Divine monuments always inspired me. Ancient temples particularly built with the black stones with spectacular arches and interiors are really a treat for any any enthusiast photographer. Sharing herewith some of the photos and brief information on these holy structures (where I have visited and shot these photos in last seven years). Temples, where faith still unites the mankind…
The Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
Golden temple or The Harminder Sahib…. An epitome of belief and sikh pilgrimage across the globe also invites people irrespective of caste or religions. For me, it was like a life time wish coming true when I entered the temple premises in December 2012 and witnessing the main temple bathing in the golden rays of dawn hours amid chants of the sacred Gurbani being broadcast live…
Built in the 16th century by 5th guru ‘Guru Arjan Dev’ it is learnt that most of the golden artwork was completed in 19th century. The shrine is built on a level lower to the ground and has four entrances. Everyday the temple also serves ‘Langar’ which is nothing but sacred food prepared by the volunteer devotees.
The main temple is constructed with white marble and overlaid with golden leaves stands in the centre of the ‘Sarovar’ or a giant pool of holy water which is refreshing, transparent and reflective. As understood, this water is fetched from the river Ganges. The water is believed to have healing properties.
Ganapati Pule, Maharastra
Lord Ganesha temple at Ganapati Pule (on Mumbai Goa NH9) is one of the oldest temple in the region. Built on the beautiful beach this temple is believed to be famous for fulfulling wishes. You can see people conveying their wishes to Lord Ganesha through a huge Bronze Mouse in front of the temple. Pictursque, Serene, Simple and Clean atomosphere abodes this holy place…
Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysore
Located on Chamundi Hills near Mysore city of Karnataka, this temple offers a picturesque view. Built around 11th century, the temple has excellent carvings. The temple is dedicated to goddess ‘Chamundeshwari’ also know as ‘Mahishasur Mardini’ as is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Durga. It is also believed that the goddess Chamundeshwari resided at this hill after killing the demon ‘Mahishasur’. You may also like to visit a huge rather collosal statue of ‘Nandi’ or bull while descending from the hill.
Shri Swami Narayan Temple, Tithal, Valsad, Gujarat
Temple of Lord Swami Narayan at Tithal in Valsad district. One good about all Lord Swami Narayan temples is that they do not prohibit photography and most of their temples are a treat for any photography enthusiast. This temple, built from red granite is simple but architectually a marvel. Must visit when u r on Mumbai Ahmedabad circuit.
Akshar Dham Temple, Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat
Lord Swami Narayan temple in Bhuj. Made from white Marble the temple has large number of pillar on which epics of Ramanyana and Mahabharata have been carved.
There is saying…’Kutch nahi dekha to kuch nahi dekha’ and this temple really makes this saying meaningful. Temple has got ample parking space, Very neat and tidy environment, No nonsense behaaviour of the priests. Feels like visiting again and again…
Narayan Sarovar Temple, Kutch
Narayan Sarovar is located on the western boundary of Kutch district of Gujarat and is extremely close to the Pakistan border. Awesone architecture and ancient. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu (also called as ‘Narayan’) this temple can be reached from Bhuj which is almost 150 km from here. Narayan Sarovar Lake is one of the 5 holy lakes of Hinduism (others being Mansarovar in Tibet, Pampa in Karnataka, Bhuvaneshwar in Orissa and Pushkar in Rajasthan). The lake is associated with a time of drought in the Puranic area, when Narayan (a form of Lord Vishnu) appeared in response to the prayers and touched the land with his toe, creating the lake.
Chhatri’s of Indore
In the heartand of Indore, the beautiful city of Madhya Pradesh, stands some superbly carved temples also known as ‘Chhatri’s’ built by the Holkar dynasty. These represent the glorious reigns of the erstwhile architectural marvels. Pyramidal in shape, these structures have survived the wrath of time and are still a great tourist attractions.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple, Kolhapur, Maharastra
Although photography is prohibited in the Mahalaxmi temple of the Kolhapur, beauty of the architecturally built temple compells any enthusiastic photographer to shoot and preserve the memories. Sanctum sanctorum of the entire temple is mounted on a square platform of black stone and from inside the entire temple looks like a monolithis structure. I wish they allowed me to shoot the interiors too….
