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kasi, gaya travelogue-2.

kgopalan

Well-known member
The rituals at Kashi take place over three days – the first day for the Maha sangalpam, the second day for Manikarnika Parvarupa (by doing homam) Shrraddham and the third day for the Pancha Teertha Shrraddham. Then, one goes to Gaya and performs the rituals there, and returns to Kashi for the Ganga Puja, Dampati Puja and only then visits the temples at Kashi.
Part II - Kasi Yatra Continued

Kashi (Varanasi) Day 2

1. Anugnai (Sankalpam)
2. Vighneshwara Puja (Prayers to Ganesha
3. Poorvanga Sangalpam
4. Navagraha Preethi Dhanam
5. Poorvanga Dasa Daanam ***

6. Naandhi Shrraddham *
7. Vaishnava Shrraddham *
8. Punyaa Vajanam (purification ritual)
9. Maha Sankalpam
10. Prayschitta Sankalpam (atonement for sins committed, knowingly or unknowingly)

11. Phala Daanam ***
12. Mahathasirvatham
13. Uttaranga Godaanam *** (we did not do)
14. Chakra Theertha Snanam
15. Manikarnika Teertha Snanam

Day 3

1. Manikarnika Hiranyaroopa Theertha Shrraddham : This was done in Parvanroopam(Homam Valarthu) Two Brahmanal Bhojanam(Those who are budgeted can do this hiranya roopam also)
2. Anna roopa theertha Shrraddham
3. Pinda dhanam
4. Shethra Pinda Dhanams
5. Thila Tharpanam
6. Brumayagnam

Day 4
1. 1. Pancha Teertha Yatra (We went by a motor boat to these 5 Ghats and performed the rituals) Like Madras Auto towing another auto, The motor boat was towing two ordinary rowing boats. One boat exclusively for Rug Vedis. One boat to prepare avis and make pindams. The main motor boat for performing hiranya Shrraddham


i) Asi Ghat (Haridwar Teertham) – this is where the Asi river merges with the Ganga. Performing the rites here is believed to give one the fruits of performing the rites at Haridwar.
ii) Dashashwamedha Ghat (Rudra Sarovara Teertham) – this is the place where Brahma performed 10 Ashwamedha Yagnas, and hence it is considered sacred to perform the rites.


iii) Trilochana Ghat or varana Ghatt( Vishnu Paada Udaka Teertham)
iv) Pancha Ganga Ghat ( Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Kirana, Doodhapappa- Sangam); Bindu Madhava Temple
v) Manikarnika Ghat (Manikarnika Teertham, Chakra Pushkarni Teertham) Shethra pinda dhanams in all 5 ghatts, thila tharpanam and Bruma yagnam


We left in the evening by 5 pm Varanasi by 2 Tata Sumos to Gaya. We reached Gaya at 10 Pm. we immediately rushed to see Thulasi Archanai, Sandhana kappu to Vishnu Padham.

Gaya Shrardham Day 5

Gaya being located in is a Shrraddha Bhoomi. The place where we were asked to stay is managed by a Gujarati lady who also speaks Tamil. We experienced continuous power cuts, no sun- light in bathrooms, inadequate water in Gaya( Lallu Prasad Yadav's Rajyam) (almost zero water for those who preferred to enter bath rooms at the end) (power cut also compounded the problem of not having water in overhead tank). We were also told Phalguni river is having knee deep water only and only prokshanam is possible.

Gaya is a holy place revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike. While to Hindus, it is the footprint of Vishnu (the Vishnu Padam), the Akshaya Vatam and the chance of performing the Vedic rites not just for 3 generations of ancestors, but anyone and everyone that attracts them to Gaya,

for Buddhists it is the sacred Banyan tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Indeed the regular influx of Buddhists from all over the world has made Bodh Gaya a tourist spot in Bihar, and a tourist attraction with all kind of facilities, something like an oasis in the heart of a desert!

Gaya is all about legends, and there are legends connected to every temple there and every rite that is performed.

