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Category Archives: Tirtha

Pawapuri – The dhaam where Lord Mahavira attained Nirvana

 

Pawapuri was at this place that Lord Mahavira, the twenty fourth Tirthankar attained “Nirvana” or eternal salvation from the cycle of death and birth in the year 527 BC.

Pawapuri (Hindi: पावापुरी, Urdu: پوا پوری‎) or Pava is a holy site for Jains located in the Nalanda district in the Bihar state of Eastern India. It is located about thirty-eight kilometers from Rajgir and 101 kilometers from Patna, the capital of Bihar.

Temple in the spot where Mahavir attained Nirvana

Temple in the spot where Mahavir attained Nirvana

It marks the spot where the mortal remains of the Lord Mahavira was cremated.

Pawapuri is situated in Bihar, India and its proximity to the capital city, Patna makes it approachable to pilgrims and tourists alike. It is situated on the Patna-Ranchi road and can be approached either from Nawadah or Bihar Sharif.

During ancient times about 2600 year ago, Pawapuri was the part of Magadha Kingdom and was called “Madyama Pawa” or “Apawapuri”, Ajatshatru, the son of King Shrenik who was one of the greatest disciples of Lord Mahavira was the King of Magadh during the lifetime of Mahavir. During the reign of Ajatshatru King Hastipal was the King of Pawapuri. When Lord Mahavira came to Pawapuri he stayed in King Hastipal’s “Rajikshala”.

Around 5th Century BCE, Mahavira, the last of the twenty-four Tirthankara achieved Moksha or Nirvana. He was cremated at Pawapuri, also known as Apapuri (the sinless town). There was a great rush to collect his ashes, with the result that so much soil was removed from the place of his cremation that a pond was created.’

There are five main temples in Pawapuri – the Jal Mandir,the Gaon Mandir,the Samosaran,the New Samosaran and another temple built by Bibi Mehetab Kumari. Apart from these temples there is a Digamber Mandir near Jal mandir.

 

Sonagiri – The dhaam which Jain Theerthankara Chandraprabha Created

Sonagiri (Hindi: सोनागिरी) about 60 km from Gwalior, has scores of Jain temples of 9th & 10th century on little hills. This sacred place is popular among devotees & ascetic saints to practice for self-discipline, austerity and to attain Nirvana since the time of Chandraprabha (the 8th Teerthankar), five & half crores of ascetic saints have achieved Moksha from here.
In Hindi, Sonagiri means a mountain (‘giri’) of gold (‘sona’).

Sonagiri

Another Bateshwar near Morena, Madhya Pradesh

Courtesy: Nirdesh Singh

http://www.ghumakkar.com/morena-magic-the-temples-of-bateshwar-padawali-and-mitawali/

This is another Bateshwar near the vicinity of the Bateshwar Dhaam in UP but the temple is more ancient than the present Bateshwar although Bateshwar dhaam near the banks of Yamuna is also ancient.

During winter months Morena provides you with a sweet and crunchy association – the box of gajjak you bought here in Delhi has Morena manufacturing markings. Otherwise the mention of Morena brings up images of baghis or outlaws patrolling the badlands of Chambal ravines. During train travels you turn apprehensive as the train crosses Dholpur and the mud ravines make their appearance. You can almost see the dust cloud rise and hear the thump of hoofs as the turbaned dacoits firing in the air run next to your train. That was just Hindi cinema embellishment – the baghis never rode horses in Chambal ravines; and which was realistically portrayed in the film ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ where the titular hero belonged to the neighbouring Chambal district of Bhind. But then walking dacoits just do not generate enough terror on the big screen.

And then Morena springs the third association – unknown and full of surprises. A friend has just stumbled upon the most incredible circuit of obscure temples, 25 km deep inside Morena; of course by walking in the glorious tradition of baghis of yore. The opportunity to see the temples soon presents itself and you grab it; of course a city slicker like you will need a four wheel ride.

Noorabad - Medieval Bridge over Sankh River in Morena

With Gwalior as your base, you start north on NH3 towards Morena. About 25 kms ahead turn right at Noorabad. Noorabad was a small medieval outpost that grew prosperous during the times of Jahangir and is probably named after his wife Noorjehan. The village boasts of a pretty bridge over the Sankh River decorated with octagonal chattris and minarets, just metres away from the national highway. This was the medieval highway that took the armies from Delhi and Agra to Gwalior, Chanderi, Burhanpur and beyond to Deccan. It is amazing that the road has maintained the same alignment all these centuries.

