Ceilings of Chennakeshava Temple Somnathpura

ShilpAchAryam namO namaha

Spectacular example of Wizardry of Ultraskilled Vishwakarmas of Ancient India.

Chennakeshava Temple Somnathpura is a splendid gem of Hoyasala architecture. Everything about this temple is just amazing and awe struck. Pillars, Halls, Lintels, Windows, Walls everything is adorned with intricate details, ornate designs and beautiful Sculptures. Especially the ceilings of this temple is spell bounding.

There are 16 ornately carved ceilings with complex unique designs like multi-petalled lotuses, banana bud motifs based on stepped ponds, Palm leaves theme, endless knot symbolizing karma and samsara, snake like (ananta) knots (symbolising eternity), etc.

When you visit this temple, do look up for the ornate ceilings, which are all spectacular works of art!

PS – Photos taken on Moto X Play

Phone#incrediblespiritualindia #Incredibleindia #AkhandBharath #Shilpacharyam #Vishwakarma #Craftmanship #Sculpting

NagarEshu kAnchi

ayodhyA mathurA mAyA kAshI kA~nchI avantikA |
purI dvArAvatI chaiva saptaitA mokShadAyikAH ||

Seven cities in India correspond to seven centres or chakras in our body:

Kanchi corresponds to the swadhisthana chakra situated behind the genitals, as the presiding deity here is Kamakshi. (Source – artofliving site)

Kanchipuram or Kanchi is a famous temple city in Tamil Nadu known as ‘the city of thousand temples.

Pushpeshu jati, purusheshu Vishnu
Naarishu Rambha, Nagareshu Kanchi.

This jingle is attributed to Kalidasa, a connoisseur of places who might have seen enough of Kanchipuram more than a millennium ago to come up such a crisp verse. Certainly, for over two thousand years, Kanchipuram has been laying down layers of the finest in culture. Even though these earlier days have largely to be surmised, there is plenty of historical documentation about the Pallavas and Cholas, who had a big hand in building the city and its environs.

The original name of Kanchipuram was Kachchi Managar. There have been different interpretations of the word kanchi. The Sanskrit term denotes a woman’s waist-girdle. This place was also known as Tondaimandalam in ancient Sangam literature, in which it is referred to as a forest of kanchi (river portia) trees. The city itself is referred to as Kachchi in works like Manimekalai. (Source- Hindupedia).

Kanchipuram (12.82°N 79.71°E), the pilgrimage city, in South India, also known as Conjeevaram during the British rule, built during the Pallava Dynasty between 6th and 8th centuries, located on the bank of the Vedavathi River, has an architectural legacy of over 1000 years. Before this period, it was the capital of early Cholas in the 2nd century BC. After the rule of the Pallava Dynasty, the Vijayanagar empire and the Nayaka dynasty period followed, in that order. Prior to the Pallava reign, it is conjectured, based on the chronicles of the Xuanzang, the Chinese pilgrim who visited Pallavas court, that the city was under the influence of Ashoka, the Mauryan emperor in 3rd century BC. Xuanzang had also noted that Buddha had visited this place. Jain and Buddhist temples and stupas of the Chola Dynasty reign have been recorded but mostly do not exist on ground. But South Indian architecture got a fillip only during the Pallava rule, particularly of rock cut temples during Mahendarvarman I’s reign after he converted from Jainism to Hinduism . He was considered a man with vision and intelligence, a scholar, musician and a playwright. Kanchipuram was considered second only to Varanasi city in fame and learning. Adi Shankara, the Hindu philosopher saint, who propagated the Advaita philosophy lived and taught here in the eighth century AD.

The city has 108 Shaiva and 18 Vaishnava temples. The Hindu philosopher Ramanujacharya who propagated the Vishishtadvaita philosophy studied here. The temples are distributed in three zones of the city namely, the Vishnu temples are in the east zone, the Shiva shrines are on the outskirts of the city in the northern zone and the Jain mandirs are on the east across the Vedavathi River.

Some of the exquisitely designed and built temples of the Vijayanagar period in Vijayanagara architecture style are the Ekamabaranath temple tower which is 192 feet (59 m) in height, and the Varadaraja Swamy temple, which has a 1000-pillar hall.Legend has it that Parvathy offered worship to a Shivalinga made out of sand and gained Shiva’s hand in marriage.

