Friday, December 19, 2014

KARJAT

Karjat is a beautiful place near Mumbai City in the Raigad District of Maharashtra State.It is situated at an average elevation of 194 metres on the banks of river Ulhas in Western ghats at the end of coastal plains of western region.It is only 46 km from 'Chembur' in Mumbai and 49 km from 'Sion' in Mumbai.Karjat is connected by local trains to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai and Panavel in Navi Mumbai.The under construction sea over bridge 
trans-harbour link between Sewri and Navi Mumbai will cut short distances further.
Karjat has Engineering,Pharmacy,Medical,Management,advertising,hospitality colleges and such  many other institutes.
People from Mumbai city and Pune City etc  come to this place in large numbers to spend the week end.To refresh themselves from the hectic way of life and to enjoy the lush green clean polished atmosphere they prefer this place.People select this place for picnics,river rafting,trekking,hiking,mountain climbing etc and there are many other attractions nearby.
'Slum dog Millionaire' the Academy Award winning movie was shot here.ND studio for film shooting which is situated here also attracts tourists.Some Hollywood production companies are setting up mega studios and production facilities at Karjat.
The Ulhas Valley with large flowing streams of Ulhas river  is very beautiful.
There are number of tunnels in this valley which helps trains to pass through the valley.
Matheran which is the smallest hill station in India is near Karjat.The average distance from Mumbai to Matheran is 90 km.Matheran is a hill station which do not permits motor vehicles at the top but horse carriages are available






.
It is situated at an elevation of 800 m and has a pleasant cool climate.There are many 'view points' at Matheran which gives a beautiful panoramic view of the plains below.
Palasdari is a popular tourist place near Karjjat blessed with greenery.During the monsoon 'Palasdari' waterfall and surrounding scenic beauty attracts visitors.
Bhorghat  near Karjat has a significant historical importance and was ancient trade route.
Peth Fort which is conical in shape and not far from Karjat is largely visited by tourists.
Kondana Caves near Karjat attracts tourists and they are ancient Buddhist caves which has wonderful sculptures, Stupas etc.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

GLOBAL VIPASSANA PAGODA

Global Vipassana Pagoda is situated in northwest Mumbai at a place known as 'Goral' in a 13 acre lush green site very near to the Arabian Sea.This beautiful majestic monument has the tallest pillar-less dome in the world.The dome is 280 feet in diameter and below is a massive meditation hall which can accommodate 8000 people for meditation at a time.
The original relics of  'Goutama Buddha' donated by the Sri Lankan Government and the 'Mahabodhi Society of India' is enshrined in the central locking stone of the dome.
The dome is constructed using huge stones each weighing 600-700 kg and interlocking principle is adopted to make it pillar-less.
Pagodas are multi-tiered structures common in India,China,Japan,Thailand,Myanmar,Srilanka etc where Buddhism is followed.
'Vipassana' is an ancient meditation technique which is a mental purification process through self-orientation practiced in several countries.
In a beautiful lush green picturesque peaceful location Vipassana meditation can be practiced here in the same effective pure form as Buddha taught it 2600 years ago.It is believed that the Pagoda radiates peace and harmony and encourages one and all to learn Vipassana meditation to transform



oneself into a peaceful, powerful and pure person.
The Global Vipassana Pagoda in Mumbai is similar in shape of the 'Shwedagon Pagoda' in Yangon, Myanmar.
The construction method employed both  ancient Indian and modern technology.
The Pagoda was inaugurated by Pratibha Patil, then President of India on 8th February 2009.
The height of the dome is 29 metres while the height of the building is 96.12 metres which is twice of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the 'Gol Gumbaz Dome' in Bijapur, India.
10-day Vipassana meditation courses are held free of charge at the meditation centre that is part of the Global Vipassana Pagoda Complex.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mumbai's Tourist Attractions