Ganna Begum Tomb at Nurabad

In Noorabad drive around the fort like walls of a palace or a sarai. The sarai was possibly built by a general of Aurangzeb. Only the walls seem to have survived. Inside there is a thriving compound. You doubt the inhabitants are descendents of Jahangir. Just outside the village is the Tomb of Ganna Begum built in 1775. The begum was the wife of Wazir of Noorabad. The Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila fell for her beauty. From Noorabad drive east for 15 kms on a fairly good road to reach the first Morena marvel of Bateshwar Group of Temples.

Bateshwar Temples are a group of about 200 temples spread over twenty five acres and built across sloping hills near the village of Padavali. The temples dedicated to Shiv and Vishnu were built in 8th to 10th century AD possibly during the dynasty of Kannauj based Gurjar-Pratihars (6th to 11th century AD). The Pratihars considered themselves Suryavanshis who were descendents of Lakshman.

Batesar Temples - Gopur Dwar Pillars

At the gate a paved trail takes you to the complex. As you walk up the trail to the ruined Gopur Dwar you see the swarm of gleaming temples looking ethereal in the morning sun. Though you have seen the photos but the physical sight leaves you pleasantly surprised and buoyant.

Bateshwar - Looking at the Temple Group

The temples spread out from the western hill slope on the left to the right. You have not seen so many temples packed together. Aihole in Karnataka has about 125 temples but they are spread out geographically in groups. Here it is a veritable bumper to bumper traffic jam of temples. It is as if on-the spot temple making contest was conducted over a weekend and every artisan worth his chisel participated. Just like at Aihole there are the earlier period temples with flat roofs while the later temples have curvilinear shikhars. Most of the temples have sanctum sanctorums with shivlings. Outside walls have some relief.

Bateshwar - Lord Hanuman Presiding over the Temples

Batesara Temples - Relief Work on Walls

Closer look reveal that the temples carvings have little defacement or disfigurement. It is a wonder how they remained unscathed when they lay almost bang in the middle of way taken by marching armies for centuries. It is possible that owing to the hill and the vegetation the temples just disappeared from common sight during the medieval period. Also, the temples are built in a seemingly bowl shaped valley surrounded by hills. Early photos do show trees emerging through the structures. And then an earthquake might have brought the whole complex down. So you see lot of breakage but largely no intentional vandalism or plunder which you have seen at other places.

Bateshwar Temple - Fine Work by ASI

Some temples look pristine while others lie in ruins. It is only when you detect numbers written on different architectural members of the temples that you realise they have been restored. The tell-tale signs are all around – thousands of temple stone members strewn around. There are pillars, friezes and amalakas, all awaiting their turn to transform back into temples.

Batesar - Rebirth in Progress

Batesar Temples - Now & Then

Bateshwar’s rebirth is the story of labour of love of K. K Muhammad. He was the ASI man, then serving as Superintending Archaeologist, ASI Delhi Circle, who took Obama around Humayun Tomb in November 2010. Muhammad, a Keralite and an expert of Upanishads, first saw the site when he was posted in the Bhopal circle. The place was just a huge mound of stone. Starting in 2005, ASI started putting the jigsaw pieces together and the site started taking shape. But there was a minor problem, yes you guessed right, of dacoits. The site was used by the dacoits as a hideout and once Muhammad had a run-in with Nirbhay Singh Gurjar, the dreaded dacoit. After several rounds of negotiation, the dacoit whose ancestors built the temples was convinced of Muhammad’s intentions that the temples needed to be restored and shown to the world. He finally acquiesced and allowed ASI to carry on the restoration and in fact provided protection to the workers.

Bateshwar - Temple Vista

About 100 temples have been restored so far. Work continues on some bigger temples. Tip toeing around the ruins gives a fair idea of what has been achieved and the degree of difficulty encountered. You do feel proud of ASI. It is us people who are greater enemies of our heritage – whether it is the casual tourists littering and defacing walls or the mafia here bent on obliterating the hills.

Yes it is not the end of story – first it was time and elements, now it is the human greed that is threatening the temples. On the way you see tractor trolleys loaded with probably illegally mined stones from the surrounding hills. Hills shake and reverberate with the sounds of explosives. The new danger is the mining that is going around relentlessly. It is the same place where an IPS officer was run over and the collector shot at. According to Muhammad, several reminders to MP Chief Minister elicited no response forcing him, a government officer, to write to RSS Chief Sudershan. It was then that the government woke up and created a buffer zone of 750 metres around the site instead of the usual 200 metres. Of course we would never know if other obscure temple sites have already been wiped out before the government gets wise.

Batesara - Vishnu Temple with Amazing Friezes

On your way out, visit the solitary Vishnu Temple on a hillock. There is no shikhar but the outer walls of sanctum sanctorum have amazing friezes.

