Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain – Complete Details

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga is among the 12 jyotirlingas of India and is located in the ancient city Ujjain or Madhya Pradesh. The description of Mahakaleshwar has been inscripted even in the Hindu puranas. It is said that the life of the city Ujjain revolves highly around the blessings and the power of Mahakal.

The shiv linga in the Mahakaleshwar Temple is known by different names also such as Swayambhu which means that the Shiv Linga gains power on its own. Another name is Dakshinamurti because the Shiv Linga in this temple faces towards the South direction. 

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Ujjain. Gyanendra_Singh_Chau…, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

The Legend of Mahakaleshwar

As per the puranas and many other legendary sources, Mahakaleshwar denotes time. As per this meaning, Lord Shiva or Mahesh, among the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) is known to have control over time. 

Apart from this, there are many other tales coming from the depth of myths. 

One such story says that Devi Sati got married to Lord Shiva against the will of her father King Daksha. When Daksha insulted Lord Shiva in front of everyone during an occasion, Devi Sati entered the fire in a state of rage. Lord Shiva could not control his feelings on the death of Devi Sati and performed the dance of rage called Tandav in the form of Mahakal. 

Similarly, there is another story in which Lord Shiva took the form of Mahakal when a demon Dushan tried to harm four of his eminent bhakts. 

 

The Architecture of Mahakaleshwar Temple

This ancient temple reflects a beautiful architectural combination of different ancient styles that are of Bhumija, Chalukya, and Maratha. The temple has five levels and the Garbhagriha is located underground where the Shiva Linga is situated. 

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Ujjain
Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Ujjain. Udit Sharma, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Apart from the Mahakaleshwar Shiv Linga, there are more two Shiv Lingas present in the temple and these are Nagachandresvara and Omkareshvara. The Nagachandresvara Shiv Linga is located at the uppermost part of the temple and devotees are allowed to have darshan of this Shiv Linga only on the pious day of nag Panchami. 

 

While you are entering the Garbhagriha of the main deity Mahakaleshwar in the temple, you will also witness many other idols such as that of Lord Ganesha, Mata Parvati, Kartikeye, Shri Rama, and others. The main shrine or the Shiv Linga has a silver plated roof on the top that increases the royalty of the Mahakaleshwar even more. 

 

Celebrations at Mahakaleshwar

Usually, the pujaris of the temple perform arti and abhishek with proper ritual every day, but there are also a few celebrations for which devotees visit the temple from different parts of the country. 

Nitya Yatra is when the devotees take a dip in the holy Sipra River and then pay a visit to the deities in the temple. 

The Sawari is a possession of Lord Mahakaleshwar that takes place every Monday on the streets of Ujjain. This possession is followed by devotees from different parts of the country on special occasions such as Vijaydashami. 

Bhasm-arti – This is a special kind of arti that takes place every day in the morning. For this ritual, the pujaris apply bhasm or fresh ashes from the burial ground on the Mahakaleshwar. It is said that Lord Shiva is above life and death and so the bhasm-arti is an important ritual in the temple. 

Devotees who wish to witness the grand bhasm-arti of Mahakaleshwar should arrive at the temple early in the morning with a proper photo identity proof provided by the Government of India. Though all the Governmenr-approved identity cards are accepted, it is advised not to carry PAN card for the purpose. 

Reaching Mahakaleshwar Temple

Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain is quite accessible through various means of transport. 

Airways: The nearest airport to Ujjain is Indore that is at a distance of 51 km. Other airports that are near to Ujjain are Bhopal, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. 

Railways: The best route is through railways as you can get down directly at the Ujjain Railway Station from where you can take any vehicle to reach to the temple. Other railways stations where you can get down are Chintaman, Vikram Nagar, Omkareshwar, and Pingleshwar. 

Roadways: There are different bus services that connects Mahakaleshwar to different cities of the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Pune, and Bengaluru. If you are opting for a cab service, Mahakaleshwar is 4 hours drive from Omkareshwar. 

Raireshwar Temple – Where Shivaji took the oath of Hindu Swarajya

Raireshwar Temple:- An Introduction

 

India is a mystical land with many ancient, beautiful temples spread across its landscape. Many temples carry with their legacy stories of courage and grit. Raireshwar temple is also known for an interesting story related to Shivaji and his oath. Moreover, the mystical Raireshwar temple is a witness to India’s early struggle for independence or SWARAJ. 

 

Shivaji, The Great Maratha Ruler:-

Before we learn about the importance of the Raireshwar temple in Indian ethos, let’s mention certain essential qualities of the great man behind making it so famous. Yes, you heard it right! India’s Great and invincible icon, specifically, Maharashtra-Shivaji Maharaj. 

Shivaji was born with commendable traits, bravery, honesty, the ferocity to fight for freedom, a genuine interest in the welfare of the people of his country. He was a man who had great foresight. He chose such places where the defense can be made a weapon. 

He is also known as the Father of the Navy as he was the first person to realize the importance of having a naval force. 

