others. Also, you can find other thematic sculptures such as a female applying makeup, and so on. 

It is due to the architectural beauty and the old age of this temple that The Archaeological Survey of India has considered Parsvanath Temple in their list of Monuments of National Importance. 


When to Visit Parsvanath Temple?

There is no such specific time of the month when you should visit Parsvanath Temple. But keeping a note of the extreme summer that you may find in Khajuraho, it is better to avoid the summer seasons. According to some travel experts, September to March is the perfect time period to visit Parsvanath Temple. 

Entry to the temple is free. If you wish to explore the temple in detail and wish to witness the architectural beauty in-depth, you should spend at least 1 hour in this temple. While you are visiting the temple, you should keep a note of the opening and closing times of the temple. 

Opening Time – 8 am

Closing Time – 6 pm

How to Reach Parsvanath Temple?

Parsvanath Temple, located in Khajuraho is quite easily accessible from different parts of the country through different modes of transport. 

Airways: Khajuraho has its own airport, Khajuraho airport. The distance from Khajuraho airport to the temple area is just about 2 km that you can easily cover it by a cab from the airport. 

Railways: Khajuraho is also connected to other parts of the country through a nearby railway station, Rajnagar which is just 3 km away. 

Roadways: Khajuraho has easy accessibility to the National Highway that connects Khajuraho to different cities of Madhya Pradesh. There are different bus services that you can get or you can even drive your car to reach Khajuraho directly. 

Matangeshwar Temple, Khajuraho

Matangeshwar Temple, Khajuraho


Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is widely known for some of the most beautiful architectural monuments. The temples at Khajuraho also have some such temples that are considered extremely pious for varied reasons. One such temple is Matangeshwar Temple. Even at times, the city Khajuraho is also known by the name, the city of Matangeshwar. The temple is situated among the Southern temples of Khajuraho and just beside Lakshmana Temple. 


History of Matangeshwar Temple

The Matangeshwar Temple is considered one of the most pious temples of Khajuraho for a number of reasons. The very first reason is that it is constructed in the respect of sage Matang, who is considered one of the incarnations of Lord Shiva. Thus, inspired by the name Matang, this temple is provided the name Matangeshwar. 

Matangeshwar Temple is also called the name of Mrityunjaya Mahadeo Temple because Lord Shiva is also known to be the Hindu god who has control over death. 

Matangeshwar Temple, Khajuraho
Matangeshwar Temple, Khajuraho. Image derived from Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Construction and Architecture of Matangeshwar Temple

This ancient temple was constructed in the 10th century AD by Chandra Dev, the ruler of the Chandela dynasty. Not only is Matangeshwar Temple one of the oldest temples in Madhya Pradesh but also it is the only temple left out from the Chandela era where even today devotees visit for the purpose of praying. 

Matangeshwar Temple is not just known for its ancient history but also for its architecture and unique features. The temple has a Shiv Linga that is made up of yellow limestone and has a height of about 8 feet. Apart from the Shiv Linga, the temple also has a structure of Lord Ganesha, a goddess, and a few other deities. 

The architecture of Matangeshwar Temple is much different from the other temples in Khajuraho. While you will find carvings on the walls of other temples of Khajuraho, there is no such carvings on the walls of Matangeshwar Temple. But as you enter the temple, you will find some carving work on the ceiling of the temple. 

Also, there is an open-air exhibition hall towards the south of the temple where you can find several structures of different deities. It is due to the ancient construction and importance of the temple that Matangeshwar Temple has been considered a heritage site by UNESCO. 

Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga Khajuraho
Mamleshwar Jyotirlinga Khajuraho, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Festivities at Matangeshwar Temple

Usually, the Brahmins at the temple follow the traditional ritual of bathing the Shiva Linga with milk, honey, and water every day morning and then offering flowers and other elements that are known to be favourites of Lord Shiva. 

Devotees arriving at the temple also are allowed to offer milk and sweets on the Shiv Linga. 

While the traditional ritual is followed every single day followed by morning arti and then evening arti, there are special festivities and arrangements on special days of the year such as Holi, Diwali, and others. The enthusiasm reaches an ultimate level during Shiv Ratri, the day when it is said that Lord Shiva got married to Devi Parvati. On this day, the deity is decorated in the form of a bridegroom and devotees come up to get a glance. 

On the occasion of Shiv Ratri, also there is a fair organized every year that lasts for almost 10 days at a stretch. A large number of traders, folk artists, and others participate in this fair that is visited by devotees from different parts of the country. 


Entry at Matangeshwar Temple

The temple is open only for 12 hours and you need to be aware of the timings in order to complete your puja at the temple. 


