My dear friends and fellow co- travellers, I have not written much in the past since the last segment-C drew to a close. And from the time with the inception of the new segment D there have been mainly visuals on the blog of the places that I have travelled to recently. I don’t know how many kilometres I must have covered but I have completed the whole set of five destinations starting from Kanhangad caves in Kerala in Nov’11and finishing it with Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh in the beginning of March’12.

My Param Pujya guruji Shri Mahavatar Babaji had carved out this plan for me in the month of Sept/Oct’11 and I happily obeyed his divine instructions without bothering to know the reasons of doing so   as I felt assured that new learning experiences must be coming my way as there is a never ending process of spiritual personal tutoring with him.

The role of a wise disciple is to conform to the instructions of the learned Master while the role of a Guru is to forever teach the disciple in case he or she never ceases to learn.  And so my journey began on a high note to many noteworthy places like the dynamic caves in Kanhangad where Swami Shri Nityananda of Ganeshpuri  had meditated years ago and from where I got recharged and set out to many places of ancient heritage sites of India.

Kalsubai mountain in Maharashtra gave me an enjoyable experience of trekking and learning the nuances of photography in Dec’11. Ajanta Ellora happened just when the new year arrived and a place where my eyes could not rest enough because there was so much to see and appreciate. I also went to Grishneshwar temple of Lord Shiva, one of the twelve jyotirlingas in India in Aurangabad.  Had I not gone to see Ajanta Ellora caves, I could not have seen this clean and very tranquil and isolated temple of India. Both the sites are  very close to each other. I guess the Ellora caves must have been chosen at the present site closer to this temple  because this temple is older than the caves and  it ‘s  name is also  mentioned in our holy scriptures.

In the month of Feb, at last arrived the opportunity to go to one more isolated spot of pilgrimage and that was Mallikarjun temple in Sri Sailam near Hyderabad, the Kailash of South India. I consider myself very fortunate to have done two jyotirlingas in a short span of three weeks and I take  it as a prasad from my Param Guruji Shri Mahavatar Babaji. I, on my own could never have done all this because I did not even know that these sites were so very blessed and sacred. Their energies were phenomenal more so of Mallikarjun precincts. One should go there to experience the blessedness that prevails in the air since thousands of years. I could feel the presence of rishis, munis and all the wise ones in the atmosphere. They must be visiting there in the astral form to take the darshan of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati residing in the temple. All along I was thanking God and my gurus for their kindness to have asked me to go to such powerful holy places. I also realized that we spend so much of our time and money in unproductive and useless things and never have the wisdom to use our resources in such a wise, enriching and inspirational manner.

My visit to Orissa in Feb end was a never ending learning opportunity cum vacation apart from seeing the splendour of majestic temples of Kalinga architecture like Mukteshwar, Raja Rani and Lingaraj temples. Jagannath Puri temple was awesome and  one of my desires that got fulfilled after waiting for many years. Going to far east of India never happened because of distance  and now I wonder how could I manage all this in such a short span of time? Puri was calling me since a long time and I had dreamt of making it on a number of occasions but it did not happen. Why it was calling me so often was discovered just a few days ago as everything fell in place. My meditations have become more  dynamic and my consciousness seems to have  expanded considerably since I have gone to these places of worship. Konark Sun temple was not a place of worship but a place of art, culture and architecture of medieval times.

Then came Khajuraho in the first week of March and it was surely much awaited. As an avid learner, I had wanted to see Khajuraho once in my life because I used to wonder why so many foreigners come to see this place from trans- continental distance.  What do these temples depict? What do they say? There was something magical about them always. And so Khajuraho was also visited recently and I wrapped up my travelling itinerary with this remote and sleepy place in Madhya Pradesh.

