Chardham Helicopter Service

Chardham Helicopter Service from Dehradun started from 05 MAY 2017

The Holy Yatra Chardhma for the year 2017 starts from 05 MAY with the opening of Kapat at Sri Yamunotri ,  Sri Gangotri,  Sri Kedarnath and  Sri Badrinath .

Take Off from Shastradhara Helipad

To operate the Helicopter charters in this area the permission is granted by the DGCA of Govt. of India,  before the operations starts the Govt. Officials inspect the helipads situated at Kharsali ( Yamunotri ) Harsil ( Gangotri ) Guptkashi ( Phata, Sitapuri, Sirsi) Sri Kedarnath and the Sri Badrinath ,  these helipads are declared fit, only then the flights operations are allowed.

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There is a regular Shuttle service between Guptkashi and Sri Kedarnath but other places only chartered flights are allowed. There is difference between Chartered and Shuttle Service.

View of Sri Badrinath from a Helicopter

Normally following services are offered as chartered Service

a. Dehradun – Yamunatri – Dehradun  same day return

b. Dehradun – Gangotri – Dehradun  same day return

c. Dehradun – Yamunotri – Gangotri – Dehradun same day return

d. Dehradun – Sri Kedarnath – Dehradun same day return

e. Dehradun – Sri Badrinath – Dehradun same day return

f. Dehradun – Sri Badrinath – Sri Kedarnath – Dehradun same day return

g. Dehradun – Yamunotri – Gangotri – Sri Kedarnath – Sri Badrinath – Dehradun

Two days trip and Four days trip .

f. Guptkashi – Sri Kedarnath – Guptkashi Shuttle Service 

The Helipad at Yamunotri is at Kharsali about 7 km before the main temple , Palki, Horses and Pitthoos are available from here

The Helipad at Gangotri is at Harsil about 24 km from the main temple , Jeeps, Cars are available from here

The Helipad at Sri Kedarnath is about 1 km from the main temple, it is a easy walk or Pitthoos are available

The Helipad at Sri Badrinath is about 1.5 km from the temple , Car, Jeeps are available.

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Majuli, Deori Tribe Culture

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Deori Tribe of Majuli

Deoris  migrated from hills staying at various places and then finally reached Majuli through river Brahmaputra, they call themselves children of Sun and Moon (Jimo – Chaayan) have their own culture and faith along with the Hindu Gods they worship their ancestors, they served as priests for the royal families even today they have same respect among the other tribal communities. Deori means wise male and female.

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Houses are stilted built by using bamboo, cane and wood, animals are on the lower level and upper level family stays, normally there is a corridor till the center of house which is used for all day to day work, there is place for faith in God and each home have a reserved place for it.

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

 

Marriages are arranged by the family elders and day is fixed, as gift cloths and ornaments are offered and it is solemnized in the presence of community as a religious ceremony. They enjoy rice, pork, goat, fowl in their meals.

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Two major festivals associated with the agriculture activity, Magiyo Bisu is celebrated in the month of January and Ibaku Bisu is in April, there are special rules, it is celebrated for seven days, the village elders shower blessings by visiting all the houses and, puja is performed in each house by the head of family, guests are treated with homemade rice beer “Suzen” young boys and girls gather in an open space and dance the whole night.

Bhohagiyo Bisu is a religious festival and a very important Deodhani dance celebrated for two weeks, it is believed that a special power is there with few who can be a Deodhani, they predict about the prosperity of village or person, it is a holy female god dance and during this period no men are allowed in colored clothes in the dance area called the “Than”. Joydam festival is celebrated in the month of February it is very important festival and cultural meet for all the four groups of Deori tribes, it is to pay the respect to motherland and celebrate the bumper harvest or before the sowing of seeds, the main profession of Deori tribe is agriculture .

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat to Nimatighat by road and the take a 1.30 hr. ferry to cross the Brahmaputra , it  is also a port of call for river cruise M.V.Mahabaahu 

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Mulbek , Ladakh

Mulbek is located on a Srinagar – Leh NH 1 D National Highway 45 km from Kargil and and  Leh is further 197 km , it is at an altitude of 3304 meters from sea , just a kilometer from the town is the famous statue of Chamba  the figure of Maitreya Budha , represents the important part of Gandhara Art , on the main National highway.

Rock cut 9 meters tall statue of “Future Budha” the Maitreya

The scholars believe it to be of 8th centenary but there is a thought it is of a Kushan period about 1800 years old.

Mulbek rock carved Buddha

There is an inscription on a near by rocks  orders from the King  Lde for not to sacrifice a goat at the altar of a deity , there is also an inscription that this order of King is too hard if goat is not sacrificed what will the deity say .

