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R V Venkiteswaran (Venky)

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

SOMNATH-DWARAKA PILGRIMAGE : AUG 17-28, 2013

Om Namasivaya Nama:

By the grace of God, we had an opportunity to visit these holy places. In fact it was a sudden trip. We would like to share our experience briefly with you so that one of you decides to visit these places, such information may be handy and useful to you. This area is known as Prabhasa Patan having 109 acres of  holy land adjoining towards Arabian Sea (almost like Mahalakshmi temple at Mumbai).

Sukla Paksha - Siva Aradhana

Aug 17 : Saturday : Dubai to Ahmedabad by Air. From Ahmedabad we started our journey towards Somnath by Car, approximately 380 KM, it takes around 8+ hours by road. After reaching Somnath, we rushed to part take evening Aarathi between 1900-1930 hrs. What a temple and its environment on the Arabian Sea shore! Please note this temple of worship existed since 7.95+ crores of years to date! This is the place where Lord Soma (chandra) does worship to Shiva to get reliever from the curse given by Daksha. Being pleased with Soma's penance., Lord Shiva relieves him from the curse and adores him in His hair. Thus the place got its name as SOMANATHAM.

Aug 18 : Sunday : Had Somnath Jyothir Lingeswar morning darsan followed by few important temples in and around Somnath. The original and old Jyothir Lingam is situated close to the new temple towards east side of new Somnath temple outside premises. By late after noon we visited Triveni Sangam (Confluence of Hiranya+Kapila+Saraswathi) merging with Arabian Sea. On the way we can see Sage Parasurama's Thapo Bhoomi and his Yagna kund. Adjacent to Parasuraman's hermitage you will come across Maha Kali temple one of the 108 Sakthi Peedam. Here, devi's chin part fell. Opposite Triveni ghat you can see Saradha mutt. Next to that Soorya Temple where Pancha Pandavas stayed during their Van-vaas and obtained Akshya pathram from Lord Soorya and Hingla Devi cave (Gufa) temple. please note it is very difficult to enter the cave. On the river bank you will come across many Ghats dedicated for our great Rishis. A Siva temple known as Mangeswar situated towards south zone of the river. This Siva lingam was consecrated by Great Markandeya Rishi and the belief is that every day Markandeya Rishi visit this temple in Sookshma roopa to offer his prayers to Lord Siva. This place is known as Prabhasa River Bank. A great narration is available in Sri Madh Bhagavatham, Mahabarathan, Skanda Puran and many other Puran.

Aug 19 : Monday : Usual morning visit to Somnath temple, visited Geeta Mandir close to Hiranya River bank at Prabhasa Ghat, Triveni Road. Close to this temple you can see Aadi Sesha/Naga temple and Sri Krishna's Paduka known as Dehostarga Sthal in other words Golokha Prapthi. The importance of this place is un-explainable. This Hiranya river banks also witnessed Sri Krishna and his elder brother Balaram renouncing their mortal human forms and their last rites were performed here. Another importance is that all Yadhavas  completely gave up their human form in this river bank and Chandra Vamsam got vanished in this place. Sri Krishna himself performed Pithru Karma for his ancestors in this Ghat. Every one allowed to do the Pithru Karma in this Ghat. As Lord Krishna belongs to Chandravamsa he choose Somnath to leave his mortal remains.

Aug 20 : Tuesday : Sravana Poornima - Today is most auspicious day for Vipras., I mean Avani Avittam Upakarma day. I had the blessings to do my this year Upakarma at Triveni Ghat. From Madhyahnikam, Brahma Yagnam, Deva tharpanam, Rishi tharpanam, Pithru tharpanam, Maha Sankalpam, Yagnopaveetha Dharanam and finally Kaanda Rishi Tharpanam were performed peacefully. After this function we went to see Sri Somnath to conclude Upa Karma. By evening we left for visiting Sasi Bhooshan Mahadev temple and Balka Theerth at Veraval (from here the Hunter/Poacher {who was Bali in Thredhayug}aimed his arrow at Krishna's feet by mistaking mouth of a deer) at Balka Theerth where Sri Krishna was taking rest under a Pee-pal tree. It is believed that Krishna gave his last darshan to the poacher at Balkha teerth. After  the arrow stuck Sri Krishna came to Hiranya river bank and gave up his mortal body (approximately 7 KM distance).   Sri Krishna's great devotee Sri Vallabhacharya Maha Prabhu's baithak also exists in this compound. Chaithanya Maha Prabhu also got Sri Krishna's darsan in the same place. There is another important Siva's open temple in Somnath,  in the sea  known as Bannganga Mahadev / Beed Bhanjan Mahadev. Here you can give ablution to Lord Parameswar taking water from the sea. During high tide this Siva Lingam will be inside the sea water.

Krishna Paksha - Sri Krishna Aradhana

Aug 21 : Wednesday: Today another important day for Virapas - 1008 Gayathri Maha Manthra Japam to ward off one full year dosha prayaschitham. I had the blessings of Lord Parameswara to conduct this Karma inside the premises of Somnath temple. After Gayathri Japa, had a good darshan of Somnath then visited Old Jyothirlinga Siva temple. Out of no choice said bye.. to Somnath and left for Dwaraka by road covering 364 KM. On the way we visited Sri Krishna's great devotee Sri Sudhama and his wife Suseela Devi's temple. Also visited Mool Dwaraka (history says this is where originally Sri Krishna and Yadhavas lived initially). Finally reached main Dwaraka temple at 1945 hrs just before Aarathi. Had one of the superior darsan of Dwarakadhipathi Lord Sri Krishna without any rush and push. 1000+ eyes are required to see that beautiful Sri Krishna vigraham (swayamboo idol, received from Sathyavathy well, 5000+ years old). Godavari river known as Gomathy in Dwaraka meets the Arabian Sea by touching lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna. It originates from Gomukh at Thrayambakeswar  (Siva's head) and reach Sri Krishna's lotus feet at Dwaraka. We did prokshana snan over here.

