Brihadishvara Temple, also referred to as Rajesvara Peruvudaiyar or Brihadeeswarar Temple, is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva located in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the largest South Indian temple and an exemplary example of a fully realized Tamil architecture.Built by Raja Raja Chola I between 1003 and 1010 AD, the temple is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Great Living Chola Temples”, along with the Chola dynasty era Gangaikonda Cholapuram temple and Airavatesvara temple that are about 70 kilometres (43 mi) and 40 kilometres (25 mi) to its northeast respectively.
The original monuments of this 11th century temple were built around a moat. It included gopura, the main temple, its massive tower, inscriptions, frescoes and sculptures predominantly related to Shaivism, but also of Vaishnvaism and Shaktism traditions of Hinduism. The temple was damaged in its history and some artwork is now missing. Additional mandapam and monuments were added in centuries that followed. The temple now stands amidst fortified walls that were added after the 16th century.
Built out of granite, the vimana tower above the sanctum is one of the tallest in South India.The temple has a massive colonnaded prakara (corridor) and one of the largest Shiva lingas in India.It is also famed for the quality of its sculpture, as well as being the location that commissioned the brass Nataraja – Shiva as the lord of dance, in 11th century. The complex includes shrines for Nandi, Parvati, Kartikeya, Ganesha, Sabhapati, Dakshinamurti, Chandeshvara, Varahi and others.The temple is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Tamil Nadu.
Statue of Rajaraja Chola I who sponsored the temple’s construction over 1003-1010 CE.
A spectrum of Hindu temple styles continued to develop from the 5th to the 9th century over the Chalukya era rule as evidenced in Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal, and then with the Pallava era as witnessed at Mamallapuram and other monuments. Thereafter, between 850 and 1280 CE, Cholas emerged as the dominant dynasty.The early Chola period saw a greater emphasis on securing their geopolitical boundaries and less emphasis on architecture. In the 10th century, within the Chola empire emerged features such as the multifaceted columns with projecting square capitals. This, states George Michell, signaled the start of the new Chola style[note 1] This South Indian style is most fully realized both in scale and detail in the Brihadeshvara temple built between 1003 and 1010 by the Chola king Rajaraja The architect and engineer of the temple was Kunjara Mallan Raja Raja Rama Perunthachan as stated in inscriptions found at the temple
Siddhivinayak Temple was built by Vithu and Deubai Patil in the year 1801. It is one of the most famous temple of Lord Ganesha and many Hindus from all over the world visits this place every year. It is situated in Mumbai and is among the most revered temples of India.
The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It is located in Prabhadevi, Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was originally built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil on 19 November 1801.It is one of the richest temples in Mumbai.
The temple has a small mandap with the shrine for Siddhi Vinayak (“Ganesha who grants your wish”). The wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of the Ashtavinayak (the eight manifestations of Ganesha in Maharashtra). The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the central statue is of Ganesha. In the periphery, there is a Hanuman temple as well.
It was Constructed on 19 November 1801, the original structure of the Siddhivinayak Temple was a small 3.6 m x 3.6 m square brick structure with a dome-shaped brick shikhara. The temple was built by the contractor Laxman Vithu Patil. The building was funded by a rich Agri woman named Deubai Patil. Childless, Deaubai built the temple so that the Lord should grant children to other barren women. Ramakrishna Jambhekar Maharaj, a disciple of the Hindu saint Akkalkot Swami Samarth, buried two divine idols in the front of the presiding deity of the temple on the orders on his guru. As prophesied by Swami Samarth, after 21 years after the burial of the icons, a mandar tree grew at that spot with a svayambhu Ganesha in its branches.
The 2550 temple complex had two 3.6 m Deepamalas, a rest house and living quarters for the caretaker. It had an adjoining lake 30 x 40 sq. m. in size on the eastern and southern side of the temple. The lake, dug by Nardulla in the early 19th century to counter the scarcity of water, was filled up in the later years and the land is now not part of the temple complex. Around 1952, a small Hanuman shrine was built in the temple complex for the Hanuman icon that was found during the road extension project of Sayani Road near Elphinstone Road. In the 1950s and 60s, the fame of the temple spread and a significant number of devotees began visiting. However, in the same period, the owner of the plot sold some of the temple land, reducing the complex area. After 1975, the number of devotees increased dramatically.