Muhammad who retired as ASI Director North, considers Bateshwar as his pilgrimage that he undertakes every three months. Only time will tell whether the 1300 year old temple pilgrimage site in Chambal ravines will suffer another bout of devastation and need another reincarnation.

Bateshwar Temples - View from Vishnu Temple

After looking at the temple complex from the hill one last time you leave for the next Morena marvel.

Garhi Padhavali Guarded by Two Lions

Padawali - Fortress Courtyard with Temple Mandap

Few kilometres ahead, you see the outlines of towering bastions of a fortress. This is Garhi Padawali. The entrance is guarded by a pair of lion and lioness. On both sides bastions rise to intimidate you. A steep flight of steps take you to the entrance of a temple. You only see the mukhamandap but fail to see the mandap or the sanctum sanctorum. In their place you see broken stone members spread in the courtyard. Walls rise all around the temple. The temple probably dedicated to Lord Shiv is believed to be built during 8th to 10th century. During this time the nearby area was populated and came to be known as Padawali or ‘surrounded by hills’.

Padawali Temple - Hiding its Treasure of Sculpture

Padawali - The Treaure House Revealed

Now you focus all your attention on the mukhamandap. Apparently, this small structure built on a high platform is an extensive profusion of carvings. If Qutb Complex’s Iltutmish Tomb walls are covered in the Nashqi & Kufic carvings and motifs, and the Nizamuddin Family tombs in Chanderi have the most exquisite lattice work; the mandap here probably is the most ornate structure you have ever seen in a Hindu temple. Every inch of stone is densely carved in eye popping 3D detail.

Padhawali - Every Lintel overflowing with Carvings

Padawali - Brahm Vishnu Shiv

Above the pillars, on the lintels and beams are carved scenes from Ramayan, Mahabharat and Purans. The trinity of Brahm, Vishnu and Shiv are depicted during their childhood, youth and old days. Even more carvings depict Krishna Leela, Samudra Manthan, wedding of Ganesh, Shiv dancing in Pret form, incarnations of Lord Vishnu and innumerable gods and goddesses. To top it all there are images like Khajuraho.

Padhavali Temple - Riot of Sculpture

Padavali - Astonishing Work of Art

Standing and looking up at the carvings will make your jaws drop. The best way to admire this wonder is to lie down on your back and just feast your eyes on one of the most astounding sculptures in India.

Again the structure does not look vandalized so it is possible that the same earthquake that demolished the Bateshwar Temples, brought down this temple also. The eastern wall of the courtyard has two storied modern cells that have been screened off which house cannon balls and other possible military paraphernalia. On the southern corner there is deep well like baoli.

Column from Qutb Complex with Kirtimukh

Padhawali - Temple Pillar used as an Arch Supporting Member in the Fortress

Padawali - Temple Members - Some Broken Some Embedded in Walls

You can only imagine what the temple would have looked like if the remaining structures had survived. The irony is that most of the structural members are still present in the same premises. The hitch is that the Jat Ranas rulers of Gohad in 19th century had the superlative idea of building the fortress around the temple. And they used the pieces of the fallen temple in raising the walls. You can still see the sculptured members in the walls. So what Qutb-ud-din did to the temples by building the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque in the Qutb Complex in Delhi, the Gohad rulers did the same here. The same motifs as seen in Qutb Complex pillars are seen here. It is probably because all these temples were built in the same timeline and therefore share the designs. So even if someone like KK Muhammad wanted to restore the temple there is just no way.

Mitawali - Approach Road from Padhawali

With ‘what could have been’ on your mind, albeit briefly, you set out for the third marvel. Few kilometres away you see a solitary hill rise in the distance with a discernible stone structure on top.

Mitawali - Two Temples on Top of Hill

Skirting the village of Mitaoli you stop at a parking lot about halfway to the top. A paved path and a few steps take you to the top of the hundred feet high hill with the temple. The top of the hill is flat with an additional small temple in a corner and a circular shaped temple on the edge of the hill. You have never seen a circular temple before. There are no familiar architectural elements like mandap, mukhya mandap or shikhar. The outer walls have regular reliefs of carvings.

Chausath Yogini Temple at Mitawali

Mitawali Temple - A Panoramic View of the Concentric Construction

You have read that the inspiration for Parliament House in Delhi might have come from this temple. It is when you step inside that you realise that it could be true. Unlike the Parliament House that has pillars on the outer verandah, the Mitaoli Temple has pillars around the outer circumambulatory path that opens into the central courtyard. There are sixty four mini temples or niches each housing a shivling. The central courtyard is ringed with the main shrine again circular in shape and housing a large shivling.

