Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Ranjangaon - Mahaganapati

Ranjangaon is a village located at a distance of about 50 km from Pune, enroute to Aurangabad in Maharashtra, and it houses a shrine to Mahaganapati.

Ranjangaoncha Mahaganapati is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

Legend has it that a demon by name Tripurasura built three powerful citadels (the evil Tripuram forts); with a boon of invincibility granted to him by Shiva he caused suffering to all beings in the heavens and on earth. Upon hearing the fervent appeals of the Gods, Shiva intervened, and realized that he could not defeat the demon. It was upon hearing Narada Muni's advice thatShiva saluted Ganesha and then shot a single arrow that pierced through the citadels, bringing an end to the demon.

Shiva, the slayer of the Tripura citadels is enshrined at Bhimashankaram nearby.

A variation of this legend is commonly known in South India. Ganesha is said to have caused the axle in Shiva'schariot to break, as the latter headed to battle the demon without saluting Ganesha before he set out. Upon realizing his act of omission, Shiva saluted his son Ganesha, and then proceded victoriously to a short battle against the powerful demon. (See Acharapakkam - an ancient temple in Tamilnadu glorified by the 1st millennium tamil hymns enshrining Shiva associated with this legend, as well as Tiruvirkolam and Tiruvatikai - both over 1200 years old, associated with the legend ofTripurasamhaaram).

(The tamil lines of 15th century saint poet Arunagirinathar: 'Muppuram eri seida, Acchivan urai ratham, acchadu podi seida athi deera' where he describes Ganesha as the valiant hero, who caused the axle of Shiva's chariot to crumble to dust, as Shiva headed out to destroy Tripurasura, narrate this legend.)

The Temple: Mahaganapati is portrayed, seated on a lotus, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Ridhi. The temple dates back to the period of Peshwa Madhav Rao.

Festivals: As with all other Vinayak temples, Ganesha Chaturti is celebrated in great splendor here............


This is a Shivastalam in the vicinity of Kadambattur on the Chennai Arakkonam suburban railway line. This is the 14th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India.

The Temple: This temple is associated with the legend of Tripurasamharam as in the Tiruvatikai Veerattastalam. It is believed that the axle in Shiva's chariot broke here, as Shiva was proceding towards the vain Tripura kingdoms, and Shiva's appearance with his bow (Virkolam) is enshrined here in the form of a Swayambu lingam which is believed to change colors with the seasons.This temple spans an area of over 2 acres............


This is a Shivastalam in the vicinity of Madurantakam near Chingleput. Shiva here is also referred to as Aaksheeswarar This is the 29th of the 32 Tevara Stalams in the Tondai region of South India.

Legends: This temple is associated with the legend of Tripurasamhaaram (related to that at Tiruvatikai Veerattaanam). Legend here has it that the axle on Shiva's charriot as he headed to destroy the Tripurams broke here, reminding him of Ganesha whom he had not meditated upon prior to his setting out on his mission. A Pandya ruler's axle is also said to have broken here as he was bringing soil from the Ganges to dam a local river. Hence Achu Iru Paakkam.

History: This temple in Tondai Naadu, received endowments from the Imperial Cholas, as seen from the inscriptions from the period of Raja Raja Chola II.

Festivals: The annual Bhrammotsavam is celebrated in the month of Chittirai, where the Tirukkalyanam is performed on the 5th day............


Bhimashankar in Maharashtra is an ancient shrine, enshrining Bhimashankara one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva. Bhimashankar is located in the village of Bhavagiri 50 km north west of Khed, near Pune. It is located 110 km away from Pune in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills. Bhimashankar is also the source of the river Bhima, which flows south east and merges with the Krishna river near Raichur. The other Jyotirlinga shrines in Maharashtra areTryambakeshwar and Grishneshwar.

This temple is closely associated with the legend of Shiva slaying the demon Tripurasura associated with the invincible flying citadels Tripuras. Shiva is said to have taken abode in the Bhima form, upon the request of the Gods, on the crest of the Sahyadri hills, and the sweat that poured forth from his body after the battle is said to have formed the Bhimarathi river.

