Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Temple Tour3- Agumbe Ghats,Udupi,Malpe Beach,Kukke Subramanya

Agumbe Ghats
After darshan in sringeri we proceed to Udupi. Enroute, watch the amazing beauty of Agumbe Ghats..
Agumbe is one of the most scenic places on the Western Ghats of the Southern  India. Added to the lush green view all around, the attractions for the visitors is the spectacular sunset and vast opportunities   it offers to the trekkers. Within 9 kilometers we can gothrough  more than 15breathtaking hairpin and horseshoe curves.And it isone of the most breathtaking scenic routes of Karnataka
It is lying in the Thirthahalli taluk and the Malnad region and surrounded by dense lush green forests, small streams and ghats
Agumbe is famous for spectacular sunset and many visitors come here to watch it. The sunset here gets reflected from the Arabian Sea onto the horizon. The best season for viewing sunset of Agumbe is from November to January.

Agumbe is also known Cherrapunji of South India because this place receives highest rainfall in Karnataka state

Udupi Sri Krishna Temple:
Udupi is a divine shrine in the coastal region of Western Ghats. Situated about 60 kms from Mangalore, it is a fairly large and upcoming town that was sanctum of Madhvacharya, the great Sanskrit Philosopher. The famous temple here, has a fascinating idol of Lord Krishna that is richly adorned with jewels. It is the center for education, social and religious activities in the district of South Canara. It is known for the famous Sri Krishna temple. The reasons for its fame are the statue of Sri Krishna installed by the great saint Sri Madhvacharya and the penance and influence of Sri Vaadiraja yathivarenya. 
Another attraction of this temple is the 'Kanakana Kindi' -a small window through which Krishna is believed to have given darshan to his ardent devotee, Kanakadasa. He is  an ardent believer of  Lord Krishna. He come to see God to udupi;But as he was from a lower caste,he was not permitted to enter the temple.He worship Krishna from back side of the wall.Sri Krishna, pleased by the worship of Kanakadasa created a small hole in the back wall of the temple and turned to face the hole so that Kanakadasa could see him.This window is known as Kanakana Kindi.
Madvasarorava ( Madhava Pushkarani)
Adjacent to the main corridor through which the pilgrims enter the Krishna temple, there is the holy tank called Madvasarorava ( Madhava Pushkarani). The tank was originally known as Anantha Theertha, but after the Ganga descended into this tank for the sake of Madhvacharya, it came to be designated as Madhvasarovara The tank has stone steps all round and a mandapam in the centre.

 It is believed that Ganges water flows in to this tank once in 12 years. For daily abhisheka of Sri Krishna water from this tank is used. The Swamijis have to bathe in this tank before they commence the worship at the shrine.

Ratha orchariot being made out of wooden logs one of the main attraction of this temple
Malpe Beach:
A natural port located just 6 km from Udupi, Karnataka; the Malpe beach is known for its charming and attractive golden brown sand and turquoise blue waters. 
It is lined with palm trees and the blue skies above add to the scene, where you can fully enjoy the rest and peace that you require together with nature and relish every single moment.

Kukke Subramanya:
After having lunch at udupi we, proceed to Kukke Subramanya, a popular religious destination which is surrounded by lush green forest along with hills. It is situated on the banks of the Kumaradhara River. The main temple located in Kukke is of Subrahmanya that is dedicated to the Snake God Vasuki and Lord Subramanya.
The temple is famous for religious rituals pertaining to snake god. The epics relate that the divine serpent Vasuki and other serpents found safety under Lord Subrahmanya when apprehended by Garuda.The devotees enter the courtyard from the back side and walk around to go before the idol. There is Garuda pillar covered with silver between the sanctuary and the portico entrance. It is believed that the pillar was charmed and planted there to shield the devotees from the poison flames streaming from the breath of Vasuki who resides inside. Devotees circle the pillar. Beyond the pillar is the outer hall and then the inner hall and after that the sanctuary of Sri Subrahmanya. In the center of sanctuary is a pedestal. On the upper dais stands the idol of Sri Subrahmanya and then the idol of Vasuki and somewhat lower the idol of Shesha. Devotions to these deities take place daily. After having darshan, Then proceed to Bangalore. Trip ends

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Temple Tour-2 Annapoorna , Sringeri

Annapoorneshwari temple at Horanadu
 "Sri Kshetra Horanadu" is located in the picturesque surroundings of Western Ghats on the banks of river Bhadra in a remote corner of Chikamaglur dist of Karnataka. 
The route took us through beautiful-lazy-dark green tea plantations surrounded by the natural vegetation, forest, green lands and natural beauty of the Western Ghats.

This ancient Hindu temple of Goddess Annapoorneshwari has been restored and renamed as the Adi-Shaktyatmaka Shree Annapoorneshwari. The idol of Annapoorneshwari is life size, and covered with gold from head to toe. The single image is of the Goddess Annapoorneshwari standing on a peeta with Shanku, Chakra, and Sri Chakra. Goddess Annapoorna, or Annapurna Devi, is the Goddess of food. She is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.