Historical Significance of Raireshwar temple:-

Raireshwar temple is famously known for its historical importance. It is said that here, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, all of 16 years old, took the oath of Hindavi Swaraj on 27 April 1645 by cutting his little finger. The blood dripping from the finger was dedicated to Shivalinga inside the temple as an epitome of his truthful oath.

We all know the rest that happened. Shivaji was one of India’s most exemplary leaders, who inspired and is still inspiring the crowds.

 

Where is the temple located? 

Raireshwar temple is located near Pune, Maharashtra. To be specific. It is located in Bhor Taluka, Pune. It is surrounded by majestic hills and forts such as Kenjalgad. The place nearby the temple is ideal for camping.

Architectural Design of the temple:-

The entire temple is stone and has a rock-solid structure with a metal roof. It was rebuilt in 18 th century. Constructed on a plateau, it becomes more beautiful when various flowers surround it during the monsoon.

Meaning of Shivaji’s oath:-

Hindavi Swaraj, the oath taken by Shivaji, literally meant a big denial to live as enslaved people. It was a massive call towards freedom with Lord Raireshwar as a prime witness. Even today, the temple’s architecture has portraits of Shivaji with his ardent followers. 

Shivaji’s words were, “God thinks this kingdom should shape as HIndavi Swaraj. We shall see that God’s wish is fulfilled “.

Key details of the temple:-

  • Maintained by:- local Jungam community.
  • Timings to visit:- 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • What:- A 400-year-old structure with historical relevance.

Historians believe that Shivaji chose this temple as the oath-taking place because its location was favorable back then. It was not easily accessible at that time, so secret meetings could be organized here with lesser chances of being caught. Because of this reason, Shivaji and his followers opted for the Raireshwar temple as the focal point from where they would begin the Maratha march towards freedom.

There are undoubtedly other places worth seeing near Raireshwar temple. These are also considered tourist attractions. Some of them are as follows:-

  1. Kenjalgad 
  2. Waghjai temple
  3. Ashwalkhind
  4. Nageshwar temple
  5. The Hanging bridge

Villages nearby the temple are also beautiful to visit and are ideal for hiking adventures.

 

How to reach Raireshwar temple? 

Now Raireshwar temple is easily accessible through the public or private mode of transport. The road route from Pune is quite good, and one can easily reach the temple through this route, enjoying the natural beauty along the way. The temple is around 82 km from Pune, near Bhor.

One can take flight or rail or road route till Pune. After reaching Pune, a private taxi can also be hired to visit the temple and its nearby places. The place is connected quite well with all the major cities across India. So, you can choose air travel, rail transport or road route as per your convenience. 

Many travel companies offer a good travel plan, including a visit to the temple with an itinerary including the places as mentioned above surrounding it. However, it would be an eye delight for the tourists and other nature enthusiasts to cover the entire scenic location surrounding the Raireshwar temple. 

It is a haven for people who love to hike and go camping. Reasonable packages are being provided, including hiking, camping, sightseeing, etc., that can help you soak in the scenic beauty here. 



Conclusion:-

Raireshwar temple is an indispensable part of Maratha history. It has been a stoic witness to Shivaji Maharaj’s immense bravery, love for his motherland, and wish to bring happiness to his fellowmen’s lives. So, it’s a place that should be seen, written about, and promoted as India’s proud heritage.




Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho

The majestic sculptures of the temples at Khajuraho are widely popular throughout the world now. Each year, tourists from different corners of the world visit Khajuraho to witness the epic architecture and carvings on the Khajuraho temples. One such temple that also has a religious belief here is the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple in Khajuraho. 

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho
Rajenver, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
China Crisis, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

About the Temple

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple is one of the most popular temples of Khajuraho. Not just famous, this temple is also the largest one in the entire vicinity. The temple dates back to ancient history and was earlier known by the name of Shivalaya. 

 

The ruler of the Chandel Dynasty, King Vidyadhar constructed the temple between the time period of 1025 AD to 1050 AD. The locals have interesting folklore to narrate that describes the reason to construct the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. 

According to the local folklore, Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked the fort of King Vidyadhar in 1022 AD but he was not able to capture it and returned with his failure. King Vidyadhar considered this victory as the blessing of Lord Shiva and in gratitude decided to construct the Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. 

It was in the year 1986 when UNESCO considered the temple in the list of World Heritage Sites. 

 

The Architecture of Kandariya Mahadeo Temple

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple has a height of about 31m and it stands on a base that is again 4m high. The temple is also known as the Chaturbhuj temple as the dimension of the temple is based on a quadrilateral shape. The outer part of the temple has 84 parts that are all equal in size. 

Sandstone and granite are used for the construction of the temple and there are several beautiful carvings on the walls that depict different stories. The architecture of the temple is considered one of the epitome of Hindu art even today. Historians mention that the architecture of all the temples in Khajuraho is based on the Nagara style that dates back to the Gupta period. 

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, Khajuraho
Bhajish Bharathan, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The sculptures on the walls of the temple are still a subject of study for many historians. There are carvings of lotus, chariots, animals, human figures, and many others depicting different tales. Some historians have mentioned that the erotic human figures found in some sculptures are either the Tantric symbols or the chapters of Kamasutra. 

