First Edition: 1957
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1999
WWW site: http://www.dlshq.org/
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
In these days life has become very complex. The different spheres of human activity have been multiplied. Practically speaking, there is hardly any time, nor the mood, even to think of God. An ideal temple serves the purpose well to make one entertain the divine thoughts, at least during the time he is in the temple. The sanctity of the place soothes and revitalizes his worn-out nerves with a unique spiritual aura. His entire being is sanctified by the divine vibrations, springing forth spontaneously. He enjoys the divine ecstasy. Only with this view our ancients have built temples all over this country.
Pilgrimage is indeed a religious, nay, a spiritual act, enjoined upon all sincere devotees of the Lord. It gives us a great scope for periodical drastic flushing of the worldliness and impure tendencies that are being accumulated in our day-to-day life through constantly living in the material atmosphere, filled with worldliness, greed, passion, malice and delusion. Our nature becomes regenerated, re-vitalized and ultimately spiritualized.
In this little volume, Sri Swami Sivanandaji, in his usual supra-poetic style, gives short descriptions of the prominent temples in India. They are in the first part of the book. Obviously, they are not merely an informative list of the various temples in India, but they are actually a garland of elevating hymns to the different deities, representing the Almighty Lord.
In the second part of the book, brief descriptions of the prominent places of pilgrimage in India, their location and the important spiritual legends that are connected with them, are given. They will be indeed a valuable guide to those who are interested in pilgrimage.
We sincerely hope that this volume will inspire more and more people of this great country to undertake pilgrimages and form the temple-going habit. Thus would the spirit of Bharatavarsha live for ever in the heart of the India; and thus would the culture of the land enshrined in the Temples be revived.
llth July, 1957. The Publishers.
Holy Guru Purnima.
(Sri Sivananda-Sushila, M.A., B. Mus.)
j:y: j:y: eS:v:an:nd s:dÏg:Ø- .
din:n: kñ t:Øm: n:aT: eS:v:an:nd .
dÙeK:y:n: kñ A:D:ar eS:v:an:nd
ty:ag: raj: kñ s:ax:atkar
t:Øm:ri m:him:a k:ðI n: j:an:ð
t:Øm:t::ð kht:ð "eS:v:an:nd hÞú m:ò",
kñ t:Øm: )aN: eS:v:an:nd
(Sri Sivananda-Sushila, M.A., B. Mus.)
jaya jaya ÷ivànanda sadgurå |
dãnana ke tuma nàtha ÷ivànanda |
dukhiyana ke àdhàra ÷ivànanda
tyàga ràja ke sàkùàtkàra
tumarã mahãmà koã na jàne
tumato kahate "÷ivànanda hå.N mai",
SALUTATIONS TO SRI RAMA KRISHNA HARI
O Lord Krishna of Guruvayur
CLIMB THE HILL OF VEDANTA
(An Autobiography )
Lord Vishnus Temples
1. Badri Narayan
O Lord Narayana of Badri Hills!
This is a Vishnus temple
3. Lord Jagannath
O Lord! Who dwells in Puri
There is a temple of Lord Krishna here.
O Brindawan Bihari!
6. Lord Dwarakanath
O mighty Lord of Dwaraka,
7. Lord Pandarinath
O Lord Vittal of Pandharpur.
8. Lord Venkatesa
O Lord of Venkata Hill!
9. Lord Varadaraja
This is a Vishnu Temple
10. Lord Renganatha
O Lord Renganatha of Srirangam!
This is in Ramnad District,
This is a Vishnu Temple
13. Guruvayur Krishna
Guruvayur is in Malabar.
Udipi is in South Kanara.
15. Ayodhya Vasi Ram
Prostrations to Lord Rama,
16. Bhadrachalam Ram
Here is a beautiful Ramas temple.
17. Hanuman Ghadi
This is a temple for Sri Hanuman
18. Alwar Tirunagari
There is a Vishnu temple here.
19. Sri Vaikuntham
There is a Vishnu temple here.
Lord Sivas Temples
O Lord Kedarnath of Uttara Khand!
21. Kashi Viswanath
O Lord Viswanath,
There is a Sivas temple here.
This is near Almora Kangra.
This is an ancient town
This is one of the Jyotir Lingas.
This is one of the Jyotir Lingas.
Mahakal is one of the Jyotir Lingas.
This is one of the Jyotir Lingas.
29. Omkar Ishwar
This is in Gujarat.
This is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas.
Lord Rama worshipped Siva here
32. Lord Nataraja of Chidambaram
There is Akasa Lingam here.
Vayu lingam is here.
This is Tejas Lihgam
This is near Trichnopoly
This is Prithvi Lingam
There is an ice-lingam here.
This is in Nepal.
This is Lord Sivas shrine
This is near Kedarnath
Lord Siva assumed the form
This is near Chittagong,
There is a Siva temple here
This is near Kumbakonam.
45. Madura Temple
Madura is on the banks
In Shiyali, South India,
This is in Cochin.
This is in Tanjore district,
Lord Subramanias Temples
49. Rockfort Temple
This is a beautiful rock.
50. Kathirgama Murugha
Kathirgama is in Jaffna, Ceylon.
51. Palani Andava
O Lord of Palani Hills!
52. Swami Malai
This is near Kumbakonam.
It is near Tirupathy.
54. Tirupparan Gundram
Subramanya dwells here
This in the Tinnevelly District.
56. Tiruchendur II
This is a Subramanya Kshetra,
57. Ghand Kapur
This is in Maharashtra.
Girnar is in Kathiawar.
This is near Ajmere.
This is in Himalayas
This is near Kangra,
62. Vishnu Devi
Mother dwells here in a cave,
Calcutta derives its name
This is in Calcutta
This is a temple
This is the Devi
This is in a forest
O Mother Divine,
69. Kasi Visalakashi
O adorable Mother of Compassion!
70. Kanchi Kamakshi
O Mother Kamakshi,
71. Madurai Meenakshi
O sweet Mother, Meenakshi!
72. Kanya Kumari
This is the Devi
Buddhist And Jain Temples
73. Buddha Gaya.
There is a magnificent temple here.
It is next in Sanctity
75. Mount Abu Jain Temple
Abu is a mountain
76. The Golden Temple, Amritsar.
The fourth Guru, Ram Das,
77. Nagore Anadava
Nagore is near Negapatam.
This is a sacred place in the Himalayas. It is at a distance of 80 miles from Srinagar, Kashmir. There is a huge cave here, sacred to Lord Mahadeva. There is a Siva Linga here naturally formed of ice.
The scenery is extremely beautiful. The snowclad hills captivate the heart. Springs and streams are delightful.
The Yatra to this holy cave is usually performed in July-August. The Kashmir State does help to the pilgrims. The State provides a moving dispensary, a doctor and a Magistrate.
Pahalgam is the first stage. It is 61 miles from Srinagar. Motor Car runs up to this. It is 7200 feet above sea leval. Two rivers Kolahal and Seshanag join here. The next resting place is Chandanwan, 9 miles from Pahalgam. After walking a distance of 6 miles you reach the big Seshanag lake, which is five miles long and 2 miles broad. Panchatarani lies a little further up. Five rivers flow here. Hence the significant name. Thereupon you will have to walk on ice for two miles. Now you will reach your destination, the sacred cave of Amarnath, which is 50 ft. long, 55 ft. broad and 45 ft. high at the centre.