The Temple: The Bhimashankara temple is a composite of old and the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is a modest temple yet graceful temple and it dates back to mid 18th century. The shikhara of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha rulerShivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.

Although the structure here is fairly new, the shrine Bhimashankaram (and the Bhimarathi river) have been referred to in literature dating back to the 13th century CE. Saint Jnaneshwar is said to have visited Tryambakeshwar and Bhimashankar.

Other temples and shrines: There is a shrine to Kamalaja near the Bhimashankara temple. Kamalaja is an incarnation of Parvati, who aided Shiva in his battle against Tripuraasura. Kamalajaa was worshipped with offerings of lotus flowers by Bhrama. Shaakini and Daakini the Shivaganas who helped Shiva in the battle against the demon are also honored and worshipped here.

The Mokshakund thirtha is located behind the Bhimashankara temple, and it is associated with the rishi Kaushika. There are also the Sarvathirtha, the Kusharanya thirtha where the Bhima river begins to flow eastward, and the Jyanakund.

Worship: Three worship services are offered each day. Mahashivratri is a season of great festivity here.

It is to be noted that the Rudrasamhita sloka in its reference to Bhimashankar says, Daakine Bhimashankaram. There is also a Bhimashankar temple at Bhimapur hill near Guwahati in Assam where legend holds that a demon by name Bhima who inflicted havoc upon the beings in the area, was slain by Shiva, as he tried to kill a king enaged in Shiva worship. This is a legend similar to that where Shiva emerged from a Shivalingam to vanquish Yama the Lord of death. The Shiva Purana and the Koti Rudra Samhita refer to Bhimashankar temple in the Kamarupa country. However there is also a reference to Mount Sahya, where it is stated that Shiva - Bhimashankara appeared on the Sahayadris.

There is also a Bhimashankara temple at Kashipur near Nainital, which was referred to as Daakini country in ancient days. It is believed that Bhima the Pandava prince was married to Hidamba, a Daakini here. Mahashivaratri is celebrated in great splendour here too. This temple also has shrines to Bhairavanath and Devi, and a temple tank by name Shivaganga............

Siddhi Vinayak, Mumbai

The Siddhi Vinayak temple at Prabhadevi in Mumbai is a well visited one attracting thousands all through the year. 

The Temple: The known history of the temple dates back to early nineteenth century. This temple has been renovated thoroughly in the late 1900s in order to accomodate the needs of the surging crowds of devotees that throng the temple during festive occasions.

The sanctum here houses a small mandapam enshrining Siddhi Vinayak. The inner roof of the sanctum is plated with gold, and the wooden doors to the sanctum are carved with images of Ashta Vinayak.

Siddhi Vinayak: Most icons of Ganapati depict the elephant faced God with his trunk curled towards his left. Siddhi Vinayak in Mumbai, Siddhi Vinayak at Siddhatek in Maharashtra as well as Karpaka Vinayakar atPillayarpatti in Tamilnadu are depicted with a trunk pointing to the right (Valampuri).

Ganapati here is depicted with four arms bearing a lotus, an axe, modakas and a garland of beads, flanked by his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi.

Festivals: Hundreds of thousands of devotees throng the temple, especially during Angaraki and Sankashti Chaturthi days, when there is a continuous stream of visitors for as long as a 24 hour period............

Karpaka Vinayakar Temple, Pillayarpatti

This image of Ganesha is bound to be familiar to anyone of Tamil origin; however, little is known to many about the fact that this is an image of the rock cut Karpaka Vinayakar Shrine at Pillayarpatti near Karaikkudi at one of the oldest Cave Temples (Rock Cut) temples of Tamilnadu. Pillayarpatti is situated between Pudukkottai and Karaikkudi. The nearest airport is at Tiruchirappalli. Chennai Rameshwaram Express and Kamban Express travel to these two railheads.

The town of Pillaiyarpatti is named after 'Pillayar' - the tamil name for Ganesha, and this ancient temple houses rock cut images of Shiva, Lingodbhavar and others as well as several other shrines. Steeped in the tradition of Agamic textsthe temple bears testimony to the vibrant temple culture of the Tamil people, passed down through centuries.