 

The Vastu of Kandariya Mahadeo Temple

Similar to architecture, Kandariya Mahadeo Temple has the most perfect Vastu design too. When you have an aerial view of the temple, you may feel it in the form of a Shiv Linga. 

The main Shiva Linga for prayer is kept in the central part of the temple which is known as the Garbha Griha. Around the Garbha Griha, the parikrama area is kept quite ventilated. The embellished balconies, the ventilated corners, and every part of the temple are perfect examples that Kandariya Mahadeo Temple stands on the best Vastu design of all time. 

 

Festivities in Kandariya Mahadeo Temple

The temple is open for visits throughout the year. But if you are interested in witnessing the real glory of the temple, you should visit this place by the last week of February. The Khajuraho Dance Festival is organized during that time that lasts till the month of March each year. 

Dancers from different parts of the world arrive at this festival to participate and you will be able to experience a beautiful moment of Indian cultural dance forms. 

Apart from the Dance Festival, Shiv Ratri is another festival that attracts a huge crowd of devotees each year who come here to offer prayer to Lord Shiva. Devotees are allowed to offer sweets and fruits to Lord Shiva in the temple. 

If you are interested in visiting the temple, you should be aware of the times when the temple remains open. 

Morning Visit – 5am – 12noon

Evening Visit – 4pm – 9pm

Prasad Collection – 12noon – 2pm

Also, you have to pay an entry fee and it varies depending on whether you are a domestic or international visitor.

For Domestic Visitor – Rs 10/-

For International Visitor – Rs. 250/- 

 

Nearby Places to Visit

Once you have paid a visit to Kandariya Mahadeo Temple, you may also wish to visit the nearby attractions as well. Some of the nearby places that you can visit are:

  • Lakshmana Temple
  • The Javari Temple
  • The Chausath Yogini Temple
  • Vishvanath Temple
BSSKrishnaS, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Reaching Kandariya Mahadeo Temple

Kandariya Mahadeo Temple in Khajuraho is well-connected to different parts of the country through different means of transport. 

 

Railways: Mahoba is the nearest railway station that is about 63 km away from Khajuraho. 

Airways: Khajuraho airport is well-connected to major airports of the country now. 

Roadways: There are bus services to Khajuraho from different parts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 

 

Apart from this, one can always take cab services to reach Khajuraho from their locations. 







Significance Of 9 Days Of Chaitra Navratri

Significance Of 9 Days Of Chaitra Navratri

Navratri is one of the most significant and auspicious Hindu festivals. It is a nine-day festival where people worship the different roops of the goddess. Navratri is a festival of prosperity that is celebrated by the Hindu community. It is observed two times every year. One is in March, known as Chaitra Navratri, and the other is in October, known as Sharad Navratri. 

Significance Of 9 Days Of Chaitra Navratri

Temples and other religious sites are decorated for the auspicious festival of Chaitra Navratri for those who wish to visit to offer their prayers. Also, many people refrain from drinking alcohol and eating non-veg food and eating garlic and onion during the nine days. A lot of people also participate in rituals and pujas according to Hindu Astrology.

The History of Chaitra Navratri

The Chaitra Navratri festival is dedicated to the worship of the nine avatars of the goddess Durga. Every day of the festival has a distinct significance in honor of the 9 avatars of Maa Durga. They are Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.

Many also associate this celebration with the birthplace of Lord Ram who is the seventh avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu and the son of King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya. The places that are associated with Lord Ram’s birth, as well as his life, are decorated during this time and visitors visit these locations to honor him. 

Chaitra Navratri is also known as Rama Navratri or Rama Navami. The birth date of Lord Rama is usually celebrated on the 9th day of Navratri celebrations. Find out about the importance of the dates and nine-day celebration.

Chaitra Navratri

Day 1: Shailaputri Puja

It is the day that Chaitra Navratri begins, also known as Pratipada. On this day, the devotees worship Goddess Parvati as an incarnation called Shailputri. On this day, many devotees build Kalash at their residences. Kalash is a goddess with a half-moon on her forehead. She also holds the trident in her right hand and opal in her left.

Significance Of 9 Days Of Chaitra Navratri
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Day 2: Brahmacharini Puja

Goddess Brahmacharini embodies Goddess Paravati and is celebrated during the 2nd day of the festival. Devi Brahmacharini is known for her sincere and pure dedication and determination.

Significance Of 9 Days Of Chaitra Navratri
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Day 3: Chandraghanta Puja

On the 3rd day of Chaitra Navratri, Goddess Chandraghanta is revered. She is a tiger riding on her back and has a crescent moon adorning her forehead. Chandraghanta is the name for the moon that is upon her forehead.

representational image

Day 4: Kushmanda Puja

Goddess Kushmanda is revered every fourth day for her earth’s vegetation. This version of goddess Durga is a lion riding on her back and has eight hands, seven deadly weapons, and the Rosary.

representational image mata

Day 5: Skandamata Puja

On the fifth day of the festival, devotees pay homage to goddess Skandamata as a symbol of the determination of motherhood, who is a mother when her child is faced with danger. According to Hindu texts, Maa Skandamata is the mother of Lord Kartikeya. She is a deity with four arms that hold a lotus and two arms. She also holds an esoteric Kamandalu and an unidentified bell in the remaining two.

