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DWARAKA DARSHAN AND DARSHAN AT OTHER KSHETRAMS

VVijay236_at_aol.com
Date: Wed Jul 16 1997 - 09:43:59 PDT

DWARAKA DARSANAM AND DARSANAM IN OTHER KSHETRAMS
Dear Bhagavatas,

I am happy to be with you again. I would like to share with you some of
my experiences  in India. 

Most of you will remember that I went toIndia to visit Dwaraka, the only one
(out of the 106 Divyadesams) that I had missed earlier. By the grace of God,
this time, I could complete all the 106 DDs. 
I also revisited quite a few of the other Kshetrams .
DWARAKA DARSANAM:
I visited all the 9 Dwarakas called NAVADWARAKA  People leave
out 4 out of these 9 in a random manner and refer only to the remaining
5 calling them PANCHA DWARAKA. I give below a brief description
about the 9 Dwarakas. Hope this will be useful for others who may
plan a visit in future. Ahmedabad is the central place to start with. I
flew from Madras into Ahmedabad  on 15/4/97 by IA availing of the
50% discount fare on its flights for Senior Citizens above 65.
16/4/97:
I left Ahmedabad in the morning by Saurashtra Mail and reached
Dwaraka in the evening.
(1) DWARAKADEESH DWARAKA : is the  main temple of  Lord
Krishna.
(2) GOMTI DWARAKA: The main temple stands on the banks of
Gomti river. There is a small shrine for Gomti Devi and people call it
'Gomti Dwaraka.'
(3) RUKMINI DWARAKA : About 2 miles from the main temple is
situated a temple dedicated to Rukmini. Lord Krishna is said to have
married Rukmini here.
17/4/97:
(4) BHET DWARAKA : Taking a bus in the morning, I proceeded to
OKHA PORT from where I took a boat  to an island called Bhet
Dwaraka. 'Bhet' in the local language means ' Island '. It is said that
Lord Krishna ruled from here.There are several Sannidhis here. One of
them is for Devaki, Krishna's mother. There is a lounge and a couch on
which Lord Krishna and his queens offered ' Shodasa Upacharas ' to
Kuchela. The island presents a wonderful scenery being surrounded on
all sides by the waters of the Arabian Sea. We are told that several
more Dwarakas existed  there but all of them had submerged under  the
Sea.
(5) SUDHAMA DWARAKA : From Bhet Dwaraka, I proceeded by bus
 to PORBANDAR, the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.  But, this place
 is important for a different reason as it was here that Sudhama lived. 
People call this variously as Sudhama Dwaraka, Sudhamapuri and 
Kuchelapatnam.
18/4/97:
(6) MOOLA DWARAKA : This is the place where Lord Krishna is said
to have set foot first on arriving at Dwaraka.. But, he seems to have
forsaken  this place and moved to Bhet Dwaraka. The place looks
really 'God-forsaken' !. It is near KODINAR from where one has to
travel in an open air, overcroeded jeep upto a point  and then walk up
through the dry, dusty footpath leading to the Ambuja Cement factory.
Atop a yonder mound stands a small dilapidated  mud enclosure with a
stone slab put in place and said to represent the spot where Lord
Krishna set foot and hence called ' Moola Dwaraka '. There is a solitary
priest who rarely attends the sanctum  !.
(7) MUKTI DWARAKA : Proceeding from KODINAR  by bus to
VERAVAL, one comes across a place called BHALKA. There is a tank
called  ' PRABHASA THEERTHA '. Nearby is a hall in which we find
Krishna reclining on the branch of a tree with a foot dangling. A hunter
who shot a poisonous arrow at his toetip mistaking it to be the beak of
a bird is found kneeling before the Lord begging his pardon. It is said
that Lord Krishna made it a pretext to ascend to his  Paramapadam. As
this is the place where he was ' last seen' and so called ' MuktiDwaraka'
19/4/97 : 
(8) DAKUR DWARAKA : Situated near NADIAD about 60 miles
from Ahmedabad, this is a wonderful temple with intricate wood
carvings and architectural beauty and the Lord stands in all his majesty.
One is reminded of Guruvayurappan in Kerala. 
23/4/97:
(9) SRINATHJI DWARAKA :  One has to go to UDAIPUR CITY by
train or bus. The temple is about  50 miles from there. After a short
stay with my daughter at New Delhi, I flew into Udaipur. As I came out
of the Airport which looks like a deserted wayside Railway station,
there was no trace of any kind of transport except a rare speeding taxi
emerging  from nowhere and proceeding to, God knows, where !. A
good samaritan worker in a nearby factory was kind enough to carry
me  on the carrier of his ricketty bicycle and took me to a junction of
roads 5 miles away. I took an overcrowded jeep to a place called
MAVLI where I was told buses to the temple were available.  Sure, a
bus did arrive but would not start till 11.30 am and the temple was to
close at 12 noon!. 
The bus reached the bus stand exactly at 12 noon and I had to take an
auto for a few miles more towards the temple but even the auto would
not ply beyond a certain point because of long, narrow , winding lanes. 
I reached the main gate of the temple at 12.15. 
Luckily, somebody from New York had come to offer some special Puja 
and so I could have Darshan for full 10 minutes before the curtain was 
drawn for the day to be opened again only by 6 pm. And, my return flight 
was also at 6 pm !.
This party took me into their midst and the temple authorities bestowed 
courtesies-  Parivattam, a colored silk Pitambara Vastram and Prasadam
Tiruppaniyaram, a special delicacy offered only to those performing the 
special Puja. After this, I hurried back to the airport bytaxi to be on time
f
or my flight to Delhi. An unforgettable experience,indeed !

