Badrinath and Others

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Jyotirmath is one of the four cardinal institutions established by Adi Shankara, the others being those at Shringeri, Puri and Dwarka. According to the tradition initiated by Adi Shankara. The presiding deity Lord Narasimha is believed to have been established by Adi Sankara. It is one of the “Divya Desams”, the 108 temples of Vishnu revered by the 12 Tamil poet-saints or Alvars.

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According to legend, Pandukeshwar was established by King Pandu, father of great Pandavas of Mahabharata epic. He was living with his wives Kunti and Madri in Pandukeshwar after giving his throne to his elder brother Dhritharashtra. One day Pandu went on hunting in the jungle and unintentionally killed a sage making love in deer form. While the sage was dying he cursed Pandu that he will not be able make love with anyone and if he does, he will die instantly. To get cleanse of sin of killing of the sage, Pandu installed the bronze image of Vishnu in the Yogadhyan Badri shrine and mediated. Meanwhile Kunti and Madri gave birth to Pandavas through yogadhyan. Once, Pandu got attracted towards Madri who was taking bath in Alakananda River, soon Pandu died due to curse of sage.

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An example of Himalayan housing

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As per Hindu legend, the temple is associated with the times of Ramayana. Raghunathji (Rama, an avatar of Vishnu) is believed to performed penance at this place to relieve himself off the curse committed by killing Ravana, a Brahmin demon king. Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, is once believed to have performed penance at this place and the place came to be known as Prayaga, meaning the best place to do penance. As per the same legend, the Vataka tree (Banyan tree) in the place would withstand all earthly disasters and would remain through ages. Vishnu is believed to reside in the leaves of the tree. The Pandavas performed penance at this place before the Mahabharat war. Sage Bharadwaja is also believed to have performed penance at this place and became of the seven sacred sages, the Saptarishis.

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The proposed new site for Joshimath temple

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Badrinath temple is located in Garhwal hill tracks in Chamoli district along the banks of Alaknanda River at an elevation of 3,133 m (10,279 ft) above the mean sea level. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage centres of India, having recorded 1,060,000 visits.

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The image of the presiding deity worshipped in the temple is a 1 m (3.3 ft) tall, black stone statue of Vishnu in the form of Badrinarayan. The statue is considered by many Hindus to be one of eight swayam vyakta kshetras, or self-manifested statues of Vishnu.

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he Nar Parbat mountain is located opposite to the temple, while the Narayana Parbat is located behind the Neelakanta peak.

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Rudraprayag is a town and a municipality in Rudraprayag district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Rudraprayag is one of the Panch Prayag (five confluences) of Alaknanda River, the point of confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Mandakini. Kedarnath, a Hindu holy town is located 86 km from Rudraprayag. The man eating Leopard of Rudraprayag hunted and written about by Jim Corbett dwelled here.

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Nainital : My Travel Register

  • Situated in the Indian State of Uttarakhand.
  • Date of Travel: 06-09-2014
  • Distance from Delhi: Around 300 km
  • State of the Roads: Not too BAD. Tolerable.
The Placid Lake

The Placid Lake

The picture above would be the scenery that you would welcome you the moment you enter this hill station. This lake forms the epicentre and the city is built around it.

The City Centre

The City Centre

This place is near the lake and this forms the major market area of Nainital. Another notable thing in Nainital, is that polythene bags are totally banned and you will find only cloth bags everywhere.

Area around the lake

Area around the lake

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The Boats for the ride

The Boats for the ride

The Top 5 Boat Rides in India:

  1. Thekkady (Kerala)
  2. Nainital (Uttarakhand) – The walk around the lake is highly refreshing.
  3. Kodaikanal (Tamilnadu) – Never miss the cycling & horse riding around the lake
  4. Ooty (Tamilnadu)
  5. Yercaud (Tamilnadu)

There might be much more hill stations with lakes, but the above are the ones that I have visited and I have a better idea of what they are all about. Nainital is the least polluted of all the chill stations and this city exhibits a “planned & laid out” construction. There will be regular inflow of water into the lake from the top through the canals constructed within the building surrounding the lakes. This city uses the nature in its actual form.

This stands true in Nainitial

This stands true in Nainitial

A view from the lake

A view from the lake

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The View of the lake from the top

The View of the lake from the top

This view from the top (any taxi driver can take you here) is a must-see spot. This aerial view from the top would be so so good that you would need a solid 30-minutes to stand and gaze at this amazing piece of sight.

