Saturday November 25, 2017

7 Most Beautiful Goddess Lakshmi Temples of India

On this Diwali Day, aware yourself of the most beautiful Goddess Laxmi Temples ensembled in India and keep up your beliefs on the almighty

Sripuram Golden Temple.
Sripuram Golden Temple. Wikimedia

Goddess Laxmi is one of the principal deities of Hindu religion. She is the goddess of destiny, wealth, and prosperity. The goddess is also worshipped by Jains and Buddhists.

On the eve of Diwali, we bring you the most beautiful Goddess Lakshmi Temples situated all over the India.

Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore

Goddess Lakshmi
Sripuram Golden Temple, Vellore. Wikimedia.

Sripuram Golden Temple is one of the biggest temples in India, this Lakshmi temple is dedicated to the worship of the goddess. It is situated on a hill called Malaikodi, located in Vellore of Tamil Nadu.

Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), Delhi

Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi Narayan Temple (Birla Mandir), Delhi. Wikimedia.

Birla Mandir situated in New Delhi is dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu. One popular fact about this temple is that it was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. Hundreds of devotees visit Birla Mandir during festive occasions including Diwali.

Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai

Goddess Lakshmi
Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai. Wikimedia.

Mahalakshmi Temple is an ancient temple of the goddess Lakshmi. It is situated in Mumbai. and has an interesting story behind it. After the wall of Hornby Vellard collapsed twice, the engineer dreamed of the goddess of wealth. On this very, location a statue of the goddess Lakshmi was found. Hence, the statue was put up and a temple was built.

ALSO READ: Hinduism: The Nine Basic Beliefs that you need to know

Lakshmi Devi Temple, Hassan

Goddess Lakshmi
Lakshmi Devi Temple at Hassan. Wikimedia.

Goddess Lakshmi temple in Doddagaddavalli relates the period of Hoysalas in Karnataka. It is one of the earliest architectural temples of Hoysala style.

Ashtalakshmi Temple, Chennai


Goddess Lakshmi
Ashtalakshmi Temple Chennai. Wikimedia.

Ashtalakshmi Temple is famous for various shrines of goddess Laksmi which depict all 8  forms of Lakshmi Devi. The temple is located near Elliot’s beach of Chennai.

Kaila Devi Temple, Karauli, Rajasthan

Kailadevi Temple Rajasthan. Wikimedia.

Kaila Devi is regarded as an incarnation of Mahalakshmi or the Wealth Goddess. This temple situated in Karauli District of Rajasthan.

Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple

Goddess Lakshmi
Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple.Wikimedia.

Goravanahalli Mahalakshmi Temple is an extremely popular Mahalakshmi temple built up in Tumkur District, Karnataka. The worshipped idol of Mahalakshmi is believed to have originated on its own.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana

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Seven Wonders of the World : Ancient and Modern

The Seven Wonders of the World are a set of monuments which show the artistic and architectural excellence of humanity from history to the present times. Read more to find out about the ancient and the modern seven wonders of the world

FILE - The silhouette of the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado hill stands out against the full moon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 19, 2016. VOA

The Seven Wonders of the World in the ancient times was a list made by the Greeks in order to honor the most magnificent piece of architecture in their known world. Sadly today other than the Pyramid of Giza, none of the other wonders have been able to survive the test of time. Since then a new list has been made in order to acknowledge the modern Seven Wonders of the World.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World as per the Greeks: 

  • The Great Pyramid of Giza – The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only wonder of the ancient wonder which has survived. This pyramid erected in the year 2560 BC, is known to be the tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu. It is the oldest of all ancient wonders.
The Pyramids of Giza – Pixabay
  • The Hanging Garden of Babylon – There is not much to say about this wonder because of the fact that there is very little historical documentation about these gardens. They were built by King Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife in 600 BC because she was missing her hometown in the hills.
A Painting of Hanging Garden of Babylon – Wikimedia Common
  • The Lighthouse of Alexandria – The Lighthouse of Alexandria was 400ft tall in length and had kept its record for being the tallest building in the world for centuries. This was built around 280 BC. This magnificent structure was destroyed by several earthquakes. In 1480, its ruins were used to construct the Citadel of Qaitbay, which till date stands on Pharos Island.
  • The Colossus of Rhodes – The Colossus of Rhodes is a nearly 100 feet tall statue of the Greek sun god Helios. Built in the city of Rhodes in 280 BC, it was destroyed in an earthquake in 226 BC.
  • The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus – The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was built as the tomb of Mausoleum around 350BC. The structure was demolished by a series of earthquakes which occurred between the 12th and 15th centuries.
  • The Statue of Zeus at Olympia – The statue was made by the Greek sculptor Phidias, it represented Zeus seated on his golden throne. The statue itself is 40ft tall and is adorned with gold and ivory. The cause of the destruction of the statue is not clearly known but it was destroyed sometime in the  5th century.
A Painting of the Statue of Zeus at Olympia – Pixabay
  • The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus – The temple is located in Eastern Turkey. It has been rebuilt several times following its destruction every time. One memorable incident related to the temple is the fact it once burnt down the same night when Alexander the Great was born. The third temple was acknowledged by the Greeks as a wonder. It was finally destroyed for good by the Goths in 268AD.
The Temple of Artemis Ruins – Wikimedia Commons

