Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bethlehem's Star in The Grotto of the Nativity

Ellora Caves - Kalissa temple

Ellora Caves India, originally uploaded by Guistaff.

This Kalissa temple was hand carved from cliff top-to-bottom well over 1,000 years ago!

Ajanta Caves, India pic2

Ajanta Caves India, originally uploaded by Guistaff.

Ajanta Caves, India

Ajanta Caves India, originally uploaded by Guistaff.

Backwaters of Kerala

Backwaters Kerala, originally uploaded by Guistaff.

Floating along the backwaters of Kerala State in South India marks a major contrast with the hustle and bustle of most other Indian towns and cities. This photo captures the tranquil side of traveling in India. Kerala is an incredibly beautiful place known also as 'God's own country'. It had the first democratically and freely elected communist Government in the world! Kerala also has the highest rates of education in the whole of India.

Cave 26 of Ajanta Caves

Cave 26, Ajanta caves, originally uploaded by Guistaff.

The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta (India) date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. During the Gupta Dynasty period (5th and 6th centuries A.D.) many more richly decorated caves were added to the original group of caves. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence throughout the world.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cave Temple of Lord Amarnath (Lord Shiva)

Lord Amarnath - ice Shiva Linga

This is a photo of Lord Amarnath taken by Mr. Gangadhar Tambe, during his pilgrimage to Lord Amarnath (Deutsch: Foto der Eissäule von Amarnath - Autor: Gangadhar Tambe, auf einer Pilgerreise nach Amarnath aufgenommen).

Cave Temple of Lord Amarnath

This is the opening of the Cave Temple of Lord Amarnath (Deutsch: Die heilige Höhle von Amarnath im Norden Indiens).

The Amarnath cave shrine, dedicated to the Lord Shiva is over 5,000 years old according to ancient scriptures and other historical documents, and it is described in ancient Hindu mythology. The cave is situated at an altitude of 3,888 m (12,760 feet), at a distance of about 141 km (88 miles) from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Inside the main Amarnath cave there is an ice stalagmite resembling Shiva Linga, which melts during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. This Lingam is said to grow and shrink with the phases of the moon, reaching its full height during the summer festival. There are two more ice formations representing Parvati and Shiva's son, Ganesha.

Devotees generally take the 42 km (26 miles) pilgrimage on foot from the town of Pahalgam, about 96 km (60 miles) from Srinagar, and complete the journey in four to five days. There are two routes to the temple - the longer and traditional path from Srinagar, and the shorter route from the town of Baltal. Some devotees ride on horseback also to complete the journey.

This year, as reported by agencies, the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine continued smoothly on Friday as Governor N.N. Vohra and about 6,000 pilgrims offered prayers there. Governor Vohra, who is also the chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), also interacted with the pilgrims there and later at the Baltal base camp.

The pilgrims expressed satisfaction at the arrangements made by the SASB and the state administration for their safe pilgrimage. The governor also visited Panchtarni on the Pahalgam route in south Kashmir to the cave shrine and took stock of snow clearance there.

The traditional south Kashmir route is yet to open as heavy snow still blocks the 34 km track from the Pahalgam base camp to the cave.

Ice Lingam inside the Holy Amarnath Cave

Hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus and other pilgrims undertake the arduous trek to Amarnath cave shrine every year in the months of June and July.

Maha Ganesh Top - Amarnath Yatra Series

This location is called Maha Ganesh Top. On the entire route for Amarnath Yatra (to the world famous Amarnath cave shrine) all the names of mountain peaks are named after deities of the family of Lord Shiva. Approximate height of this place is over 12000 feet above sea level. Dipping mercury and oxygen levels makes it hard for people to breath there. But the place is so beautiful that one doesn't feel disheartened. After all faith in God always help, the pilgrims claim. This route is open till August 9 . On the day of Rakhi festival this route will be closed for pilgrims and other tourists. The entire route will then be covered with snow and ice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Sadhu offers prayers to the sun

A Sadhu (Hindu holy man) offers prayers to the sun after a dip in the Ganges River in Allahabad, India on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. Allahabad, on the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswathi River, is one of Hinduism's important pilgrimage centers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keep your home safe with ADT Alarm System

Summer is here. Its time for many people to head for their favorite summer vacations, maybe for a few days, or even for weeks at a time. But before setting out, have you thought of keeping your home safe while you are away? There can be problems like fires, burglary, or any unforeseen emergency that can devastate your home. You can always keep your home and whatever is in your home safe and secure installing a reliable home security system.