Let me start with the name of the place. 'Gaya'. According to the legend, there was once an Asura named Gayasuran, who was a great devotee of Vishnu. When the Devas couldn’t bear the trouble he caused any more, they went to Vishnu and asked for a way out. Vishnu approached Gayasuran and told him that He wanted to perform a special yagna, and wanted a special place to perform it. Gayasuran offered his heart, and Vishnu accepted.

The yagna began, and soon, the fumes and the heat became unbearable, and Gayasuran started succumbing to it. Vishnu asked him for his final wish, and Gayasuran asked that the place he died would be immortalized by his name, and hence the name ‘Gaya’. Second, he asked that people should be allowed to perform the sacred rites (Pinda pradaanam) not only for their ancestors, but for anyone- family, distant relatives, friends and foes, non-Hindus, pets, unclaimed bodies- in short, for any dead human/creature they could think of.

This remains the only place where Pinda pradaanam is carried out in this manner. In fact, I am told that in a normal Shrraddham , 6 pindams are made (two for each generations which are no more); in a Teertha Shrraddham , as at Kashi, Allahabad, Rameswaram, etc., 16 pindams are offered, including all ancestors on both parents side; in the Gaya Shrraddham, 64 pindams are offered,

of which 16 are for the mother alone, since she carries her child for 9 whole months within her body, 16 for the ancestors, and 16 for all others as I have mentioned earlier. Of course, all this is a matter of faith and belief, but what is there in life if we don’t have faith? Anyway, once Vishnu granted his wishes, he stepped on him with his foot, leaving a footprint at this holy place, and granting liberation to Gayasuran.

It is this footprint which is worshipped as the Vishnu Padam. For the information of devotees, I must mention that for a fee of Rs.50/- an imprint of the Padam is taken on a muslin cloth and given. This is to be kept in the Puja room and is considered very auspicious.


1. Phalguni (Falguni) Teertha Snana Maha Sangalpam
2. Phalguni (Falguni) Teertha Snanam by way of bringing water from the river in sombu and brokshanam
3. Phalguni Hiranya Shrraddham (this is the traditional Shrraddham performed on the banks of any sacred river, here the Falguni.)

4. Shethra Pinda dhanam(17) (given to cow later)
5. Thila tharpanam
6. Vishnu Paada Hiranya Shrraddham †
7. Pinda prathanam ( 64 Pindams for those who have lost mother also; if mother alive 48 pindams)

8. Shethra Pinda Dharisanam at Vishnu Patham
9. Mathru Shodacee(not applicable to those whose mother is alive)
10. Akshaya Vata Anna/Hiranya Shrraddham † (with anna Shrraddham ) with homam
11. Akshaya Vata Pinda Pradaanam ** †
12. Shethra Pinda dhanam
13. Mathru Shodacee(not applicable to those whose mother is alive)
14. Thirupthi Dhakshinai Ask Gaya Brahmans if they are satisfied (according to legend, the Brahmins at Gaya are not easily satisfied and it is a tradition to ask them anyway in an attempt to satisfy them)

Acharya sambhavana (payment of the fees to the pundit)
15. Saka-Pathra-Ful- Dharisanam(Oru kai-Ilai-Pazham viduthal)
16. Bhodhi Vruksha Dharisanam
 

KRN

Active member
Very interesting and useful. Thanks for posting.

I am planning to visit Kashi as a general pilgrimage. In addition to the above, if you have any additional tips, please share. I am especially keen on accommodation options for a single person.
 
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K

kgopalan

Well-known member
 
OP
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kgopalan

Well-known member
RAMESVARAM AND KASI YATRA TRAVELOGUE:

With God's grace we successfully completed our journey to Rameswaram. Really a wonderful experience. Sri Sundar Sastrigal (of Sankara Mutt, Councilor BJP) has made arrangements for stay at Sankara Mutt (2 A/C rooms and 2 non-A/C Rooms) and also made vehicle arrangements. First day we visited Tirupulani and Utra Kosa Mangai temples. Also got the opportunity to see Pampan Palam. We could watch a train passing through the Pampan Bridge from the Road. A wonderful scene.

