Somnath is one of the oldest pilgrim centers of India and is said to house one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. Somnath temple is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is one of the oldest and most revered temples of India and finds its reference in the most ancient texts like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites or Tirthdham.
Porbandar is a coastal city on the seashore between Dwarka and Somnath, where the River Asmavati meets the ocean. The city of Porbandar derives its name from ‘Porai’ and ‘Bandar’, which refers to the harbour of Porai, the local Goddess. The discovery of ancient jetties along the Porbandar creek signifies the importance of Porbandar as an active centre of maritime activities in the past. The Indian mythology says its the birthplace of Sudaama (Friend of Lord Krishna). It is best known for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.
Located on the west coast of Gujarat, Dwarka is known as Lord Krishna’s abode. Dwarka, the holy land surrounded with the legends of Lord Krishna, is a significant pilgrimage site for the Hindus. The city lies in the westernmost part of India. Dwaraka (also known as Dvaravati, both names meaning “the many-gated city” in Sanskrit. Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country.
In Hindu tradition Triveni Sangam is the “confluence” of three rivers. Sangam is the Sanskrit word for confluence. The point of confluence is a sacred place for Hindus. A bath here is said to wash away all of one’s sins and free one from the cycle of rebirth. One such Triveni Sangam, in Prayagraj (Allahabad) has two physical rivers Ganges, Yamuna, and the invisible or mythic Saraswati River. The site is in Prayag (Allahabad).
Kumbh derives its name from the immortal Pot of Nectar, which the Demigods (Devtas) and Demons (Asuras) fought over, described in ancient Vedic scriptures known as the Puranas. It is these Vedic literatures that have stood the test of time, out of which the tradition has evolved into the one that the world now knows as The Kumbh Mela or The Kumbha Mela. The festival is one of the largest peaceful gatherings in the world, and considered as the “world’s largest congregation of religious pilgrims”.
Diksha is a ceremony of initiation and the entering of a religious order. It involves a guru giving a mantra to a disciple and having the disciple agreeing to follow a certain religious practice. During diksha, a Guru provides a disciple with a Guru Mantra. The sole aim of the Guru Mantra is to control the senses and set the individual in the path of Brahman consciousness.
The Karma Puja is a festival of agriculture and is very sacred to the indigenous peoples in the Indian states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam. Tribes like Baiga, Oraon, Binjhwari, Munda, Majhwar, Ho, Khortha, Korba, Santhal, Nagpuri and many more tribal communities celebrate this festival.
The Gola’s crunchy shaved ice stays inside the mouth for longer. It freezes the tongue, chills the teeth and numbs the cavities. Its iciness makes you deliciously comfortable and for a moment you yearn for the summer to last longer.