Kamakshi Amman temple is an ancient temple here and the most famous of all the temples in the city. It is associated with Adi Shankara. The temple covers an area of about 5 acres (2.0 ha) and the sanctum is covered with gold plated Vimana. Kamakshi is enshrined in the temple in a sitting posture called the Parabramha Swaroopini, seated with the trinity of Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva.(Source – Wikipedia)

Incredible Spiritual India Trip to Kanchipuram

1. Sri Adi Kamakshi Devi Temple, Kanchipuram
2. Sri Kamakshi Devi Temple, Kanchipuram
3. Sri Eka Amareshwara Temple, Kanchipuram
4. Sri Kailasanathar Temple, Kanchipuram
5. Sri Surageshwara Temple/ Iravatanesvara Temple, Kanchipuram
6. Sri Karchabeswara Temple, Kanchipuram
7. Varadharaja Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram
8. Ashtabujakaram – Sri Adhikesava Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram
9. Tiruvekkaa – Sri Yathothkari Temple, Kanchipuram
10. Tiruththanka – Sri Deepaprakasa Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram
11. Tirukalvanoor – Sri AdiVaraha Swami Temple, Kanchipuram
12. Tiruoorakam – Sri Ulagalantha Swami Temple, Kanchipuram
13. Tiruneeragam – Sri Jagadeeshwarar Temple, Kanchipuram
14. Tirukaaragam – Sri KarunagaraPerumal Temple, Kanchipuram
15. Tirukaarvaanam – Sri Tirukaarvarnar Temple, Kanchipuram
16. Tiruparamechura Vinnagaram – Sri Vaikunta Perumal Temple
17. Tirupaadagam – Sri PandavaThoodar Temple, Kanchipuram
18. Tirunilaaththingalthundam – Sri Nilathingal Thundathan Perumal Temple (The temple is a small shrine close to the sanctum sanctorum of the Eka Amareshwar temple.), Kanchipuram
19. Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, Kanchipuram
20. Sri Sthala Shayana Perumal Temple – Mahabalipuram
21. Shore Temple – Mahabalipuram
22. Arjuna’s Penance – Mahabalipuram
23. Pancha Ratha’s – Mahabalipuram
24. Sri Krishna Butter Ball – Mahabalipuram

25.Yampuri – Mahishasura Mardhini rockcut cave and Olakneshvara temple, Mahabalipuram
26. Mylapore Kapaleeshwara Karpagambal Temple Chennai.