 Shergol It is a  picturesque village of the Wakha river Valley  it  is situated across the river, right of the Kargil-Leh road. This village is full of Popalar trees , orchards of Walnut and Apricots The main attraction is a cave monastery which is visible from a far as a white speck against the vertically rising ochre hill from which it appears to hanging  out. Below this small monastery is a larger Buddhist nunnery with about a dozen residents. The village is accessible by the motorable road that branches off from the Kargil-Leh road, about 5 km before  Mulbek. Shergol is a convenient base for an exciting 4-day trek across the mountain range into the Suru valley. It is also the  base for visiting Urgyan-Dzong, a meditation retreat lying deep inside the mountains surrounding the Wakha River valley.

Nature’s art , Rock called Mother and Child at Mulbek

 Wakha Rgyal tucked away inside the picturesque upper part of the Wakha Valley, up streams of Mulbek.                         Mulbek Gompa : Situated  atop a rocky cliff, Mulbek Gompa (monastery) dominates the valley. It is easy to see why in bygone times this site served as an outpost to guard the caravan route. Like all Buddhists monasteries it is adorned by frescoes and statues .

Shergol Cave Monastery

Rgyal gives the appearance of a medieval settlement of cave dwellings transported in to the modern times with some improvements and extensions. The houses, neatly white-washed and closely stacked, are dug into the sheer face of a vertical cliff that rises high above the green valley . From a far the village looks like a colony of beehives hanging from the  Cliff side

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Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh was built during 1050 AD to 1075 AD by the Chandela Rulers . It is a UNESCO Heritage site

Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho

Dedicated to the Vamana, the fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and also the first incarnation where the Vishnu came in a full human form ( the form of a dwarf Brahmin).  Legend says that the Vamana came to earth to give back the authority of the celestial world back to Lord Indra (King of Heaven), after the benevolent Asura ( Demon) King Bali, took over the control of all the three worlds, Swarg ( Heaven) , Bhulok (Earth) and ( Pataal lok) the underworld.

Vamana Avtar the Fifth Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

The exterior of the temple has double walls with intricate carvings of Apsaras in various sensual poses or other carvings depicting everyday life, like musicians, dancers, women preening in front of a mirror, etc. The main doorway is carved with four armed Vamans. The temple is a sandstone structure with mortise and tenon joints to hold the adjacent stones together.  the  temple has a central chamber-the sanctum ( Garbha Griha), an atrium, a Maha Mandapa, a central towering spire – Shikhara and a porch leading to the main temple entrance.

Images on the outer wall of Vamana Temple of Love Khajuraho

It is nirandhara (one without ambulatory) temple, consisting on plan of a sapta-ratha (seven-projectioned) sanctum, vestibule, maha-mandapa with lateral transepts and entrance-porch, contrast to the developed local temples, erotic scenes are absent here.

At first sight many of the Khajuraho temple sculptures would appear to be naked, there is no nude body in Indian art. Adornment, associated with auspiciousness, The bodies lining the exterior of the Vamana Temple,  are represented decorated  in jewelry and draped in semi transparent veils. Associated with fertility, abundance, prosperity, and good fortune, voluptuous female bodies and loving couples are perfectly acceptable subject matter for temples.

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Garhi Padawali Temple , Morena ,Gwalior

Garhi Padavali temple Morena, Gwalior built in 10th  AD it is  in a village called Padhavali  situated in Distt. Morena 45 km. from Gwalior , old name of Padhavali is Dharon with neighboring towns were Kutwar ( Kantipur ) and Suhaniaya ( Simphania) originally they collectively formed one large city. The Kutwar  is associated with Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas

Garhi Padhvali Temple Entrance

In the early 19th century, the Rana ( Jat ruler ), of Dholpur, converted a ruined temple atop a mound, into a small fort or Garhi. He used stones, said to be the remains of the old town of Dharon, to construct defensive towers for his fort, A flight of stone steps, guarded by two stone lions, lead up to the ruins of the temple within the walls of the Garhi.

Garhi Padhavali Temple , Gwalior

The remains of the old structure stand atop a carved plinth rise sixteen sculpted pillars supporting a flat roof. The terrace, the courtyard and the assembly hall of this temple are the ‘epitome’ of ancient culture . There are intricately carved panels on the stone beams between the pillars. They depict the divinities Surya, Kali, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma,

Plate depicting Lord Ram & Sita wedding , Garhi Padhavali temple Gwalior

The temple abounds in the depictions of Ram Leela, Krishna Leela, Mahabharat, the 10 incarnations of God Vishnu, Samudra Manthan, Marriage of Lord Ganesha, Lord Shiva dancing in the cremation ground in Preta ( Ghost) form and hundreds of other Sanatan gods and goddesses .

