Showing posts from July, 2015

The Divine Dream !

Anyone familiar with Kolkata would surely be aware of the Maniktalla Jain Temples. Fondly known as the Parasnath Temple, the cluster of four Jain temples is frequented by tourists and devotees alike with the local Bengali community also worshipping the Jain “thakur” (god). Right in the middle of the Maniktalla locality, lies an oasis in the midst of the concrete jungle. The most beautiful of the four temples is dedicated to Shri Shitalnath Bhagwan and was built by Rai Bahadoor Badridas Mookim in 1867. Today, the temple bears the testimony of how devotion can create wonders. The magnificient temple of Shitalnath Bhagwan The presiding lord: Shri Shitalnath Bhagwan Badridas Mookim was a descendent of Bhama Shah, the financer and a minister in the court of Rana Pratap of Mewar. His father, Kalkadas Mookim was the official jeweler to Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Lucknow. However, Badridas migrated from Lucknow to Calcutta after the decline of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. He establi

The Lost Glory: Nathnagar

Barely 30 minutes from the Bhagalpur Railway station in Bihar, lies a hidden gem, ruined by years of mismanagement and lack of maintenance- the Nathnagar (Shwetambar) Jain Temple . I had heard about its glory from a lot of people, and a visit to the place was a must on my itinerary. Finding our way in the muddy narrow lanes lined with vegetable vendors on both the sides, one could hear the chugging of local trains in the nearby Nathnagar Railway station. Even after repeated queries to locals, no one was able to guide us to the Jinalay. The beautiful Mandap housing the presiding deity, Shri Vasupujya Swami Bhagwan. Note the beautiful ceiling work and the garish tiles in the background. The Shikhara has been made to stand on a fresh layer of Plaster of Paris to prevent it from falling! Deeply engrossed in our treasure hunt, after a lot of efforts, a rickshaw-wallah guided us to a ruined colonial building- depicting the scars of time. Cracks filled with creepers , roots dangli

He Parshwa darshan aapje, na dur tujthi raakhje !

A yearning so special, so pure that can make all dreams come true ! “તું મેહ તો હું મોર છુ, રાધા હું તું માધવ પ્રભુ, તું કમળ તો હું ભ્રમર છુ, દિન-રાત તુઝ સંગે રહું, તરુવર બની જો પાર્શ્વ તું, પંખી મુજને બનાવજે, હે પાર્શ્વ દર્શન આપજે, નાં દુર તુજ થી રાખજે !!” If you are the rain laden cloud, I am the peacock eagerly anticipating your arrival… You are my Krishna and I am your ‘Radha’ waiting with endless love in my heart… If you are the beautiful lotus, I am the bee, awaiting to absorb the nectar of your blessings... If you are the tree, make me the bird, so that I can always be around you ! Oh my dear lord , I yearn for you ! Please don’t keep me away from you ! Shankheshwar Dada   More than a year has passed, but it was one of those days, whenever I think about it, I get a strong, so intense, so magical....that I get goosebumps ! It was one of those days which will remain beautifully etched in my memory! 27th June 2014: The flight to Ahmedabad was about