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Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Kanchipuram May 28th 2020

Mumurtivasam, Kanchipuram (Abode of the Trio) The Ekambareshwar (Shiva) temple, Kamakshi Amman (Parvati) temple and the Varadaraja Perumal (Vishnu) temple together are popularly known as the Mumurtivasam (Mu - Three, Murti – Idol/Deity, Vasam - Aroma. Ekambareshwar temple – Once, Parvati was performing penance on Shiva in the form of a Prithvi Lingam, made out of sand under a mango tree, to expatiate herself from a curse. The Vegavati River (which was years ago created by Shiva to satisfy a sage’s thirst) overflowed and was about to destroy the lingam. Parvati hugged the lingam to protect it. This gesture of Parvati touched Shiva immensely and he materialised in person in front of her and she was liberated from the curse. The mango tree where this happened exists in the temple and is believed to be several ... read more
Ekambareshwar Mango tree
Kanchi Kamakshi temple
Kanchi kamakshi temple

Asia » India » Kerala » Trivandrum May 28th 2020

The legendary sage Vilvamangalathu Swamiyar was a great devotee of Vishnu. After several years of meditation, Lord Vishnu appeared in front of him as a small boy. The sage loved the child immensely and requested him to stay with him in the hermitage forever. The child agreed but mentioned that if the hermit failed to treat him with respect, the child would vanish. One day, when the sage was in deep meditation, the child by mistake tainted the idol which was kept for puja. The sage was enraged and punished the child. But since his condition was broken, the child vanished telling the hermit that if he wanted to see him again, he had to search for him in Ananthankaadu. The sage then started moving in the direction the child vanished, fasted and searched for days ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Tiruchirappalli May 20th 2020

Lord Brahma once performed penance to see Lord Vishnu’s original form. After several years of penance, Vishnu appeared in front of Brahma in a Ranga Vimana – a special chariot of the Lord carried by 4 Veda deities on their head and sleeping on the coils of the serpent Ananta Shesha. The Ranga Vimana was worshiped by Lord Brahma who later gave the Vimana to King Ishwaku (Lord Rama’s ancestors) on Lord Vishnu’s (Ranganatha) desire. The Vimana was worshipped in Ayodhya by the Ishwaku dynasty and finally by Lord Rama. Lord Rama gave the Vimana to Vibhishana – the brother of Ravana – at the Pattabhishekham, the ceremony where he was crowned as the king of Lanka after Ravana’s death. This ceremony was held at Dhanushkodi Tamil Nadu, near Rameshwaram, after Lord Rama returned from Lanka. ... read more

Asia » India » Sikkim » Kangchendzonga May 19th 2020

Another retro blog - Dec 23, 2003 I am not even sure why we decided to visit Sikkim and base camp of the 3rd tallest mountain in the world. But, I am pretty sure we did not even know where Sikkim was before we started planning. Having climbed Kili 2 yrs earlier, obviously that memory had softened! After spending 2+ wks in Darjeeing and Gangktok, which is another blog, we arrived in Yuksom to begin our trek. Yuksom is a very small village, pleasant and very quiet. We meet a couple from the US, that have just completed the trek today. They had some great views, but said it was very cold at night, and they did get snowed on. They used their lighter sleeping bags with silk liners, down jackets and still froze. We brought ... read more
The beautiful trail
One of many suspension bridges on the trail
Cold and windy but beautiful!

Asia » India May 16th 2020

Goddess Shakthi separated from Lord Shiva to help Lord Brahma in creating the universe. In order to re-unite with Shiva, Shakthi was born as Daksha’s (Lord Brahma’s son) daughter - Sati. When Sati grew up, she fell in love with Shiva and wanted to marry him. However, Daksha was furious with Shiva as he had cut Brahma’s fifth head to curb his unholy behaviour in the past. Thus, he was against this marriage. Sati went against the wishes of her father and married Shiva. One day, Daksha arranged for a grand yajna and invited all the devas but intentionally left Shiva and Sati out of the invite list. Sati wanted to attend the yajna and went ahead even after Shiva tried to persuade her against it. Daksha insulted Shiva in the presence of Sati and all ... read more
Shakthi Peethas
Jwala ji Shakthi Peetha - continuous flames till date!

