Monday, October 15, 2012

Rajkot, Somanth, Porbander & Dwarka

Myself, Mr.L.Satish, Mr.P R Mudhol, Mr.Nanjappa, Mr.Kulkarni V M & Mr. Ramakrishnaiah from Central Bank of India, Karnataka had been to Somnath, Porbandar & Dwarka on 12th & 13th October, 2012.

Entrance to Gir Forest Reception
Mr.Nanjappa & Mr.Viswanath having Breakfast 
at Hotel Sarovar Portico, Rajkot


on 12th morning at 9.30 am, we left for Somnath, by Innova Car, from Rajkot via Sasan-Gir, on equiry to the National Park, it was closed to Tourist as per the Supreme Court order, and we were told that the Park would be open to Public from 16th October.

Gir National Park
It is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. The ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the efforts of the government forest department,  wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Gir and its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.



The April 2010 census recorded the lion-count in Gir at 411, an increase of 52 compared to 2005. 

Wildlife




























The count of 2,375 distinct fauna species of Gir includes about 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species of insects.
The carnivores group mainly comprises Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Sloth bears, Indian Cobras, Jungle cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, Indian Palm Civets, and Ratels. Desert cats and Rusty-spotted cats exist but are rarely seen.


The main herbivores of Gir are Chital, Nilgai (or Bluebull), Sambar, Four-horned Antelope, Chinkara and Wild boar. Blackbucks from the surrounding area are sometimes seen in the sanctuary.
If you are unable to visit the Gir Forest, Junagadh zoo at Sakar Bagh, 3.5km from the centre of town on the Rajkot road, has Gir lions. The zoo was set up by the nawab in 1863 specifically to save the lion from extinction and is surprisingly good with lions, tigers and leopards being the main attraction. The zoo is open from 9 am to 6 pm and entry costs Rs 3. There is also fine museum at the zoo with paintings, manuscripts, archaeological finds and various other exhibits including a natural history section. It's open daily, except Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, from 9 am to noon and 3 to 6 pm. Take a No 6 bus (Rs 2), or walk there by the old Majevadi Gate on your right.

After having our Tea break, we continued our journey to Somnath & reached at 1.30pm. we headed straight to the temple to have darshan of Lord Someshwar.
SOMNATH

Somnath is the first amongst the holy shrines and traditionally, the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage begins with the Somnath Temple. It is the prime abode of Lord Shiva and is considered to be holiest of all the Jyotirlingas.


Jyotirlingam means ‘the linga of light’ or the source of light. The Shiva-lingam is in the symbolic form of a stone tinctured with a cycle of light. There are numerous legends associated with the origin of Jyotirlinga. It is believed that Lord Shiva for the first time appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga. The Jyotirlinga is an attempt by humans to give a form to the formless source of supreme energy.
Somnat means "The Protector of (the) Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as "the Shrine Eternal", having been destroyed six times and rebuilt six times. Most recently it was rebuilt in November 1947.

ruins of Somnath temple in 1847
As per Shiv Mahapuran, once Brahma (the Hindu God of creation) and Vishnu (the Hindu God of saving) had an argument in terms of supremacy of creation. To test them, Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped till the end of eternity.

           
According to the legend, Soma or the Moon God built the temple in gold, Ravana in silver, and Shri Krishna in wood. Soma was cursed by his father-in-law Daksha to wane because Soma loved only one of his wives, all of whom happened to be Daksha's daughters. His other wives complained about this negligent behavior of Soma to their father Daksha, and thus the curse. 

It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga on the night of the Aridra Nakshatra, thus the special reverence for the Jyotirlinga. There is nothing to distinguish the appearance.