Day 6: Katyayani Puja

An incarnation from Durga, Goddess Katyayani, is celebrated during the 6th day of the festival. Based on Hindu theology Maa Parvati assumed the Katyayani form to destroy Mahishasura, the evil demon, Mahishasura.

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Day 7: Kalaratri Puja

Goddess Kalaratri is considered the most fierce and most violent manifestation goddess of Durga and is revered every seventh day during Navratri.

Day 8: Mahagauri Puja

It is believed to be the most sacred time of Durga Puja. Mata Mahagauri symbolizes peace, purity, and peace. The devotees of Goddess Durga keep an observance of fasting on Mahashtami to ask for her blessings.

Day 9: Siddhidatri Puja and Ram Navami

Goddess Siddhidatri worships on the last day, i.e., the ninth day of Navratri. Siddhdhdatri Siddhi refers to Medi Dhatri refers to giving. Kanya puja also celebrated every Ram Navami. In the beginning, the devotees clean the feet of nine girls and then serve them food that is called Kanya-prasadam.

 

 

 

 

Kalmadhav, Amarkantak – one of the shaktipeeths in MP

Kalmadhav, Amarkantak

Kalmadhav Temple is one of the Shaktipeeths in India where the incised body parts of Devi Sati fell. It is said that there are as many as 51 Shaktipeeths in all over India and Kalmadhav Temple in Amarkantak is also one of them. 

The Origin of Kalmadhav Temple

Kalmadhav temple mandir , Amarkantak

The story of Shaktipeeth is quite famous in Hindu culture and sculptures. Devi Sati got married to Lord Shiva against the will of her Father King Daksha. One day King Daksha organized a holy festivity and invited everyone except Lord Shiva. Devi Sati visited her father to make him understand his mistake but in return, King Daksha insulted Lord Shiva. Devi Sati could not stand the insult of her husband and entered the fire to end her life.

When Lord Shiva got this news, he ended the life of Daksh and started mourning carrying the burnt body of Sati in her arms. This mourning was creating a situation of catastrophe on Earth. In order to bring back everything in control, Lord Vishnu incised the body of Sati using his Sudarshan Chakra. It is said that different parts of the incised body fell on different parts of the Earth where Shaktipeeths were constructed. 

Kalmadhav in Amarkantak is the place where the left buttock of Devi Sati fell. Talking about the construction of the Kalmadhav Temple, it is said that Suryavanshi Samrat Mandhata constructed the temple here almost 6000 years ago. 

The Deity of Kamaldhav Temple

Devi Kali is prayed here by the name of Kalmadhava. Also, Lord Shiva is prayed in the temple who is in the form of Asitananda. 

The Architecture and Surrounding of Kamaldhav Temple

The architecture of this ancient temple is extremely beautiful as it is made up of completely white stones. The devotees have to climb 100 steps to reach up to the actual temple. Thus, the temple is at a height and from there, one can have a mesmerizing view of the surrounding. 

Kamaldhav Temple is surrounded by a number of ponds and the Son river also flows nearby. Also, Amarkantak is the spot from where the River Narmada starts its journey that again offers a beautiful view. 

Apart from the water bodies, one can also have a view of the merging of two mountains here and these are the Satpura and Vindhya. 

When to Visit Kamaldhav Temple?

Kamaldhav Temple is located within the lush greenery of Amarkantak and has charming weather throughout the year. Hence, devotees, as well as nature lovers, can visit this place any time of the year.

But devotees believe that paying a visit to the temple during certain festivals makes their journey even more pious. Some of the festivals during which you can actually visit the temple are:

  • Sharad Purnima,
  • Ram Navami,
  • Somvati Amavasya,
  • Navratri,
  • Deepawali, and many others. 

Navratri is the biggest festival that is celebrated twice a year and special arrangements are made in the temple. There are special rituals that are carried on such as offering homemade sweets and other ingredients to the Devi. 

Apart from Navratri, Shivratri is another major festival that is celebrated with great pomp show in the temple, praying Lord Shiva. Devotees offer milk, honey, and other elements that are known to be the favorites of Lord Shiva. 

Other Nearby Places to Visit

Once you have paid your visit to the Kamaldhav Temple, there are also many other attractive spots nearby that you can pay a visit to. Some of the other places where you can visit are:

  • Ma Narmada Temple
  • Shri Amareshwar Mahadev Mandir
  • Pataleshwar Mahadev Mandir
  • Gayatri Sarovar
  • Doodh Dhara Waterfall
  • Kapildhara Waterfall
  • Kabir Chabutara
  • Gayatri Shakti Peeth’

Apart from these many places, you can also take a glance at many ancient temples nearby that were constructed during the Kalachuri period. 

Reaching Kalmadhav Temple, Amarkantak

There is no such direct access to Amarkantak apart from roadways. Once you have reached the nearest railway station or the nearest airport, you can take roadways to reach Amarkantak. There are several buses available today that can drop you at Amarkantak or you can also take cab services as per your comfort. 