Raja Gopuram of Kamakshi Devi Temple
Inside the Kamakshi Devi Temple
Sculptures on the Gopuram ~ “Thapas Kamakshi” – Notice the Kamakshi  Penance Sculpture in Standing position with single leg @ Kamakshi Temple
Kalyani (Temple Tank) of Kamakshi Temple – Look at the rainbow
Glowing Gopura – Night view @ Kamakshi Temple
Pushkarini and Swarna Gopuram @ Kamakshi Temple
Beautiful for eyes and peaceful for mind @ Kamakshi Temple
Majestic Raja Gopuram of Ekamreshvara/Ekambareshwara Temple – One of the tallest gopuram in South India measuring a height of 55 metres (180 ft).
Thousand Pillar Hall @ Ekambareshwara Temple
The temple’s inner walls are decorated with an array of 1,008 Siva lingams @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Random click @ Ekambareshwara Temple
The Sthala-Vruksham or temple tree, Which is a mango tree said to be 3,500 years old. Currently the 3500 years old tree is kept under closed glass walls which is located right next to the main shrine. This tree is regenerated from the seed of old tree @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Adi Shankaracharya in Penance form near the ancient Mango tree in Ekamresvara/Ekambareshwara temple.
From nothing to everything – Entrance to the main shrine @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Nandeeshwara – Notice the Pillars @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Vahana Mandapa – Magnificiently Carved Pillars and Shrine for Nandeeshwara @ Ekambareshwara Temple
“hallway with a thousand pillars”, which was built by the Vijayanagar Kings @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Adikara Nandi on the Pillar –
Heritage and Life @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Wonderfully Carved Pillar in Vahana Mandapam @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Kalyani or Pushkarini @ Ekambareshwara Temple
Majestic Vimana of Kailasanatha Temple
Panoramic view of Kailasanatha Temple
Rajasimhapallaveshwara Griham – Known today as Kailasanaatha Temple – 7th Century CE – A unique example of Dravidian style of architecture. Fragments of 8th century murals art are still visible reminder of the temple’s architecture. The most beautiful temple in Kanchipuram. This Temple is regarded more as an Architectural wonder rather than as a holy place.
Victorious Durga Devi – Loved the huge lion @ Kailasanatha Temple
Ferocious Narasimha @ Kailasanatha Temple
Kirātārjunīya – Arjuna fights with Kirata(Shiva) @ Kailasanatha Temple
Arjuna @ Kailasanatha Temple
Kirata(Shiva) @ Kailasanatha Temple
How melodiously sculpted @ Kailasanatha Temple
Dakshinamurthy – Notice the expressions of the four Lions @ Kailasanatha Temple
Learning – An art during the ancient times @ Kailsanatha Temple, Kanchipuram.
LEO – The Royal Symbol of Pallavas @ Kailsanatha Temple, Kanchipuram.
The most beautiful sculpture of Bhikshatana Murty @ Kailasanatha Temple, Kanchipuram.
Look at him ~ Just look at his Jatabhara   
An interesting feature distinguishing Bhikshatana from other forms of Shiva is that he is often seen wearing Padukas (footwear) or wooden sandals which is rarely seen in the iconography of other forms of Shiva.
An interesting feature distinguishing Bhikshatana from other forms of Shiva is that he is often seen wearing Padukas (footwear) or wooden sandals which is rarely seen in the iconography of other forms of Shiva @ Kailasanatha Temple
IMG_20171028_144040375_HDR-01 (1)
Lingodbhava Murthy @ Kailasanatha Temple
Majestic Sculptures and look at the Ladies wearing Yagnopaveeta @ Kailasanatha Temple
Shiva Thandavam – Just Just Just look at his smile nothing else @ Kailasanatha Temple
Parvathy Lasyam – She’s watching her husband’s Thandavam @ Kailasanatha Temple
Shiva Thandavam from Nandi’s point of view @ Kailasanatha Temple
Woman wearing ‘Yagnopaveeta’ (Sacred thread) @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Murugan @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Cutie Ganas – Look at the expressions @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Maybe Saraswathi – FRESCO Painting @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Just highlighted her with selective colour @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Dakshinamurthy @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Mudra @ Kailasanatha Temple.
View from outside of the temple @ Kailasanatha Temple.
Adi Kamakshi Devi Temple
Saara Srikara Vimanam @ Sri Ulagalantha Perumal Temple – The presiding deity of this Ulagalantha Perumal Temple is  Ulagalantha Perumal also called as Trivikrama stands at a height of 35 feet with his right leg at a right angle to the body and parallel to the ground, placed on the head of the demon King Mahabali. The two left hand fingers of Lord is seen stretched out, which indicates that he took two steps to measure the world. And one finger of His right hand refers to the question that Lord posted to the demon king, where he could place His third step.(Temple details)
Pandava Dhootha Temple – It is a rarest of the rare form in this temple that 25 feet tall Lord Krishna graces from the sanctum sanctorum in a sitting form. Majestic vimana is called Bhadra Vimana
Pandava Dhoota temple @ Kanchipuram
Jwarahareshwara Temple – The Temple is situated at a short distance from the famous ekambareshwara temple. A lofty Vimana(shikara) over the sanctum is a signature element of this Temple and is still intact and splendid. A unique feature of this temples is its sanctum built in Gajaprusta Style.
Vaikunta Perumal Temple – The temple is constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture. Vishnu is worshipped as Vaikunta Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Anandavalli. The temple was originally built by Pallavas, with later additions from the Cholas. The temple is known for the inscriptions indicating the democratic practises of electing representatives for the village bodies during the regime of Parantaka Chola (907-55 CE).
Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) Sculpture @ Vaikunta Perumal Temple, Kanchipuram.
Xuanzang (pronounced [ɕɥɛ̌ntsâŋ]; Chinese: 玄奘; Wade–Giles: Hsüan-tsang), fl. c. 602–664, was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller, and translator who described the interaction between Chinese Buddhism and Indian Buddhism in the early Tang dynasty.
Depiction of Punishment @ Vaikunta Perumal Temple.
Varadharaja Perumal Temple or Hastagiri or Attiyuran is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in the holy city of Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. It is one of the Divya Desams, the 108 temples of Vishnu believed to have been visited by the 12 poet saints, or Alwars. It is located in a suburb of Kanchipuram known as the Vishnu Kanchi that is a home for many famous Vishnu temples. One of the greatest Hindu scholars of Vaishnava VisishtAdvaita philosophy, Ramanuja is believed to have resided in this temple. The temple along with Ekambareswarar Temple and Kamakshi Amman Temple in Kanchipuram is popularly known as Mumurtivasam (abode of trio), while Srirangam is referred to as ‘ The Koil’ (meaning: “temple”) and Tirupathi as the ‘Malai’ (Meaning: “hill”). Among the Divya Desams, Kanchipuram Varadaraja Perumal temple is known as the ‘Perumal Koil’. This is one of the most sacred places for Vaishnavites.
Exquisitely carved pillars @ Varadaraja Temple, Vishnu Kanchi.
Fresco paintings of Vishnu Incaranations @ Varadaraja Temple
Fresco Paintings of Vishnu @ Varadaraja Temple
the architectural skills of ancient Vishwakarma Sthapathis in temple architecture and is famous for its holiness and ancient history.
Wonderful carved stone chain – observe the parrots at the bottom of the chain @ Varadaraja Swamy Temple.
Paramacharya @ Kamakoti Peetam
Narmada Baanalinga and Kamakshi under the tree @ Kamakoti Peetam
Kanjeevaram silk sarees are very traditional and never go out of fashion.
Shore Temple @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram
Mahishasura Mardhini Rock cut Cave and Olakneshvara temple on the top. View from the Light house @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram.
Mahishasura Mardhini Cave @ Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram
Shayana Vishnu @ Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram
Panoramic view of Pancha Rathas @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram
Pancha Rathas @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram.
Pancha rathas a view @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram.