Flora Fountain - The Flora fountain with an aesthetically sculpted monument on the top is situated at the Fort area.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus- The railway station and the beautiful architecture  of the building is a major attraction of Mumbai.It was known as Victoria Terminus earlier.
Crawford Market- Situated in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway









station, Crawford Market which is renamed as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule market is one of the most crowded shopping arcade.
Juhu Beach-The beach at the posh locality of Juhu is very beautiful and large number of people gather here in the evenings and on holidays.
Marine Drive- Is a stretch of 3 km in South Mumbai which is very beautiful with the glittering lights at night and popularly known as 'Queen's necklace'.
Chowpatty Beach-Situated on the north of Marine Drive.People arrive in large numbers for a break from the tedious routine of life.
Jiamata Udyan Zoo- The Zoo and garden situated at Byculla is one of the oldest Zoos in India and have rare species of animals and birds.The garden which covers a large area is very attractive.
University Building-The university building is famous for its fine architecture and beautifully engraved pillars.
Rajabai Clock Tower- It is located in the confines of the Fort Campus of the University of Mumbai.
Film City-The Film City which is known as 'Bollywood' where various production houses are situated is a major spot of tourist interest.
Hanging Garden-is situated at Malabar Hills and it is a terraced garden and is a major tourist attraction.
Jain Temple- Known for its exotic beauty and considered as one of the most wonderful Jain Temples in India.
Mumba Devi Temple- The city of Mumbai derived its name from 'Maa Mumba Devi' and the temple attracts devotees and tourists.It was previously existed at the site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and was shifted to the present place when the railway station was constructed.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya-This beautiful monument was previously known as 'Prince of Wales Museum'.The museum building built in the Indian and Mughal style incorporated is  very attractive and it houses more than 50,000 exhibits  of ancient Indian as well as objects from foreign lands.
Basalica of Mount Mary, Bandra- is a Roman Catholic Church  located in Bandra Mumbai.The feast followed by one week celebration is famous as 'Bandra Fair' and attracts people in large numbers. The entire area will be beautifully decorated during that period.
Shri Swaminarayan Temple- It is located at Bhuleswar area  in Mumbai.
Water Theme Parks-There are many water theme parks with rides for fun and amusement like 'Essel World,Fantasy Land,Water Kingdom' etc.
                     Only a few tourist spots are mentioned here.There are several other beautiful places to explore in and around Mumbai City.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Powai Lake, Mumbai

Powai Lake is a tourist spot in Mumbai not far away from the City and for the dwellers of Mumbai also it is a wonderful place to take relax.It is only 40 km from the city and the place with beautiful pristine surroundings attracts everyone.
For those who are





 visiting Mumbai this serene peaceful place should also be included.This vast artificial lake was built in the year 1891 which spread over 21 Sq.km and have a depth which vary from 3 m to 12 m.
The nature's beauty can be enjoyed at its best in this lovely place.
To the east of this lake is situated the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) and also National Institute of Industrial Engineering is  situated here.
'River Mithu' flows nearby and whenever the lake overflows in rainy season the water flows into the river.
It was made in 1891 to provide drinking water to the city of Mumbai but later the water was used for irrigation purposes.
Powai Lake is included among the ten main lakes to be revived and improved.
Entering the water of the lake is prohibited .Visitors can enjoy a boat ride which will be a nice experience.
Powai Lake Garden , Hiranandani Garden and Nirvana Park  are nearby attractions which the tourists visit, relax and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mahalakshmi Temple,Kolhapur

