Upcoming Events

Beautiful Seminars in Hindi

Nagalapuram

At the Veda Narayana Temple in Nagalapuram (70 km from Tirupati), the presiding Deity is Lord Matsya. This temple is reputed to be the only Matsya temple in India. The Deity has the head and torso of Lord Vishnu and golden humanlike feet, but the priest can move the golden feet aside to expose the Lord’s fish tail. Please Read More.

MATSYA

matsya

Lord Vishnu, in the form of Matsya, killed the rakshasa (demon) Somakudu here, and retrieved the Vedas from him.

The sanctum sanctorum houses a Deity of the Matsya form of Vishnu, with Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side. A peculiar feature of the Deity is that it holds the Sudarshana Chakra in prayoga (ready for release).

The temple was constructed by Sri Krishnadeva Raya, the Vijayanagara emperor, and is a fine specimen of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. 

Matsya Madhava Temple, Puri, Odisha.

matsya-madhava-temple

Swetaganga is a small tank to the west of the Jagannath temple in Puri, Odisha. On the  bank, there   are  two  small temples, one dedicated to Sweta Madhava and the other to Matsya Madhava.

The Swetaganga is situated in between Simhadwar and Swargadwar. Before visiting Lord Jagannath devotees take a bath on Swetaganga.

KURMA

kurma
Srikurman (Kurma-kshetra), Srikakulam, (A.P.)

A temple in Srikurman dedicated to Kurmadeva, is located 100 km northeast of Visakhapatnam and 15 km east of Srikakulam.

This architecturally beautiful temple is said to be the only temple of the Kurma (tortoise) incarnation on earth. This temple is at least 700 years old; the original temple was built in 200 AD.

Sri Kurma, a Deity of Lord Vishnu in the form of a tortoise consists of two stones, about two feet long, emerging from the ground, which represent Sri Kurma’s head and body. The temple is located on the shore of Swatha Puskarini Lake. There is a large festival in February, at which time thousands of people come to bathe in the Swatha Pushkarini Lake.

To the left of the main temple is a small temple dedicated to the four-armed form of Bilvamangala. Bilvamangala’s body is buried below this temple. On a hill in Kurma-kshetra is a small shrine that houses the footprints of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who visited Kurma-kshetra in 1512 A.D.

VARAHA

Azheekal Sree Varaha Swamy Temple, Cherai, Kerala.


Azheekal Sree Varaha Swamy Temple, Cherai, Kerala.varaha

This temple was established in 1565 A.D. by Azheekal Yogakkars and the Pratishta was done by Swami Yadavendra Tirtha, first Pontiff of Shri Kashi Mutt. This temple is under the Azheekal Sree Varaha Devaswom, Cherai. Presiding Deity: Sree Varaha Moorthy. Sree Venkatachalapathy with Lakshmi Devi and Bhoomi Devi on left/right side is also installed in the Srikovil

The temple came to be known as Sree Varaha temple. The Sree Varaha temple was situated one and a half km to the west of the present Mallikarjuna temple at Vypeen.

The Deities in the temple at Azheekal were stolen in 1723 AD and could not be traced. Efforts were made to cast new idols in Panchaloha but were found defective. So, the mahajans of Azheekal approached the Cochin temple and got two Deities of Venkatachalapathy and Mahalakshmi and these were installed in the temple in 1724 AD. Extensive plots of land and properties were donated to the temple by 32 families of the Yogakkars for the daily expenses. Meanwhile, the stolen Deities were recovered and it was also installed in the temple by the side of Sree Venkateswara.

In 1857 AD, there was a major fire in the temple. However, the temple was re-constructed shortly after. The temple at Azheekal was close to sea shore. Due to continuous sea erosion and high tides, the temple and the local community suffered many losses. Many Yogakkars left the place in 1866 AD And most of the Yogakkars purchased land in Cherai in 1867 AD and constructed Agrasala and installed the idols shifted from Azheekal. The old temple at Azheekal was also dismantled and brought to Cherai.

