Karni mata temple, famous as rat temple is located in Bikaner, Rajasthan

Karni mata temple, famous as rat temple is located in Bikaner, Rajasthan | Spotting a white rat in Rat temple, Bikaner is believed to be auspicious
Karni mata temple
Bikaner is a desert district in Rajasthan and the history of it is very interesting.  This was a prominent international business center in the ancient days.  People who go to western countries from Asia used to travel via Bikaner.  Some people say that ‘Bika’ means selling and ‘Neer’ means water.  Another interesting place in the Bikaner – Jodhpur route is the Rat temple.

Bikaner kings Goddess Durga as ‘Karni maata’.  Local people believe that ‘Rao Boka’ the first king of Bikaner had the blessings of Goddess Durga.  All the kings who rules Bikaner were the devotees of Durga.  The rulers believed that Goddess Durga protects the people from dreadful diseases like Cholera and plague.  Many thousands of small and big rats freely roam in the temple of ‘Karni maata’.

Devotees believe that these rats are the soldiers of ‘Karni maata’.  Devotees feed the rats with milk and sweets.  Many rats literally live on the food devotees provide to them.

White rat darshanam

Rats of many colours appear in the ‘Karni maata’ temple.  White rat is seen very rarely.  Devotees believe that spotting a white rat is auspicious.  Priests in the temple warn the devotees not to tread on the rats.

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Maharani Suit and Prince Suit in Rambagh Palace | Tariffs at Rambagh Palace | Road (Route) map to Rambagh Palace from Jaipur, Rajasthan

Maharani Suit and Prince Suit in Rambagh Palace | Tariffs at Rambagh Palace | Road (Route) map to Rambagh Palace from Jaipur, Rajasthan

Rambagh Palace

Once upon a time in reality, it is a forest area. The queen in the year 1835 had constructed a small house for her maid Kesar, which is far away the town. After her reign, the Raja Ram Singh 2nd had made it beautiful with all the facilities and used it as his rest house when he went for the hunting. It is from his time only it got the name Rambagh. Later on he used to send his next son, 2nd Sawai Mansingh to the palace. His three queens along with their children spent in the same palace till his death. It is during his reign only the palace became very beautiful with all the beautiful verandas and gopurams and so on and formed into a beautiful fort. Later on in the year 1957, he himself changed the palace into a beautiful luxury hotel and it is the first palace hotel in our country.

Later on in the year 1972, the Taj took over the Rambagh palace and made it into a beautiful heritage hotel with all the facilities. The 104 rooms fort has been changed to 79 rooms fort and even the walls are been make overed by the Taj. The walls and the ceiling are been decorated with the Meenakari, Thekri and golden plates. Many of the international branded items are been arranged in the rooms like the lightings, Furniture made of Zardosi work, glasses, paintings and so on and made it very beautiful. There is no similarity for one room and the other room in the palace hotel. The total area of the Rambagh hotel is 47 acres with 79 rooms and is attracting the tourists a lot.

The rooms are been divided into palace rooms, historical, royal, grand royal, grand presidential suits. All these facilities are been made for the convenience of the various ranges of the people. Even the lowest range of the palace rooms are been decorated with the golden beds and beautiful wardrobes which looks very beautiful. The facilities of the plasma TV, tea and coffee maker and the mini bar are the common things in the palace hotel. The historical suits are been decorated with all the beautiful things where the beauty of the architecture and sculpture is been resembled. There are two sections in the grand royal suits like the Maharani suit and the Prince suit.

Maharani Suit
Road (Route) map to Saraswathi temple, Basara from Hyderabad
Maharaja Man Singh had given the Maharani suit as a gift to his wife Rani Gayatri devi which his been designed by the London designer Haymonds. The palace will be very beautiful with all the famous designs and furnitures like the glasses, colored stone walls, and costlier furniture and so on. Even the Rajasthani paintings will look very beautiful. The bathroom which is built with the glasses on all the four sides is the highlight for the palace hotel.

Prince Suit

The prince suit will look more beautiful with al lthe beautiful facilities as that of the Maharani Suit. The drawing room will be more attractive in this suit which is been constructed especially for the Raja Jagath Singh who is the only loving son of Rani Gayatri Devi. The beauty of the gardens is been observed and enjoyed by sitting in the lawn of this suit. The terrace which is decorated specially stood as the special attraction for the whole suit.