If you recall, I had written in my last post ‘And the last one to Khajuraho, the land of ancient temples’-

“As we landed in Khajuraho, it felt as though we were taken back to old times when life was at a very comfortable pace. The whole atmosphere was very calm and placid. The people were gentle and are far from commercialization and modernity. Our hotel was exactly two minutes away from the airport and the complete range of old temples was within a circumference of barely five kilometers. However, once we started seeing the temples, we ran out of time and energy. There were so many and each temple demanded a lot of our time and concentration. We forgot to eat and  drink  water  later in the day, they were so engrossing!! People who like history and appreciate one’s past rich heritage must visit Khajuraho once. Except for excess unchaste engravings on almost all temples, everything was very welcome. I guess there was a lot of competition between all the kings of Chandela dynasty at that time and hence they must have not exercised moderation and sanctity rules in places of worship like these. The next post shall continue with this thought and context and my experiences on the same line of thought.”

If you really ask me I saw the Khajuraho temples with the eyes of my Guru Mahavatarji and with my mind  fixed on him. For not even a minute could I break from my yoga, called the mind connection with him since the word go. Whether it was planning, booking, travelling, catching planes, or sitting in auto rickshaws the unity did not break even once. He says that the unbreakable unity and oneness which was bonded without my knowing is my Prasad that he gave me because of my obedience and devotion towards him.  For unremitting more than six months or so whether I could meditate or not, whether I was at home alone or amidst noisy people there has been a constant unity of minds, a dialogue between us even while I have been travelling zealously. There has been no time to do anything else but to constantly learn and get divulged inspirational, lengthy discourses on grave topics from him as I was walking or seeing people or walls of temples or just being by myself. The bond never broke.

Subsequently, there was a continuous stream of disclosure and discovery and unfolding of many  secrets and mysteries of the bygone times. I have travelled back in very far off times with him in  Sri Sailam when I could feel the presence of Lord Shri Ram visiting that place or for that matter Arjun doing his penance to get the Pashupati Astra form Bhagwan  Shankar before the Mahabharat war. I remembered living there once upon a time about thirty five lives ago on a small hill near the present temple. It was a pleasant experience to know about one’s identity and my connection with the past.

However, I underwent a sense of twinge when I was there at the Sun temple as I could feel and hear the curse of  hundreds of innocent workers who were sentenced to death just because the temple for someone’s fault could not be made in the way the king had wanted when there was a fault in the architectural plans and designing!! His dreams of becoming a renowned king were shattered. No wonder this temple has not been able to withstand the onslaught of nature while many others older than that one have. Ours as well as humanity’s past, reveals a lot about our past personal or collective behaviour if you scrutinize historical places with a divine eye.

 I could hear the voices of so many innocent lives whimpering and groaning at the site of Kalinga war at Dhauligiri. My heart melted and regretted for those lives that died mercilessly at the senseless and erroneous decision of a king whose lone desire was to be the emperor of united India. Even though he regretted his unwise decision later on and converted to Buddhism, made Buddhist temples, and did a lot of charity and missionary work, alas it was too late!

 I was seeing the temples of Khajuraho with the eyes of Mahavatarji and my mind was always in collusion and agreement with his. So in moments of deep meditation when I saw godly Light along with his divine presence he took me to the times when Khajuraho temples were made. He enlightened me by revealing that Matangeshwar Mahadeo temple, the Shiva temple,  medium in size  and simple in form, was the first temple that was made in Khajuraho approximately one thousand eight and a half hundred years ago. It was God who gave the inspiration to the first king of that dyansty to make this temple. That king was a fair and just ruler and his character was noble so God chose him. It was God’s plan to plant divinity in one place so that the effects of bad karmas of masses could be nullified and the earth would stay pure and clean. Surprisingly even today this is the only temple that is still in use while the others have been vandalized and figures and idols mutilated by the Afghan and Mughal raiders at a later stage in history. The king made this temple with his own money and some  tax that was collected as a treasure from the populace. He did not burden his people and made it with devotion and love for God and his own people. Afterwards, a little later sadly the next generation kings began to indulge and wanted to make more temples to gain honour and fame but with the money of the general population. They were taxed heavily. The corpus money of the kingdom was saved and instead used to buy jewels and finery for their queens and children. As a judgement for grave wrongdoings from God, the minds of future generation got contaminated and more and more unchaste carvings were made on the temple without realizing that it was competition with former rulers that were driving them into unholy acts and therefore slowly the noble dynasty declined and vanished into oblivion.

Whenever there is a dearth of dharma, there will be decline in prosperity, wisdom and virtuousness. The power to discriminate wrong from right will be distorted and hazy.

