Travel as much as possible to cover most famous & important pilgrimage places throughout India.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Guruvayur, Trissur & Nalambalam Temples, Kerala

Guruvayur  - Bhuloka Vaikuntam:

This is our first place to visit along with family into Kerala. Started around 5:30am from BGL and reached Guruvayur by 3pm. Due to holiday season traffic was jam in toll booths. while going we took our road way via erode and beautiful backwater and greenery all over. There are so many hotels available in Guruvayur walkable distances from temple. We went to temple in the evening around 4:30pm. It was heavy  crowded and big queue due to holidays and sabarimala season. By 7pm we could able to complete darshan and waited there till dia offerings and also got an opportunity to see the elephant utsav in the night time. we were blessed to lighten the dia's during our visit into the temple. The architecture of the temple premise and culture is totally different. One must visit without fail to this place.


The idol of Guruvayrrappan, the central deity of the temple is timeless in history. Mythological history says Lord Vishnu created this image presented to Brahma, the creator before the start of creations. Brahma passed it on to King Sutapas and his wife Prasni. Pleased by their devotion, Vishnu gave a boon to them that he would incarnate in their family in four of their consecutive births.

Thus, in their successive births, Lord Vishnu was born to them as Prasnigarbha, Vamana, Rama and Krishna. In all these births, the couple worshipped the idol. The couple got their salvation as Vasudeva and Devaki after Krishna was born to them. Krishna inherited the idol from them and worshipped it in Dwarka.

Before leaving his mortal coils, Krishna said his friend Uddhava that in seven days the city of Dwarka would be swallowed by the sea and therefore the idol of Vishnu must be transported to a safer place. The sea invaded Dwarka as Krishna foretold and Uddava carried the idol with the help of Guru (teacher of gods) and Vayu (air god).

While passing over the present site of the temple, they were told that the site was a holy place of exquisite natural beauty since Lord Shiva worshipped Vishnu at this place. They installed the idol at this place and a temple sprang up. The name Guruvayur ensued as Guru and Vayu transported the idol here.
The idol is said to be made of a highly powerful stone called Patala Anjanama that has several healing and miraculous properties.

Courtesy: various sources from internet

Near By Places:

Visited Mammiyur Mahadeva Temple where we can see the deities of Lord Shiva and Vishnu in this temple. A very rare !

From there went to Parthasarthi Temple, near by railway station. Inside we can see some of the silver plated items for praying for all the material problems in front of the Lord and return them back. 
After that we went to Thiru Venkatachalapathi Temple other side of the railway station. There was board inside the temple where pilgrims can take any or all of the issues mentioned there and pay 30/- for each to know if its good or bad. They will be  given a receipt and we need to take coconuts based on the count that how many we want to know and take them inside give it to pujari. He will break that coconut and tell us if its good sign or not. Totally different experience. Here temple is getting renovation now.

Near by temple 3.5KM we visited elephant camp

Then started to Nalambala Temples: These are temples for Lord Rama and his brothers of Ramayana. There are around five sets of Nalambalams in Kerala, the most famous among them being the four temples located in Thrissur and Ernakulam districts, namely Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple, Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple, Moozhikkulam Lakshmana Temple and Payyammal Shathrughna Temple.

Temple Address and Timings

1. Thriprayar Sree Rama Temple, Temple Road, Valapad PO, Thrissur District, Triprayar, Kerala 680567 : 3am - 12pm & 4:45pm - 8:30pm

2. Koodalmanikyam Temple, The Administrator, Koodalmanikyam Devasom, Trissur District, Irinjalakuda, Kerala 680121  : 4am - 11:30am & 5pm - 8pm

3. Thirumoozhikkulam Sree Lakshmana Perumal Temple, Moozhikulam, Kurumaseri, Kerala 683579  : 5am - 11am & 5pm - 8pm

4. Payammal Sree Shathrugna Swamy Temple, Sathrughna Nagar, Payammal Road, P.O, Aripalam, Kerala 680688  : 4:30am - 10am & 5pm - 7:30pm

Back  to Trissur and over night stay. 

Vadakkunnathan Temple

Early morning visited Vadakkunathan temple.  This is one of the biggest temple and its architecture is fantastic. Had nice darshan and spent some good time in temple.

Temple Timings: 4am - 11am & 5pm - 8pm

All over kerala, all these temples dress code is there.

