Sunday, 28 December 2014

December 28, 2014

Welcome !!!



Welcome Friends !!! We are happy you found us 

Ain't all of you bored by visiting same crowded tourist destinations again and again. Don’t you feel that it's now high time to explore some new destinations? Your quest has brought you to the correct site. Welcome to our website.

We have categorized the destinations across the state in various categories like Unexplored Places,  Tourist Places, Historical Places, Nature, Museums, Safaris, Monuments, Gardens, Lakes etc. We are updating the information in various categories and very soon you will find a site full of information you have always been seeking.

Please feel free to visit the entire site and do not hesitate to drop in your feedback. It will provide us insight into our site visitors needs.

Please Note the site is still under construction so some pages may not open, please do bear with us.

Happy Browsing and keep exploring.

Team
Explore Maharashtra


New Sections Added !!!

Forts of Maharashtra  |  Saints of Maharashtra  |  Festivals of Maharashtra  |  Fairs of Maharashtra  |  Religious Places of Maharashtra





Friday, 28 December 2012

December 28, 2012 1

Kaas Plateau


Kaas Pathar is a plateau made from volcanic rocks in the Satara district of Maharashtra, and comes under the biosphere of the Western Ghats. Hailed as Maharashtra's answer to the Valley of Flowers, Kaas is famous for its overwhelming carpets of flowers which come alive by the fag end of the monsoons. During this time, the plateau receives an average rainfall of 2000 mm, and much of the water seeps through the porous laterite rocks. The whole area is covered with flowers of varying colours, the dominant colour changing with the time of the year. More than 450 species of flowers, orchids and even carnivorous plants such as Drosera Indica are found in Kaas.

Spread over 1000 acres, Kaas is a protected bio diversity reserve and has been designated as World Heritage Nature Site by UNESCO. The ecosystem of the plateau is very fragile, the layer of soil over the volcanic rocks is at times just a few cm thick, and many of the plant species endemic to this area are already in the endangered list.

Source : Happy Trips


Monday, 11 July 2011

Dussehra / Dasara



Vijaya Dashami also known as Dasara, Dashahara, Navaratri, Durgotdsav… is one of the very important & fascinating festivals of India, which is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin (usually in September or October) from the Shukla Paksha Pratipada (the next of the New moon day of Bhadrapada) to the Dashami or the tenth day of Ashwin.  

This festival is celebrated not only in India but in almost all eastern countries like Java, Sumatra, Japan etc... Dasara is Nepal’s national festival.   

Word Dasara is derived from Sanskrit words “Dasha” & “hara” meaning removing the ten. This is the most auspicious festival in the Dakshinaayana or in the Southern hemisphere motion of the Sun.  In Sanskrit, 'Vijaya' means Victory and 'Dashami' means 10th day. 'Thus Vijaya Dashami' means victory on the 10th day.

Dasara is also known as Navaratri, as in the first nine days the Divine Mother Goddess Durga is worshipped and invoked in different manifestations of her Shakti. The 10th day is in honor of Durga Devi.  The basic purpose behind this festival is to worship feminine principle of the Universe in the form of the divine mother to remind the teachings of the Taitareeya Upanishad, "Matru Devo Bhava."  Essence of the navaratri celebration at social level is to remind & respect all the women, who are the guardians of the family, culture, and national integrity, to take lead in times of crisis to guide the humanity towards the path of social justice, righteousness, equality, love, and divinity.    

Durga is worshipped as the main deity of Navaratri by all the segments of society including tribal communities.  Dasara coincide with the period of rest & leisure of the farmers after their strenuous hard work in their farms & fields, hence they invoke blessings of Durga in order to have a rich harvest in the next coming season. 

In India harvest season begins at this time and as mother earth is the source of all food the Mother Goddess is invoked to start afresh the new harvest season and to reactivate the vigor and fertility of the soil by doing religious performances and rituals which invoke cosmic forces for the rejuvenation of the soil. 

On the day of Dasara, statues of the Goddess Durga are submerged in the river waters.  These statues are made with the clay & the pooja is performed with turmeric and other pooja items, which are powerful disinfectants and are mixed in the river waters.  This makes water useful for the farmers & yields better crops.

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Hindawi (Hindu) Swarajya used to always worship Lord Shiva & Goddess Durga in the form of goddess Bhawani before any military expedition.  Goddess Bhavani had blessed Shivaji Maharaj with her own sword called “Bhavani Talwar”.

Buses, trucks and huge machines in factories are all decorated and worshipped as Dasara is also treated as Vishwakarma Divas - the National Labor Day of India. 

Veda Vyasa is considered as the foremost Guru and Vijayadasami is also celebrated as Vyasa Puja. Dasara is the festival of Victory of Good over Bad, God over Devil. 

One of the 3 ½ Muhurtas (Most Auspicious Days)
1st Muhurta is Gudhi Padva (Chaitra shukla pratipada),
2nd Muhurta is Akshaya Trutiya (Vaishakh shukla trutiya)
3rd Muhurta is Dasara/Vijaya Dashami (Ashwin shukla dashami)
4th Muhurta Padva in Diwali (Kartik shukla pratipada) is considered as half Muhurta.
 As per Hindu Religion, Dasara is considered as one of the 3 ½ auspicious days (Shubha Muhurta).  It is proven over years and years that any new venture started on this day is bound to be successful.  Hence in most parts of India Dasara is selected for starting a new businesses, construction activities (house, building, hospital), taking possession of new house, buying new vehicle, buying gold, booking the first order for the business etc…

Many parents start the learning activity for their child on Dasara.

On Dasara farmers start their new crop season & the work in the field, manufacturers worship their machines, traders worship their books of account, intellectuals worship their Pen, Calculators, Computers and children worship their school books, notebooks, drawing material etc...


