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Monday, May 30, 2011

Nilgiri Hills : Travel Information

Nilgiris- The Blue Mountains      ===>  Tour Packages of Nilgiri Hills

Nilgiri means "Blue Mountains". The entire area of the Blue Mountains constitutes the present district of Nilgiri. The height of Nilgiri hills in the Blue Mountain range varies between 2,280 and 2,290 metres, the highest peak being Doddabetta at a height of 2,623 metres.

The Beauty Of Nilgiris Hills in Tamil Nadu

Nilgiris derives its charm from its natural setting. The steep hills and fantastically narrow valleys with numerous rivers and rivulets running in all directions with a few fine waterfalls here and there provide beautiful scenery. The temperate and most equable climate further heightens the attractiveness of the place. The major tea growing areas in the South are the Nilgiris hills and these tea gardens are beautiful to watch.

Adventure And Trekking In The Nilgiris

The Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu are a trekker's paradise. Landscaped by nature, the Nilgiri hills abound in trek for lovers of nature. There are treks and treks in whichever direction you turn and from whichever point you start. A trek can be full of thrill, excitement and adventure and a way of seeing and enjoying nature in all its beauty and splendour.

Trekking pamphlets are available with the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association (NWLEA). There are guides who have sound knowledge of certain areas. If necessary, their services may be hired. And for further details contact the Tourist Information Office at Charing Cross, Ooty.

Location And Boundaries of Nilgiri Hills

High above the sea level, situated at the junction of the two ghat ranges of the Sahayadri Hills, Nilgiri district provides a fascinating view. Kerala on the west, the Mysore State on the north, and Coimbatore district on the east and south bound it. Headquarters of Nilgiris district is Udhagamandalam (also called as Ooty).

How to Get There
Coimbatore, 105-km from Ooty, is the nearest airport. It has daily flights to and from Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin and Trivandrum.
Ooty is on the narrow gauge railway connected to Mettupalayam (47-km), which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai. The famous toy train connects Ooty with Mettupalayam and Coonoor.
A good network of roads and national highways connect Ooty with all major towns and cities. There are regular bus services to and from Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Palghat, Calicut, Tirupati and other important destinations in South India. Ooty is also well connected with major cities of Kerala and Karnataka.

Coonoor and Kotagiri are also well connected by road with the major cities and towns of the state. For local transportation, auto rickshaws and taxis are available.
Hill Stations In The Nilgiri Hills
Ooty ( Udhagamandalam )
Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the headquarters of Nilgiri district, is popularly known as the "Queen of hill stations' among the tourist circuits. It is situated at a distance of 105 kilometres away from Coimbatore. The Botanical Gardens and the Doddabetta peak (the highest peak in the Nilgiris, located 10-km from Ooty) are the major attractions.
Kotagiri is located 16-km away from Ooty and it is the oldest hill station of the Nilgiris. Kotagiri is situated at an altitude of 1,950m, which was once a British hill resort, that dates back to 1819 and is quieter than Ooty. Elk falls, Kodanad viewpoint and Catherine falls are a few places to visit.
Coonoor is situated on the eastern side of the southern extremity of the Doddabetta range, at an altitude of 1,858 metres above the sea level. It is the second largest hill station in the Nilgiris. Coonoor is located 19-km away from Ooty and is essentially a small tea garden town where the weather remains pleasantly cool throughout the year.
Fair & Festival in Nilgiri Hills
Tea And Tourism Festival
The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, jointly celebrate the annual Tea and Tourism Festival during the months of January-February in the Nilgiris. The festival is held for 3 days. Varieties of tea are on display. Visitors can also taste and select from the wide varieties of tea available.
Summer Festival
There are several beautiful hill stations in Tamil Nadu. With the Summer Festivals, the hills are even hospitable to welcome the visitors. The summer festival is held in the 'Queen of Hill Stations', the evergreen Ooty; the exquisite Kodaikanal and the salubrious heights of Yercaud - where boat races, flower and fruit shows are specially organized.
Major Attractions of Nilgiri Hills
The Nilgiris, the most popular hill resort of the south has a number of tourist of attractions, which chiefly include the Botanical Gardens, Doddabetta Peak, Mukkurthi Peak, the Pykara Dam and sprawling tea plantations.
Botanical Garden
Botanical gardens are a major tourist attraction for those who visit Ooty. They sprawl over 50-acres and lie on the lower slopes of Dodabetta peak, which is the highest point in Ooty. Marquis of Tweeddale established these gardens in the year 1848.
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
The Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary is located where the Nilgiri Hills, the offshoot of the Western Ghats meet the Eastern Ghats. The Mysore-Ooty highway runs through the sanctuary, following the course of the Mayyar River, which separates Mudumalai from Bandipur.