It was built by Raja Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva in the 12th century. Jagannath Temple is one of the “Char Dham” of Hindu Pilgrims. Apart for its religious beliefs it is also famous for its building structure and yearly Rath Yatra which is attended by millions of Hindus.
Jagannath Temple is one of the most renowned as well as the biggest temples of Odisha, so it is known as “Shree Mandir” in Odia. This temple was established in the 12th century, and dedicated to Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna) who is known as the Lord of the Universe in Hindusm. The credit for laying the foundation of the Jagannath temple of Puri goes to Raja Ananta Varman Chodaganga Dev. The temple is located at a distance of 60 kms from Bhubaneswar, on the coast of Bay of Bengal, and is greatly revered by the devotees following the Vaishnava traditions.
There is an interesting legend associated with the Jagannatha temple of Puri. It is said that King Indradyumna, the ruler of the territory, saw Lord Jagannath in his dreams and following the Lord’s wishes, as told to him in his dreams, he got the Jagannath Puri Temple constructed. Situated in the heart of the holy city, the temple is visited by devotees from farthest corners of India as well as the world. It exudes splendor and its tall spires lend it a magnificent aura. The walls are embellished with exquisite carvings.
The pillars that provide support to the temple are adorned with pictures depicting the life of Lord Krishna. In the list of the most splendid monuments of Odisha, Jagannath temple occupies a supreme position. One of the most popular attractions of the Jagannatha Temple of Puri comprises of its Rath Yatra that is organized every year. It is basically a chariot festival, where idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, the main deities of Srimandir, are taken to the Gundicha temple in bejeweled chariots and are brought back to the mandir in the same way.
History of Puri Jagannath Temple
The deities of the Puri temple are generally known as the Trimurti(Trinity) though, to the scholars, they are Chaturdhaa murtis (or images, 4 in number). Some think that originally there was only Jagannath as the object of worship and when Neela Madhava disappeared, King Indradyumna fabricated the body of Jagannath out of a log of wood that was picked up from the sea, as per a divine direction received by the King. Scholars holding the view that originally the Present-day Trinity was not there, cite the example of a Temple found in the Cuttack District in Orissa (belonging perhaps to the seventh century A.D.) where the images only of Jagannath and Balabhadra have been carved and Subhadra is not to be seen there.
It is, therefore, believed that when there was a great resurgence of Saktism from the 7th century onwards, there was a successful attempt to install an image of the Mother Goddess (Durga or Sakti) in the Puri Temple by the side of Jagannath. According to some others, installation of the image of Durga or Sakti (who is also known as Bhadraa, Mangalaa etc.) might have taken place during the visit of Sankaraachaarya to Puri. In the Konarka Temple built in the 13th century A.D. (about a century later than the Puri Temple), there is a panel of three images. Jagannath is seen in the middle and to His left is the Mother Goddess, while to His right is a Linga (phallus). From this, it is deduced by some that this might have been the “Trio” of the Puri Temple, indicating the equal importance of Vaishnavism, Saktism and Saivism.
There is another hypothesis that Bhadraa or Mangalaa (Durga) came to be called as Subhadra and at the time of Vaishnavite preponderance, she was introduced as Srikrishna’s sister, whose name also is Subhadra. Similarly one of the names of Lord Siva is Veerabhadra. Somehow, at a time of Vaishnavic efflorescence, He was transformed into Balabhadra. (The second half of this name i.e., ‘Bhadra’ was retained and the first half was substituted by Bala). When HE was thus called Balabhadra, He, was introduced as the elder brother of Srikrishna.
Architecture of Puri Jagannat
The majestic temple Lord Shri Jagannatha at Puri is said to have been built by emperor Anangabhimadeva, It is described in Madala Panji, the temple chronicle of Puri that Anangabhima on contemplated to construct a temple of Srivatsa khandasala type with 100 cubits in height. But on the advice of the ministers and royal priests, the height was reduced to 90 cubits. Accordingly the temple was built, as it stands today.
