Nand Prayag on way to Sri Badrinath

Nand Prayag is one of the holy Panch Prayag (confluence) on river Alaknanda  is 22 km from Karna Prayag and 205 km from Rishikesh situated at a height of 914 meters from sea. The Nandakini river meets the Alaknanda, here , Nandakini river originates from Homkund in the laps of Trishul peak

Nand Prayag view from the Highway

It is named after the Yadu King Nanda who worshiped and performed a yagna and sought blessings of lord Vishnu to be his son on earth but same boon was also given to Devki wife of Vasudev and sister of Demon King Kansa of Mathura, later on mistake was realized and  when lord Vishnu born as Krishna to Devki he was taken to Gokul at  Raja Nanda’s house and his  wife Yashoda nursed him like their own son. Here  is a temple dedicated to Gopal the lord Krishna . Rishi (sage) Kanva did his tapasya here . Legend is that here the  King Dushyant and Shakuntla had a Gandharva Vivah (wedding) .

Nand Prayag is also a starting point for the Roop kund , Kunwari Pass and Tapovan treks.

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Guptkashi on way to Sri Kedarnath

Guptkashi is a village situated at the height of 1319 meters above sea level famous for its Vishwanath temple. The Guptkashi means the Hidden Kashi , it is on the way to Sri Kedarnath, legend is after the Mahabharat war was over the Pandava brothers wanted to wash their sin of killing their own relatives in the war , they were searching the Lord Shiva , Lord Shiva hide himself at this place . It is also said that Lord Shiva proposed to  Parvati here at the confluence of river Son Ganga and Mandakini at Triyuginarayan ( 48 kms) . It is also said that during the Mughal King Aurangzeb period when he ordered to construct the mosque at Vishwanath temple at Varanasi ( Kashi) or Kashi Vishwanath, the original Shiva Lingam was removed from there and brought here to be in safe hiding .

According to the old texts the Purans of Hindus the Kashi and Kanchi are the two eyes of Lord Shiva and there are six more Kashi  sacred and of equal importance as main Kashi the Varanasi or Kashi Vishvanath , those who can’t travel to main Kashi can reach the nearest one , these are Uttarkashi and Guptkashi in Uttrakhand , The Dakshin Kashi in South India, the Bhubneshwar in East of India , Nashik in Western India ( also called Paithan) and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.

Vishvanath Temple Guptkashi

Vishwanath Temple

It is built of stone with high tower and a wooden frame with sloping roof , at the entrance there are two guards and walls are painted with flowers , main entrance is also guarded by the Bhairov, on the one side is a temple of Ardhnarishvar the half man and half woman form of lord Shiva , outside this temple is the Nandi bull statue made of metal.


It is the temple across the river Mandakini at Guptkashi , it is the winter seat of the Sri Kedarnath  , there is a small water pond the Manikarnik Kund two water sources the water is coming out of a mouth of cow  is called Ganga  the water is coming out of a elephant trunk  is called Yamuna , the water falls on the Lingam. There is a Stupa which according to the local legends is a grave of Nala one of the characters in Ramayana , The legend also says that the Anirudha the grandson of Lord Krishna  and Usha the daughter of demon King Banasur had affair at Ramgarh ( Ronitpur) this affair led to the war between Banasur and lord Krishna  which resulted in as  end of the Banasur dynasty.

Guptkashi is becoming more important for a night stay on trip to Sri Kedarnath as there are good hotels, guest houses and camps , it is also because of the Phata , Sita Puri and Sirsi helipad ,  people prefer to stay here.

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Bet Dwarka Temple , Gujarat

Bet Dwarka an island  is situated next to the shores of Okha which is about 29 km from Dwarka,  in the Gulf of Kutch , also known as Bet Shankhodhara and Ramandeep , It was a residence of Lord Krishna while Dwarka was his ruling / political seat , the name Bet Dwarka came from the incident of Lord Krishan’s  childhood friend   Sudama meet him and gave Bhet (Gift) of Tandul-Poha  (Rice).

Ferry from Okha port to Bet Dwarka

After crossing the 5 km creek by a ferry one is to walk about 10 minutes to reach the temple.