Mitaoli Temple - Parliament House Blueprint Maybe

Later looking at google images of the Parliament House with its open inner central courtyard and domed structure in the centre, you can’t help but wonder if Herbert Baker did get some inspiration trawling Indian heritage sites before designing New Delhi with Lutyens. But then again – is it one-off design or is it the standard design of Tantric or Yogini Temples. In that case the sixty four niches would have originally housed statues of Yoginis. That is why the temple is also called Chaunsath Yogini Temple. Such Yogini temples can be seen in Ranipur Jharial & Hirapur in Orissa, Jabalpur and Khajuraho.

Mitaoli - The Inner Shrine

Neighbourhood kids have dropped in. The silence in the temple is broken by their running around. Since the temple walls and pillars are relatively unadorned, the kids provide perfect backdrop to this appreciably well-maintained supposedly 10th century temple.

Morena - Heritage Rich MP

Some additional research has revealed that these three temples were part of an extensive temple building exercise during the rule of Kachchhapaghatas. Kachchhapaghatas who ruled from Gwalior rose to prominence in central India during the last decade of tenth century and were believed to be vassals of Gurjar-Pratihars and later Chandellas. Along with these temples, they built temples at Kadwaha, Surawaya, Mahua, Terahi (all in Shivpuri district of MP). The pretty Saas-Bahu temple at Gwalior Fort is attributed to them too.

Back home, as you munch on a gajjak on a freezing evening, you discover more ancient temple ruins on the net. Morena and the Chambal ravines are calling you for another magical trip.

Getting There: The temples are a comfortable distance north east of Gwalior and all three temples can be covered in half a day. Other ancient temple sites in Morena are Kutwar – Mahabharat’s Kunti village and Sihonia village with Kakanmath Temple.

Bateshwar Dham

About 70 km from Agra near Bah, there is dham called Bateshwar. It is said that the Chardham Yatra is only complete if you visit Bateshwar Dham.

The name Bateshwar is derived from the main Bateshwarnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Bateshwarnath Mahadev). As per the mythology and legends, here under a marvelous Banyan tree (Bat in Sanskrit), lord Shiva took rest for some time under that tree which stile standing at that place, the place known as Bat-Ishwar; the banyan lord.

Bateshwar Temples 70 km from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India on the banks of River Yamuna.

The name Bateshwar is derived from the main Bateshwarnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva (Bateshwarnath Mahadev). As per the mythology and legends, here under a marvelous Banyan tree (Bat in Sanskrit), lord Shiva took rest for some time under that tree which stile standing at that place, the place known as Bat-Ishwar; the banyan lord.
Bateshwar Temples 70 km from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Bateshwar is regarded as the Paternal home of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna’s father Vasudeva was actually from Bateshwar.

Since ages Bateshwar remained a renowned religious centre both for Hindu and Jain communities. In the epic Mahabharat Bateshwar is supposed to be referred as Shouripur a city of king Suresaine. It is known for 101 Shiv Temples built by Raja Badan Singh Bhadauria on a dam on the banks of Yamuna. Shaouripur, near Bateshwar, which is the birthplace of the 22nd Tirthankar of Jain faith, Lord Neminath. Each year the region hosts a cattle fair in October and November. The commercial livestock event is also of significance to Hindus, who make pilgrimage to the river Yamuna in honor of Lord Shiva.

Bateshwar has long been celebrated for its annual fair, believed to have been a fixture since time immemorial given the significance of Shauripur/Bateshwar in Hindu mythology. Although the origins of this ancient fair are religious, and of immense importance in the Hindu religious calendar, the fair is also of great commercial value [1] and is renowned as the 2nd largest animal fair in the country (Sonepur in Bihar being the largest).

Bateshwar is the ancestral village of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

 

Experience: Bateshwar is like a mini Kashi and people conduct cremation on the banks of Yamuna Nadhi. Bateshwar, the main shrine, on meditating there, one feels that the person is in a very big and powerful dhaam.

He is taken to a no mind state in no time. Very ancient, and almost on top of Yamuna, Bateshwar is much ancient than myths. Yet, it is unpolluted and the originality remains.

Durvasa Rishi Ashram at Mathura

In the river banks of Mathura, amidst great serenity on the Newly completed Delhi Highway from Mathura, there is Durvasa Rishi Ashram, otherwise called as Gadi Baba Ashram.

History:

Sage Durvasa had come to Vrindavan. The gopis venerated Him and sought His blessings. They found that He was very hungry. They prepared food for him with great joyfulness and happiness. Carrying all this, they made their way to where the Sage was, and found Him on the other side of the River Yamuna. The river was in spate. And the Great Sage was waiting…

They ran to Lord Krishna and told Him the story. We have all this food, the Sage is waiting for it on the other side of the river… and this great Sage was well known for His quick temper. Please help us O Saviour!!!