Lord Brhama , Shiva and Vishnu in old age and at bottom plate depicting celebration at Nand Gaon the birth of Lord Krishna

Lord Shiva flanked by four-headed Brahma and Vishnu holding a conch, a Chakra, a Gada (club) and a Padma (lotus) in his four hands  and Vishnu seated on Garuda

 

Lord Shiva with Ma Parvati and Nandi , bottom plate depicting war scene of Mahabharata killing of Abhimanyu .

 

 

Ma Chamunda and bottom plate depicting Lord Ram and his army of Vanaras performing Shivalingam puja before the war with Ravana

 

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Chausath Yogini Temple , Morena ,Gwalior

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Built by the Pratihara ruler Maharaj Devapal in the year 1323 AD as per the inscription found here ,  circular temple, built  over a rock hill , using red and brown-colored sandstone  found abundantly in this area . the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker who designed the Parliament House in 1927, found his inspiration in the temple. Once a well-known tantric  center and some people still perform tantric  rituals , this place is situated in dry rocky region , located in Rithora area of  Morena Distt. about 45 km from Gwalior ,

Chaushath Yogini Mandir , Morena , Gwalior

A circular structure of 170 ft radius atop a 100 ft mount, One needs to trek by about 200 steps to reach the temple, the path is very well maintained.  The temple has 64 (Chausath) rooms and a big courtyard. There is only one small entrance from East , after entering there is a corridor on left and right side , to reach the central platform there is flight of stairs again on the East direction.

Central Platform Chaushath Yogini Mandir , Gwalior

In the circular courtyard there is a corridor supported by stone pillars one side open space and other side is a row of small 64 rooms with a flat roof , in the center there is a pillared stage with a flat roof , it appears that there were shikhars over all the rooms and the central stage , there are four pedestals found with the names of the Yoginis mentioned on them which confirms it is a Yogini Temple.

Corridor Chaushath Yogini Temple , Gwalior

There was a time when each chamber  had an idol of Yogini accompanying Shiva. While some Yogini idols were stolen, some others are adorning Indian museums.

 

Fossil Rock , Chaushath Yogini Temple Gwalior

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Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

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Chaturbhuj Temple is situated in village Jatakari ,Khajuraho, built in 1100AD , the Chaturbhuj (Lord Vishnu ) means the one with four arms . It is peculiar temple in three distinct characters which differentiate it from other temples of Khajuraho .  It houses the tallest stone carved idol among all the Temples in Khajuraho , only temple in Khajuraho with no Erotic figures, it is also the only important temple in Khajuraho that faces west . 

Chaturbhuj Temple of Love Khajuraho

Standing over a platform with entrance from the West , it is normally  not seen in the Hindu temples but rest all the architecture needs are taken care of like the Mandapa , Garbhagriha and the Shikhara , there are images of Ganga can be identified with the presence of Crocodile and Yamuna can be identified with Turtle , there is a beautiful image of Lord Shiva in his Ardhnarishwar ( half man , half woman) carvings along with the heavenly life .

Main entrance , tallest statue among all the temples at Khajuraho

The main idol is suppose to be of Lord Vishnu but the close observation gives impression of three bodies in one , head with Jata ( hairs) of Lord Shiva , the four arms carrying Lotus, Conch , one arm showering the blessings and the other is giving the Abhay ( fearlessness ) , the standing pasture with one leg resting on toe is a Lord Krishna dancing style ( Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) , near the main idol there are images of Sura – Sundari .

Lord Chaturbhuj , Features of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishana

Beauty of this temple is seen  at sunset the sun comes streaming in and falls on the figure, lighting it in such a way that it appears to be full with life.

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Vishwanath Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

Vishwanath Temple at Khajuraho built by the Chandela King Dhanga Deva  in 999 AD to 1002 AD . It was a panchayatana  shrine however of the four subsidiary shrines only two in the northeast and southwest corners have survived. The structure shows all the elements of a developed temple. The beauty of the temple lies in the depiction of the exquisite figures of women on the rock blocks  walls. The temple depicts more than 600 rock-images

Vishwanath Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

Raised over a platform . This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, has an exquisite marble Shivalinga    (it originally housed an emerald lingam)  as the main deity.  It is  believed that the temple celebrates the celestial marriage of Lord Shiva with Parvati.

Vishwanath Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

An imposing  image of the three-headed Lord Brahma  also is enshrined in this temple. With lions adjoining the northern and elephants the southern steps , human figures are also depicted on both side of elephant  the exterior of temple walls are with Apsaras writing letters, playing music and a lovely one plucking a thorn from her foot, women are seen to caress a baby .

Lady early morning got up from bed

Couple in love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On one of the walls there is a four-armed dancing Lord Ganesh, holding an Axe and broken tusk , in his right hands, and with his left hands holding a laddu (sweet) and extended in a boon-granting gesture. The sculpture of Lord Shiva ( with Trishula on right shoulder  and snake on left shoulder ) can also be seen on outer  wall .