It is believed that Lord Krishna stayed at Bet Dwarka with his wife to save himself from scorching heat. The temple has a huge statue of the Lord Krishna platted in gold. The Temple’s shikhar is in one straight  line with Sharda shakti temple and  Devki ji (Krishna’s mother) temple sikhar It is also the seat of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. it is said that Bet Dwarka is the holiest pilgrimage place for the Vaishnav’s Hindus . Bet Dwarka now is abode of 20 Vishnu temples, 23 shiv temples, including well known Dhingeshvara , Nilkantheshwar, Abhaya , Dhara shakti peeths along with other 14 Devi temples. Nine Hanuman temples including well known Hanuman Dandi

Main entrance Lord Krishna Temple Bet Dwarka Beyond this gate photography is prohibited inside

The lane in which this temple is , flooded by small shops  selling shells, rosary beads , old coins , photos ,  idols of Lord Krishna, local crafts and refreshments . 500 year old temple is built by Shri Vallabhacharya, it enshrines an idol of gold believed to be made by Lord Krishna ‘s wife Rukmini , tradition is to  present the Brahmins here with donations of rice.

 Lord Buddha also stayed in Bet Dwarka,  there is a Stupa and on one of the chajja ( Gallery) in the main temple there is an image of Lord Buddha . Bet Dwarka has glorious history as Meera Bai  of Chittor , arrived from Rajasthan and  merged with the graceful image of Lord Krishna. Nana Saheb Peshava ( leader of 1857 war with British forces ) spent the last years of his life in Bet Dwarka.

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Rukmini Devi Temple , Dwarka , Gujarat

Rukmini Devi Temple is also known as Rukshmani Devi Temple situated just outside the Dwarka City in the North direction near the road leading to Bet Dwarka , its construction is of  12th Century with beautiful carvings on pillars and the dome.

It is located on the banks of Bhagirathi River, the Mandir comprises of a beautiful marble deity of Devi Rukmini, with four hands or Chaturbhuja. These four hands hold Shanka, Chakra, Gada and Padma, which symbolic of  her being reincarnation of Goddess Ma Lakshmi.

Rukmini Devi temple Dwarka Gujarat

Rukmini was younger sister of Rukmi and daughter of King Bhishmaka of Vidharba , Rukmi was friend of lord Krishna’s uncle Kansa and never wanted his sister to have relation with Krishna, while coming out of temple Rukmini spotted Krishna and fled with him on his chariot , Krishna won the war with Rukmi and  wanted to kill him but Rukmini prayed to forgive him and Krishna let him go after shaving his head . Krishna had 16108 wife and  made Rukmini Patrani (the chief queen ), to celebrate their marriage they invited Sage Durvasa for a feast , Durvasa accepted the invitation on a condition to accompany them if Krishna and Rukmini will pull  his  chariot instead of bull or horses, on the way Rukmini felt thirsty and requested Krishna to fetch some water for her , Krishna hit the ground with his feet and Bhagirathi appeared at that place and escaping the eyes of Sage Durvasa , gave water to Rukmini to drink,  Durvasa saw this and got angry because he felt insulted being a guest he was to be fed first , he cursed that the Dwarka will not have sweet water , that the Krishna and Rukmini will not live together for 12 years .

Lord Krishna and Rukmini Devi statue

The Rukmini temple is built outside the Dwarka at a place where lord Krishan gave water to Rukmini and had separation due to the curse of Sage Durvasa , away from Dwarka’s Jagat Mandir, even today the drinking for Dwarka is fetch from 100 kms. away  It is widely believed among the devotees that the pilgrimage is incomplete if a devotee doesn’t go to offer prayers at Rukmini Temple even if he worshiped the Lord at Dwarkadheesh temple.

Carvings at dome , Rukmini Devi Temple Dwarka


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Tigers at Ranthambhore National Park Sawai Madhopur Rajasthan

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Ranthambhore Wildlife National Park at Sawai Madhopur is in the State of Rajasthan , India . It is one of the largest National Park covering aprox. 392 Sq. Km. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1973 and then the National Park in 1980 . It is the best place to sight Tigers in wild  in their natural habitat as in this small area there are aprox. 60 Tigers in different Zones . Due to increase in population of Tigers, the forest Officials are relocating the few to the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary .

Entrance Ranthabhore Tiger Reserve

A. Ranthambhore Wildlife Park is open for visits from October till May every year , in the monsoons few zones remain open for the visit but due to water logging, slush and also the  mating period for the most of the wild animals including the Tigers therefore  it is not advised to visit the Forest wildlife .

