Since I wrote on the 9th house and the deeper meanings of travel and pilgrimages, I got a question on how many temples, pilgrimages, I have been to. I had never really listed them out so was a fun exercise for me and perhaps an interesting reading for you.
- Haat-Kalika temple, Pithoragad, Uttarakhand – Been here a few times. It is a yantra installed in a temple in the middle of the Deodar forests. The yantra is carved on a rock in the floor of the inner sanctum, it is beyond powerful. There is an additional moorthi of the Devi Kali, but the power is in the yantra. Most people do not notice it. It is beyond powerful, it feels like Kali Herself is standing there in all her magnificent terribleness. But so full of love. I have lost track of time whenever I have stood in this temple located in a valley of Deodar trees. In these mountains the separation between dimensions is very thin. You can sense the presence of other beings called Naag, Yaksha, Gandharva etc here (Similarly in the nearby temple of Kotgadi).
- Kasar Devi, Almora, Uttarakhand – You can feel golden pran radiating from a small tunnel into the earth. The people have placed a Moorti of Devi in front of the tunnel, most worshippers look at this moorti and ignore the tunnel and the energies whirling out from it. Very welcoming, loving and you feel it, a huge dense quantum of energy beneath the earth, it silences the mind. And you can feel the presence of other dimensional beings here too. This temple belongs to the Yaksha.
- Badrinath, Uttarakhand – This is one of the real Char-Dhaams of India, located on the west coast (the others being Somnath, Jaggannath, Rameshwaram). Been here thrice in this life. It is a black moorthi of Shri Vishnu. Very high energy and very gentle, a compulsory pilgrimage for all Hindus. River Saraswati flows here for a bit (Brahmakapal) and then vanishes underground. This is the place where the final death related rituals/ tarpan are performed for the deceased ancestors. The entire place throbs with energy, and those who can see auras can see the brilliant golden shine of the moorthi and also the entire village and the surroundings.
- Yamunotri, Uttarakhand – The origin of the river Yamuna in Uttarakhand. Another must visit location, the energy is awesome, shiny, sparkly. There is a temple here dedicated to the Devi Yamuna and the prasad that you get here is a small pouch of uncooked rice, you then dip it in the nearby hot spring, it gets cooked and you eat it with the blessings of Devi. It was the tastiest spoonful of rice I have ever eaten. Ice cold Yamuna and the boiling hot spring are a few meters apart. Nature is so cryptic!
- The Mahakumbh – I have been to Haridwar during the Brahmamuhurt of the Makar Sankranti at the start of the 2010 Mahakumbh. Ice-cold water. The Ganga is exceptionally loaded with pran during the Mahakumbh time, so a dip in these waters is a must for every Hindu. It can be a life-time recharge if you do it with intention. There is a Mahakumbh in Haridwar coming up in 2021, try to use it if you can.
- Gaumukh, Uttarakhand – the origin of the river Ganga at the base of the Gangotri glacier. Ganga wherever she flows, Devprayag, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Kashi etc. brings in her tremendous quantum of pran. As you go nearer to her source, the higher the energy of her waters. The Gangotri glacier feels like a chunk of gold and the the flowing waters rippling gold/ silver pran. Do visit it if you are physically able to, if you keep putting it off to the next year, chances are you will never visit. The Gangotri temple is on the way to Gaumukh and this too is a beautiful place. The entire Himalaya are a huge source of power and energy in itself.
- Kedarnath, Uttarakhand – The top of the mountain is the pyramidal Shivlingam on which the temple is built. It is mind-boggling, I think the entire mountain you climb is the lower part of the massive Shivlingam. The very top is worshipped in the temple. The temple was there for thousands of years, first the Pandavs worshipped here, it was renovated a few thousands of years ago by Adi Shankaracharya and then by Ahilyabai Holkar a couple of centuries ago. Been here twice, a must visit. You may not get to sit in the sanctum, but just sit outside the temple and soak everything in, if you do it with full intention, this ‘recharge’ will last a life time.
- Then there is the Samadhi of Adi Shankaracharya nearby. One of the most important Rishi/ Sat-Guru is relatively recent history (a couple of thousand years ago). And you can feel his blessings/energy here.
