Showing posts with label uttar pradesh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label uttar pradesh. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ghazipur

Ghazipur is a district of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India. The city of Ghazipur is the district headquarters. The district is part of Varanasi Division. The region of Ghazipur is mainly famous for production of its unique rose scented Spray called Gulab Jal and for the tomb of famous Viceroy of British India Lord Cornwallis who died here and his tomb which is situated in Western part of City is conserved by Archaeological Survey of India.The opium factory "Government Opium and Alkaloid works" situated in Ghazipur city is the biggest opium factory of Asia.

Ghazipur is famous for its opium factory, which is the largest legal opium factory in the world, started by British East India Company in 1820. It is home to handloom weaving and a perfume industry. The town is an important agricultural market.

History of Ghazipur :
The history of Ghazipur since the days of its traditional foundation by sayid Masood in 1330. According to legend the ancient name of city was Gadhipur.The mound found  in the city may be old dispensary stood is said to be the site of ancient mud fort , that is know as Fort of Raja Gadhi. In the south of city , The Cornwallis monument is present, where the Governor general of India is burried. It is heavy structure with a domed roof supported on twelve Doric columns. the floor is some four mt. higher than the ground and is of gray marble. In the center there is a cenotaph of white marble , bearing on the south side a medallion bust of Cornawallis. In the mid of city there is a tank close to road known as Pahar Khan's tank. The Chihul Satun or hall of 40 pillars, this being the place where Abdullah Khan is buried in the garden known as the Nawab-ki-Chahar-diwari. The Gateway of the palace is handsome but the residence itself is dilapidated. Opposite the chihal Satun a road leaves the main street on left and runs in a north-easterly direction, past the Jami Masjid.There is a Math of Pauhari Baba , great saint of there time is situated 10 Km. from city.As the Ghazipur is situated on the Banks of River Ganges ,hence there are some beautiful ghats , like Mahadeva Ghat, Dadri Ghat,Collector Ghat, Massol Ghat, Chitnath Ghat and Posta Ghat. ChitNath is the oldest one among them.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Kaushambi

Kaushambi is one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state of India, and Manjhanpur town is the district headquarters, that attracts a lots of Buddhist pilgrims each year, and considered to be the place where Lord Buddha passed his sixth and Ninth year after attaining enlightenment. Thus the place is special, and linked to many sermons that were delivered by Lord Buddha. The city finds distinct place as the centre of Kuru's Dynasty in Mahabharata and later as a wealthy city during Buddha's time.

During Buddha’s time Kaushambi was one of the six most important and prosperous towns of India. It was a nerve center of ancient Indian communications as the principal routes from north to south and east to west met at the city. It was a terminus of river traffic and an important emporium of Madhyadesa. The city retained its importance at least up to the sixth century A.D.,as it was visited by the Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien and Yuan-Chwang.

The ruins of the well-known site of Kaushambi (25o20’ 30”N., 81o23’12”E.) are situated on the left blank of the river Yamuna at a distance of 51.2 km from Allahabad in a south-westerly direction. The remains of the ancient city viewed from a distance give the impression of an imposing hillock, which, when approached nearer, reveals itself as a chain of rolling mounds, standing high above the surrounding plains, girdled on the south by the Yamuna. The Vindhyan range across the horizon at not a great distance beyond the river Yamuna provides the southern frame of the Panorama.

Places to see in Kaushambi :

Udyan Fort:- Built in 6th Century BC, the Fort is situated in the south-west corner of the ancient walled city. The fort was discovered during excavations, conducted by Cunningham & Archaeological Department of India in 1861. According to Cunningham the boundary wall of the fort was about four mile long & about 30.35 feet high & for security reasons trenches were dug all along the boundary wall of the fort. The layout of the fort is barrel shaped & having thick walls made up of exceptionally long & wide bricks.

Ashoka Pillar:- The Pillar, located on the eastern entrance of the Kaushambi city and was built by Emperor Ashoka in 232 BC, is also the main attraction of this archaeological site. Excavation of the area reveals that there was a Vihar around the pillar.

Ghositram Vihar:-
The Vihar has got special mention in Buddhist literature and was one of the four major Buddhist Vihars of Kaushambi. Ghositram, a businessman of Kaushambi, built the Vihar to provide lodging to Buddha & his disciples and hence the name Ghositram Vihar. At the entrance of the Vihar there are remains of the shrine of Hariti, which was renovated later and existed till Gupta period. The area was under the reign of terror of Hariti, who was supposed to have been a man eater but had a complete change of heart through the sermons of Lord Buddha. A temple in her name exists here.

Digamber Jain Temple:- (Temple timings: 6am-8pm) This temple was built in 1834 by late Prabhudas & later renovated in 1919. This is the birth place of 6th Jain Thirthankar Padam Prabhu, who received his education, practiced meditation and got enlightenment here. The temple houses his idol made of white marble & foot marks, which are worth watching.

Sheetla Temple
:- The Sheetla is a goddes associated with power and the worshipping of the goddess is said to impart powers to the devotees. The temple, by river Ganga, is a famous Shktipeeth well revered by all Hindu Devotees. The ruins of the fort of Hindu King Jai Chand are still lying near the temple.

The Durga Devi temple
:- The Navaratri is the special festival of this temple in which lots of people gather during the festival. The temple houses a black stone idol of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva, which is quite beautiful.

Prabhosha
:- Prabhosha or Prabhashgiri, Famous as the place where Lord Krishna died of an arrow, is considered as a holy place. The other important aspects of this place includes the Jain temple and the cave, which are both ancient and worth a visit.

Besides these attractions, there is the Kamasin Devi Temple, Kaushambi, and Shri Ram Temple of Bajha, The Ashoka pillar (in ruins) and the Ghositaram monastery, which are also good places to visit.


How to reach Kaushambi  :
 
Air : There is an airport in the Allahabad region, called Bamrauli. However this could be a hectic journey. Better option could be the Varanasi airport.

Rail : Allahabad is a well-linked station in U.P railway map. There is no railhead at Kaushambi, probably due to sustenance of Buses.

Road : Regular buses run to Kaushambi from Allahabad. This is the most reliable source of travel, however, private taxis are also available.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ambedkar-Nagar-Tanda



Ambedkar Nagar is a district in the Faizabad division of Uttar Pradesh. It was formed by the then Chief Minister of the state, Ms Mayawati. The place derives its name from the famous Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar. The district basically comprises of rural population. There are approximately 3995 villages in the district of Ambedkar Nagar. Since the district is very scattered, it is divided into nine blocks for convenience. The blocks are - Akbarpur, Baskhari, Bhiti, Bhiyam, Jahagirgani, Jalalpur, Katehari, Ramnager, and Tanda.