The List of the Modern Seven Wonders of the World

On July 7, 1997, a new set of seven wonders was developed which was based on the online voting system from all around the world. The new Seven Wonders of the World are:-

  • Chichen Itza, Mexico – The Chichen Itza is the ruins of a complex in the form of a step pyramid from the Mayan civilization.
Chichen Itza – Pixabay
  • Christ, the Redeemer, Brazil – This is a 98 ft statue of Jesus Christ located in Rio de Janeiro. This statue was built by French sculptor, Paul Landowski.
Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil – Pixabay
  • The Great Wall of China – The Great Wall of China is a wall that was built along the northern border of China in order to protect the Chinese empire from the nomadic attacks from the Eurasian tribes.
The Great Wall of China – Wikimedia Commons
  • Machu Picchu, Peru – Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel which is located high up on the Andes Mountains. It is famous for its age-old stone block walls. The exact nature of use of this citadel is not exactly known.
Machu Picchu – Pixabay
  • Petra, Jordan – Petra was an ancient desert in Jordan which consists of numerous temples and tombs carved in pink sandstone thus earning its nickname as the “Rose City”.
Petra – Jordan, Wikimedia Commons


  • The Roman Colosseum, Rome – The Colosseum as it is famously known, is a huge amphitheater located in the center of the city of Rome in Italy. It is the largest amphitheater ever built. It was used for gladiator fights, animal matches, and re-enactment of various dramas prevalent in those times.
Colosseum in Rome – Wikimedia Commons
  • The Taj Mahal, Agra – The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum which is built in pure white marble on the orders of Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is situated on the south bank of the Yamuna River and was commissioned to be built in 1632.
The Taj Mahal, India – Wikimedia Commons

The Seven Natural Wonders of the World

CNN announced a list of wonders which were not manmade but were formed naturally over a period of thousand years. This list was given in 1992.

  • Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon – Wikimedia Commons
  • The Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef – Pixabay
  • The Harbor at Rio de Janeiro
  • Mt Everest
Mount Everest – Pixabay
  • Northern Lights
Northern Lights -Pixabay
  • Paricutin Volcano

    The Crater of Paricutin Volcano – Pixabay
  • Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls Africa – Pixabay

No list of Seven Wonders is definite. These lists tell us how much the humanity has progressed and nature has evolved over the years.  These wonders are nothing but the remainder of the accomplishments of mankind from history to the present.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha (@siatipton)

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Earn More Money- Vastu Tips to impress Lord Kuber

Vastu tips to impress the Lord of Wealth and prosper in life

Lord Kuber
  • Vastu Shastra plays a significant role in improving your standard of living.
  • Vastu tips like right placement of different materials would help you prosper.

It is important to impress the Lord of Wealth, Kuber for earning more money. However, Lord Kuber does not get easily impressed, you need to work your fingers to the bone.  Science has proven that the traditional Hindu architecture system, Vastu Shastra (science of architect) affects the luck of the individual or the family. It enhances your standard of living.

Below are some Vastu Shastra tips for impressing the Lord of Wealth!

Vastu Tips For Wealth:

  • Place the money Locker in the South or South-West direction
Locker should be in the south or south-west direction. Pixabay

The jewelry and cash kept in the money lockers should always be in the south or south-west direction. It is said that Lord Kuber lives in the northern direction and if, the locker is opened towards the north, the god will shower wealth on it.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • The money locker should not be placed under a sharp focus light

Money locker being the most important thing of your house, should be kept in a calm space. It cannot be placed under a sharp focus light, as it shows that the family is going through a tough time.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Place the locker in front of a mirror

It is stated that keeping a mirror in front of the money locker would double the wealth you have, as the locker’s image gets reflected in it.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Position of staircase for prosperity
Staircase should not be built in the north-east direction. Wikimedia.