Krishna gracefully smiled asked them go to the river and bow down to Yamuna matha and tell her this… We have all this food for Sage Durvasa and He is hungry. Please help us. Krishna, the real Brahmachari has sent us, O Yamuna let us pass. The gopis look at each other in bewilderment, each remembering that not only was Lord Krishna married but to a lot of wives… !!! But out of their bhakthi they sought to go to river Yamuna. They bade their way to the banks of the river and bow down and prayed to Yamuna matha. They told the words of Lord Krishna And Lo….The river magically split in to two halves and there was a clean pathway straight to the waiting hungry Sage. The gopis were relieved and quickly crossed over to the other side.

With great devotion and love they offered to the Sage. He ate with lot of heart. After eating heartfully the contented sage relaxed totally and was really very happy for gopis’ devotion…

One of the gopis suddenly realizes that the river is in full spate again. With fear, the gopis told the Sage about the spate of Yamuna matha, and with devotion asked how to get back to the other shore. He gracefully smiled and told the gopis to go to Yamuna matha and bow down and tell her this…. We need your help Yamuna Matha. We have to go to the other shore. Durvasa, the sage who never ate, has sent us. o Yamuna let us pass. The gopis are once again bewildered, but since a sage of the stature of Durvasa had told them, they thought that he should have told for a reason… They bade their way once again to the river banks and with love and veneration towards Yamuna matha.. They told the words of Durvasa Rishi and Lo… The river magically split once again. The gopis crossed the river without any trouble.

The spot where Durvasa rishi stayed became his ashrama… and Gadi baba, a famous saint attained jeeva samadhi ages later.

Lord Krishna the yogi who was in kingship was a lotus flower, no karmas touched Him and so was Durvasa Rishi the Maharaja of Rishis. No karma touched him either.

The bustling Yamuna mata is utterly still near the Durvasa Ashram as if bowing before the great Sage, the avtar of Lord Shiva.

Durvasa Rishi’s presence hovers around the ashram and silently graces us with tranquility, as Gadi baba fills our chakras with intense energy.

 

 

 

 

image

Gadi Baba’s jeeva samadhi in front of Durvasa Rishi’s alive statue

Vasai – near Mumbai – The ancient Tirtha Sthala

History of Vasai

The history of Bassein dates back to Treta Yuga. Bassein (or Vasai or Oppire or Orparak or Shorparag or Shurparaka as it was called from time to time) was established by Bhagawan Parashuram. Bhagvan Parsuram established Vimaleshwar Mandir and Vimala Sarovara. He established the 64 yoginis in and around Vasai, since the yoginis were considered to be the devotees of His mother Goddess Renuka. He also established 108 Teertha Kundas or Pushkarinis in Vasai. This is quoted in the Holy Edict Skanda Purana and Padma Purana (Lotus Purana ).

Shamedis came as expert singers to Shurparak (Bassein) during the Buddha era 1500 BC from the remote areas of Orissa, then called as Utkala. During the Buddhist rule, their following of Vedic Dharma was loosened. At the advent of Adya Shankaracharya in Nirmal around 497 BC, the Buddhist Monks were defeated in the debates and returned to the Vedic Fold. Hinduism in the Samedis returned and they started strict following of the Vedic Dharma. They regarded Adi Sankara Jagadguru as their cardinal preacher. This is quoted in Holy Text Siva Leela Amrut.

Purna, the disciple of Gautama Buddha, belonged to “Vasai” i.e. earlier “Shoorparak”, and he preached in the Eastern India. Even after the advent of Sankaracharya, some Buddhists were left who used to criticize the Vedic Philosophy. Thus the King Jalauk of Kalinga took the then Jagat Guru Shankaracharya of Eastern India, i.e. H.H. Shankaracharya of Puri, to Shurparaga. He was 5th Shankaracharya of Puri named Swami Vidyaranya. His Holiness Swami Vidyaranya defeated remaining Buddhist Monks from Karla Caves, Mahad Caves, Kaneri Caves, and Shruparak and strongly revived the Vedic Dharma. Dur to old age and at the earnest prayers of the local Shamedis and Bhandaris Jagad Guru Shankaracharya Vidyaranya Swami of Puri Peetham took Mahasamadhi at the Nirmal Vimaleshwar Mandir in 404 BC on the dark 11th day of Kartik. Emperor Jalauk (son of Ashoka) built a big Samadhi Mandir according to the Orissa architecture.

Later during the Vijaya Yatra the grand disciple of Swami Vidyaranya, named Swami Padmanabha Tirtha, the 7th Jagadguru Sankara charya of Puri Govardhan Peetham arrived in Vasai during the “Vijaya Yatra” . His Holiness stayed here for some months and later attracted to this Holy Place decided to reside eternally at this place of his grand Guru.

