Pyaar Hua, Ikraar Hua

Like I mentioned before, there are no guides at Avani, so everything I write is either from connecting the dots or Google. I went with a lovely friend so it was a fun day-long picnic. There are loads of ruins in Karnataka, and the sculptures are full of mystical and mythical creatures. When I saw…

Light the Lamp

There is a tradition of lighting a lamp twice a day in our temple at home. Light is considered to dispel ignorance and bring knowledge. God, who is all knowing, opens our eyes, and gives us the solutions we need. Hope and faith are essential for us to believe. In this lovely temple in Avani,…

Navagraha Puja

The Navagrahas are the “nine celestial bodies”, which include the nine astronomical bodies and the mythical Hindu deities. These are the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn, and the ascending (Rahu) and descending (Ketu) lunar nodes (which appear as Shadow Planets during the solar and lunar esclipse respectively).

In Peace

The Ramalingeshwara temple in Avani, Kolar (Karnataka) is a dravida style set of shrines of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Built in the 10th-century by the Nolamba dynasty, the temple was partially renovated and restored in the Chola dynasty. It is also known as the “Gaya of the south”. Legend has it that Avani was…

Bappa Moriya!

Lalbagcha Raja (The King of Lalbaug) is one of the most famous Sarvajanik Ganapatis from Lalbaug, Mumbai, which is set up during Ganesh Chaturthi. Known as a Navsacha Ganpati (the one who has the ability to fulfill all wishes”), the idol is open to visitors for 10 days; and it is then immersed in water…

Golu

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, this is my first golu in my new den, and it is tiny by most standards. Since I needed to have odd-numbered steps, three was the starting point. My mother says, the golu needs to grow each year with new dolls getting added to the list. Step one…

Dahi Handi

At Vrindavan, Krishna was a very naughty child, and his love for makhan (white butter), curds and milk was well known. Vrindavan’s women would tie freshly-churned butter at a height out of Krishna’s reach. But Krishna and his friends would form human pyramid and steal their goodies anyway. This dahi handi ritual has come to…

Marriages Made in Heaven

I enjoy the Durga Navratri, probably my second favorite festival after Diwali (that’s when I was born :-)). For nine nights, which culminates with Vijayadashami, we worship nine forms of shakti (Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati), who brings to us wisdom, fertility and strength. I have a smallish traditional golu setting this year. The lowest step celebrates…

Peak of Glory

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance. ~Benjamin Franklin

Kanya Pujan

Kanya Pujan is celebrated on mahasaptami, mahaashtami and mahanavami of the Durga Navratri. Young girls are worshiped as a symbol of nine forms of Durga. Young girls are innocent and considered pure souls. Before the woman in them awakens, we celebrate their existence by offering them vanity items. This year, my kanya puja offering includes…