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||Delhi/Temple Tour in and Around Delhi /Jammu/Katra /Nalagarh /Dharamshala
Chamunda Devi Temple /Dharamshala/Paragpur
Chintpurni Temple/ Paragpur/Naina Devi Temple/Nalagarh
Nalagarh/Chandigarh (Visit Mansa Devi Temple)
Mansa Devi Temple/Chandigarh/Delhi
|Number Of Days
|All year round
|Visit Shrines and Temples Sacred to the Goddess Energy
Meet Holy Saints, Trek in the Timeless Himalayas
Temple Tour in and Around Delhi
Vaishno Devi/Chamunda Devi Temple
Dharamshala/Paragpur /Jwalamukhi/Chintpurni Temple/ /Naina Devi Temple/ Mansa Devi Temple
|Description and Day-wise Itinerary
|Day 01 Welcome to Delhi
Fly overnight to India. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 02 Explore Old Delhi & New Delhi
After breakfast, full day sightseeing of Old & New Delhi including Rickshaw
Ride in the narrow crowded lanes of Old Delhi, Rajghat ¬ Where Mahatma Gandhi was criminated, Humayun's Tomb, Qutab Minar, India Gate,
Rashtrapati Bhawan (President's House), Laxminarayan Temple & Kalibari Temple. Overnight at hotel.
Delhi is no fairytale city but a city where dreams come to reality. Its strategic location was one of the prime reasons why successive dynasties chose it as their seat of power. Delhi is truly a symbol of the old and the new; a blend of ancient well preserved monuments and temples along with jam-packed burger joints and up market shopping malls.
Kali Bari Temple: A stone's throw from Birla Mandir to the right is the much smaller but quite popular temple devoted to the Goddess Kali. Especially dear to the Bengali community of Delhi, it is the centre of celebration during the festival of Durga Puja held every October. Since, Kali is believed to be the manifestation of Durga in her most terrifying, warlike avatar, liquor is offered to the goddess in this temple. The temple is rather small and very simple in design. From within the temple grows a huge 'peepul' tree that pierces through the ceiling to shade the temple. Hindus consider the peepul sacred and red threads are tied around its bark when beseeching a boon.
Day 03 Temple Tour in and Around Delhi
After breakfast, Visit Lotus Temple, Kalkaji Temple, Chattarpur Temple & Sheethla Devi Temple (Gurgaon). Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Kalkaji Temple dedicated to the goddess Kalka Devi. This domed twelve-sided Shakti Kalkaji temple, also known as Kalika or Kalka Devi lies on the same hill. Its oldest section dates back to 1764 and additions were made in the mid-19th century, yet, most of the building is modern. This popular Kali shrine is at the heart of a village and the Hindu worship of its 'Mahants' (important sadhus) makes a fascinating contrast with the brash new faith of the Baha'is.
Sheethla Devi Temple (Gurgaon): One of the major Hindu pilgrimage is the Sheetala Devi Temple located near a pond at Gurgaon village, a suburb of Gurgaon, in the state of Haryana. Also referred to as a 'Shakti Peeth', the presiding deity of this temple is Mata Sheetala Devi.
Thousands of pilgrims visit the temple during the Hindu month of 'Chaitra' corresponding with the months of March and April. Situated near a pond, this temple witnesses hordes of pilgrims throughout the year, except during the month of 'Shravana' (July-August). People also come to this temple to conduct the 'mundan' (shaving the heads) ceremony of their children.
Day 04 Delhi/Jammu/Katra
After breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Jammu, IC # 821 at 11.30 Hrs. Arrive Jammu at 12.40 Hrs. Transfer to hotel. Day at leisure till evening. In the evening, transfer to Katra by surface. Reach Katra and trek to Vaishno Devi Temple (Holy Cave, 15 Kms/06 Hours). (DARSHANS DEPENDS ON THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE PRESENT, MAY BE IT CAN TAKE
ONE FULL DAY) After darshans, free time at the Holy Shrine and visit other temples and then trek back to Katra. Reach Katra and leave back for Jammu by surface.
JAMMU: King Jambulochan founded the city of Jammu which he called 'Jammu Nagri' and transfered his capital to the new city from the Bahu fort. Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir state is perched like a guard. It also has great importance as a communication center, being the railhead for the entire Jammu & Kashmir and the starting point for visiting the holy shrine of Vaishno Devi at Katra. There are several temples in this charming city, but none as beautiful as the Raghunath temple in the heart of the city.