सौराष्ट्रे सोमनाथं च श्रीशैलेमल्लिकार्जुनम्
उज्जयिन्यांमहाकालमोङ्कारममलेश्वरम्
परल्यां वैद्यनाथं चडाकिन्यां भीमशङ्करम्
सेतुबन्धे तु रामेशं नागेशं दारुकावने
वाराणस्यां तु विश्वेशं त्र्यम्बकं गौतमीतटे
हिमालये तु केदारं घुश्मेशं च शिवालये
एतानिज्योतिर्लिङ्गानि सायं प्रातः पठेन्नरः
सप्तजन्मकृतं पापं स्मरणेनविनश्यति
एतेशां दर्शनादेव पातकं नैव तिष्ठति

Somanath in Saurashtra and Mallikarjunam in Shri-Shail.
Mahakaal in Ujjain and Amleshwar in Omkareshwar. 
Vaidyanath in Paralya and Bhimashankaram in Dakniya.
Rameshem (Rameshwaram) in Sethubandh & Nageshem (Nageshwar) in Darauka-Vana. 
Vishwa-Isham (Vishvanath) in Vanarasi and Triambakam at bank of Gautami River.
Kedar (Kedarnath) in Himalayas and Gushmesh (Gushmeshwar) in Shivalaya. 
One who recites these Jyotirlingas every evening and morning. 
He is relieved of all sins committed in past seven lives.
One who visits these, gets all his wishes fulfilled 


TRIVENI GHAT

Triveni Ghat in Somanth is the confluence of three holy rivers namely Kapil, Hiran and a mystical River Saraswathy. 
It is believed that the rivers flow to the ultimate destination of Sea from here. This symbolizes the human birth, life and death. This is a sacred location for taking dip in the Triveni Sangam. It is believed that the holy bath in the waters at this Ghat offers relief from all curses and ills happened in the whole life. 

Triveni Ghat has a significant place in Hindu Mythology and Puranas. This ghat was mentioned many places in Puranas and great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is believed that Lord Krishna paid a visit to this holy spot after he was hit by an arrow shot by Jara, a hunter. This is a highly revered place in Somnath. 


Mr.Satish, Mr.V M Kulkarni, Mr.Nanjappa,
Mr.Mudhol & Mr.Viswanath in front of Gita Mandir


The famous temples Gita Mandir and Lakshminarayan temple are located on the banks of Triveni Ghat.


Gita Mandir, placed at the confluence of three holy rivers known as Triveni Tirtha, is a Krishna temple built by Birla family in 1970. Mythology says that Lord Krishna walked about 4km from Baluka Tirtha to here after hit by the arrow by a hunter Jara.




PORBANDAR

Porbandar is a coastal city in the Indian state of Gujarat, perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and Sudama (Friend of Lord Krishna).

Porbandar has an excellent beach locally known as 'Chowpati', which has the pristine ocean itself as the greatest attraction for the generations. The reconstruction activities to give Chowpati Beach a new look started in around 2003, and now it has been furnished with well-arranged seating arrangements for tourists and commuters and there is also a skating rink for children. This place has become a hot tourist destination inside Porbandar. The Chowpati ground has also been used for the Janamastmi Fair, one of the greatest festivals for the people of Porbandar


Sun Set at Porbandar Beach



Mr.Satish Capturing Sun Set on his mobile at Porbandar Beach
Road leading to Mahatma Gandhiji's House
The Birth Place of Mahatma Gandhiji in Porbandar

DWARKA





The legendary city of Dvaraka was the dwelling place of Lord Krishna. It is believed that due to damage and destruction by the sea, Dvaraka has submerged six times.







“Ayodhyā Mathurā Māyā Kāsi Kāñchī Avantikā I
Purī Dvārāvatī chaiva saptaitā moksadāyikāh II - Garuva Purāna I XVI .14”
















The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna's great grandson, King Vajra. The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways - Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.

After Krishna left the earth for Vaikuntha,about 36 years after the Mahabharat War (3138 BC), and the major Yadava leaders were killed in disputes among themselves, Arjuna went to Dwarka to bring Krishna's grandsons and the Yadava wives to Hastinapur, to safety. After Arjuna left Dwarka, it was submerged into the sea. Following is the account given by Arjuna, found in the Mahabharata:

...imposed on it by nature. The sea rushed into the city. It coursed through the streets of the beautiful city. The sea covered up everything in the city. I saw the beautiful buildings becoming submerged one by one. In a matter of a few moments it was all over. The sea had now become as placid as a lake. There was no trace of the city. Dwaraka was just a name; just a memory.