Aug 22 : Thursday : After morning darsan of Dwarakadipathi, we left for another Jyothir Lingam darsan "Nageswara at Dharuka Van". We believe this is a bonus given to us by God. It will take 20 minutes drive from Dwaraka. Then left for visiting Rukmini Sri Krishna Vivaha Mandir. After receiving excellent darsan we moved to Gopi Thalaab where Sri Krishna had his mystical play with Gopikaas. The pond is still in tact and happy to re collect all Bhagavatha stories. Visited many temples including 5000+ years old Gopala krishna mandir, Thirupathi Balaji temple, Rukmani mandir; Radha Mandir in and around. Purchased Gopi Chandan and also got raw Gopi Chandan stones. According to Sri Krishna's promise to Gopis, in this particular land any where you dig below 3 feet you will get Gopi Chandran stones. You can also see many Sidhaas Samadhis in this holy land. On the way to Bed Dwaraka an Island (remaining part of the Dwaraka after Pralaya - please note oldest Golden Dwaraka is under the sea at around 60-70 foot under neath and the remaining portion is known as Bed Dwaraka). They say Rukmini Devi personally made this Sri Krishna Vigraham for worship). To reach this place you have to go by boat. This is one of the riskiest boat journey due to poor boat management system. After darshan returned to Dwaraka for night Aarathi. Visited Sankarachaarya Dwaraka Peetham and offered prayers to Chandramouleeswara Mahadev (Siva Lingas made in 9 precious gem stones are worshiped here along with Prarasakthi).

Aug 23 : Friday : Visited Thupni village where one can see Charan Ganga Kund. This well water is sweet and is always on the ground level irrespective of the season. This was created by Lord Sri Krishna with his foot thump finger to quench Rukmini Devi's thirst for water. Sri Krishna and Rukmini devi were pulling the chariot seated by their Kula Guru Dhurvasa Maharshi, ever since Rukmani devi want to drink water, out of no other way Sri Krishna invoked Gaga water for devi, this caused the angry mood for Maharshi and he cursed the newly married couple. Curse 1 = both of you will not stay together next 12 years and Curse 2 = the entire Dwaraka will not have sweet water (except this well water). Maharshi's asramam was located at Pindara Kshethram, approximately 35 KM from Rukmani Devi Mandir and Charan Ganga is around 24 KM. Came back to see Drawakadipa evening Aarathi. Since it is a Friday we chanted Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam at Dwaraka Peedam at Chandramouleeswarar &Parasakthi Sannidhi. After saying goodnight to Lord Sri Krishna returned to hotel.

Aug 24 : Saturday : As usual, after morning darsan said good bye to our little Sri Krishna and left for Ahmedabad by road covering 400 KM.

Aug 25 : Sunday : Visited Sabarmathi lake and Akshar Dham Swami Narayan temple.

Aug 26 : Monday : Left for Ambaji Mandir (one of the 108 Sakthi Peedam) darsan. First, had darsan of Devi at Gebber mountain top; to reach top we can use winch or climb 1025+ steps (originally Sakthi Peedam was located here, just a ghee lamp is worshiped here like our Sri Lalitha Sahasranama pooja). Then left for Khed-Brahma where almost all Gods Mandir located in this temple. Lord Brahma created this temple and worshiped Chamunda Devi from here. By late evening returned from Kheth Brahma to Ambaji for Aarathi darshan. What an ambiance of the temple premises and attractive Devi Vigraham. Poornima days are very important like our South India Giri-valam (Arunachalam) and 5+ lakhs of devotees visit this Sakthi Peedam.

Aug 27 : Tuesday : After taking rest till afternoon, by evening we left for Thirupathi Venkatachalapathy Temple in Ahmedabad main high way. Excellent darsan followed by Pacha Karpoora Theertham and few Thulasi leafs and Laddus as prasad.

Sarvam Krishnaarpanamasthu. This un planned temple visit reminded us that Lord Narayana want us to submit all our Karma balas at his feet then leave for Dubai. We believe that this is the beginning of our spiritual journey rather than saying we completed the pilgrimage.

Some important information:
1. Nothing is allowed to be carried  with you including leather belt, phones and electronics devises etc while entering the premises of Somnath, Dwaraka, Ambaji and Swami Narayan Temples. You can only go empty hand.
2. Food and shelter both are costly affair.
3. At Somnath - Sukh Sagar hotel is good for stay as well food.
4. At Dwaraka - Excellent food available at Maamika-mess just opposite Dwaraka temple in a small compound.
4. Somanath has 3 Aarathi 0700/1200/1900 hrs whereas Dwarakadeesan has 4 Aarathi 0600/1200/1945/2045 hrs. Lord Krishna was fed Raj Bhog 11 times a day. Any devotee can contribute for his Amrita Bhojan.
5. In and around Somnatha/Prabhasa River bank they have more than 76 temples and Prabhasa Subarban area 11+ temples.

We wish all of you should get such good darsan of our beloved Lord!

Om Namasivaya nama:

Venky, Lakshmi and Arun

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