Shani Dev, Yamuna Temple at Kharsali, Uttarakhand

The beginning point of Chardham Yatra is Yamunotri which lies at an 3293 meters from the sea level, there is a good road till Barkot and then up to Janki Chatti, from here one goes for 6 km uphill difficult trek to Yamunotri, this temple is closed during the winters and the main idol of Maa Yamuna or Yamunotri is kept at Lord Shani Dev temple at Kharsali  which lies at 2675 metres from the sea level , till the winter ends. This place  is also known as Khushimath  is one kilometer from Janki Chatti across the River Yamuna.

Shani Dev Temple at Someshwar

 The History and Story

Yamuna, The daughter of the Sun God (Surya) and consciousness Chhaya (the Shadow) she has one sister Sangya, brother Shani Dev, Yamraj and Gangotri are also called her cousin and sister. Every year in the first week of May on “Akshya Tritiya”, Lord Shani Dev accompanies his sister Yamuna to Yamunotri and returns back to Kharsali and again meets to bring her back on the “Bhai Dooj” or “Yam Dwetiya” two days after dipawali it is also a day for Yamuna to meet her brother Yamraj.

 Architecture

Who built this temple here at Kharsali, an inscription on stone on its wall could not be translated till now, locals believe it is constructed by the Pandavas, looks more like fort, it is a stone and wooden four story structure. The main structure is constructed in a way by using stones, wood the Urad dal or Vigna mungo (botanical name Lens culinaris) is used as a part of mortar to fix the stones together. It has faced the mighty earthquakes and floods with no damage to the building since immortal time. One can climb up through a narrow stairs, the main Bronze idol of Lord Shani Dev is kept here along with the Chaaya (the Shadow), the Sangya (the conciseness) and the Nag Devta, there are two urns one big and one small are  kept and no one touches them because of any unforeseen danger to self or family, there is a belief that these Urns change their position themselves on Purnima (Full moon night) and Amawasya (Dark night) the Yamuna Idol is kept during the winters on the first floor.

The Wall Supports of the Temple

 Importance

The importance of this temple is that it is the oldest temple of Lord Shani Dev, he particularly treats the people bad who are habitual betrayals, Back stabbers or into unjust revenges in other words Lord Shani punishes the guilty ones, he is a trouble maker for bad but rewards the good people, any one affected with Shani Sadsati and Shani Dhaiya, if performs pooja here the bad effect of Sadsati and Dhaiya is reduced, anyone if having a fear of Black Magic takes blessings from here is never attacked by its ill effects. Lord Shani Dev rides on a black vulture, carrying arrow, sword and two daggers, always wears black cloths, he has a limp in his one leg.

This photograph of the footbridge across the Yamuna River between Jānkīchaṭṭī and Kharsali was taken from the Jānkīchaṭṭī side of the river

Footbridge to Harsil across the Yamuna at Jankichatti

 Religious Beliefs & Practices

During the months of July, August (Sawan and Bhadon) a date is announced by the priest when a Pandava Nritya (dance) is performed by the special people in the courtyard to please the Nag Devta (Snake God), this dance starts after midnight witnessed by the locals from the surrounding  villages, it is believed that any one who performs fast on this day and recites the Mahamritunjay Mantra is protected from having unnatural death, this place is also believed to be place where the Nag Devta shows his presence once a year .

Significance of this temple is that after having darshan and pooja at Yamunotri one must pay a respectful visit at this place to make the darshan as complete. One can have a beautiful panaromic view of river Yamuna, Janki Chatti and the snow capped Himalyan Mountain Range.

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About the Author

[author]
[author_image timthumb=’on’]wp-content/uploads/authors/anil-rajput.jpg[/author_image] Anil Kumar Rajput – Managing Director at Promark Travel, is in the Travel Industry since 1980. He travels to write articles and blogs frequently. For more Info Do Visit (promarktravels.com) which caters all the travel needs of it’s clients. Connect with him on Facebook (htttp://www.facebook.com/anil.k.rajput) and Twitter (@PromarkTravels)
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Rann Utsav Runn Kutch Gujarat 2014 – 15

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The Great Rann of Kutch is in district of Kutch , Gujarat state of India , between the Gulf of Kutch and the Mouth of river Sindhu  ( Indus) in Pakistan , in between there is a vast flat land which is filled with sea water during the monsoons and when dried up around October a white sheet of salt gets deposit on the sea bed .The Rann Utsav which started in the winters of 2012 gained lots of success due to the activities available and close proximity to Rann  , this year the celebration are  starting from 06 December 2014 will go on till  05 March 2015 .

This festival or Utsav is organised to enjoy the  various colors of the Rann as well as get a taste of the local culture, cuisine and hospitality. Specially built local houses are also used to house tourists to give them a taste of Gujarat and Kutch to them.

                                              
Rann Kutch , the vast land of salt

 The beauty of Rann Kutch is enjoyed during the full moon nights when the wast land of salt sparkles like a white sheet all over up to where the eyes can see  . Full moon nights are 06 DEC 2014, 05 JAN 2015, 04 FEB 2015 and 02 MAR 2015 .

 

Sun Rise at Great Rann of Kutch

The Sunrise and Sunset at Rann are equally beautiful when Sun shows its different colors and white salt sparkles  with the changing colors

 

Full Moon Night at Great Rann of Kutch

Best is to stay during  full moon and increasing moon nights when the sky with full moon light and  the Rann with white surface gives a magical glow appearance

Stay in tents near Rann Kutch

Accommodation are available at the venue in Swiss tents , Luxury tents and nearby villages are always ready to accommodate the guests with their huts called Bunga specially prepared keeping in view of the requirements of an urban tourist , they serve the ethnic Kutchi delicacies served with Chach ( butter milk) Rotra ( Milet bread) White butter with local available vegetables .

Stay in a Bunga ( Kutch hut)

The Bunga are the huts constructed by using the mud and thatched roof , the interior walls and floor are plastered with mud mixed with caw dung and walls are painted with geometrical and flowers designs with a use of vegetable colors and small mirrors.

Mud paintings on wall of a Bunga ( Kutch Hut )

From here one can have the sightseeing trips to Pacham the island within desert surrounded three side with saline water with the highest point   Kalo Dungar peak one can enjoy the vastness of Rann from here  , Pakistan Border , Mandvi Sea Beach , Kot Lakhpat along with the Wildlife Safaris , Rann Safaris , Kutch Villages Dhordo and Hodka , villages famous for their finest embroidery styles , leather crafts and beautiful Bungas , one can also see the  the ancient process of water harvesting in the Banni dry-lands  .

The Chhari Dhand , shallow water bodies are locally known as dhand, jheel or talav , these attract lots of migratory birds in winter , with an area of almost 10 sq km. at Chhari Dhand there are more than 30,000 birds species like Dalmatian Pelican (Pelicanuscrispus), Oriental Darter (Anhingiarufa), Black necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchusasiaticus) and Indian Skimmer (Rynchopsalbicollis) migrate through these wetlands every year  32 species of Raptors have been recorded here, together with a large number of Common Cranes.

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