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Places of Worshipping Hinduism

Generally, there are no basic guidelines that was given in the scriptures as to when the temple should be attended by Hindus for Worshiping. However, on important days or festivals, many Hindus use the temple as a place of worship.

Many temples are dedicated to a specific deity and the deity’s statues or images are included and or erected in those temples. Such sculptures or pictures are known as murti.

Hindu worshiping is commonly referred to as Puja. There are several different elements involved, such as images (murti), prayers, mantras and offerings.

Hinduism can be worshiped in the following places

Worshiping from the Temples – Hindus believed there are certain temple rituals that will help them connect with the god they are focusing on. Take for instance, they may walk clockwise around a shrine as part of their worship, which has a statue (murti) of the deity in its innermost part. To be blessed by the deity, they will even bring offerings such as fruit and flowers. This is rather a personal experience of worship, but in a group environment it takes place.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Worshiping from Homes – At home, many Hindus have their own place of worship called the shrine of their own. This is a space where they put pictures that are important to them of selected deities. Hindus appear more often to worship at home than they worship in a temple. To make sacrifices, they normally use their home shrine. The most sacred place of the home is known to be the shrine.

Worshiping from Holly Places – In Hinduism, worshiping in a temple or other structure does not need to be performed. It can be done outdoors as well. Holy places outdoors where Hindus worship include the hills and the rivers. The mountain range known as the Himalayas is one of these holiest places. As they serve the Hindu deity, Himavat, Hindus believe that these mountains are central to God. Furthermore, many plants and animals are considered sacred by Hindus . Therefore, many Hindus are vegetarians and often behave towards living things with loving kindness.

How Hinduism is  been Worshiped

During their prayers in the temples and at homes, Hindus use a number of methods for Worshipping. They include:

  • Meditation: meditation is a quiet exercise in which a person focuses on either an object or a thought to keep his mind clear and calm.
  • Puja: This is a devotional prayer and worship in praise of one or more deities that one believes in.
  • Havan: Ceremonial offerings that are burned, usually after birth or during other important events.
  • Darshan: Meditation or yoga with an emphasis performed by in the deity’s presence
  • Arti: This is a rite in front of the gods, from which all the four elements ( i.e., fire, earth, water and air) are depicted in the offerings.
  • Bhajan as part of worship: singing the special songs of the gods and other songs to worship.
  • Kirtan as part of worship- this involves narration or recitation to the deity.
  • Japa: This is a mantra’s meditative repetition as a way of concentrating on worship.
This Idol of lord Ganesh signifies Purushartha
This Idol of lord Ganesh signifies Purushartha, as the tusk is on the right hand side of the idol’s body

Worshiping in Festivals

Hinduism has festivals that are celebrated during the year (like many other world religions). Usually, they are vivid and colourful. To rejoice, the Hindu community usually comes together during the festive season.

At these moments, distinctions are set aside so that relationships may be established again.

There are some festivals that are associated with Hinduism that Hindus worshiped seasonally. Those festivals are illustrated below.

diwali 1 The Hindu FAQs
diwali 1 The Hindu FAQs
  • Diwali – One of the most widely recognised Hindu festivals is Diwali. It recalls Lord Rama and Sita’s storey, and the concept of good overcoming bad. With light, it is celebrated. Hindus light diva lamps and there are often large shows of fireworks and family reunions.
  • Holi – Holi is a festival that is beautifully vibrant. It is known as the Colour Festival. It welcomes the coming of spring and the end of winter, and also shows appreciation for a good harvest for some Hindus. During this festival, people also pour colourful powder on each other. Together, they still play and have fun.
  • Navratri Dussehra – This festival reflects good overcoming bad. It honours Lord Rama battling and winning the war against Ravana. Over nine nights, it takes place. During this time, groups and families gather for celebrations and meals together as one family.
  • Ram Navami – This festival, which marks the birth of Lord Rama, is usually held in the springs. During Navarati Dussehra, Hindus celebrate it. People read stories about Lord Rama during this period, alongside other festivities. They may worship this god as well.
  • Ratha-Yatra – This is a procession on a chariot in public. People gather during this festival to watch Lord Jagannatha walk down the streets. The festival is colourful.
  • Janmashtami – The festival is used to celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth. Hindus commemorate it by trying to go for 48 hours without sleep and by singing traditional Hindu songs. To celebrate this venerated deity’s birthday, dances and performances are performed.
Shri Sankat Mochan hanuman | Hindu FAQs

Hanuman, renowned for his courage, strength, and the greatest devotee Rama. India is a land of temples and statues, so here is the list of top 5 tallest Lord Hanuman statues in India.

1. Hanuman statue at Madapam, Srikakulam district.

Hanuman statue at Madapam | The Hindu FAQs
Hanuman statue at Madapam

Height: 176 feet.

Number one in our list is Hanuman statue at Madapam, Srikakulam district. This statue is 176 feet tall and the budget of this constructios was around 10 million Rupees. This statue is under its final stage of construction.


2. Veera Abhaya Anjaneya Hanuman Swami, Andhra Pradesh.

Veera Abhaya Anjaneya Hanuman Swami | Hindu FAQs
Veera Abhaya Anjaneya Hanuman Swami

Height : 135 Feet.

Veera Abhaya Anjaneya Hanuman Swami is second largest and tallest statue of lord Hanuman . It is situated near Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh .
The statue is constructed with pure white marble ans is 135 feet tall. The statue was established in 2003 .

3. Jhaku hill Hanuman statue, Shimla.

Jhaku hill Hanuman statue | Hindu FAQs
Jhaku hill Hanuman statue

Height: 108 feet.

The third tallest lord hanuman statue at Jakhu Hills in Shimla Himachal Pradesh. The beautiful red colour statue is 108 feet long. The budget of this statue was 1.5 crore rupee and the statue was inaugurated on 4th Day of November, 2010 on Hanuman Jayanti
It is said that lord hanuman stayed there once when he was search of sanjeevni booti.

4. Shri Sankat Mochan hanuman, Delhi .

Shri Sankat Mochan hanuman | Hindu FAQs
Shri Sankat Mochan hanuman

Height: 108 feet.

108 feet Shri Sankat Mochan hanuman statue is beauty of delhi and one of the major public attraction.  It is on New Link Road, Karol Bagh. . This statue is an iconic symbol of Delhi. The statue not only shows us art but the use of engineering and technology is incredible. The hands of the statue moves, making the devotees feel that Lord is tearing his chest and there are small idols of Lord Rama and Mother Sita inside the chest.


5. Hanuman Statue, Nandura

Hanuman Statue, Nandura | Hindu FAQs
Hanuman Statue, Nandura

Height: 105 Feet

The fifth tallest lord Hanuman idol is around 105 feet . It is situated at Nandura Buldhana in maharasthtra state. This idol is the major attraction on NH6.  This is built with white marble but used different colors at right places

Also Read
How did Hanuman end up on Arjuna’s chariot in Mahabharata?

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Akshardham temple, delhi

This is the list of top 14 largest hindu temples.

1. Angkor Wat
Angkor, Cambodia – 820,000 Sq.Meter

Angkor Vat in Cambodia | Hindu FAQs
Angkor Vat in Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world’s largest religious building.

2) Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India – 631,000 Sq.Meters

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam | The Hindu FAQs
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam

Srirangam temple is often listed as the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world (the still larger Angkor Wat being the largest existing temple). The temple occupies an area of 156 acres (631,000 m²) with a perimeter of 4,116m (10,710 feet) making it the largest temple in India and one of the largest religious complexes in the world. The temple is enclosed by seven concentric walls (termed prakarams (outer courtyard) or mathil suvar) with a total length of 32,592 feet or over six miles. These walls are enclosed by 21 Gopurams. The Ranganathanswamy Temple complex with 49 shrines, all dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is so huge that it is like a city within itself. However, the entire temple is not used for the religious purpose, the first three out of seven concentric walls are used by private commercial establishments such as restaurants, hotels, flower market, and residential homes.

3) Akshardham Temple, Delhi
Delhi, India – 240,000 sq.meter

Akshardham temple, delhi
Akshardham temple, delhi

Akshardham is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays millennia of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham.

4) Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram
Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, India – 160,000 sq.Meter

Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram
Thillai Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram

Thillai Natarajah Temple, Chidambaram – Chidambaram Thillai Natarajar-Koothan Kovil or Chidambaram temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located in the centre of the temple town of Chidambaram, east-central Tamil Nadu, South India. Chidambaram is a temple complex spread over 40 acres (160,000 m2) in the heart of the city. It is truly a large temple which is completely used for religious purpose. The main complex to Lord Shiva Nataraja also contains shrines to deities such as Sivakami Amman, Ganesh, Murugan and Vishnu in the form Govindaraja Perumal.

5) Belur Math
Kolkata, West Bengal, India – 160,000 Sq.Meter

Belur Math, Kolkata India
Belur Math, Kolkata India

Belur Maṭh or Belur Mutt is the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, a chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. It is located on the west bank of Hooghly River, Belur, West Bengal, India and is one of the significant institutions in Calcutta. This temple is the heart of the Ramakrishna Movement. The temple is notable for its architecture that fuses Hindu, Christian and Islamic motifs as a symbol of unity of all religions.