Deities: Karpaka Vinayakar or Desi Vinayaka Pillaiyar is the presiding deity here, and he is portrayed with two arms and a trunk curled towards his right in the valampuri mode. This 6 feet tall mammoth image of Ganesha is a bas relief in an excavated cave, off of a hill in the precincts of the temple. Tiruveesar is a Shiva Lingam carved in a similar manner. Other deities in the temple include Marudankudi Eesar and his consort Vaadaamalar Mangai.

Antiquity: Over 15 inscriptions are found within the temple, that help establish the age of the temple. The Stalapuranam published by the temple classifies the growth of this temple into three distinct stages. 
The first stage goes back in time by about 1600 years. During this period, the innermost rock cut shrines housing Karpaka Vinayakar and Tiruveesar came into being. The uniqueness of the image of Ganesha is one factor testifying this date; the characters used in the temple inscriptions also help establish this date. The pillars within the shrine are of pre-Pallava origin. 

The Pallavas were prolific builders of rock cut temples (Mahabalipuram, Mahendravadi, Mamandur, Mandakapattu, Seeyamangalam, Namakkal, Tiruchi, Nartamalai, Kudumiyanmalai, Tirukkokarnam, Tirumeyyam, Peraiyur, Malayadipatti, Tirukolakkudi, Kunrakkudi etc.). A number of these can be traced to Mahendravarman I (615 - 630 AD) and Narasimhavarman I (630 - 668 AD). However, the inscriptions at Pillayarpatti date further back to the 4th century AD. Also, given the location of the temple in the Pandya kingdom it would only be logical to associate Pandya patronage to this temple, especially in the light of Pandya patronage at the Kazhugumalai temple not too far from here. 

There are several inscriptions within this temple that date back to the period between 1091 AD and 1238 AD, making it apparent that the Pillayarpatti Nagarattar became the custodians of the temple during the 13th century AD during the second growth phase of this temple, when Vimanams and Rajagopurams were built.

The third phase of growth is much more recent and it involved the repair, rebuilding and refurbishment of the entire temple complex, including the renovation of the temple tank. The tank and the two Raja Gopurams provide an attractive approach to the temple, in this rather remote town of Pillayarpatti.

It is with great pride that the Pillayarpatti Nagarathar community which has been traditionally involved with the temple - patronizes maintenance of this temple and the scrupulous conduct of worship services. 

Worship Protocol: Each day, five worship services are offered to the presiding deity, commencing at 6 AM , and closing down at 9 PM. During the fourth phase of each lunar half month, Pillayar is taken in procession around the temple. Hundreds of pilgrims patronize the temple on these days.

Festivals: The grandest of festivals is Ganesh Chaturti in the month of Aug - September, where a ten day celebration brings much gaiety to this temple town. Each day's celebration is marked by much splendor as Pillayar is taken in procession around town on several of his mounts, as are the other Pancha Murthys. The ninth day of the festival is marked by a chariot procession. In addition, the ten day festival in the month of Vaikasi (May - June) is held in honor of Kongu Nachiyamman, a village deity whose processional image is also housed here. The Margazhi Tiruvadirai festival is celebrated in honor of Nataraja and Sivakami (Dec - Jan)............

Siddhi Vinayak at Siddhatek

The Siddhi Vinayak temple at Siddhatek is located at a distance of about 200 km east of Pune.

Siddhatekcha Shri Siddhi Vinayak is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

Legend has it Mahavishnu who was engaged in a serious battle against the demons Madhu and Kaitabha, was dismayed by his inability to bring the battle to a quick and decisive finish. Shiva advised him to propitate Ganesha. Upon doing so, Ganesha appeared on the battlefield, and his appearance strengthened Mahavishnu's resolve and abilities and enabled him to vanquish the demons with ease. Ganesha's appearance on the battlefield is marked by the Siddhivinayak shrine at Siddhatek, said to be capable of granting Siddhi.

Mahavishnu is worshipped as the destroyer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha at Tiruvallur near Chennai in Tamilnadu, and as the restorer of the Vedas from the same demons, at Indalur in Mayiladuturai near Thanjavur again in Tamilnadu, both these temples being over 1200 years old.

