Vindhyachal-dwelling place of Maa Vindhyavasini

The sun was glinting gold in the afternoon when I landed a narrow alley where one of the most revered temples of the world dedicated to Maa Durga-temple of Maa Vindhyavasini-is located. Numerous small shops with coconuts, vermillion, chunari, and other sacraments which are offered in the temple traditionally caught my attention as soon as I set foot in the main alley leading to the temple. It was an experience different altogether.


The moment I entered the vicinity of the main temple, I saw a long queue waiting to get inside the garbhagriha-sanctum sanctorum of the temple. After few minutes, crossing the threshold of the first chamber- on the left side was a wall black in color where I could see buzzing flies and realized that that was a chamber made for animal sacrifice. Crossing the second chamber, which was the sanctum sanctorum, I saw or I should better say, was bestowed with fortunate and blessed opportunity to behold the beautiful deity of Maa Vindhyavasini full of maternal affection and love.


Idol of maa Vindhyavasini is of black stone and can be seen highly adorned with gold and silver jewellery as well as embellished garments. Though pilgrims are allowed to worship the deity for just few seconds, it seemed to me an experience of lifetime and after only few seconds I was out of the garbhagriha and was in the temple complex where many chambers with many deities can be seen.

After experiencing this blessed occurrence, I embarked on my way to visit other two temples located on the nearby hillocks to complete the Trikona Parikrama.

Temple of Maa Vindhyavasini is one of the Shakteepeeths dedicated to Maa Adishakti. Located in the Vindhyachal mountain range, it is one of the most revered as well as one of the most visited Shakteepeeths of Maa Durga. But there is not only one temple in this range and there are two other venerated temples on nearby hillocks in the vicinity-temples of Maa Ashtabhuja and Maa Kaali in Kaalikhoh (cave of Maa Kaali). Circumambulation of these three deferential temples is called Trikona Parikrama– worshipping of three sacred points situated in a triangular angle. It is also said that these three temples are in an angle similar to that of Shreeyantra. Also, it is the only Shakteepeeth on the banks of the Ganges.


So my next point was the hillock on which Kaalikhoh temple is situated. Few kilometers away from the temple of maa Vindhyavasini was a hillock on which I was told the Kaalikhoh temple was located. It was quite dreary place unlike the one had just visited. Ascending many steps, I entered a cave inside which an idol of Maa Kaali was installed and only one priest was there for the worship at the moment. After few minutes I left the cave after worshipping the deity of maa Kaali in her fierce yet affectionate motherly form.



But then I saw some more steps leading to the extreme top of the hillock and I could not stop myself from exploring it and within a minute I was there. It gave me an extremely beautiful look of the Vindhya mountain range and the valleys from this point and also, a small Shivling with mysterious yet profound beauty and serenity.




I was in the domain of the temple of Maa Ashtabhuja after some time and was again experiencing the jostling yet composed pilgrims. The cave below the ground was the sanctum sanctorum here where I had to bend double to reach the deity and came out in the same way.





The deity here was also black in color and was beautiful to look at in an affectionate motherly form. There is another cave beneath the ground nearby the cave of Maa Ashtabhuja.



I again had to bent double and almost crawled to the innermost bent where idol of Paataalvasini Maa Kaali was installed. From the bent there I crawled my way back to the plain ground and I realized that my circumambulation aka Trikona Parikrama was complete.

This journey was complete but the experience I had here was lifetime and it had to be cherished forever.



From the great mountains and hills of Vindhyachal range to the milky water of the Ganges from the hilltop, from the appeasing sound of bells to the divine fragrance of flowers and incense, everything here was serene enough to mollify the tension and problems we come across in our day-to-day lives. I would ask anyone who has faith in god or love for nature to visit this place once in life as this one day jaunt is not only soothing and relaxing but it will also make all your sorrows wither away when you will visit this dwelling place of Maa Vindhyavasini.

Pictures courtesy- Except few pictures of deities(from Google), all pictures were clicked by me and some of them are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s

Land of Braj-land of lord

Serenity, divinity, gods own abode…that’s what the holy Vrindavan dham is all about.  Though I don’t get words to describe what I feel like when I enter the town of Vrindavan, numerous feelings and thoughts strike my mind…a sense of calmness, feeling of being disconnected with the materialistic world and a divine ecstasy. Have a look at the beautiful abode of god named vrindavan with me…..

Actually the whole braj mandal which covers vrindavan Mathura barsana, nandgaon, gokul, mahavan as its chief divine places is great in its look. I started my jaunt with the heart of brajvrindavan!

Madan Mohan temple which is at the walking distance from the most famous-banke bihari temple, is the most primitive temple in vrindavan. Like many other places, photography of the deities was forbidden-hence the building of the temple.



It is located on a hillock which is indeed a vantage point to look at the pilgrims from the temple premises.

Next was of course the Banke Bihari temple-the most crowded and revered temple of the town where I was jostled to an extent that I neither had an opportunity to click the picture of Thakurji, nor was it allowed.  Nevertheless, I was appeased when I left the temple vicinity both because I had got a pious glimpse-an auspicious sight of thakurji and was free from the jostling crowd. I would be betraying myself if I say I didn’t fall for the famous pedes-sweet made with khoya and sugar-of the narrow alley in which Banke Bihari temple is located.



The quality time I spent relaxing while boating was the best experience I had had in the town. The sun-looking like an orange ball-was sinking in the west glinting gold and the green water of Yamuna looked more serene than anything I have witnessed with the aarti on the banks I could see and hear on Keshi Ghat.