6) Annamalaiyar Temple
Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India – 101,171 Sq.Meter

Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai
Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai

Annamalaiyar Temple is a noted Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, and it is the second largest temple (by the area used completely for religious purpose). It has got four stately towers on all the four sides and four high stone walls just like the rampart walls of a fort. The 11-tiered highest (217 feet (66 m)) Eastern Tower is called the Rajagopuram. The fortified walls pierced with four gopura entrances offer a formidable look to this vast complex.

7) Ekambareswarar Temple
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India – 92,860 Sq.Meters

Ekambareswarar temple kanchipuram
Ekambareswarar temple kanchipuram

Ekambareswarar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the five major Shiva temples or Pancha Bootha Sthalams (each representing a natural element) representing the element Earth.

8) Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval
Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India – 72,843 Sq.Meter

Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval
Jambukeswarar Temple, Thiruvanaikaval

Thiruvanaikaval (also Thiruvanaikal) is a famous Shiva temple in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy), in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple was built by Kocengannan (Kochenga Chola), one of the Early Cholas, around 1,800 years ago.

9) Meenakshi Amman Temple
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India – 70,050 Sq.Meter

Meenakshi Amman Temple
Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple or Meenakshi Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple in the holy city of Madurai in India. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva — who is known here as Sundareswarar or Beautiful Lord — and his consort, Parvati who is known as Meenakshi. The temple forms the heart and lifeline of the 2500-year-old city of Madurai. The complex houses 14 magnificent Gopurams or towers including two golden Gopurams for the main deities, that are elaborately sculptured and painted showing the architectural and sculpting skills of the ancient Indian sthapathis.

Also Read: 25 Amazing Facts about hinduism

10) Vaitheeswaran Koil
Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu, India – 60,780 Sq.Meters

Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu
Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu

Vaitheeswaran Temple is a Hindu temple located in Tamil Nadu, India, dedicated to the god Shiva. In this temple, Lord Shiva is worshiped as “Vaitheeswaran” or the “God of medicine”; worshipers believe that prayers to Lord Vaitheeswaran can cure diseases.

11) Tiruvarur Thyagaraja swamy Temple
Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu, India – 55,080 Sq.Meter

Tiruvarur Thyagaraja swamy Temple
Tiruvarur Thyagaraja swamy Temple

The ancient Sri Thyagaraja temple at Tiruvarur is dedicated to the Somaskanda aspect of Shiva. The temple complex has shrines dedicated to Vanmikanathar, Tyagarajar and the Kamalaamba, and covers an area of over 20 acres (81,000 m2). The Kamalalayam temple tank covers around 25 acres (100,000 m2), one of the largest in the country. The temple chariot is the largest of its kind in Tamil Nadu.

12) Sripuram Golden Temple
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India – 55,000 Sq.Meter

Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore, Tamil Nadu

The golden temple of Sripuram is a spiritual park situated at the foot of a small range of green hills in a place known as “Malaikodi” in the city of Vellore in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is at the southern end of the city of Vellore, at Tirumalaikodi.
The salient feature of Sripuram is the Lakshmi Narayani temple or Mahalakshmi temple whose ‘Vimanam’ and ‘Ardha Mandapam’ have been coated with gold both in the interior and exterior.

13) Jagannath Temple, Puri
Puri, Odisha, India – 37,000 Sq.Meter

Jagannath Temple, Puri
Jagannath Temple, Puri

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a famous Hindu temple dedicated to Jagannath (Vishnu) in the coastal town of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. The name Jagannath (Lord of the Universe) is a combination of the Sanskrit words Jagat (Universe) and Nath (Lord of).

14) Birla Mandir
Delhi, India – 30,000

Birla Mandir, Delhi
Birla Mandir, Delhi

The Laxminarayan Temple (also known as the Birla Mandir) is a Hindu temple dedicated to Laxminarayan in Delhi, India. The temple is built in honour of Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of wealth) and her consort Narayana (Vishnu, Preserver in the Trimurti). The temple was built in 1622 by Vir Singh Deo and renovated by Prithvi Singh in 1793. During 1933-39, Laxmi Narayan Temple was built by Baldeo Das Birla of Birla family. Thus, the temple is also known as Birla Mandir. The famous temple is accredited to have been inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi in 1939. At that time, Gandhi kept a condition that the temple would not be restricted to the Hindus and people from every caste would be allowed inside. Since then, funds for further renovations and support have come from the Birla family.

Credits:
Photo Credits: To Google Images and The Original Photographers.

Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon - Ashtavinayaka

Here is the third Part of our series “Ashtavinayaka: The eight abodes of Lord Ganesha” Where we will discuss the final three Ganesha which are Girijatmak , Vighneshwar and Mahaganpati . So lets start…

6) Girijatmaj (गिरिजत्मज)

It is believed that Parvati (Shiva’s wife) performed penance to beget Ganesha at this point. Girija’s (Parvati’s) Atmaj (son) is Girijatmaj. This temple stands amidst a cave complex of 18 caves of Buddhist origin. This temple is the 8th cave. These are called Ganesh-leni as well. The temple is carved out of a single stone hill, which has 307 steps. The temple features a wide hall with no supporting pillars. The temple hall is 53feet long, 51feet wide and 7feet in height.

Girijatmaj Lenyadri  Ashtavinayaka
Girijatmaj Lenyadri Ashtavinayaka

The idol faces north with its trunk to the left, and has to be worshipped from the rear of the temple. The temple faces south. This idol seems to be little different from the rest of the Ashtavinayak idols in a sense that it appears to be not very well designed or carved like the other idols. This idol can be worshipped by anyone. There is no electric bulb in the temple. The temple is constructed such that during the day it is always lighted up by the sun-rays!

Girijatmaj Lenyadri  Ashtavinayaka
Girijatmaj Lenyadri Ashtavinayaka

7) Vighneshwar (विघ्नेश्वर):

The history encompassing this idol states that Vighnasur, a demon was created by the King of Gods, Indra to destroy the prayer organized by King Abhinandan. However, the demon went a step further and destroyed all vedic, religious acts and to answer the people’s prayers for protection, Ganesh defeated him. The story goes on to say that on being conquered, the demon begged and pleaded with Ganesha to show a mercy. Ganesha then granted in his plea, but on the condition that demon should not go to the place where Ganesha worshipping is going on. In return the demon asked a favour that his name should be taken before Ganesha’s name, thus the name of Ganesha became Vighnahar or Vighneshwar (Vighna in Sanskrit means a sudden interruption in the ongoing work due to some unforeseen, unwarranted event or cause). The Ganesha here is called Shri Vighneshwar Vinayak.

Vighneshwar, ozhar - Ashtavinayaka
Vighneshwar, ozhar – Ashtavinayaka

The temple faces east and is surrounded by a thick stone wall. One can walk on the wall. The main hall of the temple is 20feet long and the inner hall is 10feet long. This idol, facing the east, has its trunk towards the left and rubies in its eyes. There is a diamond on the forehead and some jewel in the navel. Idols of Riddhi and Siddhi are placed on the two sides of the Ganesha idol. The temple top is Golden and is possibly built by Chimaji Appa after defeating the Portuguese rulers of Vasai and Sashti. The temple is probably built around 1785AD.

Vighneshwar, ozhar - Ashtavinayaka
Vighneshwar, ozhar – Ashtavinayaka

8) Mahaganpati (महागणपति)
Shiva is believed to have worshipped Ganesha before fighting the demon Tripurasura here. The temple was built by Shiva where he worshipped Ganesha, and the town he set up was called Manipur which is now known as Ranjangaon.

The idol faces the east, is seated in a cross-legged position with a broad forehead, with its trunk pointing to the left. It is said that the original idol is hidden in the basement, having 10 trunks and 20 hands and is called Mahotkat, however, the temple authorities deny existence of any such idol.

Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon - Ashtavinayaka
Mahaganpati, Ranjangaon – Ashtavinayaka

Constructed so that the rays of the sun fall directly on the idol (during the Southward movement of the sun), the temple bears a distinct resemblance to the architecture reminiscent of the 9th and 10th Centuries and faces the east. Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa used to visit this temple very often and built the stone sanctum around the idol and in 1790AD Mr. Anyaba Dev was authorised to worship the idol.

Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

Legend has it that when a sage had once sneezed he gave out a child; since being with the sage the child learnt many good stuff about lord ganesha, however had inherited many evil thoughts within; when he grew he developed in to a demon by name Tripurasura; thereafter he prayed to Lord Shiva and got three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts) of Gold, Silver and Bronze with a boon of invincibility until all the three are in linear; with the boon to his side he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods, Shiva intervened, and realized that he could not defeat the demon. It was upon hearing Narada Muni’s advice that Shiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels, bringing an end to the demon.

Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby.
A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva’s chariot to break, as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Upon realizing his act of omission, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha, and then proceeded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon.

Mahaganapati is portrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao. The temple was erected during the rule of the Peshwas. Peshwa Madhavrao had constructed the Garbhagriha, the sanctum to house the swayambhoo statue.

The temple faces east. It has an imposing main gate which is guarded by two statues of Jay and Vijay. The temple is designed in such away that during Dakshinayan[ the apparent movement of the sun to the south] the rays of the sun fall directly on the deity.

