Monday, May 11, 2015

Tirumala Tourist Spots: Akash Ganga

Origin of Akasha Ganga: A great Vaishnava Saint Peria Tirumalai Nambi (973 AD) was performing services to Lord Venkateswara by bringing water from Papavinasam Falls for the daily morning puja of the Lord. Even during his advanced age the Saint was performing this service.The Lord took mercy on him and appeared in the form of a fowler and stood before him begging him for water to quench his thirst.The Saint refused to give him the water as the water was required to be offered to the Lords feet during puja.The fowler shot an arrow at the pot making a hole and drank the water.Tirumalai Nambi felt sad at this act of the fowler and started going back to Papavinasanam for bringing water.The fowler told him not to worry and immediately shot an arrow at a spot in the Anjanadri hills and sacred water gushed out.The fowler then appeared to the Saint as Lord Venkateswara and told him to draw water hereafter from this new water fall which is much nearer to the temple and named it Akasha Ganga.
The gushing waters of Akashganga are cool and refreshing. A wash and bath in this water has therapeutic effects.We drank copious quantity of this water and felt a new energy coursing through our veins.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Tirumala Tourist Spots - Sri Vari Padam and Chakra Teertham

Other places of tourist interest in Tirumala are:

Srivari Padam:Just about 5 kms from the main temple of Lord Venkateshwara/Balaji in Tirumala is Srivari Paadam. .Presently there are no bus services to the places and can be accessed with the help of private vehicles or jeeps for hire. It is believed that the Lord descended on the earth at this place and decided on the place where the temple is presently situated. The Lord's feet are worshiped at this point on the hill.

 Chakra Theertham is also a famous pond in Tirumala, which is located next to Silathoranam.This place houses a Swayambu Lingam. It is believed that when Lord Brahma observed grief at this site, Lord Vishnu plunged his Sudarshana Chakra for cleansing it.The Sudarshana Chakra then fell into a place, which later came to be known as Chakra Theertham. This pond is known for cleanse bathers of sins and lead them to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. 
View of Tirumala hills from Sri Vari Padam @ 5 Kms from Main Temple
Sri Vari Padam-The Lords feet are worshiped here
Sri Chakra Teertham located near Silathoranam - You have to walk through a steep gradient and descend to a depth of around 150-200 ft to be able to see this Teertham
Landscape near Chakra Teertham

Friday, May 8, 2015

Tirumala Tourist Spots - Silathoranam

This is a rare geological arch and the only one its kind in the whole of Asia.This is one of the rarest geological faults in our country and the age of the rock is estimated at 2500 million years and the age of the arch around 1500 million years.Two other such arches are known to exist in the world today: The Utah Arch in the USA and the arch cut through the del radian quartzite of U.K. Its length is 25 ft and height 10 ft. Devotees believe that Lord Venkateswara the presiding deity of this sacred hill appeared through this as Swayambhu and took his abode at the temple which is just a kilometer away. Hence the name Sila-Thoranam or idol-entrance. This place has been beautifully developed as a tourist spot with nice greenery gardens plants and trees. It is truly enchanting. Most pilgrims coming to Tirumala are unaware of these tourist spots.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Wedding Trousseau & other Short Stories

The author of this book Ankita Sharma was kind enough to courier me a copy of this nice light paperback for my review and comments.I agree I took a little longer to read this beautiful little collection but then I read it quite slowly and langurously and with focus on every word line paragraph and page. If I have been given the  responsibility of reviewing a book I have to do a proper job of it and accord appropriate justice to the writer.

First thing I liked about the book is the attractive pink cover page and the eye catching title "The Wedding Trousseau" in rich burgundy color. The book is quite light around 130 pages and the fond size sufficient for a comfortable read.You can also hold the book with one hand between thumb and index finger and turn the pages effortlessly while  comfortably ensconced on your couch or bed.

Coming to the contents of the book itself I note all the stories are simple, easy to comprehend and are culled out of real life situations. The author has scripted the stories using simple uncomplicated words in smooth flowing language easy to comprehend yet has skilfully applied her vast imagination and creativity to produce stories of suspense, romance,adventure,success,disappointments,arrogance,humor and a range of other human emotions that people actually encounter in day to day life. The reader there immediately relates to the short stories and easily connects with some crucial real life happenings or dreams in his or her own life.

Overall an excellent effort at short story writing with vivid descriptions and vibrant imagery with entrancing situations ! The authors mix of reality and flights of fantasy are to be applauded and I would straightaway give a thumbsup to this book which is suitable for all ages to read.

I wish the author Ankita Sharma a grand success for this book and also for all her future writing endeavors !
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