And this is how I got my answer as to why such obscene private life of humans should be displayed on the walls of temples where God is worshiped. To my utter surprise, Konark Sun temple specifically was so filled with the same trend and the other temples of Orissa also depicted some of this trend but in a low key manner.  Wherever worshiping of God and deities take place, certain rules have to be obeyed and scriptures should be followed so that the sanctity of the place is maintained.

There is one Devi, Mother of the Universe temple called Jagdambi mandir in Khajuraho. I liked it a lot and that night before I went to sleep during meditation, Divine Mother unfolded one more thing to me, “The kings cleared mountains after mountains to make these temples. The precious and semi precious stones were dug from beneath this part of the earth to add to the treasure of the kings or as idols in Shiva temples. Iron and other metals were also used to make this temple village. And if you take so much from nature and in return give nothing back to it, then God punishes the lineage or generations by degeneration of values and culture and poverty in return. We must return immensely in terms of goodness, material wealth and virtues back to society after extracting and using so much wealth from the face and womb of the earth or else we are cursed.”

Tryst with my destiny.

On next day morning, that is on 11th of March in Khajuraho, I discovered that once I had lived in the same place and have also made one temple with my spouse dedicated to a holy deity there. I was made to understand that fortunately I had a sense of detachment and could understand at that time that the wealth and fame that one gets from God should be shared with all or else the future generations become corrupted and dull in mind as far as spiritual wisdom is concerned. I thanked Divine Mother for telling me all this so that I revive my spiritual lessons all over again. In fact, she told me that in the coming days, Shri Mahavatar Babaji will tell me more about my few past lives. I once again respectfully bowed at the holy feet of Divine Mother and thanked her profusely for bestowing me such meaningful insights.

Since I returned from Khajuraho Mahavatar Babaji has given me many new spiritual lessons and insights, some of which can be shared with all of you. They are-

“Liberation or Moksha is a very long journey. It takes many lives to conclude the futility of one’s ego and desire and material clinginess. Just a few are successful in this long marathon full of births and deaths. Those who succeed are blessed by God as they nullify all their bad karmas and afterwards regenerate innumerable virtuous karmas because of which they never fall again in the web and maze of repeated life cycles.

The Maha Guru after enlightening you will again send you to those main landmarks in your soul journey so that you can recall how much hard you have strived to reach a stage of complete purity or nirvikaar, the stage of Brahma, a stage of perfection. The uppermost chakra called the Brahmarandra is the most difficult to open and recharge and happens only with the blessedness and grace of the gurus and God.”

My dear ones, I have recalled my past life when I have lived in Puri some births ago while I was there in Feb lately. I also saw that site where I lived once and on which is today a temple of Krishna’s supreme devotee . Back then also I was involved with the making of one of Krishna’s temples  in Puri when I was there in the royal family. I was also given an opportunity to see that old temple during my visit to Puri in which I was involved too. Some of the present big temples have been made by the kings on old small temples made centuries ago by others. Obviousl,y we all cannot know this because no one lives that long but the maha siddha yogis have special eyes of divinity that can reach out in any time and space.

 It doesn’t end here dear readers. When I have meditated I could also peep in my past   and have got to know that I lived near the site of present day Ajanta and Ellora caves once. No wonder I know now why I was sent to these places by my Param Guru!

 I was quite surprised to learn that I was so deeply involved in constructing holy sites in my past lives and could also connect to the present trend that I still continue to have in this life. It has struck me now that it was because of all this that Shri Mahavatar Babaji is so appeased with me and never gets tired of working on me. I am extremely grateful to him for the never-ending effort from his side that goes on  in making me. My many, many  namashkar and pranams at his divine feet!


This is  Matangeshwar Mahadev temple in Khajuraho, the only temple which  is functional today. It is the first temple that was made here. It has a Shivalinga which is nine feet above and nine feet below the earth, one has to climb up to worship it.