This 321-sq-kms wide sanctuary encompasses a National Park measuring an area of 103-sq-kms. The sanctuary has varied mixture of flat land, open grassland, swamp and valleys. Apart from the wide range of animal and bird life, the rich fauna of this sanctuary has made Mudumalai very popular with wildlife enthusiasts.
Ooty Lake
An artificial lake constructed in 1824 by Mr. Sullivan. The lake garden is an added attraction.
Doddabetta is the highest peak (2,623 mts.) in the Nilgiris and offers beautiful vistas of the hill ranges, plateaus and plains around. It is 10-km from Ooty. There is a good motorable road to reach the peak.
Dolphin's Nose
Dolphin's Nose is about 12-km from Coonoor. The Nose is unique rock of tremendous proportions, jutting out of the face of the hillside in formation in which its name suggests. It exposes a vast panorama, which encompasses Catherine falls.
Pykara is situated about 21-km from Ooty. Some of the tourist attractions of this place are well-protected fenced sholas, Toda settlements, undisturbed grassy meadows and also a good wildlife habitat. The Pykara Dam, Pykara falls and the reservoir attracts many tourists. A boathouse with restaurant and a rest house are available at Pykara.
The Mukkurthi Peak and National Park
About 40-km from Ooty there is a beautiful peak called "Mukkurthi". The Mukkurthi National Park is located on the Southern corner of the Nilgiri Plateau. The Kollaribetta and Nilgiris Peak are other major peaks around. A number of little perennial streams flow between these peaks, which fall into Bhavani Puzha. Silent Valley is located on the Western side in the Western Ghat, which is a feast to the visitor's eye.
Kodanad Viewpoint
Kodanad Viewpoint located at a distance of 16-km from Kotagiri commands a panoramic view of the plains and the eastern slopes of the Nilgiris.
Laws Falls
Laws falls are a beautiful picnic spot, named after Lt. Colonel Law, who traced and mainly constructed the Coonoor Ghat. They are about 5-km below Coonoor on Mettupalayam road. The height of the falls is about 180 feet. There are vast stretches of undisturbed sholas and it is a paradise for naturalists.

Places to stay in Nilgiri Hills
Accommodation is available at the hotels, guesthouses and lodges in the hill stations in the Nilgiris (Ooty and Coonoor). Coonoor has its share of luxury and budget hotels to guesthouses and picturesque resorts. Upper Coonoor is highly recommended.

In Ooty, varied accommodation options varying from luxurious and economy class hotels to lodges and resorts are available. Both Indian and Western style accommodation and food are available. Prior booking is advisable, especially during the summer months. It is also possible to get paying guest accommodations through brokers haunting the bus stand/railway station.
Click here for Hotels in Nilgiri Hills

Shopping in Nilgiri Hills

Just about anything available in the cities can be had at Ooty with the added attraction of leisurely shopping. Exclusive Nilgiri products including Nilgiri tea, fruits, natural oils like Eucalyptas, Toda embroideries, plant nurseries are easily available in the town. Co-operative Super Market and Municipal Market are some of the best places for shopping fruits and general groceries. Kairali of Kerala Handicrafts and Poompuhar of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts have their showrooms near to Super Market Buildings on Charring Cross.

Shopping in Nilgiri Hills
•Coimbtore - 55 km
•Coonoor - 13 km
•Erode - 113 km
•Namakkal - 161 km
•Palni - 180 km
Tourist Office in Nilgiri Hills
Tourist Office, Government of Tamil Nadu Supermarket Complex Charring Cross Ooty ( Udhagamandalam ) -1

Tourist Information about Nilgiri Hills
•Area (District Area): 2,459-sq-kms
•Population (district): 7,10,210 (1991 Census)
•Latitude: N 11° and 11° 55'
•Longitude: E 76°13'and 77° 2'
•Altitude: 2,280 and 2,290 metres
•Clothing: Heavy woollen in winter and light woollen in summer
•Languages Spoken: Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and English
•STD Code: 0423
•Climate: Temperate and Most Equable
•Temperature Range (deg C):
◦Summer- Max 25ºC, Min 10ºC
◦Winter- Max 21ºC, Min 5ºC
•Rainfall: 1,960 mm

Tour Packages of Nilgiri Hills

Few Image By Cam

Tour Packages of Nilgiri Hills ,Mysore,Banglore

  • Day 01 : Banglore – Mysore
    Arrival at Banglore Airport & drive to Mysore. Arrive & Check in at Hotel. Later proceed for sightseeing tour visiting Brindavan Gardens, Chamundeswari Temple etc. Overnight stay at Mysore.
  • Day 02 : Mysore - Ooty
    After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Ooty. Arrive & Check in at Hotel. Evening free for leisure & own activities. Overnight stay at Ooty.
  • Day 03 : Ooty
    After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour visiting Botanical Gardens, Ooty Lake, Lamb's Rock etc. Overnight stay at Ooty.
  • Day 04 : Ooty - Kodaikanal
    After breakfast check out from the hotel and drive to Kodaikanal. Arrive & Check in at Hotel. Overnight stay at Kodaikanal.
  • Day 05 : Kodaikanal
    After breakfast, proceed for local sightseeing tour visiting Berijam Lake, Bryant park, Rock Pillar etc. Overnight stay at Kodaikanal.
  • Day 06 : Kodaikanal – Coimbatore / Banglore Airport
    After Breakfast, check out from the Hotel & transfer to Coimbatore / Banglore Airport.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Vaishno Devi Guffa Yatra in Houston

Richmond, TX: After a long 5 months effort by Ravi Shakar and Savita Puri, a spectacular event; Mata ki Chowki was organized on May 14 at the Richmond residence of Sachin and Radha Sharma.

