Bering Nag Temple Shimla : “Bering Nag Temple, Sangla Valley, Himachal Pradesh is visited by a large crowd every year, especially in the months of August and September. This temple is auspicious for Hindus and a landmark place of worship. Lord Shiva is worshiped in this temple. The “Fulaich Fair” is an important event attended by people every year. Local people worship in this temple for the well-being of the village and its inhabitant.”
The air travel was a fantastic one. It was not a very tiring journey and in 7 hours I reached Trivandrum, the capital city of Kerala. After checking in at my hotel, I got a quick shower and was ready to begin my excursion in this wonderful state. I had shortlisted many places and beautiful tourist spots for my short travel.
The first place which I visited during my travel to Kerala was the majestic Padmanabhswamy temple. This is one of a kind temple in the entire world. The main attraction of which is the 100 feet tall gopuram or the tower. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Vishnu and devotees from all over the world come to this temple to get blessed by the Lord.
The best part about the temple was the idol of lord Vishnu which can be seen through the three doorways of the shrine. The first and second door shows the torso, head and hands of the Lord while the third door gives a glimpse of the feet of Vishnu. It is a majestic 18 feet tall idol which is reclined on Anantha, the great snake.
This is definitely one of the most glorious Hindu temples I have seen in my life. Being from the state of Odisha, I have seen many temples dedicated to Gods and Goddesses, but a temple of such majesty and beauty was a treat for the eyes. The Royal family of Travancore, which oversees the maintenance of the temple, has done a very good job in crowd management and preserving the beauty of this amazing temple. There is also a festival named Arattu, which happens in the temple and is said to be the biggest attraction of the city.
The food was also very delicious and gave the taste of Southern delicacies. It is very easy to reach the temple. It is well connected with all the major parts of the city and can be reached by railways, roadways buses or private taxis.
After this visit, I headed for the next place. It was the southern backwaters houseboats of Kollam.
My friends and I come from service backgrounds and work day and night at our respective jobs. It was our time to relax now and what is better than to be just at peace amongst the beautiful landscapes.
Serene Landscape and peaceful ambience are what one can feel at Ananda Buddha Vihara located in Mahendra Hills. This beautiful place is situated in East Marredpally, Secunderabad, Telangana. Hyderabad, in recent years, has become an important centre for the spread of Buddhism in South India. In this busy world, there are only a few places that are untouched from the hustle-bustle of cities. This place is less known or say, a best hidden place for practicing Buddhism and attaining inner peace.
A peaceful location is the only need that can help one experience the real truth and realize the inner self completely. Beautiful location and tension-free ambience furthermore, decorate this place. The place is well within reach, and it takes only five minutes through auto or bike from Sri Chaitanya School. Ananda Buddha Vihara, Hyderabad is maintained by Ananda Buddha Vihara Trust, which takes utmost care to keep intact the peaceful bliss of nature here.
Here, at Ananda Buddha Vihara, my friends and I cakashould experience the cultural heritage and its development into a religious site is under work. The trust has been putting in lots of effort to make this place a hub for spreading Buddhist culture, tradition and education. Lumbini Festival is organized annually on the Buddha Jayanti Day. Lots of Buddhist followers and preachers are attracted to this location both from India and abroad on this day. Serene landscapes with extreme peace make it an attractive tourist destination that not only is for roaming around but also enriches and enlightens self through education.
Teachings of Lord Buddha moreover make each visit to this place more worthwhile. The place is a perfect blend of giving and taking where one can spend some time and gain true consciousness. The place is so pure in itself that it will leave an everlasting impression on one’s mind and soul.
Various discourses and distribution of Buddhist literature makes this place more happening. Thus, Ananda Buddha Vihara is a place where one can visit and relieve oneself from work-loads and tensions of the busy lives. It certainly worked for us. The peaceful environment will surely give some time to learn and explore the true self that lies within.