Ardhanareeshwara – Pancha Rathas @ Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram.
Ever saw a pink sky ? Here It is – No filter @ Mylapore Kapaleeshwara Temple, Chennai.
Ganapathy Sannidhi @ Kapaleeshwara Temple, Mylapore, Chennai.
Finally a pic at one of my most favourite place @ Jvarahareshwara Temple.

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Kanchipuram #Devaayathana

Please share your Valuable feedback in the comments section – Thank you.

Kalady – Adi Shankara Janmabhoomi Kshetram

The Place which doesn’t need an introduction

Kalady, the holy birth place of Jagadguru Adi Shankara Bhagavadpada is a beautiful village with rustic simplicity and serenity . It is situated very close to the river Periyar(Poorna).

Shrines to Visit in Janmabhoomi Kshetram

1. Sapta Matruka Brahma Vidya Swaroopini Sri Sharada Devi.
2. Janmasthalam of Adi Shankaracharya.
3. Brundavanam of Aaryamba (Holy Mother of Adi Shankara)
4. Sri Shakti Ganapathy
5. Adi Shankara Shrine
6. Pictorial life history of Adi Shankara in marble plaques.
7. Sarpa Sannidhi
8. Sri Krishna Temple
9. Purna river – Crocodile Ghat

Fortunate to be here on a very special day of mine
Darshanam of Ganapathy, Sharadamba, Adi Shankara and Karthikeya

“Kalady is a pre-eminent center for inspiration on the banks of the Puma River that purifies every man in thought, word and deed. A visit to Kalady increases tranquilify, self restraint and other eminent virtues of those engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. It is the duty of every common man to visit the Holy Kalady, the birth place of Adi Sankara, and more so any aspirant for liberation, the sanyasi and those who follow the Advaita school of thought” —
said Jagadguru Shankaracharyas of Sringeri, Dwaraka, Badari and Puri in joint message.

34Kalady, the Adi Shankara Janma Bhumi Kstetram or birth place of Sri Sankara remained obscure till the beginning of 20th century. Jagadguru Sri Sachidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharathi Swami, the 33rd Peetathipathi of the illustrious Sringeri guru parampara with the help of Sri Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma Maharaja of Thiruvitamcore located Kalady. His Holiness built two temples one for Goddess Sharadamba and one for Sri Sankara. The Kumabhishekam was performed on the auspicious Magha shukla dwadasi in the year 1910 (21-02-1910). Then after Kalady grew into prominence as a great international pilgrim center. The Maha Swamiji began the conduct of Sri Sankara Jayanthi and Navarathri at Kalady from that time.

Brundavanam of Aaryamba ( Holy Mother of Adi Shankara )
Adi shankara Janma sthalam –  There’s a Sila(stone) Jyothi Sthambham which is considered as the exact spot.


Brahma Vidya Swaroopini Sri Sharadamba ( Image Source – ( http://www.sringeri. net )
Adi Shankaracharya Moorthy ( Image Source – http://www.sringeri.net )
Divya Darshanam of Adi Shankaracharya ( Image Source – http://www.sringeri.net )
Shakti Ganapathy ( Image source – Asianetnews )
Jagadguru Sri Sachidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharathi Swami, the 33rd Peetathipathi of the illustrious Sringeri guru parampara.


Sarpa Sannidhi
A Painting of Kanakadhaara Stotram
Painting of Adi Shankaracharya request to grant permission for Sanyasa sweekaaram.
Sri Krishna Temple
Inside the Sri Krishna Temple
Inside the Temple


Crocodile Ghat scene


In 1927 a veda vedanta patashala was established by Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekhara Bharathi Mahaswami. H.H. also built an agraharam and staff quarters. Diving the dharmic reign of Jagadguru SriAbhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswami there was a lot of improvement at the temple complex including the construction of a Guest House for pilgrims.

The present peetadhipathi Sri Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswami is reponsible for the all round improvement of the temple and near by places. H.H. takes keen interest in the educational institutions working under his patronage (Sree Shankara College, Sree Sharada vidyalayam, Adi Shankara Institute of Engineering and Technology, Adi Shankara Training College, The rigveda patasala and Sri Sankara School of Dance and Music are some of the educational centers managed by Sringeri Mutt). In 1991 H.H. Sri Sri Bharathi Theertha Mahaswami laid the foundation stone for the Sree Shankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Kalady and gave liberal donation to the same.H.H. is the Chief Counsellor of the University.

