Monday, November 25, 2013

Jagannath Puri Temple : Replicated at Hyderabad

Yesterday evening, I visited Lord Jagannath puri temple in Hyderabad, located in Banjara hills with my wife. I have been to this temple in Orissa also during my childhood. Few years back, this temple is replicated in Hyderabad also. Although not that large but the design is same. 


Taken from entrance 1
While the main structure of temples houses the Lord Krishna along with his brother Balaram and Subhadra, it also has  small surrounding temple  of  Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva , Goddess Bhimala, Goddess Laxmi, Shri Hanuman  and Navgraha (Nine Planet Lords).

There are total 3 entrances to this temple. I have tried to capture the temple from all the 3 entrances.  Different mythological events and gods are painted on the wall of temple both inside and outside. There are more than 50 pictures and each had a story to tell. It is a good way to teach children about the various important events.I saw many people explaining their little ones about the paintings and also taking their pictures.


Entrance 2 : Taken from across the road

Entrance 3: Also showing small paintings of events of mythological importance

  We reached there at around 4:30 and came to know that it will open at 5pm. Thus, we spent half an hour outside the temple. The temples premises both inside and outside are very clean and the ambiance is also pure. I really like the time I spent in temple. Photography is not allowed inside temple but I think it was not taken seriously because there is no check on people taking camera inside and people were taking photographs freely in front of temple authorities. Initially hesitated but then I have also started taking pictures. So, I think they are referring not to take the photographs of Lord inside the main temple. The unique feature of this temple is its amazing location and cleanliness.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review: Bankerupt by Ravi Subramanian

First of all, I would like to thanks Thinkwhynot group for sending me another book to review. I am delighted to share my honest opinion about the book.
This novel will take you to a roller coaster ride full of suspense and excitement marked by the abrupt changes of circumstances and events. Once started, reader will be glued to it like anything due to uncanny ability of the author and his amazing crafting abilities. Story moves very fast and at no pint of time, one can feel that story is dragged. The best thing is that the chapters are kept very short about 3-4 pages and the plot keep switching itself among the 3 parallel sections. Also, I must say that Ravi is a great storyteller and with his crisp and to the point writing, avoids any confusion among readers about 3 parallel plots. 

Here is advertisement of this novel to give you a feel of this adrenalin-packed novel.

First section is about the Cirisha Narayanan who is very hardworking, ideal and epitome of perfection and honesty. If you watch Hindi movies, you can assume her the actress of the movie "Damini."She values her self esteem and integrity more than anything else in life and even threaten his husband to expose him in front of police for all his frauds to grow quickly. This is the biggest section and the other 2 sections also converges here in the end.

Section 2 talks about the Aditya Raisinghania, husband of the Cirisha, who is a high-flying corrupt banker, too much ambitious who loves risks. Using his knowledge and contacts, he sets up a scam to help his career, however, when caught, he was fired by the bank. When he was accused of the Murder of his wife as they have some serious arguments last night before the murder, he has no option but to uncover the real culprits who were very powerful and gradually killing all the evidences and people. The guilt of last interaction with his wife makes him a reformed person and when he comes out of Jail after accepting him involvement in scams, he rejected the banking career and opt for the career in police with the people whom he helped to unleash the real culprits before going to jail and accepting his crime.

Section 3 talks about Narayanan, father of Cirisha, who is a shrewd businessman, dreams of becoming the rich and thus employ immoral practices as advised by his son-in-law without the knowledge of his daughter.

 The beauty of this masterpiece is that story progresses in such a way that all the parallel plots began to converge at the end and the ending is the most unexpected. The story will take you to lot of turns and twists like you are travelling in some hill station.

Overall, i feel it is very good read and everyone should read it.

Believe me , as soon as you pick up this novel, it would be very difficult to suspend it. The problem with me was that I started it on Monday after coming to office and thus have to stop 2 times in between and finally completed it on Wednesday morning before going to office. It is a an easy read that you can carry in trains, buses, flights and i don't think it will take more than 5-6 hours to complete. You can plan it accordingly.
Looking forward to read other works of this John Grisham of Banking Industry.

Anybody who wants to read this book can share his address to courier this book in the comments section on my blog. Please do not mail me and the first one to share his address in the comment section will get the book. As I have also received it, so I thin it is better to give away this book to encourage reading as habit.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Challenge no. 1 - 1 Week without TV

Does it sound a very big deal for you?

Courtesy: Google Images
Yes, I have completed it yesterday and still don’t have any plans to switch on TV soon. It is a wonderful feeling taking the challenge and completing it.

Yes, not watching a TV for even a day is kind of unbelievable for me. I and my wife many times thought of reducing our TV watching time but then, we do it for 1 or 2 days and then back to usual. But last Friday, we were determined and thus, succeeded so far in not watching TV. We have unplugged the connection, so, even sometimes, when my wife is not at home, I feel the urge to switch on but setting up a connection discourages me out of laziness. 
The biggest advantage is that I am able to sleep early and thus started starting my day early. Also, I am spending quality time with my wife and also as she sleeps early as she is a teacher and starts her day at 5 am, I am also able to get a time to do some quality reading just before bedtime. Also, without TV, I am finding my room more comfy and peaceful. Although we feel that something is missing for 1 or 2 days but after that we become habitual and didn’t find the need to connect to it.

However, my wife is complaining that now I am working more on Internet but the fact of the matter is that I am monitoring my blog more frequently but still I feel that I need to reduce the laptop time. Now, I feel that that will be the ultimate challenge to be away from the internet for a week which is anyways not possible as the nature of my work demands it. 