The Temple: The Siddhatek Siddhivinayak temple is a hill temple, built by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, who is also credited with rebuilding the Vishnu Pada temple at Gaya, the Vishwanath temple at Benares and several other temples. Ganesha is enshrined in a seated posture with his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi............

Ashta Vinayak

Ganesh Chaturti is celebrated with an extra measure of grandeur in the state of Maharashtra. The Siddhi Vinayak temple in Mumbai is visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees throughout the year.

ashta_vinayak.jpg (76797 bytes)

Also in Maharashtra are eight temples dedicated to Ganesha, related to various episodes from the puranas and other legends - and these deities are collectively known as Ashta Vinayak.

Moregaon enshrines Ganapati as Mayureshwar (Moresh) or the peacock rider, who slew the demon Sindhu in response to pleas from the Gods.

Mahaganapati at Ranjangaon is believed to have come to the aid of Shiva in destroying the citadels of the demon Tripurasura.

Mahad ensrhines Varadvinayak (the bestower of boons), in commemoration of a legend related to Rukmangada.

Chintamani Vinayak relates to the legend of Kapila Muni and the Chintamani gem that he had obtained from Shiva.

Girijaatmaja Vinayaka is enshrined on Lenyadri Parvat, and is believed to be a manifestation of Ganapati as an infant.

Vigneshwara at Ozar is regarded as the slayer of the demon Vignaasura.

Ballal Vinayak at Pali, is associated with a legend where Ganapati is said to have come to the aid of a young lad, who was a fervent devotee of Ganapati.

Siddhi Vinayak at Siddhatek is said to have come to the aid of Mahavishnu as he was engaged in a long battle with the demons Madhu and Kaitabha............

Moregaon - Mayureshwar

Moregaon is a village located at a distance of about 50 km from Pune, enroute to Aurangabad in Maharashtra, and it houses a shrine to Mayureshwar Vinayak.

Moregaon Mayureshwar is considered to be one of the Ashta Vinayak shrines of Maharashtra, celebrating eight instances of legends related to Ganesha.

The name Moresh or Moregaon arises from the fact that this region once abounded in peacocks. The name Mayureshwar also arises from the legend that Vinayak rode a peacock mount in a battle against evil demons.

Legend has it that a demon by name caused untold hardship to the inhabitants of the Universe, and that responding to the pleas of the Gods, Ganapati came down to the earth on a peacock mount, waged a battle against Sindhu and vanquished him. The peacock rider Ganapati assumed the name Mayureshwar or Moresh. The original image of Ganesha made of precious metal was installed by the creator Brahma. The Pandava princes are said to have installed a copper image, when they visited Moregaon in the course of their pilgrimage.

The Temple: An east facing image of Ganesha flanked by brass images of his consorts Siddhi and Riddhi is enshrined in this temple. Ganesha is depicted armed with a spear, while a cobra encircles his head. Interestingly, the peacock mount, the cobra and the spear (Vel) are all considered to be attributes of Kartikeya (his brother). The temple is a well visited one, fortified with lofty walls.

Festivals: As with all other Vinayak temples, Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated in great splendor here. VijayaDasami is celebrated commemorating Ganesha's victory against the demons............

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Raichak, West Bengal

Located on the banks of river Hooghly, Raichak offers to be a perfect weekend getaway, boasting of an enjoyable and satisfying climate. At a distance of just 50 km from the state capital of Kolkata, Raichak is rapidly becoming a promising place to be visited. The place was originally found by the British, who had built a fort on the river bend, to guard against pirates. The fort, which eventually turned into ruins, has now been converted into a lovely 5-star hotel called Radisson Fort. The splendid beauty of the river and the 18th century fort makes Raichak an ideal destination for weekend tourists. 

Situated in the south 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, Raichak is surrounded by verdant trees, offering glorious views of the city, making it a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city grinds. Raichak is a very beautiful and clean place, which is sure to bring you back for yet another weekend getaway. For a historical view, you have the famous Diamond Harbor close to Raichak, offering you more to watch and do. Take a walk by the river or indulge in sailing, sunbathing, surfing and waterskiing to recreate yourself and take back a fresh you.

