Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
The majestic Himalayan Mountains are home to the highest and most magnificent peaks on Earth. These mountains are not just majestic and beautiful but also extremely holy. From ancient times, the mighty Himalayas have been the abode of divinity. Hundreds of Hindu shrines are nestled in the majestic Himalayan foothills and the lofty ice-clad peaks. Many of these shrines are closely associated with the epics which form the backbone of Hindu culture and ethos. Here are 10 sacred Hindu temples situated in the lofty Himalayas, that you should definitely visit at least once:
1. Badrinarayan Temple
Badrinath Temple located in the state of Uttarakhand in India, between the Twin Mountains of “Nar” and “Narayan”, is a holy pilgrimage visited by lacs of devotees each year. It is mentioned in many Hindu Scriptures, “There may be many sacred pilgrimages in the heaven, earth and the nether world, but there has been none equal to Badrinath, nor shall there be“.This sacred temple is located at a height of around 10,250 feet above sea level and surrounded by landscapes on all sides. The temple is open only six months every year (between the end of April and the beginning of November), due to extreme weather conditions in the Himalayan region.
The temple is mentioned in ancient religious texts like Vishnu Purana and Skanda Purana. It is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, an early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th–9th centuries AD. It is believed that once the Shraddha Karma is performed here, the descendants need not perform the yearly ritual. Badrinath temple has world-famous legends that surround it and it is one of the most esteemed Hindu Temple around the world.
Situated amidst the mighty Himalayas of Nepal is the small yet very powerfully revered temple of Sri Muktinath. According to ancient Hindu beliefs, Sri Muktinath Temple stands for masculine as well as feminine divinity. On one hand, it is considered the most ancient temples of the God Vishnu and the Vaishnava tradition in Nepal as well as one of the 108 Divya Desam, or holy places of worship of Lord Vishnu and, it is also one of the 51 Shakti Peetha goddess sites. Muktinath is a pilgrimage shrine located 140 miles from Kathmandu in the snow-clad Himalayas. It is located near the Gandaki River famous for the Salagrama stones. River Gandaki is also known as Narayani or Salagrami.
3. Pathibhara Devi Temple
Pathibhara Devi is also known by the name Mukkumlung, as mentioned in Mundhum of Limbu people is one of the holiest places for Limbu and for Hindus in Nepal. It is located on the hill of Taplejung. Worshippers from different parts of Nepal and India flock to the temple during special occasions, as it is believed that a pilgrimage to the temple ensures fulfillment of the pilgrims’ desires.
After the Gorkha attack of Limbuwan, the sacred temple of Limbu people (Mangham in Limbu language) was additionally included in the standard Hinduism and is likewise loved as one of the Hindu Shaktipeeths without changing the previous conviction or the acts of the Limbu individuals.
The Goddess at Pathibhara temple is accepted to have otherworldly powers and tirelessly answer enthusiasts’ supplications. She is considered by her devotees as a sign of the celestial female additionally called with different names as AdiKali, Maha Maya, Maha Rudri among numerous other of her perfect structures.
The explorers offer creature penances, gold, and silver to satisfy the goddess. It is accepted that neighborhood shepherds lost several their sheep while touching at a similar spot where the place stands today. The bothered shepherds had a dream in which the Goddess requested them to do the formal penance of sheep and assemble a place of worship in her respect. At the point when the sacrifice was offered the lost group apparently returned. The custom of offering penances inside the temple is accepted to have begun after this occurrence.
The slope goddess Pathibhara after which the spot is named is accepted by the aficionados as a savage goddess who can be effectively satisfied with a basic and magnanimous demonstration of sympathy, supplication and conciliatory contributions (penance in Hinduism indicates penance of sense of self and insatiability), while is unmerciful and extreme to one who has malignant goals underneath.
4. Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple
Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple is situated in the Dolkha district of Nepal. The temple is situated in Kalinchowk VDC in Dolkha at an altitude of 3842m from sea level. Kalinchowk Bhagwati can be promoted as a destination for both religious as well as tourism purposes. It is believed that the temple is at a place where all the wishes of the devotees’ are fulfilled in Kunda (Pond) of Bhagwati mai that lies at the hilltop.