Thus Swami Padmanadha Tirtha Shankaracharya, who was devotee of Lord Vallabha (thus He was also called Vallabha Swami) (i.e. Krishna achieved Mahasamadhi at Vasai in 373 BC on a hillock next to the Nirmal hillock. A temple devoted to Lord Krishna in front of His Samadhi by the then Kashmiri Brahmin community who used to reside in Nirmal, brought by Raja Jalauk, from the area around Shankaracharya Parbat, Sri Nagar (Jammu and Kashmir).

Later this place was visited by 38 th Shrimad Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Shivananda Saraswati of Puri Govardhan Peetham during the rule of the Satvahan Kings.

During the times of Raja Bhimdev of Puri, in order to solve the religious difference in between the Kshatriyas, the 106 th Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Sukhabodha Tirtha arrived in Vasai during the 13th century AD.

This Holy place was visited by Swami Vidyaranya, the 13th Shankaracharya of Sringeri Sharada Peetham in the 15th century. His samadhi is located at Hampi, Karnataka.

During 1543, Portuguese started their rule in Bassein and started destruction of various cultural places in Vasai. The temple of Padmanabha Swami which was located at the hillock place now called “Nirmal Naka” was destroyed. The Brahmins, Shamedis and Bhandaris who regarded Jagadguru Shankarachrya as their Holy Guru were sad at this ill act and they brought the stones of the samadhi of Padmanabha Swami and placed them in front left hand side of Vidyaranya Swami Samadhi Mandir. During this period, 200 religious places were destroyed by foreigners in Bassein. The atrocities of the Portuguese were on rise .At the request of the Citizens of Vasai Chimaji Appa Peshwa attacked Portuguese at Vasai and conquered Vasai in the 18th Century AD.

He requested the guidance of monk – Swami Vidya Shankara Bharati who was the 8th generation of the institution of Karvir- Sankeshwar (this is the institution established in the 16th century in Sankeshwar, Karnataka). He was the disciple of Jagadguru Shankaracharya.

At the guidance of Swami Vidya Shancara Bharati, Chimaji Appa renovated, in the Orissa Architecture, the Samadhi Mandir of Swami Vidyaranya and Swami Padmanabha Tirtha, the 5th and 7th Shankaracharya of Puri Peetham,.

This place due to atrocities of Portuguese rulers were devoid of Brahmins. Under the guidance of Swami Vidya Shankara Bharati, Chimaji Appa Peshwa, in consultations with Peshwa Bajirao, appointed 1 Konkanastha Chitpavan Brahmin, 1 Karhade Brahmin, 1 Devrukhe Brahmin and 4-5 Shukla Yajurvedi Gujrathi Brahmins in this region. Thus there were only 7-8 houses of Brahmins in whole Sopara region. Later Swami Vidya Shankara Bharathi went back to Sankeshwar and attained samadhi on the banks of River Hiranyakeshi.

In 1926, Swami Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the 143rd Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peetham was received with warm welcome in a specially reserved train at Nala Sopara station.

The Jagadguru Swagat Samiti was presided by a well known Shamedi Shri Vaze. Jagadguru had the Holy bath in the Vimaleshwar Sarovar then had Darshan of the Shri Sureshwar Mandir, Shri Vimaleshwar Mandir, and the two Samadhis of the previous Shankaracharyas viz. Swami Vidyaranya and Swami Padanabha Tirtha of the Puri Govardhan Peetham. This time Jagadguru addressed a large gathering of Shamedis. A big Yajnya was organized to commemorate this event. Again the same Puri Shankaracharya Swami Bharati Krishna Teerth visited Shurparak in the 1950s. This time also there were huge gatherings which were hosted by Swami Nityananda of Ganeshpuri. This time also Shamedis extended great efforts in organizing the event.

Ishwarpuri (Sandipani Samadhi)

Ishwapuri Ashram is located at Chandip Village situated on Shirshad Vajreshwari Raod, Spacial about this is you can find samadhi of Guru Sandipani ( Guru of Krishna, Balram and Sudama), A shiv Temple is also located at this place, some basic facility is available for this mountainous nature.
Tungareshwar Mountain
Tungareshwar Mountain
Way to Ishwarpuri

Way to Ishwarpuri

samadhi sthaan of rishi sandipaani
samadhi sthaan of rishi sandipaani
samadhi of Rishi Sandipani
samadhi of Rishi Sandipani
words in his samadhi shrine
samadhi sthaan of rishi sandipaani – words in his samadhi shrine
shiva temple ishwarpuri
shiva temple ishwarpuri
shiva temple ishwarpuri

shiva temple ishwarpuri

Courtesy: http://discoverindiabyroad.blogspot.in/2011/07/ishwarpuri-sandipani-samadhi-chandip.html

Also courtesy: wikipedia

Paithan – The ancient seat of wisdom in Maharashtra

Paithan

formerly Pratiṣṭhāna, is a city and a municipal council in Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, India. It was the capital of the Satavahana dynasty, which ruled from the second century BCE to the second century CE. It is one of the few inland towns mentioned in the famous first-century Greek book, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.

