Alampur Jogulamba temple

Alampur Jogulamba temple, Alampur

Alampur Jogulamba temple
Alampur Jogulamba temple

 

Where is this temple?

Located at Alampur town in Mahabubnagar and 27kms from Kurnool and 200 kms from Hyderabad.

What is the specialty of this temple?

 

This is the fifth Sakthi peetha among the eighteen Sakthi peethas of Parvati devi. Located on the bank of Tungabhadra river at the meeting point of the holy Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers, the construction of this temple is very different compared to other temples of south India.  The principle deities here are Bala Brahmeswara swamy and Goddess Jogulamba devi. Jogulamba devi wears scorpion, lizard and skull as ornaments on her head.

Devotees take a dip in the holy water of Tungabhadra before entering the temple. The Goddess looks so powerful and mesmerizing. There is a pool of water around the sanctum sanctorum which is  to cool the  Goddess. In this Sakthi peetha, the upper jaw of the Goddess has fallen when Lord Shiva was doing Taandava by carrying the corpse of the  Goddess Parvati  after she was insulted at the Daksha Yagna.

 

How to reach this temple?

One can travel in the state run buses or by car. It takes roughly around 3 hours from Hyderabad and the road is pretty good. Number of hotels are available near the main highway to stay and food is available at better prices. One must taste  Uggaani, special of Raayalaseema. One may also shop many devotional books and photos which are available at the temple premises at very nominal prices. There are many monkeys and one has to be careful about their handbags because monkeys pull them away hoping to find some coconuts or bananas.

What other places here?

One can touch and pray the Muktheswara swamy here and there is also a dargah in the premises of the temple. One can also pray to Kanchi Kamakshi amman whose idol is just two hundred meters from the temple.

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Bidar fort- A remnant of Persian architecture

Bidar fort is located in the town of Bidar in Karnataka, India. It is built in 15th century in Persian style during the reign of Sultan Alla-Ud-Din Bahman of Bahamani dynasty. It has many mahals or rooms meant for various purposes, but they are not open to tourists now. One can get information about them from the display boards at the entrance of the fort.

It is one of the mentionable places in Bidar and offers a nice sightseeing experience to its visitors.There is no entrance fee to visit this fort and it is also very neatly maintained.

 

Take a glimpse of the fort and its royal beauty here.

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Well outside the fort used to draw water.
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One of the sides of the fort


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The climate in Bidar is sultry and it is very hard to find a good hotel to lodge and board. In general Bidar trip can be completed in a single day, so one can plan it on a weekend along with entire family.One can shop Bidriware items in Bidar.

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Jalakanteswara temple, Vellore, India

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The Jalakanteswara temple in Vellore is an ancient temple and is several centuries old. The amazing serenity and the holy calmness it offers relaxes one’s body, mind and soul. The temple is huge and has vast corridor with peaceful environment. It is one of the famous hindu temples in Vellore, Tamilnadu, India.

 

 

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The temple tower

 

 

 

 

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One of the wonders on the ceiling

 

 

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Pillars showing architecture you will fall in love with!
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The temple tank

 

 

 

 

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Corridor with pillars

 

 

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Kanya Kumari- The last bit of Indian rock

IMG_1404A beach always looks amazing and refreshing because of the beauty of the sea water, the rising and falling waves, the lovely breeze and the sand beneath our feet. Any soul is bound to fall in love with such a beauty. Now, imagine the scenic beauty of a beach formed at the meeting point of three seas!! That’s what makes Kanya Kumari (located in the state of Tamilnadu, India) a hot spot for tourists. Three different seas, the Bay of Bengal, the Indian ocean and the Arabian sea, meet here making this beach a unique and amazing beauty. This town is very well connected with major cities in south India. The nearest airport is Trivandrum at just 90km away.

Three different colors of water, three different colors of sand and the lovely rocks on the beach offer an entirely different kind of relaxing experience. This unique geographical location at the southern most tip of India offers a nature lover the mind blowing views of both the sunrise and sunset over the sea water. Hundreds of tourists who visit this place daily make sure that they don’t miss these scenic views.  Bathing in the holy water here which is formed due to meeting point of three seas is believed to purify oneself. People taking their holy bath here is a common sight here.

This is a place which almost never sleeps. Even at the night most tourists are often sighted shopping or relaxing at the beach. The special steaming Tamilnadu idlis,which melt in your mouth instantly can be enjoyed at the beach any time. Shoppers find many items made of sea shells at reasonable prices at various stalls along their way to the beach.The beach looks so colorful and lively that it lifts one’s mood instantly.

Playing in the water with my son and collecting sea shells are the two most things I had done extensively on this beach. We almost spent two full days on the beach right from dawn to the dusk and even at nights for a long time. This was the most lovely experience among all the trips I went on till now and I had taken a promise from my darling that we visit this beauty one more time in the nearing future.