Ayodhya is six miles from Fyzabad station. There is a railway station in Ayodhya also. Ayodhya is situated in Uttar Pradesh. It is the birth place of Lord Rama. It is the most sacred place of pilgrimage. It is on the banks of Sarayu.
Janmasthan, the place where Lord Rama was born is an important spot. There was a beautiful temple. Babar destroyed this temple in 1520 A.D. and built a mosque on the site. The mosque still exists.
Hanuman Garh (or Gadi) is another important place of worship. There is a very big murti of Lord Hanuman here.
There is another temple known as Kanak Bhavan (house of gold). The crowns of the images of Rama and Sita are made of gold.
Mani Parbat in Ayodhya is sacred to the Buddhists. Buddha preached his gospel here.
It is the birth-place of Nammalwar. It is in the district of Tinnevelly, South India. Festivals in his honour are performed every year. This is also one of the sacred places of pilgrimage in Southern India.
Badrinath is situated in the Tehri-Garhwal in Uttar Pradesh. It is 10140 feet above the sea level. It is on the banks of Alakananda. The Nara and Narayana, Lakshmi, Narad and Kuver are there. Sri Sankaracharya built this Vishnu temple. The presiding deity is Narayana.
There is a very sacred tank below this temple which is supplied with water from a hot spring. The chief priest of the temple is known as the Raval. He is always a Brahmin of the Nambudiri caste of Malabar.
The door of the temple opens in May. It is closed in November. The priest comes to Joshi Mutt or Jyotirmath below Badrinath.
In the days of yore the reputed Badrikashram was in Badrinath. Uddhava practised tapas and meditation here. Lord Krishna and Arjun lived here for a long time.
Brahmakapal were pinda or oblations are offered to the departed forefathers is near Badrinath.
Benares is the most sacred city of India. It is the centre of Hinduism and Sanskrit learning. Many Sannyasins live here. It is also known by the name Varanashi, a place between the two rivers, Varana and Ashi, springing from the right and left feet of Lord Siva. Lord Buddha preached his new gospel here.
The temple of Lord Vishwanath is the most important one. The Mohammedans destroyed the old Vishwanath temple, and threw the image in the holy well, Gyanavapi.
The next important temple is the Annapurna temple. Lord Siva deputed Annapurna to feed the world. The most popular festival is celebrated here. A big Annakut is held here during Deepavali. The golden image is taken out in procession.
Another important temple is the temple of Sakshi Vinayak. Every pilgrim should visit this temple after visiting Vishwanath and Annapurna temples. The feet and hands of Lord Ganesh are made up of silver.
There are 365 Chattras in Benares where food is freely distributed. Asi Ghat, the Dasaswamedha ghat, the Manikarnika, Panchaganga are the famous ghats. The Manikarnika is the most sacred ghat. It is the central ghat of Benares.
Bhadrachalam is situated on the banks of the river Godavari. It is a sacred place of pilgrimage. It is 24 miles from Bhadrachalam road, the end of a branch line from Dornakal in the Andhra Pradesh. Lord Rama lost his wife, Sita here.
Lord Ramas temple is situated at Bhadrachalam. Pilgrims do their Yatra in April. The jungle near Bhadrachalam is the Dandaka forest.
Gopanna, nephew of Akkanna Minister, was the Tahsildar of the place. Gopanna got initiation from Kabirdas and became Ramdas. He spent six lakh of the revenue of the Sultan for the construction of the temple. Ramdas was incarcerated in the fort of Golconda. Lord Rama paid the amount to the Sultan and set Ramdas free.
Brindawan signifies the sacred forest, the forest of Brinda where Lord Krishna sported. It is six miles above Muttra on the same side of the river Jumna. It is regarded as one of the holiest towns of the Hindus. It contains a large number of temples. It is connected with Muttra by a branch railway. Lord Krishna did his Bala-ilas here. Brindawan is the scene of Lord Krishnas child life, his sport among the cowherds, his marvellous music with his flute, his various miracles.
The most famous of the present temples of Brindawan is the Govinda Deva Mandir, erected about 1590 A.D. by Raja Man Singh of Amber. Another important temple is the Ranganath Mandir. It is in South Indian Style. The temple authorities conduct a car festival.
Other important temples are Gopinath Mandir, Madan Mohan Mandir, Banki Bihari Mandir, Seva Kunj Mandir, Shahji Mandir, built in Muslim style, and Radha Mohan Mandir, built by the followers of Lord Gouranga.
There is a Siva temple also in Brindawan, known as Gopeshwar Mahadev. Lord Siva came to witness the Raslila by assuming the form of a Gopi. Lord Krishna recognized Him and adored Him as Gopeshwar or the Lord of the Gopis. It is said that no Hindu should leave Brindawan without worshipping Gopeshwar.
A big Jhoola Utsav or swinging festival is held in the month of Sravan. Pilgrims from all parts of India visit Brindavan.
There are about 400 temples in Bombay. The most important temples of Bombay are that of Babulnath, Mumba Devi, Maha Lakshmi, Walkeshwar, Prabhadevi and Sri Venkateswar.
Mumbadevi is the guardian deity of Bombay. Bombay derives its name from her. Babulnath is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva.
Bhuvaneshwar is an inland town about 20 miles south of Cuttack. It is a Railway station on the mainline between Calcutta and Madras. Once it was the proud capital of a large and flourishing kingdom. The founder was Yayati Kesari who expelled the Buddhists and established the Kesari or Lion dynasty of Orissa.
The chief temple is the Lingaraja temple. The name of the presiding deity is Tribhuvaneswara or the Lord of the three worlds. Siva is worshipped in the form of a large uncarved block of granite about 8 feet long. It is a Svayambhu linga.
The other temples are the Raja Rani temple, Brahmeswara temple, dedicated to Brahma and the Vasudev temple dedicated to Vishnu.
There are many rock-cut caves in the Udayagiri and Khandagiri. The Hathi Guha or the elephant cave, the Ravi Guha and the Ganesha Guha are found in the Udayagiri.
The Latghara Guha in the Khandagiri hill contains the figures of the Jain Tirthankaras. The figure of Rishaba Deva is beautiful.
There are many sacred tanks. The most sacred is Vindusagara. Whatever merits may be acquired by annual pilgrimages to the source of the Ganges, the Prayaga or the Ganga Sagar, repeated for 60 years, may be acquired by a single bath in the Vindu Sagara.
Drops from all the sacred pools on earth, in heaven, in the lower regions and also nectar constantly fall into it. Hence the significant name, Vindu Sagara. It is celebrated to possess the combined sacredness of all the sacred rivers and tanks of India. Therefore, it is largely resorted to by pilgrims.
There is a beautiful temple of the Goddess Chamundi, the Consort of Lord Siva, on the summit of this hill. There is an excellent road which leads up to the top of the hill, which can be reached in about half-an hour. Two-third of the way up Chamundi, sits a giant Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Siva, hewn out of a single rock. It is 16 feet high.