The Temple complex draws a large number of devotees and pilgrims especially during sri Shankara Jayanthi and Sarada Sarannavarathri festivals. Pilgrims and tourists from all parts of India and abroad, visit this temple for spiritual solace and peace of mind.

Address & Contact Person

The Honorary Manager,
Sri Sringeri Shankara Math,
Kalady, Eranakulam District – 683574

Phone: 0484-2462350, 0484-2465922
E-mail: sringerikalady@sify.com


Kalady is the village situated in Ernakulam district of Kerala , It is accessible by road and rail alighting at Angamaly. The Kochi International Airport at Nedumbassery is located nearby from Kalady.

Kalady Bus stand – 1 km
Angamali Railway Station – 7 kms.
Aluva Railway Station – 22 kms.
Cochin Air Port – 7 kms.
Cochin Port Trust – 35 kms.

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Kalady #Jagadguruadishankaracharya #Adishankaracharya #Adishankara

Kathwala Temple / Nepali Mandir, Varanasi

IMG_20170126_100740800_HDR-01IMG_20170126_093730858_HDR-01IMG_20170126_093120968_HDR-01Nepali Mandir (Hindi: नेपाली मंदिर), also known as (a.k.a. Kanthwala Mandir and Mini Khajuraho) (Kanthwala in Hindi means wooden), is one of the oldest and most famous temples in the holy city of Varanasi. This temple has great religious importance in Hinduism and is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Constructed in the 19th century A.D by the King of Nepal, the temple is made of terracotta, stone and wood and is replica of the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.


Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara Panel

King of Nepal, Rana Bahadur Shah took exile in Varanasi from 1800 to 1804 and titled himself as “Swami Nirgunanda”. During his exile, he decided to build a replica of Pashupatinath Temple in Varanasi. Construction of the temple commenced during his exile / stay in Varanasi. During the construction, Shah moved back to Nepal. On April 25, 1806, Rana Bahadur Shah was stabbed to death by his stepbrother, Sher Bahadur Shah. His son Girvan Yuddha Bikram Shah Deva completed the project 20 years after the deadline. The land was later transferred to Rana Bahadur Shah by Kashi Naresh in the year 1843. The temple, adjacent area, Lalita Ghat and a dharamshala, belongs to the Nepal government.IMG_20170126_094042949_HDR-01IMG_20170126_093603394_HDR-01IMG_20170126_094154368_HDR-01IMG_20170126_094147094_HDR-01

The mandir is made of terracotta, stone and wood and took three decades to complete. The wood is termite proof. It is constructed in Nepali style of architecture and is surrounded by tamarind and ficus religiosa (peepal) trees. The temple has Pagoda style architecture, maily carved out of wood. It has sculptures similar to ones displayed in Khajuraho Group of Monuments and hence it is also called “Mini Khajuraho”.







Nepali Mandir is located on Lalita ghat in Varanasi. It is 3.8 kilometers South-East of Varanasi Junction railway station and 100 meters South-West of Manikarnika Ghat.

Wonderfully Carved wooden doors and the Priest
View from Nepali Mandir – From here, it’s a great location to see the view of the Ganges.
Finally a click at Nepali Mandir.

Source – WIkipedia

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Varanasi #NepaliMandir #Nepal#Kathwala #Temple #Templesofindia

Rukmini Devi Temple – Dwaraka

Artistic treasure of a millennium

The Rukmini Devi Temple is a temple in Dwaraka, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) away from Dwaraka, India. It is dedicated to Rukmini, Krishna’s chief queen. The temple is said to be 2,500 years old but in its present form it is inferred to belong to the 12th century.

The exterior walls of Rukmini temple are richly carved.
Panel of Sculpted Nartharas (Human Figures)
Panel of Sculpted Gajatharas (Elephants)



Beautifully carved walls

It is a richly carved temple decorated with sculptures of gods and goddesses on the exterior with the sanctum housing the main image of Rukmini. Carved naratharas (human figures) and carved gajatharas (elephants) are depicted in panels at the base of the tower.

Architectural Masterpiece
Usual sculptures of gods and goddesses, along with male and female figures on the exterior walls
Intricate carvings on the walls leave the beholder spell bound.
Majestically Gigantic – Intricately carved figures
Rukmini Devi – Photo taken from Google

History of Rukmini Temple, Dwaraka-Legends:

An interesting legend is narrated to justify separate dwelling temples, far away from each other, for Rukmini and her husband Krishna. It is said that at the request of sage Durvasa (who was renowned for his short temper and bestowing curses) Krishna and Rukmini pulled a chariot taking sage Durvasa to their house for dinner. On the way, when Rukmini asked for water to quench her thirst, Krishna drew Ganges water, by prodding the ground with his toe, for her to drink. Rukmini quenched her thirst with the Ganges water. But Durvasa felt insulted as Rukmini did not have the courtesy to offer him water to drink. He, therefore, cursed her that she would live separately from her husband.

architectural masterwork !!
Durvasa Muni Ashram near Gomathi River after Sudhama Setu(bridge).
Exquisite stone carving
Millennium old Sandstone sculptures 
Artistic treasure of a Millennium
Commendable pieces of architecture


Finally a click at Rukmini Temple
A temple of Great Reverance

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Dwaraka #Rukminitemple#Templesofindia #Gujarat
Info – Wikipedia.


