A Wonderful Panch Dwarka Tour That Gives You Glimpses of Gujarat and Rajasthan

The Panch Kedars and Panch Badris of Uttarakhand are quite well known but the Panch Dwarka’s are not quite as popular. Nevertheless, for devotees of Lord Krishna, they are of supreme importance. The pilgrimage spots included in Panch Dwarka are Kankroli Dwarkadhish, Shrinathji, Dwarka, Dakor and Bet Dwarka in western India. Kankroli is in Rajasthan while the other four are in Gujarat.

Trip Planning

Trip Planning

You can undertake Panch Dwarka Yatra by train or by road, the latter offering you more chances to visit and stop at places of interest along the way. Either way, the best starting point to the yatra to the panch Dwarka’s is Ahmedabad. The closest temple is the Ranchodrai temple at Dwarka, which should be your first stop. From here you can proceed to the second one, Shrinathji temple at Shamlaji on the Udaipur road. Proceed to Udaipur; spend some time exploring this Venice of the East and drive about 65 km onwards to Kankroli, stopping at Nathdwara along the way for darshan at the famed Nathdwara temple. From here you can drive back to Udaipur, take a diversion to Mount Abu and visit Ambaji temple and then take a long drive to Dwarka, the most important of the Panch Dwarka’s. Bet Dwarka, an island that submerges at high tide is next and last of the spots to visit. Then you can explore the Marine National Park off the cost of Jamnagar and the city itself has some wonderful attractions. Of course, one can go the other way around. Before you set out here is some information on each of the temples that make up the Panch Dwarka’s in India.

Kankroli Dwarkadheesh Temple

Kankroli Dwarkadhish Temple

Set in the small village of Kankroli next to the Rajsamand Lake you will come across the Vallabhacharya sect created Dwarkadheesh temple. It is said that the idol here was transported from gokuldham to Ahmedabad at the time of Mughal attacks. Maharana Raj Singhji of Udaipur wished for the idol to be relocated and it was installed in a temple at Kankroli. The temple is a fine example of Rajasthani haveli style architecture and remains open between 7 to 11 in the morning and 4 to 7 in the evening.

Nathdwara

Nathdwara

From here you can go on to Nathdwara, also an important pilgrimage spot for Krishna Bhakts since it is hope to the temple of Shrinathji, an incarnation of Lord Krishna. The idol was previously resident at Mathura but was transported to its present location in 1672 and Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar contributed to construction of the temple. The temple here is in black marble with one arm raised.

Shrinathji – Shamlaji

Shrinathji - Shamlaji

The Shrinathji temple at Shamlaji in North Gujarat, on the way to Udaipur, is, strictly speaking not included in Panch Dwarka’s but because it is a Krishna dham, it is worth a visit. The temple dates back to the 11th century but it was renovated about 500 years ago. The temple sits beside the Meshwo River and it is built in white sandstone. Bathing in the Surya Lake here is believed to wash away sins. There are other interesting temples such as the Kashi Vishwanath Mahadeo temple; an underground temple with a pyramid shaped roof at ground level and the Harishchandra temple as well as Devni Mori, a Buddhist monastery.

Dwarka and Bet Dwarka

Dwarka and Bet Dwarka

Dwarka is next, located along the coast of Saurashtra and one of the four of the Major Chardham Yatra spots. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple has ancient origins and it is mentioned in the Puranas too. One of the 108 divya desam of Lord Vishnu, the temple is a magnificent example of traditional architecture and it comes alive on Janmashtami. From here to Bet Dwarka is a short distance. It is an island off the coast and the temple here is submerged each day so one must time the visit to get a darshan.

The Panch Dwarka tour not only gives you a darshan of Lord Krishna in his different forms but it also gives you a taste of the culture and cuisines of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Saurashtra, a trip you will remember.