Lord Shiva with Parvati and Lord Brhama with three heads

 

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Kandariya Mahadev Temple of Love Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

The Kandariya Mahadev Temple built-in 1050 AD by the Chandela King Vidydhara  to celebrate his victory over Mahmud of Ghazni, is dedicated to Lord Shiva it  is  the most impressive and refined temple among all the temples in the Khajuraho , with over 900 sculptures carved into sandstone stacked without mortar the Kandariya Mahadev temple is a fine example of the craftsmanship of the medieval times. Kandra in Sanskrit or Hindi means Cave .

Kandharia Mahadev Temple Khajuraho

The east-facing Shiva temple is a culmination of the design , Shikara rises about 30 meters (100 feet) above the platform which it shares with the older Devi Jagadambi temple. 84 smaller  replicas adorn the main tower in a soaring, mountainous profusion. The Carvings on the temples portray a wide variety of sexual acts( Mithuna), in different styles and moods – refinement and vulgarity, tenderness and lust, calculation and spontaneity, can all be found here, in a seemingly endless number of configurations and positions.

On the South wall the first statue is of  the lord Ganesha and then the Chamunda one of the sacred Seven Mothers or the Matrikas slayer of two demons the Chanda and the Munda , this statue is damaged but brilliantly captures the goddess’ terrifying image. Next is the image of Bhairav  the lord of death and cremation grounds  is a fierce manifestation of lord Shiva shown here bearing a skull, hand drum, headdress of stylized flames, and accompanied by a Dog Vahan ( carrier) followed by  other sacred Matrikas namely Ma Aindri, Ma Varahi, Ma Vaishnavi, Ma Kaumari, Ma Mahesvari, Ma Brahmani ( or first sacred Matrika) and Ma goddess Virabhadra.

Makara Toran at Kandharia Mahadev Temple

The Temple has the main entrance a cave  ( Kandra ) like opening the Mukha Mandapa,  with a  Makara Torana (an arch in the form of the makara  Crocodile, a mythical water creature with the jaws of a crocodile, ears of a lion, horns of a ram and tail of a fishhas been carved out of a single stone and draped with loops from one side of the doorway to the other, leading the passage  two halls the Mandapa with two balcony the Bhadravalokna , the inner roofs of the porch and mandap are  created like great upside down pools with flower and leaf motifs, the main room where the white marble Shivaling is established is the Garbahgriha and a space between the Mandapa and Garbhagriha is Antralaya .

Multi spire shikhara , Kandharia Mahdev Temple

The great multi spire tower of the sekhari type, the most important conspicuous feature of the North India ( Nagara) temple , is characterized by an ascending cluster of spires reflecting the idea of the temple as a mountain .

Kandharia Mahadev Temple outer wall

On the southeast wall a woman plays with a ball, another stretches her love-tired limbs, another gazes into a mirror, one engaged in writing a letter. On the South side the couples are kissing, their bodies entwined in such a perfect union that one can cannot tell the arms and legs of one partner apart from the other. The love making scenes on the north side wall are more elaborate, often acrobatic and symbolic.

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Varaha Temple Khajuraho Madhya Pradesh

The Varaha Temple dedicated to the third incarnation of lord Vishnu built by the Chandela King Yashaovarman in around 900 to 950 AD Built on a lofty plinth a simple modest pavilion , pyramidal roof of receding tiers resting over fourteen pillars made of sand stone , located just opposite to the Lakshmana temple of Love  .

Varaha tempel Khajuraho

Varaha is the third Avatar ( Incarnation) of the Lord Vishnu, appeared  to defeat Hiranyaksha , a demon who had taken the Earth ( Prithvi ) and carried it to the bottom of  the cosmic ocean . The battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksha is believed to have lasted for a thousand years, which the Lord Vishnu  finally won. Varaha carried the Earth out of the cosmic ocean between his tusks and restored it to its place in the universe. Varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu married Prithvi ( Bhudevi ) in this avatar.

Varaha with Goddess Saraswati between mouth and nose with Veena , disfigured Bhudevi between the fore legs

The Varaha sculpture is colossal and monolithic and made of sandstone , the entire body 2.6 mtrs long and 1.7 mtrs. tall is covered with small images of Gods and Goddesses  in all there are  674 deities in 12 neatly carved rows symbolism to  the collective  power of these individuals  to the Lords Incarnation as Varaha to save the Bhudevi ( Prithvi ) the earth .

Varaha incarnation of Lord Vishnu with 674 carved images of God and Goddesses on its body

Goddess Sarasvati  playing Veena is carved between nose and mouth, Shesh Nag  (the Serpent ) is lying at the bottom between the legs, facing the Varaha a disfigured image of Bhudevi (The  Earth) can be seen sitting  below Seshnaga, the serpent is depicted in a devotional posture.

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