The Surya Vamsi Suit is one of the grand suits and one has to watch that without fail. The greatness of the Rajaputras is been shown with the construction of the palace with the green colored Udaypur stones where the ceiling and the arches are been designed. One can enjoy the beauty of the Sahaghad Fort and the Aravali mountains from this suit. More number of famous personalities used to stay in this suit only. The second is the sukh nivas. This suit is designed with all the crystal Shandliers, the golden walls, Zari work garments, the suits which are designed with round beds are attracting the tourists a lot. Each and every construction and design resembles the greatness and the royalty of the kings of those times.

Tariffs at Rambagh Palace : The Palace Room for a day is Rs.40,000 ($800), Historical Room costs Rs.83,000 ($1660), Royal Room rent per a day is Rs.1,40,000 ($2800) and the Grand Royal Room  is Rs.1,95,000 ($3900). The above tariff is for couple/day. And taxes are extra. The tariff may very depend upon season also.
Road (Route) map to Rambagh Palace from Jaipur, Rajasthan

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Pushkar Lake near Ajmer is the only place where temple for Lord Brahma is situated

Pushkar Lake near Ajmer is the only place where temple for Lord Brahma is situated | Sthalapuranam of Pushkar
Pushkar Lake near Ajmer
Pushkar Lake is situated at a distance of 11kms from Ajmer and is at a height of 1580 feet from the sea level.  Gradually this place also became popular with the same name.  Lord Brahma’s temple is situated on the banks of Pushkar Lake.  This is only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the world.  Pushkar is one of the prominent pilgrimage centers in India.  This is also called Teerthraj.  There are 52 bathing Ghats in around Pushkar lake.   Sthalapuranam of this place is also very interesting.

Flower is the weapon

According to the Padmapurana, Lord Brahma killed a demon Vajranabha using the lotus flower in his hand as a weapon.  Three petals from the lotus fell in three places and three lakes were formed.  These are called Jeshta Pushkar, Madhya Pushkar and Kanishta
As the flower fell from the ‘kar’ or hand of Brahma this place is called Pushkar.  Later he decided to perform a Yagna. He created Ratnagiri hills in the south, Nilgiri hills in the east, Sanchura hills in West and Suryagiri hills in east to prevent the attacks of demons and invited all the Gods.  He sent his son Narada to bring Goddess Saraswathi who is also called Savitri Devi who is the wife of Brahma. Saraswati was ready to start but Narada advices her to come along with her friends.  So she stops to come along with Lakshmi and Parvathi.

As the auspicious Mahurtham for the Yagna was passing, Brahma decides to marry a girl to perform the Yagna.  Indra brings a girl from the nearby Gujjar family that sells milk.  She was sent into a cow to get purified.  Since she was purified by a cow she is named Gayatri.  Brahma marries her and begin the Yagna.  Saraswati comes there at that instance and gets angry on seeing another woman beside her husband.  She curses all the people present there along with her husband Brahma.  She curses her husband to become old and says that he will not have any temples other than at Pushkar.  Indra was cursed to get defeated in every war, Lord Vishnu was cursed that he would born as a human being and will suffer the separation of his wife.  Lord Shiva was cursed that he would reside in graveyard and brahmins were cursed to become  poor and beggars.  She later went in to the Ratnagiri hills to do penance and changed into a river.  There is a small water stream beside the Savitri Devi temple on the Ratnagiri hills.  All the devotees who visit Pushkar compulsorily visit Savitri Devi temple.

After Saraswathi leaves the place, Brahma requested the Brahmins to complete the Yagna. But they say that they should be relieved of the curse given by Sarawathi.  Lord Brahma reduces the intensity of the curses given to them.

International Business Times has recognized Pushkar as one of the top 10 important pilgrim centers in India.  And Pushkar is one of the five places Hindus in India visit compulsorily.  Pushkar is also one of the five Pancha sarovaras.   Pushkar is also mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana as Aditeertha.  Taking bath once in the teertha in the month of Karthika gives the phalam of performing Yagna for hundreds of years.