The nine day long event was open to all and was attended by more than 150 people every day. The entire journey from Katra to Maa Vaishno Devi's Bhawan was recreated to give feeling of India, yet being thousands of miles away from it. They faced many obstacles , however by Mataji's blessings, those obstacles became a learning curve and they are proud to have presented this one of a kind experience in USA.

During the journey through "Guffa", devotess passed through Banganga, Charan paduka, Ardhkuwari, Vaishno-Dhaba, Sanjhi Chhat and Charan Ganga before entering the Bhawan. Lots of props were placed along the way to bring the feel of the actual yatra. At the end of the yatra, at Charan Ganga, devotees stepped in a small section of icy cold water.

Safety was their number one priority, while building the guffa. The entire yatra was made of wooden studs and PVC pipes and utmost care was taken to maintain structural integrity for safe passage through it. The Ardhkuwari (Garb June) was built to a level that was not too tight and carpet was placed underneath to accomodate people crawling through it. There was also a Bypass created for elderly and for those who decided not to crawl through the cave.

Many dedicated volunteers were present at different stages of the Guffa to help and guide devotees. "We were truely blessed that our vision came to life and was well appreciated by all Mata ke bhakt", Said Ravi Shakra Puri, the main organizer of the event.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Purnagiri Temple

One of the 108 Siddha Peeths, Maa Purnagiri Devi Temple(Mandir) is 21 kms away from Tanakpur, Tunyas is 17 kms and from there 3 km trek leads to Purnagiri Mandir. Tanakpur is linked by direct bus service with all major cities and other Districts.
Purnagiri Shakti Peeth is one of the ancient Shakti Peeths of India. The navel part of Mata Sati fell at this place. This Shakti Peeth is situated on top of the Annapurna hills which is around 20 kms from the Tanakpur town in Champawat district. This place is situated on Nepal border. Here the entry of unholy men or menstruating women are prohibited. It is said that if any one comes here in this state then that person becomes blind.
According to an olden legend, in the time of Satya Yuga Daksha Prajapati prepared a sacrificial ceremonial, for which he invited everybody except Lord Shiva because Daksha was angry for her daughter Sati wedded the 'yogi' God Shiva against his wishes. Parvati on discover that it was her father's deception to disgrace her husband immolated herself in the bonfire. While her husband carried her dead body, the places where the parts of her body knock down were recognized as Shakti Peeth. The Shakti Peeth holds the prime position among Malikagiri, Kalikagiri, and Himlagiri Peeths.
During time of Navratras, in the Chaitra month of the Indian calendar, devotees in large number come here to have their wishes fulfilled. After worshipping in Mata Purnagiri Temple, people also pay their tributes to her dedicated follower Bada Sidth Nath at Brahmadev and Mahendra Nagar in Nepal because it necessary for all devotee.
As per a common belief, every person who comes here with sincere faith and devotion has his prayers answered. During Navratras, in the Chaitra month of the Indian calendar, devotees in large number come here to have their wishes fulfilled. After worshiping in Mata Purnagiri Temple, people also pay their tributes to her loyal devotee Bada Sidth Nath at Brahmadev and Mahendra Nagar in Nepal.
On one side of the Shaktipeeth is the beautiful view of Sharada river and on the other is heart winning view of hills. To reach here a person can use road transport or railway from Baresli or Pilibhit and reach Tanakpur. From here a person will have to use bus or taxi for 19 kms to Bhairav temple and then 3 kms on foot through the hilly areas and reach the temple of Mata.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Maa Vindhyavasini Devi Temple

Maa Vindhyavasini Devi Temple is located in Vindhyachal, 8km far from Mirzapur, and around 80km far from Allahabad (Prayag) on the banks of the holy River Ganges in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It’s one of the most revered Shaktipeeths of the presiding deity, Maa Vindhyavasini Devi. The temple is visited by huge number of people daily. A very Large congregations are held during Navratras in Chaitra (April) and Ashwin (October) months.The tradition song (Kajali) competitions are held in the month of Jyestha (June). The temple is located 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).

Ashtabhuja Devi Temple

Ashtabhuja Devi Temple is situated at the top of the Vindhya Mountain in Vindhayachal. According to legends the girl child born to Vasudev and Devaki, parents of Lord Krishna, flew miraculously from the grip of Kamsa when he attempted to bash her to death, and descended here. This temple within a cave of a hillock, 3 km from Vindhyavasini Devi temple, is dedicated to her.

Kali Khoh

Kali Khoh is an very old cave temple out-and-out to Goddess Kali, situated in Vindhyachal. The temple is located just 2 km from the Maa Vindhyavasini Devi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Vindhyavasini Devi.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sharda Devi Temple Maihar