The Vishnu Purana also mentions the submersion of Dwarka, stating on the same day that Krishna departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali Age descended. The oceans rose and submerged the whole of Dwarka.

BEYT DWARAKA

Beyt Dwarka is 15 minutes of Ferry ride. 

Tourist posing in front of ferry
As per legend, this is the place where Lord Krishna met Sudhama.

Aged Piligrims being taken on a cart to the Temple.
This flourishing harbor and religious capital is believed to have submerged under the sea after the Krishna left dwarka for vaikunth, about 36 years after the Mahabharat War (3138 BC), and the major Yadava leaders were killed in disputes among themselves, Arjuna went to Dwarka to bring Krishna's grandsons and the Yadava wives to Hastinapur, to safety. After Arjuna left Dwarka, it was submerged into the sea. Following is the account given by Arjuna, found in the Mahabharata:



RUKMINI DEVI TEMPLE


There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple. This temple stands 2 km away from Dwarka City. The local explanation given for this distance is an old legend. They say, once Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmini went to the sage Durvasha to invite him for dinner at Dwarka. He agreed on the condition that Krishna & Rukmini would have to pull his chariot instead of any animal. The couple happily obliged. While pulling the chariot, Rukmini became thirsty so Lord Krishna prodded his toe into the earth to draw a spring of the holy Ganga water. Rukmini took a sip without offering Durvasha. Annoyed by her impoliteness he cursed Rukmini that she would be    separated from her beloved husband. Hence Rukmini temple is located 2 kms away from Dwarka's Jagat Mandir. Maybe 2500 years old, but its domed mandapa and stepped sanctuary cannot be older than the 12th century in its present form.
The exterior of the Rukmini Temple is richly carved. It has a panel of sculpted naratharas (human figures) and a panel of sculpted gajatharas (elephants) at the base. The traditional spire of the main shrine contrasts strongly with the hemispherical dome of the pavilion. The garbhagriha (inner sanctum) has a recessed seat on which the present image of Rukmini, wife of Lord Krishna, was consecrated.
The usual sculptures of god and goddesses, along with male and female figures, are seen on the exterior of the shrine.

NAGESHWAR TEMPLE


It is situated at Nageshwar village (18 kms far from Dwarka) on the route between Dwarka city and Beyt Dwarka Island. A 25 m tall statue of a sitting Lord Shiva and a large garden with a pond.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is among the 12 jyotirlingas of the world.

It is said that Lord Krishna Himself used to worship it and perform Rudrabhishekam.
This sacred shrine is believed to be known as 'Darukavana', an ancient epic name of a forest in India. One of the seven sacred cities or ‘Sapta Puris’ as well as one of the four ‘dhams’ - supreme pilgrim centers. 
This powerful Jyotirlinga symbolizes protection from all poisons ...from the effect of all evil forces around you. It is said that those who pray to the Nageshwar Linga become free of poison ...the poison of snakes ...poison of creatures ...poison of Evils.

we returned back to Rajkot on 13th October by 7.30pm.


SWAMINARAYAN TEMPLE IN RAJKOT





I should thank Mr.Dilip & Mr.Dhawal (Drivers), Mr.Prateek from Rajkot and Mr.Bhavin from Ahmedabad who made our Journey comfortable.

Finally I should thank Mr.Gopal of OPM, Bangalore, who made our Trip MEMORABLE.



5 comments:

  1. Hi, good one vishy, from sony itself u took a beautiful pics and great writeup, Keep it up

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing pics, as usual!
    here is a small write up on our stay at the Safari Resort, Gir, last October: http://jollymemoirs.blogspot.in/2012/10/SafariResortGir.html

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  3. Amazing pictures!!! A melting pot of culture and religions, Rajkot holds unlimited opportunities for shopping, and you are sure to leave this city with colourful and happy memories. Check best hotels in Rajkot also.

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  4. Such a great blog! All captures are looking fabulous. Rajkot has lots of interesting destination for sightseeing where you can reach by affordable taxi services in Rajkot with professional drivers. You can book cabs for local and outstation visit in Rajkot.

    ReplyDelete