A walk around the lake

A walk around the lake

The Market

The Market

A typical Nainital architecture

A typical Nainital architecture

Amritsar : My Travel Register

Starting Point : Dehradun

Terminal : Amritsar

Boarded the Amritsar-Dehradun Express on Aug 23, 2013. The train started late (as usual). Reached late. The biggest thing to mention in this train journey is that we had an opportunity to play cards. There is no great pleasure in the train journey than getting an opportunity to play cards with your friends.

Welcome, Amritsar....!

Welcome, Amritsar….!

Reached Amritsar at 0830 hrs and checked it in a mediocre hotel. We just had a bath, checked out as soon as possible to visit The Golden Temple. Then, after seeing a dhaba we stopped by it. The dhaba ka name was Brothers ka Dhaba. That was a very fine breakfast in Amritsar. Could easily be the best. Don’t miss this Dhaba in Amritsar. Paneer Kulcha, Lassi, Dahi. Yummy. Ample items.

With a heavy stomach, we moved to The Golden Temple. The climate was very very humid. Purchasing a scarf from a shop, we set foot in The Golden Temple. What an ambiance it had. Simple Marvelous. The term ‘Sparkling White’ can be used to describe it. Crystal clear marble floors. The Golden Beam of the temple leaves you stunned. The orderly fashion of the queues, lots of people but still less noises in the temple’s premises. I admired this a lot. A nice spot for meditation too.

Glittering Gold & Sparkling White

Glittering Gold & Sparkling White

Next is The Jallianwala Bagh. It is less than a kilometer far from The Golden Temple. No entry fees. It is a small lane through which we need to go. It can easily go unnoticed. Such was the place. You cannot help you shed a few tears in this place. Very step you take, you would tend to remember the people who were running around and getting shot. Scribblings on the wall, love you stuff writings in the pillars of this national monument is a shame.

Lane to Patriotism

Lane to Patriotism

Travel Tips:

  • Light Cotton Clothing is preferrable. It is a very humid climate
  • The city of Amritsar can be toured in less than 12 hours including the Wagah Border
  • The Jallianwala Bagh can be toured in less than a hour
  • Needless for a plan of travel for The Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh. Just a walk will do,
  • No other tourist destinations in Amritsar other than this Big 3. So, Amritsar can be wrapped up well within a day.
  • Enjoy your food at the various dhaba’s in Amritsar. Do not forget to taste Lassi and Paneer Kulcha. They are the best.

PS: The Wagah Border is to be posted as a separate post.

Have a happy and safe journey……!

Universal Studios, Singapore : My Travel Register

Situated at the entrance, this welcomes you to the Universal Studios, Singapore

Situated at the entrance, this welcomes you to the Universal Studios, Singapore

The Universal Studios has seven factions namely:

  • Hollywood
  • New York City
  • Sci Fi City
  • Ancient Egypt
  • The Lost World
  • Far Far Away
  • Madagascar

# Hollywood & New York city are just photoshoot places. No rides here. Few shows can be seen in progress, at times

# Sci-Fi City, it is the TRANSFORMERS region. Those guys rule here. The best section of the Universal Studios. Your entrance fee of SD $70 to the Universal Studios, is a perfect worth in this area alone. The MUST-SEE area. You can board a ride for infinite times. No separate ride charges.

# Ancient Egypt & The Lost World are pretty good areas for both adults & kids. Don’t miss out The Revenge of the Mummy Ride in the Ancient Egypt section.

# The Far Far Away & Madagascar are children-play zones. Nothing exciting for the adults.

This is the glimpse of the street that you would be entering first in the Universal Studios, SIngapore. No rides in this area. You can find many merchandise stores and can watch few shows which are scheduled in prior

This is the glimpse of the street that you would be entering first in the Universal Studios, SIngapore. No rides in this area. You can find many merchandise stores and can watch few shows which are scheduled in prior

This is the venue where few shoes would be taking place

This is the venue where few shoes would be taking place

The second faction of the Universal Studios. A replica of the New York City Street could be seen here.

The second faction of the Universal Studios. A replica of the New York City Street could be seen here

The video show hosted by the ace director Steven Speilberg

The video show hosted by the ace director Steven Speilberg

Snapshot of The New York City Street

Snapshot of The New York City Street

A Show in progress

A Show in progress

Guide to the Universal Studios, SIng

Guide to the Universal Studios, Singapore

The Third faction of the Universal Studios. The Transformers rule here.