Sri Chamundeswari is the tutelary deity of the Mysore Royal family.
The hill is 3490 ft. above the sea-level. The road up the hill is lighted by electric lights. There is a residence of His Highness the Maharajah at the top of the hill.
Dasera festival in September-October is very grand in Mysore. Huge crowds from all parts of India are attracted to the city.
Cape Comorin or Kanya Kumari is one of the most beautiful places of pilgrimage in India. It has a picturesque scenery. It is a lovely place where continent and ocean meet. There is sea on the three sides. The sacred temple is dedicated to the Goddess Parvathy. The Indian ocean with its two arms, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal washes and worships the holy feet of Mother Parvati.
Once upon a time the Asuras Baha and Mukha oppressed the Devas. The Devas approached Lord Siva who dwells at Benaras. Lord Siva created two Goddesses out of His Sakti. The one Goddess manifested as Kali at Kalighat and the other as Kanya Kumari or Virgin Goddess at Cape Comorim. They destroyed the wicked demons. The warlike festival called Ambuchashi is celebrated in the temple in the second month of the Malayalam year.
There are several beautiful bathing ghats. Those who go on pilgrimage to Benares should also visit Cape Comorin to fulfil their pious wish.
Chidambaram or more correctlyChittambalam (the atmosphere of wisdom) is about 150 miles south of Madras and seven miles from the coast. It is in the South Arcot district. It is a Railway station on Southern Railway on the main line. It is chiefly noted for the most sacred and celebrated temple of Lord Nataraja.
The temple is in the midway between the Vellar river on the north and the Coleroon on the South, the sea on the east and the Viranam lake on the West. In days of yore the Pandya Kings, the Chola Kings and the Pallava Kings patronized the temple. All the Tamil saints have sung praises of the Lord. The temple was the chosen abode of saints and poets.
There is Akasa lingam in Chidambaram. Lord Nataraja, the presiding Deity of the temple is in dancing pose. His left leg is raised. The idol of Nataraja is enshrined in the Holy Sanctum, known as the Chit Sabha. There is a curtain behind the idol of Nataraja. This is removed on special occasions of worship. There is mere space which represents Nirguna Brahman, devoid of all names and forms. This is the Chidambara Rahasya. Lord Nataraja has come out of the attributeless Brahman. There is a chakra (Chidambara Chakra) which contains the Panchakshara or five-letters of Lord SivaNama Sivayaon the wall to the back of this idol.
There are five courts or Sabhas in the temple viz., the Chit Sabha, Kanaka Sabha, Raja Sabha or Durbar, the Nritta Sabha and the Deva Sabha.
Lord Nataraja danced in the Chit Sabha or the Hall within the temple. The five steps that lead to the Golden pillared hall or Kanaka Sabha represent the five lettersNama Sivaya. The Raja Sabha is located within the thousand-pillared Hall. The Nritta Sabha demonstrates the Oordha Tandava dance of Lord Nataraja.
Govindaraja, the presiding deity of a Vishnu temple also dwells within this temple. The image of Nandanar, the Pariah saint is in a corner near the Nritta Sabha.
The Dikshatar Brahmins do worship in the temple. There are 250 families of Dikshatars.
Darshan of Lord Nataraja with intense bhav gives Mukti.
Conjeevaram or Kanchipuram is in the Chingleput district. It is 46 miles south-west of Madras on the Chingleput-Arkonam line. It was an important city of the Chola Kingdom. It was the capital of Tonda-mandalam in the fourteenth century. It was originally the capital of the Pallavas who ruled over South India between 4th and 8th centuries A.D. It consists of two divisionsSaiva or Big Conjeevaram (Siva-Kanchi) and Vishnu or Little Conjeevaram (Vishnu-Kanchi).
The Vijaynagar kings conquered the Town. After the fall of the Vijaynagar family in 1644, it was subject to the Muhammedan kings of Golconda. In 1751 Clive took the town from the French.
Conjeevaram is one of the seven sacred cities of India, the others being Ayodhya, Muttra, Hardwar, Benares, Dwaraka, and Avantika (Ujjain). A pilgrimage to Conjeevaram confers happiness in heaven.
Kamakshi Amman temple, dedicated to the Goddess Kamakshi, the consort of Lord Siva is the most important one. A Yantra is placed in front of the idol. There is an image of Sri Sankaracharya in this temple.
Sri Ekambaranatha temple is another important shrine of Lord Siva. It has great Gopuras, large Mandapas, the 1000 pillared hall and fine tanks. The largest Gopura has ten stories, its height being 188 feet.
Kachchapeswaram temple, Kailasanathar temple are other Saiva temples. There is a temple for Chitragupta also. This is the only place where there is a temple for the lieutenant of Lord Yama, recorder of Jivas deeds.
The most important Vishnu temple is that of Varadaraja. The sanctum is built on a hillock. Vaikuntaperumal temple is another Vaishnava temple.
Kalighat temple is three miles from Howrah railway station. The name Calcutta is a corrupted form of the name Kalighatta.
At Dakshineshwara on the eastern bank of the Ganges, there is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali. It is four miles from Calcutta. It was built by a rich Bengali lady Rani Rasmani. There are twelve temples dedicated to Lord Siva.
Dwaraka is one of the four dhamas or abodes of the Lord, the other three being Rameshwaram in the South, Puri in the East and Badrinath in the North. It is one of the greatest pilgrim cities of India. Lord Krishna founded the city of Dwaraka.
There are 30 temples and 10 kundas or tanks in and about Dwaraka. The most important temple is the temple of Dwarakanath or Sri Krishna temple. It is also known by the name Sri Ranchodraju.
The Gomati kunda is the most important tank. All pilgrims who visit Dwaraka must take a bath in this sacred Kunda.
Sri Sankaracharya established a mutt or Pitam here.
The Lakshmi Narayan temple built by Seth Raja Baldeo Das Birla is a magnificent one. The inscriptions of verses and sayings from Vedas, Upanishads, Gita, Ramayana, poets and saints are indeed beautiful. This is a quite novel feature
Gauhati is the headquarters of the Kamrup district in Assam. It is the terminous station of the Bengal and Assam Railway. The town lies on both sides of the Brahmaputra river.
The most celebrated Kamakhya temple is situated on the sacred hill of Nilachala, three miles west of the town. Siva carried the dead body of Sati and wandered from place to place. He went to 51 places. A portion of Satis body fell in each place. One piece fell in Kamakhya also. Hence the place is very sacred.
There is a temple dedicated to the nine planets (navagraha) near Gauhati. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva in the Peacock island of Woomananda which lies in the midst of the Brahmaputra. The Maha Sivaratri festival is performed here with great splendour. The Aswakranta and the temple dedicated to Narasimha at Hajo are other beautiful temples which are situated in the vicinity of Gauhati. Vashishtasram where Vashishta performed tapas is nine miles from Gauhati.
Gaya is one of the most sacred cities of India, 57 miles by rail from Bankipore, near Patna. Old Gaya contains the resilience of the priests. The new Sahibganj is the trading quarter where the civil offices and residences are situated. The town is on the left bank of the Phalgu or Nairanjana river.