There are many home security systems out there. Which one will you like to install? I suggest ADT security system because of two reasons. One reason is the experience of one of my friends whose home was protected by ADT security system while he was away to Hawaii.

The other reason is that ADT Home security has 131 years of experience in home security supported by the latest in technological advancements. They are also America's #1 provider of home security services. They have top-of-the-line equipments and monitoring professionals to protect your home and family round the clock, every day, and as long as you use their services, whether you are in town or not.

As I mentioned, my friend John went on vacation to Hawaii last summer. While he was away, some burglars tried to break in but a high-decibel alarm siren immediately went on and the intruders, sensing trouble, ran away. When John was alerted, he contacted ADT's call center and he was very happy to note that home security system had already taken care of his home in his absence. Their call center told him what exactly happened. He enjoyed his vacation with peace of mind as his home was safe in the trusting hands of ADT security.

The Temple of Tunganath in Garhwal

Tunganath Shiva Temple photo
The Temple of TUNGANATH, originally uploaded by asis k. chatt.

Tunganath is an important temple of Lord Shiva, the 3rd of the five important Shiva temples in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India, known collectively as The PANCH-KEDARS. It is situated at an altitude of 3886 metres above sealevel in the mighty Himalayan ranges. Tunganath Temple is the HIGHEST of all temples in India.

Tunganath can be reached from CHOPTA, a small hamlet well connected by road to important places like CHAMOLI and UKHIMATH. From Chopta, it is a journey of about 3.5 km, but the road is very steep, gaining a height of about 3500 feet for a distance of only 3.5 km, one of the steepest motorable roads.

The scenic beauty of this area is just fantastic, with a large number of Himalayan peaks visible in clear weather.

Kedarnath - The Golden Mountain

Kedarnath Golden Mountain photo
The Golden Mountain, originally uploaded by asis k. chatt.

Kedarnath mountains at sunset pic 1

Kedarnath is situated in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Indian State Uttaranchal. On the left is the Kedarnath Peak ( 6940 m) and on the right is the Kedarnath Dome ( 6831 m).

This photo is shot from Sri Kedarnath Dham situated at a height of 11780 feet above the sealevel by the author of this photo. This talented photographer has displayed an amazing range of breathtaking views of the peaks of the mighty Himalayas, the worlds highest and youngest mountain range. To view his work click on the photo to go to his page.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sun God of Konark Sun Temple

The Sun Temple in the Indian State Orissa, built in the thirteenth century, was conceived as a gigantic chariot of the Sun God, Surya, with twelve pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses. This temple, famous as much for its imposing dimensions and faultless proportions as for the harmonious integration of architectural grandeur with plastic allegiance, is one of the most sublime monuments of India. Its fine traceries and scrollwork, as well as the beautiful and natural cut of animal and human figures, give it the superiority over other temples. The 229 feet high main sanctum was constructed along with the audience hall, 128 feet high, having elaborate external projections.

Konark Sun Temple 609

Konark Sun Temple, originally uploaded by ilovethirdplanet.

Sand sculpture at Chandrabhaga Beach

Chandrabhaga Beach, originally uploaded by ilovethirdplanet.

Statue of Lord Shiva at Murudeshwar

Shiva at Murudeshwar, originally uploaded by Brian Pinheiro.

The Giant statue of Shiva at the at Murudeshwar beach on the western coast of India.