Boat rides and jetty rides to nearby towns and villages are quite popular here, not to forget the scrumptious and lip-smacking traditional Bengali cuisine that is being offered to its tourists. Your trip to Raichak would not be complete had you not been on a river cruise to view the spectacular scenic beauty. Sail through the river Hooghly and the suburban of the Bay of Bengal. The city of Raichak has a number of places to visit, along with activities to do to keep you on your toes. Your visit to Raichak is sure to refresh and rejuvenate all the parched souls from the maddening crowds of the city.

Places To See:

Fort Radisson

The main attraction of Raichak is the Fort Radisson that is sure to raise your eyebrows. Initially a fort, it has now been converted into a stylish and elegant 5-star hotel. Visit the fort and relish the luxuries offered here, just to recreate you. Do not forget to check out some treasured memorabilia of the bygone era that includes a grand piano, a clock, swords and perfume bottles. 

Diamond Harbor

One of the famous harbors of India, the Diamond Harbor is just 15 km from Raichak on the banks of river Hooghly. A very popular tourist destination, tourists can take a ride on one of the river cruises here. People searching for places with a historical background can visit the ruined Portuguese fort which also has a light house. In case you have been wondering why there are no temples at this junction, do not worry. Lord Buddha’s statue is just the perfect stop for you. 

River Hooghly

Treat your eyes by walking along the river Hooghly and admire its natural scenic beauty. Do not hesitate to take a dip or two in the cool waters of the river. Enjoy sunbathing, surfing and waterskiing too. It is sure to mesmerize you and leave you packed with memories of the beautiful picturesque.

What Activities to do...........

What Activities to do in Raichak

Raichak, situated on the outskirts of Kolkata, is a beautiful and splendid town, offering some great memories to be taken back home. Founded by the British as a fort which is now converted into a marvelous deluxe hotel, Raichak has more than just its amazing riverside picturesque views. A perfect place to retreat and rejuvenate yourself, Raichak is definitely worth a visit from the city grinds. The refreshing scenic beauty and the spectacular sunsets will give you enough memoirs to be cherished lifelong. Go through the following lines, to find some interesting and fun activities to do in Raichak. Have fun exploring them!

Fun Activities to Do in Raichak

River Cruise

No vacation is complete in Raichak without a ride in the river cruise. After all, it has more to offer than any region’s history, culture and attractions. Take the famous river cruise on the river Hooghly and sail through the waters away from the hustling crowd into a calm and peaceful environment. Do not forget to enjoy the local delicious and scrumptious Bengali food offered on board. Definitely an activity worth indulging in.

Jetty Ride

For all you adventurous people, there is a lot you to explore than you had ever anticipated. Take a Raichak jetty or the nearby Nurpur jetty and visit Kukrahati in East Midnapore district or Gadiara in Howrah district through a ferry. At a distance of 30 minutes from Raichak, Kukrahati is a small town offering you to enjoy the suburban of Bengal. A small village in Howrah, Gadiara offers you a small lighthouse, mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets for its visitors. The place is a great picnic and daytrip spot for locals and tourists. You can also view the spectacular scenic beauty of the convergence of the Damodar, Rupnarayan and Hooghli rivers............

How to Reach Raichak

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Dum Dum, Kolkata, is the nearest air link to Raichak. Located at 70 km from Raichak, the journey offers some glorious views of the city and river. Major Indian and international airlines operate to and from the airport. 

Howrah, located at a distance of 56 km, serves as the nearest railway link to Raichak. The railway station is very well-connected to all the major cities in the country. After de-boarding from the train, you can hire a taxi or a bus to reach Raichak.

For all those traveling hunks, visiting Raichak by road would be a pleasure. The place is at a distance of just 50 km drive from Kolkata, along the river Hooghly. One can catch an air-conditioned luxury private bus plying from Kolkata to Raichak. You can pick the bus from Dharamtala Bus Terminus or Behala Bus Terminus in Kolkata............