Day 05 Katra OR Jammu
Vaishno Devi Temple: Faith has moved mountains. From a cave shrine tucked away deep in the Trikuta Mountains of Kashmir to a bustling religious centre, the call of Mata Vaishno Devi has drawn and converted many a non-believer. Those who come as tourists leave as staunch followers singing her praises. This is the ultimate refuge of the helpless. The one place that answers your prayers. Where all dilemmas are resolved.
The holy cave shrine of Vaishno Devi is nestled in a beautiful recess of the Trikuta Mountains forming a part of the lower Himalayas. It is located 61 km north of Jammu at a height of 5,200 feet above the sea level in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In the cave there are images of three deities viz. the Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati.
The shrine is visited all through the year, but the path is difficult during the winters when the route is often blocked by snow-fall.
Legend of Vaishno Devi : During the time when the Goddesses were wreaking havoc on the evil Asuras, the 3 main manifestations, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, pooled their collective strength and sent a divine child to be born in the house of one Ratnakar. She was to uphold righteousness and attain a level of consciousness by which she would merge with Vishnu.
An extraordinary child, she went deep into the forest, in search of god. Intrigued by reports of her piety, Gorakhnath Mahayogi sent his disciple Bhairon Nath to look for her. But he began invading her privacy and even suggested that she become his wife. To escape him, Vaisnavi left Trikuta mountains.
While passing through a ravine she shot an arrow into the earth from where water gushed out -- this stream came to be known as Banaganga. Charan Paduka, marked by the imprints of her feet, is the place where she rested. The Goddess then meditated in the cave at Adhkawari. It took Bhairon Nath nine months to locate her, the reason why the cave is known as Garbh Joon. Mata Vaishno Devi blasted an opening at the other end of the cave with her Trident when Bhairon Nath located her.
On arriving at the Holy Cave at Darbar, she assumed the form of Maha Kali and cut off Bhairon Nath's head which was flung up the mountain by the force of the blow and fell at the place where the Bhairon Temple is now located. The boulder at the mouth of the Holy Cave according to the legend is the petrified torso of Bhairon Nath who was granted divine forgiveness by the benevolent Mata in his dying moments.
The Shrine Discovered: Legend goes, that the holy shrine was discovered by a Brahmin, Pandit Sridhar about a thousand years ago. He used to live in Hansali village at the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains. One day, as he was grazing cattle, he met a beautiful child, Vaishnavi, on the hills. She urged him to call the people of his village to a feast. By mid-day when his guests arrived he had still not made arrangements for any provisions.
Suddenly, he saw Vaishnavi coming out of his hut and she asked Sridhar to call his guests saying the food was ready. He watched in amazement as all the villagers went inside his small hut and finished their meal. As they left, he called out to young Vaishnavi knowing that the answer to the mystery lay with her. But she was not to be found.
His search for her led him to a cave up a cliff where he thought he spied her. But in vain, as he wept in anguish a light shone on him, and he had a vision: Vaishnavi was transformed into a transcendental beauty with eight arms and astride a lion. She told him she was Shakti and in this cave she was manifested in her three forms of Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Sridhar's progeny have been worshipping the Goddess in this Holy Cave since those hoary days!
The Aarti (Prayer): The two-hour long Aarti or Prayer is performed twice a day, first at sunrise and again at sunset. The holy cave is closed to pilgrims at this time. Only the priests, attendants and an officer is permitted in the holy premises.
The Yatra Route: The Yatra (pilgrimage) begins at Katra and pilgrims have to cover 15 km of terrain on foot to reach the Darbar. One kilometer away from Katra, is Banganga, place where Mata quenched her thirst and at 06 km further down, is the holy cave at Adhkawari.
The entire 15 km route is quite wide and tiled. Besides, the whole path is lit up every night by powerful sodium vapour lamps. The whole route is swept and cleaned from time to time throughout the day.
Shelter cum sheds and shelter cum cafeterias are setup throughout the route. Pure vegetarian food is available at these outlets. Price charts are exhibited at all these outlets prominently. Drinking water has been made available all along the route, with water coolers and storage facilities.
Day 06 Jammu/Delhi
After late breakfast, transfer to airport for flight to Delhi, IC # 825 at 15.00 Hrs. Arrive Delhi at 16.10 Hrs. and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 Delhi/Nalagarh
After breakfast, leave for Nalagarh by surface. Reach Nalagarh and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Hotel: Nalagarh Fort (Meals ¬ Breakfast)
Nalagarh was the capital of the kingdom of Hindur founded by Raja Ajai Chand in 1100 A.D. It was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs. The Chandela kings were great patrons of art and architecture. Raja Ram Chander, another illustrious ruler of the same dynasty, was also a great builder who constructed the Ramgarh Fort and the town of Ramshere. Raja Surendra Singh was the last ruler of Nalagarh and his son, Raja Vijayendra is the present ceremonial ruler of Nalagarh.
