Showing posts with label pilgrimage tour of India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pilgrimage tour of India. Show all posts

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Shirdi - Pilgrimage Center Of India

Shirdi is the mystical town fragrant with the devotional intensity that sees devotees from across the world. Highly placed on the world map of spirituality, Shirdi is located in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and close to the holy city of Nasik. Sited about 300 kms from Mumbai, the town has a mystic aura about itself.Shirdi is best known as the late 19th century home of the popular guru Shirdi Sai Baba. This place is acclaimed for its spiritual importance and the eminent saint Sai Baba spent the most important part of his life here.
Such is the devotional strength of the place that even a casual visitor cannot remain unaffected by the faith and conviction of the devotees on Saibaba. It is a popular pilgrim place and is famous for its Sai Baba Temple. He worshipped both at temples and mosques. His life and teachings are wonderful semblance of both faiths. Saibaba is believed to have arrived at the village of Shirdi when he was about sixteen years old. He lived an extremely simple and ascetic life. He has been attributed numerous miracles which still live expanding the list of his devotees. Today Saibaba temples are all across India and even beyond. People started believing him to be an incarnation of God and called him Sai or saint. An ardent devotee built the Sai Samadhi Mandir here, which has become the nerve center of religious activities in the state.This sacred place is strewn with a number of pilgrimage spots including the Sai Baba Temple, Shri Khandoba Mandir, Dwarkamai (Mosque), Chawadi, Lendi Baug, Samadhi of Abdulbaba and Maruti Temple.This significantly contributes to travel and tourism, as thousands of pilgrims visit the place from different corners of the world. The most remarkable verity about this place is that here you will find people from all religions and communities, without any kind of discrimination.

Tourist Attraction :-
Shri Sai Baba Temple - Built by an ardent devotee of Sai Baba, the temple is thronged by thousands every year. The temple houses a life size statue of Sai Baba, made of Italian marble. He can be seen seated on a giant throne with a silver umbrella over his head.
Shri Gurusthan Mandir - It is believed to be the same place, where Shri Sai first appeared in Shirdi, at the age of sixteen.
Dwarkamai - It is the mosque where Sai Baba stayed, when he came to Shirdi for the second time. Situated towards right side of the temple, it still preserves the rock where Sai Baba used to sit. The eternal flame lighted by Baba is kept alive since then and vibhuti (sacred ash) is distributed amongst devotees.
Lendi Gardens - It is the place for meditation, where Baba used to come for a walk every day .There is a Neem tree here, under which a diya (lamp) used to be lit by him. It has now been converted into a marble lighthouse, where the lamp continues to burn.
Samadhi of Abdulbaba - It is the grave of the person, who used to read holy Quran to Baba. Since Abdulbaba was a devoted disciple of Baba, his Samadhi is situated in the premises of Sri Sai Baba Temple.
Maruti Temple - Sai Baba visited this temple regularly and even conducted satsangs.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sacred Bathing Ghats

Varanasi or Kashi is older than traditions. Anyone living in India or anyone who calls himself an Indian is bound to have heard about Banaras. Varanasi presents a unique combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. It is the Ganga Ghats of Varanasi that complement the concept of divinity. Ghats of Ganga are perhaps the holiest spots of Varanasi. The Ganga Ghats at Varanasi are full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges, which is believed to absolve one from all sins. Banaras, one of the sacred cities of Hindus stretches along the crescent of River Ganges, its waterfront dominated by long flights of stone ghats, where thousands of pilgrims come for their daily ritual ablutions. Also known as the City of Lights, Banaras is supposed to be founded by Lord Shiva – Varanasi or Banaras is one of the oldest living cities of World. It is also one of the oldest pilgrims of India. Each year it attracts thousands of devotees, students, pilgrimers who come here and stay for long periods. It is supposed one who dies in Varanasi attains Moksha. The majestic Ghats of Varanasi have a unique appeal in them which not only attracts tourists, but also bounds them to come back again. Some of these ghats are very old, as old as pre-historic times, and some of them are very new ghats. There are over 100 ghats in Varanasi. Some of the important Ghats of Varanasi include Assi, Dasaswamedh, Manikarnika, Tulsi and Panch Ganga among others. Tulsi Ghat is named after the famous 16th century poet Tulsi Das, who spent many years on this Ghat composing the Ram Charit Manas. Another historically important Ghat is Panch-Ganga Ghat. Panch -Ganga Ghat as its name indicates, is where five rivers are supposed to meet.
Assi Ghat :It is a clay-banked Ghat that stands at the southernmost part of Varanasi where river Assi meets Ganges. Pilgrims consider it particularly holy to bathe here prior to worshipping at a huge lingam, under a peepal tree. Assi ghat is also a favorite site for the blooming painters and photographers. Evenings are very special, as there are musical parties and gatherings on the steps of the ghat.
Dashashwamedh Ghat : It is the most visited ghat of Varanasi by religious pilgrims. The name of Dasaswamedh Ghat indicates that Brahma sacrificed 10 horses here.It is one of the busiest ghats. The ghat is close to the famous 'Vishwanath Temple'. The most exciting part is the evening `Fire Puja` performed by the group of priests.
Manikarnika Ghat : is the place where dead bodies of Hindus are burnt. It is said that if a person dies in Varanasi, he/she will be free from the cycle of re-birth. It is also believed that fire on the ghat has not stopped for thousands of years.
Harishchandra Ghat : The Harishchandra ghat is the said to be the same ghat where the owner of Manikarnika bought King Harishchandra as a slave and made him work on the Manikarnika.The ghat is a funeral place for Hindus, though majority of dead bodies are taken to the Manikarnika Ghat.
Tulsi Ghat is another famous ghat, where the famous epic 'Ramacharitmanas' was written by Tulsi das. Other important ghats are Kedar Ghat, Pande Ghat, Shivala Ghat and Chausathi Ghat.