Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Going Places - Shiva Yatra

I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words from September 1 - 7. The theme for this festival is "7" and mine is:

Going Places -  7 journeys I would like to take.

Having done a Krishna and Ram Yatra, my third journey will of course be a Shiva Yatra (pilgrimage or journey).

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati 


Lord Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods in the Hindu religion and is considered the God of Destruction. The concept of destruction often makes him a God to fear but he is a very misunderstood God as He is also very benevolent and supposedly easy to please. (What would I know, the Gods never seem to hear me!)

Lord Shiva is also known as Mahadev (Great God) and while he does have many benevolent forms, he also has fearsome forms (known as his Rudra roop).

Lord Shiva supposedly creates the Universe and destroys it both via his cosmic dance the Tandava. The Ananda Tandava creates and the Rudra Tandava destroys.

There are many temples and holy places in India dedicated to Lord Shiva, but my Shiva Yatra would consist of Varanasi (Kashi) - Allahabad - Rishikesh - Hardwar - Trimbakeshwar - Somnath

google maps - all places are approximate


Varanasi (aka Benaras and Kashi) is considered the holiest place in India. It is situated on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh and was supposedly created by Lord Shiva after the death of his first wife Sati.

Varanasi 
image from wikipedia

Allahabad's original name was Prayaga (place of offerings) and is referred to as Triveni Sangam (confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and the legendary Saraswati). The Prayag Shrine is considered to be one of the Shakti Peeth's. When Sati died, Shiva was devastated and carried her body as he wandered around. Parts of it fell and these places are known as Shakti Peeths. These Peeths are considered very holy and powerful as they are also the union of Shiv and Shakti (Sati).

Prayag Temple
image source: google images

Hardwar situated on the banks of the river Ganges in Uttarkhand is known as the Gateway to Lord Shiva and is one of the 7 holiest places in India. It is considered to be the hometown of Sati and one of the places where drops of Amrit (elixir of life) accidentally slipped from the pitcher being carried by the Lord Vishnu's celestial bird Garuda. Hardwar is also considered to contain the footsteps of Shiva.

Har ki pauri - Footsteps of Lord Shiva
image from wikipedia

Rishikesh - I include this under the Shiva Yatra as this is so close to Hardwar. Rishikesh is also considered to be one of the holy places in India and is associated more with Lord Ram who was supposed to have meditated here on his life's purpose. Not sure now with the recent floods if this place is safe to visit.

Statue of a meditating Lord Shiva
image source wikipedia

Somnath Temple near Veraval in Gujarat is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva. Jyotirlinga are shrines where it is believed Lord Shiva manifested and revealed himself as a column of light (Jyoti - light) to his devotees. Somnath means "The protector of the Moon God". It is believed that at Somnath Lord Shiva absorbed the curse placed on the Moon God and hence He wears the crescent moon on his head.

Somnath Temple
image source wikipedia


Trimbakeshwar Temple situated in the Nashik district of Maharashtra on the banks of the Godavari river is also one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines. While all other Jyotirlingas have Lord Shiva as it's deity, Trimabeshwar has the faces of the Tridev (3 Gods), Lord Brahma (the creator), Lord Vishnu (the sustainer) and Lord Shiva (the destroyer).

Trimbakeshwar temple
image source: google images


Karpur Gauram Karunavataram |
Sansara Saram Bhujagendra Haram ||
Sada Vasantam Hridayaravinde |
Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami ||

The one who is as pure/white as a camphor
The personification of compassion
Who is the essence of the world
With the serpent king as his garland
Always residing in the lotus of the heart
 Oh Lord and Goddess (Shiva and Sati)
I bow to you both

(translation from wikipedia)

Join me tomorrow on my fourth journey.

My journeys so far:
Journey 1 = Krishna Yatra
Journey 2 = Ram Yatra

(my 7 journeys series can be viewed here )


Day 2 posts that I enjoyed
Mahabore's Surpanakha's lust for Rama  - from the Ramayana - how could I not enjoy this one.
Susan's 7 memories of her dad - a very sweet and touching post, a wonderful tribute to her dad.