All my dear readers, I was away from my city covering distance in Madhya Pradesh to complete the last leg of my series of visiting  ancient heritage sites of India and have just seen Khajuraho, the city of temples.  My daughter Mandira  and I  made up our minds to see as much as possible in three days that we were there and were quite successful  in our attempt.   Khajuraho was so very rural and peaceful that we never thought that we would one day travel to such remote parts of India.

Now as you know that if I am sent to such places by my Param Guru, there had to be a special reason to do so. We all know that Khajuraho is a world famous place and is a UNESCO world heritage site too. Surely my eyes were in disbelief when I saw those splendid temples because of their mind blowing  beauty and marvelous sculpture.

As we landed in Khajuraho, it felt as though we were taken back to old times when life was at a very comfortable pace. The whole atmosphere was very calm and placid. The people were gentle and are far from commercialization and modernity. Our hotel was exactly two minutes away from the airport and the complete range of old temples was within a circumference of barely five kilometers. However, once we started seeing the temples, we ran out of time and energy. There were so many and each temple demanded a lot of our time and concentration. We forgot to eat and  drink  water  later in the day, they were so engrossing!! People who like history and appreciate one’s past rich heritage must visit Khajuraho once. Except for excess unchaste engravings on almost all temples, everything was very welcome. I guess there was a lot of competition between all the kings of Chandela dynasty at that time and hence they must have not exercised moderation and sanctity rules in places of worship like these. The next post shall continue with this thought and context and my experiences on the same line of thought.

As usual many questions ran across my mind to which I found answers in my meditations. God is very gracious to me as all my curious questions are best answered by that Supreme Power. Those temples are about 1,500  to 1,800 years old and who else can ever give me such accurate answers? Regarding my those revelations I shall disclose them in the next article and  before that I want  to show you   some beautiful photographs of that city.

I also wish to recall and pay glowing tribute and  homage to all the sculptors, workers, artists and labourers who made these glorious temples and iconic monuments during medieval times in India.

Rural India with so much open space and sky…

Even the birds were calm in nature and were sitting prettily for us to see them!

Day 1. Eastern temples- Jain Adinath, Shantinath temples

Eastern group of Temples-Jawari and Waman

Day-2 Western group of temples-Matangeshwar Vishwanath, Lakshman, Vishwanath, Kandariya, Jagdambi, Chitragupta temples

Took a break and marveled at these wonderful flowers

And then we started off again and tried to capture the lives of people who lived here centuries ago

The Southern group of temples, Chaturbhuj of Lord Vishnu

Beeja Mandal temple excavated only two years ago, the process is on

And even after seeing so much we were not able to cover every detail of those monuments.

Today when I look back I wonder when my next  journey to an unexplored part of India will be and what  new  learning it will bring.

(To be continued………)

My dear readers, it has been quite some time since I wrote an article with my profound insights and revelations. You must have noticed that the last few entries have gallery of photos which is quite different from my style of blogging. This has happened because I have been travelling a lot and as I had informed you right at the inception of this segment that I will be travelling widely to many world heritage sites as well as to a few pilgrimages of India during this year.

Apart from meditation, travelling far and wide also has given me a lot of new understanding and regular learning but I could not devote much time to do serious writing. I have missed my writing sessions very much and the constant interaction with you. Arranging my serious thoughts and then composing a new post is like meditation for me. And this process is also therapeutic in nature sometimes. In short, let me confess that I have really missed my meditations and the outcomes of those beautiful divine moments and sharing some of those exclusive moments with you my revered reader. I always experience a higher happiness and joy if I connect to my inner divine being during meditation and after that describing about it in a page or two as a new post on this blog. It is a moment of great joy for me whenever I get to discover a new divine law or a shrouded secret about an old heritage site or about some more intricate ways of functioning of God. It is very energizing for my whole being to be constantly in touch with the highest power and it is only because of this reason that I could travel so extensively in spite of many inconveniences and some physical hardships here and there. Nevertheless I am enjoying every second of this experience endowed on me by my Holy Spiritual Master Shri Mahavatar Babaji and I look forward eagerly to visit the last of this heritage site series to Khajuraho temples which is just a day away.