The deity is seated and flanked on both sides by Riddhi and Siddhi. The trunk of the deity turns to the left. There is a local belief that the real statue of Mahaganpati is hidden in some vault and this statue has ten trunks and twenty arms. But there is nothing to substantiate this belief.

Credits: To the original photos and the photographers!

Varad Vinayak - Ashtavinayaka

Here is the second Part of our series “Ashtavinayaka: The eight abodes of Lord Ganesha” Where we will discuss the next three Ganesha which are Ballaleshwar, Varadavinayak and Chintamani. So lets start…

3) Ballaleshwar (बल्लाळेश्वर) :

Like a few other murtis, this one has diamonds embedded in the eyes and navel, and with His trunk pointing to the left. One speciality of this temple is that the prasad offered to this Ganapati at Pali is Besan Laadu instead of Modak that is normally offered to other Ganapatis. The shape of the idol itself bears a striking remblance with the mountain which forms the backdrop of this temple. This is more prominently felt if one views the photograph of the mountain and then sees the idol.

Ballaleshwar, pali - Ashtavinayaka
Ballaleshwar, pali – Ashtavinayaka

The original wooden temple was reconstructed in to a stone temple by Nana Phadanavis in 1760. There are two small lakes constructed on two sides of the temple. One of them is reserved for the puja (worship) of the Deity. This Temple faces the east and has two sanctums. The inner one houses the murti and has a Mushika (Ganesha’s mouse vahana) with modaka in his forepaws in front of it. The hall, supported by eight exquisitely carved pillars demands as much attention as the idol, sitting on throne carved like a Cyprus tree. The eight pillars depict the eight directions. Inner sanctum is 15 feet tall and outer one is 12 feet tall. The temple is constructed in such a way that after the winter (dakshinayan : southward movement of the sun) solstice, the sun rays fall on the Ganesha murti at sunrise. The temple is built with stones which are stuck together very tight using melted lead.

History of Temple
The legendary story of Shri Ballaleshwar is covered in Upasana Khand Section -22 occurred in Pali the old name Pallipur.

Kalyansheth was a merchant in Pallipur and was married to Indumati. The couple was childless for quite some time but later was blessed with a son known as Ballal. As Ballal grew, he spent much of his time in worshiping and praying. He was devotee of Lord Ganesha and used to worship stone idol of Shri Ganesha in the forest along with his friends and companions. As it used to take time, the friends would reach home late. Regular delay in returning house used to irritate the parents of the friends of Ballal who complained to his father saying that Ballal was responsible for spoiling the kids. Already unhappy with Ballal for not concentrating on his studies, Kalyansheth was boiling with anger when he heard the complaint. Immediately he reached the place of worship in the forest and devastated Pooja arrangements organized by Ballal and his friends. He threw away the Stone Idol of Shri Ganesh and broke the pandal. All the kids got frightened but Ballal who was engrossed in Pooja and japa, did not even know what was happening around. Kalayan beat Ballal mercilessly and tied him to the tree saying to get fed and freed by Shri Ganesha. He left for home thereafter.

Ballaleshwar, pali - Ashtavinayaka
Ballaleshwar, pali – Ashtavinayaka

Ballal semiconscious and tied to the tree in the forest was lying as that with severe pain all over, started calling his beloved God, Shri Ganesha. “O Lord, Shri Ganesha, I was busy in praying you, I was right and humble but my cruel father has spoiled my act of devotion and hence I am unable to perform Pooja.” Shri Ganesha was pleased and responded quickly. Ballal was freed. He blessed Ballal to be superior devotee with larger lifespan. Shri Ganesha hugged Ballal and said that his father would suffer for his wrongdoings.

Ballal insisted that Lord Ganesha should continue to stay there at Pali. Nodding His head Shri Ganesha made his permanent stay at Pali as Ballal Vinayak and disappeared in a large stone. This is famous as Shri Ballaleshwar.

Shri Dhundi Vinayak
In the above mentioned story the stone idol which Ballal used to worship and which was thrown away by Kalyan Sheth is known as Dhundi Vinayak. The idol is facing west. The birth celebration of Dhundi Vinayak takes place from Jeshtha Pratipada to Panchami. From ancient time, it is a practice to take darshan of Dhundi Vinayak before proceeding to main idol Shree Ballaleshwar.

4) Varad Vinayak (वरदविनायक)

Ganesha is said to reside here in the form of Varada Vinayaka, the giver of bounty and success. The idol was found in the adjoining lake (to Mr. Dhondu Paudkar in 1690AD), in an immersed position and hence its weathered look. In 1725AD the then Kalyan subhedar, Mr. Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar built the Varadavinayak temple and the village of Mahad.

Varad Vinayak - Ashtavinayaka
Varad Vinayak – Ashtavinayaka

Mahad is a pretty village set in the hilly region of Konkan in the Raigarh district and the Khalapur Taluka of Maharastra.Lord Ganesha as Varad Vinayak fulfills all desires and grants all boons. This region was known as Bhadrak or Madhak in ancient times. The Original Idol of Varad Vinayak can be seen outside the sanctum. Both Idols are located in two corners- the Idol on the left is smeared in vermillion with its trunk turned left, and the idol on the right is made of white marble with its trunk turned to the right . The sanctum is made of stone and is surronded by beautiful stone elephant carving which house the idol. There are 4 elephant idols on 4 sides of the temple. Two stone idols of Riddhi & Siddhi can also be seen in the sanctum.

This is the only temple where devotees are allowed to personally pay their homage and respects to the idol. They are allowed in the immediate vicinity of this idol to perform their prayers.

5) Chintamani (चिंतामणि)

Ganesha is believed to have got back the precious Chinatamani jewel from the greedy Guna for sage Kapila at this spot. However, after bringing back the jewel, sage Kapila put it in Vinayaka’s (Ganesha’s) neck. Thus the name Chintamani Vinayak. This happened under the Kadamb tree, therefore Theur is known as Kadambanagar in old times.

Known to be one of the larger and more famous of the eight revered shrines, the temple is situated in the village of Theur, 25 km from Pune. The hall has a black stone water fountain in it.  Beside the central shrine dedicated to Ganesha, there are three smaller shrines in the temple complex dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu-Lakshmi and Hanuman. Lord Ganesha is worshipped by the name ‘Chintamani’ in this temple as it is believed he provides deliverance from worries.

Chintamani - Ashtavinayaka
Chintamani – Ashtavinayaka

The lake behind the temple is called Kadambteertha. The temple entrance is North facing. The outer wooden hall was built by Peshwas. The main temple is supposed to have been built by Dharanidhar Maharaj Dev from the family-lineage of Shri Moraya Gosavi. He must have built this around 100 years before Senior Shrimant Madhavrao Peshwa built the outer wooden hall.

This idol also has a left trunk, with carbuncle and diamonds as its eyes. The idol faces the East side.

Theur’s Chintamani was the family deity of Shrimant Madhavrao I Peshwa. He suffered from tuberculosis and died at a very young age (27years). He is supposed to have died in this temple. His wife, Ramabai committed Sati with him on 18 November 1772.

Credits:
Photo credits to Original photos and the respective photographers
ashtavinayaktemples.com

A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka

Ashtavinayaka , also pronounced as Asthavinayaka, Ashthavinayaka (अष्टविनायक) literally means “eight Ganeshas” in Sanskrit. Ganesh is the Hindu deity of unity, prosperity & learning and removes obstacles. The term Ashtavinayaka refers to eight Ganeshas. Ashtavinayaka yatra trip refers to a pilgrimage to the eight Hindu temples in Maharashtra state of India that house eight distinct idols of Ganesha, in a pre-ascertained sequence.

A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka
A decor showing all Ashtavinayaka

The Ashtavinayaka yatra or pilgrimage covers the eight ancient holy temples of Ganesha which are situated around Maharashtra, A state of India. Each of these temples has its own individual legend and history, as distinct from each other as the murtis (Idos) in each temple. The form of each murti of Ganesha and His trunk are distinct from one another. All the Eight  Ashtavinayak Temples are Swayambhu (self-originated) and Jagrut.
The eight names of Ashtavinayaka are:
1. Moreshwar (मोरेश्वर) from Morgaon
2. Mahaganpati (महागणपति) from Ranjangaon
3. Chintamani (चिंतामणि) from Theur
4. Girijatmak (गिरिजत्मज) from Lenyadri
5. Vighneshwar (विघ्नेश्वर) from Ojhar
6. Siddhivinayak (सिद्धिविनायक ) from Siddhatek
7. Ballaleshwar (बल्लाळेश्वर) from Pali
8. Varad Vinayak (वरदविनायक) from Mahad

1) Moreshwara (मोरेश्वर):
This is the most important temple on this tour. The temple, built from black-stone during the Bahamani reign, has four gates (It is supposed to have been built by one of the knights named Mr. Gole, from the court of Bidar’s Sultan). The temple is situated in the centre of the village. The temple is covered from all sides by four minarets and gives feeling of a mosque if seen from a distance. This was done to prevent attacks on the temple during Mughal periods. The temple has 50 feet tall wall around it.