Have a wonderful day.

Warm Regards
Photobucket

 


Write Tribe

38 comments:

  1. Once again a nice post, love the way you link up the legends associated with these places. Absolutely wonderful take on the prompt...

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    1. Thanks Mahabore. Glad you like my theme.

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  2. wow!! Lovely :)
    Lemme go and read about the other 2 places too!

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    1. Thanks Mytakeoneverything. Hope you enjoyed the other other 2 as well.

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  3. Shiva reminds me of Amish's 'Shiva Trilogy.' I have visited most of the mentioned places. Shiva is one handsome bloke!

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  4. Shiva reminds me of Amish's 'Shiva Trilogy.' I have visited most of the mentioned places. Shiva is one handsome bloke!

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan, I hope someday I will visit these places too. Yep, He is one handsome bloke.

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  5. Been to most of these places but do plan on a trip to all the Jyotirlings.

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    1. Hi Suresh, hope you can see the rest. thanks for dropping by

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  6. Have been to Haridwar and participated in the Ganga Aarti one evening. It was such a divine and a beautiful experience.

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    1. Oh you are lucky Shilpa. I look forward to the Ganga Aarti. I'm sure it must be amazing.

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  7. Thanks for the kind mention, dear Suzy. Love and cheers.

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  8. Varanasi the mystic city ... one of my favorites .. have been to all the places except somnath...hope to be there seen...have a special name connection to Lord Shiva :)

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  9. That's a lovely post and very nicely described. I love the way that you give out the background of each of the places. Thanks !

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    1. Thanks Kajal. glad you liked my post. I try to add those touches as it makes it more real for me.

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  10. Another spectacular post.Bows down!!Thank you for taking us to these amazing sacrosanct Places...:)

    http://sailorswiferamblings.blogspot.com/2013/09/seven-smells-to-smile.html

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    1. Thanks Anu. I'm glad you like my journeys. I have fun writing them, kind of takes me there too.

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  11. I am dying to visit these places and guess, will take mom some day:)
    Thanks
    Vishal

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    1. Nice Vishal to take your mom along too. That's sweet. I hope you will.

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  12. I enjoyed the tour and your narration was fascinating!!

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  13. I enjoyed the tour and your narration was fascinating!!

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    1. Thanks Kathy. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Indian mythology is very interesting.

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  14. Very informative post Suzy. I once had the desire to visit all the 12 jyotilingams. Maybe some time in the future, I will, God willing. :)

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    1. Thanks Jyothi. I hope your wish comes true.

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  15. Like ram yatra post and krishna yatra there are places I have visited and some which I need to as soon as possible. I really like the theme you have picked up :)

    Richa

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    1. Thanks Richa. Glad you are enjoying your posts. I'm enjoying the virtual journeys too.

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  16. I think what I love about Lord Shiva is his devotion to his wife! :)
    Lovely narration of the significance of each place!

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    1. Thanks Roshni. All our Gods are wonderful. The narration is helping me understand each place better as well.

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  17. Suzy...I am gonna stick to your blogs until sept 7

    Saat dhaam ki yatra karni hein mujhe :))

    great read!

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    1. Thanks Ruchira. Glad you are enjoying my yatras - to chale yatra kare :)

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  18. Another informative post with beautiful narration.

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  19. i have read about this but loved your crisp detailing of the journey and the pictures :)

    you can check out my post here-
    Karan -
    Brother

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  20. I've lived in Allahabad for two years and made a few trips to Varanasi when I was young, Suzy. I will never forget all I soaked in there. Was so blessed to witness a Maha Kumbh Mela too. Since my Dad was one of the administrators, we got a front row view of it all. Amazing!

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    1. Oh wow Corinne. That must've been an amazing experience. I hope someday I will get there too.

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