The Vishnupada temple is situated in old Gaya or Gaya proper. It is the largest and most important temple in Gaya. The Vishnu Pada temple is built over the foot-print of Lord Vishnu on a solid block of stone.
Gaya derives its name from an asura by name Gaya, a demon of giant size. The Asura practised rigorous austerities and obtained a boon from the gods that whosoever saw or touched him should be at once taken to the heaven. Countless people touched his body and attained heaven. Yama thought that he would soon lose his office as his Kingdom soon emptied.
The gods devised a plan to overcome Gayasura. They asked him to lend his pure body as a place of Sacrifice. Gayasura agreed to this request of the gods. Gayasura laid himself down. When the sacrifice was performed the asura tried to rise up. Yama placed a big rock on his head. All the gods sat upon his body and tried to crush him.
Gayasura said, O Gods! I will not try to rise up again. Be pleased to grant me this boon that this spot shall be named after me and that whosoever offers pindas here shall reach heaven with his ancestors and offsprings.
Lord Vishnu agreed. He placed His feet on a pedestal that rested on the body of Gayasura. This is the origin of the Vishnupada temple. This legend comes in Vayu Purana. Pindas are offered on the silver-encrusted pedestal marked with the foot-print of Lord Hari. Pilgrims offer pindas in Akshaya Bat, Pretasila and Ramasila also. The offering of pindas at the Vishnu Pada confers long life, wealth, wisdom and final release on the performer.
This is at a distance of 7 miles from Gaya. Motor cars run. This is the holy place where Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment.
There is a magnificent temple here. The erection of the original temple is attributed to Ashoka. There is a big murty of Lord Buddha in a sitting pose. The place of enlightenment is on the north side of the temple. Here stood the Tree of wisdom Boa tree. Here Buddha sat down in Padma-pose or cross-legged posture.
Hardwar literally means the doorway to reach Lord Hari. It is a railway station on the Northern Railway. It is situated in the Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. Those who wish to go to Kedarnath and Badrinath should come to Hardwar. It is a beautiful place situated on the bank of the Ganges. It is a pilgrim centre for all Hindus.
There is the hill Chandi-Pahar on the opposite side. There is the temple of Chandi on the summit of the hill. The bathing ghat, Hari-ka-charan (Hari-ka-paudi) is the most sacred place for taking bath. The adjoining temple of Gangadwara is another centre of attraction.
A great fair, the Kumbha Mela is held once in twelve years. Ardha Kumbha falls once in six years. Lakhs of pilgrims assemble here.
Jambukeshwaram is known by the name Tiruvanaikaval or the sacred elephant grove. It is to the east of Srirangam. There is a big temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The Linga represents Apas tattwa or element water. It is always under water.
This is the source of the river Jamuna. It is 180 miles distant from Rikhikesh. Go to Tehri in the Tehri-Garhwal district. From Tehri you can proceed to Jamunotri. Tehri is 44 miles from Rishikesh. There are 4 hot water Kunds in Jamunotri. Rice is boiled here in the hot water kunds. The scenery is picturesque. There are ice-clad peaks all around.
There are resting places throughout your journey. You can get milk and other food-stuffs.
Kaladi is the birth place of Sri Sankaracharya, the avatara of Lord Siva, the master exponent of Kevala Adwaita Philosophy and the greatest genius the world has ever produced. It is a small village situated at a distance of 6 miles from Alwaye Railway Station on the Cochin-Shoranur line. There are two temples on the banks of the river Alwaye. The image of Adi Sankaracharya is enshrined in one temple. The other temple contains the image of Saradamba. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The important festival connected with the place is Sankara Jayanti, the birth-day of Sri Sankara, which begins on the 5th day after New Moon in April-May.
Kalahasti is a town in the Chittoor District. It is a Railway Station on the Katpadi-Renigunta Section. The river Suvarnamukhi flows on one side of the town. It is bounded by hills on the other side.
There is a celebrated temple here dedicated to Lord Siva. It is a Swayambhu (natural) Linga. It is one of the five great Lingas which represent the five great elements, Pancha Bhutas. This Linga represents Vayu or Air. There is a legend that the Linga was worshipped jointly by a spider, a cobra and an elephant. Hence the significant name Sri Kalahasti, (SriSpider, kalaserpent and hastielephant). Their marks are still visible on the Linga.
The great Tamil Saint Kannappa worshipped this Linga and attained salvation. Maha-Sivaratli is the most important festival in this temple. It lasts for 10 days. The Diety is taken in a palanquin round the Kalahasti hills, a circuit of twenty miles on third day of Sankranthi in January.
Kumbakonam is in the Tanjore district, Madras State. It is a Railway station on the main line of the Southern Railway.
There are many temples in Kumbakonam. Kumbheshwar is the oldest among all Siva temples. It is located on the spot where the divine pot, broken by Sivas arrow, touched the ground. The deity is, therefore, called Kumbheshwara or Lord of the pot. The temple is intimately associated with the famous Maha-makham legend and festival. The Sumeshwar temple and the Nageswara temple are other important temples dedicated to Lord Siva.
The Sarangapani temple, the Ramaswami temple and the Chakrapani temple are the Vaishnava temples.
The Mahamakham festival which comes once in twelve years like the Kumbha Melas of Prayag and Hardwar is the most celebrated one. Lakhs of pilgrims from all parts of India visit Kumbhakonam to take bath in the holy tank. The last festival took place in 1945. The nine sacred rivers of India, viz., The Ganesh, the Jumna, the Godavari, the Saraswati, the Narmada, the Indus, the Kaveri, the Sarayu and the Payoshni appear on the Maha-makham day in this tank. He who takes a bath in this tank on that day realizes the benefits or merits of a combined pilgrimage to all those nine holy rivers.
The following is the legend connected with Maha Makham festival. Brahma prayed to Lord Siva to grant a boon to the suffering humanity. Siva broke with an arrow the pot which was full of divine nectar and was floating on the waters after the deluge when it reached Kumbakonam. The contents fell at Kumbakonum.
Hence, the significant nameKumbakonam from Kumbha (pot). Lord Siva said that the nine rivers would appear in the holy tank and help the people to cleanse their sins.
Kurukshetra is situated on Delhi-Ambala line, at a distance of 95 miles north of Delhi.
Big melas (fairs) are held at the time of solar eclipses. A bath in the tanks of Kurukshetra is considered holy. Huge crowds of pilgrims gather here on this occasion.
The various sacred bathing places are Thaneswar, Banaganga, Saraswati, Tirtha, Sthunusaram etc.
The great Mahabharata war was fought in Kurukshetra for 18 days over 5000 years ago. Lord Krishna taught His Gita to Arjuna here. So great sanctity is attached to this place and the place has become very famous.
Konarak (Kona: Corner and arka: the sun) is situated on the coast, 19 miles north-east of Puri. The temple of Konarak is dedicated to Sun God (Surya). Konarak means the corner of Orissa dedicated to the Sun.