The River Tons divides the city of Akbarpur, which is situated on its bank, into Akbarpur and Shazadpur. Shahzadpur is the main commercial area of the city. The River Saryu flows into the district from the northern side. Its waters are used for irrigational purposes by the Tanda, Jahagirgani, Ramnager and Baskhari blocks. The waters of the lakes Devhat and Hanswar are used by Baskhari block for irrigation purpose. . Lake Darvan provides water in the Katehari block. The Akbarpur, Bhiti, Bhiyam, and Jalapur blocks depend upon smaller rivers and seasonal streams.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Aligarh

Aligarh Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid of Aligarh
Aligarh is a city in Aligarh District in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The city is located about 90 miles south-east of New Delhi. It is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh District, and has a population of half a million. It is mostly known as a university town where the famous Aligarh Muslim University is located.

This city is divided into two areas known as Old Aligarh (City) & New Aligarh (Civil Lines). New Aligarh consists of Avantika colony, Ramghat road, Jamalpur, Sir Syed Nagar, Badar bagh, Zohrabagh, Surendra Nagar, Janakpuri, Professor colony, gyan sarover, maan sarover, Shyam Nagar, Medical Colony and Zakaria Market while Delhi Gate, Sasni Gate, Mahavir Ganj, Railway Road, Jaiganj, Uparkote, Gambhir pura, Mahendra Nagar, Saray Sultani, Janak Puri and Vikram Colony are some of the residential areas in old Aligarh.

History of Aligarh:
It is known till the 18th century by the earlier name of Koil. After the British occupation of Aligarh in September 1803, the present Aligarh district was formed in 1804.

Both Akbar and Jahangir visited Koil on hunting expeditions. Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Koil, where he killed wolves. From the study of the place-names of the district, it appears that the district was once fairly well covered by forest, thickets and grooves. The early history of the district, indeed down the 12th century AD is obscure.

Kol or Koil, was the earliest name of the city and Aligarh was the name of the fort nearby. Koil covered not only the city but the entire district, though its geographical limits kept changing from time to time. The origin of the name of Koil is obscure. In some ancient texts, Koil has been referred to in the sense of a tribe or Caste, name of a place or mountain and name of a sage or demon. During the time of Ibrahim Lodhi, when Muhammad, son of Umar was the governor of Kol, he built a fort at Kol and named the city after his own name as Muhammadgarh in 1524-25; and Sabit khan who was the governor of this region during the time of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, rebuilt the fort and named the town after his own name Sabitgarh. After the occupation of Kol by the Jats in 1775, it was re-named Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf khan, captures Kol, he gave it its present name of Aligarh. Aligarh Fort (also called Aligarh Qila), as it stands today, was built by French engineers under the control of French officers BenoƮt de Boigne and Perron.

Jama Masjid of Aligarh:
Sabit khan's real name was Jafar Beg and the title of Sabit Khan Bahadur Jang was conferred upon him by Farrukh Siyar. He was reputedly very liberal towards the poor. Sabit Khan took an active interest in the construction of buildings at Kol. The fort of Sabitgarh, the tomb of Allah Bakhsh (1717), reconstruction of the present Jama Masjid of the city (1724), the funding of the Harduaganj market, repairs of Jama Masjid at Jalali (1724) and of the old fortress of Kol, the extension of the shrine of Shah Faiyaz of Atrauli and the construction of a tank which was linked with the JamaAligarh Masjid of the Aligarh city through an underground channel may be cited as some of the important works to his credit. The Jama Masjid itself is a monument of great architectural merit. The mosque stands at the summit of the Balai Qila, the highest point of the city, so that it is visible from all the sides. It is an impressive and elegant monument of the district Aligarh. According to the author of Akbar-ul-Jmal, Raje Muhammad (1740), the mosque was originally constructed by Qutubuddin Aibek, following his conquest of Kol. It was restored or renovated by Iltimush, Nasiruddin Muhammad, Muhammad bin Tughlaq and finally reconstructed by Sabit Khan. But truly speaking, barring its site, there is hardly anything now in the mosque suggestive of its association with earlier periods.

British Occupation of Aligarh Fort:
By the end of June 1803, it was decided to strike a decisive blow to the native powers of India and General Lake was assigned the affairs of North India. The Governor General in his letter dated, July 27, 1803, Instructed General Lake to march against the military eastablishment of General Perron. General Lake left Kanpur on August 2 and reached Sikandrarao on 25th. At Sikandrarao, Lake was joined by Major General Ware with a detachment from Fatehgarh. From Sikandrarao instead of following the G.T.Road for Aligarh, Lake marched to Bijaigarh. The composition of the British army had the appearance of a moving town. Money changers, marchants, goldsmiths, jewelers, jugglers, dancing girls and convoy of banjaras, for the supply of grains, were included in this "moving mass" of the army. On August 28, the British army marched towards Nanau. In the early morning of August 29, at 4'O clock, the British army reached in the vicinity of Kol near Sasni Gate, where Maratha force, under the personal command of Perron, were strongly posted. Heavy canons were fired on the advance guard of the British army. After a trifling skirmish, the town of Kol was captured by the General Lake and the Maratha forces retreated to the Aligarh fort. After the first round of skirmish, Parron surprisingly retired Aligarhto Mendu and from there to Agra. Lake, later on established his temporary military headquarters at Sahib Bagh, the residential garden house of Perron. From August 29 onwards, General lake, with the support of Governal General, kept himself busy in encouraging defections in the rank and file of Perron's forces. In his letter, dated September 2, General Lake informed the Governor General that he had not yet moved from Kol and, "my object is to get the troops out of the fort by bribery which I flatter myself will be done. The Governor General fully endorsed Lake's proposals. Lake left no stones unturned in his efforts to seduce the British as well as the French officers, but, except for the defection of the British officers or soldiers, who were serving under the Maratha forces, the hopes of the Governer General and General Lake proved illusory. They could not sow the seeds of dissension in the rank and file of the Indian troops, stationed at this time at Aligarh fort. Colonel Pedron was inclined to surrender, the fort, "with relief", but the troops refused to submit and rallied round Bajee Rao, a Bhadauria Rajput, and confined Pedron. General Perron who had already fled from Aligarh also disapproved the idea of capitulation on the part of Colonel Pedron and reproached him severely. Pester informs us that a French man made his escape this morning from the garrison, from whom we learnt that the troops had determined never to quit the place, but with their lives. Skinner also says that, "These men resolved to defend the place to the end."


How to Reach Aligarh?

By Air: The nearest airport is New Delhi that is 130 odd kilometers from downtown Aligarh. New Delhi has bothAligarh international as well as domestic airport that is well connected to a range of cities in India and world. Several public as well as private carriers offer their service to and from Delhi. From Delhi, one can either hire a cab or take any train to Aligarh.

By Train: Aligarh falls on the busy Delhi-Kolkata Grand Chord line and is therefore well connected to most of the destinations in Uttar Pradesh and India. The main railway station in Aligarh is Aligarh Junction. The junction is well connected to cities like New Delhi, Agra, Kanpur, Lucknow, Benaras, Jaipur, Kolkata and Mumbai through a cluster of super fast and express trains.

By Road: Aligarh is well connected to cities in Uttar Pradesh and around through a network of National and State Highways. The city has regular buses to destinations like Jaipur, Agra, Mathura, Ghaziabad, New Delhi, Lucknow and Varanasi. Both Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation as well as private parties plies buses to and from the city.