The Third faction of the Universal Studios. The Transformers rule here.

To the Transformers 3D Ride

To the Transformers 3D Ride

En Route to The Transformers 3D Ride

En Route to The Transformers 3D Ride

The Roller Coaster Circuit. There are two tracks namely The Red & Th Blue. Both are equally mind-blowing

The Roller Coaster Circuit. There are two tracks namely The Red & Th Blue. Both are equally mind-blowing

One of the Roller Coaster Rides. The RED.

One of the Roller Coaster Rides. The RED.

The 4th faction, The Ancient Egypt

The 4th faction, The Ancient Egypt

The impressive Revenge of the Mummy ride. The indoor roller coaster.

The impressive Revenge of the Mummy ride. The indoor roller coaster.

Another glimpse of the Ancient Egypt

Another glimpse of the Ancient Egypt

The fifth faction in the Universal Studios, Singapore

The fifth faction in the Universal Studios, Singapore

Far Far away, the sixth faction. Suitable for children only. No adult rides here.

Far Far away, the sixth faction. Suitable for children only. No adult rides here.

Madagscar, the seventh and the last faction of the studios. All-children play area. Adults, just accompany your kids there. No adrenaline rush stuff rides.

Madagscar, the seventh and the last faction of the studios. All-children play area. Adults, just accompany your kids there. No adrenaline rush stuff rides.

Yercaud : My Travel Register

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Destination: Yercaud, Tamil Nadu, India

Nearest city: Salem (35 km)

Hair pin Bends: 20 nos en route to Yercaud

Elevation: 1450 m above sea level

Summer Temperature: 29 C (avg)

Winter Temperature: 13 C (avg)

Area: 998 sq.km

Tourist Map of Yercaud

Opposite to the Boat Club

Opposite to the Boat Club

A view of the Boat Club and its scenery

A view of the Boat Club and its scenery

You need to descend around 250 steps to see this falls.

You need to descend around 250 steps to see this falls

The Montfort School. Worth a tour inside.  Visitor Timings - 1400 to 1600 hrs

The Montfort School. Worth a tour inside. Visitor Timings – 1400 to 1600 hrs

A restaurant near the Boat House. Offers a wide range of Burgers, Sandwiches & Wraps

A restaurant near the Boat House. Offers a wide range of Burgers, Sandwiches & Wraps

Inside the Montfort School

Inside the Montfort School

The Sculptures adorning the football ground entrance

The Sculptures adorning the football ground entrance

Lake View Park:  A view inside

Lake View Park: A view inside

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A must visit temple in a place called Nagalur, a 20-min drive from Yercaud

A must visit temple in a place called Nagalur, a 20-min drive from Yercaud

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Lord Krishna with his incarnations in the temple

Lord Krishna with his incarnations in the temple

Glimpse of the vegetation in Yercaud

Glimpse of the vegetation in Yercaud

Summary: If you want to enjoy the weather, visit only a few places & spend more time together with your loved ones, this place is highly recommended

சமணர் மலை : My Travel Register

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Name :  Samanar Malai (Meaning: Jain’s Hill )

Place : Near Madurai (Madurai-Thirumangalam Road)

# No Entry Fees is required

# Open all throughout the year

# To scale the mountain, you need to walk through a very steep path. Steps would be carved on the hill at irregular intervals. (I have uploaded a picture of it too. Kindly have a look at it)

# It would take on an average of 45 minutes to scale the hill. Not advisable to climb during the rainy season. Winter season is preferred.

# Up the hill, you would be able to see the sculptures carved out of a single rock. Few inscriptions would be seen near them.

# No tourist guide would be available. So, either you learn about the place before you visit.

# Nothing else than a tea shop, would be near the hill. So, kindly pack for yourself the necessary food and drinks for the trip.

# Madurai is a very sunny place. So, afternoon trek is advisable.

# Apart from these sculptures, few bed-like carvings are found in the hill. These  works date back to the 6th century.

திருமலை நாயக்கர் மஹால் : My Travel Register

THIRUMALAI NAYAKKAR MAHAL

Place : Madurai

Country : India

# The watch towers for this Mahal are located 2km away.

# This Mahal has been a favorite shooting spot for the Ace Indian Film Director Mani Ratnam. Notable movies shot here were Iruvar & Guru.

# World Renowned Meenakshi Amman Temple is located just a few kilometers way

# Dravidian & Persian Style architecture involved

# It would take 4 well grown adults to clinch a pillar in the Mahal