The staircase should not be built in the north-east direction, as this portion attracts the greatest money and money; thus, it needs to be clutter free.

Also Read: Vastu Shastra: Why is it Regarded as the Science of Architecture?

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Land purchasing

While purchasing a plot of land, one must see that there is no high-rise building or temple in the north-eastern direction as it acts as an obstruction in the flow of wealth. If purchasing a land in such a situation is unavoidable, then you must ensure that the building does not cast a shadow on your land.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • Tree plantation in the South-West
Tree plantation should be in the south-west. Pixabay

Vastu Shastra Gurus have suggested that planting trees in the South West region would bring good wealth and fortune in the family and prevent mishaps.

(vastu tips for wealth)

  • House should be neat and clean

Ever wondered why people say that Goddess Lakshmi resides in the house of those, who keep their houses clean? Vastu Shastra Experts have suggested that the main entrance of the house must always be clean, as it’s an invitation to Lord Kuber and Goddess Lakshmi.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.

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The importance of the holy Ramayana Masam (Karkidaka Masam) in Kerala

Karkidaka Masam is an auspicious month for people of Kerala and helps in keeping the roots of tradition intact.

Rama,Hanuman Statue
Rama,Hanuman Statue. Pixabay
  • The aanayoottu (feeding the elephant) is a festival that takes place in Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala. In this festival, there’s an interesting sight of a long row of elephants feasting on jaggery, palm leaves, and coconut
  • Karkidaka Masam comes with the raging monsoon, brings farming to a halt and confines people to their homes, has deep religious significance to it and also health rejuvenation rituals
  • Seated around the nilavilakku, elders read the Ramayana to family members, a tradition that aims to imbibe the values learned from the epic but also helps to have the strength to face the tough times, and this also lent Karkidakam its more popular name – the Ramayana Masam (month)

 Kerala, August 2, 2017: The holy month of Karkidaka Masam, famously known as Ramayana Masam is celebrated with great fervor in Kerala. The name Karkidaka is because in this month there’s the sun’s transition to Karkidaka Rasi from the Mithuna Rasi, this Malayalam month is observed from 17 July to 16 August.  It is said that the festival witness’s scarce attendees nowadays but it seems to have acquired a refined format and adapted to the ‘next-gen’ liking which is very different from the solemn observance of the season by an agrarian society that once was Kerala.

Ramayana. wikimedia commons

The aanayoottu (feeding the elephant) is a festival that takes place in Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur, Kerala. In this festival, there’s an interesting sight of a long row of elephants feasting on jaggery, palm leaves, and coconut. It occurs during Karkidakam celebrations. This festival is celebrated with the belief that offering puja and providing delicious and healthy food to elephants is a way to propitiate Lord Ganesha, the elephant-faced God according to Hindu faith.

At Sri Krishna Temple of Guruvayoor, the temple elephants can be seen being pampered with a rejuvenation therapy called sukhachikilsa which includes- herbal solutions, body wraps, and a special diet.

Karkidakam Masam in Hinduism: The Last month in the Malayalam Calendar is full of Monsoon Fury and Prayers

As soon as the Karkidaka Masam ends Chinga Masam begins. It is the month of the Onam festival and a period which witnesses many festivals.  Another associated concept is Illam nira (fill the house) festival in Kerala, it is related to harvest which symbolically represents a prayer for prosperity. In this festival, special pujas are performed for the newly reaped paddy spikes at temples and are celebrated during Karkidakam.

A typical Karkidaka Masam stays true to its purpose.  It comes with the raging monsoon, brings farming to a halt and confines people to their homes, has deep religious significance to it and also health rejuvenation rituals.

The traditional lamps called nilavilakku take center stage across the yards of Kerala households, their flames fill brightness in the dark nights, especially during this monsoon month. Seated around the nilavilakku, elders read the Ramayana to family members, a tradition that aims to imbibe the values learned from the epic but also helps to have the strength to face the tough times, and this also lent Karkidakam its more popular name – the Ramayana Masam (month).

Malayalam to be taught compulsorily at all Kerala schools till Class 10 irrespective of the syllabus: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

According to a report by Swarajya website, Rajagopalan M K, retired assistant commissioner, Hindu Religious Endowment, Kerala, said “The reading of the Ramayana helps tide over hardship like the Karkidaka Masam. With inundated fields beyond their access, people spend their time in pursuit of cleansing the body and mind. They read the Ramayana to prepare themselves to brace for the panja (lean) Masam.”