Ancient temple at Pushkar is believed to be 2,000 years old | Pushkar mela and camel mela held in  Kartika masam at Pushkar are visited by many people

Temple at Pushkar

Present temple at Pushkar belongs to 14th century.  But the ancient temple before this temple is believed to be at least 2,000 years old.  Silver coins are sticked to the inside walls of the temple.  Devotees offer silver coins with their names carved to Lord Brahma.  The idol of Brahma appears with four hands seated on a Swan.  He has  akshamala, kamandalam, book and darbha in his four hands.  Gayatri Devi is seated on the left side of the idol.  On the temple walls there are Saraswathi and other Gods.

Idol of Brahma should be worshipped only by people who take Sansyasa. Married men are prohibited from worshipping the idol.  Only saints who belong to Parasara Gothram can only perform pujas to the God.  Therefore devotees give their offering to the God through the priest.  There is a silver tortoise opposite to sanctum sanctorum.  Every year Kartika Poornima is celebrated very grandly here.  Thousands of devotees take bath in the lake come to the darshan of Brahma.  Special pujas are performed on every poornima and amavasya.

A folk festival is also celebrated in the month of Kartikam.  This begins on Ekadasi day that comes after Diwali and ends on Poornima day.  Camel mela is also held on this occasion.  People from all corners of Rajasthan come to the mela.  Pushkar Karthika mela is famous for handicrafts of Rajasthan, traditional clothes and ornaments.

Temples of Savitri and Gayatri are situated on two separate hills opposie to each other. Temple of Savitri or Saraswathi who was angry with Brahma is situated at the back side of the Brahma temple on Ratnagiri hill.  Idol of Saraswati also looks angry.

There are around 400 ancient temples in Pushkar.  Most important of all these is the Apteswar Temple.  This can be found in a cave beside Lord Brahma’s temple.   There is a story about this temple. When Brahma decided to perform a Yagna, a sanyasi came there with a skull in the hand.  Brahma asks him to get away from that place.  The sanyasi gets angry and disappears from that place leaving the skull there.  Many skulls appeared at that place.  Brahma understood that the sanyasi was Lord Shiva and installed a Shivalingam in the cave and worshipped him.  Special pujas are performed on the occasion of Sivarathri.

Rangji temple in Pushkar is built in the south Indian architecture.  Vishnu Murthy in this temple is worshipped as Rangji.  Another important temple in Pushkar is the Varaha temple.  This temple was built by Anaji Chowhan.  Many more ancient temples are located in and around Pushkar.

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Places of interest around Ajmer

Places of interest around Ajmer |Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti Dargah and the temple of Lord Brahma in Pushkar are visited by many people in Ajmer
Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti was born in Persia in the year 1139.  From childhood he was attracted to spirituality and read many religious principles.  He came to India along with the army of Shiabuddin Ghori who came to attack India.  Chisti settled down in Ajmer after that.  He died when he was 97.  Shiabuddin built a Samadhi for Chisti.  That is now the Chisti Dargah.  Ursu is celebrated here in the month of Ramzan for 6 days.

Pushkar is a small village situated at a distance of 11kms from Ajmer.  City buses are available from the bus station opposite the Ajmer railways station for every few minutes.  It takes half an hour to reach Pushkar from Ajmer.

There is a lake in Pushkar is about 1/2 km wide and long.  This is called the Pushkara Teertha.  It is said that Lord Brahma was fascinated by the beauty and pleasant weather at this place and stayed here for 1,000 years.

While staying here he performed a Yagna at Pushkar.  At that time a flower dropped from his hand and fell on the ground.  In reality that was a flower intentionally dropped by Brahma to kill a demon. A big lake appeared at the place where the flower fell.

According to the Puranas all the holy rivers of India merge in the Pushkara Teertha.  Temple of Brahma is located on the banks of Pushkar Lake.  This is a very small temple.  This temple is open from 06.00am to 01.00pm and 04.00pm to 09.00pm.

There are many bathing Ghats in Pushkar built in stone around the lake.  Many temples like Varah temple, Badarinarayana temple, Atmeshwar temple and Ranganath temple are situated in Pushkar.