Maihar is known for the temple of revered mother goddess Sharda situated on Trikuta hill of Maihar(Madhya Pradesh).Sharda Devi temple situated on the top of the a Trikuta hill around 5 km from the heart of the town. This temple is known for the 1063 steps to the top. Millions of devotees throng the temple all round the year. The introduction of Ropeway system from September 2009 has been a great boon to the pilgrims (particularly the old and the handicapped) to fulfill their wish to have the audience of Mother Goddess Sharda.There is one ancient inscription near the feet of stone sculpture of Sharda Devi situated in Sharda Devi temple. There is another statue of Lord Narsingh along with Sharda Devi.
Local tradition reveals that the warriors Alha and Udal, who had war with Prithvi Raj Chauhan, are associated with this place. Both the brothers were very strong followers of Sharda Devi. It is said that Alha penanced for 12 years and got the amaratva with the blessings of Sharda Devi. Alha and Udal are said to be the first to visit the goddess in this remote forest. Alha used to call the mother goddess by the name 'Sharda Mai' and henceforth she became popular as 'Mata Sharda Mai'. One can see down hill behind the temple, the pond known as 'Alha Pond'. Recently this pond and the surrounding areas has been cleaned / renovated for the benefit of pilgrims. At a distance of 2 km from this pond is situated the akhara of Alha and Udal where they did practice of kusti.
Maihar is placed quite well as far as connectivity is concerned . It is connected via both major rail routes & NH 7 (national highway). Maihar Railway Station is situated in between Katni and Satna stations of West Central Railway. During Nav Ratra festivals there is heavy rush of pilgims. Therefore during thse days all UP and DOWN trains stop at Maihar for convenience of passengers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Maa Durga

Goddess Durga is the mother of the universe and believed to be the power behind the work of creation, preservation, and destruction of the world. Since time immemorial she has been worshipped as the supreme power of the Supreme Being and has been mentioned in many scriptures - Yajur Veda, Vajasaneyi Samhita and Taittareya Brahman.

The Meaning of "Durga"
The word "Durga" in Sanskrit means a fort, or a place which is difficult to overrun. Another meaning of "Durga" is "Durgatinashini," which literally translates into "the one who eliminates sufferings." Thus, Hindus believe that goddess Durga protects her devotees from the evils of the world and at the same time removes their miseries.

The Many Forms of Durga
There are many incarnations of Durga: Kali, Bhagvati, Bhavani, Ambika, Lalita, Gauri, Kandalini, Java, Rajeswari, et al. Durga incarnated as the united power of all divine beings, who offered her the required physical attributes and weapons to kill the demon "Mahishasur". Her Nine appellations are Skondamata, Kusumanda, Shailaputri, Kaalratri, Brahmacharini, Maha Gauri, Katyayani, Chandraghanta and Siddhidatri.

Amarnath Yatra 2011 Booking

One of the holy trinity, Shiva is a living god. The most sacred and most ancient book of India, the Rig Veda evokes his presence in its hymns. Vedic myths, ritual and even astronomy testify to his existence from the dawn of time. But Shiva, the destroyer, the mendicant, is indefinable: he is the great yogi, the guardian of the absolute. His actions are the themes of the myths in which his nature unfolds.
Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknown to them, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).

Amarnath is 145 km east of Srinagar in Kashmir. There is an ice Silva-linga here that changes size with the seasons, and also as the moon waxes and wanes it becomes bigger and smaller. On the full moon day the linga is about 6 ft high. It is located in a glacial valley at 4,175 m (13,700 ft.). The cave is about 150 feet high and 90 feet long. Within the cave there are four or five ice formations that resemble the figures of different gods. The biggest figure is regarded as Siva (Amarnath).

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tourist Places Near Jammu

Kud, a place of extraordinary scenic beauty is situated 103 Kms away from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. This popular resort is situated on the Jammu-Srinagar highway at an altitude of 1738 metres. This place is an ideal picnic spot as it has a bracing climate to uplift your life and give it a new meaning. This serene locale is a perfect place to unwind with your near and dear ones.
Regular transport is available from Jammu. Buses are available from General Bus stand Jammu. JKTDC also makes available chartered luxury coaches and buses. Taxis can also be hired from scores of Tour/Travel operators from across the city of Jammu , Jammu and Kashmir, India. Similar services towards Kud are available from Railway Station. Fares are pre determined by the Govt. and are subject to change.

Sudh Mahadev
The town of Chanhani, located in the western part of the Jammu holds special significance as it houses a great piece of art - the Sacred Temple of Sudh Mahadev. Chaudhari Ramdas of Chanhani and his son Chaudhari Parag Mahajan constructed the temple about 80 years ago. Shri Masu Shahane of Sudh Mahadev did the construction of the entrance door of the temple of Sudh Mahadev, an esteemed place of worship for devotees of Lord Shiva.
This holy spot near Patnitop is situated at an altitude of 1225 mtrs, about 120 kms from Jammu, the city of ancient temples. The shrine is visited by pilgrims on the full moon night of "Saawan" (July-August) to worship the "Trishul" (trident) and a mace which is said to belong to Lord Shiva. The Devak stream originates at Sudh Mahadev and disappears among the rocks a few kilometres down stream. During the month of July and August, a fair is held here with 3 days of music, singing and dancing. This divine place is situated at a distance of 8 kms from Kud or Patnitop.

Mansar Lake
It's a beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills situated 62 Kms away from Jammu. Apart from being a picnic spot, Mansar Lake has the religious importance too. On the Eastern Bank of the Lake there is a shrine of Sheshnaag, a mythological snake with six heads. The shrine comprises a big boulder on which are placed a number of iron chains perhaps representing the small serpents waiting on the tutelary deity of the Sheshnaag.

Akhnoor is a beautiful town situated at a distance of 32 kms from Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The Chenab river meets the plain in Akhnoor, just north-west of Jammu, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. This was originally the route to Srinagar in the Moghul era of Jehangir, who died on the way to Kashmir and was temporarily buried at Chingas.
Akhnoor is also related with the legend of Sohni-Mahiwal, the eternal love story. This is a historic town where one can visit the ruins of the great Indus-valley civilization spread along the river Chenab. The whole area commands a panoramic view of Akhnoor to enthrall your life.