Though the roots of nilavilakku still hold its own, Kerala, today, has been mostly getting drifted away from the Karkidaka customs in its original form. Malayalees use the Ramayana’s audio version for their children to teach them the essence of the epic, yet another storytelling ritual modified by modernity. But Rajagopalan says there is thankfully a sustaining interest in Karkidaka events, despite the big change in lifestyle and livelihood. “There is a 40% increase in the restoration of its activities and the number of people mingling in with the aura generated during this season is rising by the year.”

Kerala’s extended home, the Gulf region, observes Karkidakam too. The Malayalees there do it too, perhaps, to not be left behind in the race to preserve cultural values. Temples, religious and spiritual organizations have kept Ramayana Masam celebrations alive by ensuring their continuity through elaborate programmes, public discourses, plays, recitals and competitions based on the Ramayana. These kinds of initiatives take the nitty-gritty of the season through television to the drawing rooms of Malayalees around the world.

The fifth segment of the Ramayana portraying Lord Hanuman, Sundara Kandam is mostly chosen to be read during this time. “Who could be a better role model than Hanuman, someone who is wise and powerful, for the younger generation? Humility despite the strength, Hanuman’s single-minded focus and devotion to his lord Maryada Purushottam Rama, these are some of the values that can be inculcated in the young,” Rajagopalan said.

The Ramayana is read for another and a more scientific reason. Karkidakam marks the beginning of the second part of the Hindu year, Dakshinayana, during which the sun moves in the southern direction, impacts the health of mind and body and its low rays affect immunity and digestive powers. A combination of worship, fasting, and practice of rituals helps overcome diseases and achieve tranquility of the mind, a reason why the Ramayana, which shows the path of righteousness, is read with fervor.

Book Review: Was Surpanakha a destructive Demoness from the Ramayana or tormented Woman?

A person indulging in various ayurvedic treatments is also because of its positive impact on health. In today’s times, ayurvedic health resorts utilize the Karkidaka period in a profitable way and offer treatment package, rejuvenating spa holiday and thus in a way contributing in diluting the traditional essence of the period. There is an ayurvedic blend, oushada kanji which is prepared with rice as the base and many other herbal ingredients boiled in coconut or cow’s milk and jaggery. It is a herbal gruel savored at dawn and dusk during this month to spruce up health and aids in body purification.  Nowadays, it is an instant affair as the kanji mix can be bought off the shelves of a department store. Though, it is distributed by certain institutions and organizations working hard to promote the centuries old tradition, with the body getting the nourishment in the process.

Ever wondered from where this reading a Ramayana practice began from? It began in the sixteenth century when the most elementary version of the epic- Adhyathma Ramayanam Kilippattu crafted by Thunjathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, called the ‘father of Malayalam language.’

This month is also marked by a day’s pilgrimage to the four temples in the Thrissur district, dedicated to Rama in Triprayar, and his brothers, Bharatha in Irinjalakuda, Lakshmana in Moozhikkulam and Shatrughna in Payamma, known as naalambala darsanam (pilgrimage to four temples). The trip was undertaken by foot in the bygone days when the pilgrims sought to reflect on and celebrate the bond shared by the brothers and it’s replaced by package tours now.


Karkidakam also denotes the panchamahayajna (five duties) of a Hindu householder, and of that the pitri yajna has great importance. The amavasya (no moon) day of this month marks with the chanting of pitri puja mantras in the wee hours of the morning. Karkidaka Bali is a ritual performed by hundreds of men, women, and children for their departed ancestors in batches of hundreds. The event is marked by a huge footfall across the state and is believed to be a homage to the departed souls that will help them attain moksha (salvation).

The first day of Karkidakam which is July 16 is welcomed with obeisance to Lord Ganesha. This is marked by inviting the elephants into the Shiva temple of Vadakkunnathan at the heart of Thrissur, and offering them a special feast. A day before the month begins with the house tidied up as part of Karkidaka sankranti rituals and it is prepared for the visit of goddess Lakshmi.

Karkidakam may have modified with time to be a spa-style experience, yet it still represents the earnestness to understand tradition and utilize them to our full benefit. It represents a life protocol where a man is restricted by nature from venturing out and instead to use the time to introspect and dwell on divinity and health.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08.

NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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