Siliguri, West Bengal

The second most important city in West Bengal, after the state capital Kolkata, Siliguri is a rapidly developing as a metropolis in West Bengal. Serving as the gateway to the northeast region of India, it connects the hill towns of Gangtok, Rangpo, Kalimpong, Kurseong, Mirik and Darjeeling, to the rest of the country. Located at the plains of the mighty Himalayan range, Siliguri acts as an important base for essential supplies to the other parts of the region. A bustling city, it even serves as a base for Indian Army, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Shashatra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Rifles.

The city of Siliguri is primarily based on ‘4 Ts’ - Tea, Timber, Tourism and Transport. While tea and timber are the main industries flourishing in the region, much of the economical growth of the place is dependent on tourism and transport as well. Due to its strategic location, the place serves as an important landmark for visitors and tourists traveling to the north eastern hill towns. The location has also made the town the next business hub of West Bengal (after Kolkata), as many national companies and organizations have set up their offices herein. 

Originally owned by Rajbanshi Group, Siliguri has become a cosmopolitan city, with a populace that has Bengali, Bihari and Nepalis in large numbers. Hindi, Bengali, Nepali, Bhojpuri and English are the commonly spoken languages. Talking about the tourist attraction in the city, ISKON temple ranks highest. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it is deemed as the biggest Krishna centre in the whole northeastern region. Apart from this, there are numerous places wherein you can enjoy the serene beauty and charm of nature. Right from effervescent tea gardens to unruffled Jaldapara national park and even the observatory points, Siliguri is a delightful place to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the region. 

Recently, Siliguri has gained a contemporary face lift, with the emergence of popular shopping malls, like Cosmos, City Style and Sun Flower. However, despite the new malls and shopping arcades opening up, Hong Kong market and the market in Hill Cart road still remain a favorite amongst tourists. In short, Siliguri is a shopper's paradise, as it offers excellent products, at affordable rates. Plans to open multiplexes are also on the cards. Once done with shopping, you can also indulge in the scrumptious 'momos' and savor a hot cup of Darjeeling tea. Overall, Siliguri is a perfect place for tourists, who want to experience the beauty and magnificence of nature, coupled with contemporary services.

Places To See:

One of the most prominent tourist attractions in Siliguri is the ISKCON temple. Dedicated to Lord Krishna, it is deemed as the biggest Krishna centre in the whole northeastern region. Though the temple is built in a modern architectural style, it has beautifully retained the ancient Indian customs of ‘Vashtuhaara’. The temple houses Radha Madhav idol and an image of Lord Krishna with Radha. More

Shopping Centers

Siliguri is a paradise for shopaholics, what with its numerous shopping centers. One of the most famous markets in town is the Hong Kong market, which specializes in imported goods, mostly made in China. Right from a nail cutter to a high-end party dress, you would find a shop for everything in the market. Apart from this, the other markets one can check out are Bidhan Market, Nivedita Market and Sunflower Shopping Mall. Keeping up with the conventional norms of shopping, Siliguri also boasts of an up-market shopping mall, named Cosmos.

Railway Junction

For those who love to have a glimpse of the bygone era, Siliguri Junction is just the ideal place to be in. In the junction, one can see the steam engines of narrow-gauge 'C' class, a relic of the British Raj. Started in 1949, it once was the departure point for all the trains in the northeastern region. One of the distinctive and unique factors of Siliguri Junction is that it is the only station in India, with tracks of all the three gauges used herein.

Science City

A highly accomplished institution, Science City is a knowledge base of science in Siliguri. Well equipped with numerous scientific equipments, the museum exhibits various scientific experiments. Also known as North Bengal Science Centre, the complex encloses a planetarium and a Nature Interpretation Centre, displaying the region’s natural diversity in flora and fauna. Its planetarium showcases interesting shows on astronomy. Due to all this, Science City has become a common place for educational tours.

Siliguri is not just the gateway to the northeastern region of India, but also a mecca for tourists to experience the bountiful glory and ecstasy of nature. There are umpteen excursion options for tourists in Siliguri. With just an hour or two of drive, one can reach the most scenic and picturesque places around the city.

Snuggled in the Alipuduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, Jaldapara is situated in the foothills of eastern Himalayas, at a distance of 124 km from Siliguri. The place houses a wildlife sanctuary, prominently known as Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary.