- Enlightened Gurus in Sanatan Dharm/Hinduism are special, after they discard their physical body, it is entombed above ground/’Samadhi’ and Anteyshti is not performed. When a soul attains moksh, it is not linked to the energy structure of the body, the brahmanadi has fused, the circuit is complete. The individual soul does not exist as it has realised itself as the Ultimate. The energy of anteyshti breaks the soul’s bonds to the physical body. But a real Sat-Guru has already broken this bond to ‘Creation’ by the energy of his internal fire, Dhyan. The real reason for the Samadhi system is different. It is a threat, if some common human fools others into believing that he is a Guru, his disciples will give him a Samadhi after his physical death and he will remain tied to the physical body, a ghost with no scope of evolution. The worst possible punishment.
- This is an aerial view of the Kedarnath temple in deep winter, you can just see the top of the temple as the entire town is under snow. Our ancient Rishis identified Shiv-lingams and built temples in such locations several thousand years ago, it is mind-boggling.
- Dhaari Devi, Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand – This is one of the fiercest Kali temples I have ever visited. The moorthi is just the head of the Devi, and She seems to shoot volcanoes from her eyes! I love Her in Her every mood, so enjoyed sitting in front of Her and soaking in her blessings. This temple is in the middle of the Alakhnanda river, and is energy-linked to Kedarnath, She is His Wife. Whenever people have tried to shift this temple for hydel power projects, Kedarnath has showed His displeasure, last was in 2013. They shifted the Moorthi and on that same day clouds burst bringing in disaster.
- Jageshwar, Uttarakhand – This is a Shivlingam in the Deodar forests of Almoda district. I think this is the Daruka-van Jyotirlingam as Deodar trees are called Daruka in Sanskrit. It is a very high energy location and is very beautiful too.
- Hemkund saheb, Uttarakhand – This is a pristine lake and a Gurudwara. The lake water is very high energy. It is said that Pandu from the Mahabharat worshipped the Devi here. Also Lakshman from the Ramayan did some pujas here. It is a hard trek, especially the last few kilometers, so you need to be physically fit. But you can also visit the Valley of Flowers which is near here, which is an added advantage.
- Vaishno Devi temple, Katra, Jammu & Kashmir – The deity of this shrine is a rock, which is a part of the mountain itself. Though this shrine is very famous, to me it felt like a regular Himalaya energy. The ‘density’ of energy was the same as any other Himalayan peak.
- Pushkar temple, Rajasthan – It is a very cryptic dense energy, not for everyone. There is a misconception that the pujas of Brahmadev is forbidden. But it is actually that the we, the current humans, are so degraded that we are incapable of performing these intense pujas of Brahmadev. Performing the Gayatri puja properly is in itself a feat for the humans of today, and so the puja of Brahmadev is another level altogether. There is an entire Brahma-tantra and all Rishis and Sadhaks of the earlier ages did pujas of Brahmadev to attain Moksha on a fast track. Today you won’t get anyone who understands the use of Gayatri-tantra! (Brahmdev and Devi Sarasvati are the stable and the kinetic parts of Raja-gun. If you consciously control ‘movement’, you Realise your Self.)
- Ashapura Devi temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – The deity in this temple is a huge rock, there is no separate Moorthi. This rock is placed in a temple. It is so utterly powerful that the few minutes I stood stupefied. Such tremendous energy. Something like the energy of the 10 Mahavidya Devi-s. If you are the slightest bit insincere she will cut off your head then and there. But if you are sincere she will pick you up in her arms like a mother loves a child and give you whatever you want. The entire area for kilometers was resonating with her energy. The rock does not seem to be from this Earth, more likely it is a meteorite, but very conscious, very very aware and very dangerous.
- Koteshwar Mahadev temple, Bhuj, Gujarat – A wonderful location on the sea-shore with extremely high levels of pran. The Shivlingam was also quite powerful gave off cool, peaceful pran. Loved watching the Dhwaj/ flag on the temple swirling in the wind. This is the last temple on the west coast, the land beyond is Pakistan.
- Dwarkadheesh temple, Jamnagar, Gujarat – This temple is dedicated to Shri Krishna, a lovely moorthi made of black rock. Highly energy and very calm gentle, soothed the soul. Do visit it if you can. But avoid the priests who try to try to fleece the tourists outside the temple. Keep your mind on your mantra and the deity in the temple. Try to mentally recite your mantra 108 times in the temple complex, while you wait in the lines etc. It is an energy rush. And around these temples and pilgrimage site you will also find petty pickpockets and such, so take care. It always surprises me that these people forget Who is watching them. Shri Krishna could give them anything they want but they are more interested in the tourists than the deity Himself.
