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  1. #1
    sankara_sharmah is offline Senior Member
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    Deepavali in Varanasi -1

    I have just returned after spending 11 days in Kasi/Varanasi. I had gone there to have real Ganga snanam on Deepavali and have Dharshan of Golden Annapurna and Laddu chariot. லட்டுத் தேர்

    I would like to share my unforgettable experience with other members.

    I am posting here rather than my blog because this is relevant to Tamil Brahmins and I do hope my experience will enthuse some of the members to make the pilgrimage.

    Introduction:

    All of us greet each other on Deepavali day with the query "Ganga Snanam Accha?" கங்கா ஸ்நானம் ஆச்சா? I have always wondered about having a real கங்கா ஸ்நானம் on Deepavali day. Then thanks to Sri Mahalakshmi Yatra Service, I heard about Golden Annapurna and லட்டுத் தேர் (Dharshan possible only during Deepavali).

    The easiest way would have been to join the special Deepavali yatra of Sri Mahalakshmi Yatra service. But then it covers other places also and you have to rough it our so to say.

    So I decided to do this on my own.

    Disclaimer: I have no connection to Sri Mahalakshmi Yatra Service.
  2. #2
    nannilam_balasubramanian is offline Veteran
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    We had been once to Varanasi during that period and stayed there for nearly 10 days and
    enjoyed the stay. We were provided accommodation, lunch, etc at Shri Krishnamurthy Sastrigal's
    residence near Kanchi Mutt.

    Balasubramanian
    Ambattur
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  4. #3
    sankara_sharmah is offline Senior Member
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    The Deepavali Programme of Mahlakshmi Yathra Service was

    13th November 2012

    Morning 3.00 A.M: Ganga Snanam in the Ganges river.

    You go back accompanied by Nadaswaram. They had brought Nadaswaram people from Chennai.

    4.00 A.M: Wear new clothes and have dharshan of golden Annapurna

    5.00 A.M to 6.00 A.M: Breakfast with Six varieties of sweets. (great)

    9.00 A.M: Milk Abhishekam for Lord Vishwanath with 108 Padi milk and Dharshan of Laddu Ther.

    I really liked the programme, though my wife was apprehensive about having a bath in Gangaji at 3.00 A.M.

    But then reality stepped in.

    Dhantheras

    On 11th morning I came out of my hotel and found a long queue for dharshan of Annapurna. The queue was miles long. I was told that today being Dhantheras day they distribute Kazana (treasure) in the Annapurna temple. The people from local and outlying areas were standing in a queue for it. The treasure consisted of one 50 paise or Re. 1 coin and half a kilo of Mava. Mava is a mixture of dry fruits and sweet meat balls sold in pilgrim centers in North India as Prasad.

    With no chance of going to Annapurna temple, we went to Vishwanath temple and performed Rudrabhishekam with 11 priests chanting Rudram. Costs Rs.2021 all inclusive.

    On 12th Mahalakshmi yatra service conduced a Chandi Homa with priests coming from Chennai. They conducted a Ganapthy Homa on 10th and Sudarshana homa on 11th.

    Deepavali day:

    Total disappointment. Could not get up at 3.00 A.M though one member of the Mahalakshmi group rang us up. Got up at 5.00 A.M, had bath in Dasaswamedha Ghat, wore new clothes and had Dharshan of Golden Annapurna after standing in a queue for more than 3 hours.

    So missed the Nadaswaram, breakfast with six sweets.

    I was wondering why we wake up so early in the morning on Deepavali day. It seems that we have to have a bath on Chaturdasi since we are celebrating Naraka Chathurdasi. We bathe early so that Amavasai does not come. But the timing depends on other factors like when Amavasai comes. We consulted the Almanac and found that Chaturdasi is there till 6.00 A.M. That is why we had our bath at 5.00 A.M. Please do remember that there is nothing sacrosanct about 2.30 or 3.00 A.M. Check when Amavasai sets in and have a bath before that.

    Swarna-Annapurna_2.jpg

    Swarna Annapurna. The two Deities by her side are her two sisters. Siva is standing as Bikshadanar.
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  6. #4
    sankara_sharmah is offline Senior Member
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    The golden Annapurna is kept on the first floor of the temple. It is not in the Garbagraha. They have only the usual murthi with Silver kavacham in the Garbagraha.

    Anna Koot and Laddu Chariot

    On 14th thy have Anna Koot in Annapurna temple. Anna Koodam. The entire temple is adorned with cooked rice, various kinds of sweets, dry fruits and fresh fruits. Whole lot of chocolate sweets this year. Though this started in Annapurna temple, it is now done in Vishwanath and Visalakshi temples also. You can buy tickets for Anna Koot prasadams which are distributed on 15th and 16th November.

    Laddu chariot is part of Anna koot. Maa Annapurani sits in a chariot made of Laddus.

    Laddu-Annapurna.jpg

    Annapurna in Laddu Chariot.

    news_1.jpg


    News report about Anna koot.

    news_2.jpg

    News report about Kazana on Dhan Theras day.

    On this day they have the PanchaMuga Linga in Vishwanth temple.

    That brings to a close my post about Deepavali in Kasi.

    A small aside. We were wondering how cold the water would be in the ganges now that Winter has set in. But the water was not at all cold. It seems the water stays warm when it is cold outside and turns cold when it becomes hot outside. So the water is colder at 12 in the afternoon than at 5 A.M in the morning.

    You can listen to a bhajan by Krishna das which reflects the mood.

    Kashi Vishwanath Gange - YouTube


    Thank You.
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  8. #5
    ramsvijaya is offline Newbie
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    I have also gone to the Varanasi in the IRCTC's Bharath Darshan. The train is a special train and the arrangements are very good. The food supplied by them are excellent. Only one discomfort is the delay in arriving the places due to unscheduled halts in many places. Eventhough it doesnot stop in all stations the delay is too much.The IRTC people is placing themselves in the entry points at the Ghats and also atthe entrance of the Viswanatha temple and the annapoorni temple. We also took bath at about @5.A.M in the ganges and exchanged sweets. They have arranged morning tiffin at the Jain Madalaya. But we skipped and joined the q at the Viswanath temple . Within an hour we have got the darshan and also got darshan of the Golden Annapoorni within a time of 2 hours.Since we have started in the night we could not have the Laddu darshan. Afte that they took us to Rameeswaram and have the bath at the theertam and returned to Chennai. One great advantge in the tour is you need not take all your luggages to the lodging place. You can take the clothes and other things for the duratinon and can keep all your luggages in the compartment which is secured by the security staff. They are arranging buses fromn the station to to the lodging places and also for th return journey. thefare is also reasonable. Theyhave takealso us to Konark and puri whil goin to varanasi
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