Siliguri Excursions

Savin Kingdom

Savin Kingdom is the latest addition to the list of excursion spots in Siliguri. An amusement park sited at a scenic location, the place is beautifully snuggled amidst spacious and serene tea farms. The park offers enjoyment facilities for people of almost all age groups. Right from the wave pool to the 90 feet high slide or recliners, the park offers the perfect entertainment option for one and all, irrespective of their age.

Sevokeshwari Kali Mandir

Poised in a picturesque setting, Sevokeshwari Kali Mandir is an ancient temple sited close to the Coronation Bridge. The temple enshrines Goddess Durga in her Kali form. The idol, adoring majestic jewels and armory, is one of its kinds in the region. Apart from holding a divine presence, the temple is a popular tourist spot, thanks to the lush green foliage, cool pleasant breeze and panoramic view of the awe-striking Kanchenjunga peak around.

Umrao Singh Boat Club

Located at Sukna, near Siliguri, Umrao Singh Boat Club is one of the frequently visited weekend destinations for both tourists and locals. It has been developed and maintained by the Indian Army. Nestled amidst tea plantations and lush green foliages, the boat club offers many entertainment facilities, like boating. It is very well equipped, what with numerous boats of different sizes and shapes. Also, the type of boats available here varies from the pedaled ones to the engine fitted ones. Set in a picturesque location, with a calm and cool ambience, the place presents the perfect option to enjoy the beauty of nature. 

For adventure lovers, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is just the right address. Nestled in Alipuduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district (in West Bengal), it represents a vast expanse of forest, in the foothills of Himalayan range, enveloped by blissful greenery. About 124 km from Siliguri, the sanctuary is a natural habitat for many varieties of wildlife fauna and flora. Right from Royal Bengal tigers, elephants, deer and sambhar to wild pigs and bisons, the list of animal found herein is endless. However, the main attraction of the sanctuary is the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros............

Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Siliguri

Snuggled in the Alipuduar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district, Jaldapara is situated in the foothills of eastern Himalayas, at a distance of 124 km from Siliguri. The place houses a wildlife sanctuary, prominently known as Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. Sprawling over an area of 141 square kilometers, at an altitude of 61 m above sea level, the sanctuary encompasses luxuriant vegetation and rich wildlife. River Torsha, flowing nearby, adds to the charm and beauty of the place. Jaldapara was affirmed as a wildlife sanctuary in 1941, mainly for the protection of the great variety flora and fauna present here, particularly the one-horned rhino - an animal threatened with extinction. 


Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is simply magnificent, when it comes to fauna. While the Asiatic one-horned rhinoceros forms the main attraction of the sanctuary, the other animals consists of Royal Bengal tiger, elephant, sambhar, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, wild pig and bisons. According to research, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary holds the maximum number of rhino population in India, after Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Talking about birds, Jaldapara is nothing less than a paradise for bird-watchers. The place is one amongst the few in the country, where Bengal Florican can be sighted. Apart from this, crested eagle, pallas's fishing eagle and shikra, jungle fowl, peafowl, patridges and lesser pied hornbill also inhabit this magnificent sanctuary. 


Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary extends tourists a sight to behold, what with the different types of vegetation dotting its landscape. Although the major portion of the land is covered by plain grassland, marshy and swampy land is interspersed here and there, making the riverside area an ideal habitat of the rhinoceros and other jungle inhabitants. While the northern dry deciduous forest is the main component of the sanctuary, it also comprises of moist mixed forest, Sal-Khair Sissoo association and alluvial Savannah. 


A prominent must-see place in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is the Fort of Nal King. Boasting of an incredible historical and archeological importance, the fort was built during the Gupta Empire and is an excellent memoir of the glorious bygone era. Today, it is the playground for leopards, snakes and other animals. Another distinctive feature of the forest is that it comprises of a unique type of trees that bleed like humans. Located just few meters outside the broken gate of the old fort, the trees are believed to be 100-200 years old. The trees emit a fluid that is blood-like in color and density. According to the locals, such trees are not found anywhere else in the world.


One of the most thrilling ways to explore the mystical beauty of the Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is with the adventurous elephant ride. The safari is sure to be an exciting one, extending sights of rhino in a muddy pond, herd of elephants walking majestically or deer running here and there. You can also indulge in jeep safari, a good way to explore the bliss of nature. In short, Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for nature lovers and adventure freaks, giving them umpteen opportunities to unravel the blissful and enigmatic bounties of nature............