Morgaon temple - Ashtavinayaka
Morgaon temple – Ashtavinayaka

There is a Nandi (Shiva’s bull mount) sitting in front of this temple entrance, which is unique, as Nandi is normally in front of only Shiva temples. However, the story says that this statue was being carried to some Shivamandir during which the vehicle carrying it broke down and the Nandi statue could not be removed from its current place.

The murti of Lord Ganesha  is three eyed, seated, and his trunk is turned towards the left, riding a peacock, in the form of Mayureshwara is believed to have slain the demon Sindhu at this spot. The idol, with its trunk turned to the left, has a cobra (Nagaraja) poised over it protecting it. This form of Ganesha also has two other murtis of Siddhi (Capability) and Riddhi (Intelligence).

Morgaon Ganpati - Ashtavinayaka
Morgaon Ganpati – Ashtavinayaka

However, this is not the original murti -which is said to have been consecrated twice by Brahma, once before and once after being destroyed by the asura Sindhurasur. The original murti, smaller in size and made of atoms of sand, iron, and diamonds, was supposedly enclosed in a copper sheet by the Pandavas and placed behind the one that is currently worshiped.

2) Siddhivinayak (सिद्धिविनायक ):

Siddhatek is a remote little village along the river Bhima in the Ahmednagar district and Karjat tehsil in Maharashtra. The Siddhivinayak Ashtavinayak Temple at Siddhtek is considered an especially powerful deity. God Vishnu is supposed to have vanquished the asuras Madhu and Kaitabh after propitiating Ganesha here. This is the only murti of these eight with the trunk positioned to the right. It is believed that the two saints Shri Morya Gosavi and Shri Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon received their enlightenment here.

Siddhivinayak Siddhatek temple - Ashtavinayak
Siddhivinayak Siddhatek temple – Ashtavinayak

The Mudgala Purana narrates that at the beginning of Creation, the creator-god Brahma emerges from a lotus, that rises the god Vishnu’s navel as Vishnu sleeps in his yoganidra. While Brahma starts creating the universe, two demons Madhu and Kaitabha rise from the dirt in Vishnu’s ear. The demons disturb Brahma’s process of creation, thereby compelling Vishnu to awake. Vishnu battles the battle, but cannot defeat them. He asks the god Shiva the reason for this. Shiva informs Vishnu that he cannot succeed as he had forgotten to invoke Ganesha – the god of beginning and obstacle removal – before the fight. Therefore Vishnu performs penance at Siddhatek, invoking Ganesha with his mantra  “Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah”. Pleased, Ganesha bestows his blessings and various siddhis (“powers”) on Vishnu, returns to his fight and slays the demons. The place where Vishnu acquired siddhis was thereafter known as Siddhatek.

Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek Ganpati - Ashtavinayaka
Siddhivinayak, Siddhatek Ganpati – Ashtavinayaka

The temple is North-facing and is on a small hillock. The main road towards the temple was believed to be built by Peshwa’s general Haripant Phadake. The inner sanctum, 15 feet high and 10 feet wide is built by Punyashloka Ahilyabai Holkar. The idol is 3feet tall and 2.5feet wide. The idol faces North-direction. The stomach of the murti is not wide, but Riddhi and Siddhi murtis are sitting on one thigh. This murti’s trunk is turning to the right. The right-sided-trunk Ganesha is supposed to be very strict for the devotees. To make one round (pradakshina) around the temple one has to make the round trip of the hillock. This takes about 30 minutes with moderate speed.

Peshwa general Haripant Phadake lost his General’s position and did 21 Pradakshina around the temple. On the 21st day Peshwa’s court-man came and took him to the court with royal honor. Haripant promised the God that he will bring the stones of the castle which he will win from the first war he will fight as the general. The stone pathway is built from the Badami-Castle which was attacked by Haripant soon after he became the general.

Credits:
Photo credits to the original uploaders and Photographers

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the Fourth part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about last four jyotirlinga which are
Nageshwara, Rameshwara, Trimbakeshwar, Grishneshwar. So lets start with the nineth jyotirling.

9) Nageshvara Jyotirlinga:

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Nageshvara is believed to be the first Jyotirlinga on the earth.

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Shiva Purana says Nageshvara Jyotirlinga is in ‘the Darukavana’, which is an ancient name of a forest in India. ‘Darukavana’ finds mention in Indian epics, such as Kamyakavana, Dvaitavana, Dandakavana. There is a narrative in the Shiva Purana about the Nageshvara Jyotirlinga which tells of a demon named Daaruka, who attacked a Shiva devotee named Supriya and imprisoned him along with many others in his city of Darukavana, a city under the sea inhabited by seasnakes and demons. At the urgent exhortations of Supriya, all the prisoners started to chant the holy mantra of Shiva and immediately thereafter the Lord Shiva appeared and the demon was vanquished, later residing there in the form of a Jyotirlinga.
And this is how it happened: the demon had a wife, a demoness named Daaruki who worshipped Mata Parvati. As a result of the demoness Daaruki’s great penance and devotion, Mata Parvati gave her a great boon: the goddess enabled her to master the forest where she performed her devotions, and the forest she renamed ‘Darukavana’ in her honour. Wherever Daaruki went the forest would follow her. In order to save the demons of Darukavana from the punishment of the gods, Daaruka summoned up the power she had been given by the goddess Parvati. Devi Parvati had given her power enough to move the forest and so she moved the entire forest into the sea. From here they continued their campaign against the hermits, kidnapping people and keeping them confined in their new lair under the sea, which was how that great Shiva devotee, Supriya, had wound up there.

Nageshvara Jyotirlinga - 12 Jyotirlinga
Nageshvara Jyotirlinga – 12 Jyotirlinga

The arrival of Supriya caused a revolution. He set up a lingam and made all the prisoners recite the mantra Om Namaha Shivay in honour of Shiva while he prayed to the lingam. The demons’ response to the chanting was to attempt to kill Supriya, though they were thwarted by Shiva appearing there and handing him a divine weapon that saved his life. Daaruki and the demons were defeated, and the demons that Supriya didn’t kill were saved by Parvati. The lingam that Supriya had set up was called Nagesha; it is the tenth lingam. Shiva once again assumed the form of a Jyotirlinga with the name Nageshwar, while the Goddess Parvati was known as Nageshwari. The Lord Shiva announced there and then that he would show the correct path to those who would worship him.

10) Ramanathaswamy Temple:
Ramanathaswamy Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva located on Rameswaram island in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams, where the three of the most revered Nayanars (Saivite saints), Appar, Sundarar and Tirugnana Sambandar, have glorified the temple with their songs.

Rameswaram temple
Rameswaram temple

According to the Ramayana, Rama, the seventh incarnation of god Vishnu, is believed to have prayed to Shiva here to absolve sin of killing a brahmana, committed during his war against the demon king Ravana in Sri Lanka. Rama wanted to have the largest lingam to worship Shiva. He directed Hanuman, the monkey lieutenant in his army, to bring the lingam from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita, the wife of Rama, built a small lingam out of the sand available in the sea shore, which is believed to be the lingam in the sanctum.

Rameshwaram temple corridor
Rameshwaram temple corridor

The primary deity of the temple is Ramanathaswamy (Shiva) in the form of lingam. There are two lingams inside the sanctum – one built by Goddess Sita, from sand, residing as the main deity, Ramalingam and the one brought by Lord Hanuman from Kailash called Vishwalingam. Rama instructed that Vishwalingam should be worshipped first since it was brought by Lord Hanuman – the tradition continue even today.

11) Trimbakeshwar Temple:

Trimbakeshwar (त्र्यंबकेश्वर) or Tryambakeshwar is an ancient Hindu temple in the town of Trimbak, in the Trimbakeshwar tehsil in the Nashik District of Maharashtra, India, 28 km from the city of Nashik. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
It is located at the source of the Godavari River, the longest river in peninsular India. The Godavari River, which is considered sacred within Hinduism, originates from Bramhagiri mountains and meets the sea near Rajahmudry. Kusavarta, a kund is considered the symbolic origin of the river Godavari, and revered by Hindus as a sacred bathing place.

Trimbakeshwar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Trimbakeshwar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

Trimbakeshwar is a religious center having one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The extraordinary feature of the Jyotirlinga located here is its three faces embodying Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Rudra. Due to excessive use of water, the linga has started to erode. It is said that this erosion symbolizes the eroding nature of human society. The Lingas are covered by a jeweled crown which is placed over the Gold Mask of Tridev (Brahma Vishnu Mahesh). The crown is said to be from the age of Pandavs and consists of diamonds, emeralds, and many precious stones.

All other Jyotirlingas have Shiva as the main deity. The entire black stone temple is known for its appealing architecture and sculpture and is at the foothills of a mountain called Brahmagiri. Three sources of the Godavari originate from the Brahmagiri mountain.

12) Grishneshwar Temple:

Grishneshwar, Grushneshwar Jyotirlinga is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines mentioned in the Shiva Purana. Grishneshwar is believed as the Last or 12th (twelfth) Jyotirlinga on the earth. This pilgrimage site is located at a village called Verul which lies at a distance of 11 km from Daulatabad (Devagiri) and 30 km from Aurangabad. It lies at a close proximity to the Ellora caves.