Though my lens was not enough to cover the beauty of this place, here’s an attempt !!

The nearest railway junction to Kanya Kumari is Nagercoil. This town is famous for the Nagaraja temple.

 

Kanya kumari railway station

The view tower at the beach to get a better view of the beauty of the three seas
 

An image from Gandhi Memorial. This building is built as a memory of Mahatma Gandhi such that sun’s rays fall directly on his tomb on Oct 2nd as a mark of  respect.

                   Tsunami memorial at the beach as a remnant of 2004 devastating Tsunami

The famous Tiruvalluvar statue, standing tall in the sea water
Vivekananda rock memorial. One has to reach this on a small ferry before sunset.

The waves and rocks at Muttom beach

                                          My son and me at sunrise

Watching sun rise at the tip of Indian sub continent!!

Three colors of sea water can be seen clearly from the circular fort nearby the beach

Must visit Tirapurappu water falls on the way to Kanya Kumari from Trivandrum. An amazingly enjoyable experience bathing here!!
Pnmudi- Hill station in Kerala

Ponmudi- The Golden Peak

Tiruvananthapuram is very well known for its lovely beaches and temples. On one weekend we planned to visit a different location and searched for  nearby points of attraction. After checking many options, we finalized Ponmudi- the hill station as our weekend outing destination.

When I was reading on Wikipedia, I didn’t get exactly about the beauty of that place. Ponmudi was located 40km from our area and we set off in our car. As we were reaching the hill, I understood what was written in that wiki. The road to Ponmudi from Tiruvananthapuram contains 22 hair pin bends with dense forests on either sides.Mind blowing U-turns, dense forests, hair pin bends, lots of monkeys on the way, beautiful rivulets and that steep roads..OMG!! At one point I was so tensed by looking at the forests and those curvy roads, and pleaded my hubby that we go back, the roads were that steep. Really hats off to his driving skills!! After crossing 22nd hair pin bend, I saw that most beautiful scenery I had ever seen. As soon as we entered the peak, fresh and unpolluted cool breeze touched our nostrils. I breathed deep inside to get that freshness into me. Amazing peaks and roads amidst!! Fresh air as pure as a newly born baby’s smile…I wished the whole world is also filled with that purest of pure air.

On the way to Ponmudi two dams, and water falls also occur but one must visit them only before sunset. Because later there won’t be any admissions inside. Bathing in the waterfalls is also not permitted due to safety concerns. One more highest peak in the Western Ghats of India, Agastyakoodam, is also nearby. But it is open to visitors only for a few days in a year.

Here are those beautiful memories which I brought back home from this trip.

A house in traditional Kerala style en route Ponmudi from Trivandrum

As you travel across Kerala, what you see are predominantly coconut trees !!

Meenmutty bridge

Entrance for Meenmutty waterfalls. We missed this beautiful waterfalls because we reached it after sunset

Dense forests on both sides of road en route Ponmudi

Board showing 15th hairpin bend. There are in total 22 hairpin curves enough to thrill you!!
Hurray !! we are reaching the place after a long thrilling journey!!!!

Echo point rock – Climb this rock and you will touch the sky!!

View of other peaks from the top most peak at Ponmudi

If you stand on the top of the highest peak, roads and other people look very tiny and like play toys!!

This was the peak I was talking about..Trekking this peak is really enjoyable.

View of mountains on all directions

View of the road while trekking the peak

Overall View of the echo point rock (shown above in close up)

Beautiful sunset amidst the hills

Mother nature at sunset among the hills. Lovely shades of sunset……..

View of the valley at sunset. You feel like sitting there and watching it for hours together!!

Refreshment center amidst the beautiful hills. One should never miss sipping a cup of hot tea in that cool breeze here!!

Mantralayam Raghavendra Swamy temple

 

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Temple at mantralayam

What is this place?

Matralayam is a famous abode of Sri Guru Raghavendra swamy. He is a famous teacher and a devotee of Sri Rama. It is also believed that Swamy is an another incarnation of Lord Hanuman. Guru Raghavendra Swamy is very powerful and is most worshipped by Kannadigaas and Telugu people.

How to reach this place?

Located around 200 kms from Kurnool district in Andhra pradesh, Mantralayam has number of bus services run by APSRTC. If one is planning to travel by car, the road is very bad for at least upto 3-4 kms and the remaining is very scenic and utterly peaceful. One can observe the villagers lifestyle and the beauty of cotton, onion , rice and banana fields on the way. Small lakes and channels of water are present en-route the temple, it is advised to study the weather before hand and begin their trip.

Where to stay?

Number of hotels are available. Raghavendra mutt also provides accomodation in their cottages. Pre-booking may not be necessary.

What not to miss?

