Bhoot Chaturdashi | The Indian Halloween

Ghosts are an important part of the folklore, and form an integral part of the socio-cultural beliefs of the people living in the geographical and ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. Popularly known as the Indian Halloween, Bhoot Chaturdashi is observed on the night before Kali Puja. Observed primarily in the eastern parts of India, it is said that on this night the dead walk among the living. The evil spiritual powers are seemingly heightened on this night. In order to keep the evil spirits at bay, people ritualistically observe Bhoot Chaturdashi every year.

Annakoot | Mountain of food

Annakoot — Mountain of food — is celebrated in observance of the episode in Sri Krishna's childhood, in which He gave protection to the cowherd clan of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra and humbled Indra in that process. The cowherd, their wives, children and cattle jubilantly surrounded Sri Krishna. They were awed by His superhuman accomplishment…

Ugrasen ki Baoli, Delhi

Ancient Indians used to build water temples as well as earliest forms of stepwells and reservoirs. Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They are often multi storied in structure and are found in arid regions of South Asia. Ugrasen ki Baoli (a.k.a. Agrasen ki Baoli)…

Kojagori Lakshmi Puja

People of eastern Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Orissa worship Goddess Laksmi on Kojagori Purnima night — the full moon night in the month of Ashwin of Bengali calendar, just four days after Vijaya Dashami or Dusshera — the last day of the Durga puja in the month of October. Incidentally Kojagori Lakshmi…

Siddhesvara Dham a.k.a. Char Dham

Char Dham or Siddhesvara Dham is a unique pilgrimage tourism venture of the Sikkim Government developed as “Pilgrim cum Cultural Centre” having a 108 ft statue of Lord Shiva and replicas of four Dhams of the country at one place at Solophok hilltop in Namchi. Namchi is the headquarters of the South Sikkim district. Namchi means Sky…

Samdruptse | Wish-fulfilling hill

On our way to Char Dham, we went to Samdruptse, near Namchi.  Samdruptse is situated at around 75 km from Gangtok. Samdruptse literally means 'wish fulfilling hill' in the Bhutia language. It is also said that the Samdruptse hill is actually a Dormant Volcano. Painted in shimmering copper, pink and bronze, the awe-inspiring and gigantic 45 metre-high statue of Guru Padmasambhava, a.k.a. Guru Rinpoche, lords over the forested Samdruptse ridge and is visible for miles around.

Tsomgo (Changu) Lake

Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is perched within mountains at an altitude of 12,400 ft. Located in Sikkim at Gangtok – Nathula Highway only 40 km, from Gangtok, the Changu Lake is one of the most spectacular landscapes of Sikkim.

Baba Mandir | Shrine dedicated to Captain Harbhajan Singh

Located between Nathula and Jelepla pass at an altitude of 13,123 ft and about 52kms from Gangtok, Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple is popularly known as Baba Mandir. There is a touching story associated with this temple. Harbhajan Singh was a Sentry of Punjab Regiment and was posted here as part of border patrol force. The border with China is nearby. In October 1968 he disappeared. It is said that while escorting mules carrying provisions, he fell into a stream and drowned. After a few days he reappeared in the dreams of one of his sentry colleagues and asked him to make a memorial here on his name. The sentries then made a samadhi and later this temple was built.

Somnath Dham | Abode of Lord Shiva

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.

Madhavpur | Where Lord Krishna married Queen Rukmini

There is a serene beach at Madhavpur on the road to Somnath from Dwarka. It lies on the seashore, close to Porbandar. Madhavpur isn’t much well-known. However it is a very important pilgrimage for Hindu Vaishnavas. ccording to folklore, Lord Krishna kidnapped princess Rukmini (Rukmini haran) and eloped with her to prevent an unwanted marriage at her request and saved her from evil Shishupala. Lord Krishna married princess Rukmini at this village while returning to Dwaraka. She is the first and the most prominent queen of Krishna.