I returned from Orissa on 26th Feb evening with some very beautiful and memorable experiences. If you are following this blog you will know that I also went to see Chilika Lake and saw some dolphins. That was an awesome experience as it is not a common experience to be catching a glimpse of dolphins and then capturing some difficult shots. In fact, I could hardly see them because they were frisky. And once I got to see them, one boatman disobeyed all the rules of watching the dolphins and in the process he upset me a lot. The rule is that in that protected area when one goes to see dolphins, one is supposed to switch off the motorboats as they make a lot of noise. More than five boats are prohibited to come near the dolphins and people sitting in the boats are supposed to see the dolphins from behind and we are not to bring the boats in front of the swimming dolphins. All these measures are to avoid scaring or hurting them.

Just when a pair of joyful dolphins came near our boat and we were ecstatic about it, one senseless boatman in a fit of stupidity or ignorance or both, brought his boat so close to those dolphins that they immediately dived in the waters out of fear and the pair separated in two different directions and the immense joy of seeing nature’s such beautiful creatures vanished in a moment. I could not overlook or ignore this experience and it saddened me for the next few days and it was also bothering me whenever I sat down to rest or at times just when I was about to sleep. In short, I could not forsake or forget the sight of that boatman obstructing the path of two dancing innocent dolphins and the unnecessary fear he created in this whole process. All the time I talked to myself-Why did he do it?

God is an observer and knows about us as nobody else. He knows everything and is familiar with all our joys and sorrows. On 26th night of Feb, the moment I got in the bed to sleep after a long journey, a blinding light hit me in the eyes and forehead and I saw myself leaving the body. My soul, like a lightning transcended from the physical plane and united with the Light of God. All my aches and pains and sorrows melted like iron in a hot furnace. I was no more in the normal world where your soul has problems adjusting with so much wrongs and evils. The realm of God is pure and guiltless. It has only joy and peace and once we connect with that realm we become one with that joy and peace. The limitless comfort and rest that I got then was enough to rejuvenate me completely and I began to drown in that ocean of immense serenity and sublime happiness. There was just golden Light surrounding me…..

Just then God began to enlighten me in that magical moment, “Your heart is wounded. Your soul can connect to the soul of those dolphins and you have felt their sense of alarm and panic as though it was yours. I am touched by your sense of oneness of Spirit and respecting the sacredness of God’s creation.

It was not ignorance of the boatman or of lack of respect for rules of safety for animals. But it is something else. People themselves do not live in peace and do not allow others also to live in peace. And you are disturbed by that. Why should someone disturb the peace of some other creatures? By the law of God, we should not dampen or ruin anyone’s peace. If you learn to live in peace yourself, you shall let others also to live in peace. If all humans understood this law of God’s functioning, all living beings would live without fear. Fear is created on earth by destroying peace.

Tell all this to others by writing one special post by the title Live in peace so that they too know living in peace is abiding by the law of god and breaking this rule is a misdeed. Spread love and peace, spread joy and fearlessness so that all creatures live in freedom and peace.”

Happy Dolphins at Chilika lake

Suddenly their path being obstructed by this boatman

Bhubaneshwar, also known as the city of temples was once the capital of ancient Kalinga and is now the capitial city of modern Orissa. It forms an integral link in the golden triangle that is formed between the Sun temple of Konarka and Jagannath temple of Puri. The history of ancient India is engraved in the beautiful carvings and sculpture in these temples. This heritage city also compelled me to visit some of its breath taking heritage sites in the month of February. There was so much to see that I ran short of time and it would have taken me another two full days to see all that it has to offer. Anyway, I visited the most prominent temples of Bhubaneshwar-first the Lingaraj temple, then Raja Rani temple and lastly Mukteshwar.

Names can be deceptive you see. I was avoiding Raja Rani temple because the name did not appeal to me and the taxi driver insisted that I should never miss such a perfect place. And he was absolutely right and today I wonder what if I had not seen this ambiguous named temple of India. Later I found out that this temple was once called Indreshwar and the name Raja Rani caught on because the stone with which it is made is called rajarani in the local language!