The temple consists of four structures called (a) the Vimana or Bada Deula sanctum sanctorum) (b) the Jagamohan or Mukhasala (the porch), (c) the Natamandir (the audience hall) and (d) the Bhogamandap (the hall for residuary offerings) built in a row in an axial alignment in east-west direction. The temple faces the east. The Vimana is constructed in Pancharatha (temple containing five Pagas or segments) Rekha order. Rekha is the name given to a type of temple with a curvilinear spire. Out of the five Pagas or segments, the middle one is known as Raha, the two feanking pagas as Anuraha, and the two corners as Kanika. Like a full-fledged Orissan temple, it has four-fold vertical divisions, i.e. the Pitha (pedestal), the Bada (wall), the Gandi (trunk) and the Mastaka (the head).
The temple stands on a high pedestal though a major portion of it is buried in the ground. The visible portion shows three mouldings, which are richly carved. Similarly the Bada is Panchanga type i.e. consisting of five elements known respectively as Pabhaga (foot), lower Jangha (shin), Bandhana(bond), upper Jangha and Baranda. The Pabhaga consists of five usual mouldings and these mouldings are connected with vertical bands in each Paga of the Bada. These five mouldings are known in the architectural texts as Khura, Kumbha, Pata, Kani and Basanta in ascending order.
Bhoga of Jagannath Temple, Puri
Every day 5 bhogas are offered to the Lords, these are “Gopala-Ballava” (Break fast), “Sakal Dhupa” “Madhyana Dhupa” “Sandhya Dhupa” and “Badasinghar Dhupa”.
Mahaprasad of Jagannth Temple
According to the Skanda Purana, Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad,to have his darshan and worship Him by rituals and offering gifts. Mahaprasad is treated here as ‘Anna Brahma’. The temple kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked only in earthern pots and on hearths. The steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Bimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad. This Mahaprasad is freely partaken by people of all castes and creeds without any discrimination. The items offered include cooked rice, dal, vegetable curry, sweet-dishes, cakes etc. Dry confectionaries are prepared of sugar, jaggery, wheat flour, ghee, milk etc. When the steam-cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthern pots no flavour comes up from the food but when the same is carried back to the sale point after being offered to the Lord a delicious smell spells along in the breeze to the pleasant surprise of the devotees. Now the food is blessed. Mahaprasad consolidates human bond, sanctifies sacraments and grooms the departing soul for its journey upwards. Mahaprasads are sold in Anand Bazar or the PleasureMart of the temple which is situated on the northeastern corner of the outer enclosure of the temple. Most of the residents in and around puri depend upon this Mahaprasad to entertain their guests during social functions such as thread ceremony and weddings. The tourists prefer to carry a particular type of dry Mahaprasad known as” Khaja” (made of maida,sugar and ghee) which stays fresh for days together.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous Temples in India. It was built by Ahilyabai Holkar in 1780 and since then it is the centre point for Hindu Pilgrims in Varanasi.
Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is located in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha or Vishveshvara meaning Ruler of The Universe. Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple.
The temple has been referred to in Hindu scriptures for a very long time as a central part of worship in the Shaiva philosophy. It has been destroyed and re-constructed a number of times in history. The last structure was demolished by Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor who constructed the Gyanvapi Mosque on its site. The current structure was built on an adjacent site by the Maratha ruler, Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.
Since 1983, the temple has been managed by the government of Uttar Pradesh. During the religious occasion of Shivratri, Kashi Naresh (King of Kashi) is the chief officiating priest.
Importance of the temple
Located on the banks of the holy Ganges, Varanasi is regarded among the holiest of the Hindu cities. The Kashi Vishwanath temple is widely recognized as one of the most important places of worship in Hindu religion. Inside the Kashi Vishvanath Temple is the Jyotirlinga of Shiva, Vishveshvara or Vishvanath. The Vishveshvara Jyotirlinga has a very special and unique significance in the spiritual history of India.
Many leading saints, including Adi Sankaracharya, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Bamakhyapa, Goswami Tulsidas, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Sathya Sai Baba and Gurunanak have visited the site. A visit to the temple and a bath in the river Ganges is one of many methods believed to lead one on a path to Moksha (liberation). Thus, Hindus from all over the world try to visit the place at least once in their lifetime. There is also a tradition that one should give up at least one desire after a pilgrimage the temple, and the pilgrimage would also include a visit to the temple at Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu in Southern India, where people take water samples of the Ganges to perform prayer at the temple and bring back sand from near that temple. Because of the immense popularity and holiness of Kashi Vishwanath temple, hundreds of temples across India have been built in the same architectural style. Many legends record that the true devotee achieves freedom from death and saṃsāra by the worship of Shiva, Shiva’s devotees on death being directly taken to his abode on Mount Kailash by his messengers and not to Yama. The superiority of Shiva and his victory over his own nature—Shiva is himself identified with death—is also stated. There is a popular belief that Shiva himself blows the mantra of salvation into the ears of people who die naturally at the Vishwanath temple.