Sundhara and Tama, two natural springs that originate from this area are the main sources of the very big two rivers the Sunkoshi and Tama Koshi rivers. One can witness an excellent view of Annapurna, Lamjung, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Shisha Panga, Langtang, Dorjee Lakpa, Jugal Himal, Amabamori, Gauri Shanker, and Namburi Himal from this place.
5. Amarnath Cave Temple
According to the legend, Shiva has given Gods immortality by blessing them with the celestial nectar. Hidden (and lost and forgotten during Middle Ages) in the tough region of Himalayas Amarnath cave is the place where Shiva explained the secret of immortal life to Parvati. Every yogi and Shaiva desiring to conquer Maya, get freed of illusion and become immortal dreams of worshipping the Lingam of Amarnath. Until recently, this yatra was considered the most dangerous in the Himalayas – few people had been able to perform it and for many sadhus, this had been the last desired one-way life’s trip.
Inside the cave of Amarnath there are ice stalagmites: increate Shivalingam, to the left there is a block representing Ganesha and to the right – Parvati and Bhairava. They often change in size, reach the largest size during the full moon, and begin to wane during the new moon.
6. Kedarnath Mandir
This temple is situated in the snow-secured territory of Himalayas. One can just visit this temple during a half year of a year, the remainder of the month, the day off, outrageous virus don’t allow fans to enter. In that capacity, the Kedarnath temple stays shut for pioneers. Because of the extraordinary snowfall of Kartik, the Sri Kedarshwar symbol is brought out of the temple in the wake of lighting a ghee light, “Nanda Deepa” and the temple is shut for the winter. This symbol is moved to the Urvi Math, in the valley. The temple just opens later in Baisakh. Individuals visit here to see the Nanda Deepa, and when they see this, they believe themselves to be honored.
It is another significant site of consecrated Chota Char Dham way is named after King Kedar, whose little girl Vrinda was a manifestation of Lakshmi, Goddess of magnificence, love, and flourishing. The place of worship was worked in the eighth century and it is one of the twelve temples, lodging a Jyotirlingam, which is accepted to discharge from wretchedness each and every individual who genuinely loves Shiva.
This temple is extremely old, it’s even referenced in Mahabharata, in the scene where the Pandavas were attempting to please Shiva with their austerity to make amends for their wrongdoings. There is a spring close to the temple called Udar Kund, its water is accepted to be a blend of 5 seas and to remain new for a long time. This sacred water is frequently utilized in exoneration customs.
8. Gangotri Temple
Gangotri Temple remains on the starting point of the Ganges River. Most Hindus trust it to be the home of Ganga, Goddess of Wisdom, and the hallowed soul of waterway Ganga. It is on the Greater Himalayan Range, at a range of 3,100 meters (10,200 ft). As per the famous Hindu legend, it was here that Goddess Ganga slid when Lord Shiva discharged the forceful stream from the locks of his hair. Its other significance is for the purpose of the Chota Char Dham yatra course. The temple was initially worked by the Nepalese general Amar Singh Thapa in the XVIII century.
As indicated by Hindu sacrosanct history, King Bhagiratha contemplated at this spot so as to gain the favors of Goddess Ganga to have the option to clear the transgressions of his forerunners. After severe atonements, Ganga took a type of a waterway to free their spirits and award them salvation. Each April Goddess Ganga comes back to Gangotri from her winter cover. This day has been celebrated for right around 700 years with carrying on the cart the Goddess’ Idol in red and green garments.
9. Yamunotri Temple
The temple in Yamunotri is located on the left bank of the river Yamuna named after river Goddess Yamuna. The temple usually opens at the end of April and can be visited until Diwali. There are two hot springs near the place, the famous Surya Kund which has boiling water, where the pilgrims poach the rice for the Goddess, and the Gauri Kund with warm water for ablution. According to an ancient Hindu legend, sage Asit Muni bathed all his life in Ganges and Yamuna. When he was too old to go to Gangotri, a stream of Ganges appeared before him in Yamunotri.