Shopping in Aligarh:

Aligarh is one of the most famous commercial centers in North India. Although the city has become synonymous to locks, Aligarh has much more to offer to its visitors. Nevertheless, locks manufacturing and export remains the lifeline of the city.

The lock industry of Aligarh is very old and traces its history to the era of Moguls. The industry got a major boost in the times of British rule. It were British who streamlined the lock industry that was once very unorganized. The city produces numerous types, kinds and size of locks that can be bought. The major market places in Aligarh are Railway Road Market and Center Point Market.

Aligarh Another famous products that can be bought in Aligarh are Brasses. Brass Sculptures are hot among the tourists visiting Aligarh. These sculptures are finely cast and come in all kind of shape and size. Do buy a few suiting your luggage. Aligarh is also famous for its 'Aligarh Pajamas'. These dress materials are of fine qualities and have no parallels in India at all.





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

shravasti

Shrawasti District is one of the districts of the Uttar Pradesh state of India and Bhinga town is district headquarter.Shrawasti district is a part of Devipatan Division.Shrawasti is a newly created district carved out from district Bahraich.Shrawasti shares its border with district Balrampur,Gonda and Bahraich.Bhinga, the District Headquarter of Shrawasti, is approximately 175 kilometres away from the state capital, Lucknow.Shrawasti, the northeastern district of Uttar Pradesh, is located near River Rapti. It is closely associated with the life of Lord Buddha. It is being said that the mythological king Sravast founded this town. Shrawasti was the capital of Kosala Kingdom during 6th century BC to 6th century AD. 

Shravasti being an important pilgrimage and tourism destination is well connected to the rest of Uttar Pradesh and India.

Location: In Eastern region of Uttar Pradesh, India
Best time to visit: October to March
Nearest Airport: Lucknow Airport
Nearest Railhead: Balrampur Junction
Must Visits: Temple of Lord Buddha Maha Mangol, Maheth and Saheth
Language spoken: Hindi, Urdu and English

         History of Shravasti teerth begins with the formation of Janpad's by Yugadidev Shri Adishwar Prabhu. This place was the capitol city of North Kaushal Janpad. Many Jain Kings such as King Jitari, the father of third Teerthankar Shri Sambhavnath Bhagwan and others past here after Bhagwan Adinath. King Prasanjeet ruled this place at the time of Bhagwan Mahaveer. He was a loyal follower of Prabhu Veer. The main listener of Prabhu Veer King of Magadh Samrat Shrenik has wedded the sister of King Parasanjeet. This was also called by the names of Kunal Nagari and Chandrikapuri in the old days. Many Jain temples and Stoops (pillars) were present in this city. It is specified in history that greater king Samrat Ashok and his grand son King Samprati also constructed many temples and Stoops at this holy place. This teerth place is also descripting in "Brihatkalp". Chinese traveler Fahiyan has also described this holy place in his memories of traveling India during 5th century BC. One more Chinese traveler during 7th century BC, Hun-Yen-Sang, has described this place as Jet van Monastery. Later this was called as Manikapuri. This was ruled by King Mayurdhwaj during 900 AD, by King Hansdhwaj during 925 AD, by King Makardhwaj during 950 AD, by King Sudhavadhwaj during 975 AD and by King Suhridhwaj during 100 AD. All of them were Jain Kings belonging to Bhar Vansh. Dr. Bennet and Dr. Vincent Smith have also specified them as Jain Kings. Work done by King Suhridhwaj for strengthening religion and defending the temples in his empires from Muslim attack will always taken as a great reminder of history. He also defeated Mohamed Gazanavi. Acharya Jinprabh Surishwarji has specified this teerth as Mahith in his granth "Vividh Teerth Kalp" in 14th century of VS. During those days many Jin-home having big boundary walls, idols and Dev kulika's were present in this city. Doors of the temple use to shut down automatically at the time of Sunset and opens in the morning. This was said to affect of Shri Manibhadra Yaksha. A Lion use to visit the temple on the occasion of annual gathering and would go only after the completion of Aarti. Allaudin Khilji and his soldiers damaged this temple. Pandit Vijaysagarji and Shri Soubhagya Vijayji have described this teerth in 18th century. Number of ancient idols and inscription were recovered after digging Sahet Mahet area near Shravasti village. These are kept in museums at Lucknow and Mathura. Archeological Department has acquired an ancient temple present near the Mahet Fort. This place is described as the birthplace of Bhagwan Sri Sambhavnath. The damaged remaining at Sahet Mahet reminds the ancient ness of this place. At present this is the only temple present at this teerth place.

Maha Mangole Temple : Shravasti is an important historical and religious attraction in Uttar Pradesh. The place has for long been attached to Lord Buddha and his times. It is said that Lord Buddha spent 25 years living in the monastery of Jetavana that is situated in Shravasti. It is at Shravasti only where Lord Buddha is supposed to have astonished rival teachers by performing miracles. It is in Shravasti that Buddha transformed Angulimal from a dacoit into a Buddhist monk. He also delivered many important sermons here. The two 21 meters high pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka mark these sites. They are on either side of the eastern gateway of the Jetavana monastery. Shravasti was a flourishing center of learning during the Gupta period too. When the famed Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang visited this site, he found several damaged Stupas and ruins of monasteries at this place.

Mahaveera Temple : It is said that Lord Buddha spent 25 years living in the monastery of Jetavana that is situated in Shravasti. The city also has the pride of being the place where many of Vinaya rules, Jatakas and Sutras were first discussed. The place rose to prominence when excavation works revealed that Saheth was the original site of once magnanimous Jetavana monastery. The place saw sudden spurt in tourism after that discovery.

Maheth : Maheth is important cluster of shrines in Shravasti. Though not as famous as Saheth, Maheth also has a cluster of shrines that are very popular among the tourists visiting Shravasti. In fact, Maheth was the actual site of the erstwhile Shravasti city. Spread across the area of near about 400 acres, Maheth was the site of numerous shrines and Stupas. Maheth has been identified with the remains of the city proper. Nevertheless, the site for long had remained abandoned and ignored. It was only in the early decades of 20th century when the excavation works were initiated that the site raised to prominence. 

Saheth : Saheth is one of the most visited clusters of shrines in the Buddhist tourism circuit of Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Saheth covers an area of around 35 square Kilometers and is located in the very heart of Shravasti. The site falls on your right when you move nearly a kilometer Southwest from Maheth. The place forms an important angle in the Buddhist Triangle of Sarnath-Sravasti-Kushinagar in the eastern Uttar Pradesh. The place is full of numerous monasteries and shrines related to Buddhism apart from quite a few Stupas. Although most of these are in ruins, the place has a charm of its own. Emperor Ashoka started the construction works that was continued by his successors. Kushana and Gupta rulers later carried it forward. It can be broadly classified that while most of the Stupas belong to the Kushana period, the temples are predominantly in the Gupta style. 