Second day we took bath at Lakshman Teertham (36 Holy dip) and Ram Teertham followed by Samudra Snanam (36 holy dip). With wet clothes went to the temple for 23 teertham bath. Good arrangements made by Sri Sundar Sastrigal.

Also, visited Kothanda Ramar Sannithi, Ramanathaswamy temple and Ramar Padam. In a sepecail jeep visited Dhanushkodi and did sankalpam and took sand for immersion at Kasi. A joint family trip of all five brothers and three sisters (one sister with her husband) really gave us immense satisfaction. One of the days we also performed Srardam of our mother at Sastrigal's home. For all the three days wonderful food prepared by Sastrigal's sister including special meals on the day of Srardam.

Respected Sundar Ji, thanks for all the arrangements and pray god that you will help thousands of devottees visiting Rameswaram.

. Now we are planning for our Trip to Kasi and request your best wishes for a successful trip.

Here are a few contact numbers.

Mr. Subramaniam, Manager, Sankara Mutt - 9415228721, 9453002020
B. Suresh Shastri - 9415304785 , 9336902344
Srinivas. G.- 09935721213

Jaipur bhawan is very near the viswanath temple and dasawamedh ghat. It is run by Marwaris and hence the food is more vegetarian than vegetarian - no onion, non garlic, no food served inside rooms. Food is served by uniformed men in a very clean dining hall where you have to eat sitting on the floor. For a day long outing lunch/tiffin packets are arranged. Rooms are very airy, bright and clean.

Mr Shyam Sunder Sharma +(91)-(542)-2412674 , 2412766, 2412709 +(91)-9335415954 Jaipuria Bhawan, Nr Marwadi Hospital,Godowalia, Varanasi, Varanasi - 221001

ear Shri C S Muthukrishnan, during Jan'10, myself n my husband went to Devipattinam, before commencing our Kasi yathirai with the Rameshwaram trip.Following is the address of the person who performed the sankalpams n the necessary poojas for us. Kindly see if it will be of use:
Mr. V Jegannatha Iyengar, 1/58, Perumal Kovil Street, Navapashanam,Devipattinam-623514. Ramanathapuram Dist. (phone: 04567-264501)(94420-50217)





Kasi Yathra- Travelogue and some Useful information

KASHI TRIP - Part I

Preparations:
Ganga Kavery express which connects Chennai & Varanasi is a biweekly Express. We planned the trip to Allahabad, Varanasi & Gaya 100 days before the actual date of departure viz.. As our trip was coinciding with Diwali(Thanga Annapoorni, Thanga Visalakshi, Annakodda & Laddu Ther) we anticipated rush and purchased 90 days in advance, both onward and return tickets:
We wrote to Swamimalai V.Ramasesha Sastrigal(his brother's name is Mr.V.Krishnamurthy Ganapadigal) B-5/311. Hanuman Ghatt, Varanasi-221001(Phone 0542-2310134). The former's son is Mr.R.shiv Kumar. He is computer savvy. A MCA but in Purhoitam. His cell No. is 093353333137/09415336064. His email id is <[email protected]> He assured to provide us accommodation, food and also arrange transport and perform pithru karyams. He also gave contact name in Allahabad. Shri. N.Vasudeva shastrigal. Shivmath daraganj, Allahabad. 0532-2500799
Then we(each family) started doing purchases: For Khasi Shrraddham Dhoti for brahmana and Vadhyar:9x5 Three Nos, Gaya Shrraddham Dhoti for Gayawalis 9x5 five number(if mother is alive four nos only; Gaya Vadyar Dhoti 9x5 one no. Dhambathi Pooja: Two sets of following: Dhoti 9x5 ; 9 yard saree with blouse piece, Mangalyam, metti, mookuthi -(one each for Allahabad and Kashi).
Extra blouse pieces with kannadi seepu manjal kungumam valayal about 25 sets.
For Dheepa Dhanam: 31 Brass agals with oil & thiri; for payasa Dhanam Tumblers: 12 nos For Dhasa Dhanam: Gold coin, silver coin, silver kinnam, 9x5 veshti, Shawl/porvai, Kudai, Padarakshai, Pithalai Theertha sombu, Eversilver Milk Pathiram, Eayam poosiya Curd Pathiram, Visiri, Sandhana Kattaiu, Bell, Pusthagam(courtesy: Kunjan),