- Naagath Shivlingam, Gujarat – This is near Dwarka and said to be one of the twelve Jyotirlingams. It is a newly constructed temple and is energies are average. In Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, a Shivlingam is not carried into a temple. A temple is always built over a Shivlingam. This means that our ancient Rishis/ seers, ‘saw’ the energies and identified stones which had the energy of a Lingam and constructed the temples over them. So, faith is one thing, but you won’t get the same energy benefit when praying in modern constructed Shiv temples.
- Somnaath Shivlingam, Veraval, Gujarat – I have been to this temple 4 times in this life and each time it is a home-coming. Very high levels of energy flow from the Shivlingam, very gentle and conscious. I can never pray for things in temples. What should I pray for? He knows everything. This is a must visit temple for all Hindus.
- Siddhivinayak temple, Mumbai, Maharashtra – Have been to this temple several times. It feels like he is angrier every time I see him. This Ganapati moorthi has his truck folded towards his right side. Embodiment of ‘nivrutti’, destruction of Illusion, destruction of the material and tearing apart of the veils of Maya, the highly disciplined Sanyasi, ‘Brahmachari form of Ganapati. If you are not prepared to leave Her ‘funfair’, praying to such a moorthi can be quite traumatic on the material levels. It is the same effect as blowing on a left-handed conch (Dakshinavarti). It will destroy the material and bring in the spiritual, in any way possible! In our homes we never keep a moorthi or photo of Ganapati with the trunk at the right side. In temples it requires specific pujas and there are several restrictions on what is allowed in such temples.
- Trayambakeshwar Shivlingam, Nashik, Maharashtra – Extraordinary high levels of energy. It is such an old temple, all stone. The stones of the temple have absorbed the energies of the pujas and are conscious themselves. The Shivlingam radiates huge chunks of energy but is not as peaceful as Somnath. The energies can be used for ‘destruction’ related pujas too. Shiv here is more serious, more turned inwards more intense.
- Bhimashankar Shivlingam, Maharashtra. This is located in a the middle of the forests, with a river flowing near it. All Hindu temples need to have a natural source of water at its north-east side, it is compulsory. This Shivlingam is a rather secretive energy. I think there must have been intensive practices of tantra, mantra, yantra in this temple. Perhaps no one knows or does this now, but the ancient past is felt in the energy of the temple and its stones too.
- Kailas temple, Ellora, Maharashtra – This architectural marvel is very famous, our ancient Rishis 3D printed in the igneous rock. But the Shivlingam! It is a good 5 plus feet tall and loaded with power, I went silent in front of its energy, the mind was completely silent. I wonder how the ancients knew that this stone under the hard lava stones of the Deccan plateau was the Shivlingam and they created the temple around it. It is the most fascinating Shiv temples I have ever been to. Ellora was called Elapuri earlier, the ‘town of the Devi’.
- Ghrishneshwar Shivlingam, Ellora, Maharashtra – This temple is very ancient, but felt low on energy, not what I expect a Jyotirlingam to be. I think that perhaps the actual ‘Jyotirlingam’ is the one inside the Kailas temple less than a km away.
- Siddhagiri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra – This Shivlingam has always showered me with love and ‘home-coming’ energies. Just like a father giving gifts to his child. Beautiful old temple and with routine pujas being performed. My Sat-Guru was the 26th Math-adhipati of this Math.
- Khandoba temple, Maharashtra – Located on a plateau of lava-basaltic rock. There are moorthis in the temple, but the energy comes from a yantra set into the floor of the temple. The mountain is alive with very intense energies. Exceptionally fierce. If you wish for protection and the energy to fight, he is more than willing to give it to you. He is the Kul-devata of most Marathi people so this temple is always bustling with people.
- Then temples in Goa, the more famous Shanta-Durga, Mangeushi and my mother’s ancestral god Narsimha at Veling. I always seem to sense an underlying sadness here. Perhaps my DNA picks up things. The Portuguese invaded Goa and killed the temple Brahmins and carried out an Inquisition here, killing most of the Hindus. Some Hindus and Brahmin priests escaped to Maharashtra and remained alive albeit as farmers and traders, some of them my mother’s ancestors.
- Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu – it is a magical place, there was no need for a formal temple, the oceans themselves are alive here. However the temple inside is peaceful with gentle energy, it like the Devi is relaxed, watching the waters. Outside, the south-most tip of India, where 3 waters meet. It has to be experienced, the clean freshness is so deeply peaceful yet so full of high intensity energy. More white than gold pran, so much and so freely available!
- Thirupati temple, Andhra Pradesh – A very famous Vishnu temple (but I feel it more like a Shiv temple as per the energy, they are all ultimately the same!). Humongous amounts of energy. The lines are so long that they don’t let you stand for very long in front of the moorthi, but even standing in line within the stone walls of the temple is a high energy experience, been here twice.
