Saturday, March 13, 2010

Somnath Temple

Somnath - Veraval - Saurashtra - Gujarat 

The sea in the background adds to the charismatic grace and grandeur of the towering structure. No wonder since centuries the temple has been a cynosure of millions of eyes. The 9th century temple is Lord Shiva's domain and that what matters. The treasure troves Gold and Diamonds have now faded as myth. 

The Jyotirling at  Somanth is amongst the twelve most sacred lingas of Lord Shiva. Somanth has been plundered six times by intolerant  marauders and plunderers It was the strong resilience of the people and Hindu rulers that the structure was rebuilt again and again. 

Somanth literary means protector of the moon since Lord Shiva delivered the moon from a curse. The pious pray here on auspicious day on pilgrimage. The original temple destroyed by the iconoclastic  barbarians stands as adjacent ruins. The original Shivling has said to appear in a King's dream which was than unearthed and a temple stand over the underground idol.  

The architecture reflects the skills of Sompuras Gujarat's wonder masons. The temple was built in Chalukya Hindu Temple style after India's independence. The temple is of great significance for religious tours in India to the Hindus.

Not only the temple architecture, the ambiance is stunning as well which I discovered on my visit to the Lord Almighty's abode couple of years back. The deliverance if four fold and the spirituality awakens on the way to doors of Lord Shiva's abode here. 

Somanth temple is a must visit pilgrimage center at Veraval for all religious Hindus.   

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Jabalpur Sigtseeing

Jabalpur

Situated in center of India in Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur is a scenic town ideal for sightseeing and picnics. The city sits in a cradle of forested mountains. The forested hill slopes, large reservoirs, water bodies and rivers make the place highly enchanting.

The places of interest are:

Dumna Nature Reserve at Khandari Lake : A wildlife safari, birding and and tourism spot. DNS is good place for picnic, birding and wildlife watching. One can see spotted deer, small game and leopard with luck. Excellent place for water birds. In winter number of migratory ducks arrive in large numbers. 

Pariyat Lake: This scenic lake with pristine forests and mountains on the bank. One can see the fresh water crocodile with luck. Good place bird watching and picnic. 

Bargi Dam Resort: Good for water sport, short cruise and boating. MP Tourism hotels & restaurants manage the place most frequented by the visitors to Jabalpur.   

Madan Mahal Fortress: Gond Fort built in 11th Century AD by Madan Shah. He was  Son of Queen Durgavati who ruled over Jabalpur and Mandla districts. 

Marble Rocks: A gorge in River Narmada for boating amidst marble rocks with amazing color patterns on them.  It is also known as Bheraghat. 

Dhuandhar Falls: Narmada descends down from here as a sparkling forceful gush of water into the Gorge knwn as Marble Rocks.

Chausath Yogini Temple Complex: In the center is Lord Shiva Temple surrounded by idols of 64 Yoginis of Goddess Durga.The complex was built by the Culchuri dynasty. Most of the idols were plundered by Mughal invaders.

Rani Durgavati Wildlife Sanctuary: Forty km from Jabalpur this small sanctuary is a good place to spend holiday’s wildlife watching and birding.

Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary: The forests are a habitat to tiger, leopard, marsh crocodiles, common otters and Indian Wolf. Chinkara deer and Nilgai are common sight and so are langur, wild boar and rhesus macaque. 

Rani Durgawati Muesum
: Displays ancient idols, carvings and other artifacts of Gond and Kulchuri dynasties..  

Gwarighat on Narmada: Gwarighat is a stepped embankment on the banks of River Narmada. It is the hub of Hindu rituals and rites. One pilgrimage one can visit Hindu temples, Saints & enlightened Yogis and Gurudwara Gwarighat Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev visited river Narmada at Gwarighat.

Jabalpur is a transit point for tiger reserves - Satpura, Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh National Park  in Vindhyas.  Pachmarhi hill station is few hours of journey from Jabalpur.   

Jabalpur has many luxury hotels for stay in the city. Best way of enjoying here is on a spiritual tour package on river Narmada. Similar way is to go sightseeing on package tours where the tour operator makes all the arrangements.  

The city  is well connected city by road and rail. Flight service operates between Jabalpur and New Delhi.