YATRA

The purpose of a Kashi Yatra is to perform Vedic rites for our ancestors. The Purohits were extremely helpful to explain various nuances of rituals. We performed the rites that are traditionally performed during a Kashi Yatra. I share this with all of you in the hope that it may be of reference material for future. I have provided contact numbers of some people there who will be able to arrange everything for anyone who desires to perform these rituals.

We got down at Allahabad at 4.30 Am after a train journey of 35 hours. Mr.Vasudevan sent his errand boy Mr.Venkatesh to Allahabad Rly Stn to pick us up. The Vedic rituals began at Allahabad. The rituals (even the more extensive ones) take about half a day (early morning to lunch).

Day of Arrival - Allahabad (Triveni Sangam) (Day 1)

Allahabad is the city where the three greatest rivers of India meet, and continue their journey further. The Ganga weaves her way down from the Himalayas from Gangotri, passing places made sacred by her arrival, like Rishikesh and Haridwar, and passing through the industrial city of Kanpur, before arriving at Allahabad to join her sisters as she makes her way to Kashi.

Yamuna also begins her journey in the Himalayas, at Yamunotri, and passes through Mathura and Brindavan, made more sacred by the association of Krishna, and finally arrives at Allahabad where she joins the Ganga to merge her identity with her. Saraswati arrives at Allahabad from god alone knows where, for she is an underground river, who remains unseen to mankind, making her presence felt at certain, extremely special places. She renders the holy Ganga and Yamuna even more pure, more sacred by her association with them at Allahabad. The place where these 3 rivers merge is the Triveni Sangam, a place where thousands and thousands congregate to pay their respects to the rivers and pray for their well being and forgiveness for their sins.


The three rivers maintain their identity and are visibly different as they merge. While the Yamuna is deep but calm and greenish in colour, the Ganga is shallow, but forceful and clear. The Saraswati remains hidden, but the faithful believe that she makes her presence felt underwater. During the monsoon, when the rivers are in full flow, the confluence of the rivers is seen clearly due to the force of the water, but the same force makes having a dip at the confluence difficult.

I was told that during the monsoon, most devotees bathe at the riverbank for safety, while the more ardent ones who are willing to pay for the risk involved go to the confluence in a boat, where a shallow area is created by the presence of a number of boats with a kind of net suspended in between, and bathe there. We went to the confluence of the rivers by a boat. A sort of platform had been constructed there, from which we climbed down into waist deep water.

We had a wonderful time bathing in the river. We could have stayed in the water for ages, if it hadn’t been for the rites and rituals we had to perform back at the mutt where we were staying. It was a wonderful experience.

A number of rituals are traditionally performed at Allahabad, mainly for appeasing our ancestors. There are a number of Mutts there who perform the rites. As at Kashi, there is no standard charge, but varies according to the rites one wants to perform and the budget.

An interesting ritual performed at the Sangam is that of Veni Daanam. This is a practice followed by married women for the long life of their husbands. The husband is supposed to comb and plait the wife’s hair and after decorating it with flowers, the end of the plait is cut off and offered to the rivers. Some men even shave off their hair/beard and offer it also to the rivers.

This procedure is performed while travelling by boat to the Sangam and the hair is offered along with flowers, etc at the confluence. There is nothing interesting in itself about this. What is interesting is that hair, being light normally floats on water, but at this place, the hair sinks straight to the bottom. Though hundreds of people offer their hair everyday, there is not a single strand of hair seen floating on the river.