Tiger Pug Mark , Ranthambhore Wildlife National Park

B. The online registration along with the photo ID,  is a  must for the Wildlife National Park visit, it  opens 90 days in advance, the visitor must carry and present the same ID at the time of entry into the National Park .

C. There are two time slot one in the morning 07 AM to 10.30 AM and afternoon 02 PM to 06 PM , these timings changes 30 minutes plus , minus depending on day lights .

D. Private Vehicles are not permitted in the National Park ,  Thirty seats Canter and Six seats Jeeps are permitted in a specific Zone with a restricted number of Vehicles allowed  for aprox. three hours within the time slot.

Ranthambhore wildlife Park Vehicle with Specific Zone nbr plate

E. The Ranthabhore Wildlfe National Park is divided into Ten Zones, Tigers are territorial animals and guard their territory , by marking scratches on Tree Trunks and rocks  with urine , body scent and anal secretions,  keep trying to extend it even at the cost of their own life , it is not limited to the Forest Zones marked by the Forest Officials . When one  visits Ranthambhore Wildlife in the particular Zone  Tigers present  there can be identified .


Ranthambhore Wildlife Zone Map

Zone 01.     Sultan ( T 72), Noor ( T 39 ), Ustad ( T 24 )

Zone 02 .   Krishna ( T 19 ), Gayatri ( T 22 ), Ustad ( T 24 ), Noor ( T 39 ), Sultan ( T 72 ), Jhumuru ( T 20 )

Zone 03.    Star ( T 28 ), Bhola/Dollar ( T 25 ), Krishna ( T 19 ) with three Cubs

Zone 04.    Machali ( T 16 ), Bhola/Dollar ( T 25 ), Krishna ( T 19 ) with Cubs, Star ( T 28 ), Romeo ( T 6 ), Mr. Bond ( T 47 )

Sunehri ‘s Cub at Ranthambhore Wildlife National Park

Zone 05.    Romeo ( T 6 ),  Sunehari  ( T 17 ) with three Cubs , Bhola/Dollar ( T 25 ) Bahadur ( T 6 ) .

Zone 06.    Ustad ( T 4 ), Kumbha ( T 34 ), Sultan ( T 72 ), Noor ( T 39 )

Zone 07.    Ladli ( T 8 ) with one Cub , Kumbha ( T 34 )

Zone 08.     Ladli ( T 8 ) with one Cub , Kumbha ( T 34 )

Zone 09.     Fateh ( T 42 )

Zone 10.     Fatheh ( T 42 ) , Old Sultanpur ( T 13 ), with three Cubs

There are many other animals other than Tigers like Leopards,  Sambhar Deer, Chetal, Neel Gai, Langur, Jackals, Sloth Bears, Three types of Foxes, Rats, Hedgehog, Mongooses, Turtles, Crocodiles, Tortoise, Snakes, Pythons and Lizards and many birds one can see at Ranthambhore Wildlife National Park .

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Sudama Temple , Porbandar , Gujarat

Sudama temple is situated in the city of Porbandar of Gujarat state , Sudama is the childhood friend of lord Krishna when they were having their education at Rishi Sandipni ashram at Mathura .

The present temple is built at same place where there use to be an old Sudama temple under the patronage of Sri Ramdev Ji Jethwa from the royal family of Porbandar during 1900-1908 AD , to complete the construction funds were raised by performing stage shows and received donations from the rich people .

Sudama Temple , Porbandar , Gujarat

Its architecture  is a simple with carved marble pillars and shikhar , open from all the sides situated in a garden with a small step-well and a temple dedicated to lord Ganesh Ji .


Sudama Temple , Porbandar , Gujarat

Sudama was born at this place and went to Mathura  at Rishi Sandipni Ashram where he met Krishna  , after the studies returned to his home and living a poor life , one day his wife asked him why not to meet his childhood friend who is a King of Dwarka for a help , Sudama went to meet Lord Krishna and when Lord heard about him he ran bare foot and receive his friend at the doors , offered him his seat  and washed his feet himself , upon lord Krishna’s request Sudama stayed few days as his guest , due to hesitation he never asked for any help as long as he was guest and returned home feeling guilty as to what he will reply to his wife, after reaching home he could not find his hut but instead there was a big mansion where his family was staying , he was then informed by his wife how Lord Krishna has helped them .

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