Opening Time – 6 am

Closing Time – 6 pm


There is a fee of Rs. 10/- for entering the temple for Indians while the entry fee is higher for international visitors. 


Photography or videography is not allowed inside the temple and the management is quite strict regarding this rule. 


Reaching Matangeshwar Temple

There are a number of ways through which you can reach Matangeshwar Temple in Khajuraho with ease. 

Airways – Khajuraho airport is just 2 km away from the location of the temple that you can cover by getting a cab. 

Railways – Similar to the airport, the nearest railway station Rajnagar is also at a distance of just 3 km. 

Roadways – Khajuraho is also quite conveniently accessible through roadways such as regular bus services from various nearby spots such as Koda. 


Mamleshwar Temple, Omkareshwar

Mamleshwar Temple, Omkareshwar

Mamleshwar Temple is a ancient Shiv temple that is located on the banks of River Narmada in Omkareshwar. Mamleshwar Temple is also known by the name of Amreshwar Temple the meaning of which is immortal. 

It is said that both Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar are the same and are among the 12 Jyotirlingas of India. People with religious faiths have menioned that though both the temples are located opposite to each other, they both denote the same jyotirlinga. 

Mamleshwar Temple, Omkareshwar
Image derived from Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

History behind Mamleshwar Temple

There have been different legends behind the existence of the Mamleshwar Temple. According to one such legend, Lord Shiva once took the form of a massive linga in order to get a competition done in between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. 

Some other legends say that Lord Shiva came in the form of Linga here on the banks of River Narmada on request of Vindhyas. 

It is said that it was the pandavas who established the jyotirlinga here and Lord Shiva divided the Linga into two parts that are now known as Omkareshwar and Mamleshwar. 

Among both the temples, Omkareshwar Temple is more popular but legends say that the visit to Omkareshwar jyotirlinga is absolutely incomplete if you do not visit the Mamleshwar Temple. 

Mamleshwar Temple, Omkareshwar
Image derived from, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Architecture of Mamleshwar Temple

Mamleshwar Temple is not just one of the most ancient temples of India but also one of those temples that are preserved for its architectural beauty. One can find gorgeous stone work on the temple walls. The temple has a shikhar and the entire structure looks extremely stunning even from a distance. 

If you pay proper attention to the walls of the temple, you will find several carvings and inscriptions on them. Researchers are still trying to decode the inscriptions as these are not easily visible and are quite ancient. Truely, Mamleshwar Temple is also said to be one such temple with many secrets that are yet to be revealed. As of now, it has been found out that these inscriptions date as ancient as around 1063 AD. 


Rituals at Mamleshwar Temple

The Brahmins here follow the traditional ritual of Lingarchan Puja that was started way back in the reign of Queen Ahalyabai Holkar. This is a ritual where the brahmins create lingas everyday out of clay and then submerge them into the River Narmada after the praying ritual is over. This ritual was started by 22 Brahmins during the reign of Holkar but now the same tradition is carried out only by 5 Brahmins. 

Apart from this main traditional ritual, there are also many other rituals that are followed in the temple accordingly. The other rituals that the devotees can see and can perform at the Mamleshwar Temple are:

  • Partheshwar Pujan
  • Kaalsarp Shanti
  • Panchamrat Rudra Abhishek
  • Samanya Abhishek
  • Laghu Rudra Abhishek


There are different purposes of each of these rituals. Some are for the peace of the planetary impacts on the kundali of a person while some others are for other reasons. 


When to Visit Mamleshwar Temple?

There is no such specific time period when you should pay a visit to the Mamleshwar Temple. But you can witness a crowd of devotees and many festivities happening in the temple during special occasions such as Shiv Ratri. Also, devotees from different places visit Mamleshwar and Omkareshwar Temple during the Shravan months for Jal Abhishek. 

There are no tickets to enter the temple. But you need to maintain the timing of the temple. 

Opening Time – 6:30 am 

Closing Time – 9:30 pm

How to Reach Mamleshwar Temple?

As Omkareshwar is among the 12 jyotirlingas, the place has been accessible from different parts of the country so that the devotees do not face trouble reaching here. 

Airways – The nearest airport to Omkareshwar is Indore that is about 75 km away. 

Railways – The Omkareshwar railway station is just 12 km from the main location of Omkareshwar. 

Roadways – The nearest bus stand is just about 1.9 km away. 


Different national highways and state highways also connect Omkareshwar to different parts of the country. So, you can even book a cab or can drive your own vehicle to Omkareshwar. 

Once you have reached the main Omkareshwar Temple in Omkareshwar, you can either take the foot bridge or can even take a ferry to cross the River Narmada and reach upto Mamleshwar Temple.