Deeper meaning & significance of Navaratri
As per Indian Vedic Astrology nine planets are (1) Ravi (Sun), (2) Chandra (Moon), (3) Mangal/Bhaum (Mars), (4) Budha (Mercury), (5) Guru/Bruhaspati (Jupiter), (6) Shukra (Venus), (7) Shani (Saturn), (8) Rahu (North Node) & (9) Ketu (South Node).

Human body has nine openings (1) 2 for seeing - Chakshu (Eyes), (2) 2 for hearing - Karna (Ears), (3) 2 for breathing - Nasika (Nostrils), (4) 1 for speech & eating – Mouth, (5) 1 for Malotsarjan - Anus & (6) 1 for Mutrotsarjan – urinary opening.

If the planets favor & all the openings of the human body are kept under proper control, the human life is bound to be a great success.

Navaratri means "nine nights", which we must use to seek blessings from the nine planets and control our openings.  In the worship of the goddesses during Navaratri, one of the planets should be worshipped & one of the openings should be cleaned each day, not externally but with heart, mind and soul focused. Bodily actions are ephemeral. The body derives its value from the spirit within. Hence it should be regarded as a sacred temple.

Navaratri festival is observed ten days, out of which nine for cleansing one's self of all impurities, in order to experience the divinity within & the last day is dedicated to "worship of weapons (Aayudha Pooja). The weapons to be worshipped are the divine powers & virtues within. When the divine is worshipped in this way, one is bound to progress spiritually.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Ranga Panchami



Ranga Panchami also known as Dhulivandan, is an important festival in Maharashtra and it coincides with the Holi festival. It is celebrated on the day after Holika Dahan in Phalguna month. The festival is of great importance to farmers and agriculturalists. The ashes of Holika burned on the previous night and soil are worshipped by the farmers for a good harvest.

Dhuli Vandan is observed in Maharashtra when the rest of the country plays Rang Holi. Nowadays, Dhulivandan in its strict traditional sense is limited to rural areas. In cities most people play Holi with colors on the day.

There is a popular belief that Lord Shiva opened his third eye burned down Kama Deva to ashes on the day.

Gokul Ashtami


The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated on Gokul Ashtami or Janmashtami. Most devotees fast till midnight till the birth of Lord Krishna is announced. Gopal Kala-a preparation made of flattened rice and curds is prepared on this day. Another fun-filled ritual performed on this day is dahi-handi - clay pots filled with curd, puffed rice and milk are strung high up above the streets and groups of enthusiastic young men (and even women) form human pyramids to reach these and break them open, the way Lord Krishna and his friends would, after sneaking into the houses of gopis (milkmaids) to steal and eat butter.

Friday, 8 July 2011

July 08, 2011

Ganesh Chaturthi


Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the Hindu festival of Ganesha also called Vinayagar in Tamil Nadu, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha is widely worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

The festival, also known as Ganeshotsav ("festival of Ganesha") is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).

While celebrated all over India, it is most elaborate in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. Outside India, it is celebrated widely in Nepal and by Hindus in the United States, Canada, Mauritius, Singapore and Fiji. The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon). The date usually falls between 19 August and 15 September. The festival lasts for 10 or 12 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi. This festival is observed in the lunar month of bhadrapada shukla paksha chathurthi madhyahana vyapini purvaviddha. If Chaturthi prevails on both days, the first day should be observed. Even if chaturthi prevails for the complete duration of madhyahana on the second day, if it prevails on the previous day's madhyahana period even for one ghatika (24 minutes), the previous day should be observed.

Legend
Traditional stories tell that Lord Ganesha was created by goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. Parvati created Ganesha out of sandalwood paste that she used for her bath and breathed life into the figure. She then set him to stand guard at her door while she bathed. Lord Shiva returned and, as Ganesha didn't know him, he didn't allow him to enter. Lord Shiva became enraged, severed the head of the child and entered his house. After realizing that he had beheaded his own son, Lord Shiva fixed the head of an elephant in place of Ganesha's head. In this way, Lord Ganesha came to be depicted as the elephant-headed God.

Two to three months before Ganesh Chaturthi, artistic plaster of Paris (originally clay) models of Lord Ganesha are made for sale by specially skilled artisans. They are beautifully decorated and depict Lord Ganesh in poses. The size of these statues may vary from 3/4 of an inch to over 70 feet.

Ganesh Chaturthi starts with the installation of these Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes and specially erected temporary structures mandapas (pandals) in every locality. The pandals are erected by the people or a specific society or locality or group by collecting monetary contributions. The pandals are decorated specially for the festival, either by using decorative items like flower garlands, lights, etc. or are theme based decorations, which depict religious themes or current events.

The priest, usually clad in red or white dhoti and uttariyam (Shawl), then symbolically invokes life into the statue by chanting mantras. This ritual is the Pranapratishhtha. After this the ritual called as Shhodashopachara (16 ways of paying tribute) follows. Coconut, jaggery, 21 modakas, 21 durva (trefoil) blades of grass and red flowers are offered. The statue is anointed with red unguent, typically made of kumkum and sandalwood paste. Throughout the ceremony, Vedic hymns from the Rig Veda, the Ganapati Atharva Shirsha Upanishad, and the Ganesha stotra from the Narada Purana are chanted.

Ganesha is worshiped for 10 days from Bhadrapada Shudha Chaturthi to the Ananta Chaturdashi, On the 11th day, the statue is taken through the streets in a procession accompanied with dancing, singing, and fanfare to be immersed in a river or the sea symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees. This is the ritual known as Ganesha Visarjane in Kannada, Ganesh Visarjan in Marathi.

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