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Enjoy Comfortable and Convenient Stay at Luxury Hotels in Corbett

Check out the best hotels in Corbett that best suit all your accommodation needs and offers you a memorable stay. If you are a nature lover or adventure fanatic then what is the best way of spending your next vacation, other than spending it exploring the vast Corbett National Park. It is The Perfect Spot for those who love watching the magnificent wild animals and rare birds in their natural habitat. Situated in the Nainital district in the state of Uttarakhand, the place is a nature park which is the oldest national park in India. It was established in 1936 with the aim to save the endangering Bengal Tigers.

Luxury Hotels in Corbett

Today, the park is a dense jungle flourishing in an area of 201.1 square miles. It mainly consists of trees like sal, peepal, rohini, mango, and haldu. It also consists of a large lake, marshy basin, hills, river belts, and grasslands. According to the statistics, the park is the home 110 species of trees, 488 species of plants, 50 mammal species, 580 bird species, and 25 reptile species.

The park is one of the most important elements in India tourism, and without it the tourism in India is simply incomplete. Enjoying the safari is the prime attraction in the region. In addition to that, there are several other things to do in the region. Dhikala, Jhirna, Bijrani, Durga Devi are the other popular places to visit in Corbett. If you are done sightseeing the park then heading to these tourists spots is the thing you should do next. The Corbett region is often crowded by visitors and nature lovers throughout the year. This in-turn gives the hotel and travel industry to establish their branches in the region.

Following are two most run-after hotels in Corbett offering the best value for price amenities and facilities.

Jims Jungle Retreat– The hotel is a 5 Star property and is spread in an area of 15 acres that consists lush landscapes. If you are in the region especially for tourism and adventure purposes, this is the hotel that you should consider. It offers a plethora of adventure activities, namely trekking, safari, bird-spotting, rappelling, river rafting, and rock climbing etc. In addition, for the laid-backs the hotel also offers personalized services like currency exchange, taxi services, guide, travel desk, laundry, airport transport, railway station transport, spa, library, Ayurveda and massage centre etc. The rooms consist of elegant decor and all modern conveniences. Finally, the hotel also boasts of in-house dining option serving aromatic-gourmet Indian and Continental cuisines.

Corbett River View Retreat– The hotel is among the best hotels in Corbett and popular among the guests. It is a 4 Star hotel and best accommodation option for tourists. It offers personalized services that will make your trip memorable. These include travel guide, arranging safari, airport/railway station transport facility, river rafting, rock climbing, bonfire etc. This hotel is ideal for travellers seeking break from the hustle-bustle of city life and want to relax on the lap of nature. The hotel is located in a scenic place and offers rooms well-appointed with modern in-room conveniences. In addition to that, it also houses a well-equipped conference hall, swimming pool, spa, fitness centre, entertainment centre, and a fantastic multi-cuisine restaurant.

Junagadh Tourism – Places to Visiti in Junagadh

Junagadh is the headquarters of Junagadh district Gujarat, located in the foothills of the Girnar Hills.  The name comes from ancient Uparkot fort its mean old fort, it’s also known as Sorath earlier Princely State of Junagadh. Junagadh is famous for its picturesque location, ancient forts and Ashokan rock edicts, temples and monuments.

Junagadh city at night

Junagadh City at Night

Here is the list of some poplar places, monuments, temples of Junagadh.

Religious Spots

Girnar Hill

Girnar Hill

Girnar Hill

Junagadh’s chief attraction is the Girnar Hill, located 6 km east of the city. This has been a holy site for Buddhists, Hindus and Jains since the third century BC. Over 1,080 steps lead to the top of the high hill. Asokan edicts dated to 250 BC can be found on the sides of the steps. Here you can see Ashoka’s message for peace, love and non-violence.

Neminath Temple

Neminath Temple

Neminath Temple

Half-way up the Girnar hills is a cluster of beautiful Jain temples of which the most notable one is the Neminath temple dedicated to the 22nd Jain tirthankara.

Amba Mata Temple

Amba Mata Temple

Amba Mata Temple

At the top of the Girnar Hills is the temple of Amba Mata, built in 12th century. The site is very much popular for newlyweds, who come here seeking blessings of the divine deity.

Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple

About 90 kms from Junagadh is Somnath, a religious place famous for its superb Shiva temple. Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of India dedicated to Lord Shiva.

The temple was looted by Muslim invaders & rulers by several times for its wealth. Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026, who is said to have made off?? With camel loads of gold and precious gems leaving the edifice in ruins. The pillage and reconstruction works continued for the next 700 years. The temple in its present form was built in 1950 and was made of stone.

At a short distance from the temple, towards east is Triveni Tirth, the confluence of three rivers. This is the site where Lord Krishna’s funeral rites were performed. People visit this river site to throw ashes and to pray for their dear departed. Nearby is a 17th century Ahilya temple and Bakhla Tirth that is associated with Lord Krishna.

Historical Monuments

Mahabat Maqbara

Mahabat Maqbara

Mahabat Maqbara

Near the city’s railway station is a complex of royal mausoleums of which the most notable one is the Mahabat Maqbara with splendid silver doors and intricate carvings on it. Four large towers surround the mausoleum and can be reached at the top by staircases.

Museums

Durbar Hall Museum

Durbar Hall Museum

Durbar Hall Museum

One of the most worth visiting sites in Junagadh is the Durbar Hall Museum that houses weapons, armours and many other artifacts of the erstwhile nawabs.

Parks and Gardens

Sasan Gir National park

Sasan Gir National park

Sasan Gir National park

Spreading over an area of 259 sq. km, the Sasan Gir National Park is the only habitat left for the lions outside Africa. Almost a century ago Asiatic lions were roaming in the vast areas of India from Gujarat all the way to Bihar in the east. But in the early 19th century these animals were hunted and poached almost to the point of extinction. The Nawab of Junagadh made efforts to conserve these animals and hence created this park.

Today, Gir is a haven for a wide range of wildlife. The park has become a dwelling place for caracal, chausingha (four horned antelope), the blackbuck and a substantial population of leopard. Besides, a considerable population of chital, sambar, nilgai, grey langur, hyena, painted sandgrouse, peacocks and paradise flycatchers may be spotted on an early morning drive.

The park is 65 kms from Junagadh and 368 km from Ahmedabad. Prior permission is required from the Field Director, Sasan Gir for entry into the park.

Kushinagar Travel Guide & Things to Do

A place to meditate and be swept by spiritualism.

Famed for the great passing away of Gautama Buddha- known as him attaining Parinirvana- and his last sermon, humble Kushinagar has dome dotted skyline with many temples and stupas. Recognised to be a pilgrimage site for Buddhists, it is one of the major Buddhism religious sites visited by numerous devotees of the Enlightened One.

Kushinagar Buddha Statue

Kushinagar Buddha Statue

History of Kushinagar

The present day Kushinagar was known as Kusinara in the Buddha period. Kushinagar also has roots traced back to the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, where it is believed to be the capital built by Lord Rama’s son, Kush.

Kushinagar had been under the rule of various kingdoms throughout the medieval period and centuries after. It’s most significant contribution to Buddhism was revealed in the archaeological excavations in the 19th century by the first archaeological surveyor of India, A Cuningham. The main stupa and the lengthy reclining statue of Buddha were then shortly exposed. Kushinagar remained part of the Deoria district after India’s independence and then was annexed to be part of Uttar Pradesh in 1994.

Tourism in Kushinagar

Pilgrimage Tours

Being a major pilgrimage tour destination, Kushinagar’s travel itinerary includes the major Buddhist temples built by locals and other Asians from China and Stupas- dome shaped Buddhist monuments believed to house relics and symbolise an enlightened mind- are another common sight in this serene pilgrimage destination.

The Mahaparinirvana Temple is the last resting place of Gautama Buddha where a 6.1 metres long reclining statue of the enlightened one in Nirvana state is on display. It is made fully from red sandstone with an inscription dated from the 5th century A.D. The.