Adi Varaha Temple, Mathura

adi-varaha

The Deity in this temple is one of the oldest in Mathura. This Deity is also called Lal Varaha. Lal means “red” and this Deity of Varaha is red in color. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Maharaja visited the Adi Varaha temple and his signature in one of the registers here is still preserved at this temple.

According to the Adi Varaha Purana, Kapila Muni made this Deity of Varaha by his mind. Kapila gave this Deity to Lord Indra in Satya-yuga. Indra worshiped this Deity in his kingdom. When Ravana took over Indra’s kingdom, Ravana took this Adi Varaha Deity to his capital, in Lanka. When Lord Rama killed Ravana he installed Ravana's brother, Vibhishana, on the throne of Lanka. Vibhishana offered everything to Rama. Rama said he did not want anything, except the Varaha Deity that was taken from the city of Indra. Vibhishana gave Rama this Deity. He carried the Deity back to Ayodhya and worshiped the Deity there for 110 years. When Shatrughna, Lord Rama’s brother, went to Mathura, to kill some demons, he brought this Deity with him and the Deity has been here ever since.

Sweta Varaha Temple, Mathura, U.P.

In this temple is a beautiful white Deity of Varahadeva. Lord Varaha appeared as a giant boar to save the earth and to kill the demon Hiranyaksha, who was terrifying the universe. Varaha is often seen as a half-man, with the face of a boar engaged in picking up the earth (Bhu). After lifting the earth, Lord Varaha rested at Vishram Ghat. The Deity of Sweta Varaha is presently worshipped in a house here.

Varaha Temple, Pushkar, Rajasthan.

Varaha-Temple-Pushkar

The temple was originally built in the 12th century by King Anaji Chauhan but suffered severe destruction at the hands of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He disliked the life-size Deity of Lord Varaha with the head of a boar and body of a man. Later, Sawai Jai Singh reconstructed the temple in the 18th century. The temple enshrines a magnificent two feet tall white Deity of Lord Varaha. The temple has elegant carvings and sculptures. The life-size dwarapalas (door men) and pillars showing the bird Garuda are styled in gold.

VAMANA

Vamana (Adinatha) Temple, Khajuraho, (M.P.)

vaman-temple


This temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in His form as Vamana (the dwarf).  It is located in the Eastern group near the Jain temples. According to the Archeological Department’s sign it dates from 1075 CE.  It has a sanctum, a vestibule, a mahamantapa with transepts, and an entrance porch.

Vamanamurthy Temple, Thrivikramangalam, Trivandrum, Kerala.

vaman-temple-keralavamana

The Vamanamurthy temple in Thrivikramangalam (Thamalam) near Thiruvananthapuram on the banks of Karamana river is called 'Thrivikramangalam Maha Vishnu Temple'. Here Lord Mahavishnu’s Deity is that of Vamana standing on top of the three worlds and is nearly six feet in height. Along with the main Vamana Deity, there are other Deities of Ganesh, Ayyappan, Shiva and Nagaraja. Built in the 8th Century AD, the temple is governed by the Travancore Devaswam Board and the annual temple festival (Utsavam) is in March-April.

Sri Ulagalandar Temple, Kanchipuram, (T.N).

Ulagalandar

This Divya Desam is the well known Ulagalanda Perumal temple in Periya Kanchipuram, and is also home to three other Divya Desam shrines Tiruneerakam, Tirukkaarakam and Kaarvaanam. It enshrines Vishnu in a mammoth form of Trivikrama dominating the three worlds, in the process of subduing Mahabali the demon king. The stone Deity here is about 35 feet high and 24 feet wide. The Divya Desams enshrining Trivikrama are Tiru Oorakam (Kanchipuram), Tirukkovilur, Kaazhicheeraamavinnagaram and  Tiruneermalai.