Next day, I headed towards Nandgaon-a town, some 50 kilometers away from vrindavan. Located on a hilltop, the main temple of Nandgaon is a beautiful one made of white stone. In striking contrast with the temple walls and floor, the deities are of black marble.  It was a very different experience and feels as if the world has stopped here as the lifestyle of people here is very simple and pristine in look.

Gokul, a small village with a temple at the location where it is said the home of lord Krishna was located is a beautiful and very tranquil place with the playground at the entrance of the temple which is believed to be the playground of lord Krishna and Balram in the Dwapar Yug some 5,500 years ago. Many idols depicting various scenes or incidents of shree Krishna’s life in different small chambers were lively as well as vivid to beautify the real incidents happened on this land.




Barsana- how is it possible for anyone to visit braj and not visit the hamlet of the most beloved consort of lord Krishna- shree Radha. Only few kilometers away from Nandgaon, Barsana as well is located on a hilltop which is a vantage point to see the whole village.


After Barsana, I headed towards vrindavan again as my day trip was over and the sun was started to sink beneath the horizon and the chill yet soothing air was making me relaxed after the daylong tottering from one location to another. I was happy and above everything else was satisfied after having a day full of visiting places which were not only religious but also full of positivity and the special feature which was the locations’ speciality to take me back in time of lord Krishna where I could literally see him with Balram, his parents, his friends, his beloved brijwasis and….his most beloved divine consort-shree Radharani.

Pictures courtesy- Except last two, all the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s

Jaipur-heart of Rajasthan


The standing hillocks strongly reciting to me the glory of the past welcomed me to the most colorful destination of India- Rajasthan, the moment I realized I entered the pink city- Jaipur!

The monument with which I embarked my excursion of the city was much famous-HAWA MAHAL-palace of winds. Erected with the pink and red sandstones, hawa mahal is constructed near city palace to connect it with the Zenana-women’s quarters. No doubt it is very finely made with small windows so that the women could see the festivities and celebrations on the street without being seen by others.



The exquisite latticework used in the jharokha-small windows were not only used by women to witness the life on street but also worked-and still works- as an air conditioner for the whole courtyard and rooms inside, alike. The very first thing I witnessed when I entered the main gate and took a round was the rock with inscription telling all about the palace in brief.



Inside the courtyard was the beautiful fountain which would stop the flow of water after every few minutes.





Going upstairs, the rooms with red, blue, green and yellow glass windows are regal enough to prove the lifestyle of the Rajputs. The view of Amer fort from the terrace of the palace is enough to rouse the anticipation to visit it as soon as possible to witness its grandeur.



Coming back to the courtyard on ground floor, there were small shops having things Rajasthani in style to offer like that of these jaipuri-mojari-chappals.



But what grabs the attention here is the temple of goverdhan nath, up only by some 8 to 9 stair.



The photography of the deities- shree Krishna-in the temple is forbidden though the paintings on the walls are open for appreciation.









City Palace- the yellow-red colored palace with magnificence worth watching is near the hawa mahal. The snake charmer just inside the main gate garnered not only mines but all the tourists’ attention.



The grand diwan-e-aam, diwan-e-khaas, Mubarak mahal, Chandra mahal and sabha niwas are beautiful and cleanly made- enough to take you back in the time. There are many parts of the palace such as sabha niwas and the room with the arms and ammunition where photography is prohibited but all you can see there is something you cannot forget for the lifetime.





Small canon in the courtyard near diwan-e-aam and outside the sabha niwas is just a symbol of how the bravery and the richness of Rajputs must have been in the medieval India.



On the other side of the palace the decorated camels and horses with richly colorful and embellished saddles and few drummers few yards away still makes it easy for tourists to get drenched completely in the colors of Rajasthan.





After visiting all the parts opened for visitors, on my way back to the main gate, the puppet-show was started which on my entrance was not.






Amer fort- located on the high hill, the serpentine like zigzag pathway leads to the main gate of the Amer fort. The biggest tourist attraction of Jaipur has many things to offers to tourists, from colossal Ganesh pol entrance of architectural brilliance to the historical grandeur of the sheesh mahal. The Ganesh pol, as the name suggests has an alluring image of lord Ganesh and it is the most beautiful structure in whole fort with gems embedded in it. Lattice screens up above on the Ganesh pol entrance were made for women of the royal family who along with their attendants would shower flowers on the victorious entry of the kings and princes from the screens and windows.



Apart from the Ganesh pol, the sheesh mahal inside the fort is most famous among tourists. Beautiful mirrors all around the vast hall in several designs and patterns bring the effect of stars of sky and are magnificently glittering.












Also, an interesting attraction here is the “magic flower” fresco carved in marble at the base of one of the pillars around the mirror palace depicting two hovering butterflies; the flower has seven unique designs including a fish tail, lotus, hooded cobra, elephant trunk, lion’s tail, cob of corn, and scorpion, each one of which is visible by a special way of partially hiding the panel with the hands.

Jal mahal- on my way from City Palace to Amer fort I also had an opportunity to see the architectural wonder called Jal mahal– a palace in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. Jal mahal is actually a five storied building whose four stories remain submerged in the water while only one is exposed above the lake.

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So this was my trip to Jaipur where I experienced and witnessed a lot- from the regal persona of the royal families from their palaces and forts to their bravery and awe-inspiring courage by witnessing their military strength by their arms and ammunitions. From the bazaar of Jaipur where colors were in abundance to the antiques still so royal, I am compelled to say that Jaipur is indeed the pink city and the heart of the most colorful- Rajasthan.


Pictures courtesy- All the pictures were clicked by me and some are originally posted on my Facebook page Shekhar’s