Raja Rani is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati but now no deity is worshipped there. But one can still visit this place to marvel at the extra ordinary workmanship and beautiful carvings on its walls. Those temples resemble and reflect similarity with that of Khajuraho temples in splendour and beauty. You have to see it to believe my words. Just uploading a few pictures is not enough as there is too much to see and marvel in this small sized temple. The human figures and animals and other things are so beautiful and well carved out and I always wonder who gave them this brilliant idea? How did they make such intricate designs on hard stones? Who designed such master pieces? Obviously I have no answers and I sometimes get concerned whether we are we preserving our rich heritage sites or not? Will they get lost amidst the modern concrete jungles? We do not make such masterpieces any more. And that is one good reason why I wish to see ancient India’s rich heritage sites as much as possible because they are deteriorating, crumbling or tarnishing at an alarming rate and we do not appreciate its value and priceless significane ……quite sad really…..

Again Lingaraj temple may appear as though it is a temple of Shiva but is not. The good priest explained to me very patiently that though the idol appears like Shivaling in its appearance and decoration but it is not. Instead it is Shaligram, which means half of the idol constitutes of Lord Vishnu and half of Lord Shiva. In my heart I thought this means that the energy of two deities are fused here and therefore the place must have special energies and indeed it had. I sat in the premises quietly trying to absorb the subtle divine vibrations over flowing in a place of worship in that ancient temple. I wondered how many devotees, learneds, sages, saints and sadhus must have come here and how many more shall come in future. I thanked the presiding deity to have called me and sought blessings for all my dear ones.

And after seeing Lingaraj temple I presumed that Mukteshwar must also be very large in proportion and dimensions. But I was wrong again. It was a cluster of many temples and they were pretty small in size comparatively but too grand and big in grandeur and magnificence to believe!! Bhubaneshwar was so  full of surprises and zest for me because I purposely did not search and read much about these temples beforehand because I wanted to take it as it came. When there was no advent of internet, visiting new places was so full of curiosity and surprises and I wanted to experience that once again. So Mukteshwar temple was sheer delight for its design craftsmanship and upkeep!! Even RajaRani temple was exceptionally clean and well-kept with sprawling gardens and so was Lingaraj. Lingaraj Temple has no garden but the size of the temple is too big and the premises are kept clean and in order. Therefore, I spent quite some time there contemplating and relaxing and enjoying seeing all that was etched in those stones!! This trip will be remembered by me for a long time as it was exceptionally wonderful and exciting.  I saw and apprecaited the rich heritage and culture of ancient India in abundance on each day that I spent there. I ended my five day trip of Orissa in Bhubaneshwar by visiting thesemagnificent temples. Truly memorable trip!!

Lingaraj temple

Raja Rani temple

Mukteshwar Temple

Welcome to one more narration of a historical place of significance that I just saw and visited in Orissa. On 23rd Feb I saw the Black Pagoda, also called the Sun Temple. I had heard so much about it that I could not wait to see this master craftsmanship called the Sun Temple in the beach city of Konark. I have shared quite a many photographs of it in the last article ‘Another enthralling journey to India’s ancient heritage sites-III Konarka’ and you must have also found those pictures awe inspiring. When I was walking through the several levels and places of wonderful panels of artistry in Konark temple, I paid my homage and gratitude to all the technicians, sculptors and the immense hard work of the 1200 workers and masons who toiled excessively over a period of more than 6 years to make this beautiful monument around eight centuries ago.

Even today it is strongly held true by the locals and others there that those 1200 workers were executed by one King because the temple’s construction did not go right in the manner the King wished and wanted . The foundation of the temple remained weak because there was some fault in its designing since beginning and therefore the temple in due course of time began to fall and crumble little by little. I thought to myself even when I was too preoccupied with taking pictures at the site that I must pay my respects and homage to all those 1200 workers, labourers who could not live enough to see the ready structure that they had made with their own sweat and hard labour. If only the Kings and Emperors rule peacefully, there would not have been so much futile killings and sufferings on this planet…. .I was pondering and lost in these thoughts before and after I saw the Sun temple and there was a hidden sense of pain inside which I did not express to anyone. I felt sorry for all the innocent lives that were taken away mercilessly for no fault of theirs.

