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Sabrimala Temple is a famous Hindu temple situated on a hilltop in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. The temple is surrounded by almost eighteen hills in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, one of the well-known reserves of India. The temple is said to be dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, who is the God of growth. From all around the world, the temple attracts Hindu pilgrims in the days of Mandalapooja in November-December, Makara Sankranti on January 14, Maha Vishuva Sankranti on April 14, and the first five days of each Malayalam month.
Origin of Sabrimala Temple
The temple is said to be of ancient origin. In fact, for almost three centuries, reaching Sabrimala temple was almost impossible because there was no way. But, then in the 12th century, a prince of the Pandalam Dynasty named, Manikandan, rediscovered the original path to reach Sabarimala Temple. Interestingly, this Prince is considered an Avatar of Lord Ayyappa. It is also believed that Prince Manikandan meditated at Sabarimala Temple and became one with the most divine.
Beliefs Followed in the Sabrimala Temple
It is believed that the pilgrims have to observe celibacy for forty-one days before going to Sabrimala Temple. At the same time, they are also required to follow a strict Lacto-vegetarian diet, refrain from consuming alcohol, let their hairs and nails grow and not cut them. Apart from doing all this, the pilgrims are also required to bathe twice a day and visit local temples daily before en routing to Sabrimala Temple. Once the pilgrims have reached Sabrimala Temple, they only wear black or blue clothes and do not shave until the completion of their pilgrimage. Also, all the pilgrims smear vibhuti or sandal paste on their foreheads.
Entrance of Women in the Sabrimala Temple
For centuries, there has been a strict ban on the entrance of women in the premises of Sabrimala Temple. This is because it is believed that Lord Ayyappa, who is the main deity, was celibate. In fact, in 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 saying that this is the menstruating age. But, in 2018, the Supreme Court lifted the ban saying that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious is unconstitutional. To this, the head priest of Sabrimala temple showed his disappointment. Moreover, this took a political turn when Shiv Sena, a political party of India, warned of "mass suicides" if women set foot inside the Sabarimala temple. Following this, protests intensified near the date of opening gates for women as hundreds of women devotees set their way to reach the temple.
Keywords: Sabrimala Temple, Shiv Sena, Supreme Court of India, Beliefs, Women, Hindu Temple
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha, who is known as Lord Shiva's and Goddess Parvati's son. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganesha represents new beginnings and removes all obstacles.
Every year Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated with full zeal and zest. The festival will take place from September 10 till September 21.
It must be noted that this festival is celebrated majorly in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Devotees of these states celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with full enthusiasm, and they even start preparing for this festival from months ago.
Generally, the festival begins with Pran Pratishtha of Lord Ganesha's idol. This is a ritual in Hinduism, wherein an idol is placed in the temple. Then, for the next 10 days, devotees of Lord Ganesha worship him and pray for prosperity. Devotees, at the same time, also offer Modak, which is a kind of sweet, to Lord Ganesha. On the last day of the festival, the idol of Lord Ganesha is immersed in a waterbody like a pond or a river, which is known as Ganpati Visarjan, with much glitz. This ritual marks the return of Lord Ganesha to his holy abode.
According to the Hindu mythology, it is believed that worshipping Lord Ganesha helps end all troubles and hurdles. This is the reason why he is also known as Vinayaka and Vighneshwara, both the terms mean “remover of obstacles".
Keywords: Ganesh Chaturthi, India, Hinduism, Festivals, Temples
By Alisha Upadhyay
The lyricist Naushad penned down words in awe of the Taj Mahal that are roughly translated into “An emperor made Taj Mahal and gave the world a symbol of love”. There is no doubt the Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world, something India is proud of. But while we appreciate Taj Mahal’s beauty let’s not unsee the architectural masterpieces that are the Hindu Temples.
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Chidambaram Nataraja, Tamil Nadu
Chit meaning consciousness and Ambalam meaning a “stage” for performing arts. This Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is at the heart of the temple town of Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu. Legend has it Lord Shiva took his Natrajan form and displayed his dance of bliss (the Aananda Thaandavam).
Tungnath temple, Uttrakhand
Usually taken as a part of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage, Tungnath temple is the highest situated shiv temple (3,680 meters above sea level). It is a trek filled with scenic beauty to keep you a company of the lush greenery and snow-clad peaks to awe your eyes. The Legend has it, it was built by the Pandavas after the Kurukshetra war. The temple is no less than 1000 years old. It is also widely believed that Lord Rama had meditated here after slaying the demon king Ravana.
Birla Mandir, Hyderabad
Built with 2000 tons of white marbles brought from Rajasthan, Birla Mandir of Hyderabad is dedicated to Lord Venkateshwara of Tirumala Tirupati. The architectural style of the Birla temple is a blend of North Indian and South Indian styles of temple architecture. The Birla family undertook the task of building temples all across the world but the one in Hyderabad receives the most attention due to its mammoth structure.
Siddhivinayak Mandir, Mumbai
Built two centuries ago, Siddhivinayak temple is in the hearts of all Mumbaikars. It is not only the wonderful architecture that invites you but also the joyous Mumbaikar spirit. Flanking the deity on both sides is Riddhi & Siddhi, goddesses signifying sanctity, fulfillment, prosperity, and riches. Etched on the forehead of the deity is an eye, which resembles the third eye of Lord Shiva.
Prem Mandir, Vrindavan
This Hindu temple is one of the new architectural buildings built-in 2001, however, it took 12 years for its completion. Prem Mandir is constructed entirely of Italian marble. It contains numerous portraits of Krishna Leela and the miracles he performed. Nighttime is the best time to visit the temple as the lightings make it a sight to see.
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