Mahabali upon whom Vishnu placed his foot, during his Trivikrama (Vamana) avatara, dominating the three worlds - desired to worship Vishnu in the form of Trivikrama. Vishnu is said to have answered his prayers by appearing in front of him as Trivikrama at Kanchipuram (Satyavrata Kshetram). As Mahabali was not able to comprehend the immensity of this manifestation, Vishnu is said to have manifested Himself as Adi Seshan, in a small shrine next to the imposing shrine of Ulagalanda Perumal, at Oorakam.

The temple occupies an area of about 60000 sq feet. It has two prakarams and a three tiered rajagopuram.  Inscriptions from the Chola period are seen here. Parimelazhakar, who wrote a commentary on Tirukkural was a priest here, and an idol of him riding a horse can be seen in the temple.

PARASHURAMA

 

parashurama

Parashurama Temple, Belgaum district, Karnataka.

Parasgad Fort is a hill fort in Belgaum district of Karnataka dating back to 1674, and is said to have been built by the Maratha ruler Shivaji. A descent of several hundred steps from the fort leads to Yadravi village. This passes by a natural spring with a water tank measuring thirty by six metres called the Ramatheertha, and a cave housing Deities including Jamadagni, Parashurama, Rama, and Sita, a Shivalinga with a Nandi. The village of Yadravi is referred to as "Elarame" in an inscription found on a platform near the Bharamappa temple of the village. The inscription is dated Shaka 901 in the Hindu calendar.

Udupi, Karnataka.



parashurama-tirtha

Parashuram chose Pajaka, a place 16 kms away from Udupi for his penance, though Parashuramakshetra extends from Gokarana to Kanyakumari.

He established "Durgamatha" on the top of Vimanagiri, now known as Kunjargiri. Parashurama created four thirthas (a pond of holy water). They are called Gadathirtha, Banathirtha, Parashuthirtha and Dhanusthirtha, in the four sides of the Durga betta. These descriptions are found in the "Sahyadri" Kanda of Skandapuran.

There is a temple of Parashuram on the top of the hill by the side of Gadathirtha near Durgabetta. Jagadguru Sri Madhwacharya also took his avatara in Pajaka, very close to the temple.

Nirmund, Himachal Pradesh

Nirmund, known as the ‘Kashi of the Himalayas', is the largest and most ancient village, situated in Kulu District, Himachal Pradesh. This beautiful hamlet stands overlooking the Satluj Valley. Nirmund is renowned for its exquisite wood and stone temples of the 6th and the 7th centuries.

Its existence dates back to the  early Vedic period and the name is derived from the Sanskrit word 'nar-mund', which means a man’s head. It is believed that Lord Parashurama made the Brahmins settle here to eliminate the Kshatriyas, from the face of the earth. Nirmund is famous for its annual Buddi Diwali fair, which falls one month after Diwali and the Bhunda festival, celebrated once in 12 years.

The principal shrine of Nirmand, Parashurama Temple is built in the traditional Pahari styled double-storied building with gabled slate roof. This temple resembling a hill fortress encloses a small courtyard with the only entrance from the western side. The northern part is a double-storied structure, which stores priceless artifacts. There are elaborate carvings on the exterior wooden balconies and pillars which illustrate stories from the epics.

The ancient temple of Devi Ambika in Nirmand is said to have been established by Lord Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The uniqueness is that its roof is made of pure copper sheet. Devi Ambika Temple also has several old stone sculptures.

NARASIMHA

Mangalagiri (A.P.)

mangalagiri


Mangalagiri is situated about 12km south of Vijayawada. There is a major Lord Narasimha temple here. The Deity is called Pana Narasimha (Panakala Narasimha), because he is believed to drink half the quantity of panaka, offered by worshipers. It is said that when the Lord is offered sugar syrup, he does not take more than half. The temple is built around a self-manifest Deity of Lord Narasimha. A chakra and club are also self-manifested.