Shiv Khori
This holy cave situated 100 Kms away from Jammu and 70 Kms from Katra, is nearly a kilometre long with a 4-feet high naturally formed Shivling. It's considered second only to the shrine of Vaishnodeviji according to religious importance.
The Holy Cave abode of Lord Shiva is a real wonder to be seen. The cave is in the shape of Lord Shiva's Damroo i.e. wide at the two ends while very congested at the center. The width of the cave is so less at certain place that a person can barely crawl through whereas at other places it's over a hundred feet wide and quite high too. There are lots of features which can be observed in the cave, however the best of them is the natural milky water dripping from the top to the Shivling symbolizing the eternity of the holy river Ganga. The place hosts a major fair on the eve of Shivratri.

Baba Dhansar
This Temple of Lord Shiva is located at a distance of about 15 Kms from Katra on way to Salal Dam. Here, a huge spring emerges from the rocks in a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small cascading waterfalls before ultimately flowing into the Holy rivulet that merges with the Chenab River.
There is a naturally formed Shivling on which droplets of water fall at a constant pace all the year round. A big fair is held here during Shivratri. For the facility of the yatris visiting the place, the Shrine Board has carried out some developments including the construction of a Dharamshala.

Shahdra Sharief
The shrine of Shahdra Sharief in Rajouri district, 177 kms from Jammu is one of the most popular Muslim shrines of Jammu region, visited by thousand of devotees every day.Shahdra Sharief is well connected with Rajouri town by a 30 kilometre-long road. Regular bus service operates from Rajouri and even Jammu to Shahdra Sharief. Taxis of all kinds are available from Jammu as well as Rajouri for visiting this very popular holy shrine.

Kishtawar, the upland valley in the north-east corner of Jammu region lies ensconced among the picturesque folds of the Pir Panjal and the Great Himalayan Ranges. The area is drained by the Chenab river system which, flowing in from neighbouring Himachal Pradesh enters the area through Paddar, home of the famous sapphire mines.

Chamunda Devi Temple

Chamunda Devi Mandir is located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on the banks of Banganga (Baner) River. Temple dates back to the 16th century. The temple is dedicated to Chamunda Devi, who is a form of Durga Maa. Chamunda Devi is considered as the wrathful form of Durga, but at the same time, the Goddess is kind to her true devotees. The term 'Chamunda' has been derived from two words, 'Chanda' and 'Munda'. As per the mythological legends, Durga made a goddess with her power, to slay the demons, Chanda and Munda. With her immense power, the Goddess killed the demons. Goddess Durga became happy with the slaughter and blessed the goddess that she would be known and worshipped as Chamunda. The main shrine is adored by the images of Lord Bhairav and Lord Hanuman on its sides. Actually, these lords are considered as the guards of the Goddess. Temple is also known as 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham'. The temple was originally located at some remote spot which was not easily accessible. Around 400 years ago the king and a Brahmin priest prayed to Devi for permission to move the temple to some easily accessible location. Devi appeared to the priest in a dream giving her consent. She directed him to dig in a certain spot and an ancient idol would be found and that idol should be installed in the temple and worshipped as her form. The king sent out men to bring the idol. Although they were able to locate it but were not able to lift it. Again Devi appeared to the priest in a dream. She explained that the men could not lift the holy relic because they considered it an ordinary stone. She instructed him to get up early in the morning, take a bath, wear fresh clothes and go to the place in a respectful manner. He did as he was told and found that he could easily lift what a large group of men could not. He told the people that it was the power of the Goddess that brought the idol to the temple. The Chamunda Devi Temple is said to be more than 700 years old. There is a Kund (tank) where devotees take a dip. The idol in the main temple is considered so sacred that even the eyes of devotees are not allowed to touch upon it; it is kept completely concealed beneath a red cloth. There are several brightly painted figures of gods and goddesses around the place.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Story of Vaishno Devi

To know the history of the temple we must go back to Treta Yug when the virtuous people were tormented by the Asuras (demons) Ravana, Kumb-Karan, Khardooshan, Tadka and others. The Gods decided to create a divine personality, in the roop (form) of a girl for their protection. The divine girl asked the Gods the cause and reason for her birth. The divine forces told her that she had been created to protect Dharma and rekindle spirit of religion. She took birth in South India at the home of Ratnakar Sagar as a girl named Trikuta. Later the same girl was called Vaishno because of her taking birth from Lord Vishnu’s lineage. The religion propagated by this goddess girl was called Vaishno-Dharm.

In her lifetime Trikuta attracted many devoted followers including saints. The fame of her divine power and miracle spread far and wide. People started visiting the abode of Trikuta to get benediction.

After some time Trikuta sought permission from her father for taking penance on the seashore. She prayed to Lord Vishnu in the form of Rama who reached the seashore alongwith his army in search of Sita, his eyes fell on this divine girl in deep meditation. Rama asked Trikuta her name and reason for penance. She replied that she had accepted Rama as her husband by mind and heart.