Railways: The nearest railway station is Pendra from where Amarkantak is around 38 km. If you are taking a cab service, it should take you around an hour to reach Amarkantak from Pendra railway station. 

Airways: The nearest airports to Amarkantak are Jabalpur and Raipur. While you may not get direct flights for Jabalpur from a number of cities, reaching Raipur airport is much more convenient in such a case. Amarkantak is 228 km away from Raipur while 222 km away from Jabalpur. 

 

Chausath Yogini Temple, Bhedhaghat

Chausath Yogini Temple, Bhedhaghat

If you are interested in old religious places, there are several to find out in Madhya Pradesh. One such place to go for is the Chausath Yogini Temple located in Bhedhaghat which is just a few kilometers away from the main city of Jabalpur. 

The Concept:

It is quite difficult to trace the concept of this temple as it is one of its kind in the entire country. The name Chausath Yogini depicts 64 yoginis. When you visit the temple, you can see 64 different statues surrounding the actual temple. According to the legends, these yoginis can be devis, who are performing yoga to achieve salvation. 

The Hindu culture has its roots deep in Tantric Yoga. Hence, many experts have tried to decode that the yoginis are in different tantric positions with the aim of reaching moksha. 

The Origin:

Chausath Yogini Temple is one of the oldest heritage sites in the country. Historians have found out that it was during the 10th century CE when Kalachuri Dynasty constructed this temple. The dynasty got quite famous for a number of other architectural masterpieces that they have constructed such as the Elephanta Caves and the Ajanta Ellora caves. 

But initially, just the yoginis were constructed and the main temple of Lord Shiva came into existence after 2 years. It was Queen Alhadevi of the Kalachuri dynasty who constructed the Gauri-Shankar temple during 1155 CE. 

Many centuries later, Chausath Yogini Temple was also subjected to destruction, like many other Hindu temples, by the Islamic forces who reigned in India. But even after the destruction, the temple stands strong to reveal its tale from ancient times. 

What Legends Say?

It is quite obvious that when there is an ancient site, there has to be something or other that is legendary or interesting. There are many such folklores about the Chausath Yogini Temple also. 

According to one such folklore, when Muhammad Ghori was on his mission to destroy all the Hindu temples of India, he came to destroy the Chausath Yogini Temple of Jabalpur also. The signs of wrath can be noticed even today on the inner walls and the statues of the yoginis. But legends say that as soon as he was about to destroy the Gauri Shankar temple, a swarm of bees attacked him and he was forced to run away from the place along with his men. 

The Architectural Beauty of Chausath Yogini

Though the temple has a simple architecture, it still looks magnificent due to the way it has been constructed. The main temple is located at the center of a huge courtyard that is surrounded by the 64 yogini statues that have been carved from rocks. Some of the statues are now in dismantled form due to the attack but still taking a view of statues will evoke many questions in your mind. Also, from the courtyard and the temple is located at a height from where you can have a spectacular view of the soothing river Narmada. Visitors have to climb 150 stairs to reach the temple. 

The Gauri Shankar temple is also one of its kind. Usually, Lord Shiva is found in Shiva Linga form in most of the Shiv temples across the country. But here, the actual idols of Lord Shiva along with Mata Parvati are seen sitting on Nandi, the bull. 

Once you are here, you can surely spend a good amount of time witnessing the temple as well as in the scenic beauty of the place. After having a trip to the temple, you can also visit Dhuandhar Fall of Bhedhaghat which is a mighty natural waterfall. Here, you can even enjoy a boat ride amidst the marble rocks which is again a breathtaking experience. 

 

Chausath Yogini temple

Reaching Chausath Yogini Temple

Chausath Yogini Temple is mainly at Bhedhaghat which is almost 25 km from the main city of Jabalpur. Thus, you can take a bus ride or a cab from the main city to reach the site quite conveniently. 

Railways: The nearest railway station is Jabalpur which is quite conveniently connected to many cities of the country. 

Airways: The nearest airport is Jabalpur Airport. Though it is a small airport, now you can find many direct flights from different parts of the country. For the rest parts, you can always get connecting flight to reach Jabalpur. 

 

Read More on the temple here:

Bharat Milaap Mandir, Chitrakoot

Bharat Milaap Mandir, Chitrakoot

Bharat Milaap is an extremely important Adhyay or Chapter in Ramayana. This chapter reflects the love of a brother towards another brother despite the prevailing hatred and cruelty in the atmosphere.

The beauty of this chapter can be sensed even today by visiting the Bharat Milaap Mandir which is located in Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh. 

The Bharat Milaap Adhyay

Though Kakeyi, the mother of Bharat, convinced King Dashrath to send Lord Rama to exile for 14 years, Bharat was extremely tormented by the incident. 

