Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga

Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga
Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga
Lord Shiv has 12 Jyotirlinga , and Rameshwar Jyotirlinga is one of them. It is believed that , Lord Ram himself installed this Jyotirlinga and was also named after him only .-Rameshwar Jyotirlinga. The establishment of Rameshwar Jyotirlinga , according to a mythology is related to an incident .Lord Ram was on his way to save his wife Sita from Ravana’s confinement, and before climbing towards Lanka and inorder to get Shrivijaya’s Blessing , he established a Shivlinga on this place and worshipped Lord Shiva. Since then , this Jyotirlinga was founded forever on this place. 

Rameshwar is one of the popular pilgrimage spot . It is situated in Ramnathpur in Tamil Nadu. Beside being Lord Shiva’s one of the 12 Jyotirlinga, it is also one of the four sacred place for Hindu’s 

The place where this Jyotirlinga is founded, is near to the coastal area and is surrounded by Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.It is not only a sacred site a, but is also a very beautiful site to attract travellers and tourists. It is also said that Shri Ram even made a caiseway , which was demolished later on .Even today , Ramsetu’s some of the parts can been seen in that place.

The temple had humble beginnings with an ancient shrine housed in a thatched hut until the 12th century. The first ever masonry structure was built by Parakrama Bahu of Sri Lanka.The Setupathy (architects and stone masons) rulers of Ramanathapuram completed the rest of the temple. Although manly Dravidian in style some of the temple vimaanams resemble the Vimaanams of the Pallava period. The temple has also received royal patronage from several kingdoms such as Travancore, Ramanathapuram, Mysore and Pudukkottai.Much of the additions were carried out between the 12th and the 16th centuries. The long corridor (3rd prakaram) dates back only to the 18th century.Stretched over a vast area of 15 acres, Rameswaram Temple is the typical specimen of Dravidian style of architecture. The skyscraping gopurams (spires) truly dominate the skyline of Rameshwaram. The shrine is acknowledged for having the largest temple hallway in India. This pillared corridor extends to 4000 feet in length, embracing more than 4000 pillars. Erected on a raised plinth, granite pillars are intricately carved with beautiful images. A hard fact about this corridor reveals that the rock doesn't belong to the island and it was imported from somewhere across the sea.

The main entrance of the temple tower has many storeys and stands tall. Its structure carvings, statutes and the peaks make people dumb founded. The grandeur of the Lord is really felt here. The human weakness for being narrow-minded is automatically removed and they feel their horizons broadened. On the tall stone pillars of temple, beautiful carvings can be seen. Elephants with their trunks raised are seen. The four sides of the temple are enclosed by strong stone walls. They are 650 ft. and 12ft. wide and tall respectively. This wonderful temple built on the sand island, is a work of great art and very impressive. Near to a gold plated pillar, a river is carved on a monolithic stone of 13 feet high and a foot wide. This indeed is a typical example of beautiful sculpting. 

Near the main temple of Rameshwar, there is a separate temple for Parvati known as Parvatavardhini temple. Besides this, there are temples of Santana Ganapati, Veerabhadra Hanuman, navagrahas, etc., At a distance of about nearly 2 kilometers from the main temple, there is Gandhamaadhan mountain. In spite of being a sandy area, it is very green with a variety of flora. This is the Nandanavan of Rameshwar.

How to reach Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga :

By Air : The nearest airport is at Madurai, at a distance of 154 km.
By Rail : Rameshwaram is well connected by trains from all the major cities of India.
By Road : State transport buses are available from the railway station to the various places in and around Rameshwaram. For local transportation taxis, auto-rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws and tongas are available. Also city bus service is available in the island.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

khajuraho dance festival

Khajuraho Dance Festival
Where the hand goes, there the eyes should follow
Where the eyes are, the mind should follow
Where the mind is, there the expression should be brought out
Where the expression is, there the rasa or flavour will be experienced by the audience.
 - Lines from the Natyakram
Khajuraho Dance Festival is one of those festivals of India that all dance lovers eagerly wait for. An annual treat for the connoisseurs of Indian Classical Dances comes at Khajuraho for a week during February or March. It is a grand 7-day extravaganza celebrating Khajuraho’s 1000 years old cultural heritage preserved in its stark stone sculptors. The treasured art forms unfold amidst ethereal settings and not one but all eight forms of Indian Classical dances are performed and This festival of International repute is a destination awaited by connoisseurs, travelers and more so by the performers. In words of a performer, “Every dancer worth her mettle dreams of performing at the Khajuraho festival”. For someone looking forward to a heritage tour of India, timing the visit around the Khajuraho dance festival would be a wise touristic strategy.delineate the spiritual, the intellectual and the social heritage of India.

This cultural festival highlights the richness of various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali. Also, there are performances from some of the best exponents in the field. Apart from the traditional classical dance forms, the modern Indian dance has also made it to the list.

The various forms of dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, which is usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Along with the renowned performers, a number of craftsmen display their crafts to the visitors. Also, there is an open market for local articles sale. Khajuraho Dance Festival is conducted in order to celebrate the cultural heritage of Khajuraho temples and to preserve them for the upcoming generation.

 Khajuraho Dance Festival 2013 is from February 20 to February 26

It is believed that classical dance is originated from the Hindu temples and attained its maturity. This cultural festival is celebrated to encourage the Indian arts- dance and music, which is driven from one generation to the other.

There is a free entry to all the temples of eastern and southern parts, whereas minimal fee is charged for the temples located in the western part.

Dates: February/ March every year (The dates are 20 - 26 February for the year 2013)

Venue: Westen Group of temples, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Timings: Daily 7:00 P.M. onwards

Tickets: Seasonal Ticket - INR 600; Daily - INR 100, INR 50, INR 20; Cameras INR 100 per day