The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past by several Muslim invaders and Portuguese , the present temple was reconstructed in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The reconstruction was envisioned by Vallabhbhai Patel and was completed under K. M. Munshi, the then head of the temple trust.
The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a Triveni sangam (the confluence of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Sarasvati). Soma, the Moon god, is believed to have lost his lustre due to a curse, and he bathed in the Sarasvati River at this site to regain it. The result is the waxing and waning of the moon, no doubt an allusion to the waxing and waning of the tides at this sea shore location. The name of the town Prabhas, meaning lustre, as well as the alternative names Someshvar and Somnath (“The lord of the moon” or “the moon god”) arise from this tradition.
It was built during Chandela dynasty, and it is more famous for its artistic brilliance and less for its religious belief. The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. It is one of the most famous Temples in India and included in UNESCO World Heritages Sites.
The famous Chottanikkara temple is situated in this town. Kochi city buses are directly connected to Chottanikkara. Chottanikkara Government school Stadium is one of the largest Stadiums in Ernakulam District.Shooting spot on Eruveli Pallippurathu mana Chottanikara panchayath was decided as the best panchayath.
Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu god Guruvayurappan (a four-armed affiliation of the Hindus god Vishnu), located in the town of Guruvayur in Kerala, India. It is one of the most important places of worship for Hindus of Kerala and is often referred to as Bhuloka Vaikunta.which translates to the “Holy Abode of Vishnu on Earth”.
The presiding deity of the Guruvayur Temple is Vishnu, worshipped in the form of Guruvayurappan. The central icon is a four-armed standing Krishna carrying the conch Panchajanya, the discus Sudarshana Chakra, the mace Kaumodaki and a lotus with a Holy basil garland. This image represents the majestic form of Vishnu as revealed to Krishna’s parents Vasudeva and Devaki around the time of Krishna’s birth; hence Guruvayur is also known as “Dwarka of South India”. He is currently worshipped according to routines laid down by Adi Shankara and later written formally in the Tantric way, the inter-religious spiritual movement that arose in medieval India, by Cennas Narayanan Nambudiri (born in 142). The Cennas Nambudiris are the hereditary tantris (high priest) of the Guruvayur Temple.
The temple (puja) routines are strictly followed. The tantri is available full-time at the Temple to ensure this. The Melsanti (Chief Priest) enters the sanctum sanctorum in the morning and does not drink anything up to the completion of “noon worships” at 12:30 PM.
The Main entrance to the temple
According to legends, the deity worshipped here is more than 5000 years old. In the 14th century, “Kokasandesam” (a Tamil literary work), references to a place called Kuruvayur are made. As early as the 16th century (fifty years after Narayaniyam was composed) many references to Kuruvayur are seen. In ancient Dravidian languages, “kuruvai” means “sea”, hence the village on the Malabar Coast may be called Kuruvayur. The earliest temple records date back to the 17th century. The earliest mention of the many important Vishnu temples of Kerala are found in the songs of Alwars, Tamil saints, whose time-line is not exactly fixed. Mamankam was a very famous local event at Tirunavaya, on the bank of Bharatappuzha. The battles between the Kozhikode under Samoothiris and Valluvanad popularised Guruvayur Temple. Due to the prolonged battles, people across the riverbank started preferring Guruvayur. Even the Samoothiri of Kozhikode become a devotee and thus his subjects followed him. The central shrine that is seen today is said to have been rebuilt in 1638 AD. “Viswabali” was performed later to propitiate all the spirits, good and bad. By the end of the 16th century Guruvayur had become the most popular pilgrimage centre in Kerala.[better source needed]
Kottarakkara Sree Mahaganapathy Kshethram is a pilgrim centre in South India. It is centuries old and the most important Maha Ganapathi Temple in Kerala. Non-Hindus are permitted. It is the family of Lord Siva. This Ganapati temple is located in Kottarakkarawhich is 25 km from Kollam.