How To Reach : 

By Air - The nearest airport from Shravasti is Lucknow. Lucknow Airport is near about 170 kilometers from Shravasti. The airport is well connected to other cities in India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Chennai and Bangalore through a range of flights operated by both private as well as public carriers.

By Rail - The nearest railhead is Balrampur that is 17 Kilometers from Shravasti. Nevertheless, Gonda railway station that is also nearby is a better option when it comes to connectivity. Gonda station is well connected to other cities in Uttar Pradesh and India such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Agra, Lucknow, Bangalore and Ahmedabad etc.

By Road - Shravasti is well connected to the rest of Uttar Pradesh by roadways. The nearest mega terminus is at Gonda that is 50 kilometers from the downtown Shravasti. Gonda in turn is well connected by bus to cities like Lucknow, Bareilly, Kanpur, Allahabad, Agra and Mathura. Both Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation as well as Private players operates these buses



Balrampur




Balrampur district is one of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradeshstate in India. Balrampur town located on the bank of the Rapti is the district headquarters. Balrampur district is a part of Devipatan division, and historic Awadhregion.
Balrampur is known for temple of Pateshwari Devi, a Shakti Pitha. To the left of the temple is Surya kund which according to legend, was made by Karn of the Mahabharata in honour of his father, the Sun god. Also for ruins of the ancient city of Sravasti, now a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Jains.

History of Balrampur:  Sravasti was the capital of Uttara (North) Kosala. The ruins of Sahet, ancient Sravasti, spread over an area of 400 acres (1.6 km2). Towards the Rapti River, a little north of Sahet, lies the ancient city of Mahet. The fortified entrance to Mahet is made of mud, constructed in a beautiful crescent shape. The Sobhnath temple houses the great Stupas. These Stupas reflect the Buddhist tradition and boast of the history of the monasteries in Balrampur.
Jeetavana monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in the country is said to be one of the favorites sites of Gautam Buddha. It contains the 12th century inscriptions. The site was so religiously significant that the Emperor Ashoka, the great, visited this site. There is also a sacred tree of Peepal nearby. It is said that the tree was grown from a sapling from the original Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya.
Gautam Buddha spent 21 rainy season under the sacred Peepal tree. The famous incident of Angulimal happened in the forest of Sravasti only, where the cruel dacoit who used to kill people and wear a garland of their fingers, was enlightened by Gautam Buddha.
Another site of great religious importance in the city is Sravasti. It is said that Mahavira Jain, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, 'influenced' this place. It houses the famous Shwetambar temple.

Tourist Place in Balrampur: 

Devi patan temple is one of the most important Shaktipeeths in the region, revered by Hindus in India and Nepal. Located 70 km. from Gonda, it is surrounded amidst the beauty of Himalayan tarai. Just 2 km. from Tulsipur, this famous shrine is among one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. It is believed that during the event when Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, the light shoulder of Sati had fallen here.

The Devi Patan Siddha Peeth had been established by Guru Gorakshnath of the Nath Sampradaya. The existing temple here is said by to be constructed King Vikramaditya. In the 1lth century King Suheldeo of Sravasti had renovated the temple. The Royal family of Balrampur, is today the caretaker of the temple. A large fair takes place in Navratri and every year on Chaitra Panchami the deity of Pir Ratan Nath is brought from Dang in Nepal to the Devi Patan temple where it is worshipped along with the Devi.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chitrakoot

According to the Hindu belief, Prayagraj (modern name- Allahabad) is the king of all teerths; but Chitrakoot is rated as more elevated. When Chitrakoot did not go to him as all the other teearths did, Prayagraj was told that Chitrakoot enjoyed a higher status and it was Prayagraj who was expected to go to Chitrakoot and not vice versa. It is said that Prayagraj comes every year to wash off his sins by bathing in the Payaswini. It is also said that all the gods and goddesses came to Chitrakoot when Ram performed the Shraddha ceremony of his father to partake of the shuddhi (i.e. a feast given to all the relatives and friends on the thirteenth day of the a death in the family). They were captivated by the beauty of the place. Lord Ram's presence there added a spiritual dimension to it. So they were unwilling to depart. Vashishtha, the family priest sensing their desire to stay and in accordance with the wishes of Lord Ram, forgot to utter the visarjan (departure) mantra. Thus, all the gods and goddesses have made this place their permanent abode and are always present there. Today also, even when a mere tourist reaches this place strewn profusely with ancient rocks, caves, ashrams and temples with sages engaged in holy and spiritual sadhana, he loses himself unwittingly in the atmosphere charged with unceasing holy rites and enlightening sermons and partakes of the bliss of a world very different from our own. Thousands of pilgrims and seekers of the truth from all parts of the world resort to this place impelled by an irrepressible desire to improve and elevate their lives. 

Chitrakoot has had its own identity and this very name since times immemorial. The first known mention of the place is in the Valmiki Ramayan, which is believed to be the first ever Mahakavya composed by the first ever poet. As an unwritten composition, an epic of growth, it was handed down from generation to generation by an oral tradition. As Valmiki is said to be contemporaneous with (or even earlier than) Ram and is believed to have composed the Ramayan before the birth of Ram, the antiquity of its fame can well be guaged. Valmiki speaks of Chitrakoot as an eminently holy place inhabited by the great sages, abounding in monkeys, bears and various other kinds of fauna and flora. Both the sages Bharadwaj and Valmiki speak of Chitrakoot in glowing terms and advise Ram to make it his abode during the period of his exile, as the place was capable of relieving a person of all his desires and of giving him a calm of mind that could make him achieve the highest of the goals in his life. Lord Ram himself admits this bewitching impact of this place. In the ‘Ramopakhyan’ and descriptions of teerthas at various places in the Mahabharat, Chitrakoot finds a favoured place. It ‘Adhyatma Ramayan’ and ‘Brihat Ramayan’ testify to the throbbing spiritually and natural beauty of Chitrakoot. The writer has been told that the latter work devotes as many as sixteen cantos to the description of Chitrakoot and its principal places. Entire Indian literature relating to Ram gives it a unique pride of place. The Rev. Father Kamil Bulke even mentions a ‘Chitrakoot—Mahatmya’; found among the collections of Mackenzie.Various Sanskrit and Hindi poets also have paid similar tributes to Chitrakoot. Mahakavi Kalidas has described this place beautifully in his epic ‘Raghuvansha’;. He was so much impressed with its charms that he made Chitrakoot (which he calls Ramgiri because of its time-honoured associations with lord Ram) the place of exile of his yaksha in Meghdoot. Tulsidas, the saint-poet of Hindi has spoken very reverently of this place in all his major works-Ramcharit Manas, Kavitawali, Dohawali and Vinay Patrika. The last-mentioned work contains many verses which show a deep personal bond between Tulsidas and Chitrakoot. He spent quite some part of his life here worshipping Ram and craving his darshan. It was here that he had what he must have considered the crowning moment of his achievements--ie. the darshan of his beloved deity Lord Ram at the intercession of Hanumanji. His eminent friend, the noted Hindi poet Rahim (i.e. Abdur Rahim Khankhana, the soldier-statesmen-saint-scholar-poet who was among the Nav-Ratnas of Akbar) also spent some time here, when he had fallen from favour with Akbar's son Emperor Jahangir. According to the Beetak literature of the Pranami sect, the saint-poet Mahamati Prannath wrote two of his books-Chhota Kayamatnama and Bara Kayamatnama here. The exact place where Prannath lived and composed these works interpretting the Quran and showing its similarities with Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran, could not be traced.