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Story behind the temple, mode of transport and accommodation at Jajpur (NABHIGAYA )| Road map and driving directions to Jajpur from Cuttack, Orissa

Story behind the temple, mode of transport and accommodation at Jajpur (NABHIGAYA )| Road map and driving directions to Jajpur from Cuttack, Orissa

Jajpur in Orissa which is one of the Astadasa sakti peetam is also called ‘Nabhigaya’.  Deity here is Viraja devi or Parvati.

Once there was a demon Gaya.  Though he was a demon, he was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.  He did penance and got the boon from Lord Vishnu that whoever touches him will attain moksha.  Everyone started coming to touch him.  Everyone went to heaven after touching the demon. Yamadharmaraju had no work as everybody attained moksha. So all the other Gods including Yamadharmaraju went to Trimurthulu – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and requested them to solve the problem.

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva went to meet Gaya and asked him that they are about to do a Yagnam, a Vedic ritual.  They wanted the demon’s body to be the fire pit for Yagnam.  They also laid a condition that Gaya should not move his body till the end of Yagnam.  Demon Gaya happily agrees for this.  Yagnam was to be conducted for 7 days.  The demon did not move his body till the seventh day.  Lord Siva then took the form of a cock and cried.  Thinking that seventh day is completed Gaya tried to move his body.  Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu punished him by cutting his body into 3 pieces. Head part of the demon fell in Bihar and that place is now called ‘Sirogaya’.  Waist part fell in Jajpur, Orissa and is called ‘Nabhigaya’.  Demon’s feet fell in Pithapuram, Andhra Pradesh and is called ‘Padagaya’.

Devotees will have to get down at Keonjhar Jajpur railway station which is 70kms in north direction from Kulu.  Distance between Jajpur and the railway station is 30kms.  Tourists will have to take a bus to cover this distance.  There is a small village and a few lodged near the railway station.  Two more lodges are situated beside the temple in Jajpur which provide accommodation to devotees.

Road map and driving directions to Jajpur from Cuttack, Orissa :

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Sawai Jai Singh built Jantar Mantar (astronomical stone observatory )in five places and the one at Jaipur is the largest one | Road map of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Sawai Jai Singh built Jantar Mantar (astronomical stone observatory )in five places and the one at Jaipur is the largest one | Road map of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Jantar Mantar  1

Big telescopes are available nowadays to observe starts, planets and their movements.  But at a time where there is not technical knowledge available, nearly 300 years back, a king has constructed a wonderful observatory. This is in Jaipur, Rajasthan.  UNESCO has recognized it a World Heritage site.  Name of the observatory is ‘Jantar Mantar’.

Jantar Mantar  2

‘Jantar Mantar’ means a device which calculates.  Jantar Mantar originated from the Sanskrit word ‘Yantra Mantra’.  Various shapes of stone constructions can be seen here.  Constructions in Geometric shapes like Arches, triangles, circles and steps to climb up to them are all useful to observe the space.  If each construction can be considered a machine one can see 17 machines here.  The working of each machine is different.  It is a wonder to know what types of calculations were with the help of these machines.  Date, time, eclipses, orbits of planets, movement of stars, positions of stars, seasons, weather etc were calculated with the help of these constructions.  The information these machines provide are very accurate.  One of the important machines is the biggest Sun Dial.  The height of this sun dial is 90 feet and it shows the time with a difference of just 2 seconds basing on the shadow formed by the sun rays.  The shadow of this sun dial moves 1 milli meter per 1 second.

Jantar Mantar  3

‘Unnatamsa Yantra’ calculates the positions of planets.  ‘Raj yantra’ helps to know the dates and festivals.  ‘Kranti yantra’ helps to find out the latitudes and longitudes of space objects.  ‘Chakra Yantra’ explains the angles of planets and starts from the equator.  There are many other machines like Ram yantra, Diganta yantra, Jaiprakash yantra, Rasivalaya yantra and Dhruva yantra.

Jantar Mantar  4

Sawai Jai Singh – 2, king of Jaipur began this contruction in 1728 and it was completed in 7 years.  Sawai Jai Singh built such observatories at five places and the one at Jaipur is the largest one.

Road map of Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

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