The temple is on a hill and is approached by ascending 600 steps. This temple has the highest gopuram in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Inside this temple there is a conch shell presented by the late king of Tanjore, and this shell, according to the locals, was used by Lord Krishna.

The temple priest takes a pot of sweet jaggery water and pours half of the drink with a conch shell into the Lord’s mouth. The jaggery water is made of liquefied gur-water (sugar), camphor, black pepper, and cardamom. Half of whatever quantity of jaggery water that is prepared is offered to the Lord and the rest is returned to the offerer as mahaprasad. While the water is being poured into the mouth of the Lord, you hear a gurgling sound as someone might make while drinking. Even though there is so much sugar water offered here, there is not a single ant on the hill.

It is said that Lord Narasimha rested here after killing Hiranyakashipu, and Lakshmi Devi then gave him a drink to quench his thirst. At the bottom of the hill there is an ancient Lakshmi Narasimha temple. Mangalagiri is mentioned as a holy place in the Skanda and Brahma-vaivarta Puranas.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came here in 1512. There is an imprint of His feet and a verse dedicated to Him in the temple. During the month of March, a large festival takes place in this temple.

Yadagiri-gutta (A.P.)


yadgiri.JPG
This place, 60 km north of Hyderabad, was named after a sage named Yadava, who performed intense austerities to see Lord Vishnu in His form as Lord Narasimha. Being pleased with him, Lord Vishnu appeared before him as Jwala Narasimha, Gandabherunda Narasimha, and Yogananda Narasimha. He begged the Lord to remain permanently on the hill in these three forms. Yadagiri is the corrupted form of the original name, Yadava-giri. The temple here is on top of a hill.

There are three forms of Lord Narasimha in this temple—Jwala Narasimha, Gandabherunda Narasimha, and Yogananda Narasimha—each embedded in stone. The oil lamps here are kept burning 24 hours a day. Many people visit this temple.

It is said that whatever a sincere devotee prays for here will not go unfulfilled; no pilgrimage to this place is made in vain. It is also stated that incurable diseases will be remedied here if one worships the Lord for a week or two, or even better, for forty days, with faith and determination.

The temple is situated upon a 90m (300 ft) hill. At the foot of this hill is a gateway with a gopuram called Vaikuntha-dwara, or “gateway to Vaikuntha,” the spiritual world.

Simhachalam, Vishakapatnam, (A.P.)

simhachalam

Simhachalam is an ancient temple situated near the city of Visakhapatnam, about 11 km from the city, at a height of 244m on Simhagiri Hill. It is one of the most important Vaishnavite shrines in Southern India. It has Sri Varahalakshmi Narasimha Swamy as the presiding Deity. The Deity gives "nijaroopa darshan" (holy appearance in true form) for only 12 hours in a year, the rest of the time the Deity is covered with sandalwood paste. The darshan described as chandana yatra or chandanotsavam falls every year in Vaishakha masa (May).

Sri Krishna Deva Raya visited the shrine twice in 1516 AD and 1519 AD and offered numerous villages for maintenance of bhogam (worship) along with valuable jewellery of which an emerald necklace is still in the temple.

Kadiri, Anantpur, (A.P.)

kadri

The famous Lord Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple is located in this town, and large numbers of pilgrims visit the temple throughout the year.

A famous event carried out every year is the Rathothsava (Car Festival). On this holy day, a huge Rath (Chariot) with the Lord Lakshmi Narasimha's Deity on it is pulled by hundreds of men and watched by thousands of devotees.

Ahobilam, (A.P.)


ahobilam

Ahobilam is one of the most venerated Vaishnava temples enshrining Narasimha. It is located near Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. It is referred to as the Nava Narasimha Kshetram, and is the seat of the Ahobilam Mutt.