On hearing this Ram told her that he had vowed to be faithful to wife. However, Ram ji wished that penance of Trikuta should no go waste and unfruitful. Therefore he said to her, “I will definitely come to see you in a disguised form. If you can recognise me at that time then I will accept you.”

It is said that on his return from Lanka, Lord Rama went to see the girl in the form of an old monk (Sadhu) but she did not recognise him as God.

He revealed his identity and assured Trikuta that in ‘Kaliyug’ he would manifest himself as ‘Kalki’ would marry her.

He asked Trikuta to meditate in Trikuta range of Manik Mountains, situated in north India. He said that Trikuta would become immortal forever and would become famous as ‘Vaishno Devi’.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vaishno Devi Tours and Travel Packages

This is probably India’s most well-known pilgrimage and attracts millions of devotees from all over India. The deep belief in the Mata at Vaishnodevi goes beyond all rational perception. Aged people, youngsters, families and children, all walk up the arduous journey to the shrine, in spite of physical hardship, cold weather and the jostling crowds. The experience at the shrine is said to be so deeply spiritual that worshippers make this journey over and over again many times in their lifetime.

Pilgrims have to arrive at the town of Katra, 50km from Jammu, which is the starting point of the pilgrimage. From here they climb up a paved track – 3 km uphill and then 3 km downhill – to reach the holy cave or Bhavan where the goddesses’ idol is housed. There is another original track which is much more steep and difficult. A few pilgrims even opt to climb that, but the majority use the new track. The entire arrangements.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


High, High to the north, amidst snow capped mountains and sprawling forests arise from within the holy shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi. Our journey takes you to this awesome wilderness, a place so holy and sacred, a place of mystery and adventure scarcely known to most in modern world. The Yatra begins at Katra and pilgrims cover 13km of terrain on foot to reach the holy Darbar. There is a common faith among the folk that Goddess-Vaishno sends a 'Call' to her devotees : and that once a person receives it, wherever he or she is, marches towards the holy shrine of the great Goddess. Howsoever difficult the passage may be : the difficult ascents, with innumerable stairs, are accomplished on foot by those who had never walked even small distances at their homes. A supernatural power seems to draw them through the mountain and they climb up those great heights step by step, chanting 'Prem se bolo, JAI MATA DI' The Holy Cave Shrine of Maa Vaishno Devi is situated in a beautiful recess of the Holy Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas as in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Shree Durga Stut : JAI MATA DI

Bhagwati Bhagwan Ki Bhakti Karo Parvaan Tum
Ambe Kar Do Amar Jispe Ho Jao Meharbaan Tum

Kali Kaal Ke Panje Se Tum Hi Bachana Aan Kar
Gauri Godi Mein Bithana Apna Balak Jaankar
Chintpurni Chinta Meri Dur Tum Karti Raho
Lakshmi Lakhon Bhandare Mere Tum Bharti Raho

Nainadevi Naino Ki Shakti Ko Dena Tum Badha
Vaishno Maa Vishey Vikaro Se Bhi Lena Tum Bacha
Mangala Mangal Sada Karna Bhawan Darbar Mein
Chandika Chadhti Rahe Meri Kala Sansar Mein

Bhadrakali Bhadra Purshon Se Milana Tum Sada
Jwala Jalna Irsha Vash Yeh Mitana Kar Kripa
Chamunda Tum Chaman Pe Apni Daya Drishti Karo
Mata Maan Ijjat Ve Sukh Sampati Se Bhandar Bharo

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Aarti Shri Ambe Ji Ki

Jai Ambe Gauri, Mayya Jai Shyama Gauri
Tumko Nish-Din Dhyavat, Hari Brahma Shivri [1] Jai Ambe Gauri
Maang Sindoor Virajat, Tiko Mrig-Mad Ko
Ujjwal Se Dou Naina, Chandra Vadan Niko [2] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanak Samaan Kalewar, Raktaambar Raaje
Rakt Pushp Gal-Mala, Kanthan Par Saaje [3] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kehri Vahan Rajat, Kharag Khapar DhaariSur Nar Muni Jan Sevat,
Tinke Dukh Haari [4] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanan Kundal Shobhit , Naas-Agre Moti
Kotik Chandra Divakar, Sum Rajat Jyoti [5] Jai Ambe Gauri
Shumbh Ni-Shumbh Vidare, Mahisha Sur Ghati
Dhumra-Vilochan Naina, Nish-Din Mad Mati [6] Jai Ambe Gauri
Chandh Mundh Sangh-Haare, Shonit Beej Hare
Madhu Kaitabh Dou Maare, Sur Bhe Heen Kare [7] Jai Ambe Gauri
Brahmani Rudrani, Tum Kamla Rani
Aagam Nigam Bakhani, Tum Shiv Patrani [8] Jai Ambe Gauri
Chon-Sath Yogini Gavat, Nritya Karat Bhairon
Baajat Taal Mridanga, Aur Baajat Damaroo [9] Jai Ambe Gauri
Tum Ho Jag Ki Maata, Tum Hi Ho Bharta
Bhakto Ki Dukh Harata, Sukh Sampati Karata [10] Jai Ambe Gauri
Bhuja Chaar Ati Shobhit, Var Mudra Dhaari
Man Vaanchit Phal Pavat, Sevat Nar Naari [11] Jai Ambe Gauri
Kanchan Thaal Virajat, Agar Kapoor Baati
Shri Maal-Ketu Me Rajat, Kotik Ratan Jyoti [12] Jai Ambe Gauri
Shri Ambe-Ji-Ki Aarti, Jo Koi Nar Gaave
Kahat Shivanand Swami, Sukh Sampati Paave [13] Jai Ambe Gauri

