September 28, 2011

Dhyanalinga Temple, Coimbatore

Dhyanalinga temple, which is located at Coimbatore in South India, can be considered as a modern day architecturally marvelous temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shiva is present in the form of Shiv Linga in this temple. One of the highlights of this temple is that the idol is the largest mercury based Linga in the world. It is measuring 13' 9".

Dhyanalinga temple located at the foothills of the Velliangiri mountain is very calm and peaceful. It is considered as one of the best places to perform meditation.

The elliptical dome that houses the Dhyanalinga idol is 76 feet in diameter and 33 feet in height. It was built without the use of steel, cement or concrete but with brick and mud mortar stabilized with lime, sand, alum and herbal additives. It is probably the only structure of its kind in the entire world. It is claimed that a particular technology is used to construct this dome so that it can last for 5000 years.

As per the temple authorities, Dhyanalinga transforms a person who comes into its sphere on the level of the etheric body. Even if a person who doesn't know anything about meditation comes and sits in this space, he will become meditative by his own nature. That is the quality of the Dhyanalinga.

This temple was consecrated by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. It took around three years to construct the temple.

Dhyanalinga temple is definitely one of the landmarks of Coimbatore. When you visit the city, ensure that you don't miss this architectural marvel.

Happy travelling.

Note: I am yet to visit this temple. The content was provided by my friend, Sonia Sant.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Dynalinga temple
Site Type: Hindu temple; Meditation centre
Location:  Around 30 kms from Coimbatore city - at the foothills of Velliangiri mountain, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The modern day architectural marvel; the largest mercury based Shiv Linga idol
Nearest Railway Station: Coimbatore
Nearest Airport: Coimbatore
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: Budget as well as star hotels are available
Restaurants: A lot of good restaurants are available in Coimbatore
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September 22, 2011

Chenglepet Kothandaramar Temple

Chenglepet is an important city located near Chennai city, the gateway to South India. Kothandaramar temple is an important temple and tourist spot in Chenglepet city. The temple is located at the center of the city hardly around 1 km from the Railway station and bus stand.

The main shrine of the temple has the rare sculpture or Lord Rama sitting in the pattabhishek posture (royal ceremony) along with Sita in the sitting posture with her left leg raised and the right leg folded. The brothers of Rama, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrugna along with the small idol of Hanuman also surround the idols of divine couple in the sanctum santorum. The bronze idols (utsav aka procession idols) of Ram, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman are also found in the main shrine.

Near the main shrine, there is a shrine which houses the idols of Vishnu devotees and saints such as few Alwars, Mudali Andan and Ramanuj. There is another shrine for Varadar.

This small old temple doesn't have a tower. However, it has flag staff and bali peeth similar to any other typical South Indian temple. There is a small shrine for Hanuman facing the main shrine.

The temple has one prakara (corridor) which houses the shrines for Perundevi and the famous and rare idol of Hanuman with Shaneeswar on his feet. This Hanuman idol is called as Veera Anjaneya and it is more popular than the main deity of the temple in this city.

One pillar in this temple has a special bas relief image of Lord Ganesha.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Kothandaramar Temple
Site Type: Hindu temple
Location:  1 km from railway station, Chenglepet city, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu state, India
Highlights: The most famous temple in Chenglepet city; Rama and family in pattabhishek posture; Shaneeswara on the foot of Hanuman
Nearest Railway Station: Chenglepet
Nearest Airport: Chennai
How to reach: Train from Chennai and nearby towns; Easily reachable by road
Hotel: Mostly budget hotels; star hotels are available in Chennai 
Restaurants: It's difficult to find good restaurants

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September 16, 2011

Akhnoor - The historical town of Jammu and Kashmir

Akhnoor is a historical town having mythological importance also. It is located at a distance of around 20 kms from Jammu city in Jammu and Kashmir state of India. This picturesque town of Akhnoor is located on the banks of the river Chenab. Akhnoor has a lot of tourist attractions.

Akhnoor is very small town. The river Chenab floats all along the town. Due to the floating of Himalayan glacier in summer, the river is full of water all over the year including summer season. The first tourist attraction of Akhnoor is Gurudwara. The white marble Gurudwara on the banks of the river Chenab looks very attractive.

The second attraction of the town is the temple dedicated to Lord Parasuram, the incarnation of Vishnu. Unlike the other popular incarnations of Lord Vishnu such as Krishna and Rama, it is very rare to find a temple for Parasuram. Apart from Parasuram shrine, the temple has two other shrines - one for Vaishno Devi and another for Shiva-Parvati-Ganesh.

This town is believed to be Virat town of Mahabharat epic. This was the town where Pandavs had to hide themselves from Kauravs for one year. There is a cave temple on the banks of the river. The cave temple is named as Pandav Gufa. The entrance of the cave has the figures of Hanuman and Bhairav. The cave has the idol of Shiv Linga, which is believed to have been installed by Pandavs. The cave also has the bas relief images of all five Pandavs, their wife Draupati and Krishna with Arjun. The footprint of Lord Krishna is also found inside the temple. The idols of Dharmaraja and Chitragupta are found near the Krishna foot print. The small cave temple also has the other shrines for Kali, Radha-Krishna and Shiva-Parvati-Ganesh.

Near the Pandav Gufa temple, the Akhnoor fort is located. It was built in the 18th century AD by the king Raja Teg Singh. The excavations inside the fort revealed the Harappan and pre-Harappan civilizations which are 5000 years old.

Durga temple, which was build in the recent times, is also an important site in Akhnoor. The main shrine in the temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. There is a big idol of the river Ganga sitting on a crocodile. The temple has other idols and shrines such as Navagraha, Ganesh, Dharmaraja and Chitragupta, Kali, Ganesh, Ram-Lakshman-Sita-Hanuman, Radha-Krishna, Shiva and Shiv Linga, etc.

Kameshwar temple located slightly away from the river on the main road is believed to be an ancient temple dated back to Pandavas. However, the structure of the temple is not very old. The main shrine of the temple has three Shiv Lingas in irregular shapes along with the idols of three Ganeshji. The prakara (corridor surrounding the shrine) has the shrines of Hanuman, Ram-Lakshman-Sita-Hanuman, Nataraj, Kali along with Shiva at her feet, Indra, Shiv-Parvati-Ganesh and Panchmukh Hanuman. The entrance of the temple has two big Shiv Lingas and two idols of Nandi (the bull God). Near the entrance, the idols of Chitragupta, Shaneeswara and Dharmaraja are also found.

Near Akhnoor, on the way back to Jammu, there is a small site called Ambaran. It has the remains of a Buddhist monastery that existed between 1st century AD and 7th century AD.

Akhnoor has mythological importance as well as historical importance. Moreover, it is also a beautiful tourist attraction located very near to Jammu city. If you get a chance to visit Jammu, ensure that you go to Akhnoor too.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: Akhnoor
Site Type: Temple, Fort, Gurudwara, Cave shrine, River
Location:  20 kms from Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir state, India
Highlights: 7th century reamins of Buddhist monastery and the cave shrines of Pandavas
Nearest Railway Station: Jammu - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Jammu
How to reach: Reachable by taxi from Jammu
Hotel: A lot of hotels are available in Jammu; 
Restaurants: Good restaurants are available in Jammu

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