Lepakshi Nandi – One of the main attraction of Lepakshi 

Lepakshi is located in Anantapur district in southern Andhra Pradesh. The earliest inscription in the temple is dated SAKA 1455(1533 A.D.) as per the tradition this temple was built by VIRUPANNA who was subordinate officer of ACHYUTARAYA. The temple is situated on a tortoise shaped hillock, named Kurma Sila, which is the Telugu phrase for its distinct shape.

Temple Main Entrance and Dwajasthambam

The temple is inside two enclosures, There are three entrances to the first enclosure. The entrance in the north is surmounted by a Gopura which is the main entrance. The shrine is situated in the centre of the second enclosure, facing north and consists of Garbagriha and Antarala surrounded by a Pradakshina,Mukha Mandapa, a pillared corridor.wp-image-1637051367jpeg.jpg

At right angle to the mukha mandapa is the shrine of Vishnu facing the East. There is a shrine dedicated to Shiva under the name Papa Vinaseshwara facing the Vishnu shrine and to its south is the Parvathy shrine facing the west. In the western wing of pradakshina surrounding the garbagriha and antarala of the veerabhadra shrine are three shrines known respectively as Ramalinga Shrine, Bhadrakali Shrine and Hanumalinga shrine all facing east. In the north corner of the mukha mandapa there is a vedi with Navagrahas.wp-image-163319164jpeg.jpg

The temple is renowned for its maha mandapa which has exquisitely carved pillars with life size figures. There are about 70 pillars at this fabulous temple of stone in Vijayanagar style, but this one is the best known and a tribute to the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India’s temple builders.

Ganesha welcomes you at the entrance and sharaba worshipping Shivalingam

The temple’s main deity is Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva in his rage after the Daksha Yagna and the immolation of Parvathi. There are several forms of Shiva here — a majestic Kankala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi (Guru of Gurus), Tripuranthaka or Tripurasurasamhara (vanquisher of demon Tripura); Ardhanareeshwara (the half-female, half-male form, where Shiva and Parvati are equally represented in one body), etc. Another shrine has the fiery goddess Bhadrakali, though bearing an uncharacteristically serene expression.

Veerabhadra Shrine
Bhringi with three legs


The hanging pillar in Lepakshi is a medieval architectural wonder to witness. The pillar which does not rest on the ground fully but hangs in the air, with enough space between its base and the ground to pass a sheet of paper or a small twig through it- fully to emerge on the other side! However, it is a bit dislodged from its original position — it is said that during the British era, a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

Hanging Pillar
Hanging Pillar 


Once you reach the temple’s outer enclosure, you will see a mammoth Ganesha — hewn in stone and leaning against a rock. Perpendicular to it is a massive Naga with three coils and seven hoods. It forms a sheltering canopy over a black granite Shivalingam. It’s reckoned by many as the largest Nagalinga in India.wp-image-259312582jpeg.jpgwp-image-2080908158jpeg.jpgwp-image-1342832773jpeg.jpg

There are two red blotches on the western wall of the inner enclosure, explained by a gory story. Virupanna, the royal treasurer, was accused of drawing funds without the king’s permission from the state treasury to build these shrines. However, he forestalled the enraged king’s punishment by blinding himself, and those maroon spots are said to be the marks left by his bleeding eyes!IMG_20161206_134418363_HDR-01

SOme of the Wonderful pictures of Outside Mandapa

Another legend gives the town a significant place in the Ramayana — this was where the bird Jatayu fell, wounded after a futile battle against Ravana who was carrying away Sita. When Sri Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately, “Le Pakshi” — ‘rise, bird’ in Telugu.

The Lepakshi temple also has the finest specimens of mural paintings of the Vijayanagar kings. The 24/14 ft fresco of Veerabhadra on the ceiling before the main sanctum sanctorum is the largest in India of any single figure. The rest of the frescoes are also beautiful and show an impressive attention to detail with colours strikingly contrasted — black limework against an orange-red background with some green, white, black, and shades of ochre-gold and brown mostly applied to a stucco surface specially treated with lime. The Shiva-Parvathi kalyanam — an enduringly popular subject with traditional Indian artists — finds expression here. However, these frescoes are peeling off in many places and in need of better maintenance and expert restoration.