Paithan is located 56 kilometres (35 mi) south of present-day Aurangabad on the Godavari River. Mungi Village, Paithan was the birthplace of Nimbarka, the founder of the Nimbarka Sampradaya tradition of Vaishnavism. Paithan was also the home of the great Marathi saint Eknath; people flock yearly to his shirne during the time of the Paithan yatra, also known as the Nath Shashti. The town is mostly famous today for its saris — the Paithani beautiful silk saris that sport intricately embroidered gold or silver borders. It is also a famous Digambar Jain atishay kshetra. A beautiful Black coloured Sand Idol of 20th Jain Tirthankar, Bhagwan Munisuvratnath is installed in temple here. It is believed that all wishes are fulfilled by praying here. Jnaneshwar Udyan is a famous garden developed on the lines of Brindavan Gardens, Mysore . The city is home to many noted personalities like Shankarrao Chavan, Yogiraj maharaj Gosavi, Balasaheb Patil.

 

Paithan Jain Tirth

Paithan is a Digambar Jain Atishay kshetra (Pilgrimage place of miracle). Paithan has a Chaturth Kalin (thousands of years old) sand idol of Bhagwan Munisuvrat Nath. The idol is of the time period when stone idols were not made, and hence one can estimate its antiquity. It is believed that Ram, Lakshman and Sita used to worship this idol. The idol is miraculous, and one who visits the temple with pure intent and full devotion gets his or her wishes fulfilled.

 

Saint Jaganade Maharaj Temple

Shri Santaji Jagnade (1624–1688) was one of fourteen cymbal players employed by Shri Tukaram Maharaja, a prominent Marathi Saint. Jagnade recorded several of Tukaram’s Abhangs. He belonged to the Teli caste of oil producers[3] and is the only Saint from that caste. Jagnade was born and brought up in Sadumbare in the Maval tehsil in the Pune District.

He was a Varkari, a vaishnav devotee of Lord Vitthala, who is supreme Lord Krishna Himself appearing as the King of Dwaraka. The address of his temple in Paithan is santaji chawk teli dharmshala Paithan. The founders of this temple are Mr. Kedarnath Dadarao Sarje and Mr. Pralhadseth Sidlambe.

 

Jayakwadi Dam

A major dam named the “Jayakwadi Dam” is located near Paithan, and is known for attracting a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. This is the world’s first dam made from soil. It has 27 gates. On 9 August 2006, Paithan experienced its worst flood in known history when the dam floodgates were opened because of heavy rainfall in the region. Photography at this dam is banned and driving your vehicle up to the dam is not permitted.

History

Pratishthanapura was capital of First Satavahana king from where it grew into Empire covering almost half of present India.The Satavahana known as “Trisamudratoyapitvahana”. Later, under the name Pishtapuram, it was taken by the Chalukya ruler Pulakesi II who commissioned the recording of the event in a poem as “reducing Pishtapuram to pishta (flour)”.

Pratishthanapura or present day Paithan is said to be the capital of Mulaka desh. Aurangabad, Nashik, Jalna, Vashim are parts of Mulaka. Mulukanadu follows the usual conjoint formulation of similar communities: the word Naadu means country in all the south Indian languages; this is suffixed to the country whence the community hails, being in this case “Muluka”. Thus, Muluka+Naadu=Mulukanadu, “people of the Muluka land.” Muluka or Mulaka is identified and it is also known as Moolaka or Moolaka desha along with Ashmaka.

As per legends Pratishthana was built by King Ila. Ila, who was the king of Bahlika, strayed into Shiva’s forest during his hunting trip and was cursed to become a woman by Shiva. By praying Shiva’s consort Parvati, Il[1] a managed to stay as man and woman alternatively every month. He would not remember events of one stage in the other. When he was a woman, he married Budha (Mercury, one of the nine planets the ‘Navagrahas’) through whom he had a son (Pururavas). Budha helped Ila to attain his former self by pleasing Shiva through ‘Ashwamedha Yagna’ (Horse sacrifice). After leaving Budha, Ila left Bahlika and established the city Pratishthana from where he ruled for long. After him, Pururavas became the king of Pratishthana. (Source: Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Khanda, Sarga 90).

