Bhuleshwar Temple is a must visit to satiate your soul.
The barbarity of Aurangzeb and Muslim invaders is still visible inside the Bhuleshwar temple, Maharashtra.
Musicians, luring apsaras and lions are some of the stone arts you’ll see on the walls of the Bhuleshwar
Bhuleshwar Temple, a protected monument that has both mythological and historical significance. If you are fascinated by carvings, old architectures and sculptures, Bhuleshwar Temple is a must visit to satiate your soul. And to add a cheery on top, the roads to reach Bhuleshwar will also mesmerize you with farms and beautiful landscape to gaze at.
The Yadava rulers built this temple back in 1230 A.D. There’s a folktale that surrounds the history of the temple. It revolves around Goddess Parvati who danced in the temple for Lord Shiva. Owing to this folktale there’s a popular myth, which talks about a bowl of sweets disappearing each time they are offered to Shiva Linga. Every morning a priest performs a puja in the temple. However, on the eve of Maha Shivaratri, the temple performs puja at huge scale and a large crowd gathers here for the event every year. People come to pay gratitude to Shiv and pray for their prosperity.
The barbarity of Aurangzeb and Muslim invaders is still visible inside the Bhuleshwar temple, Maharashtra. As you stroll through the temple you’ll see many disfigured statues, Aurangzeb’s men performed this act of damage. It was an attempt to challenge the Hindu Art. Later, Muslim workers reconstructed the sculptures during Chahatrapati Shivaji’s tenure as a ruler. The effect of the invasion can be felt till today as you see hidden entrances and steps to reach the top from either side, there’s also a very narrow passage that takes you into the depths of the temple. These small nuances show the measures taken by the then rulers of the temple to prevent another Mughal invasion.
Sculptures can be seen at every wall that meets your eye. Unfortunately, all these sculptures bear the marks of hammers. The Muslim invaders left a negative stench all around the temple in the form of their scars on the beautiful statues. Having said that, the sculptures look beautiful even in their destroyed form.
Arts and Architecture
Musicians, luring apsaras and lions are some of the stone arts you’ll see on the walls of the Bhuleshwar Temple. At the entrance of the temple you will find a large ”Nandi’’. The carvings inside the temple can be compared to the one’s at Ajanta and Ellora. Scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharta are depicted on the walls. The temple consists of two water tanks, one of them contains turtles and fishes, which are considered to be holy, and the other tank has a shiv linga immersed. In the name of bringing joy and happiness to one’s life, people throw coins on the shiv ling.
Bali, September 19, 2017 : From the outside, any ordinary visitor might simply pass by a concrete temple constructed on the slopes of Mount Agung, completely unaware of the holy secrets and the architectural marvels that the structure holds. But if you are a believer of Indian mythology, then you must plan a visit to Pura Besakih temple in East Bali, Indonesia.
The ‘Mother Temple’ in Bali, the largest and the holiest temple on the Island-Pura Besakih is recognized as the primary Hindu temple in Bali and stands tall at a height of 30,000 feet on Mount Agung.
The complex combines at least 86 different shrines together and is delightfully surrounded by mountains, brooks, rice plantations, and the Bali beach at a distance among other extraordinary views.
Ascending up on a stairway, the temple premises resting at the slope echoes a mystical vibe and should be a must stop at every visitor’s list! You can depend on us for the details!
History of Pura Besakih
The exact details of the temple complex’s construction cannot be verified as some locals debate its engineering in the 14th century while others believe they have been around since the 10th century!
The area of the Pura Besakih had since early times revered as a holy place because of the presence of a central stone that now sits in the Pura Batu Madeg.
Legends believe an 8th century monk had attempted to build homes and settle people in the area. On the completion of his mission, he named the complex ‘Basuki’, referring to the dragon deity ‘Naga Besukian’ who was believed to inhabit Mount Agung.
Over the years, the name evolved to ‘Besakih’ and other shrines were built around the area.