Men can only wear Mundu & Veshti, and boys can wear shorts.

Women can wear Saris, skirts & Salwar Kameez.

with this, we are heading back to home with great memories.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Triveni Sangamam - Kashi (Varanasi) Trip

Our first journey to Varanasi....<The most famous pilgrim place - Kasi Viswanatha Jyothirlingam>

We boarded into Sanghamitra train from KSR Bangalore and got down at Allahabad approximately 42 hours.We have got few hundreds of fellow travelers as a group joined in the same journey. All of us got orange colour caps, id cards with venue details and contact phone numbers in case of any help during the travel.By the time when we reached Allahabad, it’s almost mid-night 1am and all of us got into a bus, which dropped us at hotel - 'Hotel Prayag'
Got up early and started getting ready, its 7am. Massive crowd in front of the hotel. 
Again got into the buses and started towards Sangam – for holy bath at Triveni Sangamam. 

Here weather was too hot. Reached by 9:30am and had breakfast. Some folks are behind us asking for money by putting some vibhudi on our head and acting like sadhu/sanyasi….Also people are selling curd with sugar/salt to survive in that hot 

All the ladies had fun time – there was a comb come clip which can be used various ways and that person was giving a demo and also combing hair for all those pilgrim visiting ladies and this looks like this J
Howz it?

Now its time for taking the bath at holy place – Triveni Sangamam. They charged 100/- per head and while taking the bath at a place where actual sangam takes place (Ganga – in light yellow colour, Yamuna – Green colour and Saraswathi as antharavahini) for moving to that place, they will charge 20/- per person just to get into the water from that boat J

After this, some of them were doing doing pujas/ pinda pradan at this place. Next we are about to go to Hotel and on our way we visited Hanuman Mandir and Madhaveshwar Shakthi Pith temples. This time it’s too hot outside.

Back to Hotel and break for lunch. Since the cook was also came along with us, home made food and waiting to be served now.
1-2 hours break and then started to Varanasi , on our way visited Sitha Madi temple

The speciality of this temple is the place where Sita devi went inside the earth. This temple is full of small caves which is attracting pilgrims. Also its been maintained very well with digital hoardings which talks about Sri Ramayan past times…Also there is a lotus pond garden surrounding this temple.

For more details : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsd89oxqViU

After this break for dinner and started towards Kashi and reached around mid-night 12am.
Checked into the Hotel - Mahesh,.

After having breakfast headed towards Kala Bhairava Temple, we already got info about the places here so did not take any valuable things with us. It was heavy rush in the temple and interestingly all of the temples in Kashi were in small streets only. There will not be any sign boards and directions while reaching after the main road. Also lot people will be asking money to keep any stuff and forces to buy from their shop something or other. Somehow we managed to get inside the temple. Just in front of us someone theft gold chain of a lady who was standing and she started shouting while crying…luckily that chain fell someone’s footsteps and she immediately given to her. Interestingly none of the folks within the temple premise reacted… So one should be very careful. We are back to hotel room and by that time food is ready. Had lunch and rest for 2 hours. 

In the evening went to Ganga Harathi and the ghat’s from boat. The local autos are good and they charge 120/- to 150/- per trip one way and can take up to 5-6 people. For the boat it started with 2.5K and then finally we got it for 1400/- for manual one. There are motor boats which will also cost around 250-300 per person, this needs minimum number of passengers to start with.

Had a glimpse of major ghat’s and stopped in the middle to watch Ganga Harathi. We watched from the boat. During this all the lights will turn off and only those ghat section areas will have the lights turn on. One should not miss this one. Now again back to Hotel and time for dinner.

Next day, early morning started for Kashi Vishwanath Darshan, there are 4 gates to get into this temple. We are not sure which gate we are into. The auto guy dropped us at gate-3 looks like near for him and there is a big queue. So we already knew that one should not carry anything because security will not allow other than flowers/ milk, planned accordingly. After the security check is done we can see the left side broken temple compound and a masjid and right side vishwanath mandir. Had darshan of Lord Kashi Vishwanath and we can offer flowers / milk directly onto the Jyotirlinga. Spent some time inside the temple and then exited by gate-1 to visit Annapoorneshwari temple. There are no sign boards and one should always ask near the shop people or police to get into the correct route. Those streets are hardly 30ft. you can see scooters also riding in same route. Finally reached Kashi Annapoorneshwari Temple and done Pooja there (kunkuma archana for 350/- per person) and headed towards Kashi Visalakshi Shakthi Peet. We could see people behind us to buy bangles and offer to Vishalakshi. After the  darshan we need to walk a little to get an auto which will take us to the hotel. In the middle did some shopping as well in those streets
Back to Hotel and rest till evening.

