Visiting temples on way to Ranikhet
(a photo-blog – photos shot using mobile phone only)
|Sunset across the Kumaon hills|
|A cloud lit up by the setting Sun in the Kumaon hills|
|As the clouds descend ominously|
I have to visit my pad in Ranikhet region Kumaon in Uttarakhand to get it cleaned and maintain it. This time around I roped in a few friends of mine and we embarked upon a short journey and for a change. I did not carry my Camera kit and decided to undertake the journey and record photos using only my mobile phone. The photo blog, I believe will do the creative writing this time around and places being shown can be searched in my blogs or over the internet –
Garjiya Devi Mandir is situated at a distance 12 KM away from the township of Ramnagar of the famed Corbett Park. The temple was constructed in the year 1940 only. Originally discovered in the year 1840 by rulers of Ramnagar, Katyuri, this temple is protected and reconstructed many times by the temple management till now, thus offering an awesome infrastructure and attracts immense number of pilgrims each year. It is believed that Girija is another name of Goddess Parvati, called because of being the daughter of king of mountains, The Himalayas. The Shakti residing in the Garjiya devi temple Uttarakhand is calm and peaceful avatar of Maa Paarvati. Visiting this place gives one a chance to please both Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
|Panoramic view of the Garjiya Devi temple|
|A snake twisted around the temple bell of Garjiya Devi temple|
|As the Ram Ganga River flows past the Garjiya Devi temple|
Binsar Mahadev Temple - The manifestation of Shiva worshipped in the temple known as Bineshwar, a name which the British later corrupted to Binsar. It is a unique place nestled amongst the pine forests and a quiet place for meditation and picnic. Bineswar Temple or Binsar Mahadev Temple is situated at a distance of 19 kms from Ranikhet district of Uttarakhand State. Built in 10th century A.D, the temple is known for its fine modern architecture. The temple was built by King Pithu in memory of his father Bindu, hence this temple is also known as Bindeshwar temple. According to the legend of the temple, it was built in a single day. Women come here on the day of Vaikunth chaturdashi and it is belevied that desire of a child is fulfilled, if they pray all night with lamps in their hands. The temple also has ashram nearby, dedicated to Binsar Mahadev. Even though the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it houses the idol of Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Goddess Har Gauri and Goddess Maheshmardini . The idol of Maheshmardini is engraved with texts in Nagarilipi which dates back to as early as the 9th century. Every year on Vaikunth Chaturdashi and Kartik Purnima, a two days Binsar Mela is organized at this temple which occurs in the months of June.
|Panoramic view of the famed Binsar Mahadev temple|
|The pine forest surrounding the Binsar Mahadev temple|
Hairakhan Temple – Is situated at a distance of 4.5 km from Ranikhet Bus Stand, The Haidakhan Temple is situated in Hairakhan Baba Ashram at Chiliyanuala near Ranikhet. This temple has been constructed in memory to Baba Haidakhan, who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva, to whom this temple is dedicated and is one of the best places in Ranikhet to visit. This temple proudly displays a tall statue of Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva. Hairakhan Babaji, simply called Babaji or Bhole Baba, was a teacher who appeared near the village of Hairakhan in Nainital district and taught publicly from 1970 to 1984. His followers maintain that Hairakhan Babaji is a Mahavatar, a human manifestation of God. He left his mortal remains in 1984, at an early age. Sri Hairakhan Wale Baba established this beautiful Ashram between 1970 and 1984 and many new buildings were erected in recent years. There are also five guest houses, a small shop, the main temple, the Italian temple and Sri Babaji's Kutir and the Sri Baba Research Hospital. Navaratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm here with yagnas on all the 9 days. Satsang of bhajans happen every evening during the Aarti and people start dancing on their own. Many devotees from abroad visit this temple to have their marriage in Indian tradition. One can meditate in the peaceful surroundings.
|View of the famed Hairakhan temple in Chilyanaula|
|Panoramic view of the cloud covered valley as viewed from Hairakhan temple in Chilyanaula|
Kainchi Dham - Kainchi is a beautiful ashram located in secluded mountain of the Kumoan Hills in Uttarakand. The temple was first inaugurated in June 1964. It is approximately 38 km from Nainital. Many hundreds of people visit the temples here every day, during the season. It was some time in 1962 when Maharajji called for Shri Poornanand of Kainchi village while he himself waited sitting on parapet wall by the road side near Kainchi. When he came, they refreshed the memories of their first meeting which they had 20 years back in 1942. They discussed about the place around. Maharajji wanted to see the place where Sadhu Premi Baba and Sombari Maharaj had lived and performed Yagyas. The forest was cleared and Maharajji asked for the construction of a Chabootara (rectangular platform) covering the Yagyashala. Maharajji contacted the then "conservator of forests" and took possession of the requisite land on lease. The Hanuman temple is built over the platform mentioned above. His devotees started coming from different places and a chain of bhandaras, kirtans, bhajans started. The Pran-Pratishtha of idols of Hanumanji and others was performed on 15th June in different years. Thus, 15th June is celebrated every year as Pratishtha Divas Each year, during the famous June 15th bhandara. The place is of international repute boasting of followers like Steve Job & Mark Zuckerberg.