English Translation

Glory to you, O divine Mother Gauri, glory to you, O Parvati, who are so rich in maiden grace , the object of daily meditation by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. O Ambe! On your forehead is a mark of vermilion along with a mark of musk . Your twin eyes are bright and your face beautiful as the moon. Your body with a tinge of gold is beautifully dressed in red attire; on your throat there is a wreath of red blossoms like a beautiful necklace. Your vehicle, the lion, is, O Mother in keeping with your majestic form; you hold a sword and a skull in your hands, and on you attend the gods, hermits, men and your devotees, whose grief you drive away. You are adorned with rings on your ears and with pearl on the tip of your nose, your radiance looks as beautiful as that of myriad of moons and suns. O slayer of the demon Mahish, you tore apart the bodies of Shumbha, Nishumbha and Dhuumravilochana. Your eyes reflected a frenzy of wrath everyday and night. You are the beloved companion of Brahma, Rudra and Vishnu. The Vedas and the Shastras describe you as the queen companion of Shiva Sixty-four Yoginis chorus your glory and glorify you, while Shiva dances in tune to the accompaniment of the sound of tambour and drum . You are mother of the universe, the almighty, its sustainer, reliever of your devotees' hardships and bestower of prosperity and happiness The four arms you have adorned your person, while the hand raised in benediction reveals your compassionate aspect. Those among men and women who wait on you and worship you have all their wishes fulfilled. In a golden platter are beautifully laid aloe and camphor, both of which have lighted; and the radiance of your forehead is reflecting the splendour of gems.

Naina Devi Temple

"Jai Mata Di" Naina Devi Temple is one of the fifty-one Shakti Peeths in India. Situated 60 km from Bilaspur district in Himachal Pradesh, Naina Devi Temple is one of the highly venerated Shakti Temples in India.
Naina Devi Temple is a holy shrine that is dedicated to Shri Naina Devi, one of the forms of Goddess Shakti. Located on the top of a hill in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh, Naina Devi Mandir is one amongst the fifty one Shakti Peeths. The Temple of Naina Devi is a famous temple, connected to the National Highway No. 21 for the facility of pilgrims. The hill can be reached through a road by vehicles and to reach the summit, one can opt for concrete steps or cable car.

Naina Devi Temple is a sacred place especially for the Hindus. Pilgrims come to visit this temple to pay their homage to the Goddess. According to the legends, the different body parts of Sati fell on the earth during the time of self-sacrifice. It is believed that Sati's eyes fell at this point and subsequently, a temple was built here to commemorate the goddess. The term 'Naina' suggests 'eyes', so the goddess came to be known as Naina Devi.

In the temple complex, there is huge Peepal tree that is acclaimed to be present from past many centuries. On the right side of the entrance to the main shrine, idols of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha are placed. After crossing the main gate of the shrine, two striking statues of Lions are visible. The main shrine reveals the images of three deities. Goddess Kali can be traced on the extreme left. In the centre, image of Naina Devi is visible, while Lord Ganesha is on the right side.

The Temple is perched over a small yet scenic hill. From the suburbs of the temple, one can spot the picturesque Govind Sagar Lake. Close to the main shrine, there is a small cave, which is known as Shri Naina Devi Cave. In the earlier days, people used to trek the steep path of 1.25 kms to reach the temple at the hill-top. Now, the facility of cable car has been launched to make to journey easy and enjoyable. On Shravan Ashtami, a big fair is held annually at this temple. During the time of Navratras, the temple is visited by large number of people.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tourist places near Jammu

Places in and around Jammu such as Katra, Srinagar and Ladakh are some of the prime tourist locales of India.


Katra town, lying in the foot of Trikuta Mountains, 48 kms. from Jammu, serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, which is approachable on foot along a 13 kms long well laid footpath. Every year, more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on their way to the holy shrine.

Located at an altitude of about 2500 feet above sea level, Katra is the last point uptill which any type of modern transport can go (except the recently started Helicopter service, which takes the pilgrims right till Sanjichhat, just a couple of kilometers from the Holy Shrine).


Srinagar, the pride of Kashmir valley, is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar is famous for its lakes and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. Srinagar is located in the western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the northern region of India. It is located in the Kashmir valley. River Jhelum passes through Srinagar city. Srinagar is 876 km north of Delhi.


Ladakh is a land of extraordinary beauty which is bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram. Ladakh lies at altitudes ranging from about 9,000 feet (2750m) at Kargil to 25,170 feet (7,672m) at Saser Kangri in the Karakoram. Thus summer temperatures rarely exceed about 27 degree Celsius in the shade, while in winter they may plummet to minus 20 degree Celsius even in Leah. This place offers wonderful option for adventure tourism and sight seeing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to reach Vaishno Devi

In order to visit the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi Ji, one has to reach Katra, a small town situated around 50 kms. from Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Katra serves as the base camp for the yatra. Katra is well connected to Jammu and Jammu, in turn, is well connected to the rest of the country by Air, Rail, and Road.