Legend has it that Rama, separated from Sita worshipped Lakshmi Narasimhar here.  Legend has it that Garuda, desirous of seeing the Narasimha form of Vishnu worshipped him here, and that Vishnu manifested Himself as nine forms of Narasimha. Mahalakshmi is believed to have reincarnated into a family of hunters as Senjulakshmi, and married Narasimhar here. This event is commemorated in the annual festival in the Tamil month of Maasi, when the local tribe actively participates in the festivities.


Yoga-Narasimha Swamy Temple, Melkote, Karnataka

Narasimha

In the early twelfth century, the great Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya took up his residence here for about 14 years. It thus became a prominent centre of the Srivaishnava sect of Brahmins.On the top of the hill is an impressive temple of Yoga Narasimha. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III presented a gold crown to this temple.

SRI RAMA

Bhadrachalam, (A.P.)

bhadrachalam


Bhadrachalam is located on the bank of the Godavari river, 180 km west of Visakhapatnam. The main Deity is the four-armed form of Lord Rama called Chaturbhuja Rama. This is where Rama and Sita lived before Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. It is located near the point where Rama crossed the Godavari on his journey to Lanka to find Sita. At that time, a sage named Bhadra lived here, and Lord Rama came just to give him darshan. This temple is named Bhadrachalam after this sage.

Sri Rama Temple, Ayodhya, (U.P.)

Ram-temple-Ayodhya

Ayodhya is the Janma Bhoomi (birth place) of Sri Rama and is situated 6 kms from Faizabad.

This Divyadesam is said to be one among the 7 mukti kshetras. These 7 mukti kshetras represents different part of the body of Lord Narayana.  This Ayodhya sthal is the birth place of Sri Rama and the place where the Rama avatar ended.

Triprayar, Trichur, Kerala.


Triprayar

Triprayar located south of Trichur, near Irinjalakuda bears a magnificent temple to Rama which is associated with many interesting legends. Associated closely with this temple are temples dedicated to Lakshmana at Tirumoozhikkalam (which is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desam temples).  Deities: The Deity of Rama resembles the chaturbhuja Vishnu form with four arms, bearing a conch, a disc, a bow and a garland respectively. The Triprayar temple was originally under the domain of the Zamorin rulers of Kerala. It later came under the possession of the Dutch, the Mysore sultans and the rulers of Cochin.

It is believed that Vilvamangalam Swami, who is associated with several temples of Kerala, installed these images and shut the western doors of the temple. The western doors of the temple remain shut even to this day.

BALARAMA

Vadabhandeshwara Temple, Udupi, Karnataka

This is six kms west of Udupi, near the sea shore. The Vadabhandeshwara Temple in Malpe is famous and the Deity of Sri Balarama, installed by Sri Madhwacharya can be seen here. Pilgrims visit this temple and every year on the day of Mahalaya Amavasya (New Moon Day) thousands of people take a bath in the nearby sea and visit this temple.

Sankarshana Temple, Vrindavan, (U.P.)

Sankarshana-Temple
Sankarshana is another name for Lord Balarama. Sankarshana is an expansion of Lord Balarama. The Balarama Deity in this temple is said to have been installed by Vajranabha (Lord Krishna’s grandson) about 4,900 years ago and is the largest Balarama Deity in Vraja Mandala. This Deity was hidden in the Sankarshana Kunda during a Muslim attack. The Deity of Balarama is black and is about five feet tall. Next to Balarama is a small Deity of Krishna.

It is said in the Adi Varaha Purana that by taking bath in this kunda the sin of killing a cow is removed. Not far from this kunda, at Sringar Stali, is where Madhavendra Puri found the Gopala Deity.

BUDDHA


Gaya


It was a Peepul tree that made the town of Gaya on the Phalgu river in North Bihar famous. Buddha is believed to have sat under this tree in the 6th century BC and gained enlightenment. Today Bodh Gaya, a few kilometers away from old Gaya, is one of the world's most important Buddhist pilgrimage centres. Neo Buddhists, Japanese Buddhists, Tibetan Buddhists, and more, journey across continents to this non-descript town to view the spot where Buddha gained divine wisdom. Pitrapaksh Tarpan is the monsoon fortnight when Hindus flock to the small town of Gaya in north Bihar to pray for their dead and to bathe in the holy Phalgu river. According to the Vedas and Puranas, Gaya, like Varanasi, was sanctified by Lord Vishnu as a spot where devout Hindus could wash away their sins.

