Tag Archives: Pilgrimage

Galta Ji Jaipur – The Sacred Kund of Natural Water Springs, Ponds and Cluster of Temples

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Decades ago in the year 1726, the Maharaja of Jaipur established this kingdom of royal architecture. Within the unfolding lanes of Jaipur you’ll find many temples and holy halts But the most fascinating and intriguing among them all is Galta Ji- the magnificent campus of temples, yes you read it right, it’s not just one temple but a marvelous cluster of numerous beautiful temples spread amid the boundaries of Aravali Hills. Unlike any other tourist spot in Jaipur, Galta ji is rather more popular among locals and pilgrims from adjoining villages for its religious significance.

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Dated back to 16th century, Galta Ji temple was developed further by Sawai Jai Singh II’s companion Vaishnavite Ramanandi Diwan Rao Kriparam. The temple complex however is named after the Saint Galav who spent his whole life in search of truth and meditated for 100 years within this compound. Touched by his perseverance, the Gods appeared before him and blessed this place with abundant water. So as to honour the great Saint Galav; the temple was named after him. The gaumukh shaped structures (Cow’s mouth) secretes holy water and the water from these natural springs is further accumulated in the ‘kunds’.

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Of all the seven tanks, the holiest is the Galta Kund, which never goes dry. The pre historic temple is flocked by thousands of pilgrims every year who believe that taking holy dip in these natural springs of Galta ji would wash off all their sins. Holy months or dates like Makar Sankranti, Ekadashi, the revered month Kartik ,which is currently going on, Purnima (Full moon night of Kartik month) are the important dates when the crowd of pilgrims is at its peak.

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Located 10-11 kms from Jaipur in the sprawling expanses, the striking temple of Galta ji appears more of a mansion replete with temples, pavilions, natural springs and sacred kunds. The compound of pink sandstone with brilliant layout is primarily dedicated to the Sun God that rests on the top of the temple which is decked up with intricate gazebos, carved pillars and painted walls.

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Galta ji also houses the temple of RamGopal ji- an architecturally beautiful temple dedicated to lord Vishnu whose Idol in the temple is unique that appears like Lord Krishna and Rama both. As per the legends, lord Krishna appeared before Goswami Tulsidas ji in the form of lord Rama. Hence we see the image of both lord Ram and Krishna in the idol.

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Another major attraction is Hanuman temple that stands out for being surrounded by hundreds of monkeys. When you enter the temple you’ll find a mass of monkeys ranging from babies to adults all playing around, sleeping, feeding and taking care of each other by grooming them. It totally feels like an empire of monkeys where you can feed them with bananas or nuts; which is also another way of washing off sins according to local guides and hawkers.

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Nevertheless this lush green landscape of nature, where the sight of bathing pilgrims, praying women, meditating monks, decorated cows and makeshift shops of attractive souvenirs offer another kind of solace, on the other hand the compassing hills, lush green vegetation with breathtaking landscapes, offer a mind blowing panorama of the surroundings and the Pink City.

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Galtaji Temple is a treasure trove of heritage and a sacred pilgrimage where pilgrims would dive into the kunds with the idea that they would receive a good karma, and monkeys are treated as sacred animal and worshiped like Gods.  A visit to Galta ji that attracts people from far lands owing to its tranquility, temples, kunds, people and pilgrims is one in a lifetime experience that not just offers a travel story but also fills your soul with sacred sanctifying thoughts while returning home!

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Great Indian Travel Bazaar gets underway in Jaipur

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Great India Travel Bazaar, a joint initiative of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Rajasthan Tourism, and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, , is the three days B2B travel show that promotes Rajasthan as a preferred tourist destination. The event was inaugurated in Jaipur on Sunday.

The three-day tourism fair was inaugurated by NC Goel, Additional Chief Secretary – Tourism, Government of Rajasthan in the presence of Suman Billa, Jt. Secretary – Tourism, Government of India, and Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson, Tourism Committee of FICCI.

The highest priority to tourism infrastructure in the State is assured by the tourism department ministers during the event. Rajasthan has already submitted proposals to the Union Tourism Ministry to the tune of Rs. 500 crores for developing innovative circuits like Spiritual, Heritage, Mega Desert, Tribal and Eco-Adventure. Some infrastructure projects under the schemes of PRASAD and SWADESH were also being developed.

Owing to the development of infrastructure as well as an aggressive and creative marketing campaign, in the year 2016, Rajasthan registered an impressive growth of domestic tourist arrivals by 18% while that of foreign tourist arrivals by 3 %. In the current year, the tourist arrival trends are suggesting even better growth.

There has been an impressive growth of foreign tourist arrivals in the country to the tune of 11% and around 9% in domestic tourist arrivals in 2016, said Billa. The trend in initial months of 2017 indicate a growth of 16%. The primary reason for a quantum jump in the tourist arrivals was also owing to the introduction electronic visa facility.

GITB is the most significant platform and the sole promoter of Inbound Tourism in India. Giving a snapshot of GITB over the past few years the Chairperson of Tourism, Jyotsana Suri  highlighted that the number of buyers have increased from 260 to 275. There has also been significant rise in the number of B2B meetings from 3000 to 10,800 since it began.