It is said that it was in Chitrakoot where Bharat and Shatrughan met Lord Rama and Lakshman during the exile period. It was during this meeting that Bharat tried to persuade Lord Rama to return back to Ayodhya and reign the kingdom. But Rama was a man of words and was determined to fulfill the order that his father Dashrath gave him regarding the 14 years of exile. In such a situation, Bharat brought the Charan Paduka or the wooden footwear of Lord Rama and kept them on the throne as a symbol that Lord Rama is the ultimate king of Ayodhya and Bharat is a caretaker of the kingdom just till the time Lord Rama is not returning from exile. 

Many legendary stories and folklores also mention that during the meeting, all the four brothers got so much emotional, that even the nearby stones started melting. This statement can be supported by the fact that even today the footprints of the four brothers can be noticed. 

Bharat Milaap Mandir – The Temple

The Bharat Milaap Mandir is located in Chitrakoot with the beautiful Kamadgiri Parvat as the backdrop. This ancient temple has its roots in the Ramayana period and since then it has been a major attraction for tourists and devotees in this region. 

Apart from the story behind the existence of the Bharat Milaap Mandir, there are many other legends that exist such as the Kamadgiri Parvat has the power of absorbing sins. 

Visitors visiting this place can pray at the temple and then can have a view of the footprints of the four brothers imprinted on the rocks. In the last few years, also statues depicting the story of Bharat Milaap have been also created for the visitors to get to know the story and the actual incidents that took place. 

Best Time to Visit Bharat Milaap Mandir

The temple is open for the devotees to visit throughout the year but you should keep a note of the timing. The timings of the temple are:

Morning – 5 AM – 12 noon

Evening – 3 PM – 9 PM

Every year a fair by the name of Bharat Milaap is organized in the temple for which devotees from different parts of the country gather. If you wish to enjoy this fair, you should visit the temple during the months of October and November. 

Nearby Places to Visit

Once you have paid a visit to the Bharat Milaap Mandir, there are many other places to visit nearby that are also associated with the Ramayana period. 

  • Do a parikrama of the Kamadgiri Parvat and all your sorrows and sins will be absorbed by the hill
  • Witness the secret meeting place of Lord Rama and Lakshmana at Gupt Godavari
  • Dip your souls in the aarti that takes place at Ramghat
  • Visit Hanuman Dharam, which is believed to have been created by Lord Rama to cool down the anger of Hanuman
  • Pay a visit to Sati Anusuya Temple as it was Sati Anusuya because of whom River Mandakini came to Chitrakoot
  • Trek into the forest to see Sphatik Sheila which means two crystal stones that have the footprints of Lord Rama and Devi Sita. 

How to Reach Bharat Milaap Mandir?

Bharat Milaap Mandir is located in Chitrakoot that falls in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. 

Chitrakoot is located at a serene location of Madhya Pradesh. The best way to reach Chitrakoot is from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 

Railways – The nearest railway station to Chaitrakoot is Karwi which falls in Uttar Pradesh. Chitrakoot is just 12km from this railway station. 

By Air – There are no such nearby major airports to Chitrakoot. If you are traveling by air, you can drop down at Allahabad, Khajuraho, or Kanpur airport from where you have to take roadways to reach Chitrakoot. 

Sanchi Stupa – 3rd Century Ancient Buddhist Monument

Sanchi Stupa

When it is about serenity, one of the names that emerge in Madhya Pradesh is that of Sanchi Stupa. Located about 46 km from the main city of Bhopal, Sanchi Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist monuments existing in the country. 

The History of Sanchi Stupa

The Sanchi Stupa was built almost thousands of years ago and still, now it is one of the important places for Buddhists and even for tourists. As per the historian records, it was somewhere in the 3rd Century BC when Emperor Ashoka started the construction of the Stupa. By now, the Sanchi Stupa is located on a hilltop and there are many other small stupas surrounding the main Stupa. 

Also, according to the records available in history, the original Stupa was actually almost half the size of the one that is currently standing at its place. It is said that it was almost 50 years after the death of Emperor Ashoka that the size of the Stupa was enlarged with the help of sandstone that was locally available during the Sunga period. This was done because, during the 2nd Century BC, the Stupa has to go through a lot of damages that were ultimately fixed by 1st Century BC. 

Details of the Stupa

Emperor Ashoka built the Ashoka Stupa or better known as Sanchi Stupa now to spread the teachings of Buddhism. In order to understand what exactly does the Stupa depicts, it is essential to understand different elements of the Stupa.

The main structure or the central structure is a dome within which is a deep chamber. This dome represents the Earth. On top of this are squared railings that are known as Harmika. The Harmika mainly holds the three umbrellas that are called Chhatraveli. 

These three umbrellas are the symbol of three essential parts of Buddhism and these are:

  • The Buddha
  • The Dharma
  • The Sangha

Medhi or a circular terrace is there surrounding the dome where the devotees take rounds. 

There are four entry gates that are highlighted by toranas. These huge toranas of entry gates have beautiful carvings on them about the Mauryan times, Buddhism, and even Lord Buddha in the form of a symbol. After entering from the gates, there are also huge Lord Buddha statues in human form that were actually added to the Stupa much later in the 5th Century AD. 

A UNESCO Heritage

Not only the Sanchi Stupa is an important place for the Buddhists but also it has been declared as a UNESCO heritage in the year 1989. 