Ramabhar Stupa is another sacred Buddhists tour spot. Also known as Mukutbandhan-Chaitya, this is Buddha’s cremation site. Nirvana Chaitya which is the Main Stupa is located behind the main temple where Buddha last laid down. The significance of this stupa is its excavation in 1876 which restored Kushinagar’s prominence among Buddhists and rest of the world. Those excavations by Carlisle also unearthed copper vessels with silver coins belonging to the Gupta dynasty, founding kingdoms of the great Indian civilisation.

The Matha Kuar Shrine has the installation of a majestic statue of Buddha, carved out of a single block of stone. This represents the image of the seated Buddha under the Bodhi tree with an inscription dating to either 10th or 11th century A.D. There are other various temples such as the Wat Thai temple with Thai influenced Buddhist architecture; the Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka temple is a grand example modern Buddhist architecture. Wtih so many temples, shrines and stupas in this sacred site, a Meditation Park is not out of place. A recent development near the main temple, this park is known for the man-made water bodies with raised meditation platforms. The meditation grounds have the company of Sai trees and other greenery to replicate the botanical Zen ambience that is often associated with Buddhism.

Facts:

  • Area (square kilometers) – 2873.5 Sq. km
  • Population – 13860 (According to 1991 Senses)
  • Elevation – 100m
  • Geographical Location (coordinates) – 26° 45´ N and 83° 24´ E.
  • Climate– Tropical
  • Primary Rainy season – June, July and August.
  • Temperatures – Summer: 25 deg to 45 deg Winter: 5 deg to 28 deg
  • Languages – Hindi, Bhojpuri, English
  • Best Season – September to April

Places to Visit

Mahaparinirvana Temple, Main Stupa, Meditation Park, Indo-Japan-Sri Lanka Temple, Wat Thai Temple, Ruins & Brick Structures around the main Nirvana temple and Main Stupa, Pawanagar /Pawapuri (Fazilnagar), Sun Temple, Turkpatti.

Badrinath Location – How to Reach Badrinath

Badrinath occupies a unique position in char Dham Yatras. It is part of the “Chota” char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand and the “major” char Dham Yatra comprising of Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram. Badrinath pilgrimage Tirthdham is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The temple is at a height of 3415 metres with the Nilkanth peak in the background and the Alaknanda River flows by its side. The temple is about 50 feet in height with a gold capped spire. There is a Darshan Mandap, a Sabha Mandap and a Garbha Griha that houses idols of Badri Narayan or Lord Vishnu, Kuber, Narad, Udhav and Nar-Narayan. The complex houses 15 idols but the most striking one is that of Badrinath in black stone.

Badrinath Ji Darshan

Badrinath Ji Darshan

Opening

Rthe temple opens for general public around Akshay trij in April-May and Darshan timings are 4.30 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 9 PM. With the onset of winter around Diwali the temple closes and the idol is brought down to Joshimath, the winter residence of the Lord.

Getting There

Most pilgrims choose to travel by road because it is affordable and one gets to interact with people. Haridwar, the main railway junction is the starting point from where one travels onward to Rishikesh and then onwards to Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag, Chamoli, Pipalkoti, Helang, Joshimath, Govindghat and then Hanuman Chatti. From here pilgrims walk upwards to the holy temple of Badrinath. The road travel involves a distance of 298 kilometres. One can just as well travel via Guptkashi to Gopeshwar to Chamoli and Badrinath by road. There is an easier and quicker way for pilgrims in a hurry or for those who cannot undertake the physical rigors of road travel and the trek. That way is to go in for helicopter services to Badrinath.

Helicopter to Badrinath

Helicopter Services to Badrinath

Helicopter to Badrinath

These days a Yatra to Badrinath is easy and can be completed in a day or so if one goes the aerial route. Just fly down to Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun and get into a helicopter. Sahastradhara is one helipad where charter services are available for Badrinath. Flights usually depart at around 6.30 AM and one must remain present at least half an hour before the take-off time. Weather plays an important role and if conditions do not permit then the flight may be cancelled. If all is well the helicopter with its 4 to 5 passengers lifts off and it is an hour’s flight. Passengers can enjoy a breathtaking view of the scenery and the Himalayas all around. After about 50 minutes one can see the town of Badrinath and the temple. The helicopter lands and passengers disembark and make their way to the waiting car that takes them close to the temple. They alight and walk about 100 metres to the shrine. It is as easy as that. Flying also gets you advantages such as VIP Darshan which means you do not line up with the rest of the pilgrims but are taken straight to the sanctum. Once the Darshan is over passengers return to the waiting helicopter and are whisked off to Dehradun. You are back by 10.30 AM. It takes just 4 hours to complete Badrinath Yatra by helicopter.  By night you could be back in Delhi.

