History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part II (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Since the ancient times, it has been the practice of Hindu kings to assiduously follow the tenets as laid down in the Shilpa Shastra while building forts, palaces, mansions, temples and dharmashalas. Traditionally, these grand structures were built along river banks, seashores or lakes to observe the obligatory rites and rituals of the Hindu scriptures.  ... Continue Reading →

History of the Prachin Shiv Mandir at Agra – Part I (The Myth of the Taj Mahal)

Lazy and uninformed "historians" of Indian (commissioned by the British Raj) and British origin have done an outstanding job for over three centuries to whitewash our glorious Hindu heritage and relegate the contributions of our valorous Hindu kings to obscurity. A concerted effort to prevent one from learning about Hinduism, the oldest civilization in the... Continue Reading →

Narmada Parikrama: Sahastradhara, Maheshwar, Khargone District, Madhya Pradesh

Sahastradhara, one of the most mesmerizing tirthasthalas of Maheshwar is best accessed by boat from the heart of the ancient city. Sahastradhara derives its name from the Sanskrit words sahastra which means thousand and dhārā which means streams or watercourses.   According to the Puranas, Ravana, Lord of Lanka chanced upon the serene waters of the Rewa River while... Continue Reading →

Narmada Parikrama: Shri Raja Rajeshwar Sahasrarjuna Temple, Maheshwar, Khargone District, Madhya Pradesh

One of the oldest temples in Maheshwar also known as Gupta Kashi is Shri Raja Rajeshwar Sahasrarjuna Temple, a little distance away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. As the name suggests, this temple is dedicated to the mighty Raja Kartavirya Arjuna or Sahastrabahu Arjuna (the thousand-armed one).   Raja Kartavirya Arjuna is believed to be... Continue Reading →

Narmada Parikrama: Jaleshwar Temple, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh

Considered by scholars, yogis, tapasvis and saints to be one of the most important tirthasthalas of Akhanda Bharat, Maheshwar is a religious, cultural, intellectual, historical, artistic and architectural powerhouse. A local saying, 'नर्मदा नदी से निकलने वाला हर कंकर (पत्थर) शंकर का रूप होता है |' that literally translates to each and every pebble that... Continue Reading →

Gopeshwar Mahadev Temple, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh

The sacrosanct Braj Dham has four guardians namely Bhuteshwar Mahadev in Mathura, Chakleshwar Mahadev in Govardhan, Kameshwar Mahadev in Kaman and Gopeshwar Mahadev in Vrindavan. Gopeshwar Mahadev holds the distinction of being the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in his female form built in the ancient times.   According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, on the... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part VII (Conclusion)

अयोध्या मथुरा माया काशी काञ्ची अवन्तिका । पुरी द्वारावती चैव सप्तैते मोक्षदायकाः॥ Kashi, a name that evokes a multitude of emotions ranging from bliss, joy, ecstasy, love and relief is the city that promises liberation. Since the dawn of time, Kashi has been considered to be the centre of learning, knowledge, wisdom and Advaita. Sages,... Continue Reading →

Chakleshwar Mahadev Mandir (Chakreshwar Mahadev), Govardhan, Mathura District, Uttar Pradesh

The revered town of Govardhan is barely 20 km from Mathurapuri and draws lakhs of devotees every year especially on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima. This sacred tirthasthala is a part of the Braj Mandala Parikrama that starts at the Vishram Ghat in Mathurapuri.   According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, when Lord Krishna saw the elaborate preparations for... Continue Reading →

Rangeshwar Mahadev Mandir, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Rangeshwar Mahadev Mandir, located in the southern part of Mathurapuri is the third guardian of the sacred city. This temple along with Shree Pipleshwar Nath Mahadev, Bhuteshwar Mahadev and Gokarneshwar Mahadev are located in the four cardinal directions.   According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Kamsa extended an invitation to Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama to visit... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part II

The stature of Benares as the seat of learning, knowledge and wisdom grew under the patronage of the Maukharis of Kannauj, Gurjara-Pratiharas and the mighty Kalachuris towards the end of the 10th century.   The period of the Kalachuris is often referred to as the golden era in the city's history marked with the construction... Continue Reading →

History of Banaras – Part I

Banaras, the golden city of knowledge, wisdom, spirituality and Advaita, has from the ancient times been considered to be one of the most sacrosanct places of Akhanda Bharat. This glorious city has a rich history that can be traced back to the time of creation.   Archaeological excavations have uncovered rare artefacts from the Vedic Period... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Kapildhara Temple (Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir), Kapildhara, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fifth and final paṛāva (halt) of the divine Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Kapildhara Temple also known as Kapileshwar Mahadev Mandir. After offering prayers at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir, Rameshwar Mandir and Shivpur Mandir, devotees take a dip in the three ancient ponds of Sona Talab, Saranga Talab and Kapildhara Talab that are at the final... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Shivpur Temple, Shivpur Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The fourth paṛāva (halt) of the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra is the Pancho Pandava Mandir (Pancha Pandeshwar Mandir) located in the bustling Shivpur village. After having darshan at Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir, Bhimchandi Mandir and Rameshwar Mandir, pilgrims head to Draupadi Kund that is located near a huge tank known as Manasarovar tirth.   According to the... Continue Reading →

Panchkroshi Yatra: Rameshwar Mandir, Rameshwar Village, Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh

The next stop on the sacrosanct Kashi Panchkroshi Yatra after Kardameshwar Mahadev Mandir and Bhimchandi Mandir is the ancient Rameshwar Mandir situated on the bank of the Varuna River in Rameshwar village. This temple of great antiquity is considered by many to be the most important kshetra or tirthasthala in the Panchkroshi Yatra.   According to the Kashi Khanda... Continue Reading →

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