1. The amazing peace you find inside the temple. Do meditate for a while before the Vrindavan of the Guru. You attain amazing peace!

2. The lip smacking food offered by the temple annadanam scheme.

3. The panchamrutam (mixture of milk, curd, honey, banana and ghee) served at the counter for free. One glass fills your tummy while providing health and energy.

4. Shopping puja items at big shopping complex at the temple premises.

5. Bathing in Tungabhadra river and seeking blessings of Manchalamma devi before entering main temple.

6. Don’t buy water bottles from the shops outside. There is a free water camp inside the temple backside of panchamrutam counter and the water tastes just like Himalayan Ganga!

Notes:

1. Gents must take off their shirts and banians before entering the temple and women are advised to wear sarees only.

2. Carry glasses of steel or use and throw away type to drink panchamrutam or water during meals at the annadaanam hall.

 

 

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Kaalindi Mardhanam depicted at the temple premises
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Entrance view of the temple

5 home made hair packs-Indian hair care secrets to deal split ends

Split ends are a very common hair problem every woman faces, no matter how much care is taken. They are caused due to various factors like excessive hair treatments, lack of proper diet, excessive shampooing and frequent exposure to pollution and sun. Any type of hair, be it short or long, or dry,oily or normal could be affected with split ends. Once a hair splits, its growth becomes stunted and it grows no longer. Trimming them is the only solution.

Try these 5 home-made hair packs at least once a week to give enough nutrients to your hair from outside too and regular use of these will prevent split ends for sure.

Mask 1:

Blend a ripe banana,egg white,2 spoons olive oil, 2 spoons curd and a spoon of lemon juice. Apply this paste to your hair from the roots. Wait for 45 mins and wash off with very mild shampoo.

Mask 2:

Paste fresh hibiscus leaves and flowers and apply it to your hair roots. Wash off after 45 mins with warm water and see your hair bounce !!

Mask 3: (If fresh leaves are not available)

Mix in a bowl 5 spoons hibiscus powder, 2 spoons fenugreek powder, 2 spoons aloe vera powder, 2 spoons amla (gooseberry) powder, 2 spoons olive oil and a handful of curd. Let it soak for an hour, and apply to your hair. Wash off after half an hour.

All these powders are readily available in super markets.

Mask 4:

Mix castor oil 2 spoons, olive oil 1 spoon, coconut oil 1 spoon and almond oil 1 spoon thoroughly. Massage your hair very gently from roots to the tip. Apply on the tips too. Wait for two hours and wash with an herbal shampoo. For best results, you can also massage at night, wear a shower cap and go to bed. Wash off in the morning.

Mask 5:

Blend a cup of ripe papaya pieces , half cup curd and two spoons olive oil. Apply this mix to your hair and wash off after half an hour.

Tip:

After applying all these packs, wait till they dry and wash off with warm water and herbal shampoos. Avoid chemical shampoos for best results. A hair pack can be applied once a week for best results.

Welcome food lovers!

Traditional telugu vegetarian recipes
Traditional telugu vegetarian recipes

Welcome,

All the food lovers!

Get to know the traditional recipes of Andhra!

Feel the spice, savor the sweetness and linger the taste!

Purely vegetarian , healthy and home made recipes since generations of the Telugu people!

http://teluguvantillu.wordpress.com/ 

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It’s time for Diwali sweets!!

Diwali and sweets are synonymous… indian women get busy in preparing various traditional sweets to celebrate diwali in a beautiful way..here’s an interesting, easy and healthy sweet recipe

http://teluguvantillu.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/beetroot-coconut-burfi/

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Diwali-the festival of lights

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Diwali is the festival of lights. The whole of India celebrates this colorful festival with so much of joy and happiness. The word Diwali means group of lights.

The mythological story behind  celebration of this festival is the killing of demon Narakasura by , Goddess Satyabhama, one of the eight wives of Lord Sri Krishna. People celebrate the death of the demon and welcome new hopes and happiness by lighting lamps and offering prayers to Goddess Lakshmi, who is believed to bring fortunes to one’s family. The day on which the demon was killed is celebrated as Narakachaturdasi and the following day is Diwali.

Relatives and family members gather and special sweets made of milk, sugar and kova and are distributed among friends and relatives.

Find traditional diwali recipes here

In the evening, lamps are lit and houses are decorated with as many lamps as possible to invite the goddess of fortune, Srilakshmi devi into homes and special worship is done to her idol. Some families organize bommala koluvu ( an arrangement of toys and idols made of clay) and invite all their neighbors to their houses.Crackers are fired and the sky, that night which is a new moon day by Hindu calendar,glows with the colors of crackers and looks so delightful.

 

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Decoration of rangoli with lamps in front of our house last year. This year we have a very large open area since we moved to an independent house and am planning how beautifully to decorate my rangoli with colors and lamps!!!