Hotel: Nalagarh Fort has a series of structures that are mostly built in the Mughal style of architecture. These have been exhaustively renovated and are now a quality heritage resort with panoramic view of Shivalik Hills. The Fort Resort Nalagarh - A Heritage Experience.
Location: Nalagarh is the gateway to Himachal Pradesh in North India. It is 300 km north of Delhi, 60 km from Chandigarh, 40 km from Kalka and 20 km from Rupar.
Day 08 Nalagarh/Dharamshala
After breakfast, leave for Dhramshala by surface. Reach Dharamshala and transfer to hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09 Dharamshala
After breakfast, visit Chamunda Devi Temple, Kangra Art Museum and monastery. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Chamunda Devi Temple: It is an enchanting spot with glorious views of the mountains, the Baner Khud, Pathiar and Lahla forests. 15-km from Dharamshala a tiny village of Dadh on Palampur road is the famous temple dedicated to Goddess Chamunda Devi. On reaching the temple a glorious view of Dhaula Dhar on three sides and 'Baner Khud' flowing alongside the temple. The temple has artistic carvings on its lintel, pillars and the ceiling.
Behind the main temple is a small shrine of Lord Shiva in the Shikhara style. There is another platform in front of this temple where two very old peepul trees provide shelter to the visitors. From this platform a bird's eye view of most of the land marks in the town including Chaugan, Circuit House, most of the temples and river Ravi can be had. There is a Shiva 'lingam' under the rock where the temple of Chamunda is sited. There are no legends about the lingam. The idol is called Nandikeswar. So the sacred site is called 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar'.
Legend of Chamunda Devi: In Jallandhar Mahatmya, Chapter VI reference is made to 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar' and people believe the reference is to these two deities 'Chamunda' and 'Nandikeshwar'. The legend associated is well known. In 'Satya Yuga' two 'Daityas' (demons), 'Shumbh' and 'Nishumbh' engaged themselves in deep meditation and were blessed by Lord Brahma with immense power.
The Daityas deified 'Indra' and other Gods. The Gods were terrified of the Daityas and resorted to Jadrangal village and propitiated 'Jagadamba Devi'. The Devi was pleased and promised to rescue them from the Daityas.
She created a Devi out of her body, a beautiful person 'Kaushika'. Kaushika was given the assignment of destroying Shumbh and Nishumbh. The two Daityas heard of her beauty and wanted to bring her to them. They failed to persuade her to come to them through a 'doot' (messenger) who was scornfully sent away. Kaushika sent word through the messenger that she could only be won by a war.
A dreadful war started. Kaushika Devi created 'Kalika' Shakti from her forehead and Kalika cut off the heads of 'Chund' and 'Mund', two brave and fearless commanders of the two Daityas. The destruction of the Daityas followed and the three worlds were relieved of the Daityas. Kaushika Devi blessed Kalika Shakti and asked her to be seated at Jadrangal village and be known as Chamunda. She would fulfil the desires of the needy persons. This mythological story is based on Devi Bhagwati, Markandey Puran and Durga Saptsati
Day 10 Dharamshala/Paragpur
After late breakfast, day free till noon. Afternoon, leave for Paragpur by surface. Reach Paragpur and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Day 11 Paragpur/Jwalamukhi/Chintpurni/Paragpur
After breakfast, leave for Jwalamukhi and visit Jwalamukhi Temple and Chintpurni Temple. In the evening, return back to Paragpur. Transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Pragpur: The little village of Pragpur in Kangra's sylvan tracts, has an endearing beauty. Narrow cobbled lanes flow past old houses, and flowering Bougainvillaea drape their colours over pipul and banyan trees. And to the north, the snow clad Dhauladhar ranges frame this picture of pastoral beauty.
Jwalamukhi Temple (The Flaming Goddess) recognized as one of the 51 Shaktipeeths of India, Jwalamukhi's Devi Temple, tended by the followers of Goraknath, is set against a cliff. The picturesque temple, built against a wooded spur, in the Indo-Sikh style, has a dome that was gilded by Mughal Emperor Akbar. An eternally burning flame that issues from a hollow rock in the sanctum is considered the manifestation of the goddess Devi.
The Legend of Jwalamukhi: Jwalamukhi is a famous temple of goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth, built over some natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of the Goddess. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates.
Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati's tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock.
Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple. The burning flames and the complex have come to be known as Jwalamukhi.
The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20-kms from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year. No idol is located in the temple but only the flames, which come out from the crevices of the rock, are worshipped. They are natural jets of combustible gas.
There is a small platform in front of the temple and a(check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof.
The deity is offered Bhog of Rabri or thickened milk, Misri or candy, seasonal fruits, milk and arti is done. There is a mystic Yantar or diagram of the goddess, which is covered with, shawls, ornaments and mantras are recited. The puja has different 'phases' and goes on practically the whole day. Arti is done five times in the day, Havan is performed once daily and portions of "Durga Saptasati" are recited.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh paid a visit to the temple in 1815 and the dome of the temple was gold-plated by him. Just a few feet above the Jwalamukhi temple there is a six-feet deep pit with a circumference of about three-feet. At the bottom of this pit there is another small pit about one and a half feet deep with hot water bubbling all the time.
Chintpurni Temple: A winding road goes up to the temple dedicated to 'Bhagwati Chinmastika' or Goddess 'Chintpurni' who grants all wishes.
The Legend of Chintpurni: Along with hundreds of mythical legends about the origin of a temple in different parts of India, the very popular temple of Chintpurni temple is of the same type. The legend is that one 'Bhagat Mai Dass' was a great devotee of Durga deity and worshipped her with great devotion and never bothered over mundane affairs. He was a married man and his family along with others had shifted from Patiala side to village 'Rapoh' in Una district of Himachal Pradesh.
The legend is that one-day Bhagat Mai Dass was going to his father-in-law's place and felt tired while by a jungle and slept under a tree. He had a dream: a young girl appeared before him and wanted him to stay there and worship her. He woke up in bewilderment.
He came back to the particular spot from his father-in-law's place and went on praying to Durga. The girl appeared this time in human form and told him the whereabouts where he would find her in the form of a 'pindi' (a round stone-ball). He should install the Pindi in a temple. The Devi blessed him that he would have no fright, as it was a 'Devasthan' (site of Gods) though so deserted. She disappeared and Mai Das discovered the Pindi and installed it in a temple.
Day 12 Paragpur/Naina Devi Temple/Nalagarh
After breakfast, leave for Nalagarh en route visiting Naina Devi Temple. Reach Nalagarh and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.
Naina Devi Temple: It is one of the 51 'Shakti Pithas'.
The Legend of Naina Devi: According to a belief, Shiva's consort Sati once burnt alive in 'yagna' to avenge an insult. The distraught Shiva picked her corpse and gyrated his horrific dance. Then Vishnu, the preserver unleashed his discus and cut the body in to 51 pieces to save the earth from Shiva's wrath.
Day 13 Nalagarh/Chandigarh (Visit Mansa Devi Temple)
After breakfast, leave for Chandigarh by surface. Reach Chandigarh and transfer to hotel. Visit Mansa Devi Temple. Overnight at hotel.
City Information: Charles Edouard Le Corbusier's Chandigarh is a captivating destination without many historic monuments. Though the city of Chandigarh is dotted with several beautiful and well-maintained gardens. Among the many gardens at Chandigarh the Rose Garden and the Rock Garden should not be missed. The other must visit at Chandigarh is the Capitol Complex. For recreation you may stroll or boat at the Sukhna Lake. You may even visit the old temple dedicated to the Goddess Chandi. The city of Chandigarh derives its name from Her.
Mansa Devi Temple: A typical example of North Indian architecture Mansa Devi Temple, lying in Bilaspur village, about three kilometers east of Mani Majra in Chandigarh, has two temples dedicated to the goddess. It is believed that the older temple was built by the ruler of Mani Majra.
The Legend of Mansa Devi: According to a popular legend, the shrine was originally in the territory of erstwhile princely state of Nahan. Some hill people cut off the stream, which supplied water to the pilgrims visiting the temple, causing distress to the pilgrims. Thereupon, the goddess appeared in dream of Gurbaksh Singh, ruler of Mani Majra and asked him to construct a temple for her at this place.
This temple contains thirty-eight panels of wall paintings besides floral designs painted all over the ceiling and the arches leading into the temple. The drawings of the temple are not of high standard but a great variety of themes is illustrated. The other temple is said to have been constructed by Maharaja Karam Singh of erstwhile Patiala State to commemorate his success in the battle against the Gurkhas.
Day 14 Chandigarh/Delhi
After breakfast, visit Rock Garden & Rose Garden. Afternoon, leave for Delhi by surface. Reach Delhi and transfer to IGI Airport and tour terminates.
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