Grishneshwar Temple
Grishneshwar Temple

The temple stands as an illustration of the pre-historic temple traditions as well as of the pre-historic architectural style and structure. The inscriptions on the temples are a source of much attraction to ardent travellers. The temple, built of red rocks, is composed of a five tier shikara. Restored in the 18th century by Ahilyabai Holkar, the temple is 240 x 185 feet tall. It houses beautiful carvings and sculptures of many Indian Gods and Goddesses. Holy water is known to spring from inside the temple.

According to Shivapuran, in the southern direction, on a mountain named Devagiri lived a Brahmin called Brahmavetta Sudharm along with his wife Sudeha. The couple did not have a child because of which Sudeha was sad. Sudeha prayed and tried all possible remedies but in vain. Frustrated of being childless, Sudeha got her sister Ghushma married to her husband. On the advice of her sister, Ghushma used to make 101 lingas, worship them and discharge them in the nearby lake. With the blessings of Lord Shiva, Ghushma gave birth to a baby boy. Because of this, Ghushma became proud and Sudeha started feeling jealous towards her sister.

Out of jealously, one night she killed Ghushma’s son and threw him in the lake where Ghushma used to discharge the lingas. Next morning, Ghushmas and Sudharm got involved in daily prayers and ablutions. Sudeha too, got up and started performing her daily choirs. Ghushma’s daughter-in-law, however, saw stains of blood on her husband’s bed and parts of the body drenched in blood. Horrified, she narrated everything to mother-in-law Ghushma who was absorbed in worshipping Shiva. Ghushma did not deter. Even her husband Sudharma did not move an inch. Even when Ghushma saw the bed drenched in blood she did not break down and said he who has given me this child shall protect him and started reciting Shiva-Shiva. Later, when she went to discharge the Shivalingas after prayers she saw her son coming. Seeing her son Ghushma was neither happy nor sad.

At that time Lord Shiv appeared before her and said – I am pleased with your devotion. Your sister had killed your son. Ghushma told Lord to forgive Sudeh and emancipate her. Pleased with her generosity, Lord Shiva asked her another boon. Ghushma said that if he was really happy with her devotion then he should reside here eternally for the benefit of the multitudes in form of a Jyotirling and may you be known by my name. On her request, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Jyotirling and assumed the name Ghushmeshwar and the lake was named as Shivalaya thereafter.

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

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kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the Third part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about next four jyotirlinga which are
Kedarnath, Bhimashankar, Kashi Vishwanath and Vaidhyanath . So lets start with the fifth jyotirling.

5) Kedarnath Temple
Kedarnath Mandir is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to the god Shiva. It is on the Garhwal Himalayan range near the Mandakini river in Kedarnath, Uttarakhand in India. Due to extreme weather conditions, the temple is open only between the end of April (Akshaya Tritriya) to Kartik Purnima (the autumn full moon, usually November). During the winters, the vigrahas (deities) from Kedarnath temple are brought to Ukhimath and worshiped there for six months. Lord Shiva is worshiped as Kedarnath, the ‘Lord of Kedar Khand’, the historical name of the region. The temple structure is believed to have been constructed in the 8th century AD, when Adi Shankara visited.

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

According to Hindu mythology, during the Mahabharatha war, the Pandavas killed their relatives; to absolve themselves of this sin, the Pandavas undertook a pilgrimage. But Lord Vishweshwara was away in Kailasa in the Himalayas. On learning this, the Pandavas left Kashi. They reached the Himalayas via Haridwar. They saw Lord Shankara from a distance. But Lord Shankara hid from them. Then Dharmaraj said: “Oh, Lord, You have hidden yourself from our sight because we have sinned. But, we will seek You out somehow. Only after we take your Darshan would our sins be washed away. This place, where You have hidden Yourself will be known as Guptakashi and become a famous shrine.”
From Guptakashi (Rudraprayag), the Pandavas went ahead till they reached Gaurikund in the Himalayas valleys. They wandered there in search of Lord Shankara. While doing so Nakul and Sahadev found a buffalo which was unique to look at.

Then Bheema went after the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo was clever and Bheema could not catch him. But Bheema managed to hit the buffalo with his mace. The buffalo had its face hidden in a crevice-in the earth. Bheema started to pull it by its tail. In this tug-of war, the face of the buffalo went straight to Nepal, leaving its hind part in Kedar. The face is Doleshwar Mahadev in Sipadol, Bhaktapur, Nepal.

On this hind part of Mahesha, a JyotirLinga appeared and Lord Shankara appeared from this light. By getting a Darshan of Lord Shankar, the pandavas were absolved of their sins. The Lord told the Pandavas, “From now on, I will remain here as a triangular shaped JyotirLinga. By taking a Darshan of Kedarnath, devotees would attain piety”. A triangular shaped rock is worshiped in Garbhagriha of the temple. Surrounding Kedarnath, there are many symbols of the Pandavas. Raja Pandu died at Pandukeshwar. The tribals here perform a dance called “Pandav Nritya”. The mountain top where the Pandavas went to Swarga, is known as “Swargarohini”, which is located off Badrinath. When Darmaraja was leaving for Swarga, one of his fingers fell on the earth. At that place, Dharmaraj installed a Shiva Linga, which is the size of the thumb. To gain Mashisharupa, Shankara and Bheema fought with maces. Bheema was struck with remorse. He started to massage Lord Shankara’s body with ghee. In memory of this event, even today, this triangular Shiva JyotirLinga is massaged with ghee. Water and Bel leaves are used for worship.

kedarnath temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
kedarnath temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

When Nara-Narayan went to Badrika village and started the worship of Parthiva, Shiva appeared before them. Nara-Narayan wished that, for the welfare of the humanity, Shiva should remain there in his original form. Granting their wish, in the snow-clad Himalayas, in a place called Kedar, Mahesha himself stayed there as a Jyoti. Here, He is known as Kedareshwara.

An unusual feature of the temple is the head of a man carved in the triangular stone fascia. Such a head is seen carved in another temple nearby constructed on the site where the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was held. Adi Shankara was believed to have revived this temple, along with Badrinath and other temples of Uttarakhand; he is believed to have attained mahasamadhi at Kedaranath.

 

 

6) Bhimashankar Temple:
Bhimashankar Temple is a Jyotirlinga shrine located 50 km northwest of Khed, near Pune, in India. It is located 127 km from Shivaji Nagar (Pune) in the Ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows southeast and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur.

Bhimashankar Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Bhimashankar Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures in the Nagara style of architecture. It shows the excellency of the skills achieved by ancient Vishwakarma sculptors. It is a modest yet graceful temple and it dates back to 13th century and the sabhamandap developed in the 18th century by Nana Phadnavis. The shikhara was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.

It is believed that the ancient shrine was erected over a Swayambhu Lingam (that is the self emanated Shiva Lingam). It can be seen in the temple that the Lingam is exactly at the centre of the floor of the Garbagriham (the Sanctum Sanctorum). Intricate carvings of divinities interspersed with human figurines adorn the pillars and the doorframes of the temple. Scenes from mythology find itself captured in these magnificent carvings.

This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura associated with the invincible flying citadels Tripuras. Shiva is said to have taken abode in the ‘Bhima Shankara’ form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills, and the sweat that poured forth from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.

7) Kashi Vishwanath Temple:

Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, the holiest existing place of Hindus. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganges, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishwanatha or Vishweshwara meaning Ruler of the universe. The temple town, which claims to be the oldest living city in the world, with 3500 years of documented history, is also called Kashi and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures for a very long time and as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. It has been destroyed and re-constructed a number of times in the history. The last structure was demolished by Aurganzeb, who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site.

The Vishweshwara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India. Tradition has it that the merits earned by the darshan of other jyotirlinga scattered in various parts of India accrue to a devotee by a single visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Deeply and intimately implanted in the Hindu mind, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple has been a living embodiment of India’s timeless cultural traditions and highest spiritual values.

Kashi Vishwanath - 12 Jyotirlinga
Kashi Vishwanath – 12 Jyotirlinga

The temple complex consists of a series of smaller shrines, located in a small lane called the Vishwanatha Galli, near the river. The linga of the main deity at the shrine is 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar. The main temple is quadrangle and is surrounded by shrines of other gods. There are small temples for Kaalbhairav, Dhandapani, Avimukteshwara, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Sanishwara, Virupaksha and Virupaksh Gauri in the complex. There is a small well in the temple called the Jnana Vapi also spelled as Gyaan vapi (the wisdom well). The Jnana Vapi well sites to the north of the main temple and it is believed that the Jytorlinga was hidden in the well to protect it at the time of invasion. It is said that the main priest of the temple jumped in the well with the Shiv Ling in order to protect the Jyotirlinga from invaders.

A Shiva temple has been mentioned in the Puranas including the Kashi Khanda (section) of Skanda Purana. The original Vishwanath temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1194 CE, when he defeated the Raja of Kannauj as a commander of Mohammad Ghori. The temple was rebuilt by a Gujarati merchant during the reign of Shamsuddin Iltumish (1211-1266 CE). It was demolished again during the rule of either Hussain Shah Sharqi (1447-1458) or Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517). Raja Man Singh built the temple during Akbar’s rule, but orthodox Hindus boycotted it as he had let the Mughal emperors marry within his family. Raja Todar Mal further re-built the temple with Akbar’s funding at its original site in 1585.

