About: Shaktipeeth Vajreshwari Devi, Kangra – Popularly Known as Nagarkot Dham or Kot Kangra

About: Shaktipeeth Vajreshwari Devi, Kangra – Popularly Known as Nagarkot Dham or Kot Kangra

नगरकोट धाम या कोट कांगड़ा के नाम से लोकप्रिय, देवी वज्रेश्वरी देवी को समर्पित मंदिर उत्तरी भारत के सबसे प्रसिद्ध मंदिरों में से एक है। यह एक प्रसिद्ध शक्तिपीठ है जहाँ पौराणिक सती पार्वती का बायाँ स्तन गिरा हुआ बताया गया है। देवी की पूजा पिंडी के रूप में की जाती है। एक किंवदंती है कि राक्षस राजा जालंधर के शरीर को इसी स्थान पर दफनाया गया था। एक अन्य कथा के अनुसार, यह माना जाता है कि प्राचीन काल में देवी ने राक्षस महिषासुर के साथ युद्ध के दौरान मिले घावों को ठीक करने के लिए मक्खन का उपयोग किया था। यह परंपरा हर साल मकर सक्रांति के दिन आज भी जारी है।

हालांकि इस मंदिर के निर्माण की सही तारीख ज्ञात नहीं है लेकिन 11वीं शताब्दी की शुरुआत के दौरान इस मंदिर की लोकप्रियता अपने चरम पर पहुंच गई थी। यही कारण है कि मोहम्मद गजनी ने कांगड़ा पर आक्रमण किया और वर्ष 1009 में इस मंदिर को लूटा। बाद में वर्ष 1360 में सुल्तान फिरोज तुगलक ने संरचना को क्षतिग्रस्त कर दिया और वर्ष 1905 के भूकंप में यह मंदिर पूरी तरह से नष्ट हो गया। अंत में, मंदिर के पुनर्निर्माण की प्रक्रिया वर्ष 1930 में पूरी हुई। इस मंदिर के तीन गुंबद हिंदू, मुस्लिम और सिखों के धार्मिक स्थलों की वास्तुकला को दर्शाते हैं जो अपने आप में अद्वितीय है।

(English to Hindi Translation by Google Translate)

Click to watch Shaktipeeth Vajreshwari Devi, Kangra.

Glories of Ram Mandir, Vashisht

Glories of Ram Mandir, Vashisht

This historical holy place of Raghuvansh’s family Guru Brahmarshi Vashisht and Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram ji is famous as the only famous pilgrimage place in the Kullu Valley in India. On the banks of the Vipasha River, Brahmarshi Vashisht was freed from the bondage of self-aggrandizement at this place.

Due to the killing of Ravana during Shri Ram’s fourteen years of exile, Ram ji committed the sin of killing Brahmin. After returning to Ayodhya, Shri Ram wanted to organize Ashwamedha Yagya to atone for the killing of Brahmin. Kul Guru Vashisht was engaged in penance at this place at this time.

In consultation with other sages, Shri Ram entrusted the task of searching for Kul Guru Vashisht ji to Laxman ji. Laxman ji found Vashisht ji at this place.

It was winter season. Lakshman ji shot his fire arrow and brought out a stream of hot water for the convenience of Guru ji’s bath. Vashisht ji was an ascetic. There was no need for hot water. Knowing that Laxman was tired, Vashisht ji first ordered him to take a bath and gave a boon that whoever bathes in this pilgrimage water, his fatigue will go away immediately and skin diseases will be cured.

All the deities of Kullu Valley come in palanquins and bathe every year to prove its sacredness.

Establishment of the temple: About 4000 years ago, this rock pinnacle category temple (Duala) after the death of King Parikshit, his son Janmejaya traveled to pilgrimage places for the peace of his father’s soul and built a temple for the presiding deity Shri Ram. Over time the idols kept getting stolen. In 1600 AD, Raja Jagat Singh preached Vaishnavism in Kullu. The king sent his followers to bring the idol of Ram from Ayodhya, which was made by Shri Ram in front of him during the Ashwamedh Yagya but due to the inability to identify, several different idols were brought, the king installed those idols in Vashisht and Manikaran Adi Ram temple. A jagir was also imposed in the name of the temple through which the system of the temple was run but now Muzaro has been made the owner.

(Hindi to English Translation by Google Translate)

Click to watch Ram Mandir, Vashisht.

Click to learn about Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh.

Braj ke Sawaiya (verse) in Praise of Radha-Krishna

Braj ke Sawaiya (verse) in Praise of Radha-Krishna

O Shri Radhey, you are very fortunate; what great penance have you performed that Lord Krishna, the Lord of the three worlds, the giver of salvation became subordinate to you.