Ganapathy is the leader of the Ganas, i.e., the leader of groups, tribes, race, army, escorts, and hence Lord Siva’s son is described as the supreme leader (Vinayaka). He is also known as Vigneswara — Lord of all obstacles. These names clearly show that He is a master of all Circumstances.
Ganapathy is represented as yellow skinned, short with a big round belly, elephant headed with one trunk, four arms, large ears, bright shining eyes.
There are multiple versions about the origin of Lord Vinayaka. According to the Varahapurana, once upon a time the Devas approached Lord Siva and submitted before him the need of a baby who can do away with all obstacles. With the consent of Parvathy devi, Siva agreed to the proposal. Devi become pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby. The ladies of Devalokam gathered around him. Keeping in mind the character of the ladies Parvathy blessed her child with these words: “May your beauty change to that of a tusker headed body with a big belly.” Her desire was fulfilled. But Lord Siva, though unhappy, named him Ganesa and he blessed Ganesha saying, ”Your position will be above all Ganas. All gods will acknowledge the prominence of Ganesa, and those who are not ready to worship you will fall into deep waters.”
The Skandapurana says that Ganapathy was formed from the dirt collected from the body of Goddess Parvathy. Devi created an extraordinary elephant-headed creature with four arms and deputed him to safeguard the entrance towards the Chandraprathishta, which was being performed in heaven.
As per the Matsyapurana, Lord Siva had the habit of peeping while Goddess Parvathy had her oil bath. On one occasion Devi come across the peeping Siva. Though her husband, she did not like this action of his. Parvathy thus created a figure out of the dirt she had washed away from her body and give breathe to it by sprinkling water from the Ganges. As usual Siva tried to enter the bathing place of Parvathy. The guard didn’t allow him in. Furious, Siva cut the guard’s throat. Fearing Parvathy’s anger, Siva swiftly went out. He saw an elephant there, cut down its head and fixed it to the body of Parvathy’s creation. Thus was born Parvathy’s son, the elephant headed Ganapathy.
According to the Padmapurana, Parvathy, like all of God’s creations, had the desire to give birth to a son who would be the embodiment of all virtue. For this she prayed to God Vishnu who appeared before her. He granted her wish by taking birth in her womb. The son thus born to Parvathy is Ganapathy.
The Uthararamayana, portrays Siva and Parvathy as a couple who were interested in novel ways of sexual intercourse. One day they accepted the posture of an elephant, and thus was born the elephant headed Ganapathy.
Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathi Temple, with its beautiful paintings of the 32 forms of Lord Ganesh, has a small image of Lord Ganesh that was originally worshiped by a soldier of the Travancore Army stationed at Padmanabhapuram.
This is one of the most famous Lord Ganesh temples in Kerala, situated in the East Fort, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). The temple is situated within walking distance from Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Lord Vishnu.
The original image of Lord Ganesha that is installed in the temple was worshiped by a soldier of the Travancore Army who was stationed at Padmanabhapuram. In 1795 CE, the garrison was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram when the capital of Travancore changed. The image of Lord Ganesha alos moved and was installed at its present place at Pazhavangadi.
The Temple and rituals
Pazhavangadi Ganapati Temple is one of the main temples in Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram). The original image of Pazhavangadi Ganapathy shows the deity sitting with his right leg folded in a half padmasana (lotus) posture.
Other deities worshiped at Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapati Kovil are Lord Ayyappa, Goddess Durga, Nagaraja and Brahmarakshas. Devotees can see beautiful paintings of the 32 forms of Lord Ganesh inside the temple complex.
The main vazhipadu (offering) of Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapati is the breaking of coconuts for removing obstacles and fulfillment of the devotees’ prayers. Ganapathi Homam (fire ritual) is performed regularly, usually before sunrise. Favorite sweet dishes of Ganesha like the Appam and Modakam are the main offerings in this temple.
According to Hindu Calender
Events and Festivals
Vinayaka Chaturthi (Ganesh Chaturthi), Ganesh Jayanthi, Varad Chaturti, and Sankashti Chaturti are the main festivals in Pazhavangadi Maha Ganapathy Temple.
Special poojas (pujas) are performed for other Hindu festivals including Thiruvonam, Navaratri Vijaya Dasami, Ayilyam, Sahasra Kalasam, Thirkkarththika, Thirvathira, Makara Vilakku, Maha Shivaratri, Vishu, Thriveda Laksharcchana and Nira Puththari.