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Besides the Hanging Pillar, another draw is the spectacular Nandi, located almost a mile before the main temple — the first structure you will encounter. At 27ft in length and 15ft in height, it is a colossal structure, reputedly India’s biggest monolithic Nandi. Besides the record size, the perfectly proportioned body, finely-carved ornaments, and smooth contours add to its grandeur and make it a popular photo-op with visitors.

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Lepakshi #Templesofindia #Architecture #Heritage

Info Courtesy – Archeological Survey of India and ‘Aruna Chandaraju’ article from THE HINDU.

Khichdi Baba Temple Varanasi

Khichdi Baba Temple, Varanasi

Sri Shankar Swamy – Khichdi Baba

It is believed that not a single being in Kashi, the abode of Lord Shiva, sleeps hungry because of the blessings of Goddess Annapurna.

Khichdi Baba Temple near Kashi Vishwanath Temple Gate No.1

The Khichdi Baba temple ensures that the belief becomes a reality. It has been operating an `anna kshetra’ (a place of foodgrain) at Dashaswamedh area for centuries.

Mr.Sanjay Maharaj (Purple shirt) – An inspiration to all, he is always seen cooking and feeding with a beautiful heart and smiling face.

Said to have been started by Shankar Swami Khichdi Baba centuries ago, the `anna kshetra’ is being run by Sanjay Maharaj, a fourth generation member of the family which has been looking after the temple for more than 100 years.

Legend has it that Lord Shiva had magically concealed the food items of goddess Annapurna and asked her to satisfy his hunger. It was then that Shankar Swami arrived in Kashi and cooked khichdi (dal-rice and different vegetables) for Lord Shiva and satiated his hunger.

Simple and noble feast 

“Swamiji would prepare khichdi with donation from pilgrims at a pedestal raised on Dedhsi bridge at Dashaswamedh temple and serve the needy, poor and the homeless. He came to be known as Khichdi Baba,” says Sanjay Maharaj.

He said that Makar Sankranti, also known as `Khichdi’, was named after Khichdi Baba.Khichdi is a customary food item prepared on Makar Sankranti. The trend is believed to have been started by Lord Shiva.But Khichdi was introduced to Lord Shiva by Khichdi Baba and this is the reason the festival is named after him, said Sanjay, adding that the place where Khichdi Baba used to cook was given the shape of a temple and the bust of Khichdi Baba and his disciple Harihar Baba had been installed by the family.

Sharing an anecdote narrated by his father Rajendra Prasad Maharaj, Sanjay says that during the British rule, a British Army man had sent the then-Khichdi Baba to jail. That very day, the officer’s family members fell ill and their condition started worsening. A local then reminded the officer of his behaviour towards Baba and the Englishman released him from jail. The next moment his family members were as fit as a fiddle.That was the power of Khichdi Baba, he says.

According to Sanjay, Bhandaras are run everyday from 7am and needy people who throng the temple are served hot khichdi prepared with as many as 10 types of vegetables including, cauliflower, brinjal, potato, tomato, bittergourd, and others.In one round, more than 200 people are fed khichdi. The count crosses 600 almost everyday, he said, adding that on Mondays and Saturdays, the count of people crosses 800 as both days belong to Baba and it is customary to eat khichdi every Saturday.

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Varanasi #Saintsofvaranasi #Khichdibabatemple

Article Courtesy – Punkhuri Kapoor – The Times Of India.

Sri Rama Yantra

శ్రీరామ రామ రామేతి ,రమే రామే మనోరమే
సహస్ర నామ తతుల్యం,రామ నామ వరాననే.

राम राम रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे ।
सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने ॥

Raama Raama Raame[a-I]ti Rame Raame Manorame |
Sahasra-Naama Tat-Tulyam Raama-Naama Vara-[A]anane ||


1: By meditating on “Rama Rama Rama” (the Name of Rama), my Mind gets absorbed in the Divine Consciousness of Rama, which is Transcendental,

2: The Name of Rama is as Great as the Thousand Names of God (Vishnu Sahasranama).

Sri Rama Yantra – The Oldest and Rarest Yantra of Sri Rama at Upanishad Brahmendra Swamy Mutt and Maha Samadhi Temple, Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu.

Rama Temple

Since Upanishad Brahmendra Swamy was a great Rama Upasaka, he installed a huge Rama yantra in this mutt. This yantra made of stone can be seen in this Mutt near the Seeta Rama Sannidhi. The Rama idol must be a very very ancient one as we infer from looking at it. There is also a sannidhi for Yantrotdharaka Hanuman – Hanuman along with his Yantra.