Brihadeeswarar Temple World Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu

Tanjore and Thanjavur is a famous for its rice growth ability because of that this district is also known as “Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu”, and is also home for many historical temples featuring architectural beauty. Brihadeeswarar temple is one of them, witnessing the glorious reign of Chola Empire. This temple is included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. This temple was built by King Rajaraja Chola of Chola Empire, in 11th Century.

Brihadeeswara Temple

Brihadeeswara Temple

This temple is a greatest architectural achievement of Chola Era. This temple is the first building which is made with the granite and completed within just 5 years. This temple features big Nandi weighing 20 tone which is made with a single stone. This beautiful temple is dedicated to lord Shiva features the lingam of 3.7m in height. This temple is also well known as the largest temple amongst all Hindu temples in India. It said that this temple gives employment to 1000 workers and 400 dances, including staff of temple.

The Kumbam which was placed on the top of the temple never casts shadow on the ground. It is also believed that the Kumbam is weighing 60 ton and was carved with a single rock of granite. The building of this temple has a compound which is made with the walls measuring 270 X 140 Meter. This temple also features murals depicting various Mudras (actions) performed by lord Shiva. Temple also portray the various mythological episodes of the journey of Saint Sundarar and the Chera King, there is also some battle scenes are depicted of Tripurantaka (Lord Siva) with Asuras (demons). The Chola artists also portrays the beauty, even the Asura womens has sense of beauty.

Best Time to Visit

You can visit this temple at any time of the year, but keeping in mind the weather condition in Tamil Nadu October to March is the best time. In this period of time the temperature over here is relatively low and which can make you trip enjoyable. During the month of June to September the climate changes drastically and become very humid which cannot suits many tourists.

How to Reach

Tanjavur is well connected with the narrow gauge railway line, which offers trains from most pars of the country, you can get direct trains from Allahabad, Madurai, Ernakulam, Coimbatore, Mysore and Jabalpur.

The closest airport from Thanjavur is in Tiruchirappalli, this is an international airport.

Rishikesh: Abode of Yoga and Tapasya

The Gateway to the Himalayas, the Char Dham Yatra i.e. The Four Sacred Journey of Hindus ideally begins from Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a small pilgrimage town, 1745 ft above the sea level, in North India in state of Uttarakhand. Rishikesh has eternal beauty, imperial and divine and enhancing this place are temples, ashrams and saints where they do “Tapasya” and meditate which gives celestial aura to this small town. The place is mesmerized and blessed by the sacred river Ganges; it is where it comes down and then enters the northern plains. The place of natural splendor and spectacle of the River Ganges rushing through the Himalayan foothills is breathtaking and awesome sight.

Rishikesh City

The temples dotting the bank and sacred rituals are being carried out on banks, its divine site. The place is mentioned in Veda’s, the name Rishikesh is another name of Lord Vishnu, according to mythology of Hindus, Lord Vishnu vanquished demon Madhu here. The great saints and yogis are believed to practice penance and have done austerities here. There is a scared Lakshman Jhula which is a bridge built on River Ganges for crossing, but it has mythology story attached of Lakshmana crossing it with jute rope and has carried out penance here. Also Ram Jhula another bridge has been made for crossing purpose by Rishikesh people.

