Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Chaturbhuj Temple is situated in village Jatakari ,Khajuraho, built in 1100AD , the Chaturbhuj (Lord Vishnu ) means the one with four arms . It is peculiar temple in three distinct characters which differentiate it from other temples of Khajuraho .  It houses the tallest stone carved idol among all the Temples in Khajuraho , only temple in Khajuraho with no Erotic figures, it is also the only important temple in Khajuraho that faces west . 

Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho

Standing over a platform with entrance from the West , it is normally  not seen in the Hindu temples but rest all the architecture needs are taken care of like the Mandapa , Garbhagriha and the Shikhara , there are images of Ganga can be identified with the presence of Crocodile and Yamuna can be identified with Turtle , there is a beautiful image of Lord Shiva in his Ardhnarishwar ( half man , half woman) carvings along with the heavenly life .

Main entrance , tallest statue among all the temples at Khajuraho

The main idol is suppose to be of Lord Vishnu but the close observation gives impression of three bodies in one , head with Jata ( hairs) of Lord Shiva , the four arms carrying Lotus, Conch , one arm showering the blessings and the other is giving the Abhay ( fearlessness ) , the standing pasture with one leg resting on toe is a Lord Krishna dancing style ( Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) , near the main idol there are images of Sura – Sundari .

Lord Chaturbhuj , Features of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishana

Beauty of this temple is seen  at sunset the sun comes streaming in and falls on the figure, lighting it in such a way that it appears to be full with life.

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Harsiddhi Mata Temple, Miyani, Gujarat

Harsiddhi Mata or Harshad Mata temple is situated in a village Miyani about 3 km from the Dwarka – Porbandar- Somnath highway about 65 Km. from Dwarka , 30 km before Porbandar and  aprox . 170 Km. from Somnath on a hilltop overlooking the Arabian Sea .

One is to climb 400 steps to reach the temple which was established by Lord Krishna for his Kul – Devi  at present no puja is performed here , the Puja is performed in a temple built at the foot hill in the market .

Harsiddhi Mata temple Dwarka-Somnath highway

The hill on which the temple is located is called Koylo Dungar , the legend is Lord Krishna prayed to Mata Amba Ji to give more powers to kill the Jarasandh and the other demons , after his success in war Lord Krishna built this temple himself and celebrated the victory with his Yadav community , since then Yadav community worship Harsiddhi Mata as their Kul- Devi.

Harsiddhi Mata temple at foot hill in the market

Around 1300 AD a Jain merchant Jagdu Shah visited the temple and prayed to the Harsiddhi  Mata to save his ships which were sinking when ever  they were crossing the sea near the temple, he constructed the new temple and requested the Mata to come down and stay at the foot of the hill , since then Harsiddhi Mata is Kul Devi for many Jain families  and puja is performed .

The Sri Yantra and right colours

King Vikramaditya of Ujjain also a devotee of Harsiddhi Mata  built one temple at Ujjain , visited at this place and said that he will worship her every day and requested that the day time she will stay at Ujjain and at night in Miyani. A Sri yantra is carved in the temple. Mata is also known as Vahanvati Mata ,  She is also known as Sindhoi Mata or Goddess of Sands .

Pilgrims walking Long distance reaching Harsiddhi Mata temple to pay their respect .

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Somnath Temple , Gujarat

The Somnath Temple , Gujarat also mentioned as Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan, or Somnath Pattan is situated in Prabhas Kshetra , of Viraval town on the South – West cost of Gujarat state  of India  , is one of the twelve Jotirlings Shrine of Lord Shiva , the location of this temple, Strange but fact , it lies in a straight line to South Pole, in between  there is only water. no land mass other than the Antarctica ice in between .

                                                      
Somnath Temple Gujarat

 The research done by the Vadic Shodh Sanatan Varanasi on ancient Hindu Puranas (classical text) Prabhas Khand of Skandh Puran. The first Jyotirling Pran Pratistha at Somnath Temple was performed on the third day of Shukla Paksha of Shravan month of the 10th Treta Yug of  Vaivaswati Manvantar i.e. over 70 million years ago .

 

Somnath Temple at night

The present temple structure was constructed over the ruins of the old temple, the reconstruction, the pran pratishtha was done on 11 May 1951 by the then President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad, it was completed and dedicated to the worshipers on 1st December 1995 by the then President of India Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma .

According to legends the first temple was built by Lord Chandra (Moon God) to be relieved from the curse of his father-in-law, Dakasha Prajapati, whose 27 daughter was married to Chandra. Because of curse, Lord Chandra had lost its luster. Then advice from Lord Brahma, Chandra  worship Lord Shiva at this place (Prabhas Tirtha). Pleased with the devotion and (penance) Tapasya Lord blessed him to be partly relieved from the curse , which resulted in fifteen days of reducing shine (Krishna Paksha) and fifteen days for increase in shine ( Shulka Paksha ) In praise , Lord Chandra built a temple in gold. It is said Ravana the king of Lanka and devotee of Lord Shiva built it in silver followed by Lord Krishna built the temple in sandalwood and in the 10th century it was rebuilt in stone by King Bhimdev Solanki.

Somnath Temple in the morning

This temple Somnath (the protector of Moon God) and “The shrine eternal” although the temple has been destroyed six times, it has been rebuilt every time. “The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction”

It is said Lord Brahama installed a Bharama Shila and paved way for the construction of the temple. It is also said the Lord Chandra and the other Deva’s requested Lord Shiva to be known as Somchandra and reside in the form of Jotirlinga here eternally.

There are other significant places as per Hindu mythology to visit are Bhalka Tirath , here Lord Krishna was shot by an arrow in his foot, this place have a temple and a legendary tree under which Lord Krishna was taking rest .

Hiran , Kapila and Saraswati Triveni Ghat

Triveni Ghat where three rivers Hiran , Kapila and legendry Saraswati meets . The temple built by Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore , The cave dedicated to Lord Krishna’s brother Balram , where he transformed into a snake and went to Patal Lok. A cave and a temple dedicated to  Adi Shankaracharya where he meditated more than thousand years ago .

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Sahastra Baahu Temple|Nagda|Udaipur|Rajasthan

Sahastra Baahu Temple Nagda about 22 km from Udaipur is also known as  Saas Bahu Ka Mandir, a twin Vaishnav Mandir, here are group of temples of early 7th century, dedicated to lord Vishnu, there use to be a town in the East of this temple, in 15th Century the Gohila King Mokala constructed a lake ( Baghela Talav) after his brother’s name Bagh Singh and town was relocated . This temple is no more in use , it is in partial ruins, tourists  main attraction is of it’s architecture and rare artistic beauty of carvings of more than thousand years ago.

Makar Torna Gate, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Makar Torna Gate, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The Twin temple are on a raised platform , The entrance use to be from east through a Makar Torna ( arched gate), there are ten small temples around the large temple The Vishnu Temple, built by Yasomati, wife of the commander in chief of the Mewar rulers ( Saas or Mother-in-Law) and five small temples around the small ( Bahu or Daughter-in-Law) temple.

The twin temples view from West Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The twin temples view from West Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The Saas temple is large and Bahu temple is small , The Bahu temple has the Octagon ceiling, there are eight female figures, the Saas temple has the Torna , the walls are not much decorated but pillars , roof and projections are full of carvings.

Kirtimukha at the entrance, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Kirtimukha at the entrance, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Temples are constructed on “Pancharatha” plan , The Garbhagriha, Antryalaya, Ardhmandapm, Mandapam and Varandha ( Sanctum, Vestibule, Hall and Porch ). Kirtimukha is at the main entrance of temple.

Sahastrabahu Temple, Saasbahu Mandir, Nagda, Udaipur

Sahastrabahu Temple, Saasbahu Mandir, Nagda, Udaipur

The outer walls are decorated with carvings of people in their daily life work, inlaid work are remarkable , lady playing with child, churning curd, potter making pots, elephant punishing a culprit etc.

Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu incarnations, Lord Brahma, Lord Ram, Balram, Parshuram, epics from Mahabharat, Ramayana  and Lord Krishna’s life are very well preserved .

Lord Vishnu riding Garuda's sholders, Sahatrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Lord Vishnu riding Garuda’s sholders, Sahatrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

 

Lord Shiva and above is Parshuram, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Lord Shiva and above is Parshuram, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Lord Shiva and Parsuram in meditation are on the west wall ( rear ) of Sahastrabahu temple

Carved Torna Mandap , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Carved Torna Mandap , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The mandap of Sahastrabahu temple is beautiful carved pillars and Toranas , the carvings are of Lord Shiva with Parvati, Godess Chamamunda , Godess Ma Kali, Godess Ma Mahishasur Mardani .