Kashi Vishwanath temple replaced by a mosque
Kashi Vishwanath temple replaced by a mosque

In 1669 CE, Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place. The remains of the erstwhile temple can be seen in the foundation, the columns and at the rear part of the mosque.The Maratha ruler Malhar Rao Holkar wanted to destroy the Gyanvapi mosque and re-construct the temple at the site.However, he never actually did that. His daughter-in-law Ahilyabai Holkar later constructed the present current temple structure near the mosque.

8)Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple:

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple, also known as Baba dham and Baidyanath dham is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in Deoghar in the Santhal Parganas division of the state of Jharkhand, India. It is a temple complex consisting of the main temple of Baba Baidyanath, where the Jyotirlinga is installed, and 21 other temples.

Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple
Vaidhyanath Jyotirlinga temple

According to Hindu beliefs, the demon king Ravana worshipped Shiva at the current site of the temple to get the boons that he later used to wreak havoc in the world. Ravana offered his ten heads one after the another to Shiva as a sacrifice. Pleased with this, Shiva descended to cure Ravana who was injured. As he acted as a doctor, he is referred to as Vaidhya (“doctor”). From this aspect of Shiva, the temple derives its name.

According to the stories narrated in the Shiva Purana, it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana, king of Lanka, felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva (Shiva) stays there forever. He paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth, in the course of his journey, it would remain fixed at that place forever. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka.

The other gods objected to this plan; if Shiva went to Lanka with Ravana, then Ravana would become invincible and his evil and anti-vedic deeds would threaten the world.
On his way back from Mount Kailash, it was time for Ravana to perform sandya-vandana and he could not carry out sandya-vandha with Shiva linga in his hand and therefore searched for someone who could hold it for him. Ganesh then appeared as a shepherd who was rearing sheep nearby. Ravana requested Ganesh pretending as shepherd to hold the linga while he completes sandya-vandana and also guided him not to place the linga on ground at any movement. Ganesh warned Ravana about leaving the linga on the bank of the river and walking away if he doesn’t return soon. Ganesh, pretending to be vexed by Ravena’s delay, set the linga down on earth. The moment linga was kept down, it got fixed to the ground. When Ravana after returning from sandya-vandana tried to move the linga, but he could not. Ravan failed miserably in his attempt to uproot the linga. The Gods were happy with Shiva linga not reaching Ravana’s place.

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part IV

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II

Credits: Photo credits to the original photograph and their owners

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga

This is the second part of 12 jyotirlinga in which we will discuss about first four jyotirlinga which are
Somnatha, Mallikarjuna, Mahakaleshwara and Omkareshwara. So lets start with the first jyotirling.

1) The Somnath Temple:

The Somnath Temple, located in the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India, is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of the god Shiva. The temple is considered sacred due to the various legends connected to it. Somnath means “Lord of the Soma”, an epithet of Shiva.

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.

The Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”, having been destroyed SIXTEEN TIMES by Muslim invaders. Apart from the countless riches (gold, gems etc..) it was widely believed to have had a floating Shiva linga (also believed to be the Philosopher’s Stone), which was also destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni during his raids.
The first temple of Somnath is said to have existed before the beginning of the Christian era. The second temple, built by the Maitraka kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649. In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple. The Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone. In 1024, Mahmud Ghazni raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. During his campaign, Mahmud was challenged by Ghogha Rana, who at the ripe age of 90, sacrificed his own clan fighting against this iconoclast.

Destruction of Somnath Temple
Destruction of Somnath Temple

The temple and citadel were ransacked, and more than 50,000 defenders were massacred; Mahmud personally hammered the temple’s gilded lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city’s new Jamiah Masjid (Friday mosque). The fourth temple was built by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) or Patan between 1026 and 1042. The wooden structure was replaced by Kumarpal who built the temple of stone.The temple was razed in 1297 when the Sultanate of Delhi conquered Gujarat, and again in 1394. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple again in 1706. The current is the 7th one that was built by the Efforts of Sardar Patel.

Somnath Temple - 12 Jyotirlinga
Somnath Temple – 12 Jyotirlinga

2) Mallikaarjuna Temple:
Sri Mallikarjuna second of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Siva situated at Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh state, India. It is one of the 275 Paadal Petra Sthalams.

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

When Kumar Kartikeya returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth, he heard about Ganesha’s marriage from Narada. This angered him. In spite of being restrained by his parents, he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son, implored Lord Shiva to look for their son. Together, they went to Kumara. But, Kumara went away a further three Yojanas, after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. Before embarking on a further search for their son on each mountain, they decided to leave a light on every mountain they visited. From that day, that place came to be known as JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively.

Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga
Mallikaarjuna -12 Jyotirlinga

Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this JyotirLinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.

3) Mahakaleshwar Temple :

Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga (महाकालेश्वर ज्योतिर्लिंग) is third of the twelve Jyotirlingams, which are supposed to be the most sacred abodes of Shiva. It is located in the ancient city of Ujjain in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. The temple is situated on the side of the Rudra Sagar lake. The presiding deity, Shiva in the lingam form is believed to be Swayambhu, deriving currents of power (Shakti) from within itself as against the other images and lingams that are ritually established and invested with mantra-shakti.

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

The idol of Mahakaleshwar is known to be dakshinamurti, which means that it is facing the south. This is a unique feature, upheld by the tantric shivnetra tradition to be found only in Mahakaleshwar among the 12 Jyotirlingas. The idol of Omkareshwar Mahadev is consecrated in the sanctum above the Mahakal shrine. The images of Ganesh, Parvati and Karttikeya are installed in the west, north and east of the sanctum sanctorum. To the south is the image of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The idol of Nagchandreshwar on the third storey is open for darshan only on the day of Nag Panchami. The temple has five levels, one of which is underground. The temple itself is located in a spacious courtyard surrounded by massive walls near a lake. The shikhar or the spire is adorned with sculptural finery. Brass lamps light the way to the underground sanctum. It is believed that prasada (holy offering) offered here to the deity can be re-offered unlike all other shrines.

The presiding deity of time, Shiva, in all his splendor, reigns eternally in the city of Ujjain. The temple of Mahakaleshwar, its shikhar soaring into the sky, an imposing facade against the skyline, evokes primordial awe and reverence with its majesty. The Mahakal dominates the life of the city and its people, even in the midst of the busy routine of modern preoccupations, and provides an unbreakable link with ancient Hindu traditions. On the day of Maha Shivaratri, a huge fair is held near the temple, and worship goes on through the night.

Mahakaleshwar Temple - 12 jyotirling
Mahakaleshwar Temple – 12 jyotirling

The shrine is revered as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peetham. i.e it is believed to have enshrined with the presence of Shakti due to the falling of body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi, when Lord Shiva carried it. Each of the 51 Shakti peethas have shrines for Shakti and Kalabhairava. The Upper Lip of Sati Devi is said to have fallen here and the Shkati is called as Mahakali.

4) Omkareshwar Temple:

Omkareshwar (ओंकारेश्वर) is  one of the 12 revered Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is on an island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river; the shape of the island is said to be like the Hindu ॐ symbol. There are two temples here, one to Omkareshwar (whose name means “Lord of Omkaara or the Lord of the Om Sound”) and one to Amareshwar (whose name means “Immortal lord” or “lord of the Immortals or Devas”). But as per the sloka on dwadash jyotirligam, Mamleshwar is the jyotirling, which is on other side of Narmada river.

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga also has its own history and stories.Three of them are prominent. The first story is about Vindhya Parvat (Mount). Once upon a time Narada (son of Lord Brahma), known for his non-stop cosmic travel, visited Vindhya parvat. In his spicy way Narad told Vindhya Parvat about the greatness of Mount Meru. This made Vindhya jealous of Meru and he decided to be bigger than Meru. Vindhya started worship of Lord Shiva to become greater than Meru. Vindhya Parvat practiced severe penance and worshipped parthivlinga (A linga made from physical material) along with Lord Omkareshwar for nearly six months. As a result Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed him with his desired boon. On a request of all the gods and the sages Lord Shiva made two parts of the lingas. One half is called Omkareshwara and the other Mamaleshwar or Amareshwar. Lord Shiva gave the boon of growing, but took a promise that Vindhya will never be a problem to Shiva’s devotees. Vindhya began to grow, but did not keep his promise. It even obstructed the sun and the moon. All deities approached sage Agastya for help. Agastya along with his wife came to Vindhya, and convinced him that he would not grow until the sage and his wife returned. They never returned and Vindhya is there as it was when they left. The sage and his wife stayed in Srisailam which is regarded as Dakshina Kashi and one of the Dwadash Jyotirlinga.

The second story relates to Mandhata and his son’s penance. King Mandhata of Ishvaku clan (an ancestor of Lord Ram) worshipped Lord Shiva here till the Lord manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga. Some scholars also narrate the story about Mandhata’s sons-Ambarish and Mucchkund, who had practiced severe penance and austerities here and pleased Lord Shiva. Because of this the mountain is named Mandhata.