Tourist Placein Chitrakoot :

KAMAD GIRI: Kamadgiri is the main holy place of Chitrakoot. The sanskrit word 'Kamadgiri' means the mountain which fulfills all the desires. The place is believed to have been the abode of Lord Ram, Sita and Laxman during their exile. Lord Kamtanath, another of His names, is the principal deity not only of Kamadgiri but of the whole of Chitrakoot. The religious-minded believe that all the holy places (i.e. teerthas) are in the Parikrama or its pilgrimage-path. The pilgrimage path around this hill is about 5 Km. long and was built by Pratap Kunwari ,the Queen of the Bundela King Maharaja Chhatrasal in 1725. There are a large number of temples in the Parikrama Path. Except during the summers, the hill remains green throughout the year and appears like a bow seen from any place in Chitrakoot.


RAM GHAT: It is the most beautiful bathing ghat of the Payaswini river believed to be capable of absolving a person from all his sins.It is believed that Lord Ram bathed here with Laxman and Sita Ji on their arrival in Chitrakoot.The famous saint-poet Tulsidas is also believed to have lived here for quite some time.It is the place where he is believed to have darshan of Ram and Laxman.Tulsidas was preparing sandal-paste for himself,when Ram and Laxman appeared before him as two children.Ram asked him to mark a tilak on his forehead.Tulsidas did this even without recognizing Him as God whom he so devotedly worshipped and for whose darshan he was craving.Hanuman ji made Tulsidas recognize his Lord by uttering the famous couplet


The devotees usually take a dip here before going for Parikramaand darshan of Kamtanath Ji. There is a group of temples here on the Ghat which is known as Puri and some devotees go around this group of temples also in the Parikrama. Many important places like Raghava Prayag Ghat,Mattgajendreshwar Swami, Parna Kuti and Yagya Vedi are nearby.


MATTAGAJENDRESHWAR SWAMI : The famous temple of Mattagajendreshwar or MadganjanSami is situated on the Ramghat. According to a pauranik legnd,Brahma offered penance here in the Satyug and foundeda Shivling here as Kshetrapal (i.e. protector of the area) whch was known as Mattgajendreshwar Swami.Laterwhen Sri Ram came to Chitrakoot, he did Rudrabhishe here after bathing here in the Payaswini. Much later, Raja Aman Singh,the King of Panna built a temple here. 

RAGHAV-PRAYAG GHAT : This is to the south of the Ramghat of the Payaswini and is the convergence point of the three rivers—the Payaswini ,the Mandakini and the Gayatri (or the Savitri ,a river not visible to the eye) meet here. Lord Ram performed the pitra tarpan ceremony (sacred offerings to a deceased father by his son) of his father King Dashrath, who had died after Lord Ram’s exile. It is believed that even the King of Teerths Prayagraj also comes once every year to absolve himself of all the sins by taking a dip here.

YAGYA-VEDI : This is near the Parn Kuti on the Ramghat. It is said that Lord Brahma performed Yagyas here. Hence, the name. 

JANAKI-KUND: This beautiful Kund is situated at a distance of about half a kilometer from the Pramod-Van, on the left bank of the Payaswini. 'Janaki' means the daughter of Raja Janak and is another name of Sita Ji, who used to bathe here during the period of her exile. The rocks nearby bear the foot prints of Janaki Ji.there are a number of charitable institutions in the area, including the Janaki Kund Eye Hospital, the Raghuvir Temple, the Blind School.

SPHATIK-SHILA: ‘Sphatik’ is a Sanskrit word meaning a crystal. There is a huge rock resembling a reddish-white crystal, about 1 Km. away from Janaki-kund on the left bank of the Mandakini. Sri Ram and Janaki Ji used to rest here perhaps while going to and coming from the Atri Ashram. Once, Jayant, the son of Indra pecked at the feet of Sita Ji to test the might of Sri Ram. Thereupon, Ram, sitting in the veerasan Posture, released an arrow at him. Jayant could not find anyone who could protect him against this arrow and ultimately sought shelter with Lord Ram himself, who pardoned him after taking one of his eyes as punishment. The rock bears the foot prints of Sri Ram, Sita Ji and Jayant. 


ATRI-ANASUYA ASHRAM: This Ashram is situated about 15 Km. to the south of Ramghat in a dense forest area. It is dedicated to Maharsi Atri and his wife Sati Anasuya. Sati Anasuya transformed the three supreme gods-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to small babes by her miraculous powers earned by penance. She is also believed to have brought down the Mandakini which is believed to be a streamlet of the river Ganges. The Ashram has an idol of Anasuya, her husband Maharshi Atri, their sons Duttatreya, Durwasa, Chandrama and various other gods and sages. The famous Paramhans Ashram is nearby. The Ashram gets its name from the late Paramhans Parmanand Ji who was believed to have attained the highest spiritual status and was the founder of this Ashram. The disciples of Paramanand Ji have established a chain of Ashrams mainly in North India.


MAYURADHWAJ –ASHRAM: About 10 Km. to the south west of Chitrakoot near the village Pathra Pal Deo, this Ashram is situated amidst the hills. It is a beautiful place with water falls worth seeing. 

GUPTA-GODAWARI: This place is situated at the foot of a hill about 12 Km. to the south west of Chitrakoot. Actually, it is an incessant stream flowing between two rocks which is known by the appellation of Gupta-Godawari. Beautiful and natural carvings in varied designs enhance the attraction of the caves many a time. A number of local legends are associated with this place.

RAM-SHAIYYA: This place is near the Bihara village about 3 Km. to the west of Pili-Kothi Ashram. It can be seen even from the Parikrama Marg. During the exile Sri Ram with his consort Sita Ji used to sleep on a huge rock here, which even now carries imprints which are made, as it were by lying down on a mattress. These are believed to be due to Sri Ram and Sita Ji lying down on them. Beside the two marks, another mark made by placing the bow is also very clear. 

LAKSHMAN-CHOWKI: About 100 Mt. away from the Ram-Shaiyya rock, and overlooking it there is another rock which is known as Lakshman-Chowki. It is believed that Lakshman used to be on guard here to protect Sri Ram and Sita Ji. This beautiful rock bears a mark resembling the head side of a bed. It also has imprints which are believed to have been made by Lakshman sitting down with his bow by the side. The Ram-Shaiyya rock is clearly visible from here.

HANUMAN-DHARA: This is about 4 Km. to the east of Ramghat at the beginning of the Vindhyas. A stream of cool and clear water originating inside the mountain falls on the idol of Hanuman Ji and loses itself in a kund below. It is a popular belief that Hanuman Ji came here to cool down the heat after burning Lanka. 