Carvings in Mandap above Torna , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Carvings in Mandap above Torna , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The walls above the Tornas are carved with epics from Ramayana and Mahabharat.

Butifull carved lotus, ceiling of Mandap, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipr

Butifull carved lotus, ceiling of Mandap, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipr

The ceiling above in the Mandap is beautifully carved lotus flower floating  in a water pool .

Mahishasur Mardan, pillar of Mandap, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Mahishasur Mardan, pillar of Mandap, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

One of the Mandap pillar carved to show Ma Mahishasur Mardani .

 

Lord Krishna taking away Rukmani on his chariot , Sahstrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Lord Krishna and Arjun on chariot scene from Mahabharat , Sahstrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

The projections of the roof plate ( chajja) depicting the Lord Krishna and Arjun on a chariot at Mahabharat battle field.

Lord Shiva with scaled snake skin, skull in one hand, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Lord Shiva with scaled snake skin, skull in one hand, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

One of the rare carving of Lord Shiva with four hands one of the left hand is carrying a skull trident in right hand and other two arms are carrying flowers , it is showing lord Shiva’s body skin of a snake with scales .

Balram in medation with club and Plough, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Balram in medation with club and Plough, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Just above the lord Shiva statue is the Balram , lord Krishna’s brother carrying a club and a plough in his hands, sitting  in deep meditation .

Ma Kali with skull in hand and Lord Shiva lying on ground, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Ma Kali with skull in hand and Lord Shiva lying on ground, Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

One of the outer wall is having Ma Kali with a skull in one hand a trishool in another hand and lord Shiva is lying on the ground with Ma Kali above the lord.

Carving Hindu Mythology Kalpavirksha a divine tree , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Carving Hindu Mythology Kalpavirksha a divine tree , Sahastrabahu Temple, Nagda, Udaipur

Kalpavirksha or Kalpa padap is a divine tree as per the Hindu mythology , it is carved in the inner wall of the temple, it is said it is a wish fulfilling tree.

Ravaged and plundered by the invading Muslim armies in the 14th century, this temple has survived the turns of history gracefully. Worth visiting for its architectural beauty .

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Dandi Hanuman Ji Temple, Bet Dwarka, Gujarat

Dandi Hanuman Ji temple is situated in Bet Dwarka island about 5 km from the main temple of Lord Krishna , this temple is unique as it is the only temple where Lord Hanuman Ji  though Brhamchari ( bachelor)  is with his son Makardhwaj , without his Mugdhar (Mace). It is a small temple at a spot where Lord Hanuman Ji met his son for the first time  in the sands of Gulf of Kutch at the entrance of Patal lok

Dandi Hanuman Ji Temple Bet Dwarka , Gujarat

The image of Makardhwaj is on the left side taller than his father Lord Hanuman  on a closer look one finds Makardhwaj image is full but Hanuman Ji is shown above the thighs between the two there is one Dand (club)  instead of Gada (mace). Makardhwaj left leg is little raised and crushing a demons skull  tail is resting on ground. Right hand is raised above the shoulder in blessing form and left hand is on chest / heart Lord Hanuman Ji right hand is raised above the shoulder and resting on the back of head, left hand is resting on chest/heart , tail is raised above the right shoulder and face is shown in a relaxed mood.

Makardhwaj and Dandi Hanuman Ji , Bet Dwarka , Gujarat

The legend is that  at the time of Ram and Ravan battle , the twin step brothers Ahi Ravan and Mahi Ravan of Ravan disguised them self as Vibhishan and Jamvant , kidnapped Lord Ram and Laxman and took them to Paatal Lok to sacrifice them to their deity , Lord Hanuman went in search and reached the Paatal entrance where he was challenged by a Vanara ( monkey) , upon asking who he is he identified himself as son of Lord Hanuman Ji . Hnuman Ji was Bharamchari ( bachlor ) upon asking him if he ever met his father and how he is father because he is a bachelor , Makardhwaj replied that when Hanuman Ji burnt Lanka with his tail and went to the sea to dip his tail in the water to extinguish the fire at that time the sweat from his body dropped and a  it was swallowed by a Magar (Crocodle ) and he was born in the kitchen of his foster mother Chandersena  who is in service of  the demon twin brothers and he is also employed by them to not to allow any one to enter the Paatal Lok , at this point Lord Hanuman Ji gave his introduction and wanted to enter , hearing the noise Chandersena came out and upon knowing the story agreed to help Lord Hanuman Ji  and after killing the twin brothers Lord Hanuman Ji bring Lord Ram and Laxman back to the safe place , before leaving, upon the request of Chandersena they made Makardhwaj the King of Paatal Lok .