There are several reasons why the Stupa is an extremely important historical place that should be preserved and protected. One of the major reasons is that the Stupa highlights the architectural marvel that was there in the Mauryan period. Apart from this, as Emperor Ashoka always wanted, the Ashoka Stupa also has several carvings and inscriptions that focus on the teaching of Buddhism. 

Elements to Focus Upon

If you are a first-time visitor to the Sanchi Stupa, you may actually get confused about what are the elements you should focus upon. Here is a simple guide that you can follow. 

  • Sanchi Museum:

On your wy towards the actual Sanchi Stupa, you will cross the Sanchi Museum. It is  great idea learn some theoretical details here in the museum that will definitely help you in understanding the Stupas in a much better way. Also, you can come across several other remain from the Mauryan and Ashokan times. 

  • Buddha Jambudweep:

Just in front of the Sanchi Museum, you will see a theme park that is by the name of Buddha Jambudweep. This is once again a point of attraction where you can witness several elements connected to Lord Buddha as well as Emperor Ashoka.

  • Sanchi Stupa:

As you proceed forward, you will have to climb on the mountains to reach upto the actual Sanchi Stupa. As you enter from the beautiful gates of the main Stupa, take a round around it and explore different carvings on the walls and on the gates. After checking out the main Stupa, you can look around many other smaller stupas at distances. It is a huge area where you will come across several elements such as a huge temple remain, and many others that will take you to the glorifying history of the Mauryan times. 

Reaching Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi is located in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. Bhopal is well-connected through railways as well as airways to different other cities of the country. You can take cab from the main city of Bhopal to reach Sanchi. The best way is to hire a cab for the whole day so that you can explore Sanchi Museum, Sanchi Stupa, and other related places throughout the day.

Lord Pashupatinath – 8-Faced, 8 Aspect Idol Temple Mandsaur

Pashupatinath Temple

Madhya Pradesh is home to many Shiv temples. But Pashupatinath temple is not just the oldest but also one of the most unique Shiv temples across India. 

Located on the banks of Shivna river in the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh, the Pashupatinath temple has been attracting a huge tourist crowd each year. Pashupatinath is a form of Lord Shiva that is mainly believed in Kathmandu, Nepal but also is a major attraction in Mandsaur. 

Local History and the Temple

The locals and also some mythological experts have faith in one of the major stories that revolve around the construction of this temple several centuries ago. As per the story, the Shiv Linga actually emerged on its own from the Shivna River and after about 21 years, it was established by constructing the temple. The locals celebrate the day of the incarnation of the Shiv Linga in the form of a huge fair or mela. 

The main temple has got four doors but it is in the west direction from where the devotees enter the temple to pray in front of the Pashupatinath. The dimensions of the temple area are 90x30x101 feet in which the Shiv resides. 

Apart from the Pashupatinath Shiva Linga, there are idols of other deities too that have been established later on in the complex. As you enter the temple from the west entrance, you can witness the huge idol of Nandi Maharaj. Also, the other idols that you can witness here are Mata Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Mata Ganga, Lord Vishnu, Mata Lakshmi, and Adi Sankara.  

The Shiv Linga

It is the Shiv Linga in this temple that is worth talking about. It is also known as the Ashtamukhi Shiv Linga because it has got four faces, unlike any other Shiv Lingas across the country. Weighing 4.6 tons, the Shiv Linga has a height of 7.25 feet. Among the eight faces, four faces are on the top while the other four faces are on the bottom of the Shiv Linga. 

Not only is this Shiva Linga ashtamukhi but also it is made up of ashtadhatu or eight different alloys. So, what do the eight faces of this Shiv Linga actually mean?

There are eight different aspects that are highlighted by the eight faces of the Shiv Linga and these are:

  • Bhava, meaning creation
  • Sharva, meaning destroyer
  • Rudra, meaning sorrow dispeller
  • Pashupati, meaning master of all beings
  • Ugra, meaning fearsome
  • Mahadeva, meaning Supreme
  • Bhima, meaning tremendous and 
  • Isana, meaning the ruler of directions

The locals also believe that even nature pays a tribute to this ashtamukhi Pashupatinath Shiva Linga. This is because, every year during the monsoons, the water level of River Shivna rises and almost touches the Shiv Linga. This is also named Jalabhishek that is paying an offering to the Shiv Linga with water. This phenomenon is also quite important in this area and is considered quite pious. 

When to Visit Pashupatinath Temple?

The temple remains open for its devotees every day from 6 am in the morning till 8 pm night throughout the year. But if you are looking for the best time of the year, it is during the months of October to March. This is because summers are quite torturous in this region while during the monsoons the water of River Shivna reaches the Shiva Linga in the temple. 

If you wish to witness the grand mela or fair that happens every year to celebrate the incarnation of Lord Shiva, you have to be here in the months of November. It is during the Kartik month according to the Hindi calendar when the district celebrates the mela in respect of Lord Pashupatinath. 

Reaching Pashupatinath Temple

Reaching the Pashupatinath temple is not a difficult task as it is well-connected by all three means of transport. 