In ancient times it was called Pratishthanpura and it has seen many ups and downs in its long and chequered history. Because of its long and continued existence it was the seat of a number of dynasties and dynastic rules. It was credited to be the capital of the ancient Janpadas like Asmaka. Thus Paithan gained the epithet as “Supratisthana “ not only for its political importance as the capital city during the long rule of the Satavahanas and of great consequence till the Yadavas, but also for its affluence and of highly advanced civilization. Its importance has also been vouchsafed in the writings of the foreign travelers and geographers. As a great commercial centre, it was very well linked with the other important towns of ancient India and the western world. Its exports had earned great reputation in the western markets and had achieved international renown. Its quality textiles such as the Paithani had no parallel in the contemporary world. The Roman parliament was rather forced to put a ban on such types of luxurious imports to save the nation form extravagance. So its contributions in the field of trade and commerce are equally noteworthy and as important as in the fields of politics and religion.

Archaeologically, Paithan’s importance need not be over-emphasised. The environs of Paithan have given evidence of pre-historic and proto-historic antiquities. Whereas, in the historical period archaeological data from the Satavahans to the Yadavas has been recorded. Even now a number of antiquities of different periods are abundantly available on the surface of the mounds at Paithan. Thus we come across an amazing variety of beads, terracotta. Bangles and coins of the Satavahana period. Some of the punch-marked coins predate the Satavahans and the foreign coins confirm its close contacts with the western world. Paithan, with its varied and variegated politico-economic and religio-social activities greatly contributed to the growth of a highly enriched cultural milieu and perhaps no other city in Maharashtra could possibly compare itself favorably with Paithan. Apart from the thriving of the three major religious sects such as Buddhism, Jainism and Vedic religion at Paithan ever since it became the capital city of the Satavahanas, all the religious movements during the medieval period have centered round this historic city.

Paithan the ancient city of Pratishthan, is beautifully situated on the left bank of the river Godavari. Since the second millennium B.C. The dawn of the Goda Valley Civilisation it has played a vital role in shaping the culture of the region and has been a sacred place for the Hindus, the Buddhists and the Jains.

From ancient times Paithan was important emporium of trade and commerce with links connecting it to marts in India and in Europe. It developed its own religion and educational institutions and in the field of art, drew the attention of the Muslim invaders, who overran the city and whose culture left its imprint upon the life and manners of the people of Paithan. During the seventeenth century, the Marathas, recognizing the value of Paithan as a centre of religious and economic importance, strove hard to keep it under control. They felt a special affinity towards this ancient city and many Maratha rulers made it a point to stop at Paithan while on their way to other places. In 1679, for instance, Chhartrapati Shivaji halted at Paithan while proceeding to Jalna . During his stay he issued acharter appointing Kawale – a leading priest of Paithan – as a royal priest. This arrangement made by Shivaji for a local priest to perform the family rituals is understandable in view of the fact that Paithan was regarded as moksha-tirtha – a pilgrimage centre from where the soul could be liberated forever from a shackled existence. Shivajis son and successors honored this charter for a long time. The Peshwas, the administrators of the Maratha rulers, also kept close connections with Paithan city. Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in 1761, married into the Wakhare family – moneylender of Paithan and his successors . Peshwas Madhavrao and Narayanrao, maintained the close association. Peshwa Madhavrao, judging from his letters, was particularly impressed by the textiles of Paithan.

Main Places

  • Sant Eknath Samadhi Mandir
  • sant Eknath Maharaj House
  • Sant Dnyaneshwar garden, Paithan
  • Jayakwadi dam bird sanctuary: home for migratory birds from Siberia
  • Aapegaon :The Birth Place Of Sant Dnyaneshvar Maharaj (mauli)
  • Tirth khamb
  • Historically important Palthi Nagari
  • Tomb of sant Eknath
  • 12 Jyotirlinga temples in Paithan
  • Naag Ghat
  • Maulana Sahab dargah ( Tomb of Famous Muslin Saint

Courtesy: wikipedia

Kaila devi, Rajasthan

Kaila Devi Temple is a temple dedicated to twin Goddess Kaila devi and Chamunda devi situated 23 km from Karauli and 37 km from Gangapur City in the Rajasthan state in India. The temple is located on the banks of the Kalisil River, a tributary of the Banas River in the hills of Trikut, 2 km to the north-west of Kaila village.

KEDAR Gufa Temple

image

This is the original temple of Kaila Devi. This place is near the jungle of the Ranthambore. This is 3km far from the town. Devotees can walk there for the darshan. This also hosts the jeeva samadhi of Kedar Giri Maharaj who installed the temple.

The kedar gufa is really very divine and ancient. For a true seeker is always loved here by the saint.

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