For you to visit Rishikesh there are number of bus and train services offered. And in Rishikesh you can take Auto-Rickshaws for traveling around. Rishikesh timeless enigma could be felt in number of places that you must visit in your journey of divine abode:

  • Lakshmana Jhula
  • Gita Bhavan
  • Lakshman mandir and Bharata Mandir
  • Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir
  • Trimbakeshwar Temple
  • Triveni Ghat (for ritual Bathing)
  • Parmarth Niketan- Ashram where you can get knowledge or Gyaan of Vedas Education and see the spectacular Aarti/Pooja

Swargashram

The name means Heavenly Abode, and justifying the name, it is a beautiful place in the picturesque location at the foot of Himalayas with River Ganges in west bestowing it, “ground zero” or the Spiritual domicile of Rishikesh which is concentration of ashrams and temples. The life here is simple, healthy and divine, a satwik environment. Rishikesh is the holy city blessed by many holy sages. The place has reverberating with the chants of Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

The Ganga allures the people for its healing bath, and Rishikesh is said to be place where the austerities will get you closer to salvation than any other place. The river is abounds in fish because of offerings of puffed rice are made to these creatures by the people in going good deeds and also eating of other creature is banned and no where you will find non-vegetarian food. There is freshness in the air, and rhythm of flowing water, the charming beauty of the region and the distant sound of bell chimes create an extraordinary memorable experience for those visiting this ancient pilgrimage town.

The place is known as World Capital of Yoga, with such serene, tranquil, calm and peaceful environment and all satwik food, it is an idyllic place to practice the Yoga a key to good health and long life and also the best stress buster. India has got tremendous amount of traditional Knowledge of Yoga and Pranayam and Ayurvedic along with its Vedic knowledge. All this clubbed together with give you a wholesome spiritual, mental and physical growth. Though the stress is unavoidable in this materialistic life that we humans lead, it has caused damaged to out wellbeing in physical and mental health. We sustain chronic and incurable disease, stressful life, restlessness, anxiety, fatigue, fast ageing and frustrations in our day to day life. We experience burnout and thus we have an extreme need to practice these yoga and meditation which will add discipline and balance to our chaotic lives. Yoga gives us the power to heal, and live life in optimism and dynamism. Rishikesh is best place in world for it has the perfect setting to do yoga and the experts of this practice are found here in numbers which teach you the skills, practice and art of yoga. Doing yoga in fresh air of mountains will detoxify you and set your nerves calm and meditating on the bank of Ganges will give your mind, body and spirit the peace and tranquility. There are numerous practices of yoga and all forms and styles are represented here. Major yoga centers are:

  • Braham Yoga centre
  • Yoga Iyengar Courses
  • Yogi Prakash Dabhekar
  • Tattvaa Yogashala
  • The Yoga Study Centre
  • Yoga Niketan Ashram

Rishikesh hosts an International Yoga Festival, which is held every year in the first week of February. All the Beatles fans must know about the eternal beauty of Rishikesh. In February 1968, The Beatles had come to India to visit the now-closed Maharishi Mahesh Yogis ashram which is now over taken by weeds and forest. The place inspired the Beatles to compose nearly 48 songs during their time of stay at the Maharishis ashram, amongst those composed songs many of them appear on their White Album. John Lennon has also recorded a song here, titled, The Happy Rishikesh Song. Many other artists, including Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Gyp Mills and Donovan have visited the Rishikesh to contemplate and meditate.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ayurvedic Centre in the Niketan Ashram sells Ayurvedic health products. Here they also organise classes in learning of basic Ayurveda medicine, herbs, potions and practises if there are number of students.

Rishikesh valley is an eco health resort, with a service of naturopath and Ayurveda health consultant with rejuvenating therapies which is blend of Ayurveda and natural care with healthy Food. Also calming and relaxing therapies of yoga and passive meditation.

In Rishikesh you can also buy an overabundance of religious paraphernalia, bronze Shiva statues and of other deities.

Rishikesh is the holy land and with the grandeur of scenic beauties of mountains and river Ganges. The place is ideal for getting yourself to learn yoga and medicinal practice of Ayurveda. The blessings of the sages and vibes of saints practicing austerities penance and tapasya the place will leave the visitors heart with calm and fulfilling experience of peace.