Legend is Lord Krishna requested Lord Hanuman Ji and his son Makardhwaj to take care of security of Bet Dwarka .

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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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Dwarkadheesh Temple Dwarka Gujarat

 Dwarkadheesh temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is also known as Jagat Mandir , Dvaramati, Dvaravati, and Kushsthali in the ancient holy books , situated on the west banks of Gujarat on Arabian sea , it is  here Lord Krishna established his capital after moving out of Mathura , is worshiped as Dwarkadheesh , the king of Dwarka  , it is also the place where Lord Vishnu killed the demon named Shankhasura.  some distance from here is one of the 12 Jyotir Lingas (columns of lights) specifically manifesting Lord Shiva named Nageshwar Mahadev is in the sanctified place of Dwarka.

River Gomti and Dwarkadheesh Temple Dwarka

The original city got submerged into the sea,the recent excavations in the sea near the shore confirms the existence of a well fortified area .

The original temple was built by Vajranabhji the Great Grand Son of Lord Krishna at a site which was  a formal residence of Lord, around 400 BC . The present temple was constructed in 16th Century, it rises up to a height of 51.8 meters, consists of 60 exquisitely carved pillars and a number of sculptures ,The temple is built of soft limestone and consists of a sanctum, vestibule and a rectangular hall with porches on three sides. The main entrance is from the North the Moksha Dwar and the gate on South is called the Swarg Dwar leads down 56 steps to river Gomti . On top of the shikhar there is  huge flag made from 52 yards of cloth , it is changed five times in a day .

North gate the Moksha dwar Dwarkadheesh Temple

 The deity of Lord Dwarkadhish is made of shiny black stone and is about 2.25 ft in height. The four hands of the deity carry a conch, the Sudarshana Chakra ,Gada ( a mace ) and a lotus, and this image is popularly known as ‘Shankh Chakra Gada Padma Chaturbhuj’.

The Temple is considered to be one of the holiest in Chardham , established by Adi Shankaracharya in 8th Century .

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Bhalka Teerath, Somnath, Gujarat

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Bhalka Teerath is in Veraval near Somnath . Legend is at this place Lord Krishna after the Mahabharata war was over he left  Mathura to save and protect his people, established Dwarka on the Sea shores as his capital , Veraval is called Prabhas Kshetra ,  one day he was having his dhyan  under a Peepal tree with his back resting  on tree trunk sitting on a deer skin with his left foot over his right leg , a hunter named Jara was  in search of  some animal to be hunted , he misunderstood the foot  of Lord Krishna to be an eye of a deer and shot an arrow ( in Gujarati arrow means Bhall Baan ) and badly injured the Lord ,   realizing his mistake he apologized to Lord but Lord Krishna told him that it is not a mistake , but it was his own deeds of previous births he was paying off . He ( Zara ) was Monkey King Bali brother of Sugreev , he was killed by him with a shot of an arrow , hiding behind the trees in his ( Lord Krishna) previous incarnation as Ram 

Bhalka Teerath , Veraval, Somnath

Lord Krishna appeared before the hunter  Zara , holding conch, chakra, mace and padma in his four hands ,  The Viraat Roop Lord Vishnu .

 

Bhalka Teerath Temple with Holy Peepal Tree

After Lord Krishna was badly injured he walked some distance to Prabhas Patan the Triveni , confluence of river Hiranya , Kapila and Saraswati  and breathed his last and at same place he was cremated

 

Balram Gufa ( Cave) Bhalka Teerath Somnath

The place where  Balarama (Incarnation of Sheshnag ) also known as Baldev , Lord Krishna’s elder brother departed from the earth  in his  serpent form after Lord Krishna left for Nijdham ( Heavenly abode). This is marked by an ancient holy cave called “Dauji-ni Gufa

 

Triveni Ghats , cremation site of Lord Krishna

 

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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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