During the conquest of Bali by the Majapahit Empire in 1343, the complex was recognized as the main temple and has been restored several times in the consecutive years due to damage by earthquake.
In 1963, a volcano erupted and the lava flowed past the temples by just a few metres. This was interpreted as a sign of the gods signifying their powers by destroying everything but the temples that their devotees had constructed for them.
Comprising of 23 temples, the Pura Besakih is located 1,000 meters above the southern slopes of Mount Agung.
Carefully carved stepped flight of stairs and terraces ascend to multiple courtyards and brick gateways leading to the chief Meru structure dedicated to Shiva, known as the Pura Penataran Agung.
Designed along a primary axis, the different levels are interpreted as leading the spiritual person ‘upwards and closer to the sacred mountain, where Gods reside’.
At the heart of the temple complex, the Pura Penataran Agung, stands a stunning lotus throne, called the Padmasana dating back to the seventeenth century and comprises the ritualistic focus of the temple.
Pura Besakih’s Temples
An architectural marvel built on seven ascending levels, the Pura Besakih temple is primarily dedicated to the holy Hindu trinity.
With white banners, the Pura Penataran Agung forms the heart of the temple complex, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, the destroyer god of Hinduism. Dotted with aesthetically carved figures from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, a giant stairway allows the pilgrims to ascend to the top of the complex.
Decorated with black banners, Pura Batu Madeg, devoted to the preserver Lord Vishnu sits in the northwestern part of the temple
Dotted with red banners, Pura Kiduling Kreteg, devoted to the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma is situated across a channel to the southeast of the temple
These shrines, along with 19 other temples stretch across the complex, together make the holiest place of pilgrimage for the devout Balinese.
Closest to Mount Agung’s peak on the higher ground is Pura Batu Tirtha where you can find the foundation of the holy water, known to hold significance for religious ceremonies.
Pura Besakih is the primal centre for all ceremonial activities in Bali. The fact that the temple is the only temple open to every devotee from any caste group touches the heart of all who visit.
Ceremonies And Festivals At the Pura Besakih Temple
The temple complex is almost always bustling with activity and the influx of devotees. There are at least seventy festivals organized annually as almost every shrine commemorates its yearly anniversary known as odalan. This is based on the 210-day Balinese Pawukon calendar. Hence, you are sure to witness and be a part of one odalan irrespective of when you visit the temple
Some of the biggest festivals at Pura Besakih,
Batara Tarun Kabeh : The climax of the month’s activities fall on the eve of the tenth lunar month.
Translating to ‘the gods descend together’, the Balinese believe it is on this day that the Gods of all the temple shrines descend together simultaneously. Thus, the days marks an event not to be missed!
Temple Festival of Pura Penataran Agung (Odalan) : After every 210 days, the temple anniversary of the biggest single shrine of Besakih is celebrated with immense zeal and fervor. A spectacle of thousands of devotes praying collectively as they climb up the levels to the altars of the trimurti; the sight is heavenly!
Additionally, major holidays and full moon celebrations are also a sight at the Pura Besakih.
During celebrations, the devout Balinese locals dressed in traditional clothing flock the temple premises with a variety of gifts and offerings to please the almighty.
A day trip from the nearby cities of Ubud or Denpasar is sufficient to explore the Pura Besakih and its adjoining temples around Mount Agung. While the temples remain open to public throughout, they may be closed for tourists on special festivals and days. Make sure you ask the locals in Ubud before making the journey!
Tourism has provided the region with growth explosion and ultimately turned it into a tourist trap- you will come across several alleged ‘temple guards’, hawkers and guides hoping to acquire extra cash from the visitors.
You may seek assistance and hire the official temple guides who charge a nominal price for their services.
Proper dressing is a must at the complex; men and women must cover their legs when inside. Sarongs and sashes can either be procured at rent or bought from the many stalls and shops if needed. However, we recommend that you bargain while buying goods.
