Matha Kuar Shrine, Kushinagar

Matha Kuar Shrine – by the side of the road is  a colossal statue of Buddha locally called Matha Kuar.  The statue measures 3.05 meter in height and this carved out one block of blue stone of Gaya region to represent Gautam  Buddha seated under the Bodhi Tree in a pose known as the Bhumsparsva Mudra   which symbolically expresses the supreme moment in the  Gautam’s  life just before his enlightenment to  become the Buddha , when He called upon the earth to bear witness to the pities performed by him in his previous birth.

Blue Stone Lord Buddha statue Bhumi Sparsh Mudra

Blue Stone Lord Buddha statue Bhumi Sparsh Mudra

During Buddha’s lifetime, Kushinara ( Kushinagar), as it was then called, was a small town in the kingdom of the Mallas, surrounded by a thick forest cover. It remained forgotten until the late nineteenth century, when archaeologists rediscovered the site, and began excavations.

The inscription at the base of statue is dates back to the 10th or 11th Century A.D. The name of the Stupa implies the “dead prince”. The statue was found by the Archaeologist Carlleyle in late 1870s, as broken pieces, after the statue  being restored the temple was built by Myanmar pilgrims in 1927 to shelter the statue.

 

Information on stone plate

Information on Stone Plate

This place is  is also believed to be the one where Lord Buddha delivered his last sermon.

 

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Shalabhanjika , Monalisa in Stone , Museum , Gwalior Fort

Shalabhanjika  is a price less  stone statue of a lady of World fame Ancient India art work recovered from Gyaraspur near Sanchi and Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh now kept in the museum of Gwalior Fort under high security , special permission is required from the Archaeological Survey of India to visit this particular  chamber.

There were two such sculpted statues installed at the entrance of Sanchi Stupa , during the raids of Mugal King Aurangzeb’s army  one of it was destroyed and this one was thrown in the forests of Gyaraspur, later to be recovered in 19th Century . In early 1980 a  Visitor French Tourist Group named it Monalisa in Stone

Shalabhanjika , Museum , Gwalior Fort

The beauty of this stone statue is the creation of very clear strange smile on a face by the sculpture , it is probably sculpted during 10 – 11 th  AD , the waist holds lower garment across her broad hips and her full bloomed body which  has a bare torso  with a  pearl necklace around her neck , a long necklace falling between her breasts and then one chain going down up to her naval . Eyes and bowed eyebrows , sharp nose , ear rings , her hair with bun decorated with jewelry and precious stones . The lady seems to be standing under a Saal tree holding a branch . She is also known as the Tree Goddess . The Sanskrit name Shalabhanjika means “A lady breaking Saal branch”

Shalabhanjika

Shalabhanjika are found mostly at the entrances of Stupa . The sandstone beams across the gateways were held up by bracket figures like this, representing female tree spirits called Yakshika . In an ancient  Indian fertility rite, beautiful young girls were said to usher in spring by kicking a tree trunk while breaking off a branch, so as to arouse it into blossoming. the Shalabhanjika Yakshika serves as a fertility symbol associated with the spirit of the tree and earth to ensure the auspiciousness of the site where the Stupa is built.

 

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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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Shanti Stupa, A Beautiful White Buddhist Chorten in Leh, India

History

A white dome Stupa (Chorten) built on a Changspa, a steep  hill, opposite the Leh Palace different in architecture  from the Ladhakhi style gives a magnificent view at sunrise and sunset, it looks more beautiful at night illuminated in the white light. It was built by the Ladakh and Japanese Buddhists, Ladakhis offered voluntary labor, construction started in 1983 and it was inaugurated in August 1991 by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. It was built to promote world peace and prosperty and to commemorate the 2500 years of Buddhism.
The Bright Shanti Stupa at Leh
[quote]The Bright Shanti Stupa at Leh[/quote]

 

Structure

It is built as a two level structure, a flight of stairs leads to the first level where a Dharmchakra (as in white strip of Indian national flag) with two deer on each side, features a central image of Lord Buddha in golden colour sitting on a platform turning the Dharmchakra wheel, the second level depicting  the birth of Buddha, defeating of devils in meditation and death of Buddha along with many small images of meditating Buddha, all embossed in vibrant colours.
Various depictions of Lord Buddha's life
[quote]Various depictions of Lord Buddha’s life[/quote]

 

Location

Shanti Stupa is situated at a height of 4267 meters overlooking the Leh city, it gives a panaoromic view of surrounding snow capped mountains and the Leh city.
Shanti Stupa under the BIG bright cloudy Sky
[quote]Shanti Stupa under the BIG bright cloudy Sky[/quote]