By Air : Jammu is well connected to the rest of India by air. Both Indian Airlines and Jet Airways operate daily flights to Jammu. The average flying time from New Delhi is about 80 minutes.

By Train : One can also reach Jammu by rail. Jammu is connected to other parts of country on broad gauge and numerous passenger trains ply from various parts of the country to Jammu. In the peak season of summer and other holidays, the Railways introduce special trains for Jammu for the comfort of the Yatris. Many superfast trains also ply on this route and one can reach Jammu overnight from New Delhi.

A list of trains, their schedules and booking status could be seen at the Indian Railways website. You can even book tickets online if you are planning to travel in the near future.

By Road : Jammu is well connected through road also to rest of India. National Highway No. 1A passes through Jammu towards Srinagar. Regular bus services from all major North Indian cities are available for Jammu as well as Katra. Many standard and deluxe buses of various State Road Transport Corporations as well as private operators connect Jammu with important cities and towns of North India.

Passengers using Air or Rail as a mode of travel have necessarily to break their journey at Jammu and from thereon select an alternative mode of transport. However for passengers traveling by road, either through public or own transport, there is an option of taking a by-pass from Kunjwani, nearly 10 kms. off Jammu and heading straight for the base camp i.e Katra. The option of a halt at Jammu is thus entirely with the yatri although many yatries would like to spend more time in Jammu and visit the temples and other landmarks there.

Some other beautiful places near Vaishno Devi

Raghunath Temple
Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple dedicated to Lord Rama is outstanding and unique in Northern India. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD.
Ranbireshwar temple
Located on the Shalimar Road near the New Secretariat, and built by Maharaja Ranbir Singh in1883 AD, Ranbireshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has one central 'Lingam' measuring seven and a half feet height (7.5 ft.) and twelve Shiva 'Lingams' of crystal measuring from 15 cms. To 38 cms. and galleries with thousands of Shiva 'Lingams' fixed on stone slabs.
This was once the residential palace of Raja Amar Singh. the palace has been converted to a museum and is looked after by Hari-Tara Charitable trust. The museum has a golden throne made of 120kg pure gold sofa and has golden lions embedded into it. The throne is placed in a hexagonal room. This is a beautiful palace of red sand stone which stands amidst the most picturesque environments of Jammu. There is beautiful view of the Shiwaliks at the north and the River Tawi flows down below. adding to the Grandeur.
Bahu Fort
Five kms from Jammu city situated on a rock face on the left bank of the river Tawi, this is perhaps the oldest fort and edifice in the city. Constructed originally by Raja Bahulochan over 3,000 years ago, the existing Fort was more recently improved and built by Dogra rulers.
Mansar Lake
Sixty kms. A beautiful lake fringed by forest-covered hills. Boating facilities are available on the spot. Every year around Baisakhi, a food and crafts festival is organised here by J&K Tourism.

A Unforgettable trip to Haridwar - Rishikesh

It was the 9th day of April, when we were going for Haridwar-Rishikesh trip. We started travelling by train in late evening and reached Haridwar on 10th April at morning.The morning was quite cold as we were not ready for such a chill weather, we just wraped ourselves with clothes.

We searched for a “dhramshala” for 1-2 hrs. Here we came to know that why tourists in India are forced to accept “thagi”. Everyone there has his own business, they have no need to search job outside, because for them money flow is coming automatically, only they have to set up the business and grab the money. So that is good for living purpose, as people are close to their family so they have forced to have some morality aspect with them.
So As we had already opted for travel package, we went to our contractor and after that we moved with guide for trekking, we went to see waterfall, it was nice .After that we went for rappelling and at the end of first day the camping. So it was nice to spend time near to bank of Ganga. It was really a very awesome scene with awesome feelings. In evening and late evening we enjoyed there, there was bonfire which we enjoyed. One of our friend choose a girl named Nitika, he tried to flirt with her, but didn’t get enough time with her. Although we enjoyed that all. After that we had lanterns in front of our camps. Camps were nice and as we had chat till late night and as we felt cold we slept.

Next day on 11th April we have to go for rafting the river rafting. We had thought that it was just an event which we had to do, not too much excited. We were lucky that day that we got good company of a Denmark Girl, one sailor from Laddakh, and one local sailor cum guide. All persons were humorous and they made river rafting the best event of trip. There was very good scenes around us, we were enjoying body surfing in Ganga and there were some good rapids having interesting names like "Black Money", "Double Trouble" ,"Roller Coaster","Hilton & Terminator" which made us feel the power of water. We enjoyed that too much. Besides that exciting event of cliff jumping was awesome. Everything was awesome. After completing we went a high class Resort, where we took a long rest. We checked out the resort in mid of the day on 12th April.We came to Haridwar and rested in a cheap but a good hotel.Although we were missing our one friend and thinking if he would have been there then we have no time to rest. But as he was not there with us, we had taken rest. The rest was too long we rested till next afternoon. After noon we moved to “Har ki paidi” and “rope way to Mansa Devi mandir”. Both were good, noting special which I have to describe.
After that we moved to the Haridwar railway station, where we techies were not able to search our platform, that really made us laugh on system and on ourselves. After that we slept for few hours and reached in night back at home.In the morning all of us were tired .But at the end it was a nice trip indeed.

To Know More about Haridwar - Rishikesh Trip

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