Omkareshwar - 12 Jyotirling
Omkareshwar – 12 Jyotirling

The third story from Hindu scriptures says that once upon a time there was a great war between Devas and Danavas(demon), in which Danavas won. This was a major setback for Devas and hence Devas prayed to Lord Shiva. Pleased with their prayer, Lord Shiva emerged in the form of Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga and defeated Danavas.

Read Next Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part III

Read Previous Part: 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part I

Credits:
Photo credits to original photographers.
www.shaivam.org

A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam (ज्योतिर्लिङ्ग) is a devotional object representing the god Shiva. Jyoti means ‘radiance’ and lingam the ‘mark or sign’ of Shiva, or a symbol of the pineal gland; Jyotir Lingam thus means the The Radiant sign of The Almighty. There are twelve traditional Jyotirlinga shrines in India.
shankar Idol in Uttarakhand
Worship of shivalinga is considered the prime worship for the devotees of Lord shiva. Worship of all other forms is considered secondary. The significance of the shivalinga is that It is the resplendent light (flame) form of the Supreme – solidified to make the worship of It easier. It represents the real nature of God – formless essentially and taking various forms as It wills.

It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. There is nothing to distinguish the appearance, but it is believed that a person can see these lingas as columns of fire piercing through the earth after he reaches a higher level of spiritual attainment.
Originally there were believed to be 64 jyothirlingas while 12 of them are considered to be very auspicious and holy. Each of the twelve jyothirlinga sites take the name of the presiding deity, each considered a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is lingam representing the beginningless and endless Stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva.

Shivling
Shivling

Dwadasa Jyotirlinga Stotra by Adi Shankaracharya:

“सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैले मल्लिकार्जुनम् ।
उज्जयिन्यां महाकालमोकांरममलेश्वरम् ।
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं च डाकिन्यां भीमशंकरम् ।
सेतुबंधे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारूकावने ।
वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्रयंम्बकं गौतमीतटे ।
हिमालये तु केदारं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये ।
ऐतानि ज्योतिर्लिंगानि सायं प्रातः पठेन्नरः ।
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेन विनश्यति ।”

‘Saurashtre Somanaatham Cha Sree Saile Mallikarjunam
Ujjayinyaam Mahaakaalam Omkaare Mamaleswaram
Himalaye to Kedaram Daakinyaam Bhimashankaram
Vaaranaasyaam cha Viswesam Trayambakam Gowtameethate
Paralyaam Vaidyanaatham cha Naagesam Daarukaavane
Setubandhe Ramesham Grushnesam cha Shivaalaye ||’

The twelve Jyotirlingam are:

1. Somanatheshwara: Somanaatheshwara in Somnath is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines of Shiva, held in reverence throughout India and is rich in legend, traditions and history. It is located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.

2. Mahakaleshwara: Ujjain – Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga shrine The ancient and historic city of Ujjain or Avanti in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Jyotirlinga shrine of Mahakaleshwar.

3. Omkareshwara: a.k.a Mahamalleshwara – Omkareshwar, an island in the course of the river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple.

4. Mallikarjuna: Sree Sailam – Sree Sailam near Kurnool enshrines Mallikarjuna in an ancient temple rich in architectural and sculptural wealth. Aadi Sankaracharya composed his Sivanandalahiri here.

5. Kedareshwara: Kedaareshwara of Kedarnath is the Northernmost of the Jyotirlingas. Kedarnath, nestled in the snow clad Himalayas is an ancient shrine rich in legend and tradition. It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.

6. Bhimashankara: Bhimashankar – Jyotirlinga Shrine is associated with the legend of Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura. Bhimashankar is located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, accessed from Pune.

7. Kashi Vishwanatheshwara: Kaashi Vishwanaatheshwara Varanasi – The most celebrated pilgrimage site in India The Vishwanath temple in Benares in Uttar Pradesh is the goal of the thousands of pilgrims that visit this ancient city. The Vishwanath shrine is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.

8. Triambakeshwara: Tryambakeshwar – The origin of the river Godavari is intimately linked with this Jyotirlinga shrine near Nasik in Maharashtra.

9. Vaidyanatheshwara: – Vaidyanath temple at Deogarh The ancient pilgrimage town of Deogarh in the Santal Parganas area of Bihar is revered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva.

10. Naganatheshwara: – Nageshwar near Dwarka in Gujarat is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.

11. Grishneshwara: – Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Shrine is a temple located in the vicinity of the tourist town of Ellora, which has several rock cut monuments from the 1st millennium CE.

12. Rameshwara: – Rameswaram: This vast temple in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar, and is revered as the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of India.

Also read 12 Jyotirlinga of shiva: Part II

The Sundial at Konark Sun temple in India built in 1250 A.D is a treasure trove of secrets of ancient India. People still use it today to tell time. We know how the sundial works and shows time accurate to the minute. What is interesting is what is missing from the picture!
konark Sun temple
For the uninitiated the sundial has 8 major spokes that divide 24 hours into 8 equal parts, which means that the time between two major spokes is 3 hours.

8 Major spokes. Distance between 2 spokes is 3 hours.
8 Major spokes. Distance between 2 spokes is 3 hours.


There are 8 minor spokes as well. Each minor spoke runs exactly in the middle of 2 major spokes. This means that the minor spoke divides the 3 hours in half, so the time between a major spoke and a minor spoke is an hour and half or 90 minutes.

8 Minor spokes between 2 major spokes dividing 3 hours, i.e. 180 minutes into 90 minutes each
8 Minor spokes between 2 major spokes dividing 3 hours, i.e. 180 minutes into 90 minutes each


The edge of the wheel has a lot of beads. There are 30 beads between a minor and a major spoke. So, the 90 minutes are further divided by 30 beads. This means that each bead carries a value of 3 minutes.

There are 30 beads between a minor and a major spoke
There are 30 beads between a minor and a major spoke


The beads are large enough, so you can also see if the shadow falls in the center of the bead or on one of the ends of the bead. This way we can further calculate time accurately to the minute.

The beads are large enough, so you can also see if the shadow falls in the center of the bead or on one of the ends of the bead.
The beads are large enough,to check the shadow position.


Imagine how much time and coordination would have happened between the astronomers, engineers and sculptors to create something like this, 750 years ago.

There are 2 questions that one would get in their mind. The first question would be, what happens when the sun moves from east to west. Since the wheel is carved on a wall, the sun would not shine on this wheel at all. How can we tell time in the afternoons? Now, the Konark sun temple has another wheel or sundial, located on the west side of the temple as well. You can just use the other sundial that will work perfectly from afternoon, until sunset.

The second and the most interesting question about the Konark sun temple. How do you tell time after sunset? There would be no sun, and hence no shadows from sunset till the next morning’s sunrise. After all, we have 2 sundials in the temple which work only when the sun shines. Well, actually, the Konark sun temple does not have just 2 wheels like this. The temple has a total of 24 wheels, all accurately carved just like the sundials. Have you heard of the Moondial? Do you know that the moondials can work just like sun dials during night time? What if the other wheels in the temple could be used as moondials?

Some of the other wheels
Some of the other wheels


Many people think that the other 22 wheels were carved for decorative or religious purposes and do not have an actual use. This is what people thought about the 2 sundials as well. Believe it or not, people thought that all the 24 wheels were just carved for beauty and as Hindu symbols. About 100 years ago, it became known that this was a sundial when an old yogi was seen calculating time secretly. Apparently selected people were using these wheels for generations and for 650 years no one else knew about it. They say that when they asked him about the purpose of the other 22 wheels, the yogi refused to talk and simply walked away.

And our knowledge of just these 2 sundials themselves is actually very limited. There are multiple circles of beads. There are carvings and markings all over these sundials, and we don’t know the meaning of most of them. For example, this carving on a major spoke has exactly 60 beads. Some carving you can see leaves and flowers which may mean Spring or Summer. Some carvings you can see monkeys mating, which only happens during winter. So, these sundials could have even been used as an almanac for a variety of different things. Now you can understand how limited our knowledge is about the rest of the 22 wheels.

There are clues on these wheels that people have overlooked for centuries. Notice how a woman wakes up and looks at a mirror in the morning. Notice how she is stretching, being tired and ready to go to sleep. And you can also see that she is engaging in sexual activity during night. For centuries, people have ignored these hints and thought that these were carvings of Hindu Goddesses.

woman wakes up and looks at a mirror in the morning and doing her daily chores
woman wakes up and looks at a mirror in the morning and doing her daily chores


This is also a perfect example of how people think ancient unexplained carvings are just for beauty or religious purposes. If ancient people spent a lot of time creating something, there is a very good chance that it was done for a valuable, scientific purpose.

Credits

Post Credits:Ancien Indian UFO
Photo Credits: Bikertony
The Phenomenal Travel

Tirumala Balaji temple do make money in millions but they do donate it. There are many trusts and schemes which helps the poor. Some of the trusts are mentioned below.