  • If you are traveling by train, you can arrive at the Mandsaur Railway Station from where the temple is just at a distance of 3 km.
  • Even when you are taking roadways, you can easily reach out to Mandsaur from different cities of Madhya Pradesh.
  • In case you are planning to come from some other state or country by air, you can land at the cities of Indore or Bhopal from where you can easily take the roadways to reach out to Mandsaur district. 

Usually, devotees arriving at the Pashupatinath temple pray in front of the deities and then make a parikrama around the temple. It is believed that devotees who arrive at the temple and pray with devotion achieve fearlessness, happiness, and strength in their life.

All you need to know about Bhojpur Temple

Bhojpur Temple

The Bhojpur temple or the Bhojeshwar temple plays a predominant role in the tourism and pilgrimage culture of Bhopal. Located at a distance of 28 kms from the main city of Bhopal, this temple is actually built in the Raisen district, on the banks of Vetravati River. 

What attracts tourists from different parts of the country to this ancient temple is the huge Shiva Linga installed at the Garba Griha of the temple. Of course, on reaching this spot, you also cannot stop yourself from getting mesmerized by the scenic beauty and the serenity of the place. 

How to Reach Bhojpur Temple?

Reaching out to Bhojpur Temple is pretty easy from the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. Bhopal is well-connected to different other cities of the country through railways as well as through airways. 

In order to get a glimpse of the Bhojpur Temple, you can take any cab service from Bhopal and directly reach Bhojpur in the Raisen district. The best part of this 28km trip is that you can view several amazing views en-route to the temple. 

If you are an adventure lover, you can also hire 2 wheeler services from Bhopal and can drive all the way to Bhojpur. 

Best Time to Visit Bhojpur Temple

While there is no such specific timing when you can visit the temple, the best time that you can enjoy the place is from October to February. 

As the temple is located on a hilltop, you may feel the extensive heat of the Madhya Pradesh region during the summers and it can make you feel extremely exhausted. During the monsoons, the staircases and the pathway of the temple can become slippery that can lead to accidents. Hence, the best time is during and near the winter season. 

The History of Bhojpur Temple

Surprisingly, locals have different legends about the Bhojpur temple. One of the most common stories that the locals narrate is that the temple was built by the Pandavas so that their mother Kunti can offer her prayers to Lord Shiva.  

But the historians have altogether a different story to highlight about the temple. 

According to historians, the commissioning of the temple dated between the dates of 1010AD and 1053AD. It was the then king of Bhopal, Raja Bhoj who constructed and inaugurated the temple. 

As per a very famous story, Raja Bhoj was determined to fill up the entire Earth with Shiva temples due to his extreme devotion to Lord Shiva. Records mention that he constructed as many as 104 temples alone in the city of Dhara. But somehow due to several factors, not all the temples could exist till the current time and only a few ones such as the famous Bhojpur temple still stand rigidly to remind the world about this great devotee king of Lord Shiva. 

The Architecture of Bhojpur Temple

One thing that makes this temple unique is that it is not complete in terms of construction. It does not have a front covering and the reason for it is not known yet. Some historians mention that the temple work was stopped due to rain and other climatic factors and so what is visible today is the remaining parts of the temple that have been conserved. 

Images courtesy: Meha Prasad. Published with permission.

Also, it is the very first temple with an arc. There are four pillars that are responsible for bearing the weight of the dome of the temple while the inner roof of the temple is embellished with beautiful stone carvings. The entire temple is built up of sandstone blocks and there are several faux balconies to offer a jeweled look to the temple. 

The main attraction of the temple is the Shiva Linga which measures about 7.5 feet and is the longest Shiva Linga in the world to be situated in a temple. The Shiva Linga is placed on a huge square sanctum.  

When you take a tour of the entire temple, you will find many carvings on the exterior parts of the temple that add up to the beauty of the temple. 

The temple is constructed on a hilltop and when you take a view from the barricades surrounding the temple, you can experience a stunning natural view of the entire area. 

Conservation of the Temple

It was in the year 1950 when the Archaeological Survey of India found that the temple structure had weakened due to extreme weather conditions. Saving such a unique and beautiful monument was more than a mission for the team and soon the operation of conservation started in the year 1951. 

The task started first by repairing the damaged steps of the temple and then soon the task of restoring the walls and other parts of the temple started under the supervision of KK Mohammed. There were several changes made such as adding up cement along with the sandstone material so that a much durable structure can be created without compromising with the original look of the temple. 

What to Do at Bhojpur Temple?

If you are planning for a trip to the Bhojpur temple, it should not take more than an hour for the entire activity. You have to leave your vehicle at the foothills and then have to climb up the hilltop on your feet. So, make sure that you wear comfortable shoes and also that you do not bring along someone who has issues with climbing high stairs. 

You can carry flowers and prasad from the foothills for offering at the temple. Once you have reached the top and have taken the blessing of Lord Shiva, you can sit on the stairs to spend some peaceful moments, enjoying the lush view around.

Getting down from the temple, you can have at the small stalls here from where you can buy crystal Shiva linga or many other items available. For your convenience, there are also many small food joints also available here at the foothills from where you can get refreshments.