Google Images: overeating and mindless eating
Apart from having an ample time at my disposal that can be used for more constructive things, there are numerous other advantages. Go ahead and experience those advantages yourself. One can give more time to his hobbies and also interested one can cultivate new hobbies. Also, if we think from a time management point of view, we would not complain that we don’t have time in this fast paced world. Everybody has same amount of time, it is up to us how we are utilizing. Also, you will be more mindful while eating and doing other activities.
We all know that we generally watch some music channels and then some news, there is nothing good, if you are not a typical saas bahu type audience.

Take out this challenge yourself and share your experience!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Inspiring words in the Jungle : At Eravikulam National Park

Remove Nothing from here except
Nourishment for the Soul
Consolation for the Heart
Inspiration for the Mind.

Every jungle is always full of beautiful and inspiring quotations and that is what I like the most to capture them.

Trip to Holy Pilgrimage: Tirupati Venkateswara Temple - Part 3- Tirupati Balaji temple, Kapileshwara and Padmavati

This post is in continuation to my last post: 

11th August.

We woke up exactly at 00:00 hrs. as the clock hit the beginning  of the new day. We were ready by 1 and begun to go to temple but as soon as we step out, we came to know that wearing Lungi is mandatory for the people going to Suprabhatam Seva. We went back again and changed our clothes. Luckily, we have purchased it in the evening as the VIP protocol person told us that gents need to wear lungi but we were not sure as some of the people also told that wearing Lungi is not Mandatory but when we saw everyone dressed traditionally in lungi, we give up to the benefit of doubt and changed out clothes. We had our challenges in wearing Lungi and carrying it as it was the first time in my life. Many times, I need to hold it with my hand and also I was constantly scared if it unfolds. In the temple, I took a safety pin from my wife and used it to hold the lungi. It was helpful; however, I was not very confident about it also.

We reached at the Vaikuntam Queue complex at around 1:30 am. We met some local guys there and came to know lot of things about the temple. We came to know that local people come to Tirupati 2,3 times every year and the devotion of local people is very real and pure unlike mine, honestly speaking. At 2, the gates opened. Ticket was checked 3, 4 times and wearing Lungi was also mandatory. I was surprised and at the same time, impressed by the fool proof security of the temple. At around 3, we entered in the main temple and the Seva was started. It went for 30 minutes. Unlike last time, this time, i had the opportunity to spend a time and got a good Darshan. The whole experience was very satisfying. After that, we spent our time in temple for 2 hours as the atmosphere was very pure and we can feel the vibrations. 

Courtesy: Google Images

There is 1 very interesting story related to this temple. It is said that Lord Kubera lent money to the God Venkateswara/Vishnu to meet the expenses for his marriage with Padmavati .Lord Venkateshwara will continue to pay Kuber the loan till the end of Kali Yuga which will last for 432,000 years. In remembrance of this, the devotees going to Tirupati donate money and gold in Venkateswara’s Hundi so that he can repay Lord Kubera.

Tirupati Temple. Courtesy: Google Images

Prasadam. Courtesy: Google Images
It seemed that coming to here has pressed the refreshed button of my life. I felt so great. We came out of temple at around 5 am and now it’s the time to collect Prasadam, Laddus. 

Finally we reached at our Guest House at 6am and thought of catching some sleep.  We woke up again at 8am only to go back to Tirupati. Our returning train to Hyderabad was Nine Hills express which was scheduled at 3 pm from Tirupati. 

We have around 4 hours available for sight-seeing in Tirupati. We visited the various places at Tirupati: 

1.ISCKON Temple

First of all, we went to ISKCON temple. I have visited this temple in Mathura, New Delhi and here It is no different. The building and atmosphere was very beautiful, however but I do not like the idea of making ISCKON in Tirupati. This temple looks good in delhi, mumbai but imagine this temple in places like Badrinath, Vaishno devi, i don't think it will be appreciated.

Courtesy: Google Images

2. Sri Kapileswaraswami Temple, Tirupati 

 It is situated about 3 km to the north of Tirupati, at the foot of the Tirumala Hills. The sacred waterfall called Kapila Teertham (also known as Alwar Teertham) is located here. It is believed that in old days, people start their journey to Tirumala from here after taking bath in this Teertham.


 3. Tiruchanur Padmavati Temple   

 This temple is about 5 km from Tirupati. The temple of Sri Padmavathi Devi who is the consort of Lord Sri Vishnu is situated here. It is believed that your Darshan/visit to Tirupati Balaji temple will be considered as complete only if you visit the Sri Padmavathi Devi temple.

Folklore is that Lord Vishnu  admired the sage, Bhrigu Maharshi, even though the sage had insulted Vishnu by kicking him on the chest. In anger, Sri Maha Lakshmi (the Lord's consort) reached Patala Loka (hell), where she heard a divine voice stating that a pushkarini was dug on the banks of the river Swarnamukhi, immersed her in penance for 12 years. In the 13th year (during the month of Karteeka) Sri Padmavathi emerged from a golden lotus. It is believed that Goddess MahaLakshmi herself emerged as Sri Padmavathi. When we reached here at 12, we were so tired and the huge crowd discouraged us. We purchased the tickets for Special Darshan, however, still it take around 1 hour to get the Darshan. The statue of Devi was amazingly beautiful. After the main Darshan, I took a rest in temple premises while other members were continued to explore other sub temples in the main temple. 

 Weather was very hot and even we didn't have the proper sleep.

 There were many temples left but we were so tired because of missing a sleep that we decided to go to railway station and waits for a train although there were 2 hours still left. 

We boarded a train at 3 pm and reached Hyderabad at 5 am on 12th August. I must say it was one of its kind experience. Looking forward for many more trips. 

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