Lord Hanuman Temple, JSW Ispat plant, Dolvi, Raigad, Maharastra
JSW Ispat’s (earlier known as ‘Ispat Industries Ltd’) 3 mtpa steel plant is located at Dolvi on Mumbai – Goa highway. I am one of the proud ex-employee of this one of the largest integrated steel plant in India. In 2008, this beautiful temple was inaugurated with much fan fare and became a favorite stop over for many people due to its unique gothic look alike acrchitecture. Surrounded by four water bodies and amazing painting on the ceiling, this temple is a must see whenever you are cruising on the Mumbai Goa highway…
Birla Mandir, Hyderabad, AP
Ganapati Bappa Morya
Pune Ganesh Festival –
Pune, the harbinger of the Lord Ganesha festival started by Lokmanya Tilak, is still continuing the legacy laid by the great freedom fighter. I have been visiting Pune during Ganesh Chaturthi time every year since last 15 years without fail. Sharing herewith some of the photographs taken during these visits. Pune has its unique system of honouring or raking its Ganesha’s. Given below is the list of ranks and some photographs of these mandals :
1) Kasba Peth Ganapati
2) Tambadi Jogeshwari Ganapati
3) Guruji Talim Ganapati
4) Tulsibag Ganapati and
5) Kesariwada Ganapati
Ganapati of Shrimant Dagadu Seth Halawai
Makeshift Pandal (say temple rather) of Lord Ganesha of Seth Dagadu Seth Halawai… The permanant temple is located near Shaniwar vada and the idol is shifted to a makeshift pandal every year during Ganesh chaturthi. This is amongst most popular and visited by millions during this 10 day festival.
Founded in the year 1893. The main idol is around 8 feet in height and adorned with gold ornaments of several kilograms. Truck loads of coconuts in the form of garlands are offered to the diety to get please him and getting the wishes fulfilled.
Lighting and decoration of the make shift temple is an attraction every year. The make shift temple incorporates new themes of historical importance, monuments, personalities etc every year. I have been witnessing themes of different categories ranging from Hawa Mahal of Jaipur to Meenakshi Temple…
Most of my visits, I had been lucky enough to get some very candid close ups of the lord. The above photo was taken in last year (2012).
Sharada – Ganapati idol of Mandai : This is the permanand idol of this mandal where in goddess Sharda (wife of lord Ganesha) is sitting besides the lord. Perhaps the only kind of idol in the entire country. A symbolic idol is immersed on the 10th day of the festival. Started a century ago by the vegetable vendors of the adjacent Phule market, this mandal has got its own followers.
Ranked fourth in the honours, Tulsibag ganapati (as the name suggests) is located in the narrow by lane of Tulsi bag (a market mainly known for sell of utensils and other domestic useful items). Huge idol with lots of silver ornaments.
Ganesha @ Babu Genu Mandal – Located extactly between the Dagadu Seth and Mandai Gapanapti, this mandal draws many devotees due to its pandal decoration.
The entire Pune city goes frenzied during this 10 day long festival. Flocks of people are seen walking on the street for witnessing the best of the decorations and Ganesha idols. The photo was taken by me at a lesser known mandal while wandering along with the crowd…
Pen – A town in Maharashtra where trunk of the Elephant god takes the twist –
Pen is a small town in the Raigad district of Maharashtra renowned for the beautiful lord Ganesha idols it makes. This small town is divided into several small by lanes (called ‘Ali’) where the craftsmen are busy throughout the year in crafting the idols of god.
There may be some errors in the information gathered / provided and I earnestly request all of you to give honest feedback on this post.