OTHER KSHETRAMS VISITED

16/3/97:
(1) OPPILIAPPAN KOIL , 
(2) TIRUCHERAI  SARANATHA PERUMAL KOIL AND
(3) NACHIAR KOIL (TIRUCHERAI):
I was told that the famous 'Kal Garuda Sevai' at Nachiarkoil was to take
place on 16th. But, when I reached Kumbakonam, I learned that the
Sevai was to be on 19th only.  Sri Sampath, Advocate (father of our
SAMPATH RANGARAJAN)  took me round to  these Koils.
At  Nachiyar Koil,  I had to content myself by VISUALIZING the Lord 
mounted on Kal Garudan !

17/3/97:
(4) SRIRANGAM: I had darshan of Periya Perumal and Periya Piraatti
and Swami Desikan.

20/3/97 and 21/3/97 : 
(5) MELKOTE (TIRUNARAYANAPURAM): Had VAIRAMUDI
SEVAI on the night of 20th and RAJAMUDI SEVAI on 21st.

25/3/97 
(6) PANGUNI UTHRAM :  I witnessed the famous MATTAIYADI
SEVAI and then  the Sevai in SERTHI of Perumal and Thayar -  a rare
Sevai that can be had only once in a year. It was on one such occasion
that Bhagavad Ramanuja poured out his 'Saranagathi Gadhyam' and did
Bharasamarpanam before the Divya Dampathis. 

26/3/97
(7) GORATHAM SEVAI, 
(8) GUNASEELAM AND
(9) CHAKRATHALWAR SANNIDHI: 
As it took quite a while for the Goratham to start due to some
unavoidable circumstances, I took this opportunity to make  a flying visit
to Gunaseelam and offer worship to Srinivasa Perumal- my Kula Deivam
and return to Srirangam to have darshan of Lord Ranganatha atop the 
Goratham. In the evening, I had darshan of Chakrathalwar .

30/3/97:
(!0) MANI MANDAPAM :   One should not miss a visit to this holy
shrine built and maintained by SEVA SWAMI atVillivakkam, Madras. It
is a wonderful sight to see the idols of .Sri Lakshmi Hayagrivar,
Anandavalli Thayar, Emperumanaar and Swami Desika in this temple
and the Nityaradhana  performed by the Swami himself.