Asia » India » Goa » Patnem May 10th 2020

Who would have thought our desire to spend more time in one place and not travel around all the time would be fulfilled so soon … ? ;-) Halfway 2019, after 2,5 years of travelling, we had been thinking and talking about slowing down, maybe stop travelling for some time, find a nice place to stay and maybe try to find fun people to work with in 2020. In Raja Ampat we came up with an idea to help someone out with his tourism business but then at the end of 2019 we were approached by another person with the question: “would you be interested to work in Maldives and manage a guesthouse?” These were all very preliminary ideas and first we would end 2019 and start 2020 in the Philippines with a fun holiday with ... read more
Happy being on an Indian train again
Tuk tuk/rickshaw
Tuk Tuk/rickshaw

Asia » India » Himachal Pradesh » Sirmaur May 9th 2020

Renuka ji the hidden jewel of Himachal Pradesh Hidden amidst the thickly forested serene hills is set one of the prettiest mountain lakes in india and the biggest in Himachal Pradesh,India is Renuka Ji. Renukaji lake and temple are a well kept secret of Himachal Pradesh. Renuka ji is situated in sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh in India and is approx around 672 m or around 2132 Ft above sea level. This place is around 37 kms from Nahan. We wanted a quick easy weekend trip and also to rejuvenate ourselves we planned a trip to Renuka ji. My trip started from New Delhi and i travelled alongwith my family by my own car. This was my first visit to Renuka ji although i have travelled a lot in Himachal Pradesh. Sirmour District is least known ... read more

Asia » India » Uttarakhand » Dehradun May 5th 2020

Kedarkantha the Prominent winter trek in Garhwal Himalayas Uttarakhand INDIA Kedarkantha Trekheight is around 3,800 meters. And, the Kedarkantha trek offers 6 days vacation with the taste of perfect adventure and jaw-dropping experiences. Therefore, Kedarkantha trek is the prominent winter trek! It has got unmatched beauty in winters.The trail hides in a thick blanket of snow almost winter. The lush green forests Usually turn white, making it a small wonderland. As a result, The Kedarkantha trek is not only for experienced trekkers but for amateurs and children too. ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Tiruvannamalai May 3rd 2020

According to our Shiva Mahapurana, one day Vishnu and Brahma had an argument over their superiority. Shiva appeared in front of them in the form of a raging fire and asked them to each find the tip of the fire. Whoever reaches the tip would be superior between the two. Brahma went upwards and Vishnu downwards in search of the tip, however Shiva increased the length of the flaming fire continuously. After thousands of miles, Vishnu conceded defeat and returned. Brahma was getting exhausted and, on the way, saw the Ketaki flower. He made Ketaki agree to lie that Brahma had indeed reached the top where the flower had resided and got the flower from there. When Brahma confronted Vishnu with Ketaki, Shiva appeared in his true form in front of them. Shiva was angered by ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Madurai April 24th 2020

Madurai was originally a forest called Kadambavanam, i.e. a Vanam (forest) of Kadamba trees. One day, Lord Indra spotted a farmer praying to a Shiva linga in the forest and told King Kulasekara Pandya about the linga. The king built a temple around the linga and then built a city around it. Lord Shiva appeared on the day of naming the city and drops of nectar fell from his hair on the ground. The city was hence called Madurai (madhuram meaning sweetness in Tamil). ​After King Kulasekara, his son Malayadhwaja Pandya became the king. For years, Malayadhwaja and his wife Kanchanamalai did not have a child. After several yagnas, a 3-year old girl child with 3 breasts was born to them. Goddess Parvati took birth as Kanchanamalai’s daughter pleased with her prayers. Also, a voice appeared ... read more

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