10. Kartik Swami Temple
Situated in an all-around flawless setting at a tallness of 3050 m above ocean level, Kartik Swami temple is a worshipped Hindu sanctuary in the Indian Himalaya. The sanctuary is committed to Lord Shiva and Parvati’s senior child Kartikeya who is known as the president of the gods. The temple stands separated from the different temples as its stature is considered higher by devotees. It is close to Kanak Chauri Village of Rudraprayag a good way off of around 40 km from focal Rudraprayag. A stone cut symbol of Kartikeya Swami is adored here.
It is accepted that when Kartikeya got vanquished by his more youthful sibling Ganesha in a dubious scholarly showdown, he relinquished his issues that remain to be worked out Father Shiva severely. This is where the occurrence took.
These Hindu temples are an adobe of divinity. Each year they are visited by scores of tourists, devotees, and travelers. They offer not only peace of mind but being situated in the majestic Himalayas they offer some great visuals. These temples have a very surreal aura and should be a must-visit on everyone’s list.
"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."
Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.
Pseudo feminists state that women deserve more respect and rights, any other gender deserves no respect. They feel that women should be the ones ruling the world and at higher positions. When feminism takes a turn for extremities it becomes pseudo-feminism and people who label themselves as feminists will bash anyone who speaks against even the wrongdoings of a woman. They'll bash women who're wife and sisters for not speaking up and support any women criticizing political leaders even if it's completely irrational. This is where hypocrisy and pseudo-feminism merge with each other.
They take advantage of the rights given to women to protect themselves to threaten other genders. The rights given to women are supposed to make them feel reassured that they can reach out to the judiciary if their rights are being hampered not to threaten to make the victim sound like the culprit.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Indian Feminist Movement has made significant progress however, even in the modern world women are still unsafe and are discriminated against when it comes to getting a job, land ownership, and access to education. While filling the official papers it is still asked "Wife of /Daughter of:….."
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family. Such injustices make feminism such an important movement, gender equality is worth fighting for to create a safe environment for women. Feminists over the years have been criticized for focusing on the rights of privileged women and not giving equal representation to poorer and lower caste women, which has led to separate caste-specific feminist organizations and movements.
Some notable milestones in the Feminist Movement
- Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati Pratha (practice in which a widow sacrificed herself by sitting atop her deceased husband's funeral pyre) and child marriage
- Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls at Bhidewada in Pune city in 1848.
- In 1972, SEWA, the biggest trade union for women was set up by Ela Bhatt for women working in the informal sector.
- The Chipko Movement was launched and led by women in 1973.
- #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse was started in 2006 and revived in the year 2015.
People in India still continue the practice of sex-selective abortion, abandoning the girl child, not letting girl child study instead they should learn household chores, they are seen as a burden to the family.Unsplash
Feminism is often misunderstood as pseudo-feminism and hence, becomes the target for public hatred and is accused of wronging other genders under the façade of feminism. It is misunderstood by Indians as female domination instead of gender equality. Indian society and Indian feminists believe that only men are perpetrators of a heinous crime like rape and they refuse to even recognize the men who say they were raped and it's the toxic masculinity in the society that believes how can a woman rape a man? Reality is different from what we believe, women can be the perpetrator too, women threaten to file a case of domestic violence, or sexual assault against innocent people just to fulfill their ego.
Thankfully feminism and pseudo feminism are two separate concepts and feminism is just about equality and not judgment. Indian society and feminists actually need to understand the difference between the two and stop tarnishing the Feminist Movement as a whole.
Keywords: Feminism, World, India, Pseudo-Feminism, Gender
Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.
The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.