Coronation Bridge, Siliguri

Siliguri is not just the gateway to the northeastern region of India, but also a mecca for tourists to experience the bountiful glory and ecstasy of nature. There are umpteen excursion options for tourists in Siliguri. With just an hour or two of drive, one can reach the most scenic and picturesque places around the city. One of the must-see places near Siliguri is the Coronation Bridge. Located about 20 km from the city, on its outskirts, it is a very important bridge in the Northeast India and connects Darjeeling with Jaipalguri.

Built in 1930, over the renowned Teesta River - at the confluence of rivers Rangeet and Teesta in West Bengal, Coronation Bridge marked the coronation of King George V. The bridge is an excellent representation of the outstanding and brilliant designing skill & architecture style of the British. A relic of the yesteryears, it boasts of a magnificent layout and style. Today, Coronation Bridge is marked as a real specimen of excellence in craftsmanship. The bridge is located close to Sevokeswari Kali Mandir in Siliguri

Coronation Bridge forwards the tourists a panoramic view of the nature. The place is a perfect combination of blissful blues and enlivening greens. Set amidst the backdrop of tall green mountains on both sides, the bridge is an ideal retreat for those in quest of serenity and tranquility. The plenty of foliage, along with crystal clear blue water, of the Teesta River makes the place a refreshing picnic spot. In short, Coronation Bridge is a haven for people who want to bask in the charm and charisma of nature. 

Present Times

Offering breathtaking view of the lush greenery and cool blue waters, Coronation Bridge has long since been an ideal retreat for travelers who want to experience the glory of nature. However, the number of visitors coming to the place has been minimal, due to its underdeveloped surrounding. Now, this scene is fast changing, as the area is being developed and promoted as a major attraction for both locals and tourists. People en-route to Sikkim or Darjeeling visit Coronation Bridge to take a break from the journey and to revel in the beauty of sparkling water and mesmerizing scenic view............


International Society for Krishna Consciousness, more popularly known as ISKCON Temple, is one of the prominent places of interest in Siliguri. Sited at Gital Para, ISKCON Temple Road, the temple is characterized by purity, serenity and sublime beauty. Also known as Hare Krishna Movement, ISKCON temple in the city is the biggest Krishna centre in the whole of the Northeast India. Completely dedicated to Lord Krishna, the temple attracts thousands of devotees from all over the country.

An embodiment of peace and beauty, ISKCON Temple enshrines Radha Madhav idol and an image of Lord Krishna with Radha. Along with this, the temple is also home to a number of spellbinding idols, some of which are those of Advaita Acharya, Lord Narasimha and Lord Chaitanya. Though the temple is constructed in a modern architectural style, it has managed to retain the ancient Indian customs of ‘Vashtuhaara’. 



ISKCON temple in Siliguri houses a well-equipped auditorium. With a seating capacity of 500 to 600 people, the auditorium offers an excellent place to hold meetings and conventions. To use the auditorium, all you need to do is seek permission from the temple president.

Govind's Restaurant

A simple eatery, Govind's restaurant is the perfect place in ISKCON Temple, to indulge in yoru favorite delicacies. The best feature of this restaurant is that it not only serves authentic yummy delights, but also hygienic food, that too in a clean surrounding. 

Guest House

The temple has a small guest house for those who want to reside within the premises. Boasting of a serene and tranquil ambience, the guest house presently has 10 rooms, of which only 5 are operational. The temple authorities have plans to increase the number of rooms in the guest house, gradually. 


05.00 am - Mangal Arati 
06.30 am - Srimad Bhagavatam Class
07.30 am - Sringar Arati 
07.40 am - Guru Puja
12.30 pm - Raj Bhog Arati 
01 pm to 4.30 pm - Rest 
04.30 pm - Dhoop Arati
07.00 pm - Sandhya Arati
08.00 pm - Srimad Bhagavad Gita Class
08.30 pm - Shayan Arati 
08.45 pm - Time of Closing Door...........
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