 

This year Naraka Chaturdhi and Diwali falls on 22nd and 23rd October respectively.

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Health tip of the week

Make it a habit to chew a clove, a cardamom and little fennel after your every meal or at least after two major meals of the day.

This makes your mouth fresh, aids digestion and keeps all vata problems at a bay.

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A Walk through waist deep water to see the deity-Narasimha Jharna temple, Bidar

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Narasimha Jharna temple at Bidar, Karnataka, India is very different from the other temples I have seen till now. Here, the idol of Lord Narasimha is inside a cave and devotees have to walk through waist deep water for about 350 metres to have a darshan of the deity.

It is said that Lord Narasimha, after killing demon Jharasura settled in this cave and the waters of Krishna and Godavari rivers, which are considered very sacred entered this cave to soothe his anger. The idol of God here is considered swayambhu, means self manifested. This deity in this temple is considered very sacred and powerful.

The temple is open from 8 A.m till sunset and is often full of devotees and it takes roughly 45 minutes to walk through water, take the darshan and come back to the exit gate.

Check out the beauty of Bidar fort here.

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Quote of the week

swethadhaara:

Thought for the week..

Originally posted on Bushidō & Sakura:

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter – nothing…. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

- The Book of Five Rings

View original

Travel to Telangana

Telangana is the  new born beauty in India. It is an excellent tourist spot for culture lovers and lip smacking Hyderabadi Biryani is  what food lovers long for. The climate is neither too hot nor too cold compared to other parts of India. It is like a mini India where you can find people of almost all religions in India living with peace and harmony.

Check out my travel experiences about places around Telangana like Charminar, Sanghi temple, how to travel safer in Hyderabad, Srisailam, the amazing architecture at the Beerumguda temple, the amazing native Indian animals at the Nehru Zoo, explore the authentic Shilparamam.

Explore how you can shop on the footpaths of hyderabad or catch the authentic photos of Andhra Culture or get surprised by learning how Indians deal with these scorching summers!!

Get a glimpse of cultures and traditions of the Telugu people by knowing the way they celebrate their festivals like SriRamaNavami-the Celestial marriage celebration, Ugadi-the begining of Telugu New Year, Vinayaka Chavithi-the celebrations of the Elephant God,Dussera-the victory of Good over Evil and Deepavali-the festival of lights.

Catch the beauty of traditional weekend markets and get amazed by the simplicity of the Telugus!!

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Dasara- Victory of Good over Evil

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Goddess Durga

Dasara or Vijayadasami is a main festival in India. This festival is celebrated as a symbol of victory of good over evil. legend says Goddess Durga killed demon Mahisha and people celebrate for this reason. This festival also has link with the most important Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Irrespective of the reason behind it, Dasara is celebrated with great pomp and joy all over India. Devotees pray to goddess Durga with utmost devotion and fasting is also a part of this custom.

 

During the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi to the USA, Modi was on fasting and took only honey with lemon water for all the nine days due to this reason.

 

Mandapams or stages are set up and idols of the Goddess Durga are worshipped with great respect and devotion for all the nine days. Special religious customs are performed in all temples. Many parents get “Aksharabhyasam” or “custom of introducing education to children” during these days and believe that it brings very good luck to their studies.

 

Relatives and family members gather together for celebrating this festival and it is often the Indian villages that get decorated with the festival colors more than the cities. New Sons in law and daughters in law are often treated with most love and affection and it is a perfect time to increase their bonding with other relatives and family members.

 

Colorful rangolis or design patterns are adorned in front of the houses and sweets, special recipes often join the menu at houses. Dasara celebrations are celebrated with great pomp at Mysore and Kolkata which are world renowned for the same.

 

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Rangoli which my mom did in front of our house

 

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Glitters at Charminar during Ramzan

I was lucky to be in Hyderabad during the time of Ramzan! It’s a mini-India where festival of any religion is celebrated with pomp, joy and brotherhood among  people of all religions. Ramzan is the main festival of muslims and it adds more glow to the roads of Hyderabad. While my wait to taste veg haleem went in vain, my love to shop bangle was fulfilled near this amazing royal monument.

 

 

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IMG_7020 Amidst the colors, Charminar is a not to miss spot during this season. It drags all your attention and captures your heart with its traditional and royal beauty.
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Sale of fruits is a huge business this season and one can find all kinds of fresh fruit here!
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The Bhagyalakshmi temple, just beside Charminar is another famous hindu spot, which is one of the starting spots of the famous Bonalu festival of Telangana



 

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Ladies shop many fancy items like bangles, hair and saree accessories, dresses, and many more..even at 2 a.m in the night the shops are full busy during ramzan season here. While it is colorful and tempting to shop dresses and bangles and other funky jewellery, don’t forget to start you bargaining from half the price quoted!

Beautiful ladies make beautiful families

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