Samba, one of the sons of Lord Krishna, once incurred the wrath of Rishi Narada. Narada wanted to take vengeance on Samba. He lured Samba to a bathing ghat, where Sri Krishnas wives were sporting themselves. He poisoned the ears of Lord Krishna, that Samba was amidst his wives with evil intention. Lord Krishna cursed Samba with leprosy without waiting to know the truth. Lord Krishna came to know that Samba was not guilty and repented for his action. He asked Samba to propitiate Surya. Samba did rigorous austerity and pleased Surya. One day Samba took a bath in the Chandrabhaga river He found an image of Surya thrown there by Viswakarma. Samba built a magnificent temple for the image. He was cured of leprosy.
Kedarnath is in the Himalayas 11,753 feet above sea level. It is an important centre of pilgrimage. It is surrounded by ice-clad peaks. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The actual pilgrimage begins from Rikhikesh, about 14 miles from Hardwar. Rikhikesh is a Railway station.
There are chatties or halting places throughout the journey. You can hire dandies which are carried by four men or kandies which are baskets in which one can sit and is carried by a man on his back. You can hire horses.
There is the reputed Parthasarathi temple in Triplicane. It is a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna as Divine Charioteer or Partha Sarathi. It is the only one of its kind in South India. There is a tank in front of the temple. Fish cannot live in this tank on account of a curse from a Rishi.
The Kapaliswara temple is another celebrated temple dedicated to Lord Siva. It is in Mylapore. The name of the Lord is Kapaliswara. There is a beautiful tank. The name of the town is connected with a legend. Uma, consort of Lord Siva incarnated in Mylapore as a peacock (mayura) and adored Lord Siva.
A famous annual festival in honour of the 63 Saiva Nayanmars is celebrated in this temple in the spring.
There is the image of Sambandar in this temple. He brought back to life a cremated chetti girl by singing a hymn in praise of Kapaliswara.
Avvayar the great poetess-saint was a devotee of Lord Ganesh. Lord Ganesh raised Avvayar to heaven with his uplifted trunk. There is an image of Lord Ganesh with his trunk uplifted. The memory of Avvayar is commemorated in association with this image of Ganesh.
Peyalwar was born in a well in Mylapore.
Saint Tiruvalluvar, in author of Kural spent his last days in Mylapore. A temple dedicated to this great saint who is regarded as an avatara of Brahman is in the vicinity of Kapaliswara temple.
In George Town there is the Kanda Swami temple dedicated to Lord Subramania. Kachaleswar temple and Mallekeswar temple are other beautiful temples in George Town.
Tiruvottyur is a reputed place of pilgrimage. It is five miles to the North of Madras. There is a beautiful temple here. Adipuriswara is the name of the deity. The Samadhi of the great sage Pattinathar Pillayar is in Tiruvottyur. Sundara Murthi Nayanar fell in love with Sangili in this temple and married her.
Madura is a junction on the Southern Railway. It is one of the most famous of the holy places in Southern India. It is situated on the banks of the river Vaigai. It was the capital of Pandyan Kings and the seat of learning. The reputed Tamil Sangam was here. Celebrated Tamil poets lived here and were patronized by the Pandyan Kings. Tirumala Naik who reigned between 1620 and l660 A.D. built a magnificent palace here.
The chief temple of Madura is the reputed temple of Goddess Minakshi. This is situated in the very heart of the town. The presiding deity is Sundareswar.
The Chittrai festival which is celebrated in April-May is very grand. It lasts for 10 days. Various feastings and processions are held for 9 days and on the tenth day Meenakshi and Sundareswar are united in marriage at the Kalyana Mantapam. On the eleventh day there is the car-festival. Meenakshi and Sundareswar are gorgeously dressed and taken in huge cars round the four streets of Madura City.
There is a large Teppakulam (tank) in Madura.
Mount Abu has a magnificent scenery. It is 5000 feet above sea-level. The Railway runs along the foot of the foot of the hill. A motor road connects it with Abu Road Railway station.
The marble temples were built by Jains in honour of Admatte, the first Jain teacher and of Neminath, the twenty-second Tirthankara. The other temples are the temples of Vimala Shah, the Vastupala and Tejpala.
There is a small Siva temple in Hermits peak, the highest point in Mount Abu.
There is the imprint of Sivas toe in Achaleswar which is in the vicinity of Dilwara.
Muttra (Mathura) is situated on the western bank of the Jumna about 30 miles above Agra. The circuit of 84 Kos around Gokula and Brindavan bears the name of the Brij Mandal. Here Lord Krishna and Balarama are said to have fed their cattle.
Muttra lies on the railway line between Agra and Delhi. The city is associated with the birth and exploits of Lord Krishna.
Dwarakadhish templa is the largest temple in Muttra. A great festival is held in the month of Sravana (June-July). Thousands of pilgrims gather here. There are 24 sacred bathing ghats. Vishram ghat and Dhruva ghat are the important ones.
Gokul is a village on the east bank of the Jumna six miles below Muttra, celebrated as the scene of Sri Krishnas childhood. Near Gokul is Mahaban.
Govardhan Hill lies 18 miles from Muttra. There Lord Krishna performed the miracle of lifting the mountain to protect the cowherds and the cattle. Haridev temple is located here.
Mahabalipuram is 45 miles by road from Madras via Chengleput. It is the birth place Of Bhutattalvar. There are beautiful rock-cut temples and cave-temples here.
Nasik is a holy place of pilgrimage. It lies 5 miles north-west of Nasik Road station. The old Panchavati where Lord Rama lived with his consort Sita and his brother Lakshmana is here. The river Godavari flows here. Hence the place is most sacred.
The most important Kund or sacred thirtha is the Rama Kund. In the vicinity of Panchavati is the Tapovan. There is a temple here dedicated to Sri Rama.
Trimbak lies 20 miles west of Nasik. There is a big Siva temple here. The linga, Trimbakeswara is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. The temple is built on the base of Brahmagiri mountain. The source of the river Godavari lies near Trimbak.
Nathdwara is a sacred place of pilgrimage. It is situated in the Mewar hills in Rajputana. It is the seat of the head of the Vaishnava cult, Vallabha Sampradaya, Shuddhadwaita or Pushtimarga. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Krishna or Sri Nathji.
Sri Vallabhacharya, the founder of Shuddhadwaita philosophy installed Sri Nathji at Nathdwara in 1520 A.D.
This is a very rich temple. The rich merchants of Bhatia and Bania communities of Gujrat and Kathiawar belong to this cult.
Nepal is the land of Gurkhas. Kathmandu is the present capital. Nepal is the birth place of Lord Buddha.
The most famous Siva temple is the temple of Pasupatinath near Kathmandu. People gather in large numbers during Maha Sivaratri.
The Devi Bhawani temple at Bhatgaon is very beautiful.
Palani is situated on the Railway line from Dindugal. There is a famous temple dedicated to Lord Subramania or Dandapani who stands alone with Vel or spear in His hand without Saktis, Deivani and Valli. The temple is situated on a majestic hill, 500 feet high
Some of the pilgrims take bath in the adjoining river Shanmuganadi, take the Kavadi on their shoulders to the temple and do abhisheka over the image with panchamritam (a mixture of honey, sugar, crushed plantain, fruits etc.).