Of course, there could and will be a scientific explanation for this phenomenon, but whatever it is, it gives us proof that nature is a wonderful thing….. Call it God or simply nature, it is indeed inspiring!

The temple of Veni Madhava (one of the trio along with Sethu Madhava and Bindu Madhava) is a little way inside the city. It is a small temple, with a small idol of Vishnu representing Veni Madhava. According to the legend painted on the walls of the temple, there was once a rakshasa who troubled all the Devas. Narada sought an audience with him to find out his weakness, and found that he suffered from a skin infliction.

He told the Asura to bathe in the Triveni Sangam at Allahabad, which the Asura proceeded to do. Amazed at finding himself cured, he wanted to possess the 3 great rivers who had cured him, and began drinking them up! When the rivers pleaded with Vishnu, he arrived in the form of Veni Madhava and killed him, restoring the rivers to their rightful place.

The Shayana Anjaneya temple is an important one right on the banks of the river. Here, the idol of Hanuman is larger than life, carrying Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders. Only, the idol is lying down. There are many stories about this temple. According to one, hanuman stepped over the rivers without their permission, angering them. They rose up and threw him to the ground, and crushed his ego.

According to the locals, every year, the river rises and covers the whole idol before going back, which they consider absolute proof of this story. Another legend mentions that this is where hanuman emerged with Rama and Lakshmana after defeating the king of Patala, the netherworld, Ahi Ravana. Whatever the story, the temple is a simple and nice one.

The Adi Shankara Vimana Mandapam, a temple built by the Kanchi Mutt is right next to this temple. This is a 3 storeyed temple with idols and sculptures of various Gods and Goddesses. It is worth a visit.

The other paces of interest in Allahabad are-

The Allahabad fort, on the banks of the Yamuna, where we take a boat to go to the Sangam.

The Bharadvaj Ashram, where Sage Bharadvaj lived

Anand Bhavan- the birth place of our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru


allahabad sankalpam:
  1. Anugnai (Sankalpam)
  2. Vighneshwara Puja (Prayers to Ganesha)
  3. Prayschitta Sankalpam (atonement for sins committed, knowingly or unknowingly)
  4. Veni Daanam (Women offer a part of their hair to the river praying for the long life of their husbands. The husband plaits the wife’s hair, decorates it with flowers and cuts off the tip of the plait and offers it to the river. It is an interesting fact that while hair normally floats on water, at the Sangam; it immediately sinks to the river bed. Though almost all married women offer their hair here, there is not a single strand found floating on the river!!!!) I did it for Mohana! first time in life.

  1. Manal brought from Rameswaram is dissolved in Thiriveni
  2. Triveni Sangam Snanam (husband and wife bathe together at the confluence of the 3 rivers, holding hands. One has to go to the confluence in a boat. A sort of platform has been erected at the point for the convenience of pilgrims)
  3. Hiranya Shrraddham *
  4. Pinda Pradaanam, Kshetra Pindam, Tarpanam **


  1. Brumayagnam
  2. Venimadhavar Dharisanam
  3. Vada Vrutcha Dharisanam
  4. To collect Pure Ganges water from Thriveni Sangamam for carrying back to home.


  1. Aram Ghat Hanumar Dharisanam
  2. Kanchi Kamakodi Temple visit
  3. we performed Dampati Pooja at Allahabad. We reached Varanasi at 10 Pm. Mr.Krishnamurthy Ganapadigal has sent us Idly for night tiffin. We were accommodated in his newly purchased house which is a two storeyed building with a muttram for drying clothes. The house had 3 rooms, one big hall of around 700 sq.ft with one bath, one w.c and one Indian toilet. The house had pillows, jamukkalam & mats and 4 cots.


The rituals at Kashi take place over three days – the first day for the Maha sangalpam, the second day for Manikarnika Parvarupa (by doing homam) Shrraddham and the third day for the Pancha Teertha Shrraddham. Then, one goes to Gaya and performs the rituals there, and returns to Kashi for the Ganga Puja, Dampati Puja and only then visits the temples at Kashi.
 
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