How To Reach Pura Besakih Temple
Located in East Bali, dotted on the southern slope of Mount Agung, Pura Besakih can be reached in an hour by car from Ubud. You can also avail the public transport from Ubud and Denpasar, which includes buses and minivans called bemos.
The last bemo ride from the complex to Denpasar leaves from the temple around 3 pm.
Pura Besakih Temple Timings
Pura Besakih is operational from sunrise to dusk. Tour buses, however, begin services around 9 am.
The best time of the day to visit the temple premises are in the early morning and the evenings as the region is much more peaceful at these times.
Pura Besakih Entry Fees
You will be required to pay an entrance fees of $1 at Pura Besakih, and some additional fees (though less than $!) for camera, parking, etc.
Owing to the popularity of the complex, a number of scams and unnecessary hassles can potentially ruin your experience. Follow the given tips for a smarter travel,
Hindu temples necessitate a proper dress code- while sarongs can be rented outside the temple premises but it would be better to carry your own sarongs.
Also recommended is to get currency converted before you reach Pura Besakih as the conversion rates in the region keep fluctuating and are not very reliable.
Once inside the premises, you will be expected to give an additional donation. However, do not overdo the amount.
The temple premises can be independently explored. Do not let locals fool you into hiring a guide.
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Changu Narayan is considered to be the oldest temple in Nepal
It is based on a high hilltop know was Changu or Dolagiri
It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and has an interesting tale behind it
New Delhi, July 14, 2017: The ancient Hindu temple Changu Narayan is situated on the top of a high hill well known as Changu or Dolagiri. The temple had a neighboring forest of champak tree and a small village called Changu and is situated in Bhaktapur District, Nepal.
The hill is about 7 miles or 12 km east of Kathmandu and a few miles north of Bhaktapur. This holy place “changu narayan Temple” is devoted to Lord Vishnu and held in admiration by the people of Hindu religion. Changu Narayan is believed to be the oldest temple in Nepal’s history. Bhaktapur king established kingdoms in Kashmir and kept it as Hindu kingdom.
“changu narayan Temple” has a very intriguing story behind its existence. In old times, a Gwala, a cow herder, was given a cow by a Brahmin whose name was Sudarshan. The cow was believed to produce milk in large quantities. The cow herder used to take the cow for grazing to Change, which was a Champak trees forest that time. The cow was always found under a particular tree’s shade while grazing. In the evening, when the Gwala started milking the cow at his house, he received only a negligible quantity of milk. This continued for a number of days. He was disappointed and told the Brahmin about the cow not giving enough quantity of milk. After seeing this incident with his eyes, Sudarshan agreed and they decided that they should examine the cow while her grazing activity was being undertaken.
Both of them hid behind the trees and observed the cow. They noticed that a small black boy who had come out of the tree started feeding himself with the milk. This infuriated the two men as they thought of the boy as a demon and the tree as its home.
So the champak tree was cut down by the Brahmin. While he was doing this, he saw human blood come out of the champak tree. Both Brahmin and Gwala presumed they had done a crime and started crying.
Lord Vishnu suddenly emerged and told the Gwala and Brahmin, the mistake was not theirs and began narrating the story of him committing a crime by unknowingly murdering Sudarshan’s father while forest hunting. Afterward, he was cursed and he wandered on his mouth, as ‘Garuda’ descending on the Changu hill where he survived on stolen milk. The cutting down of the tree by Brahmin beheaded Vishnu and freed him from his sins.
Following this incident, Brahmin and Gwala started worshiping that place and built a small temple of Lord Vishnu. That place has been considered sacred ever since. Even today, Sudarshan’s descendant is one of the priest of that temple and the Gwala’s descendants as conservators.
People belonging to Newar community reside in and around the area of Changu Narayan. Due to tourism development in this area, we can locate many hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants etc.
However, this holy temple “changu narayan” faces a lot of challenges and threats. The Manohara stream has witnessed rampant mining of sand and stones. The local administration has failed to cut down the mining activities. Due to these mining activities, the temple area has become prone to landslides. Because of overgrazing in the nearby forest, the chances of soil erosion and landslide have become very high.
– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025
In this article, we will discuss about the “History behind Angkor Wat Hindu Temple“, which is the world’s largest Hindu temple located in “Cambodia” – southeast asian nation.
Angkor Wat: Lost in the woods for over 400 years, the discovery of Angkor Wat, the largest Hindu monument literally shocked the world. Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s famous temple is a place full of still unexplored history, myth and legend.
Discovery & History of Angkor Wat – World’s Largest Hindu Temple
Angkor wat denotes Cambodia’s unwrapped mystery of civilization that for centuries looked like it never existed. The hidden temple was a stuff of legend until 1860 when a French naturalist, “Henri Mohout” accidently came to that place during his expedition. He saw the ruins of Angkor Wat. But why did the civilization collapse? How did they make this sophisticated temple with no modern technologies? What must have happened? It’s the high time to uncover these hidden secrets.
Angkor, the capital of last Cambodian empire was home to millions of people over 800 years ago. The powerful empire covered South East Asia including Vietnam, Bay of Bengal and North West China. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is among the wonders of the world. Even today, this world’s largest hundu temple or religious monument has a huge complex stretched at about 200 hectares of land. While entering the main temple a vast gate gives an impression that you have reached the temple, however, you realize that the main temple still is 400 yards away. The expansive nature of temple is seen to be believed.
Angkor Wat is also known as the city temple as it was surrounded by urban areas (long back before disappearing). When built, it was dedicated to representing Hindu god, “Lord Vishnu”. There is a 213 feet high central tower(temple) encircled by 4 small towers representing Mount Meru, a celestial home of god based on Hindu mythology. It took 50,000 workers to build this extraordinary temple, that was completed in the year 1145.
This huge temple can be compared to Egyptian pyramids in the context of the strength. Compared to the construction of modern European temples which require almost 300 to 400 years, Angkor Wat was completed in only 32 years. How did they do? The answer to this question lies inside the temple. There is a carving in the main temple which gives clues to the mystery of building this huge temple without any modern technology. The story carved in the stones speaks: a lever used to push big stone blocks one over another to assemble it perfectly. This shows Angkor Wat was planned, assembled and then carved.
The surface of this masterpiece is covered with carvings that display the Hindu mythological stories originated in India. But how did the stories from India arrive in Cambodia? The answer is “Indian Traders”. The Indian traders travelling towards south-east Asia passed their religion, art and architecture to the local people of Cambodia. This way the traders were an important part of spreading Hindu culture in Cambodian Empire.
Archaeologists have used sophisticated aerial imaging techniques to look into the past of Cambodia. In 1994, NASA took the first image which shows Angkor Wat was huge and another recent satellite image show collection of hundreds of temples in the area. The modern technology has also thrown light on the extensive water management system of the Cambodian empire which existed those times. This shows the engineering marvels of Cambodians. They constructed rectangular reservoirs and water systems in such a way that the water from Kulen Mountain irrigates the farms resulting in a good harvest. It could have been the work of only advanced and skilled people.
How did the civilization collapse? Hard evidence points towards the failure of Water management system. But the debate is still going on. Surprisingly the temple was never abandoned, a group of Buddhist monks stayed there and aggressively worked to save the religious place for over centuries. This also gradually resulted in the transformation of a Hindu Temple into a Buddhist temple.
In 1992, Angkor Wat was listed as World Heritage site in danger. Subsequently, it was removed from the endangered list, to be included as a World Heritage site. France, Japan and China have helped in temple restoration project. India’s archaeological department had also chipped in the 1980s. Currently, German Apsara Conservation project is in place to save the sculptures carved on the stones. Due to the continuous efforts of UNESCO and other nations Angkor Wat has become a major tourist spot with over 2 million people visiting this place every year. (Inputs from Aakash Sinha)(image-Unesco)