The deity is a powerful one. He has infinite saving-power. Many diseases are cured. Many miracles are said to be performed in the temple.
Pandharpur is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage in Maharashtra. What Puri is to Bengal and Orissa, what Chidambaram is to South India, so is Pandharpur to the Maharashtra. It is a small town on the banks of the Bhima river or Chandrabhaga, a tributary of the Krishna. It is situated in the Sholapur district of the Bombay State. It is 30 miles from the Barsi Road Railway Station. It is connected with the main line by a light railway.
The most celebrated temple is the temple of Vittobha or Lord Krishna. Pundalik, a devotee was serving his parents. Lord Krishna and Rukmini visited the cottage of Pundalik. Pundalik threw a brick for the Divine Visitor to stand upon. Pundalik finished his service to the parents and then came out and prostrated himself before the Lord who was standing on the brick. Pundalik built a temple on the spot in which Lord Krishna was standing with Rukmini.
Nam Dev, Tukaram, Chokamela were all great devotees of Lord Krishna. They had direct darshan of the Lord.
Prayag is modern Allahabad. Allahabad means the city of Allah or God. Prayag is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage. It is the meeting place of the three great rivers, the Ganges, the Jamuna and the Saraswati. Saraswati meets the Ganges at this point as a subterranean stream. The point of junction of the three rivers is called Triveni.
A big festival called Poorna Kumbha Mela or full Mela is held once in twelve years. More than a million pilgrims gather around the Triveni. Ardha-Kumbha Mela is held once in six years.
Puri is situated on the coast, separated from the sea by low sandy ridges. It is one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage. It is one of the four dhamas, the three other dhamas being Remeswar, Dwaraka and Badrinath. It is called Swarga Dwara or the gate of Heaven.
The presiding deity of the temple is Jagannath, the Lord of the world. The other images are those of Balaram, brother of Lord Krishna and Subhadra, sister of Sri Krishna.
The following is a legend with regard to the origin of image. When Lord Krishna was shot, his bones were left lying under the tree till some pious person placed them in a box. Raja Indradyumna was directed to form an image and place in it these bones. The King prayed to Viswakarma to assist him in making the image. Viswakarma promised to make the image on condition that he was not disturbed. Though the King consented he tried to see Viswakarma at work after fifteen days. There was only one ugly image without hands or feet.
The image of Jagannath has cilcular eyes, a straight head-line, a square knob on the top and black colour. The nose is large and hooked. The mouth is crescent shaped. The height is about 6 feet.
All pilgrims eat together in one place the holy food (prasad). There is no barrier of caste while eating the Prasad in the courts of the temple and outside the Lion Gate. A Puri priest will receive prasad even from a low-caste Hindu. Lord Jagannath teaches here the gospel of equality and equal vision (sama drishti).
Twenty-four festivals such as warm clothing festival, the Holi, the Birth festival, the Bathing festival (snana yatra) are held every year. The car festival (ratha yatra) is the great event of the year. It takes place in June or July and is the most important one. The great car is 45 feet in height and provided with 16 wheels. The brother and sister of Jagannath have separate cars, a little smaller. The procession takes several days to end. The distance from the temple to the Garden House is 4 miles.
Pushkar is a reputed place of pilgrimage, situated in the Ajmer district in Rajputana. It contains a beautiful lake and a temple dedicated to Brahma. It is the only place in India which has a temple dedicated to Brahma. There are temples dedicated to Savitri, Varaha, Badri Narain and Siva.
A big Mela is held in October. Thousands of pilgrims take bath in the holy lake.
This is a place which contains one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. It is one of the four dhamas. It is one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage. It is in the district of Madura. It is a small island, in the Bay of Bengal. It is separated from the coast by the Pamban channel.
Sri Rama worshipped Siva here in the form of a linga to cleanse himself of the sin caused by killing Ravana. Hanuman did not bring the linga from tha Himalayas in time So Sri Rama worshipped the image of Linga made out of sea-sand by Sita. Hanuman arrived with his linga and tried to pull out the sand-made linga, but all his endeavours were of no avail.
The Rameswaram temple is a large and magnificent one. There are eleven lingas in the temple which were installed by Sri Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman, Sugriva, Nala, Nila, Angada, Jambuvan, Vibhishana and Indra. The temple of Setu Madhava is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. He who visits Rameswaram must worship the Setu Madhava in the end.
The important annual festivals of the temple are Maha Sivaratri, Ramanatha Swamis marriage in July and Pratishtanga in June. The Palli-arai procession is very grand.
Dhanushkoti is about 15 miles to the south of Rameswaram. It is the terminus of the Railway line. The Bay of Bengal meets the Indian ocean here. A bath is considered very sacred.
Darbhasayanam, 6 miles South of Ramnad is the place where Lord Rama lay on a bed of Kusa grass, awaiting the God of ocean.
Sadhus and the people of North India take water from the Gangotri or the origin of the Ganges or from Hardwar for doing abhisheka over the linga of Rameswaram. In olden days they carried the water in Kavadi.
Saranath is three miles from Benares. Lord Buddha preached his first sermon here 2500 years ago after his enlightenment. King Asoka erected here a great memorial pillar with a finely carved huge lion capital.
The Mahabodhi Society have built a Buddhist temple here.
The name of the place Sringeri is derived from an old legend connected with Ramayana. Sringeri was originally the giri or the mountain of Rishya Sringa, the one horned saint. Once there was a terrible famine in Ayodhya. King Dasaratha brought the saint to his capital. At once there was abundant rain.
Sringeri is a mutt founded by Sri Sankaracharya. It is situated in the Mysore state on a spur of the Western Ghats. It is 50 miles from Shimoga, a railway station on the Mysore State Railways.
Sri Sankara was moving from place to place to establish a great centre of Vedantic learning. He reached the place where now Sringeri stands. He went to the river Tunga to take his bath in the hot noon. He saw a frog in labour on a piece of rock under the scorching heat. He witnessed a cobra covering the frog with its out-spread hood. He thought that the place was quite a peaceful one and decided to make it as the seat of his monastery and Vedantic University. Mandana Misra (Sureswara Acharya) became his successor. A temple was erected for Bharati, wife of Mandana Misra, incarnation of Saraswati.
Swami Vidyananda built a Sri Chakra tower over the Samadhi of his Guru. There is a pillared hall in front with 12 pillars, dedicated to the 12 signs of the Zodiac. When the sun moves every month, he shines against the pillar bearing the months name.
Suchindram is in the Kerala State. This is one of the very few places where the TrinityBrahma, Vishnu and Siva is adored. The town and the temple are situated at the foot of the Ghats. There is a beautiful tank by the side of the temple. Indra himself worships every night the Trimurtis of the temple.
Atri lived with his wife Anusuya in the forest of Jnanaranya which was round about Suchindram. The Trimurtis came to this spot to test the chastity of Anusuya and became babies on account of the power of the chastity of Anusuya. Hence the worship of the Trimurtis in this place where they appeared.
Indra who was hiding himself in Himalayas on account of the curse of Gautama came to Suchindram, did severe penance and propitiated the Trimurtis. He was completely cured of his curse and shone forth with a thousand eyes. Indra visits the temple even today at night and performs the last puja in token of his gratitude to the Trinity.