VALMIKI ASHRAM: About 18 Km. from the district headquarters on the Allahabad road, the Valmiki Ashram is situated on a lofty hill on the bank of the Valmiki river. Sita Ji gave birth to and nursed her sons—Kush and Lava here, after she was deserted by Sri Ram. Sri Ram, Lakshman and Sita Ji had also passed through this Ashram on their way to Chitrakoot.


SARBHANG ASHRAM: This Ashram is situated at a distance of about 20 Km. to the south east of Sati Anasuya Ashram. There is a Ganga-Kund and a Shiva Temple here. Beside the Ashram, there are 108 Yagya Vedikas at the foot of the hill. Sri Ram accorded darshan to the sage Sarbhang here during his forest sojourn. Bathing in the Ganga-Kund of this Ashram has a special religious significance. The saying is that one dip in the Sarbhang Ashram equals repeated bathing in the sacred Ganges. 

BHARAT KOOP: About 20 Km. to the west of Chitrakoot, there is a huge well near Bharatpur village which is known as Bharatkoop. Today, the residential area surrounding it is also known as Bharatkoop. Bharat brought from Ayodhya water from all the holy places (teerths) to annoint Ram as the King during his exile. When Ram did not agree to this, Bharat, at the behest of Maharshi Atri, poured all this holy water into this very well.

MANDVI-MANDIR : 
Just near Bharatkoop there is a temple of Mandvi, the consort of Bharat and there is also a Bharat Mandir nearby.

LAKSHMAN PAHADI: A small hillock, parallel to and to the east of the Kamadgiri, about half- way in the Parikrama, is known as Lakshman Pahadi. Lakshman used to guard Sri Ram and Sita ji from here, while they rested on the Kamadgiri. There is a Lakshman Temple here and also a Lakshman-Stambh. The visiting pilgrims embrace this pillar with the same reverence as if they were embracing Lakshman Ji himself. There is a flight of steps from the Parikrama Marg leading to this hillock.

SUTIKSHNA ASHRAM: This is one of the most beautiful and charming sites in Bundelkhand. Ram appeared to Maharshi Sutikshna here in compliance of the latter’s desire to have His darshan. A beautiful stream flows down from amidst the mountains falling in a kund below, probably giving its current name Dharkundi. this Ashram is situated about 4 Km. to the north of Sarbhang Ashram. One of the eminent disciples of Paramhans Parmanand Ji, Swami Sachchidanand Ji has his Ashram here. It is a place frequented by many persons in search of mental peace.

Though the place is not as developed as it should have been, many a hermit and sage is engaged here in various religious and spiritual activities. The devotees visit this place in search of spiritual peace.
PRAMOD VAN: About 2 Km. to south of Ramghat on the Satna road, there is a beautiful grovery on the bank of the Payaswini. Maharaj Vishwanath Pratap Singh Judeo, the King of Reewa got this built for his pleasure. It has a temple of Lord Narayan surrounded by numerous rooms. There is a celebrated place nearby which is known as Das Hanuman.

There is a celebrated tree in the Pramod-Van known as Putra-Jeeva or Putrada. Childless couples visit this tree with a desire of being blessed with a son. It is a popular belief that such visits bring the desired result.

BHARAT MILAP: About half way in the Parikrama Path, there is a place named Bharat Milap.It is reputed to be the place where Bharat and his mothers met Sri Ram, Lakshman and Sita Ji during their exile. It was such a touching occasion that even stones melted owing to overwhelming emotions and carry their foot prints to this day.

SARYU DHARA: There is a small streamlet above the fourth Mukharvind of Kamtanath Ji known as Saryu Dhara. It is believed that Hanuman Ji lives here and there is a popular legend that Tulsidas used to recite the Ramayan here everyday before him. The devotees feel spiritually charged after resting here a while.
THE SHABARI FALL: There is a beautiful spring at the origin of Payaswini near Jamunihai village , about 8 Km. to the south of Markundi, a frontier village of the district. One spring just below another, this fall is unique in the entire country. It is more glamorous and charming than even the Dhunwadhar Fall of Bhedaghat, Jabalpur or the Rupahaladhuwan Fall of Rewa Chechai. There is a huge water reservoir below which is very deep and is also known as the Mandakini Kund. This Fall was discovered by the District Magistrate-Chitrakoot, Sri Jagannath Singh during his tour on July 31st ,1998 and was named and dedicated by him. No one except the local villagers had reached this place earlier. Nor was it known to the people.

VIRADH – KUND: About 6 Km. to the east of the Shabari Fall and at the meeting point of Bambiha and Tikariya villages on the Amrawati Ashram road, there is a vast reservoir of water known as Viradh–Kund. According to a popular belief, this reaches down to the Patal Lok . There is a well accepted legend that a terrible monster Viradh used to live here and was later killed by Sri Ram during his exile. This Kund was the monster’s place of shelter and through it he could escape down to the nether world ( i.e. Patal ). Adventure-loving tourist, will definitely be attracted to this place.

KALI BARAH FALL: This fall is at a distance of about 1 Km. from the Tikariya village and presents a beautiful sight. It is a unique pleasure to walk along the flowing stream on the rocks and to bathe in it. There is a statue of Vanwasi Hanuman on a huge rock here. There is an annual fair attended by throngs of local people.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kushinagar

History of Kushinagar : In ancient times, Kushinagar was known as Kushinara and was a small town of not great significance in the Malla dynasty. The actual site of the original town has not been established, but the site of the Buddha’s death was one of the four major sites of Buddhist pilgrimage. It was here that the Buddha died and was cremated and achieved the Parinirvana. The last rites were performed with all the honour that is due to a universal monarch (Chakravartin), as he was held in reverence by all people. The kings of eight Indian states of the Gangetic basin came for the funeral rites and divided his ashes in eight parts. Each king carried these back to his kingdom and built a ‘Stupa’ over the mortal remains of Lord Buddha. On the Buddha’s death, the various monasteries were established which flourished until the last Buddhist monastery was destroyed at Nalanda in the 13th century. There were eight groups of monasteries, stupas and images, indicating that Kushinagar was a substantial community. It was here that the Tathagata, the reciter of truth, breathed his last days. The whole of Kushinagar was turned into a memorial site with stupas and Gupta period Chaitayas and Viharas, built by the kings. Fa Hien, Hieun Tsang and I Tsing, the Chinese travellers visited Kushinagar during different centuries and recorded a graphic account of the place which later fell to bad times, due to lack of patronage. Some of these recordings provided the vital clues for excavations done centuries later by Sir Alexander Cunningham and the Archaeological Survey of India in 1904-5. A shaft was driven through the centre of the stupa which brought to light a copper-plate placed on the mouth of a relic casket in the form of a copper vessel with charcoal, cowries, precious stones and a gold coin of Kamaragupta I.