Jagannath Temple Hyderabad : My visit to the Jagannath temple in Hyderabad made my trip. We kept in for the end and it turned out to be a brilliant idea. The spirituality of the entire place calmed us down like nothing else. The beautiful statues carved in stone were so pleasing to the eye.
People in Guntur were quite friendly and loved talking about their city to visitors. I figured that in one of our evening walks the previous day. My friend shook me from my thoughts reminding me of our next must-see place in our itinerary. We had to visit Mangalagiri Temple, which is located 25 km away from the Guntur City. There were many buses connecting Guntur and Mangalagiri and so we decided to catch an early bus to the temple.
There are three temples in Mangalagiri and they are Panakala Narasimha Swamy Temple, Gandala Narasimha Swamy Temple, and Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. When the first and second temples are on the hill, the third is on the foot of the hill. We checked the temple timings and found them to be open until 12.30 pm. We chose to visit them in the morning for there were no ‘archana’ in the evenings.
When we reached the foothill, it was almost 9.30 am. My friend collected some details about the place. It is said Mangalagiri is one among the prominent eight temples in India, where Lord Vishnu manifested himself. We followed the devotees climbing the steps to Sri Panakala Laksmi Narasimha Swamy Temple. While climbing, we were to offer prayers to the footprints of Maha Prabhu Chaitanya.
Inside the temple, we stood at the sanctorum and offered prayers. Walking behind the temple, we stopped at Sri Lakshmi Temple to offer our prayers. Near this temple, there were steps leading to unduvalli Caves.
We also stopped at Gandala Narasimha Swamy Temple and lighted a lamp, where there was no deity. After the prayers, we climbed down to offer our prayers at the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple at the foothill. The temple is known to have the highest tower or gopuram in India with a height of 153 feet and width 49 feet. The tower has eleven stories and its gates face the east and west directions.
The architecture on the gopuram is quite inspiring and shows the craftsmanship of the builder. There is also a tank on the opposite, which is said to be built to straighten the tower. The temple conducts festivals such as Brahmotsavam every year. It was getting hot and we had to travel to our last destination Sri Lakshmi Chennakesava Swamy Temple.
We woke up late next morning, while relishing our morning tea at the coffee shop, we planned our agenda. The first destination of our agenda was the Simhachalam temple. We left the hotel around 10 am and the city was busy at that time. The temple is at distance of 18 km from our hotel.
We reached the temple around 11.40; the sun was very hot still and we could feel the warm breeze of the sea. Visakhapatnam lies in the coastal area of Andhra Pradesh and it has 7 beaches surrounding the city. The temple is located on a top hill. Though there were enough buses available to the temple, my love for trekking made me choose the trekking route to the temple.
The trekking route is truly spectacular with natural steps. We enjoyed the scenic beauty of whole Vizhag from the top hill. The climbing was a bit hard for us in the beginning, but then we were used to it. We offered pooja in the Bhoolkamma Thalli. In between we stopped at a particular place from where we could see the whole city and airport, port, HPCL refinery, and so on. After a short while we reached the motor road, which lead to the temple and we walked through the road. After two hours of climbing, we reached the temple. I was spellbound by the architectural beauty of the temple.
The temple was built in the 11th century and the deity of the temple is Lord Narasimha, which is the Avatar of Lord Vishnu. More than a million of people from all over the country visit this place to worship the lord and enjoy the architectural beauty of the temple. The deity represented both Varaha and Narasimha and the image is covered by sandal paste, which resembles the Shiva Lingam. Only once during the Chandana Visarjana, the sandal paste is removed and the deity is exposed to the devotees.
The architecture more or less resembles that of the Konark temple with the carvings of elephants, flowers and plants. The outer walls are carved with different posters of Narasimha and we enjoyed the marriage hall of the temple with 16 pillars. We explore the temple and enjoyed the serenity and divinity and climbed down to the foothill.
Pataleshwar Cave Temple Pune: This beautiful structure was situated at a very loud part of the city. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed this location during the afternoon because we got some amazing pictures. It is not a very famous place and is only becoming famous. Though the area wasn’t too big, it was a short and sweet experience!