Maha Shivratri in various temples of Rajasthan

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Mahashivaratri that will fall on February 17, 2015 is celebrated with great fervor in Rajasthan. A large number of devotees observe strict fast on the day. They also believe that an earnest and honest celebration of the festival will give them a respite from all their sins. This festival is mostly celebrated by women of the Hindu community. After fasting for the whole day, they devotedly pray to the God. Married women perform these rituals for the well being of their husbands. Unmarried girls perform these rituals to get the best husband like Lord Shiva.

The entire country is bathed in the spirit of celebrating auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri today.  The enthusiastic devotees of Lord Shiva will perform special prayers and make an offering of bael leaves, coconut, flowers, milk, honey, fruits and water to the Lord Shiva.  And the chants of “Om Namah Shivaya!” will be heard throughout this Maha Shivratri night in temples. Here’s a list of prominent temples which you can visit today to experience the real essence of Maha Shivratri !

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Devotees making offering on Shivling (Image via Google)

In Rajasthan, where numerous festivals are celebrated throughout the year, Maha Shivratri is also commemorated with great pomp and gaiety. To mark the celebration of this festival, we take you on exploration of iconic temples of Rajasthan dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Here we go-

Eklingji Temple

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Image via Google

Located about 22 kms from Udaipur, this ancient double-storeyed temple is an architectural marvel. Very peaceful and quiet inside, the temple has a huge ‘mandap’ with unique carvings shelterd by the heavy pyramidal roof. Carved from black marble, the 50 ft high idol of four-faced Eklingji depicting the four forms of Lord Shiva is the most striking feature of the temple.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple

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Image Courtesy : Chittorgarh Tourism

Situated near Padmini’s Palace of the Chittorgarh Fort, this temple is worth visiting atleast once for remarkable carvings of Lord Shiva and other deities on the walls of the temple. On the day of Maha Shivratri, you’re sure to find a great crowd here.

Manihara Mahadev Temple

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Image via Google

This 600 years old temple is nestled in peaceful surrounding at around 3 kms from the main town of Baran. The temple is surrounded by various ponds and green trees. For an annual Shivratri celebration, a fair is also held here.

 

Someshwar Mahadev Temple

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Image via Google

The architecture of this beautiful temple is nothing short of exquisite. Located in Bhangarh at a distance of around 80 kms from Alwar district, the temple is main attraction to tourists visiting Bhangarh with spiritual bend of mind.

Let’s take part in the celebration of the marriage of the Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati and rejoice the occasion.

Happy Maha Shivratri !

 

Chandrabhaga Fair – 2013

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The Chandrabhaga fair is one of the most popular festivals celebrated at Jhalrapatan in Jhalawar district of Rajasthan, India to be celebrated this year from November 16 to 18, 2013. This festival is celebrated in the honor of the sun God.  Devotees from various parts of India congregate here offer prayers to the Sun take a dip into the holy waters which nourishes this region. It is considered a holy place by the people residing in this region, which is known as Chandravati.

Every year in this Chandrabhaga Fair a huge cattle fair is organized where farm animals like horses, cows, camels and bullocks are bought here from the distant parts for sale. This fair gives good opportunity to the tourists to know more about the traditions and rituals of this region.

The indomitable forts, magnificent palaces, charming wildlife, traditional fairs and festivals and peaceful lakes are some of the things that build up the attraction of this place. Chandrabhaga Fair, Jhalawar is one such splendid sight that truly deserves the attention of the tourists. This fair acquaints all travelers, pilgrims and explorers alike, with the rituals and traditions practiced in this region of the nation.

Tourist Attractions like Jhalawar Fort, Bhawani Natyashala, Government Museum, Chandrabhaga Temple, Gagron Fort, Bhimsar, Gangadhar Fort, Kakuni, Dalhanpur and Rein Basera are the major tourist hotspots of the region that are worth a visit during Chandrabhaga Fair.

Indian Railways to run special trains from Jaipur for Jyotirlingam Darshan!

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The Ministry of Indian Railway has decided to launch seven Jyotirlring special trains from Jaipur Junction. These trains will run under the authorization of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. The trains are scheduled to be departure from Jaipur Junction on 30th June and passengers boarding these trains will return back to the Jaipur by 11th July. Trains will cover the various ‘Mahadev’ pilgrim spots in the course of 10 days.

A most revered pilgrimage circuit in India is the visit to the holy places of 12 Jyotirlingas It will be an enthralling experience for any of the Shiva devotee

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Pilgrims will have an opportunity to visit the various temples on route. The itinerary of the routes and pilgrim spots covered is as follow:

July, 1 – Mahakaleshwar temple of Ujjain.

July, 2 – Onkareshwar and Dwarika of Indore.

July, 4 –  Naageshwar.

July, 5 – Somnath.

July, 7 – Grhineshwar  of Aurangabaad.

July, 8 – Bheemashanker.

July, 9 – Trimbhakeshwar.

You can get your bookings done from now onwards. Ticket fare per passenger is going to be Rs. 6600.

Spend your vacations differently this summer by visiting all these auspicious pilgrim spots.