Mahaparinirvana Temple :
This temple stands on the same plinth as the main Nirvana Stupa behind it. The reclining Nirvana statue of Lord Buddha inside the temple is 6.10 metres long and is made of monolith red - sand stone. It represents the "Dieing - Buddha" reclining on his right side with his face towards the west. It is placed on a large brick-pedestal with stone-posts at the corners. There is an inscription datable to the 5th Century A.D. recording that the statue was "the appropriate religious gift of the Mahavihara Swami Haribala".

Nirvana Chaitya (Main Stupa) :Nirvana Chaitya is located just behind the Main Parinirvana Temple. It was excavated by Carlleyle in the year 1876. During excavations, a copper-plate was found, which contained the text of the "Nidana-Sutra" which concluded the statement that plate had been deposited in the "Nirvana-Chaitya" by one Haribala, who also installed the great Nirvana Statue of Buddha in the temple front. A copper vessel was also recovered which contained silver coins of Kumar Gupta, an emperor of Gupta Dynasty, 5th Century A.D.

Ramabhar Stupa :Ramabhar Stupa, also called a Mukutbandhan-Chaitya,is the cremation -place of Buddha. This Site is 1.5 km east of the main Nirvana Temple on the Kushinagar- Deoria road. this Stupa has a huge circular drum with a diameter of 34.14 meters on the top consisting of the two or more terraces and is 47.24 meters in diameter at the base.

Matha Kuar Shrine :A Colossal statue of Lord Buddha is installed, which is  carved out of one block which represents Buddha  seated under the "Bodhi Tree" in a pose known as  " Bhumi Sparsh Mudra " (Earth touching attitude).  The inscription at the base of statue is datable to the  10th or 11th Century A.D.



Meditation Park:
Recently developed near the main Nirvana Temple, this park has artificial water bodies with raised lush-green platforms for meditation surrounded by Sal-trees and other afforestations, representing a complete Buddhist-ambience.


Indo-Japan-Srilanka Temple :    
Indo-Japan-Srilanka temple  is a marvel of Buddhist architectural grandeur of modern imes.


Wat Thai Temple :
It is a huge complex built in a typical Thai-Buddhist architectural fashion.



Museum :
Built by State Government in Buddhist-architectural ambience. Ancient archeological discoveries and antiquities are displayed there. Visiting hours are 10:00 am to 17:00 PM (except Mondays).



Ruins & Brick Structures :
These are located around the main Nirvana Temple and Main Stupa. These are the remains of various monasteries of different sizes constructed from time to time in the ancient period.



Others :
There are several other nearby temples to be worth seen like Linh Son Chinese Temple, Myan Mar (Burmese) Temple, Birla Hindu Buddha temple, Japanese Stupa, Korean Temple, Shiva temple, Ram Janaki Temple etc.


Pawanagar /Pawapuri(Fazilnagar) :

It is a 'Nirvana' place of Lord Mahavir, 22 kms east of Kushinagar on the National Highway-28. Followers of Jain sect organise a festival here on the next day of Deepawali every year, when Lord Mahavir has attained Salvation.It is also believed that Lord Buddha, while going to Kushinagar from Vaishali, stopped here to accept meals from one of his disciples 'Chund'. Here he ate 'Sukar-Maddav' (Mushrooms) and developed dusentry which caused his death at Kushinagar.






Sun Temple, Turkpatti :
Situated 17 km east of Kushinagar on Kasia - Tamkuhi Road. There are huge and artistic   statues of Sun god, made of black stone.They were  recovered during excavations one of which is belonged to 4th - 5th Century A.D. and another 8th - 9th Century A.D.




Others

Kuber Asthan :

On Padrauna - Turkpatti route, this place has Shiv Temple, establishedby Kuber as per the saying. Lakhs of Shiv devotees offer JAl on Shivling on the 'Shivratri'.

Devraha Asthan:
3 kms from Padrauna cantonment, there is a huge ancient mount having three statues of Tirthankar MAhavir, tirthankar Neminath and Vishnu, one of the Trimurti of Hindu Gods. It is believed there stood a large Buddha Stupa also.

Kurukulla Asthan:
It is meditation centre of  'Aadi Shakti' Kurukulla Devi, setup by Nagarjun. It is situated on the river bank in dense forest 8 kms from Kasia - Tamkuhi road.

Sidhua Asthan :
Situated 4 kms from Padrauna - Tamkuhi road, it is famous 'Siddhi', place of gods.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Jaunpur

Atala Masjid Jaunpur
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, North India  was of great importance during medieval times. It was founded in the 14th century by Feroz Shah Tuglaq to perpetuate the memory of his cousin Sultan Mohammad whose real name was Jauna.

Jaunpur was also an important centre of Islamic studies which speaks of its architectural heritage.

Historical Places at Jaunpur, North India
Atala Masjid was started in 1377 but completed only in 1408 in the reign of Ibrahim Sharquie. This Masjid represents the earliest and finest example of Sharquie architecture, and conforms to the general plan of the orthodox Masjid. Its most distinguishing feature is the original treatment of the facade of its prayer-hall composed of three large ornamental archways, the central one of which soaring to 23 mts, is gigantic.

Jami Masjid,
Jaunpur
Jami Masjid is the last great Masjid of Jaunpur and also it’s largest. The Jami Masjid was built by Hussain Shah in 1458-78. In plan and design it is a larger version of the Atala Masjid. The imposing structure, raised on a high platform, encloses a courtyard of 66 mtr by 64.5 mtr. The interior of the prayer hall is topped by a lofty dome.

Lal Darwaza Masjid,
Jaunpur
The construction of Lal Darwaza Masjid, said to have taken place around 1450, is attributed to Bibi Raji, the queen of Sultan Mahmud Shah. It is built on a much smaller area than the Atala Masjid.

Khalis Mukhlis Masjid,
Jaunpur
Khalis Mukhlis Masjid was constructed by Malik Mukhlis and Khalis in 1417.

Shahi Bridge,
Jaunpur
Shahi Bridge was constructed by Munim Khan in 1568 this picturesque old bridge spans the Gomti river.

Shitla Choukiya Dham,
Jaunpur

Shitla Choukiya Dham is the famous, ancient temple of Jaunpur and is dedicated to Shitla Mata.


Yamdagni Ashram,
Jaunpur
Yamdagni Ashram is a religious centre; this ashram is closely associated with the life of sage Parashuram.
 
Other Places at Jaunpur
Other places of interest include Shahi Qil, Khwab-gah, Dargah Chishti, Pan-e-Sharif, Jahangiri Masjid, Akbari Bridge and the tombs of the Sharquie Sultans.


How to reach
Jaunpur

By Air: The nearest airport is at Varanasi Babatpur Airport 38 km.
By Rail: Located on the Lucknow Varanasi : Mughal Sarai section of Northern Railway.
By Road: Jaunpur is well connected by road. 
 