Yakshi idol in Veroor, Sri Dharamashastha temple Image source: wikimedia commons
The Yakshi is believed to live in a palm tree which can appear like a palace. Victims are taken here before they are killed. Travellers on highways are often advised not to stop near heavily forested areas, or speak to anyone who closely resembles a Yakshi. Some believe she can change form, while other hold to the belief that she doesn't. after securing her victim, the only trace left behind is body parts like hair, nails, and teeth.
They say, like other ghosts, a Yakshi's feet will not touch the ground. This is something to look out for. Mysterious deaths have been reported across the rural areas in Kerala, and all these have been attributed to the legend.
Keywords: Legends, Yakshi, Urban legend, Ghost, Kerala, Myth, Vampire
The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.
But the question is, "was India always against homosexuality"? Has the concept of homosexuality being unnatural existed forever? No, in Indian history and Hinduism homosexuality has never been an offense, in fact in several instances it has been depicted how people embraced their identity, be it sexual identity or gender identity. Section 377 was brought to India by the British in 1862, while India was colonized. Even after the Independence, it was only in 2018 that the Supreme Court ruled it as irrational and illogical.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
Homosexuality in Ancient India
When Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality in India, there was an uproar about it being a western ideology and liberalism. But in reality, homosexuality has existed since the time of the Vedas. The Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) researched and discovered that it was around 3102 B.C. (during the Vedic Age) that homosexuality or non-normative sexual identity was recognized as "Tritiya Prakriti", or the third nature. Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.
Hinduism is the most vastly followed religion in India. Hinduism does not explicitly mention homosexuality however it does contain a homosexual theme and characters in its text. There have been various instances in our scriptures and texts that have introduced us to LGBT+ characters such as the androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati Ardhanariswara meaning "the half-female lord". One of the most popular and ancient texts on sexuality, eroticism, and emotional fulfillment of life, "Kamasutra" has a complete chapter dedicated to homosexuality and homosexual sex. Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities.
Numerous Hindu sculptures and temples have statues depicting homosexual activities. Facebook
Our Mughals were Queer
Mughals are often seen under the light of cruelty, rigid ethics, nobility, and polygamy. Simultaneously, Mughals are also the ones credited for the emergence of Sufism, abolished jizya tax, love beyond religion, classes, and gender.
In the Baburnama written in memoirs of our very first Mughal ruler Muhammad Babur, several instances documented Babur's infatuation and affection towards a teenage boy named Baburi. We also have multiple Persian couplets as evidence of Babur's affection for Baburi. Mughals engaged in homosexuality and pederasty, and they believed that later was a form of "pure love".
But as time passed homosexuality was suppressed more and more though people practiced it in secret if revealed they were punished. According to the Fatwa-e-Alamgiri Sharia-based text of the Mughal Empire, there is a common set of punishments for homosexuality, which could include 50 lashes for a slave, 100 for a free infidel, or death by stoning for a Muslim.
British Raj and Independence of India
In 1862, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalized homosexual sex came into force. Even after Independence in 1947, the section remained a part of the Indian Constitution. There were protests all over the country to give people of the LGBT+ community basic human rights but it was not until 2018 that The Supreme Court of India ruled the portion of Section 377 has unconstitutional and struck it off. One judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future.". With Section 377 gone are LGBT+ people allowed to fall in love freely? No, people are still afraid to love because of the stigma in our society when it comes to homosexuality; they are seen as lesser humans.
ALSO READ: Significant Support for Rights for LGBTQ+
Although the Supreme Court has decriminalized homosexual activities, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the country. Homophobia is still prevalent in India, and homosexual children would rather commit suicide than come out to society with their true identity, that's how harsh of a world we live in. Lacking support from family, society, or police, many gay rape victims do not report the crimes. In 1977, writer and Indian mathematician Shakuntla Devi published "The World of Homosexuals". It was the first study in the Indian context; the book contains interviews with homosexual men set in the years of Emergency. She wrote, "rather than pretending that homosexuals don't exist it is time we face the facts squarely in the eye and find room for homosexual people." We've had small victories in our fight against homophobia and getting LGBT+ community the rights they deserve as humans, but we still have a long and exhausting fight ahead of us.