- Jagannath Puri, Odisha – One of the Char-Dham-s, I have been here twice, a very enigmatic temple. The idols of the deities are one thing, but the real energy is from inside the ground under the sanctum sanctorum. I make it a point to sit down somewhere inside the temple and recite my mantras for 5 mins. What one sees in these 5mins in such powerful temples is indescribable. If you go here, do a Namaskar for the Sudarshan chakra on the temple top, it radiates huge power.
- Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam – She is extremely no-nonsense here. She is not in her ‘kind-mood’. Visiting this temple is not for everyone. This was the first temple where I saw her in her really strange virakt mood, so has made a life-time impression on me. She is so beautiful.
- Vishveshwar, Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – The best part is that they let you touch the Shivlingam. Everyone should visit it once in a lifetime. Shiv is very kind here, its like coming back home. And also the Annapurna Devi temple nearby. The original temple was destroyed by the mughals. This current Shivlingam was installed and this temple was built by Ahilyadevi Holkar. But I feel the power of the original Shivlingam also somewhere in this city. This entire city is pure, no other word, it is pure, bright very very clean on the energy planes.
- Lahiri Mahashay’s house in Kashi, Uttar Pradesh – I had a neutral view of him because I had read the ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ where Yogananda refers to him as his Guru and I know that the meditation technique which Yogananda’s Society is teaching is incorrect. When I went to Kashi, in front of Lahiri Mahashaya’s house, I touched the steps of the locked house and felt his strength. He was a Realised Soul, his students later distorted his teachings.
- Girnar mountain, Gujarath – The entire mountain is full of energy, I don’t know how such a huge mountain can even geologically exist in that flat place! If you ever travel to Junagad to visit the Gir National Park, do try to at least travel to its foot and feel its energy. There are very high number of spirits and beings from other dimensions here. In fact the first time I ‘saw’ these beings here.
- Datia, Madhya Pradesh – Bagalamukhi and Dhoomavati temple, both Devi-s are the Dasha mahavidya-s and are very very dangerously awake here. Visit only and only if you have a clear conscience, no more can be said, there are secrets here which are not for everyone.
- Ambabai temple, Kolhapur – This is quite powerful and the Devi is quite ready to grant blessings. But one must not really ask for anything in such temples, simply put yourself in her hands and let her decide the best possible for you.
35. Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The name is in itself so evocative. The Hanuman mandir has very deep energy as if Hanuman himself is in deep Dhyan here. And of course seeing the moorthi-s of Shri Ram and his brothers in the new mandir was a very moving experience. I prayed for Shri Raam to come out of his child-form, ‘Ram-lalla’ form and assume his Raja Ram form, so that we can all experience Ram-Rajya once more. The banks of the Sharayu are also bursting with power and blessings.
36. Nimish-aranya Uttar Pradesh – This is a rather secretive place, very much on the map but with very cryptic energies. If feels like this place is not fully on this earth, the dimensions overlap here especially at the central pond, ie the Manomaya chakra of Brahmadev. The shakti-peeth of Devi Lalita here is also very radiant. However the temple priests are an utter nuisance, a disgrace, the worst I have seen till now.
37. Raja Ram temple Orchha, Madhya Pradesh – I had the fortune to visit this utterly beautiful place on the day which is celebrated as the marriage of Ram and Sita. The celebration here on this day is a must see.
38. Varahi Devi temple, Devidhura, Uttarakhand – The Ugra form of Devi Laxmi and Bhu Devi who is married to the Vishnu in the Varaha avtar is here in the form of a Shila. The Shila is never left uncovered, it is veiled with a red cloth always. And another moorti of the Devi Varahi is always kept locked in a chest. Its worshipped only once a year on the Rakhi Pournima, by one Brahmin who keeps his eyes blindfolded during the process. Its a very intense energy but still very gentle and loving. The Himalay is home to such terrific energies that I think people born and living in his shelter with Dharma are the truly blessed ones.
Here are some of the well-known temples that I am sure you must be aware of. And there were several smaller ones and high energy places which I have not listed here as the post became really too long.
We are Hindus, followers of Sanatan Dharma, our ‘god’ is the Parabrahma, the Nirvishesh Brahma the Conscious Intelligence but these temples are necessary as they contain a small part of this Awareness. Pilgrimages are necessary for all spiritual aspirants and if you have the time and the inclination you must do a Darshan here.