Some of the major road distances are from Jaunpur
Varanasi - 58 km. Ayodhya - 142 km, Allahabad - 110 km, Lucknow 228 km, Gorakhpur - 166 km.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sonbhadra

Sonbhadra or Sonebhadra is the largest district of Uttar Pradesh, India. The district has an area of 6788 km² and a population of 1,463,468 (2001 census), with a population density of 216 persons per km². It lies in the extreme southeast of the state, and is bounded by Mirzapur District to the northwest, Chandoli District to the north, Bihar state to the northeast, Jharkhand state to the east, Chhattisgarh state to the south, and Madhya Pradesh state to the west. The district headquarters is in the town of Robertsganj.

Tourist Place : Vijaygarh Fort, Aghorigarh Fort, Sodharigarh Durg, Shivdwar Temple, Jwaladevi Temple, Kundeshwar Mahadev Temple, Renukeshwar Mahadev Temple, Radha Krishna Temple, Geeta Temple, Mukha Water Fall, Rihand Dam, Dhanraul Dam, Sarnath, Vindhyanchal Temple, Chunar Fort, Rajdari - Devdari, Vindham Fall.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mirzapur

Vindhyavasini Devi Temple Mirzapur
The ancient significance of Mirzapur city is evident from the Vedic scriptures, where it is mentioned as a sacred place. It is believed that the city was founded by Raja Nanner, who named it after Goddess Parvati as Girijapur. As per folklore, Goddess Parvati (Girija) sacrificed herself in a yajna at this place.

The district of Mirzapur has a rocky terrain which consists of hills, plateaus and cliffs. Mirzapur is watered by River Ganges and River Belan and their tributaries. It is surrounded by low lying hills like Rajdari, Devdari, Lakhaniyadari, Windom fall range, Sirshi, etc. which are the extensions of the Vindhya Range. It is bounded by Varanasi District on its north and north-east, Sonbhadra district on its south and Allahabad District on its south-west.

Mirzapuri is the local language of Mirzapur. Festivals like Jeevitputrika, Dusshera, Deep Mahotsava, Lalahi chattha, Shardiya and Vasantik navratra and fairs like ojhala ka mela, lohandi ka mela, Vindhya Mahotsava, horaha gaderi ka mela, litti bati ka mela and maa bhandari ka mela are celebrated with great enthusiasm.

Vindhyavasini Devi Temple is situated in Vindhyachal, 8 km from Mirzapur, on the banks of the holy river Ganges. It is one of the most revered Shaktipeeths of the presiding deity, Vindhyavasini Devi. The temple is visited by large number of people daily. Big congregations are held during Navratras in Chaitra (April) and Ashwin (October) months. Kajali competitions are held in the month of Jyestha (June). The temple is situated just 2 km from the Kali Khoh, an ancient cave temple dedicated to Goddess Kali.

70 km. (one and a half hour drive) from Varanasi, Vindhyachal is a renowned religious city dedicated to Goddess Vindhyavasini. Mythologically goddess Vindhyavasini is believed to be the instant bestower of bendiction. There are several temples of other deities in the vicinity, the most famous ones being Ashtabhuja Devi Temple and kalikhoh Temple, which constitute the Trikona Parikrama (circumambulation). The Vindhyavasini Devi Temple, the Ashtabhuja temple, dedicated to Goddess Mahasaraswati (on a hollock, 3 km from Vindhyavasini temple) and the Kali khoh temple, dedicated to Goddess Kali (2 km from Vindhyavasini temple) form the Trikon Parikrama.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gorakhpur

Gorakhnath Temple gorakhpur

The district Gorakhpur takes its name and fame from renowned, ascetic 'Gorakshnath', who was an eminent profounder saint of 'Nath Sampradaya'. A famous shrine 'Gorakhnath' was built in his honour on the same spot where he practised austerities.

History: The ancient Gorakhpur, in addition to modern, comprised the districts of Basti, Deoria, Azamgarh and parts of Nepal tarai. These region, which may be called as Gorakhpur Janpad, had been an important centre of Aryan culture and civilization.
Gorakhpur was a part of the famous kingdom of Koshal, one of sixteen mahajanpadas in 6th Century B.C. The earliest known monarch ruling over this region with his capital at Ayodhya was IKSVAKU, who founded the solar dynasty of Kshatriya. It produced a number of illustratious kings till the accession of Ram, who was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana , Gupta and Harsha dynasties. According to tradition, the Tharu king, Mausen of Madan Singh (900-950 A.D.) ruled over Gorakhpur city and the adjoining area.
In medieval period, when the entire northern India lay prostrate before the Muslim ruler, Mohammad Ghori, the Gorakhpur region was not left out. For a longer period it remained under the sway of the muslim rulers, from Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak to Bahadur Shah.Tradition has it that Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316) ordered the conversion of old shrine of Goraksha ( a popular deity ) of Gorakhpur into a mosque. However, on Akbar's reorganisation of the empire, Gorakhpur gave its name to one of the five Sirkars comprising the province of Avadh.
Modern period was marked by the transfer of this region by the Nawab of Avadh to the East India Company in 1801. With this cession, Gorakhpur was raised to the status of a 'DISTRICT. The first collector was Mr. Routledge. In 1829, Gorakhpur was made the headquarters of a Division of the same name, comprising the districts of Gorakhpur, Ghazipur and Azamgarh. Mr. R.M. Biad was first appointed Commissioner.
In 1865, new district Basti was carved out from Gorakhpur. The latter was further split up in 1946 to form new district Deoria. The third division of Gorakhpur led to the creation of district Mahrajganj in 1989.

Allahabad

Sangam Allahabad

The city of Allahabad is among the largest cities of Uttar Pradesh and is situated at the confluence of three rivers - Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati. The meeting point is known as 'Triveni' and is especially sacred to Hindus. The earlier settlements of the Aryans were established in this city, then known as Prayag. Its sanctity is manifest by references to it in Purans, the Ramayan and the Mahabharata. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma, the creator God of the Trinity, chose a land on earth (i.e. Prayag) to perform 'Prakrista Yag', at the beginning of the creation and he also referred to it as 'Tirth Raj' or the 'King of all pilgrimage centres'. As per writing of 'Padam Puran' - "As the sun is amongst the moon and the moon amongst the stars, likewise 'Prayag' is best amongst all places of pilgrimage".

Emperor Akbar founded this city in 1575 AD by the name of 'Illahabas' which has now become modern Allahabad. The monarch realized its strategic importance as a waterway landmark in North India and also built a magnificent fort on the banks of holi 'Yamuna'. Allahabad today is an important city where history, culture and religion create a magical confluence, much like the sacred rivers that caress this blessed land. Due to its religious importance, many pilgrims come to Allahabad in the bathing season, the Hindu month of Magh (mid January to mid-february), to purify themselves. During this month, a great gathering and fair called Magh Mela takes place on the sands. Every 12th year when the waters are felt to be especially purifying, Allahabad holds a much greater festival called Kumbh Mela. Many millions of pilgrims attend this festival, coming from all over India. It is believed that bathing during Kumbh cures the bather of all sins and evils and grants the bather salvation.

In 1885, Mark Twain wrote about Allahabad Kumbh -"Pilgrims plodded for months in heat to get here, worn, poor and hungry, but sustained by unwavering faith".