TIRUMALA TIRUPATI DEVASTHANAMS DONATION SCHEMES  & Trusts

1. Sri Venkateswara Pranadana Trust
2. Sri Venkateswara Nitya Annadanam Trust
3. Balaji Institute of Surgery, Research &    Rehabilitation (BIRRD) Trust
4. Sri Venkateswara Balamandir Trust
5. Sri Venkateswara Heritage Preservation Trust
6. Sri Venkateswara GosamrakshanaTrust
7. Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Nitya Annaprasadam Trust
8. S. V Vedaparirakshna Trust
9.  S.S Sankara Netralaya Trust
                                     

Tirumala temple Tirumala Venkateswara Temple

Schemes
1 .  Sri Balaji Arogyavaraprasadini Scheme (SVIMS)

1.       Sri Venkateswara Pranadana Trust :
Sri Venkateswara  Pranadana Trust aims at providing free medical facilities to poor  patients afflicted with life threatening diseases related to the heart,  kidneys, brain, cancer etc., for which the treatment is expensive.
The scheme also  proposes to encourage research and development in the treatment of  diseases / conditions like chronic renal failure, hemophilia,  thalassamia and cancer. Basic amenities including blood-bank, artificial  limbs, physiotherapy, tools and implants will be provided to poor  patients, free of cost.

This scheme is  applicable to all poor patients, irrespective of caste, creed or  religion. Treatment will be provided at all TTD-run hospitals – SVIMS,  BIRRD, SVRR and the Maternity Hospital.

             
2.  Sri Venkateswara Nitya Annadanam Trust :
Sri Venkateswara Nithya Annadanam Scheme provides free meals to the pilgrims in Tirumala.
The  scheme was started on a small scale in 6-4- 1985, with food being  served to around 2,000 persons a day. Today, free food is served to  nearly 30,000 pilgrims a day. The number increases to about 50,000  pilgrims a day during festivals and other important occasions.

Recently free food is  being supplied to the waiting pilgrims in Vaikuntam Complex -11 with  free tiffin, lunch and dinner to about 15,000 pilgrims per day. Free  food is also served to nearly 2000 patients a day in the TTD managed  SVIMS, BIRRD, Ruia and Maternity Hospitals.

3. Sri Balalji Institute of Surgery,Research and Rehabilitation for the disabled Trust (BIRRD)
Sri  Balalji Institute of Surgery, Research and Rehabilitation forthe  Disabled (BIRRD) Trust is a premier medical institute, that treats  patients suffering from polio myelitis, cerebral palsy, congenital  anomalies, spinal injuries, and the orthopaedically handicapped.
It comprises a centrally air-conditioned hospital with the latest medical equipment, built byTTD at a cost of Rs. 4.5 crores.  BIRRD  makes use of state-of- the- art medical technology and provides  services to the poor, at no cost. It also distributes artificial limbs,  calipers and aids, free of cost, to the needy and the poor. Food and  medicine are supplied free of cost.
TTD accepts generous  contributions from the philanthropists to this reported medical  institute. Towards cost tothe inpatients ofthe BIRRD.

4.   Sri Venkateswara Balamandir Trust 
              The  T.T.Devasthanams has undertaken various social and welfare activities  in fulfillment of its Motto of “SERVING THE LORD BY SERVING HUMANITY”.  With a view to give a helping hand to the destitutes and orphans, the  TTD has established Sri Venkateswara Balamandir in Tirupati in the year  1943.
Children,  both boys and girls, who have no parents as well as those whose father  expired and mother is unable to bring up the children and vice-versa are  admitted to this institution. The TTD is providing accommodation, food, clothing and education to the children admitted to    Sri Venkateswara Balamandir from 1st class onwards.
The  children are given education upto graduation in TTD run schools and  colleges. Meritorious students are also given coaching for EAMCET. It is  the motto of the TTD to see that orphans admitted to the Balamandir  live on their own. Give a helping hand to the orphans.
The  TTD has created a separate Trust for improving this Institution with  following objects. (a) To run an Orphanage for orphans, destitutes and  disadvantaged children of both sexes; (b) To provide free accommodation  and boarding to orphans, destitutes and disadvantaged children; and (c)  To provide free education to these children. upto post graduation and  professional courses like MBBS and Engineering.

5. Sri Venkateswara Heritage Preservation Trust
Our Temples symbolize India’s hallowed calture and sanatana dharma.   Temples,  which are the repositories of sculpture, paintings, music, literature,  dance and other art forms, are built for the prosperity and well-being  of all people. According to sastras, God monifests Himself in the images  and fulfils the desires of the devotees on account of the spiritual  penance of the great sages who consecrated the deities in the temples  and the regular rituals performed there and due to the enchanting beauty  of the idols, which conform to the silpa agamas. It is the bounden duty  and responsibility of every Indian to preserve these temples, which are  the centers of vedic culture, to renovate any dilapidated portion of  the temples or rebuild them. It may be the vimana or prakara, balipeetha  or dwajasthambha or it may be even the main idol. It is said natural  disasters like flood and drought may occur not only in the villages  where such ruined temples are located but also in the entire country.
Many acharyas have  expressed their displeasure as raising new temples indiscriminately and  stressed the need for preserving the ancient temples, consecrated by the  great sages-they may be temple – like edifices, which reflect the glory  of vedic culture and religion or places of archeological interest.
it is an uphill task  for individuals alone to undertake their preservation and renovation.  With a view to accomplish this lofty aim, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams  has launched ‘Sri Venkateswara Heritage, Preservation Trust’. ‘Karta  Kartayite chaiva preraka syonu modaka’ which means one who organizes or  execules a noble task, encourages, approves and derives pleasure from  it, enjoys all fruits of such a merilorious act.
We earnestly appeal to  all philathropists to contribute generously to ‘Sri Venkateswara  Heritage Preservation Trust and participate in this sacred endeavor.  There is need for renovating dilapidated temples in every village and in  every town for universal welfare.

6. SRIVENKATESWARA GOSAMRAKSHNA TRUST              
Lord Sri Venkateswara did it.
In  ‘Sri Venkatachala Mahathyam’ Lord Brahma became a cow, Lord Siva became  a calf and Sri Lakshmi become a Yadava maid and both the cow and calf  were sold to Chola king by Sri Lakshmi in a bid to provide milk to  meditating Srinivasa in Venkatachalam. There also He protected the cow  from the curse of its herdsman.  The  Lord did it, we do it. Sri Venkateswara Gosamrakshana Trust is  established for protecting the cow and emphasizing the spiritual  importance of the cow apart from its economic aspect.
The  Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams proposes to create a modern Gosala at  Tirupati with all the facilities for maintaining the bovine population.  Cow is the greatest blessing of human race, lands grow rich, homes  flourish and civilization advances where the Cow is kept and cared for.  The Trust also aims at improving the living conditions of cows outside  Goshala by providing technical inputs to the general public.

The S.V. Dairy Farm,  TTD, Tirupati supplies milk and curd to all the TTD Temples for rituals,  prasadams, Abhishekhams etc., to the service institutions like S.V.  Balamandir (Orphanage), SV.Deaf and Dumb School, S.V. Training Centre  for the Physically handicapped, S.V. Poor Home (Leprosy Hospital) S.V.  Vedapatasala, S.V. Oriental College Hostel, TTD Hospitals, “Annadanam”  scheme of TTD etc.

7. Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Nitya Annaprasadam Trust :
Goddess  Sri Padmavathi Devi of Tiruchanoor, the divine consort of Lord  Venkateswara, is the immeasurable ocean of compassion and love. She is  renowned as Annalakshmi, who grants peace and plenty to the seekers.
This  scheme provides forthe distribution of prasadam, free of cost, to  pilgrims at Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Temple, Tiruchanoor, on a continous  basis, during the temple working hours. Donations can also be sent for  free distribution of Annaprasadam to the pilgrims on the occasion of  Panchami –Theertham clebrated during Sri Padmavathi Ammavari Annual  Brahmotsavams held every year.

SCHEMES
A.      Sri Balaji Arogyavaraprasadini Scheme{SVIMS)
( Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences)
For  ages, Tirumala, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, has been a great centre  of pilgrimage. Thousands of devotees visit the sacred Hills every day  and offer their solemn prayers to the Lord for their spiritual and  physical well-being.
Alleviating  human suffering has been a part of dedicated efforts of TTD to the  mankind. TTD already manages a Leprosarium, centre for physically  handicapped, a poor home and also a central hospital. To provide the  most advanced medical technology to the needy, the TTD has launched  another remarkable institution a blessing from the Lord Sri Venkateswara  Institute of Medical Sciences a sophisticated super speciality center  on the lines of AIIMS of New Delhi, JIPMER of Pondichery and PGIMS of  Chandigarh. Total well being of man is the aim of Sri Venkateswara  Institute of Medical Sciences, which apart from offering service,  training and education in medical sciences also facilitates Research and  Development.
It  is the fervent desire of the Devasthanams that the doors to such a  state of the art technology should be open to our poor and disabled  breathren. With a view to achieving this goal, Sri Venkateswara  Institute of Medical Sciences has introduced a new scheme, Balaji  Arogyavaraprasadini Scheme. To accomplish the goal of making available  the cutting edge medical technology to every individual at an affordable  rate, we invite the generous cooperation of philanthropists and the  general public.

Tirupati Balaji Tirupati Balaji

Source: Tirumalabalaji.in