It is believed that Emperor Ashoka, the great Buddhist of the 3rd century BC, constructed the first temple here in Buddha's honour. Subsequently over the centuries the temple was expanded and beautified by the devout, including Burmese Buddhists. The elaborate temple houses a statue of a golden Buddha in meditation.

The Japanese came along hundreds of years later and constructed an impressive Japanese temple, replete with marble floors and many gilded statues of the Lord, as well as a 60-foot tall statue of Buddha in stone.

Interestingly, Bodh Gaya attracts Hindu pilgrims who consider Buddha one of their own gods, an incarnation of Vishnu.

Gaya takes its name from Gayasura, a demon who had acquired divine powers, so that just by seeing or touching him a person could go straight to heaven. For this encroachment into his own realm, Lord Vishnu killed Gaya, but decreed that the ten square mile space covered by his dead body would become holy for all time. The Hindus believe that by performing the proper rites here, the sins of their ancestors can be absolved.

The Vishnupada Temple is the main temple in Gaya and was erected over the footprint of Vishnu, which is preserved in a block of basalt, marking his victory over Gaya. Hindu pilgrims pour water over the footprint in worship of Vishnu and as part of the ancestral rites.

Kalki

Kalki Temple, Jaipur

kalki-temple

The Kalki Temple at Jaipur is the only temple in India dedicated to the incarnation of the Lord not yet appeared. According to ancient scriptures, Kalki is the tenth incarnation of the Lord Vishnu who is yet to be born. Kalki literally means 'Born of Time'. Lord Kalki is believed to come on a white horse with a shining sword in his hand and protect the mankind from prevailing chaos and confusion in Kali Yuga.

Raja Sawai Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur built the temple of Kalki in 1727 AD at the time he was building the city. He was a keen student of Vedic texts and a Hindu revivalist. Jai Singh built the Kalki temple right opposite the eastern entrance to the City Palace. The location of the temple was important but still it was not given a prime position in the street. The temple was built behind the street of impressive buildings. The temple can be entered through a ceremonial archway in two easy slopes through a ramp way rather than a staircase that opens at the street. The temple is built over a 20 ft high plinth. There is a ramp within the temple complex leading up to the temple. A canopied kiosk in one corner contains the fine marble statue of a horse facing the temple, which is supposedly the mount of Kalki. The ramps are probably constructed to facilitate the horse to climb up and down easily. Historians also believe that Jai Singh was the last Hindu ruler to have performed Ashwamedha Yajna, an ancient Vedic rite and the horse was sculpted to commemorate the event.

The temple is constructed of stone in typical style of temple architecture of North India. The only exceptional feature in the temple is that it has two shikharas instead of one. The smaller shikhara at the back is called the Lakshmi Niwas, the abode of Goddess Lakshmi. It was constructed to house the Deity of Padmavati Devi. The Deity, however, is kept with that of Kalki under the main shikhara.

The temple is closed ever since it was built, waiting for the birth of the Lord Kalki. A caretaker priest appointed by the state government looks after the cleanliness of the temple and opens it periodically.


Shree Samaleswari Temple, Sambhalpur, Odisha.

Samaleswari-Temple

Almost all towns and villages of this region have a temple of Maa Samaleswari. The main temple of Goddess Samaleswari at Sambhalpur is the source of inspiration.  Kalki is one of the 112 Deities worshipped at this temple.  It was constructed in the 16th century A.D.

Now this incarnation has been described in many Puranas as will be coming
on this Earth on a white horse in a village of Sambhalpur.

We are grateful for this article which is from the http://harekrishnablog.com/ website.