There is a temple here dedicated to the Sun. It is two miles away from Tiruvadamarudar in the district of Tanjore, South India.
Swamimalai is near Kumbakonum. There is a reputed temple dedicated to Lord Kartikeya who is locally called Swaminatha. It is built on a hillock. Lord Murugha initiated here his own father Siva into the significance of Pranava or OMkara.
This is a railway station next to Trichy Fort station on the Erode Line. Coleroon and Kaveri encircle this town. The temple to Sri Ranganatha is the most celebrated one. Andal became one with Sri Ranganatha in this temple. The temple is a magnificent one. Many Vaishnava Acharyas lived here.
This is a railway station on Southern Railway. It is in the Ramnad district. There is a beautiful temple here dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Vatapatrasayi. Periyalwar lived here. A temple has been built to Andal in her place of birth.
It is in the district of Tinnevelly, South India. There is a temple dedicated to Vishnu. It is a sacred place of pilgrimage.
Tirupati is the most holy Vaishnava temple-town of South India. It lies in the midst of the Seshachalam hills at a distance of seven miles from Tirupati East, a railway station on the Renigunta-Katpadi section.
The scenery of Tirupati is very picturesque. The temple is 2500 feet above sea level. The North Indians call Tirupati as Bala Jee.
The temple of Venkateswara is situated on one (Tirumalai) of the group of seven hills. There is a thousand pillared mantapa in the temple. The pilgrim making his way to the hill-temple at Tirumalai rests and refreshes himself in the Kapila Thirtham, named after the Sage Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya system of Hindu philosophy. The way up the hill is provided with electric lights.
The idol has four arms, two in the rear one carrying the Sankha (conch) and the other the Chakra (discus), and two in the front one pointing to the feet and the other by the side of the thigh. On both the front arms is to be seen the Bhujanga Valaya or the girdle of serpent. This is the only temple where His consort is absent fron His side.
There are morning darshans of God known as Shuddin, Tomala and Archana followed by a free darshan. This is repeated in the evening. There are Ekanta Seva, Poolangi darshan (flower-garment darshan), Abhiseka darshan, etc.
The principal annual festival is the Brahmotsavam which lasts for 10 days. The wedding of the deity with Padmavati Devi is celebrated in September-October. The most popular procession is the Garuda Utsavam on the fifth day. Ratha saptami (January-February), the floating festival (March-April) and the Mukkoti Ekadasi (December-January) and other minor festivals.
Thc temple Hundi i.e., vessel in which pilgrims drop their offerings to the Lord is perhaps the largest of the kind. It is five feet high.
The Deity has great saving power. Many incurable diseases are cured by darshan and Sankalpa of offerings.
Sri Govinda Raja Sams temple at Tirupati and golden Padmavatis temple at Tiruchanur, a village 3 miles from Tirupati are also sacred temples.
Glory to Lord Venkateswara and Mother Alamalemanga!
The Ananta-Padmanabha temple here is one of the most famous temples in South India. It is one of the 108 Tirupathis or sacred places for Vaishnavite.
Tirukkalikunram is 10 miles south-east of Chengleput, Madras State. It is one of the most reputed places of pilgrimage in Tamil India. Vedagiriswarar is the presiding deity of the Siva temple which is situated on the top of a hill and which is built of three huge blocks of stone. The beautiful tank, Sankhatirtham is at the foot of the hill. Moovar Kovil, the temple of the three saints; Appar, Sundaramurthi and Gnanasambadar is also at the foot of the hill.
The Vedas were originally intact and one, but the Rishis divided them. The vedas wished to be one and undivided. Hence they approached Lord Siva and prayed. Lord Siva said, O Vedas! assume the form of the hills at Tirukkalikunram. I would dwell on your tops as a Linga and would radiate spiritual effulgence to the world.
The four Vedas assumed the form of the hills at Tirukkalikunram according to the behests of Lold Siva. Hence the significant name Vedagiri.
In days long gone by there lived two brothers. The elder brother was a devotee of Lord Siva. The younger worshipped Sakti. They began to fight on one occasion as to the relative superiority of the deities. Lord Siva Himself appeared and told them that He and Sakti were equal and co-ordinate and that they should not quarrel in future. But the brothers continued their quarrel. Siva cursed them to become vultures. The two-brothers fell at the feet of Lord Siva in true repentance. Lord Siva promised them salvation at the end of the Kali Yuga. The two Rishis were born as vultures named Adi and Sambu. They daily visit the sacred hill to worship Siva and are fed.
Tirupparankunram lies 5 miles south-west of Madura. It is the next railway station. There is a temple on the high rock dedicated to Lord Subramania. Lord Subramania obtained here the hand of Daivayanai, the daughter of Indra.
Suran and Padma two mighty asuras were oppressing the Devas. Indra, the King of the gods promised his daughters hand to any one who could defeat the asuras. Lord Subramania obtained victory over them and married Daivayanai.
Nakkirar the reputed Tamil scholar sang Tirumurugarrupadai here, propitiated Lord Subramania and released the 999 captives shut up in a cave in the hills by a demon for a big sacrifice.
Tiruttani is a town in the Chittoor district, South India. There is a temple on a hill dedicated to Lord Subramania. It is surrounded by beautifiul hills and valleys. The scenery is lovely.
Lord Kartikeya killed the asura Sura Padma and others in this place. Indra being highly pleased with Lord Murugha; gave him his daughter Devayana in marriage.
There are many sacred pools and springs in and around the place.
Tiruvadaimarudoor is in the district of Tanjore. It is a few miles east of Kumbakonam. It is known by the name Madyarjunam also. The river Kaveri flows through this town. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Siva. The deity is known by the name Maha Linga.
Tiruvannamalai is a celebrated place of pilgrimage in South India. It is a Railway station on the Villupuram-Katpadi line. The Arunachala hill is 3000 feet above the sea level. The temple lies at the foot of the hill. It is dedicated to Lord Siva. The Linga represents the element fire. It is a Tejo Lingam.
In days long gone by there was a dispute between Brahma and Vishnu as to their relative superiority. Siva became a huge column of limitless flame and said to them that he who succeeded first to find out the limits of His form would really be the superier one. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew upwards to find out the top of the column of flame, while Vishnu assumed the form of a boar and penetrated into the earth to find out the base of the column of light. Both of them failed in their attempts. This legend intimates about tbe greatness of Lord Siva.
Arunagirinathar, author of Tiruppugal lived here.
The Karttikai lightning festival is the most famous one. It attracts a large number of pilgrims.
Trivadi, Tiruvayar or Tiru-ayyaru is seven miles north of Tanjore. It is situated on the banks of Kaveri. There is a temple dedicated to Lord SivaPanchanadiswara.
The samadhi of Saint Tyagaraja is here on the banks of the river. All the Tamil songsters and Bhaghavatars assemble here and celebrate his birthday anniversary.
It is situated on the sea-shore at the far end of the Tinnevelly district. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Subramania. The temple is built on a rock which is very close to the sea.