Mahalakshmi Temple Kolhapur, in Maharashtra State is one of the Shakti Peethas (which are sacred places) stated in various puranas in Hinduism.
Kolhapur is a beautiful place worth seeing and has many monuments and places of interest and the place is well known all over India for its pure leather products especially 'Kolhapuri Chappals'.It is also known for jewellery and silks.
Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur is of 7th century and is very beautiful with fine carvings.
Legend is that when Sati Devi's body was burnt in the Daksha Yaga Sala, the body was carried on the head by Lord Shiva and he danced fiercely 'Thandava Nritha' so violently that Gods were scared about the destruction of the Universe itself.They wanted to make him calm and Lord Vishnu sent an arrow and Sati Devi's body scattered  and its parts fell in different parts of Indian sub continent.All those places were considered as sacred and temples were aroused and those places were known to be 'Shakti Peethas'.The Sati Devi's eyes  fell at Kolhapur where the Mahalakshmi temple is existing at present.
It is believed that both Sree Lakshmi's  and Sree Vishnu's  presence is there at this place.The temple is having Mahalakshmi idol which is made of gemstone and is 5000 to 6000 years old.
The idol is adorned with precious stones.The statue of the Goddess has four hands and holds symbolic properties like mace,fruit etc.
On the crown of the Goddess Mahalakshmi are a cobra hood and a Shivling.
Standing behind  is depicted  her Vahana- a Lion.There are shrines for sub deities like 'Nav Grahas,Surya,Mahishasura Mardini,Shiva,Vishnu' etc also.
In the temple courtyard there is the famous temple tank known as 'Manikarnika Kund' and on its bank is a shrine for Vishweshar Mahadev.
There is a hall inside the temple known as 'Kurma Mandap' with an idol of a 'Kurma'(Tortoise) in the center.Devotees are sprinkled with holy water from a conch here.
The walls of the hall are adorned with intricate carvings made of black stone.
Navarathri festival is celebrated with pomp and splendor in this temple.
Chariot festival is celebrated in April every year when the deity is taken out in a procession on a chariot adorned with flowers and lights.The path of the chariot will also be decorated with flowers and oil lamps.
A festival image of the deity is taken out in procession around the temple on each Fridays and on full moon days also.
"Kirnotsava' is another auspicious celebration in this temple and it is celebrated when the rays of setting sun falls on the deity on certain days of the year.The phenomenon is that the sun rays of setting sun falls on the deity on the following days.
31st January and 9th November- Sun rays falls on the feet of the deity.
1st February and 10th November the rays falls on the chest of the deity
2nd February and 11th November Sun rays falls on entire body of the deity.
These days are considered auspicious and large number of devotees throng to have a glimpse of the deity glittering in the golden rays of the setting Sun.
There are five worship services conducted in this temple daily  for which large number of devotees takes part every day.








Monday, November 3, 2014

ISKCON Temple,Juhu,Mumbai

ISKCON  temple at Juhu is known as ' Sri Sri Radha Rasabihariji Temple'  which is also popular as 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna Temple' is  a very beautiful shrine which is visited by large number  devotees and tourists everyday which increases on holidays and Sundays.
This tall and very beautiful temple is situated near the  sea at Juhu.Juhu is a pleasant place in Mumbai and Juhu Beach is one of the most crowded beaches in Mumbai.
Iskcon temple is situated in an area of 4 acres and was built by Swamiji










Prabhupada as part of spreading 'Krishna Consciousness'  throughout the world.
The deities are Sri Sri Goura Nitai,Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari, and Sri Sri Sita Rama Laxman,Hanuman.The deities were installed by Swamiji Prabhupada himself.
This temple was established in 1978 and dedicated to Lord Krishna.
The temple complex consists of a huge Sanctum Sanctorum, an auditorium,
book publishing house and library,restaurant,twin towered seven storied guest house for the visitors.The visitors can stay there and participate in the various programs organised by the temple authorities daily.
The temple is a perfect retreat for the people   to take refuge for peace of mind from the daily hectic way of life.They can participate in Mantra chanting sessions and also in meditation etc.which relieves tensions and control the mind.
This temple has turned to be a major attraction of Mumbai at present.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gateway Of India And Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Gateway of India is one of the major tourist destination in Mumbai where large number of tourists visits everyday and locals gather in large numbers to enjoy the  cool breeze from the sea and as a leisure spot of choice.















This beautiful monument which combines Roman triumphant elements and 16th century architecture of Gujarat is also a combination of Hindu style and Muslim style.The decorations depicts Hindu style while the arches are of Muslim style.
It was constructed to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary  to India in 1911.
It is marked on the monument by inscription  that " Erected to commemorate the landing in India of their Imperial Majesties King George V and Queen Mary on the second of December 1911".
It is situated at the waterfront area of the Appolo Bunder in South Mumbai.
The structure is 85 feet high and and lies at the end of Chatrapathi Sivaji Marg.The monument is also referred as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai.
The building was finished in 1924.

ELEPHANTA  CAVES
  
The Elephanta Caves  are a network of sculpted caves which is attracted by large number of tourists.It is situated on 'Elephanta Island' which is locally known as 'Gharapuri' which lies 10km from the shore from Gateway of India.
A 50 minute ferry service which are available in plenty from Gateway of India 
is used to reach the island.
The attraction are ancient caves with full of beautiful sculptures which are 
believed to be of the period during 5th and 8th centuries.There are no inscriptions which  helps to find the original period of origin.
The site is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
There are two groups of caves and the first is large group of five Hindu caves 
and the second which are smaller are of Buddhist group.
It is a must see tourist destination of Mumbai.Th caves are closed on Mondays.