The same kind of feeling was resonating in me when I thought of the Kalinga war. Long-time back in a stray moment as a young girl I had wished strongly to see Kalinga and Kurukshetra where the two most gruesome battles for land were fought on this subcontinent. I wanted to pray for all those lost lives and for world peace on that ground. When I read my history lessons in middle school I imagined the whole scene and sequence about the Kalinga war and it was pretty real for me even then. I could not believe it as a young girl that somebody could kill so many innocent people for the sake of becoming a bigger king and making his kingdom larger just to call himself Ashoka, the Emperor!! Since I arrived in Orissa, I was very eager to see the site where the heinous war was fought for the sake of just power! !Quite quirky for me even to this day!!!

After I finished sightseeing at Konark’s Sun Temple, I moved ahead towards Bhubaneshwar around mid day.

On my way just eight kilometres before the capital Bhubaneshwar, I stopped at Dhauligiri to see the Peace Pagoda. Before I describe this important place, I will have to go back more than two thousand years ago in India’s history for you to understand the great significance of this place.

Magadha King Ashoka attempted to annexe Kalinga, today’s Orissa keeping in view of the policy of territorial expansion of Mauryas for political and economic reasons. The people of Kalinga put up a stiff resistance but the mighty and brutal Magadhan army squashed them. More than one lakh warriors and civilians of Kalinga dynasty and ten thousand of Mauryan dynasty were killed apart from colossal damage and destruction on both sides. Kalinga was looted and plundered and people were captured and taken with them to Magadha. It is said that the nearby river called Daya river became red with blood with so much horrific death play that took place at the site.

The site at which this battle took place is Dhauli, next to Dhauligiri hills just eight kilometres south of Bhubaneshwar. Even now the hill has vast open space adjoining it.

The unprecedented bloodshed of this war prompted Ashoka to adopt Buddhism. He laid down his weapons because he had seen so much blood and death before his own eyes and felt that he was the cause of so much destruction. This war motivated him to devote the rest of his life to Ahimsa or non-violence and Dharma Vijaya victory through Dharma. He ended his military expansion and led his empire to peace, harmony and prosperity for the rest of his life. He saw to it that Dhauli became an important centre for Buddhism activities. He built several Viharas, Chaityas and pillars there.

Today there is a dazzling white peace pagoda that was built by the Indo Japanese efforts. Japan Buddha Sangha and the Kalinga Buddha Sangha took the permission of the Central and local government and made this peace pagoda in 1972. If you happen to get a chance to see this place, do not miss this opportunity because the pagoda has many panels of life incidents of Lord Buddha and some of King Ashoka’s submission and propagation of Buddhism in this land. I am grateful to God and my Gurus for making my heart so sensitive so as feel it important to take some time off from my busy schedule and dedicate my prayers and silent peace intentions for those unknown dead innocent souls! My silent prayer to Mother Earth to bring more peace in our thoughts and minds so that there is no violence and merciless killing around us and we may live in peace and tranquility forever!!

The site of Kalinga war today

Peace Pagoda at Dhauligiri

The city of Konark is thirty three kilometers from Puri and is one of the pilgrimage sites of the golden triangle of Orissa- Bhubaneshwar, Puri and Konark.

Konark is a world heritage site and is also known as Konaditya. Kona means triangle and Aditya means Sun. It is a temple dedicted to Sun God built during the thirteenth century A.D.  It belongs to Kalinga school of Indian temple architecture and it is also known as the black Pagoda of India.

It  is  a magnificent piece of human patience and fortitude and is poetry of human life in sculpture. Though it is now crumbling down and some part of it is in ruins. Inspite of this, it is worth one visit in a life time for art lovers and appreciators of beauty.

The best time to visit is at sunrise but because the mornings were misty while I was there, I started seeing the splendid place of wonder around nine in the morning. It takes only forty five minutes by car to reach Konark. I heard so many versions of its origin and reasons of downfall that I am not too well versed with its authenticity . Anyhow, I did not visit this temple to worship Sun God but to marvel at India’s ancient wisdom, art and heritage. Let us share just some of the wonderful pictures that I took on my recent visit to Konark which was once a celebrated holy city dedicated to Surya Devta or Sun God.

Next-The Stupa of world peace at Dhaulagiri near the site of Kalinga war fought by Emperor Ashoka.

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