In days long gone by Ujjain was known by the name Avantika. It is one of the seven sacred cities of India, the other six cities being, Benares, Ayodhya, Muttra, Conjeevaram, Dwaraka and Maya [Hardwar).
The reputed temple of Mahakal is dedicated to Lord Siva. The linga is one of the twelve jyotir-lingas. The pilgrims take a bath in the river Sipra at the Ramghat.
A big Kumbha Mela is held once in twelve years. There is a huge gathering of pilgrims. Ardha Kumbha Mela is held once in six years.
There is a famous temple here dedicated to Janaradhana. The temple and the town are near the sea-shore.
There is a famous temple here dedicated to Lord Siva. Countless Brahmins are fed every day. The Ashtami festival is a very important one. Lord Siva is known by the name Vaikattu-Appa (Father of Vaikom).
Today I received as your generous gift to me the two books All about
Sivananda and Day-to-Day volumes. For this I want to express
my very cordial thanks. Thanks for your generosity and many kind regards.
Ernst Hiebasch, jun,
May your brightening-heart, Swami Sivananda, be attached to my father and the Divinity in Thy Heart will be source of recovery to him. Mighty Good is in your prayers. Powerfulness of Light in them has recovered my son. It certainly will help my father, too.
Spirit of Great Love-Sivananda, be fastened with your Love upon me and my father. In
great thanks-giving to the Greatest Might and to You,
Czechoslovakia ..... Prague.
Kindly bestow Thy Grace and Blessings upon us, so that the Divine Life Society here may
flourish and prosper. My beloved Gurudev, I feel rather lonely and sad without Thy regular
letters. They are everything to me. Please forgive me. I am Thy Little Child. I want
nothing in the world except to rely on Thee. Please always guide me. I have taken refuge
at Thy Lotus Feet.
T. Kanayo, Hong Kong.
Dandavat Pranams at the Lotus Feet of KARUNA-SWAROOP of Ananda Kutir. Praying Lord
Viswanath to have Karuna on me so that with firm faith and unchangeable devotion the
recitation of Your Loving NAME can go with my tongue all the time. O Lord, Gift me Your
Nama-Samaran in such a way that all my births will vanish. Oh, my Pyara Paramathma, make
me yours ever. Gift me a virtuous life.
Viswanath Mukhia, Bahrein, P. Gulf.
Gurudev, daily I am waiting for a line from you. Are you angry with me, Gurudev? My head reels at the very thought. Kindest Gurudev, have mercy on thy poor child and favour me with a gracious line. I have no prop but Thee, O Merciful Master.
How can I thank you for the parcel of books, Gurudev? Bhagavan Sivananda, How I miss
Thy Lotus Feet! Every second I am there. Day and night You occupy my thoughts.
Sivananda-Sobha, Dehra Dun.
I have great pleasure of reading Your book: Yoga Samhita. It is a source of consolation and happiness. Whenever I am in mental uneasiness, I take it in my hand and read. I am very proud to mention that I forget all my worries and uneasiness then. I bow at Your Lotus Feet for Your kindness. I have always heard of the worth and importance of Your gramophone records. Let Thy records inspire me. I hope Your records will help me to stick to Sankirtan Yoga.
I think I have every right to request at Your Lotus Feet, as You are the only source of
guidance for me on the Path of Yoga.
N.W. Saraf, Hamburg, W. Germany.
I pray Thy, give me courage, patience, wisdom. I earnestly pray Thee, O Bhagavan
Sivananda, the Sage-God of Sri Ananda Kutir, give me courage, help me and guide me,
protect me. By uttering Your Holy Name I get rid of perplexity and worries. O God, help me
and guide me. I am very sorry for not receiving any communication from Ananda Kutir. This
is unusual for me. I was always getting some printed lesson, sometime Prasad, magazine,
sometime books. With pranams at Thy Lotus Feet.
Pashupati Nath Misra, Instructor,
28/6/57 Hindi T.T., Muzaffarpur (Bihar).
I was overjoyed to receive Thy kind letter, which I was looking forward to. I really
couldnt express my gratitude for the special prayer You conducted for my health and
for the childrens welfare. Your Prayers being so wonderful, through Your Blessings,
I was saved from all dangers and was blessed with a little baby girl. Swamiji, I would be
overjoyed if You would suggest a name for the baby.
Kalyani, Durban, South Africa.
Thy words in Thy letter of the April 2nd:
Whatever Path you choose to follow, so long as you do not swerve from the Path of
God, from the Life Divine, so long as you do not wander away from God and His Light, it is
Divine Life.These words are engraved in my heart and I feel I shall return to
the Theosophical Society all the richer, with a deeper understanding of the spiritual
life. This is due to Thy Grace, to Thy unfailing Help and kindness, which has been
bestowed on me in full measure and for which I am and shall ever be deeply grateful
......... I take comfort from the fact that You in Your wisdom and understanding, give
perfect freedom and that Your only concern would be that I try to live my life divine.
Once again I thank You most sincerely for Your kind help and guidance which has been of
more benefit than I can express in words. I am all the better for the time spent under Thy
care and have learnt many lessons.
I found Your welcome letter with its loving greetings and the very valuable suggestions
you have made to keep me in my studies. I am also grateful for the books sent I hope to
meet you whenever you may visit Europe.
Meadow Cottage, Herts.
My gratitude for your kind and enlightening letter. Those few lines have been such a
helpI only seek solace and comfort. I want your blessings to be able to overcome
thisYour Grace to make a better, more tolerant person, who should keep doing
ones duty. Bless me, Swamiji and think of us in your prayers. I can otten feel
myself in Thy Presence. I wish to a little more. God Bless you and keep you for millions
of us that need you. Charana Bandana. Yours affectionately,
Punjab Engineer College, Chandigarh.
I thank God I have had the good pleasure of knowing how to get in touch with you and we
shall continue our mutual good relations for ever... We shall attach your name to our
Academy work so that your blessings may go forth to mankind.
Archbishop The Most Reverend
Dr. William F. Wolsey, Canada,
Thanks for your so very kind letter. My husband was so full of very great goodness.
Thanks also for the presents. Many here take pleasure and enjoy your Voice of The
Himalayas. It is so interesting that I have all this translated into German. My
husband has a desire to read this profound Truth and Knowledge. Since I wrote to you last
time, all became so simple as before. I thank you very much for this, Swami Sivananda.
Frieda Maria Simon Weltin, Germany.
I am very happy to receive your affectionate letter and I give you my best
acknowledgements. You know all. Please guide me. I am very glad to be permitted to write
to you. Monday 17, Tuesday 18, and Saturday 22 of June I felt a union with you. Many
thanks for all your goodness.
Eva Rabot, Hannover, Germany.
I am thanking you for your service to us and to humanity. I request of You more of Your
Light, Understanding and Inspiration. We are all babes in the study of Truth and are tied
down by environments. Kindly lead us all. Praises be unto Thee.
I stick to Your prescriptions and especially. I found enlightenment and uplifting in
your expression in your letter. Especially your Teachings on where to find God, in my own
heart, which also is the Bibles Teaching, I am very fond of. My thanks to you and
may Gods Blessings be with you and your great work.
Rinz Andersen, Denmark.