Simply by chanting ‘Radha-Radha’ all obstacles vanish and the disaster of million births dissolves automatically by saying, Krishna.

(Click to learn more about Braj ke Sawaiya)

History of Cars/Automobile Since 1672

Some sources suggest Ferdinand Verbiest, a member of a Jesuit mission in China, may have built the first steam-powered car around 1672. Franois Isaac de Rivaz, a Swiss inventor, designed the first internal combustion engine which was fuelled by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, and used it to develop the world’s first vehicle to run on such an engine. The design was not very successful. An automobile powered by an Otto gasoline engine was built in Germany by Karl Benz in 1885 and granted a patent in the following year. Although several other engineers were working on the problem at about the same time, Benz is generally credited with the invention of the modern automobile. Approximately 25 of Benz’s vehicles were built before 1893 when his first four-wheeler was introduced. They were powered with four-stroke engines of his own design.

The first American car with a gasoline internal combustion engine was designed in 1877 by George Selden of Rochester, New York, who applied for a patent on an automobile in 1879. Santler from Fvlalvern is recognized by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain as having made the first petrol-powered car in the country in 1894 followed by Frederick William Lanchester in 1895 but these were both one-offs. The first production vehicles came from the Daimler Motor Company, founded by Harry J. Lawson in 1896, and making their first cars in 1897.

In 1892, Rudolf Diesel got a patent for a “New Rational Combustion Engine”. In 1897 he built the first Diesel Engine. In 1895, Selden was granted a United States patent for a two-stroke automobile engine. Steam, electric, and gasoline powered autos competed for decades, with gasoline internal combustion engines achieving dominance.

(Source: The Vintage Cars MuseumCoorg, Siddapura, Karnataka)

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About: FLORA FOUNTAIN (initially called Frere Fountain)

About: FLORA FOUNTAIN (initially called Frere Fountain)

The city’s icon, Flora Fountain, is a Grade 1 heritage structure with a three tier fountain built in Portland stone. The fountain was commissioned by the Agro Horticultural Society of Western India for Victoria Gardens (presently Veer Mata Jijabai Bhonsale Udyan Zoo). However, it was shifted to adorn the newly restructured Fort Area. Constructed by the Esplanade Fee Fund for a total cost of Rs. 47,000, it was designed by Norman Shaw and sculpted by James Forsyth, both well reputed professionals in their respective fields in Britain. The fountain was dedicated to the city on November 18, 1869.

The fountain was initially called Frere Fountain but eventually became popular as the Flora Fountain after the Roman Goddess Flora, whose statue stands prominently on top of the Fountain. At its lower level it houses statues of 4 allegorical figures seated in niches, representing the industrial, cereal, plant and edible fruit products of India and, on the higher level, it has 4 celestial fishes.

The restoration of the monument and refurbishment of the surrounding area was carried out from 2017-2019 by the MCGM. The project received the UNESCO ASIA-PACIFIC AWARD for Cultural Heritage Conservation-2019 under the Hon. Mention Category.

(Source: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai)

Click to learn more about Flora Fountain.

Panki Chatni – A Signature Dish of ‘Swati Snacks’ Since 1963

Panki Chatni – A Signature Dish of ‘Swati Snacks’ Since 1963

The above-shown menu was Swati Snacks (Tardeo) yesterday’s special but I was in search of signature dishes.

Nitin was our steward. He enhanced our knowledge about a lesser-known Gujarati dish and that is Panki Chatni.

According to Nitin, Panki Chatni is savory rice thin pancakes steamed in two well-greased banana leaves – a traditional Gujarati breakfast delicacy originated from the word leaf. A light food to have and easy to digest. The banana leaves impart a special flavor. Panki is taken out from the banana leaves by gently peeling off and is served with coriander chutney.

Fantastic! Please serve – said I and a Special Cold Filter Coffee too.

The service was quick and within minutes Panki Chatni (Rs. 230), as well as Special Cold Filter Coffee (Rs. 230), was served.

Panki was appetizing by its looks and delicious, scrumptious, and flavorful by its taste.

The only complaint – the quantity was less.

Anyway, Special Cold Filter Coffee was different too because of the cinnamon sprinkled on top of it.

Other than these two we also had Bajri Uttapami (Rs. 265) and Thandai Coconut Ice Cream (Rs. 275).

In totality the signature dish as well as other served items were excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

A visible kitchen and neat and clean washbasin as well as toilet – The plus point. Maybe again visit someday.

My reason to visit Swati Snacks is Mukesh Ambani, Tim Cook (CEO of Apple Inc.), and Madhuri Dixit Nene.

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