In Sanskrit Language the word ‘Anna’ means food and grains and ‘Purna’ means full or complete. It is believed that by worshipping this goddess one will never be out of food anytime in life.

The great diety of Adishakthyathmaka Sri Annap00rneshwari's prathistapana was done by His Holiness Agasthya Maharishi several centuries back. The hereditary dharmakartharu of our family started 400 years back. Till the 5th Dharmakartharu, the temple was having a very small structure surrounded by full of natural vegitation and forest. Even then at least one or more people used to visit the temple, have pooja and were provided with free food (annaprasadam) and shelter and it is continued till date.

My hubby purchased tickets for seva and we went inside. There was a huge rush inside the temple, not for the darshan as many were seated There is an elaborate queue system to reach the garbhagraha  of Goddess Annapureneshwari. Since we had a seva ticket, we were made to sit in the close proximity of the goddess. The deity is fully adorned in gold and jewellery. Prasada and theertha were given outside. Next, we purchased ticket for anna-dana (rice donation). Upon presentation of the ticket, we can take a bowl of rice from the gunny bag and transfer it to a receiving box. After that we purchased prasada..

Annapoorne sadaa poorne Shankarah Praanavallabhe Gnana Vairagya Siddhyartham Bhikshaan Dehi ca Parvati
Mother Annapoorna, You who are Eternally Complete, You, The very life of Lord Shiva,Give me food (in alms) So I can sustain my body To achieve the Supreme Knowledge.  
Devotees who worship of Goddess Annapurneshwari will be blessed with prosperity and health. Women worship Annapurneshwari Devi for their better married life. They also perform Annapurneswari Pooja for their children’s health and better growth.

Sringeri Sharadha Temple:


Then proceed to Sringeri to offer prayers to Sri Sharadamba, Goddess of Knowledge. We reached their by 10Pm and halt at Hotel. Next day early Morning we visit the Temple. Sringeri is located amongst the lush green mountain ranges of the Sahyadri, the banks of river Tunga .The Peetham is the first and foremost of the four Peethams established by the renowned philosopher saint Sri Adi Shankara, The main attraction of Sringeri is Sri Sharadamba Temple and Vidya Shankara Temple.

Twelve centuries ago Shree Jagad Guru Adishankara walking along the banks of River Tunga , his eyes fell upon a strange sight. The time was noon, and the midday sun was at its scorching best! 
On the bank of the river, was a snake, with its hood raised over a frog. At first glance it appeared as if the snake was about to devour the frog, but a closer look revealed that the snake was, in fact, protecting the frog from the harsh sun! Curious now, he continued to watch, and saw that the snake was indeed shading the frog, which was undergoing labour pains! The moment passed, and the creatures went their way. However, the young man was struck by the sight of a creature being protected by its deadly enemy. He had experienced divine vibration and came to knew then, that this was the place he had been seeking propagation of Sanadhana Dharma.

Centuries have passed since then, but Sringeri continues to attract seekers even today. On the banks of the river stands a small shrine depicting the scene which so captivated the saint – the snake protecting the frog!

On the left bank of the river is the Sharada temple. Sharada is a form of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, and it was her that Adi Shankara invoked to watch over this temple of learning.

Originally, this was a simple shrine with an idol of the Goddess made of sandalwood placed over a rock on which Adi Shankara had carved the Sri Chakra (a symbol of the goddess). Later, with the temple gaining popularity as well as royal patronage, it was rebuilt and a golden idol installed in place of the sandalwood one. The original idol has now been placed in another shrine in the ashram. . Two eyes are not enough to see the Goddess beauty.

The most impressive temple in the math complex is the shrine of the sage Vidyashankara, the 10th pontiff of the Math. Built in 1338 AD, it is a blend of Chalukyan and Dravidian architecture.
 While the temple looks beautiful even from the outside, inside, it is all the more beautiful and detailed. The specialty of this temple is its 12 pillared hall. Each pillar is decorated with a sign of the zodiac, and the pillars are arranged in such a manner that every month, the first rays of the sun fall on the pillar corresponding to the zodiac sign of that particular month! On the floor is a large circle with converging lines indicating the direction of the shadows! 

The beautiful temple complex and veda pathasala  is separated by Tunga river which is full on fish. You can feed the fish though fishing is strictly prohibited. 
The atmosphere is calm and air is quite pure with a lingering aroma of herbs.

Crossing the river to the other side, it is almost possible to believe that we are in another world, for here are no shrines and crowds thronging them, but a peace and calm which is almost spiritual in nature.

This side of the river is where the actual ashram activities take place. neatly maintained temple garden Here, there are schools taking forward the teachings of Adi Shankara, where small children are taught the Vedas, and adult seekers from across the world come to study Advaita Vedanta. 

On the Bank od Tunga Shiv Linga is worshipped by devotees
There are cowsheds housing the ashram cows, and even an elephant shed for the two elephants that live here.
 Vyasa temple in Sringeri

  After lunch proceed to Udupi. Enroute, watch the amazing beauty of Agumbe Ghats.
(To be Cont..)