Evening took an auto and roamed around nearby places: They charge 100/- to 200/- per person depends on the number of places we choose.Visited Tridev Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, Tulasi Manasa Mandir, Durga Mandir, Gavvalamma Temple and ISKCON temple.
Tridev Mandir

 Hanuman Mandir
 Tulasi Manasa Mandir
 Durga Mandir
 Gavvalamma Temple
ISKCON temple
Next day early morning went to Ganga snan in the holy river Ganga.

Back to Hotel and rest for the day and started packing our luggage for return journey.
After the dinner everyone got into cabs and reached DDU railway station and got into Sanghamitra Train. 
Reached home with memories and ended our Kashi Yatra!

Navaneetha Krishna / Aprameya Swami - Ugra Narasimha Swami, Maddur - Mysuru - Sri Rangapattana Trip

We have gone to Mysuru multiple times, this time we would like to visit the Navaneetha  Krishna / Aprameya Swami Temple, Ugra Narasimha Swamy Temple near by Maddur in NH275 and then visit Ranganatha swamy temple at Srirangapattana and Chamundi Hills, Mysuru.

Started early morning 6:30am and via nice road reached Aprameya Swamy Temple


It is believed that Sri Rama had stayed here for many years and worshipped the Lord here and hence Sri Aprameya swamy is also called Sri Ramapreya swamy. Outside the temple is a mandapam dedicated to and called "Purandara dasa mandapa" for composing the popular krithana "Jagado dharana" at this temple immersed in the beauty of Lord Navaneeta Krishna. This ancient and beautiful temple is said to have witnessed several miracles. Worshipping Lord Navaneetha Krishna here is supposed to mitigate 'Putra Dosha' and ' Sayana Dosha'.

This temple is about 60KM from Bangalore/Mysuru highway.

From here we visited Sri Ugra Narasimha Swamy Temple which is very near by around 18KM.


During the Dwapara-yuga, Maddur was known as Arjunapuri. Once Arjuna requested Lord Krishna to show his Narasimha incarnation; Krishna then replied to Arjuna that it was not possible to show that fierce form. Instead he could have darshan in the form of a Deity. Therefore on the request of Krishna, Brahma for a Deity of Sri Ugra Narasimha carved and gave darshan to Arjuna. The Deity was then established in Maddur. This Ugra Narasimha Ddeity is one of the most ferociousforms of Lord Narasimha worshiped on this planet

The Deity of Lord Narasimha has eight hands and three eyes. Two hands are tearing Hiranyakashipu apart, who lies on the legs of Lord Narasimha; two hands are holding the intestines of Hiranyakashipu which appear like a garland on the transcendental body of the Lord; other four hands are holding the weapons of the Lord – Sudarshana (chakra / disc), Panchajanya (shankha / conch-shell), Pasha & Ankusha. On the right side of the Lord is the Deity of Prahlada and on the left side is the Deity of Garuda, standing humbly and praying to the Lord. His third eye got manifested while killing the demon Hiranyakashipu.

Along with the Deity of Narasimha, the Ugra Narasimha Temple also houses small altars within the temple complex, where following beautiful Deities are worshiped – Sri Srinivasa, Yashoda and Krishna, the consorts of Lord Narasimha – Srimati Sowmya Nayaki and Srimati Narasimha Nayaki, Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana and Hanuman. In the altar of Sri Sita-Rama, one can see Hanuman standing on the left side of Lord Rama. It is one of the very few temples where Hanuman stands on the left side of the Lord.
 Along with the Deity of Narasimha, next to this temple right side, we can see Varadaraja swamy temple. This information was given by temple priest while we visited Narasimha temple. A very big and tall deity of Sri Varadaraja Perumal can be seen here.

Then we visited to Mysuru Chamundi temple and while returning visited Sri Ranganatha swamy temple as well. This was our 3rd visit to these temples.

Evening around 6pm started back to home and reached by 9pm.