Photo Courtesy – Prabhu Jayaraman

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Ramayantra #Kanchipuram #Upanishadbrahmendraswamy

Muthuswamy Deekshitar and Varanasi 

Sri ChakrarAjalingesham chintitArdapradam Shivam
ChitsadAnandakandam tam seve BrahmAdi sEvitam

Sri Muthuswamy Deekshitar and Varanasi (Kashi)

The temple Sri Chakra Lingeshwar is situated in a small galli of Hanuman ghat on the banks of Ganga. It is close by to Sankara mutt. The uniqueness of this temple is that the Linga which has been installed here has the Sri yantra embedded on it. This temple had fallen into ruins for many years. In the year 1936, when Kanchi Kamakoti Maha Periyava Sri Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal visited Varanasi on a paada yatra, He identified this temple from the ruins and said that Sri Muthuswamy Deekshitar stayed there with his guru Chidambaranatha yogi and the latter’s “Jeeva Samadhi” was beneath the Shiva linga.

Inside the Temple
Sri Chakra Linga represents the union of Siva and Sakti
Abhisheka Priya Siva
Om Namah Sivaya

It was Chidambaranatha yogi who gave the Sri Vidya deeksha to Deekshitar and bestowed him the deeksha naama Chidanandanatha. This was performed in Varanasi. Kashi is a seat of knowledge. Chidambaranatha yogi not only gave deeksha of Shodashakshari mantra, but also taught Veda and Vedanta or Upanishad aspects. This is very well reflected in all his compositions and that is the reason Deekshitar’s compositions cannot be understood easily.

Muthuswamy Deekshitar was blessed by Ganga with a Veena
Dakshinamoorthy Swaroopa Ardhanareeshwara
Finally a click at Sri Chakra Lingeshwar Temple Varanasi

Sri Muthuswami Deekshitar stayed here for about six years doing Sadhana along with his Guru. In fact it was here that Deekshitar was exposed to Hindustani music which resulted in adopting few ragas like Dwijawanti, Yamunakalyani, Hameerkalyani and etc. to Carnatic music in the latter part of his life.

Location – Kasi Sri Chakralingeshwar Temple, B.4/55, Hanuman Ghat, Varanasi – 221001.

Ph- 09415303637.

Donations – “Kasi Sri Bhuvaneshwari Devi Devatha Temple Trust” (D.D./Cheque may be drawn favouring).
Bank : City Union Bank Ltd. A/c No – 258001001949309
IFSC Code – CIUB0000258   MICR Code – 221054002

#Incrediblespiritualindia #Varanasi #Mutthuswamydeekshitar #Saintsofvaranasi #KanchiParamacharya #Mahaperiyava #Paramacharya #Saintsofvaranasi

Source : I gratefully acknowledge the webpage of Dr.Meera Rajaram Pranesh at


Kasiraj Kali Temple – Hidden Treasure of Varanasi

Intricately Carved Entrance to the Temple


Kasiraj Kali Temple is the property of the erstwhile King of Kasi.


As one enters the gate of the compound from the street, walks a few steps forward and turns left, the eyes are greeted by an open space and a finely carved stone temple set at the centre of a stone platform. A flight of stone stairs rises from the ground level to take the visitor up to the temple.

There used to be a commercial set up around the entrance pathway back then too, but it has expanded too much now. Although the temple is the property of the erstwhile King of Kasi, many people use the premises in a very unauthorized manner. The open space in front of the temple is used by the owners of cows from a nearby house. They keep their cows there, on both the sides of the entrance near the long stone steps.

The developed art of stone work can be seen in the patterns on the walls and the screens on the wall over the arches. The parapet on the roof over the pavilion and the chajja all around are both crafted with care and are aesthetically satisfying.

The petals, bells and rings chiselled out of stone are definite proofs of the highly developed art of stone work in India.

Location – It is exactly 2 mins from Godowalia Chowk, Varanasi.

Magneficient Doorway to the temple
Creeper Lady
Finely carved stone temple
Aww Struck … the wires, nails to walls … such a treasure being mismanaged
Mighty Shikara
Beautiful Doorway
Dwadasha Mandapam
Wonderful Shikara
The parapet on the roof over the pavilion and the chajja all around are both crafted withcare and are aesthetically satisfying.
Doorway to Kali
Doorway to Gomateshwara Linga and Beautiful Shwetha Nandi
Garbagriha – Maa Kali and Gomateshwara Lingam
Shwetha Nandi
Richly carved pillars
The Petals, bells and rings chiselled out of stone are definite proofs of the highly developed art of stone work in India.
Door on the Pillar


Finally a click at Kasiraj Temple



#Incrediblespiritualindia #Varanasi #Kasirajkalitemple #Kasiraj #architecture #stone #temples #templesofindia

Source – Rajnish Mishra’s WordPress ( The Sacred city of the Hindus: An account of Benares in Ancient and Modern Times”…
The temple trust never revealed the story behind the temple and there is no reference to this temple in google.