2/4/97:
(11) ANJANEYAR TEMPLE AT LUZ  Offered Vadamalai to 
Anjaneya at this shrine  who is indeed very powerful in granting the
wishes of his devotees and I have personal experience in this regard.

3/4/97:
(12) TIRUPATHI AND 
(13) TIRUVALLUR :  
Had Ekantha Sevai of  Lord Venkateswara  in the morning with the
Jeeyar . On my way back to Madras, I arrived at noon just before  the
completion of the  Uchikaala Puja and had a very good darshan of Sri
Veeraraghava Perumal .

7/4/97:
(14) BANK ANJANEYAR TEMPLE AT ALWARPET : 
This Anjaneyar is unfailing ingranting the prayers of his devotees.
I have myself experienced  this on very many occasions..

10/4/97:
(15) NAMAKKAL: I was there just in time to have the Darshan of
Tirumanjanam to the 38' tall Anjaneyar here and also  Lakshmi
Nrisimhar  nearby.

14/4/97:
(16) KANCHIPURAM : 
Had an Ekantha Seva of Devaraja Perumal (Perarulalan and Pranatha
Aarthi Haran) and Perundevi Thayar (in whose presence Swami Desika
sang his famous Sristuti)

(17) SRIPERUMPUDUR: 
On way back, I visited the birthplace of Emperumaanaar.

27/4/97:
(18) DEEPA PRAKAASAR TEMPLE AND
(19) VEDANTA DESIKA TEMPLE AT THOOPPUL: 
As directed by my Acharya, I arranged for the 'Achitta- Aaswamedha
Parayanam" in which 6Vedic scholars did the recitation for over 3 hours.

30/4/97:
(20) TIRUVAHEENDRAPURAM: 
Had darshan of Devanatha Perumal (on whom Sri Lakshmi Narayana
Hridayam was composed by Bhargava Rishi).
(21) HAYAGREEVAR SANNIDHI: 
Had a very good darshan of Hayagreevar who blessed Swami Vedanta
Desika atop the hillock adjoining the Devanatha Perumal Koil. 

14/5/97:
(22) PARTHASARATHY KOIL,  TRIPLICANE
One of my most favorite temples which I used to visit time without number 
when I stayed in India.It used to be said that if I was not at home or at
work, 
I was sure to be spotted at this temple. My sons were named Parthasarathi 
and Narasimhan. Both of them were born on the days when myself and 
my wife returned after having darsan at these Sannidhis.

20/5/97:
(23) GARUDA SEVAI AT KANCHIPURAM: 
Again visited Kanchi for  Garuda Sevai.

21/5/97:
(24) SHOLINGHUR: 
While returning from Kanchi, I visited Sholingur. It was noon and the
mercury was about  108 degrees. I had asked the driver of the
autorikshaw to take me to Yoga Anjaneyar Malai ( with just about 
1/3rd of the altitude of the other Malai of Yoga Nrisimhar) but he took
me straight to the foot of the Nrisimhar Malai. It was Nrisimha
Jayanthi and it was as if  Lord Nrisimha's sankalpam that I should not 
miss his darshan on his Jayanthi day!. I climbed the steps with difficulty
but the climbing down was really exhausting since as the rocky steps  
really burned the feet. and there was no shade except in a few places 
where Ms. Yadugiri had provided some shelters.

28/5/97: 
(25) TIRUKKALLAM :
Visited Tirukkallam from which hails Sri  Narasimaha Raghavachar
Swami who has written brilliant commentary on Bhagavad Gita in 3
Volumes.
(26) TIRUVALLUR: 
On way back, I again visited Tiruvallur, as Azhagiyasingar wanted me
to receive the first cassette of Sri Veeraraghava Suprabatham
released by him.
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"Face to Face with Yathivaras"- will follow
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Dasoham
Anbil Ramaswamy